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Zim impasse heads to AU

JASON MOYO - Nov 14 2008 06:00

Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai were rallying their troops this week for
a new phase of confrontation, following the apparent collapse of the
September power-sharing agreement.

Both men held meetings with their top executives and were planning new
strategies after a regional attempt to save the September agreement failed
in South Africa at the weekend.

The key point of contention is the home affairs ministry, which both parties
are desperate to have in their hands.

Mugabe was taking concrete steps towards forming a new government, while the
MDC, having suffered a major setback at Sunday's SADC summit, was holding a
meeting of its national council, which was expected to announce a full
withdrawal from the agreement. Hardliners were pushing for a new strategy,
including a campaign of "civil disobedience".

It would be "the most difficult decision for the MDC since we were formed",
said Eddie Cross, a Tsvangirai adviser and a member of the MDC's top
council, ahead of the meeting on Friday.

Mugabe looked ready this week to form a new government: a caucus of his MPs
met to discuss the SADC resolution, while a meeting of the politburo, the
core committee of Zanu-PF, also met to discuss a timetable for the
appointment of a new government.

The power-sharing deal, signed two months ago and widely celebrated,
unravelled after the SADC summit asked to rule on the deadlock called for
Zimbabwe's two main parties to share control of the home affairs ministry,
which oversees the police and the way elections are run, having overall
charge of the voters' roll.

SADC leaders, who had grown impatient with a stand-off that has dragged on
all year, pressed for the immediate formation of a joint government.

"We cannot afford to postpone the formation of an inclusive government
because there is a dispute over who gets the ministry of home affairs," said
Tomaz Salomão, SADC executive secretary.

Tsvangirai has rejected the SADC ruling, angrily calling regional leaders
cowardly. According to Tsvangirai, Mugabe refused to leave the conference
room when heads of state asked all three Zimbabwean protagonists to leave.

"Mr Mugabe refused and the chairman of SADC [SA president Kgalema Motlanthe]
did not tell him to leave. Thus, Mr Mugabe became a judge in his own case,"
Tsvangirai said.

That setback has narrowed Tsvangirai's options significantly. MDC
spokesperson Nelson Chamisa said his party was now looking to take the
dispute to the African Union and to the United Nations. At Friday's meeting
Tsvangirai will be expected to provide details ofhow he intends to do this.

The SADC resolution was reached by consensus, with no dissent even from
Mugabe critics such as Zambia and Botswana. Tsvangirai advisers concede this
makes it hard for their party to convince the AU to take a different view,
given the SADC's clout on the continent.

The MDC leader's rejection of the SADC ruling, and his strong reaction to
it, could isolate him further among African leaders, many of his supporters

"The MDC has few options, if any. It has no choice but to participate under
protest, in the larger interest of the nation," said Eldred Masungure, a
political scientist at the University of Zimbabwe.

Tsvangirai has resisted pressure to pursue the option of a campaign of
protest against Mugabe.

This week Zimbabwean police crushed a protest march called by the National
Constitutional Assembly pressure group, signalling that there would be no
change in Mugabe's repressive response to dissent. There is fear that Mugabe
is planning a violent crackdown on opponents if the MDC formally withdraws.

It appears almost certain Mugabe will appoint a government without the MDC.
On Tuesday Parliament adjourned for another month. This means constitutional
changes needed to enable the formation of a power-sharing government cannot
be tabled before December 16 when Parliament next sits. It is unlikely
Mugabe will wait until then to form a government, said Zanu-PF officials.

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Harare diary: New abductions

Friday, 14 November 2008

Zanu-PF militia beat unidentified people

Esther (not her real name), 28, a professional living and working in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, describes how the daily struggle to survive carries on with no end in sight.

We were discussing our illusive government of national unity at work the other day and one of the ladies, voicing her opinions, said how obviously it's not working and the only way forward is by holding new elections.

Then the topic turned to the recent abductions; and whether or not the rumours about the renewed violence are true; and if it has actually started again.

You used to have to be very secretive - hiding in your car, and what-what, going undercover. Not any more

One of my colleagues confirmed it was true - people in the rural areas are disappearing in the night, she told us.

She had travelled to her family rural area over the weekend and said everyone was talking about it. She said it is becoming a real worry for the rural folk once more and if we were to have new elections, then how much worse could things get.

I was talking about it to my cousin, who is a human rights activist, to find out if it was true. He also said it was, further confirming my fears.

Cashier contrast

The latest change in our lives is the presence of different tills for different currencies in some of the shops - tills for Zimbabwean dollars and tills for foreign currency; and since this has come about, the supermarkets who are trading in foreign currency are doing a very brisk trade.

People queuing to pay in a Zimbabwean supermarket
Only bread, meat and vegetables can be paid for in local currency

We have not seen supermarket shelves this full since June last year.

The only items you can pay for in Zimbabwean dollars are bread, meat and vegetables. For everything else, you have to pay in foreign currency.

When you look at the cashiers - you should see the contrast - the ones at the local currency tills are just sitting there while the foreign exchange cashiers are overwhelmingly busy.

It makes it look like everyone has foreign currency.

So blatant

But it makes you question whether people do actually have the money or if it is because they have no other choice?

Basically if you want to buy something then you have to find yourself some US dollars. You have no option.

Zimbabwean woman weeps at funeral for her niece and unborn child, victims of a cholera outbreak
I hate to wonder how the poor are going to get medical attention, especially when major hospitals are closing down in the midst of an epidemic

The only way of getting foreign currency these days is on the black market. You cannot go to a bank any more.

It is not hard to get US dollars though.

The black market guys used to be very subtle but nowadays they are everywhere. A lot of them hang out at the Eastgate shopping centre and so I tend to go there.

You just walk up to some of them, ask for the going rates, choose who you want to do business with and then exchange and that's it.

It is so blatant.

You used to have to be very secretive - hiding in your car, and what-what, going undercover. Not any more.

Now it is right out there in the open and even if a policeman walks by he won't even give you a second glance.

Midst of an epidemic

On Friday I went to one of the 'foreign-currency-supermarkets-with-full shelves' because I needed to buy milk, pasta, salt and some flour. It came to about $16.

The equivalent in a supermarket in Johannesburg would cost about 60 rand which is about $6 - and so, you see, you do have to pay a lot more.

Prices are really inflated, and it is not down to import taxes because they are supposed to have been removed.

It must just be because the shopkeepers know that you need it and so you will pay whatever they mark it as. All these supermarkets charge the same too so there's no such thing as shopping around.

The supermarkets in poor areas still only sell in Zimbabwean dollars but they don't have to anything to buy - their shelves are still empty.

Empty beds at Harare Central Hospital
The stark reality is that they will be coming to hospital to die, because there is nobody to care for anyone
Dr Malvern Nyamutora
Junior Doctors' Association

We are on the brink of a cholera epidemic.

The reported cases in the newspapers and on TV seem to be shockingly understated - very moderate figures compared to what people are saying.

I hate to wonder how the poor are going to get medical attention, especially when major hospitals are closing down in the midst of an epidemic and when GPs ask to paid in foreign currency.

There seems to be a feeling around - resignation might be a good way to explain it.

People just keep carrying on, like no-one knows anything but struggle.

Esther answered some of your questions:

Q: Do people in Harare believe that Western sanctions are harming ordinary people in Zimbabwe? Do they say what those sanctions are?
Philippa, United Kingdom

A: I suppose there is a mixed reaction, some people believe it, others do not. And you'll find the separation is almost always along party lines. Most people know the sanctions are targeted and person specific.

Q: Hello Esther, very interesting (and depressing) to read your latest comments. What do you sense is the general feeling by Zimbabweans (in Harare at least) about the influence of Britain and the West in general as a cause of the terrifying economic disaster in your country? I hope you can reply, Esther? Many thanks - and good fortune one day soon!!
Lewis, Bath, England

A: Britain and the West in general are the cause of all our economic woes. I mean, how often does our president have to say this before someone hears him and gets it?! OK, enough of that. Look, there is always stuff happening behind the political scenes that we do not know about. But Zimbabweans, at least the ones I've talked to, place the blame squarely on the shoulders of our government for all the questionable, ill advised populist decisions and policies over the years, and no one else. And I for one would love to hear them apologise to us for all the deprivations and shortages. Just once, to take even 5% of the responsibility for this mess.

Q: I find it very interesting reading your blog and hope everything in your country stabilises so you can enjoy life a little better enjoy your trip to South Africa. Regards,
Dennis Sutherland, UK

A: Thank you.

Q: Hello Esther, I am a Zimbabwean - born and bred... I miss my home very much and hope to return soon. I am trying to support as many charities as I can and hope that Zim will stabilize again. It is the most beautiful country and my true home. I read your diary always and hope that you are keeping safe. I want to thank you for letting the rest of the Zimbos around the world know what is actually going on and how life is for you over there. Hope you enjoy South Africa and have a good time. Lots of love and best wishes,
Corunna Lucassen, Ashbourne, UK

A: Thank you, and we are all waiting for that turn around!

Q: Esther's story is not from a Zimbabwean from the way its written. How can one think of a pizza when there are other pressuring issues like cooking oil, sugar ,school fees. This is not fiction - only imagination.
C Maton

A: Why should I be reduced to thinking of cooking oil and sugar, even pizza at that. What an insult! It enrages me to have to travel to SA for these basic things. I'm young, successful, and yet to start my own family. My trip to SA should have been about going down to Durban or Cape Town to see the ocean - not about buying basic groceries! And rather than worry about fees, I should be wondering who to approach for a mortgage for my second or third house, and which car I want to upgrade to. Don't you want this life for yourself as a Zimbabwean? Or do you seriously want this drudgery forever?

Q: My sister I know the pain you are going through and I can't imagine how worse it has become. I left my dear country in July because the situation was bad. My only concern is about the food - how are people surviving, especially the poor and homeless and those in the rural areas. Is there any hope that Sekuru [the old man] will give up and give the power to Tsvangirai. Take heart,
Varaidzo Mudada, UK

A: One always does wonder, if I'm facing these challenges, what are the poor going through? It does not bear thinking about. Sekuru is struggling to share power, so I doubt he'll be giving it up any time soon.

Q: The scene in Zimbabwe is really disturbing. I was wondering what is the future of the children there? Are they attending schools anymore? Secondly, i want to ask if any world body like UN is coming to rescue in Zimbabwe? Not on paper, but real help?
Viresh Sharma, India

A: Kids may go to school but there is no learning going on, at least not in government schools because there are no teachers - they are on a semi-permanent strike. All state-run universities and a number of colleges failed to open for the current semester, and students have been asked to check in January. And no, I don't think they'll be any help coming from anywhere, we are prisoners of our independence, our sovereignty.

Q: Are electricity cuts as bad as before or is power stabilizing. Has fuel availability improved?
Paula Taylor, Carbondale, Colorado, USA

A: Power supply is basically about the area in which you stay, for some people its as bad as ever, for others there is an almost constant supply. Fuel is all over, as long as you have the cash to pay for it!

Q: My wife's grandmother stays in Harare and we speak to her as much as possible, she says that sometimes they turn off the power for days. Is this happening all over Harare or is it just certain parts?
Tony, Luton, England

A: Just some parts.

Q: First of all, I want to thank you for your courage and writing. I'd like to know how artistic expressions in Harare have been influenced by the dire political and economic conditions over the years? And just being me, I want to know how is the nightlife in Harare?
Yoye, Abidjan

A: Wrong person to answer that sorry, I'm not a night person.

Q: I am a Zimbabwean living in London and i visited my home country a month ago. I totally agree, according to my experience during my visit, that it is the small things that have become luxuries to people in Harare. I really struggled to get by, even though i noticed some of my friends who have never left that country seemed frustrated but okay. Okay in that they had nothing to compare their present daily struggles to , such that the struggling has become somewhat normal. One of my friends works for a bank in Harare and he earns less than he needs for his bus fare while another offend an IT office but was always phoning me to ask for money to pay his rent. I also noticed how everyone has lost weight and yet they don't really see it themselves. Or maybe they do but why bother talking about something you do not have the power to change. I really hope things will get better soon and my relatives and friends can live normal lives again, and I hope Mugabe wont last much longer.
John Dadirai, London, UK

A: You see, this is what pains me, that we've come to accept our lot, and seem to be getting by, but are we really? At least people coming out of war get trauma counselling because its as plain as day they've been to hell and back. I think Zimbabweans are a traumatised lot but its not glaringly so because on the surface, life goes on as before and people are coping. But what if you peel back the surface and take a closer look? What will you find? I don't think there is any need in replacing or sharing power with Mugabe. He will NEVER leave the throne because of his past mistakes and corruption. Above all, at his age, his days are numbered.

Q: Do you see any serious changes happening, politically and financially any time soon. If you do not know what is happening outside Harare, does it mean that you have no access to newspapers or the media in general? Do you think that the MDC has a future as the next party to win the presidency? We are praying for you guys.
Pulane Mahase, Maseru, Lesotho

A: I just choose not to read the state run newspaper or to listen to state news broadcasts.

Q: You mentioned in your article that you couldn't wait to have pizza again. Are Pizza Inn and Debonairs no longer in business? Have things become that bad?
Raphael Babadam, Montreal, Canada

A: Sorry about that, I realise it was misleading. I just find it more affordable in SA.

Q: If people are so poor and have no money, then how come on a daily basis, planefuls and bus-loads of people go to South Africa, Zambia, etc on shopping trips? Contradiction or what!
Maria D, UK

A: I think people get confused on this issue, you may have money in your bank, but you can only get a designated amount out every day. That's what we say is barely enough for commuting. And we call them shopping trips, but its not about going out there and hitting the designer shops, its about getting the groceries that you can not get here.

Q: Where are you getting all this money for your luxuries in SA, if times are so difficult or are you one of the parallel market dealers? You are a bit ironic don't you think?
Tipah Tony, London, UK

A: It took me a year to save for this trip, and if pizza and groceries count as luxuries, then I'm a high roller for sure!

Q: Are Zimbabweans more united by their predicament or is there a lot of blame between tribal and race lines.
Kent Raines, Johannesburg South Africa

A: I've always maintained this - from what I've seen, race & tribe issues just do not exist in Zimbabwe.

Q: Hi Esther whose name isn't Esther. Come on BBC. How much longer are you going to keep this propaganda up? There are nasty enough things going on in Zimbabwe without you having to make this garbage up. Go to St Elmo's pizzeria in Avondale, Harare. You can get your pizza there, and it'll cost you $4. It's wood fired, delicious pizza that's better than anything you're going to get in South Africa's border towns, and cheaper. But no, this Esther woman is going to spend the money on a bus ticket to buy a pizza that costs twice what it does at home? As if. Please do your REAL jobs and report EVENTS rather than just publishing propaganda pieces. It makes you no better than the other side.
Edward T, Harare, Zimbabwe

A: $4 pizza in Avondale, and at St Elmo's? Try $11, unless there's a special going on there I did not hear about. And no, I did not go to SA for the pizza. That was a side kick. It was for the flour, baked beans, cereal, cooking oil, new bedding, toilet tissue and so on. (I could write out my entire shopping list but it's just too long!)

Q: How do you adjust to hyper-inflation on a day to day basis? As in when new banknotes are issued - how do you adjust? Do you have your former banknotes converted over at the bank or do you live off a heavy loss? Do you have to hoard foreign currency to make ends meet when you have it?
Jonathan Burns, Coronado, California, USA

A: You adjust by not getting shell-shocked when you find that the bus fare doubled in between your coming into town for work in the morning and your going bank to work at the end of the day; and by buying in bulk when you can. As for the bank notes, by the time a new set is introduced, the ones in use before will be virtually worthless so the loss while there is minimal and nothing to cry over.

Q: Hi Esther. If you can barely get enough cash to ride the bus to work and back, how do you get by with daily expenses, such as food, groceries, etc? It so hard to imagine life in Zimbabwe from where I sit. I would love to read a blog about how people manage to go about their daily lives. Sorry if it seems a naive question. Jeremy, New York

A: People use their debit cards to pay for groceries and so on in shops that have 'swipe' machines. And now we have shops that sell in foreign currency so that's another option for those with it. Failing that you just have to go without.

Q: I hope you enjoy your pizza! :-)
Keith , Bridgetown, Barbados

A: I think I gained 5kg. It was great!

Q: Esther, sometimes you don't say the truth about what is going on in H-town. Am afraid you are giving our brothers and sisters and everyone else a wrong picture. Pizza is all over town....what are you talking about? Do you live in Zim or somewhere in Luton, UK?
Charles Hamadziripi, Mbare, Harare

A: It is, but I can't afford it. You need $15 - 20 to be able to eat pizza in Harare.

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Nation divided on MDC participation

November 13, 2008

By Raymond Maingire

HARARE - Ordinary Zimbabweans, students, law experts and political analysts
continue to express divergent views on whether the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) should go ahead and participate in a power-sharing arrangement
that favours Zanu-PF.

The MDC is still agonizing over whether to take part in the new unity
government after a SADC Heads of States Summit ruled early this week that
the two rival parties should share the Home Affairs Ministry.

Although there are claims the dispute over ministries has been reduced to
that of Home Affairs, MDC insists the overall distribution of key ministries
is still uneven.

The MDC is also fighting for a proportional allocation of the country's 10
provincial gubernatorial posts which President Mugabe has already allocated
to Zanu-PF loyalists.

Although it is yet to announce its official position, the MDC has said it
will not participate in the new government under an arrangement that reduces
it to a junior partner.

The MDC has convened a high-profile meeting Friday to decide on whether to
go into the new government or not.

Zanu-PF says it does not have the luxury to wait for MDC to exhaust all its
options at the expense of the formation of a new government.

Insiders say President Robert Mugabe is now intent on announcing a new
cabinet even without the participation of MDC.

Some Zimbabweans say, however, that they feel the MDC would be making a big
mistake if it boycotted government at this juncture.

Tonderai Mhike, a Harare resident warns that MDC should not be tempted into
boycotting the new government hoping Mugabe would be dethroned through mass

"Retrospect has proved that the MDC is not a militant organization at all,"
he says.

"If this is its Plan B, the MDC should remember that it has no control over
that option because Zimbabweans by their very nature are docile. They have
failed the MDC when it mattered most in the past."

He urged MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai to approach this matter with "an open

"He should stop banking on miscalculated disgruntlement among Zimbabweans
because they will fail him one more time. They failed to rise up when he was
savaged by the police last year and he should not expect anyone to rise up
this time. Zimbabweans have not risen up even when their own kith and kin
are being killed every day by Mugabe or are dying in number through cholera.

"The MDC has made several attempts since its formation to bring about
democracy in the country but they have all fallen through due to Mugabe's
iron-fisted response to them."

Mhike says the MDC would rather enter into this government and fight from

"The MDC should go in and fight from within. Whether it opts in or out, it
will still be criticised."

Edward Mhlanga, also a Harare resident said the MDC should not boycott
government but should go into the unity government with a positive mindset.

He says the MDC stands to win a lot of Zanu-PF hearts when it is part of
government that when it is out.

He says the MDC should take advantage of the fact that Zanu-PF itself is so
divided over the power-sharing deal and may not continue to operate as a
coherent unit once there is a new government in place.

"MDC does not realize the fact that Zanu-PF itself is not sure of its future
in the new power-sharing arrangement," he said.

"By haggling unnecessarily on whether to take part or not, MDC is playing
into Zanu-PF hands. Mind you, there are a lot of Zanu-PF people who do not
want the unity government.

"Once in, Tsvangirai as Prime Minister would be able to extend his influence
on some Zanu-PF centres of power and use it to his advantage. After all, MDC
still has the option of withdrawing from the deal once it finds the
situation unfavourable."

Besides, he says, the participation of the MDC will make it possible to
neutralize some of the radical but unworkable policies of Zanu-PF.

A legal practitioner with a leading law firm in Harare who cannot be named
for professional reasons concurred.

"We are all falling into this trap that Zanu-PF will be very influential in
this government. Zanu-PF has a lot of dissenting voices within its ranks and
more people can cross the floor to be with MDC under the camouflage of the
unity government.

He cited the voting of MDC legislator Lovemore Moyo as Speaker of Parliament
by some Zanu-PF legislators as one clear indication that there are some
disgruntled elements within Zanu-PF who admire the MDC.

"The MDC has a lot of leverage," he said. "It should have self-confidence.
It should be buoyed by the fact that it won the elections and that on its
own has a psychological effect on most people even in government."

Mandlenkosi Ndlovu, a general dealer in Harare said MDC should not boycott
government hoping Zanu-PF will eventually crumble under the current economic

He said Zimbabweans would never lift a finger to protest as they have learnt
to survive in the current situation.

"Zanu-PF does not care anymore and can run without a functional economy," he

"What is fueling the economy right now is the parallel market and to a great
extent the monies sent by Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora. Villagers are
now buying maize in (South African) Rands. Things would go on like that
until the next elections.

"Zanu-PF politicians are now using the scarce resources to line their
pockets and hedge themselves against public fury."

Youth Forum co-coordinator Wellington Zindi said the MDC should enter into
the new government to support its own claims that it entered into the
power-sharing arrangement is to save Zimbabweans from the worsening economic

"The MDC signed the agreement claiming they were being moved by the
deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country," he said.

"Now the impact of the crisis has more than tripled and they now want to opt
out. It would be hypocritical of them. They should be consistent and stand
guided by that principle that their participation in the talks is motivated
by the increased suffering of ordinary Zimbabweans."

He said by entering into government, it would also help the MDC to "engage
Zanu-PF in stages".

"They should engage and try to influence processes and reform institutions
from within," said Zindi.

"Taking the matter to AU would be ill-advised as the AU already has a
plateful of pressing issues.

"Look at what is happening in the DRC," he said, "The Zimbabwean issue will
be dwarfed by other crises in the region and that on its own gives Mugabe
breathing space. In any case, the envisaged AU ruling will not differ from
that of SADC because the two organizations are two sides of the same coin."

On the other hand, calls for the MDC not to take part in the new government
are equally overwhelming.

A middle aged man in Harare who preferred to be identified only as Khanye
warned MDC against joining.

He says if MDC enters into a government when they do not have enough
influence, it would be viewed as being the same as Zanu PF.

"The MDC should appeal to the next authority if it feels it is not satisfied
with SADC's arrangement,"" Khanye said.

"The current setup would only benefit MDC officials joining the gravy train
at the expense of ordinary people. MDC should give Zanu-PF enough rope to
hang itself. Zanu PF would still come back to beg the MDC to join it."

Patrick Hungwe, a general dealer in Harare's Machipisa high density suburb
said the MDC should not take part in the new government for as long as the
inequalities around positions remain unresolved.

"Zanu-PF should go it alone," he said, "MDC should not join Mugabe's
government if there is no fair distribution of ministries. If it joins under
the current set up, it risks being swallowed by Zanu-PF. It would be futile
for MDC to be part of a system in which all key ministries are under the
control of President Mugabe."

Itai Moyo, who identified himself as an MDC supporter said if the MDC goes
ahead to join, it would have sold out.

"The MDC still has enough leverage to demand more," he said. "It would be
suicidal for the MDC to go in without control over some key ministries given
experiences of the past few years in which Zanu-PF has abused them to its
own advantage."

"Let Mugabe form his government but this would be futile as Zimbabwe will
not get any aid. We would rather continue to suffer than allow the MDC to
take part in a cosmetic power sharing arrangement."

Student Solidarity Trust spokesperson, Masimba Kuchera, said the MDC should
not rush into taking part in the new government if there are glaring

"The MDC should go ahead and explore the AU and UN options,' he said.

"They are the ones who asked SADC and the AU to intervene in their dispute
with Zanu-PF. It would not make sense at this juncture for them to abandon
that approach and start abiding by the SADC ruling.

"If Zanu-PF proceeds to form a unilateral government, that government would
not be functional because as we stand today, there is a government in place
but it is still not functional. Nothing will change because (Patrick)
Chinamasa has been shifted to a different ministry.

"Industry no longer trusts a Zanu-PF government. Zanu-PF is desperate to
have the MDC because the MDC will give it a psychological boost that they
are now working with new people."

Susan Ntini, a tailor operating in central Harare was cautious.

"Let MDC come up with its own decision as it is more informed on the
power-sharing arrangement than most of us," she said.

"Let's not judge things from our position as we were not involved in the
talks. Maybe the stakes are high. From our positions it is difficult to
prescribe what course of action the MDC should take in this situation as
there could be other compelling factors that we are all not aware of. It is
up to the MDC itself to consider what is happening behind the scenes and
make decisions based on that."

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The madness that is Zimbabwe

November 14 2008 at 06:34AM

By Peta Thornycroft

In the madness of Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe, where most people are hungry or
on the point of starvation, police stopped one of the largest food producers
planting his maize crop nearly two weeks ago.

By this week they had still not allowed him to resume planting the food that
millions of starving Zimbabweans so desperately need.

Doug Taylor-Freeme, 43, is one of Africa's most respected farmers who has
been elected by hundreds of thousands of mostly black colleagues in southern
Africa to represent them at the world's most powerful agricultural

"This is mad," said even a young police officer with an AK-47 slung over his
shoulder, who was sent to stop Taylor-Freeme from growing food - the only
farmer for miles around in Zimbabwe's richest agricultural province planting
maize in time for the summer season.

Click here!

The blush of green from his new maize crop spread across a searingly hot
40ha field, with irrigation splashing overhead, should produce Zimbabwe's
staple food for tens of thousands of people in less than six months.

Meanwhile the UN's World Food Programme and partners scrabble to overcome
Mugabe's reluctance to allow them to distribute emergency food aid to five
million people, or nearly half the population.

On an adjacent field, a tractor belonging to a man who claims to be a chief
was tilling Taylor-Freeme's winter wheat land where summer soya beans are
due to be planted in soil with sufficient left- over fertiliser to need no
further nutrients.

Before he forced his tractor on to Taylor-Freem's land last month, Chief
Nemakonde, in his late 60s, and with many wives and scores of children, set
the wheat stalks alight. Now there will be no hay for the cattle.

Taylor-Freeme had to stop planting another 360ha of land which he was doing
at breakneck speed to catch both the rain now starting to fall and the peak
summer soil heat to ensure his yield was at least three tons per acre.

Nemakonde, who many locals say is not a genuine traditional leader but a
strong supporter of Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party, has already taken over
five formerly white-owned farms in the district.

They are derelict, abandoned, so now the chief wants Taylor-Freeme's Romsey,
the last of the white commercial farms in the Makonde South district, 140km
north of Harare.

"On Wednesday I was told by the commanding officer for Mashonaland West,
Moses Chihuri, that he would ignore the high court order I was awarded in
March ordering the chief off the land," Taylor-Freeme said.

"He told me the orders came from Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri's
office, who may be a relative.

"Some local police do not support this and so they had to send men from
Harare and even they don't like what they have to do, to stop me planting
and to prevent our community coming on to chase the chief's people away

"So I am going back to the high court seeking an order of contempt, but this
takes time and meanwhile planting is paralysed."

Taylor-Freeme has lost count of the number of times he has been in court
since the first round of invasions began on his land eight years ago. He
estimates 40 times.

Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, who has helped himself to a couple
of white-owned farms since the ethnic purge of nearly all Zimbabwe's 4 000
white farmers began in 2000, is appointed by President Mugabe, aged 84.

"The lands department asked me to plant maize heavily this year, so I did,
because there is none from last year," said Taylor-Freeme.

Taylor-Freeme is particularly anxious because he has borrowed quintillions
of Zimbabwe dollars (about R4 million) from a local bank to buy seed,
fertiliser and fuel to plant 320ha of maize.

He was tipped off by community sympathisers that Zanu-PF thugs, including
policemen, were on their way to seize his inputs, which are subsidised in
part by the European Union's e1.5 billion (R19.5 billion) aid to boost
regional food production.

Also targeted for theft, say the locals, are 100 tons of Taylor-Freeme's
wheat harvest.

Last summer Chief Nemakonde's extended family and other Zanu-PF sympathisers
helped themselves to the small maize crop planted to feed Taylor-Freeme's
300 workers and extended families, a total of about 1 000 people living on

"The value of the Zimbabwe dollar means the workers don't want money, they
want food, and I cannot find maize anywhere, so they eat my wheat. God knows
what anyone else is managing to find to feed people this year," he said.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe failed to pay Taylor-Freeme about R1 million
for his 2007 tobacco and wheat harvests which he was forced to sell via
government agencies.

All Nemakonde's previous crops have failed, as have those of Chief
Magistrate Mongova, from the provincial capital Chinhoyi, who has also taken
chunks of Taylor-Freeme's land.

Mongova's fields are derelict, marked by two R1.5 million centre-pivot
irrigation machines, wrecked by pillage, standing rusting.

Nearby are the fields stolen by Sabine Tsakwe, the permanent secretary for
agriculture, also lying fallow as she works in town and only occasionally
plants a small patch of maize, now smothered by weeds, like all the others
in the district.

One of Nemakonde's wives and some adult children stand guard as they have
for a year, living in squalor under a tree about 100m back from the
Taylor-Freemes' modest homestead.

Earlier this year, to harass Taylor-Freeme's family, including his mother,
Merle, 70, they beat drums day and night until the local community moved in
on them and slashed the drum skins.

Taylor-Freeme has been elected vice-president of the Southern African
Agricultural Unions for the third year, is a member of the board of the
International Federation of Agricultural Producers and is at present
vice-president of the Paris-based Grain Oil Seed Producers' Group.

He can irrigate nearly 240ha from a 14 million megalitre dam he built over
18 months on un- stable dolomite 10 years ago.

In the mid-afternoon, backs to the sun above the dam's spillway along a
decaying cable slung between transmission poles, a long line of forktailed
drongos jostled and shrilled above the pump, which was forcing the water
through a series of underground pipes to Taylor- Freeme's maize planted
earlier in the week, which was just beginning to germinate.

It should also have been wetting soil for 8ha of seed which should be
planted daily to meet the deadline.

His underground piping could irrigate more than 320ha if he had access to
all his land.


Below the wide dam wall a few people were fishing for bass, hoping for some
rare protein.

Before dusk two thin Zanu-PF youth leaders arrived to see Taylor-Freeme.

"He must be allowed to plant," one said, suggesting that his own party was
paralysed by internal rivalry.

He couldn't explain, however, why Zanu-PF had for eight years bankrupted the
agricultural economy on which Zimbabwe depended by kicking out all but a
couple of hundred white farmers trying to survive on small sections of their
original land holdings.

Eyes cast down, he said: "We want a better Zanu-PF."

Assistant Inspector Katungunde, from provincial police headquarters, said
his "boss," commanding officer Chihuri, "had not stopped Taylor-Freeme from
planting but is at a meeting and cannot talk to you until Monday".

A police bakkie toured the farm twice but left satisfied. The tractors and
planters were back in their sheds. Mission accomplished. No planting was
going on.

     This article was originally published on page 10 of The Mercury
on November 14, 2008

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Zimbabwe Is on the Ropes

NOVEMBER 14, 2008

What the world can do to help.
Last Sunday South Africa hosted an emergency summit of regional leaders to
find a political solution for Zimbabwe. Observers hoped real pressure would
finally be exerted on that country's leader, Robert Mugabe, to uphold the
power-sharing agreement he signed in September.

Forget it. Southern Africa's leaders have once again issued the octogenarian
despot carte blanche to do what he likes.

Here's the dismal background. Earlier this year, Zimbabwe's opposition
party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) won the most seats in
parliamentary elections. Its leader Morgan Tsvangirai won the presidential
election. But Mugabe controls the army, police and other security
services -- so his Zanu-PF party still runs (or rather destroys) the

Nine weeks ago, as hyperinflation hit at least 11 million percent and with
over half the population requiring food aid, Southern African leaders forced
an agreement between Mugabe and Mr. Tsvangirai. Mr. Tsvangirai's party was
to get 13 ministries, with three going to a splinter faction of the MDC.
Zanu-PF was to get 15. Mugabe awarded most of the key ministries, including
control of the army, to his own party.

The MDC insisted on controlling the Home Affairs Ministry, which oversees
the police. Without some degree of control over the security services the
opposition rightly believed that any political resolution would only be

But Zanu-PF refused to give up Home Affairs, since the generals behind
Mugabe never intended on relinquishing any power. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's
disastrous slide continues. Informed sources in Harare tell me that probably
only 6.5 million people remain in the country, half the population of four
years ago. Over five million Zimbabweans have taken refuge in South Africa,
Mozambique and Zambia alone.

For those who remain, the prospects are dire. According to MDC estimates,
which independent experts do not challenge, a million people will starve in
the coming year if food aid is not ramped up and crops are not planted
before the end of this year. Yet no one has seeds or fertilizer or fuel. A
political agreement was essential to allow donors to bring these necessities
back into the country, alongside short-run food aid. But Mugabe ignored his
original agreement to share power -- and Southern Africa's leaders gave him
a pass.

In a disgraceful passing of the buck, Tomaz Salomao, the head of the
Southern African Development Community (SADC), which organized Sunday's
summit, announced that Home Affairs should be "co-managed" by two ministers,
one from MDC and one from ZANU-PF. This means that SADC approves of Mugabe's
party retaining control of all the security services -- though hundreds of
Zimbabweans have been killed by the army and police this year.

All observers I've spoken with agree that SADC is forcing Mr. Tsvangirai's
opposition party to accept a minor, largely symbolic role in the new
government, which Mugabe will now feel emboldened to form this week. Thus,
it will be business as usual for the murderous regime.

Mr. Tsvangirai only agreed to the original deal because of the humanitarian
crisis. But he says he will not accept the SADC compromise. "I invite
Zanu-PF to be part of the solution but we will not join them to be part of
the problem," Mr. Tsvangirai told me on Wednesday.

SADC leaders are cynically casting Mr. Tsvangirai -- not Mugabe! -- as the
intransigent. Many of these leaders are quite autocratic and don't like
upstart parties that win elections democratically. Perhaps they fear what
has happened to Mugabe will happen to them one day.

Unfortunately, Seretse Ian Kharma, the Botswanan president, could not attend
Sunday's summit. He has spoken out against Mugabe, and has previously
demanded fresh elections and a real power-sharing deal. But his deputy did
not step forward to oppose the agreement.

With Zimbabwe facing a famine, Mugabe will reach out to donors for aid.
Earlier this week the World Food Program said it would have to reduce food
aid to four million Zimbabweans due to a shortage of funds.

How should the Bush administration respond? It should continue to help with
food -- but it should also provide funds directly to Mr. Tsvangirai, so the
embattled opposition leader can tour the region and embarrass leaders into
honoring the original deal.

Mr. Bate is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

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New Global Fund grant to Zimbabwe

November 13, 2008

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - The Global Fund says it will only release a new grant worth
millions of dollars to Zimbabwe after it receives guarantees that the
government will not once again lay its hands on or abuse the funds.

The fund known in full as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and
Malaria, approved three grants totalling approximately US$169 million over
the weekend to scale up HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria programs in the

But Jon Liden, head of communications at the fund has told The Zimbabwe
Times that the government would first have to convince the Geneva-based aid
organisation that it now has a transparent way of disbursing the funds and
that it will not temper once again with the monies.

"The Board ended its meeting during the weekend," Liden said in response to
enquiries from The Zimbabwe Times. "For Zimbabwe, this means it has approved
three grants, but the Board has imposed a 10 percent "efficiency saving"
instruction, which means the total approved amount for the three grants for
two years is approximately US$169 million.

"It is important to note that although the grants are approved by the Board,
the Global Fund will not sign any of these new grant agreements with
Zimbabwe until it has agreement on a way of channeling cash that will not
enable any interference by the government at all. This may prove difficult
in the current political environment, so nobody should hold their breath
about when these grants become active. It normally takes three to 12 months
between approval and signing, in any case."

Zimbabwe's central bank, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) mishandled funds
allocated to the country in previous Global Fund grants. The default plunged
the country into a fresh round of sanctions after the Global Fund instituted
the Additional Safeguards Policy (ASP) on Zimbabwe for failing to account
for the funds.

The central bank reimbursed the US$7.3 million last week after coming under
a barrage of international criticism for misusing the donor funds.

Zimbabwe has a high HIV prevalence rate with more than one million people in
the country being HIV-positive. However, less than 100 000 HIV-positive
people have any access to the no-cost HIV treatment provided by the
government leaving the rest with no access to the life-prolonging
antiretroviral drugs.

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PF ZAPU pulls out of ZANU PF

by Nqobizitha Khumalo Friday 14 November 2008

BULAWAYO - Former leaders of the opposition PF ZAPU party say they have
pulled out of President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF party, dealing a body
blow to the once formidable party that is in decline after losing elections
last March.

The former leaders said on Thursday they would be holding a convention next
month to choose an interim leadership to steer the revival of PF ZAPU and
convene a congress by March next year.

In a statement they said all political structures of PF ZAPU incorporated
into ZANU PF at the signing of a unity accord with Mugabe's party in 1987
will in the meantime "cease to operate under the title ZANU PF and resume
the title of ZAPU and that all structures operate under the authority of the
Constitution of ZAPU".

The statement added: "The district councils should meet to prepare for and
convene a consultative conference consisting of the 10 provinces by December
2008, for the purpose of electing an interim executive charged with the
responsibility to mobilise and restructure the party and convene the party's
congress by March 2009."

According to sources, Dumiso Dabengwa, a former senior member of ZANU PF and
Mugabe's Cabinet is leading the revival of PF ZAPU and is strongly tipped to
be chosen leader by the party congress.

Other former senior PF ZAPU members pushing for the revival of the party
include Welshman Mabhena (former ZAPU secretary general), former war
veterans' leader Andrew Ndlovu, former government minister Thenjiwe Lesabe,
Effort Nkomo and Tryphine Nhliziyo.

Nkomo and Nhliziyo are presently spokesman and secretary for administration
for ZANU PF for Bulawayo province respectively.

The breaking away of PF ZAPU or even that of a significant number of its
former leaders - coming about 10 months after former finance minister Simba
Makoni also pulled out of ZANU PF - appears to suggest things could be
slowly falling apart for Mugabe's party after years of internal fighting
over the veteran leader's succession.

Makoni, a respected businessman and former diplomat, rebelled against Mugabe
to challenge the 84-year-old leader in last March's presidential election.

ZANU PF later said it had expelled Makoni, who contested the March 29
presidential election as an independent but lost. He is working to form his
own political party.

But it would be the pulling out of PF ZAPU or some of its former leaders
that could shake ZANU PF to the foundations. Mugabe's party has always used
its 1987 Unity Accord with PF ZAPU to justify its claim that it enjoys the
support of Zimbabweans across the country.

PF ZAPU and its late leader Joshua Nkomo drew most of their support from the
southern Matabeleland and Midlands provinces while Mugabe and ZANU PF are
strong in the northern parts of the country.

Top ZANU PF official and government Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu,
who is also a former ZAPU member, was quick to deny the party had withdrawn
from ZANU PF and insisted the Unity Accord was still holding firmly.

He said: "Some claim they have pulled out of the Unity Accord but Vice
President Joseph Msika, John Nkomo (all former ZAPU) and myself are still
part of the agreement so where is the pull-out when all the senior PF ZAPU
leaders are still in ZANU PF."

But a former army colonel Ray Ncube, who is coordinating the revival of PF
ZAPU, told ZimOnline: "The party has been revived and I can confirm that
there is a management committee that is organising a convention that will
lead to the holding of a congress where a leadership will be elected before
the end of the year."

PF ZAPU and ZANU PF fought a bitter 1970s guerrilla war to free Zimbabwe
from colonial rule. The two allies formed a government of national unity at
independence in 1980 but soon fell out when then Prime Minister Mugabe
accused PF ZAPU leader Joshua Nkomo and his party of plotting an armed
insurrection against him.

More than 20 000 innocent civilians from the Ndebele ethnic minority that
mostly supported PF ZAPU are believed to have been killed in the early 1980s
during a bloody counter-insurgency drive by the army ordered by Mugabe in
Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.

The killings by the army's North Korean trained 5th Brigade only stopped
with the signing of the Unity Accord when Nkomo agreed to merge his party
into ZANU PF while he took up the post of vice-president in government.

ZANU PF has ruled Zimbabwe since taking power at the country's independence
from Britain 28 years ago.

But the party saw its grip on power severely weakened after managing to win
only 99 seats against 110 won by the two factions of the opposition MDC in
the March elections.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai also defeated Mugabe in a parallel presidential
election although the opposition chief failed to secure the margin required
to takeover power.

Tsvangirai later withdrew from a June 27 run-off election in protest against
state-sponsored violence against his supporters, leaving Mugabe to win the
vote uncontested.

However, Western and some African governments refused to recognise Mugabe's
controversial re-election and the veteran leader was forced to agree a
power-sharing deal with Tsvangirai under which he would cede some of his
powers to the MDC leader to be appointed prime minister in a government of
national unity.

But Tsvangiria has accused Mugabe of allocating all the key ministries to
his ZANU PF party and the opposition leader says he and his MDC party will
not participate in an inclusive government that Mugabe is expected to
appoint anytime soon. - ZimOnline

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MDC leadership meets to map way forward

by Wayne Mafaro Friday 14 November 2008

HARARE - Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
leader Morgan Tsvangirai meets on Friday with the party's national
leadership to map the way forward following a directive by regional leaders
that the country's rival political leaders form a unity government.

MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told ZimOnline that the entire party
leadership was expected to attend Friday's meeting in Harare.

"It's an executive meeting and no-one has offered apologies not to
attend the meeting," said Chamisa, adding that the party would receive
reports from the members at the national council regarding participation in
the inclusive government and the way forward.

"We will know from the reports that will be presented at the meetings
about what the people are saying pertaining to the government of national
unity," he said.

Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders at an emergency
summit in Johannesburg on Sunday ruled that Zimbabwe's rival political
leaders form a power-sharing government "forthwith" with ZANU PF and MDC
co-managing the contentious Home Affairs portfolio to end a debilitating
political stalemate gripping the country since President Robert Mugabe's
controversial re-election last June.

Tsvangirai - who wants the MDC to have sole control of home affairs -
immediately rejected the call to co-manage the portfolio with ZANU PF and
said his party would not join the unity government.

The opposition party's top leadership meeting comes amid reports of
differing views within the MDC ranks concerning the SADC resolution.

Sources within the MDC who spoke on condition that they were not named
said some members of the party leadership were calling for a complete pull
out from the power-sharing deal while others wanted Tsvangirai to
participate in the government of national unity, albeit under protest.

Chamisa said the MDC welcomed different opinions regarding
participation in the unity government and these would go through the
democratic process before a decision is made.

"The MDC is not a choir, therefore we actually celebrate our
diversity. People have various opinions but all those opinions, because we
are a democratic organisation and entity, would be taken through the
democratic means before decision making," he said.

"The process will be undertaken tomorrow (Friday). There is nothing
unusual about having different opinions, that is the lifeblood of the MDC.
We celebrate diversity."

ZANU PF has endorsed the SADC ruling and urged Mugabe to form a
government of national unity viewed by many as the best way to tackle
Zimbabwe's unprecedented recession seen in the world's highest inflation of
231 million percent, 80 percent unemployment, acute shortages of food and
basic commodities.

Analysts say defying a directive by regional leaders to form a unity
government with Mugabe could do irreparable damage to the MDC's standing in

Zimbabwe's power-sharing deal retains the 84-year old Mugabe as
president while making Tsvangirai prime minister and Arthur Mutambara, who
heads a breakaway faction of the MDC, will be deputy prime minister. -

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Time for us all to stand up and be counted

November 13, 2008

By Sibangani Sibanda

AFTER many hours of long deliberations, which necessitated various trips to
various Southern African Capitals, the esteemed men who run the Southern
African Development Community (SADC), finally came up with a solution for

In the final analysis, we were told; the contention was over one Cabinet
post - the post that controls the notoriously brutal Zimbabwe Republic
Police! And all along I thought that they were arguing about the fate of the
people of Zimbabwe. Silly me!

The solution, announced the SADC spokesperson with a hint of
self-congratulatory bravado, was something of a compromise. The two parties,
Zanu-PF on the one hand and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) on the
other, were to share responsibility for this particular ministry! This just
happens to be the position that had been put forth by
most-recent-chief-Zanu-PF-spin-doctor, Patrick Chinamasa, even before flying
off to Johannesburg for the fateful talks.

SADC, it seemed to me, had capitulated to the Zanu-PF position and were now
trying to sell it to the world as a "compromise".

African solutions for African problems indeed! But, as we all know, the
esteemed men that run SADC are all honorable men and if they see this as a
compromise, who are we to question such honorable men, especially when we
look at just how honorably they have handled this whole saga?

Let us go back to March 2008.

Against all expectations, Zimbabwe ran a transparent, relatively free
election. With the results being posted at the various polling stations, the
opposition parties - and many civic organizations - were able to predict an
outright opposition victory in both the parliamentary and presidential
elections. Not so, said Zanu-PF!

In a clearly stage-managed move, the results trickled in at a painfully slow
pace and kept government and opposition neck and neck until the last
possible moment when the opposition emerged with a narrow margin of
victory - much to the dismay of most Zimbabweans.

Then there was the long delay in announcing the presidential results. By
this time, it was clear, even to the casual observer, that something was
wrong. That Zanu-PF was strategizing and looking for a way to "win" the
elections. But the honorable men that run SADC were, apparently, oblivious
to what seemed obvious to most. So oblivious in fact that when it was
suggested to the SADC mediator, the Honourable Thabo Mbeki, that there was a
crisis in Zimbabwe, he categorically denied that there was any such thing.

Surprisingly, even as the crisis began to unfold, neither Mr. Mbeki, nor the
other "honourables" in SADC were honourable enough to admit their mistake.
Nor has Mr. Mbeki been taken to task about how he could have missed such
glaring evidence that trouble was brewing, given that, at the time, he was
spending a lot of his time in Harare in the company of the very brewers of
the trouble.

The presidential election results were finally announced and Zanu-PF was
given another chance at the crown. Their strategy became clear soon enough.
It was to bludgeon the people of Zimbabwe into submission. Led by the
so-called war veterans - who had had some practice a few years earlier,
bludgeoning white farmers off their land - they set about their task with
some relish.

Zanu-PF knew that this would work, having had similar success in
Matebeleland, where they forced the demise of the only viable opposition
party of the early years of independence. At least this time, the SADC
observer mission did say something to the effect that the results of the
elections were not reflective of the will of the people of Zimbabwe.

Apart from a couple of notable exceptions - who have become the targets of
the Zanu-PF vitriol machinery - all the other honorable leaders of SADC went
on to recognize the Zanu-PF "victory" and to accept one R. G. Mugabe as the
duly elected president of Zimbabwe. This then led to the negotiations that
have culminated in this latest solution for Zimbabwe.

But, where are the people of Zimbabwe in all this? Strangely silent;
apparently pinning their hopes on the honorable men that run SADC. Some are
even suggesting that the even more honourable men that run the African Union
should now take over! A few of quotations from people more eloquent than
yours truly may help us understand where we, as the people of Zimbabwe, are
going wrong.

"Politics is the art of preventing people from taking part in affairs that
properly concern them." Paul Valery, Tel quel.

By this definition of politics, both Zanu-PF and the leaders of SADC are
successful politicians.

But the people of Zimbabwe need to understand this truth from former French
President Charles de Gaulle, who stated, "I have come to the conclusion that
politics are too serious a matter to be left to politicians".

And for those who think that bringing in other more honorable politicians
into the fray will solve our problems, consider this from former Soviet
Union politician, Nikita Khrushchev: "Politicians are the same all over.
They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river".

Is it not time for the people of Zimbabwe to stand up and be counted?

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Cash-strapped Zim parliament suspends sitting

by Tendai Maronga Friday 14 November 2008

HARARE - An acute shortage of funds and water have forced Zimbabwe's
Parliament to suspended sitting in the most vivid illustration yet of
deepening paralysis in the southern African country.

The country's High Court was forced to closed down on Tuesday after it ran
out of water while several public schools and hospitals are barely
functioning owing to a severe shortage of teachers, nurses, doctors, books,
drugs, equipment and whatever else is necessary for them to provide a

Adjourning Parliament this week, Speaker of the House Lovemore Moyo simply
told members: "The House is adjourned to 16 December."

He did not state the reasons for adjourning the House that has actually sat
for eight days only since being elected about nine months ago.

Both Moyo and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa were not
immediately available to clarify the reasons why the House had adjourned or
what measures they were taking to ensure enough funds and water for

But MPs who spoke to ZimOnline said the House had to stop sitting because
the Parliament building had gone for days without water while hotels were
increasingly reluctant to take in legislators who live outside Harare
because Parliament was struggling to settle bills.

"It is now very embarrassing to get to hotels here and claim to be a Member
of Parliament. They have not settled our bills from last month and it's very
embarrassing," said one MP from President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF

The MP, who did not want to be named because he did not have permission from
his party to discuss the matter with the Press, said legislators had also
been told that there was no cash to pay them their usual allowances.

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party chief whip Innocent
Gonese said: "Parliament has no money to pay for the MPs' allowances and
accommodation that is why Parliament had to adjourn to December 16. There
was also no water at the Parliament building."

A crippling shortage of foreign currency - only one on an ever-growing list
of shortages gripping the country - has resulted in the state water utility,
the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA), failing to import chemicals
to treat water.

Residents in Harare and other cities have had to go for weeks without water,
forcing others to source for drinking water from unprotected water sources
which has led to an outbreak of cholera that has claimed more than 120
deaths over the last few months.

Initially Parliament, which was elected on March 29, had failed to sit until
August as the country had to hold a presidential run-off election on June 27
and also because of the need to give chance to power-sharing talks that were
only concluded in September.

Zimbabweans had hoped that a power-sharing government would help ease the
political situation and allow the country to focus on tackling an economic
crisis marked by the world's highest inflation rate of 231 million percent,
severe shortages of food and basic commodities.

But hopes for a power-sharing government look dim after MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai accused Mugabe of allocating all the key ministries to his ZANU
PF party and the opposition leader says his party will not participate in an
inclusive government that Mugabe is expected to appoint anytime soon. -

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MDC Divided Over New Govt

Thursday, 13 November 2008 21:22

DIVISIONS have emerged in the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC ahead of today's
national executive meeting on whether or not to be part of a unity
government with Zanu PF in line with Sadc's decision last weekend.
Sources in the party said there were "two bodies of opinion" on the
course of action to take after the extraordinary Sadc summit in Sandton,
South Africa, decided that Zimbabwe should institute "forthwith" an
all-inclusive government.
Other sources said while a heated debate was expected in the meeting,
the national executive and council would not honour the Sadc decision.
The MDC parliamentary caucus on Wednesday recommended that the party
leadership should not join the government.
Innocent Gonese, the party's chief whip, last night confirmed the
meeting but declined to discuss their recommendation.
"We are supportive of the stance our leaders took on the Sadc
decision. We want genuine equitable and fair portfolio allocations," Gonese
said. "We have made a recommendation on whether or not to join the new
government and we cannot discuss it in public."
The Sadc summit ruled that the MDC and Zanu PF should co-manage the
Ministry of Home Affairs - a decision that was rejected by Tsvangirai but
welcomed by President Robert Mugabe. After failing to reach agreement on the
issue two weeks ago, Tsvangirai agreed that the dispute over the ministry
should be referred to a full Sadc summit for adjudication.
Arthur Mutambara, the leader
of the smaller formation of the MDC, said he respected the Sadc
decision, but said his party would be happier if Tsvangirai was part of the
The sources in the MDC said there were camps in both the national
executive and council that want the party to join the new government in
fulfillment of the power-sharing deal signed between President Robert
Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara on September 15 in the capital.
Tsvangirai's "kitchen cabinet", the sources said, wanted the MDC to
fight Mugabe from within government.
Last month, the Zimbabwe Independent reported that senior MDC
officials and "kitchen cabinet" members were "scrambling with indecent
 haste" for cabinet posts to access "S-Class Mercedes Benzes, free fuel and
other benefits".
This group was reportedly pushing for a quick resolution of the
deadlock on ministerial portfolios.
"Some (senior MDC members) argue that it is better to get in (the
inclusive government) and sort out the constitution as envisaged in the
global political agreement," one of the sources said. "They also argue that
joining the inclusive government would allow all democratic forces to work
on the humanitarian crisis, cholera, education and food, which is getting
out of hand."
The sources said there was a strong opinion that if the MDC becomes
part of the unity government, Zanu PF could split given the MDC's
intellectual advantage, its dynamism and its "way of strategic thinking".
Moreover, the sources said, fear of Zanu PF would diminish.

There is also an argument that MDC will get breathing space within
which to rebuild the party in time for the next elections," another source
said. "Boycotting would be tantamount to fighting Sadc after many years of
excruciating diplomatic donkey work to penetrate Sadc."
The sources said there were fears among party leaders that if the MDC
declines to join the unity government and take its case to the African
Union, the continental body was likely to match the Sadc decision.
But hardliners in the MDC like secretary-general Tendai Biti, the
sources said, were adamant that the party could not get into bed with Zanu
PF unless and until there was "genuine power-sharing".
Speaking after the Sadc summit, Tsvangirai said the regional bloc had
not addressed the MDC concerns regarding power-sharing.
He said the contentious issue between the MDC and Zanu PF was not only
on the Home Affairs ministry, but on 10 "key" cabinet posts, crafting of
Constitutional Amendment No19, appointment of 10 provincial governors,
composition of the National Security Council, appointment of permanent
secretaries, ambassadors and senior government officials and the doctoring
of the September 11 unity agreement.
Tsvangirai said if these issues were not addressed, his party would
not join the inclusive government and wanted the matter taken to the African
Union for arbitration.
It is this stance the hardliners in the MDC wants adopted at today's
The sources said they argued that without recognition of the
government by the international community, the MDC would be unable to bring
about the changes desired by Zimbabweans, which the party has advocated.
"In the event of joining the government, Biti and company argue that
people will reject the MDC and look for another alternative," a source said.
"Moreover, Zanu PF is not willing to share power so the MDC will be become a
junior partner which is being handled like a poodle by Zanu PF."
The hardliners reportedly argue that the MDC would seal its fate as a
party if it joined the gravy train and betrayed the people.
Mugabe has since been given the green light by his politburo to
appoint a new cabinet with or without Tsvangirai.
The new government is expected at the weekend or early next week after
Mugabe invited Tsvangirai to submit names of his party members he wants
appointed ministers.In terms of the power-sharing deal, Mugabe will have 15
ministers, Tsvangirai 13 and Mutambara 3.
Nelson Chamisa, the MDC spokesperson, said his party would make a
decision on whether or not to join the unity government today, but insisted
that they needed power-sharing not grabbing.
"We believe that we have a compelling case in that a genuine
power-sharing arrangement should be based on equity and not power grabbing,"
Chamisa said. "We believe that a real and genuine inclusive government
should enable us to effect change in the lives of the people of Zimbabwe and
not simply to legitimise a predominantly Zanu PF government which was
rejected by the people on March 29."

By Constantine Chimakure

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Mugabe Plays Up At Sadc Summit

Thursday, 13 November 2008 21:06
THERE was high drama at the Southern African Development Community
(Sadc) summit in Sandton on Sunday when President Robert Mugabe refused to
leave a session of the meeting after he was requested to do so by the chair,
South African President Kgalema Motlanthe.

Sources who attended the meeting said Mugabe refused to recuse himself
to allow Sadc to deliberate on the dispute over ministries after the party
leaders had made their remarks to the summit divided regional leaders.
Main MDC faction leader Morgan Tsvangirai said it was shocking
Motlanthe failed to eject Mugabe from the meeting as required by their
agreed mediation procedure.
Tsvangirai said Sadc missed a golden chance to resolve the Zimbabwe
"In our view a great opportunity has been missed by Sadc to bring an
end to the Zimbabwean Crisis.  This omission has occurred because Sadc
approached this summit without any concrete strategy and did not have the
courage or the decency of looking Mugabe in the eye and telling him that his
position was wrong," he said.
"For the record, in Sunday's meeting it had been agreed that all the
Zimbabwean principals would recuse themselves to allow an open and
unfettered dialogue to take place amongst the Sadc leaders. However, Mugabe
refused and the chairman of Sadc did not tell him to leave. Thus, Mugabe
became a judge in his own case."
Tsvangirai said "pressure was brought to bear on the MDC" instead of
Sources said the tense meeting had started under a cloud of
uncertainty as to whether it was a formal gathering or not.
Motlanthe had set the ball rolling with an opening address in which he
attacked Zimbabwean political leaders for "lack of political maturity".
Sadc executive secretary Tomaz Salomao then presented his report to
the summit.
Sources said after that Motlanthe asked Mugabe, Tsvangirai and smaller
MDC faction leader Arthur Mutambara to make some remarks. Mugabe made his
first and was given a free rein. Tsvangirai then followed but during his
presentation Mugabe protested and interrupted him, prompting Motlanthe to
call him to order. Other leaders like the Lesotho premier Phakalitha
Mosisili told Mugabe to show respect for Tsvangirai and Sadc leaders just as
they had shown respect for him.
In one instance, sources said, Tsvangirai indicated that he had won
the elections and Mugabe butted in, protesting "No you didn't!"
Sources said Mutambara then spoke, attacking Mugabe for refusing to
give Home Affairs to Tsvangirai. Mutambara also slammed Tsvangirai for being
During that session, Mugabe also barged in and asked: "Is this a
formal meeting or not?" He asked because Tsvangirai and Mutambara who are
not heads of state or government were given the floor.
Sources said Motlanthe said it was informal. Mugabe then requested
that in that case flags should be lowered to show that the meeting was
Following the dramatic first session, leaders took a break for 15
minutes and when they came back Mugabe dug in his heels and refused to
concede the Home Affairs portfolio. In that session Tsvangirai and Mutambara
were no longer present and Mugabe got his way, prompting Sadc leaders to
settle for co-sharing of Home Affairs.
Mugabe and Tsvangirai are locked in a fierce battle of wits over
power-sharing, including ministries and other issues.
Problems started when Mugabe reportedly claimed in October Tsvangirai
had offered him the ministries of Local Government and Foreign Affairs for

By Dumisani Muleya/Constantine Chimakure

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Former Zapu Leaders Opt Out

Thursday, 13 November 2008 21:06

THE Zanu PF politburo on Wednesday tasked national chairman John Nkomo
to meet disgruntled former PF Zapu leaders today in Bulawayo to find ways of
addressing their concerns.
Sources in Zanu PF said the politburo made the decision after the
ex-PF Zapu leaders at the weekend declared the unity accord with Zanu PF
dead and vowed to revive the late Joshua Nkomo-led party next month.
Nkomo, the sources said, was tasked by the politburo to "find a way to
stop the break away".
The ex-PF Zapu leaders met last Saturday in Bulawayo and agreed to
separate from Zanu PF which they accused of marginalising Matabeleland
The breakaway group said it would hold a two-day convention starting
December 21, the day Zanu PF's annual conference kicks off in Bindura.
The Saturday meeting was attended by former Home Affairs minister
Dumiso Dabengwa, Zanu PF politburo member Thenjiwe Lesabe, war veterans'
leader Andrew Ndlovu, Zanu PF secretary for administration for Bulawayo
Province Tryphine Nhliziyo, and provincial information and publicity
secretary Effort Nkomo, among others.
"A meeting convened on 8 November 2008 at Stanley Square, Bulawayo,
resolved that the political structures of Zapu cease to operate under the
title Zanu PF and to resume the title Zapu and that all party structures
operate under the authority of the constitution of Zapu," read a statement
issued by the disgruntled members.
"The district councils should meet to prepare for and convene a
consultative conference consisting of the 10 provinces by December 2008 for
the purpose of electing an interim executive charged with the responsibility
to mobilise and restructure the party and convene the party's congress by
March 2009, in terms of Article 6 of the Constitution of Zapu."
 The PF-Zapu members said they were being sidelined in the day-to-day
running of the country, especially in the inter-party talks between Zanu PF
and the two MDC formations aimed at power-sharing.
Speaking at the meeting, Ray Ncube, the chairman of the Zipra Veterans
Association, said it was time they divorce themselves from the "marriage of
convenience" with Zanu PF and revive PF-Zapu.
"The marriage of convenience is no more, this unity (1987 Unity
Accord) is not working so we have to separate ourselves from it and create
our own Zapu structures," said Ncube, a retired army colonel.
The meeting agreed to organise a convention from December 21-22 and
ordered former PF-Zapu members to boycott the Zanu PF conference to send a
clear message to the ruling party that the marriage was over.
At the convention, the members said they would re-launch Zapu and
build new structures. An interim body to lead the party will be elected at
the same venue of the convention.
The meeting had initially proposed to hold a congress in December, but
Dabengwa objected and advised that they instead organise a convention.
"Let's call it a convention or a conference to re-launch the party,
not a congress.

It is not possible to organise a congress in such a short time,"
Dabengwa said.
Sources who spoke to the Independent at the meeting said Dabengwa was
tipped to lead the party.
"There is general disgruntlement with people like Sikhanyiso Ndlovu
and Vice-President Joseph Msika who represent no-one from the region," a
former PF Zapu member said. "Former cadres are not benefiting from this
arrangement (unity with Zanu PF) and original Zanu PF members in
Matabeleland like Obert Mpofu and Cain Mathema are the only ones who are
benefiting. Dabengwa is the only leader who can lead a PF Zapu revival."
The breakaway group is expected to formally announce their "divorce"
from Zanu PF at a press conference to be called early next week.
Members who attended the meeting also expressed their frustrations
with Msika over his failure to attend a meeting at White City Stadium a
fortnight ago.
Addressing the gathering, Amos Ndabambi, one of the most senior
surviving PF Zapu members, said they were losing patience with the former
Zapu leadership, especially Msika, whom he said has totally forgotten where
he came from.
"He (Msika) told us that he is ill. He was not ill or showing any
signs that he is not well. He told me that he was not happy with our agenda
and the motive behind the meeting," Ndabambi said. "It's a shame the father
has disowned his own children and acting in such a manner. We are not happy
to be led by such kind of leadership, Msika has forgotten who brought him to
where he is now."
Nkomo, the Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial spokesperson, confirmed that
efforts are at an advanced stage for the party's re-launch later this month,
but played down Msika's recent remarks that they were planning to destroy
Zanu PF.
"I can proudly confirm that we have gone separate ways and we are not
doing this to destroy or to harm anyone. We want PF-Zapu to be fully
recognised," Nkomo said. "Why should we want to destroy Zanu PF? We just
want to revive our party. We are tired of being called by the uncle's name."

By Loughty Dube/Henry Mhara

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Mugabe In Quandary Over Cabinet

Thursday, 13 November 2008 20:54
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is in a quandary on forming a government
despite getting the go ahead from Sadc and his politburo.

As it stands, Zanu PF does not have the required two-thirds majority
to amend the constitution to facilitate implementation of the September 15
power-sharing agreement with the MDC factions.
Although Mugabe might between today and the weekend announce his
cabinet without the MDC formations, his party would not be able to fully
implement the Sadc resolution and the agreement without the opposition.
Zanu PF currently has 97 seats and the combined MDC factions 108 in a
210-member House of Assembly. The remainder of the seats are vacant either
through death or other circumstances like the election of Lovemore Moyo as
speaker of parliament.
At least 140 MPs are needed to vote for a constitutional amendment.
Mugabe is likely to form his long-awaited government anytime now after
his party backed a resolution by regional leaders last weekend to do so.
The move might push Zimbabwe over the precipice if the MDC finally
refuses to be part of Mugabe's government. Without the MDC, Mugabe will not
secure the international assistance he so badly needs.
After the Sadc resolution that Mugabe and MDC faction leaders Morgan
Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara go home and form a government, the
opposition swiftly rejected the decision.
Tsvangirai said he was not joining Mugabe's government without the
Ministry of Home Affairs. Sadc ruled that Mugabe and Tsvangirai should share
the ministry.
However, Tsvangirai refused, saying there was no equity in the
distribution of ministries after Sadc endorsed Mugabe's proposal initially
supported by the mediator, former South African president Thabo Mbeki, and
later by the Sadc troika currently running the organ on politics, defence
and security.
The Zanu PF politburo on Wednesday resolved that Mugabe must go ahead
and form a government immediately with or without the MDC.
Mugabe will invite the MDC to submit nominations for a power-sharing
Information minister and senior politburo member Sikhanyiso Ndlovu
confirmed the politburo had endorsed the Sadc resolution and Mugabe would
appoint a cabinet "with immediate" effect in compliance with the Sadc
However, the MDC has rejected calls to work with Mugabe. Tsvangirai's
MPs resolved on Wednesday not to be involved and the party's national
executive and national council will today adopt resolutions not to go in.
Sources said Mugabe was however still hoping Tsvangirai would come in
because proceeding without him, as Mutambara has said, would not work.
Mugabe was by yesterday expected to have sent out invitations to the
MDC factions to submit a list of proposed cabinet ministers, but he had not
yet done so.
Sources said Mugabe sounded triumphant at the politburo meeting
although it was also clear that he wished the MDC could accept the Sadc
Mugabe, sources said, gave a brief account of what had transpired at
the Sadc summit, saying it was a good meeting and regional leaders had
listened and supported Zanu PF and its negotiating team's position on the
distribution of ministries, especially Home Affairs.
The politburo thanked Sadc leaders and Mbeki for a "job well done".
However, after the Sadc resolution was read to the politburo it became
clear to some that it would be difficult for Mugabe and Zanu PF to go it
The Sadc resolution said since no government was formed in Zimbabwe
after elections, leaders must go home and form one.
The summit decided that the inclusive government be formed forthwith
in Zimbabwe; the Ministry of Home Affairs be co-managed between Zanu PF and
MDC-T and the efficacy of the arrangement be reviewed after six months by
the parties with the assistance of the guarantors, Sadc, AU and the
facilitator (Mbeki).
To give effect to these decisions and the provisions of the Global
Political Agreement, Sadc said, parties must, without any further delay,
introduce the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Number 19.
Sources said the politburo noted but ignored the reality that Mugabe
and his party would come unstuck in amending the constitution without the
MDC factions. It was said this might result in Mugabe only announcing his 15
ministers, while leaving space for the MDC factions' 16.
This means Mugabe would be unable to fully implement the Sadc
resolution and the situation would remain the same. There would be no
inclusive government and Mugabe's legitimacy would be questioned again since
Sadc did not endorse his controversial re-election on June 27 after a fierce
campaign of violence and brutality.
Mugabe had lost the first round on March 29 to Tsvangirai before he
stormed back via a campaign of terror.

By Dumisani Muleya

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Ncube Receives Award

Thursday, 13 November 2008 20:52
TREVOR Ncube, the Zimbabwe Independent proprietor and owner of The
Standard and South Africa's Mail & Guardian has received the prestigious
German African Award 2008 in recognition of his fight for media freedom,
human rights and democracy in Zimbabwe and South Africa.
The president of the European Parliament Professor Hans-Gert Pottering
presented the award at a ceremony in Hamburg, Germany, last month.
Karl Heinz Hornhues, president of the German Africa Foundation, said
Ncube was a strong and courageous voice of freedom who had never capitulated
to the political pressure, intimidation and violence of the Zimbabwean
"He (Ncube) is a positive example for all journalists, Zimbabweans and
Africans who believe in freedom and democracy," said Hornhues.
The German African Award has been awarded by the foundation since 1993
to outstanding personalities for their efforts in human rights, democracy
and social development. The previous winners of the award include South
Africa's Finance minister Trevor Manuel and former Botswana president Sir
Ketumile Masire.
Ncube said he was overwhelmed by the award. He thanked both Zimbabwean
and South African journalists for their bravery in fighting for the poor and
"I dedicate this award to all these people whose pain and sacrifices
make the little discomfort I have experienced pale into insignificance," he
said. "My life has found meaning as my colleagues and I have tried to
champion their causes."
Last year Ncube received the International Publishers Association's
2007 Freedom Prize in recognition of exemplary courage in upholding freedom
of expression and freedom to publish in his country and internationally. --
Staff Reporter.

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Banditry Claims Recycled From 1980s To Present

Thursday, 13 November 2008 20:32
GOVERNMENT has used allegations of terrorism and banditry against
opposition leaders since the 1980s in a bid to discredit them, political
analysts have said.
The analysts said recent accusations that the Morgan Tsvangirai-led
MDC was recruiting and training militias in Botswana to destabilise Zimbabwe
had a striking resemblance to previous cases, which later collapsed like a
deck of cards in the courts.
The allegations against the MDC, the analysts said, were meant to
discredit the party ahead of last Sunday's extraordinary Sadc Summit to deal
with Zimbabwe's political crisis and the Democratic Republic of Congo war.
President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF, the analysts claimed, used the
allegations to argue against allowing the MDC to take control of the
Ministry of Home Affairs under the September 15 power-sharing agreement
signed by the 84-year-old leader, Tsvangirai and the leader of the other
faction of the MDC, Arthur Mutambara.
Botswana has challenged Sadc and the Zimbabwe government to dispatch a
fact-finding mission to the country to investigate the accusations.
Zanu PF accused Tsvangirai of plotting violence and likened him to
former Angolan rebel leader Jonas Savimbi.
The state media fuelled the accusations by alleging that: "The
opposition is angling for a total collapse of the cabinet talks and will
then use the militias to destabilise the country and force the staging of a
fresh presidential election under international supervision early next
National Constitution Assembly chairperson Lovemore Madhuku dismissed
the accusations against the MDC as nothing but a strategy by Zanu PF to
discredit the party.
Madhuku said Zanu PF managed to secure co-management of the Home
Affairs ministry together with the MDC after they had told the summit that
the party was training militias to destabilise the country.
"The accusations were used as a strategy for Zanu PF to gain the Home
Affairs ministry and it worked," Madhuku said.
But University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Eldred
Masunungure disagreed. He said the allegations made by Zanu PF were
"illogical considering that the MDC had voluntarily accepted to participate
in the power-sharing talks".
Masunungure said the terrorism accusations were an incredible story
that has been spun before by Zanu PF and have since lost its
credibility.However, to many who are familiar with the history of Zimbabwe,
the allegations and the smear campaign against the MDC is not something new
as Zanu PF has since the early 1980s employed the same method to achieve its
In 1982, barely two years after Zimbabwe's Independence, the police
arrested Zipra chiefs Lookout Masuku and Dumiso Dabengwa for allegedly
planning a coup d'état against then Prime Minister Robert Mugabe.
The arrests came after claims by the then Ministry of Security that it
had discovered arms caches in Matabeleland meant for banditry.
As a result of lack of evidence, Masuku, Dabengwa, and four others who
had been implicated in the coup plot were acquitted by the Supreme Court a
year later. However, the six remained in custody under emergency
This happened during the height of civil disturbances in Matabeleland
and the Midlands that reportedly resulted in over 20 000 civilians killed by
the North Korean trained Fifth Brigade in what the government claimed to
have been a counter-insurgency operation against dissidents.
Over a decade later, the founding member of Zanu, Ndabaningi Sithole,
was arrested in 1997 for plotting to kill Mugabe.
The state accused Sithole of setting up an ambush at a hill near
Heroes Acres where he planned to attack Mugabe on his way to his rural home
in Zvimba.
Sithole was accused of sponsoring Chimwenje, a partisan militia from
neighbouring Mozambique, to topple the government.
Sithole died in 2000 in the United States before his appeal against
conviction and sentence was heard by the Supreme Court.
In 2000 Tsvangirai was charged with treason on accusations based on a
videotaped meeting in Montreal, Canada, with former Israeli spy Ari
The state argued Tsvangirai had discussed the "elimination" of Mugabe
with Ben-Menashe.
But in his defence Tsvangirai argued the word "elimination" was used
in the political sense, meaning he would defeat Mugabe in the election and
remove him from government. Then High Court Judge President Paddington Garwe
acquitted Tsvangirai saying there was no proof that the MDC leader had asked
Ben-Menashe to help him assassinate Mugabe.
Early last year, the police arrested more than 30 MDC activists
including MP Paul Madzore and the party's elections chief Ian Makone in
connection with a series of petrol bombings that occurred around the country
in March and April.
The MDC activists, who spent more than six months on remand, appeared
in court more than 53 times seeking bail.
The police produced reports - Opposition Forces in Zimbabwe: A Trail
of Violence and Opposition Forces in Zimbabwe: The Naked Truth - to
substantiate their claims that the opposition and civic organisations were
working together to overthrow the Mugabe regime.
Mugabe submitted the reports to Sadc in March last year as evidence
that the country was under siege from the MDC, even though with the passage
of time the accusation turned out to be a lie.
The reports, according to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Non-Governmental
Organisations Forum, at that time sought to portray opposition parties and
civic organisations as grouped together with the aid and assistance of
foreign governments for the purpose of violently overthrowing the
The state alleged that some of the activists who were involved in the
petrol bombings had undergone military training in South Africa, a claim
which was later dismissed by High Court Judge Lawrence Kamocha when he
granted bail to Madzore and four other alleged "petrol bombers".
 Kamocha ruled that the state had failed to strengthen its case with
the passage of time and there was no need to keep the accused in custody.
"As far back as 10 May 2007 the police had promised to bring critical
evidence against the applicants from South Africa but with the passage of
time it turned out that they had obtained nothing from South Africa
incriminating the applicants," Justice Kamocha said.
Kamocha said the police had failed to prove as alleged that the MDC
activists had been trained at a farm known as Lala Bundu in South Africa.
He said police also failed to substantiate the existence of the farm.
Kamocha in handing down the bail ruling also revealed that
investigating officer Assistant Commissioner Musarashana Mabunda had
provided conflicting evidence on the dates when the activists were alleged
to have undertaken military training in South Africa.
"The allegations that are being preferred against the applicants are
not clear in that at one stage it was being alleged they underwent military
training between December 2006 and March 2007 in Pretoria and Orange Free
State. As time progressed it was alleged that the military training in South
Africa took place in 2001," said Kamocha.
Mabunda is said to have further contradicted himself by swearing in an
affidavit on June 19 that the alleged training took place in South Africa in
different phases between 2002 and 2006 which the judge said made it
difficult for the accused to know the period they allegedly underwent
military training.
The gradual collapse of the case exposed the regime for having used
unsubstantiated claims to discredit the MDC.
By Lucia Makamure

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Cholera Deaths Masked In Official Figures

Thursday, 13 November 2008 20:30
THE Zanu PF politburo was on Wednesday presented with a shocking
report on cholera deaths, suggesting that hundreds of people could have died
across the country due to the outbreak of the water-borne disease.

Politburo sources said the party's secretary for health Sydney
Sekeramayi told the senior officials that the disease was widespread and had
claimed more lives than had so far been publicly revealed.
The sources said the party recommended that government move with speed
and combat the disease before the death toll rises.
"The politburo received a shocking report on the outbreak of cholera
which indicated that more people have died than has been publicly
acknowledged," a senior politburo member said yesterday.
Soldiers were on Wednesday deployed in south-western Harare to assist
with containing the outbreak.
Last week, the Reserve Bank allocated an additional $374 quadrillion,
28 vehicles, 60 000 litres of diesel and 30 000 litres of petrol to help
improve water supplies and alleviate the cholera outbreak.
Independent sources yesterday said cholera had killed more than 100
people in Harare alone.
The official media on the same day said the epidemic had killed at
least 30 people in Budiriro, a high density area in Harare.
The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights chairman Douglas
Gwatidzo said his organisation is yet to get the actual figures of
cholera-related deaths from the Health ministry. Their estimates indicate
that more than 100 people in Budiriro alone have succumbed to the epidemic.
"We are still trying to get the actual figures but from our
estimations cholera has claimed more than 100 lives in Budiriro alone and
the figure could be higher as some of the deaths were not being reported to
the officials," Gwatidzo said.
A doctor at Harare Central Hospital who spoke on condition of
anonymity said the situation has been worsened by the shortage of medical
supplies and non-availability of doctors and nurses at major hospitals -
Parirenyatwa Hospital, Harare Central Hospital and Chitungizwa Hospital.
He said: "Cholera has killed more people than is being reported in the
state media, all because there are no medical supplies at the hospitals."
The doctor said the shortages of medical supplies has prompted some
medical officers to stop reporting for duty as it was becoming traumatic for
them to watch their patients die daily from a treatable disease like
The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) on Wednesday
condemned the government and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa)
for failing to solve the water crisis in Harare which has resulted in the
cholera outbreak.
"Residents in the city of Harare have continued to bear the brunt of
Zinwa's chronic failure which has resulted in the cholera scourge that has
claimed lives in virtually all medium and high density suburbs, with the
prevalence, of late being rife in areas like Budiriro, Glen View, Glen Norah
and Dzivaresekwa,"said CHRA.
Meanwhile, the current water shortages being faced by most residential
areas in Harare this week hit the Harare High Court forcing it to suspend
business for two days.
The Master of the High Court Charles Nyatanga confirmed the suspension
but said the court has since reopened after water supplies to the building
were restored yesterday morning.
"I can confirm that the building was closed for two days because there
was no water but after water supply was restored this morning the court has
resumed its business," Nyatanga said.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights in a statement released on Wednesday
condemned the closure of court.
The statement reads: "Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
expresses its concerns over the closure of the High Court of Zimbabwe
sitting in Harare at 1400hrs on Tuesday November 11 due to lack of water
supply at the building housing Zimbabwe's court of first instance."
 A court of first instance is one where matters including those
seeking to protect human rights can be directly brought before the
 "That such a court as a vehicle for protecting human rights should be
closed due to lack of water is a serious undermining of equal protection of
the law to litigants, detainees, and even convicted prisoners whose matters
are on appeal from lower courts," said the ZLHR.

By Lucia Makamure

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We Have To Honour Sadc Resolution

Thursday, 13 November 2008 20:30
AN extraordinary Sadc summit was held in Sandton, South Africa, on
Sunday and resolved that Zimbabwe should "forthwith" constitute an
all-inclusive government in line with the September 15 power-sharing deal
between President Robert Mugabe and the leaders of the two formations of the
MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara. The Zimbabwe Independent's
Dumisani Muleya and Constantine Chimakure this week interviewed Mutambara at
his Harare home to find out more on the Sadc summit and the way forward in
negotiations to resolve the political crisis. Below are the extracts of the
interview. The Independent also sent the same questions to Tendai Biti,
secretary-general of the MDC formation led by Morgan Tsvangirai (opposite

Ind: Professor, what happened at the Sadc meeting?
Mutambara: Going into the Sadc summit, the position of our party was
very clear. We were totally and unequivocally in support of Tsvangirai
getting the Ministry of Home Affairs given the distribution of the security
ministries, and in pursuit of fairness and equity.
We dismissed Robert Mugabe and Zanu-PF's claim to the ministry as not
only baseless, but unreasonable, frivolous and vexatious.
However, it must be emphasised that it was a clear understanding among
the three political parties that we were going to Sadc for a firm ruling,
some kind of arbitration.
The challenge is not whether you like the Sadc decision, but rather
how you are going to respond to it.
We must clearly explain and outline our reservations about the
outcome, but at the same time respect Sadc processes and outcomes. The key
thing is that all the stakeholders on the Zimbabwean matter must remain
Ind: Now that the Sadc has made this ruling, where to now?
Mutambara: There are two things we need to emphasise on the way
forward. The first one is that there is no recourse or any kind of way
forward outside the Sadc system. The second issue is that the inclusive
government prescribed by Sadc has to include all three political parties.
If we somehow get the opportunity to go to the AU through brazen and
unorthodox methods, the AU is most likely to defer to the decision of its
lower organ, Sadc. Furthermore, there will be no moral basis for anyone to
discuss Zimbabwe at the UN without Sadc or AU involvement and support.
The starting point (on the way forward) is to immediately stop
President Mugabe from unilaterally forming a government. We should try to
address all MDC-T concerns in the process of implementing the Sadc
The negotiators of the three parties must immediately get together and
agree on the content of Amendment 19 to the Zimbabwean Constitution. This
should be a quick and painless exercise because it is just extracting the
aspects in the global political agreement that require legislation.  The
legislative framework required for the National Security Council must also
be gazetted similarly, presumably as part of Amendment 19. Soon after the
gazetting of these legal instruments, the prime minister-designate and the
deputy prime minister-designate must be sworn in, and the three principals
will then form the rest of cabinet together.
Also as a matter of urgency, before the gazzeting of the legal
instruments, a public pronouncement must be jointly made by the three
principals outlining the timelines and processes which the new government
will use to discuss the outstanding issues of governors, permanent
secretaries and ambassadors.
There should be a public acknowledgement by the three principals of
the fraudulent changes made to the September 11 constituting agreement and a
public commitment to adhering to the un-doctored version. The dispute around
the Ministry of Home Affairs can be addressed by using the six-month
efficacy review provision in the Sadc ruling.
If the co-ministering proves unworkable there is a potential exit
strategy provided by Sadc. Also this six-month review window can also be
used to raise concerns about the other outstanding matters (MDC-T concerns)
outlined above if they are not resolved by then. In fact, in six months we
can have a make or break Sadc Summit review of the entire inclusive
Let me also state that in this debate on cabinet positions and
establishment of an inclusive government, we are also missing the forest for
the trees. What is the purpose of this inclusive government? What we are
trying to establish is a transitional authority whose sole purpose is
creating conditions for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe. More
importantly, this transitional government has a mandate to develop and adopt
a new people-driven constitution.
While we solidly support Tsvangirai in getting the Ministry of Home
Affairs, we are not prepared to destroy Zimbabwe because he has not gotten
the Ministry of Home Affairs...We have had nine weeks of destroying lives
and business in Zimbabwe. This is where we draw the line and take a
principled position. Not a single life should be lost in pursuit of
Tsvangirai's presidency of Zimbabwe.
The Sadc communiqué speaks about immediately putting in place
mechanisms to present and adopt Constitutional Amendment No19 in parliament.
That amendment requires a two-thirds majority to pass in parliament and that
can only be achieved by the three political parties working together.
Let me make an unequivocal declaration that our party will not be
involved in any Mugabe government that excludes our colleagues in MDC-T.
Ind: If Tsvangirai and Mugabe want to pass the amendment they can do
it. The two have the two-thirds majority!
Mutambara: You make my point precisely. Any functional arrangement has
to include both MDC-T and Zanu PF.  Tsvangirai has to be party of any
arrangement that produces the two-thirds majority and that is why we are
spending our time talking to our colleagues in MDC-T and urging them to
compromise and put Zimbabwe first.
Any brazen behaviour on the part of Mugabe will be totally
unproductive and will drive the country into further chaos. Mugabe should
reach out to Tsvangirai. Tsvangirai must be strategic and clearly take
cognizance of the limited options that he has.
One theory that has been advanced by misguided and un-intelligent
Western analysts and governments is that "just stay out of this government
and give them six months, the regime will collapse. Mugabe will be brought
to his knees by the economy and then MDC-T can walk into
power," the thoughtless theory proceeds.
There is no regime in Africa that has collapsed because of economic
problems alone. No one will walk into State House without firing a shot. The
economic collapse would have to be combined with an armed struggle or mass
demonstrations to drive Mugabe out of power.
Now, how do you do any of these complementary activities without any
support among the 15 Sadc countries and their organisations? I have read
remarks from President Khama, before the Sadc summit, where he was
proffering an internationally supervised election as a solution to our
Under what law do you call for a fresh presidential election? Who is
going to call the election? Who is going to force Mugabe to bring
international supervisors to monitor our election?
If we are to have an election today, it will be under the June 27
conditions. More importantly, the most likely elections will be harmonised
elections and these will be conducted under brutal and unjust conditions of
June 27, that is, no international supervision, no freeness, no fairness,
and more significantly under the current dysfunctional constitution. It
doesn't take too much imagination to guess who will win those elections.
Pragmatism and flexibility demands that we go into this government and
prepare our people for an election that we can win.
Ind: The armed struggle issue to gain power?
Mutambara: We are not recommending it; neither do we think it is
desirable at this point in time, given the history of our country and the
nature of our disputes.  We are saying even if you were to engage in an
armed struggle, how do you do it without a regional base? You can't wage
your struggle or combat from Washington and London.
In 1979 when Mugabe and Nkomo were at Lancaster House and they didn't
like the agreement, they pulled out and decided to go back to fighting. It
was Nyerere, Kaunda, Machel who told them to go and settle despite the fact
that the agreement was an unacceptable compromise to the two Zimbabwean
leaders. Mugabe and Nkomo did not agree with the Frontline States leaders,
but they respected their advice and complied. What is so special about
Tsvangirai today?
Ind: It seems there is a dispute about a dispute here. Tsvangirai says
there are 10 outstanding ministries and Sadc says one - Home Affairs. Which
is the correct position from your understanding?
Mutambara: As political leaders in Zimbabwe we are victims of a
serious mischaracterisation of the importance of ministries. Every ministry
is important.
Our economic and social sectors have collapsed and this is where the
focus should be. Consequently, we do not agree with what has been bandied
around as the key ministries. We agree that there must be equity and
To fight over ministries is a misguided exercise because we are
seeking to construct one inclusive government. There will be collective
responsibility in that cabinet, and that coalition arrangement must be
driven by mutual respect and trust. There will be no such thing as a Zanu PF
minister or an MDC minister. No minister will take instructions from Zanu PF
or MDC headquarters.
In terms of allocation of ministries, we went through several
discussions as the three principals. We also had several meetings in the
presence of the facilitator. With all due respect to our colleagues in the
MDC-T, one of their major problems is overstating their case and
misrepresenting facts.
We cannot say none of the ministry allocations were agreed. We can
raise our disquiet about the allocations, but we must agree that by the time
we went to Sadc, the main stumbling block was Home Affairs. And yes it was
proper that Sadc had to deal with that ministry only and none of the other
ministries. We as a party fought hard for the MDC-T to get the Ministry of
Finance, and they got it. The struggle was now on the Home Affairs ministry,
and we lost it at Sadc.

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Sadc Must Provide Fair Leadership

Thursday, 13 November 2008 20:27
IND: What happened at Sadc?
Biti: The Sadc summit of November 9 presented a great opportunity of
resolving once and for all the Zimbabwean question. As far as we were
concerned, there were six broad issues.
First was the question of the equitable and fair distribution of
portfolios based on the recognition that the people of Zimbabwe spoke on
March 29 and further that there cannot be responsibility without authority.
The second was the question of Constitutional Amendment No 19. In our
view, logic demands that this law be enacted before the formation of any
Next is the important issue of the constitution and composition of the
National Security Council. This is an oversight body that deals with the
operations of state security agents and every security issue in the country.
Next was the question of senior appointments of governors and other
senior government officials. The last was the question of the discrepancies
between the document of September 11 and the one of September 15.
Sadly, none of these issues were addressed and we are now worse off
than we were before. We are in square zero.
Ind: Why does the MDC not accept the Sadc ruling?
Biti: With great respect to the wise heads in Sadc, a dangerously
reductionist approach was taken which oversimplified the Zimbabwean dispute
to the sole issue of Home Affairs. This, in light of the firm positions
appearing in our various letters to Sadc and our president's report to the
troika on October 28 as well as to the Sadc summit itself, was unfortunate.
As we have argued before, Sadc approached this summit without any
concrete strategy or game plan. Sadc must know that Zanu PF has been in this
game for half a century. Zanu PF are Machiavellian masters of chicanery,
deceit, mischief, shenanigans and thuggery. Secondly, Sadc did not have the
moral courage of confronting the regime and of treating all the parties
equally. Thirdly, there were gross procedural irregularities. The most gross
one was allowing Mugabe not to recuse himself and to sit in during the
Ind: What next for Sadc?
Biti: This issue has to be brought to finality. There is a major
meltdown in Zimbabwe and a total collapse of the patrimonial state. People
are dying at the rate of 5 000 per week and another 10 000 are leaving
Zimbabwe illegally. At this rate, we will have no population. The education
system has collapsed with 2008 a totally wasted academic year. The health
sector is shambolic and 1920s diseases like cholera and dysentery are
killing our people. The regime has failed and failed totally.
Sadc must thus provide leadership based on the canons of honesty and
decisiveness. That at this very late stage, we can continue to patronise
each other and play burial society politics is totally unacceptable. Sadc
has to be seen to put the interest of its citizens ahead of the interests of
its leaders.
Ind: What next for Zanu PF?
Biti: Zanu PF has effectively killed these jokes (talks). In short,
Zanu PF must have the decency of openly burying the corpse of these talks at
a provincial heroes' acre. They have been busy killing these talks by
arresting the likes of Jenni Williams and our own Concilia Chinanzvavana.
Only yesterday (Tuesday) they were harassing (Lovemore) Madhuku. They are
busy obstructing the distribution of food in the countryside. Even now, they
have not had the decency of giving President Tsvangirai his passport.
We are aware that Zanu PF has a new "Operation Eliminate" which is a
wipe-out campaign of the top leadership of the party. We are aware that they
are brewing up fresh treason charges and allegations of banditry and
terrorism against the MDC. We are aware that they going to fake an invasion
by Zanu PF militias whom they have been training in neighbouring countries.
In short, we are aware that they are going to throw everything at us. You
don't have to be a diesel n'anga to know that they are going to form their
cabinet. Notwithstanding that, the whole process will be illegitimate. If
they do so, then God save Zimbabwe.
Ind: What is the way forward for the MDC?
Biti: Despite the incessant pressure on us from members of our party,
the MDC will be the last party to walk away. However, we have no illusions
and we have learnt hard lessons in a very short period of time. To us, the
immediate answer lies in the agreement itself, which places Sadc and the AU
as guarantors and underwriters of this agreement. There is therefore an onus
on Sadc and the AU to deal with this issue. However, what is critical to us
at this stage is strengthening our party, rebuilding our party in light of
the run-off violence and increasing our chemistry and synergy with our civil
society partners. That is our focus.
Fortunately, this is a programme that is going on well and you only
need to look at the massive rallies we have had across the country.
I want to stress that the MDC is committed to fighting this
dictatorship through constitutional, peaceful and non-violent means. We have
shown that under exceptionally difficult circumstances it is possible to
fight without firing any gun. We are proud of this achievement.
However, it is a long lonely battle with very few friends and many
fall by the wayside. It is a struggle in which none of us has degrees and
each day we make mistakes. However, it is the knowledge that we are bona
fide and honest in everything that we are doing and that we have people on
our side that keeps us going. We will continue executing the same until the
full goal of democratisation of our society is achieved.

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Why Employees Are Staying

Thursday, 13 November 2008 20:17
EVER wondered why some formally employed workers continue to report
for work on a daily basis despite the worsening economic environment
characterised by hyperinflation, soaring transport costs, ever increasing
prices of goods and services and  salaries that can hardly last a week?
According to a survey titled "Why employees are opting to remain with
their current employer" conducted by an independent human resources
consultancy, Organisational Excellence Consultants (OEC) this month, 32% of
participating employees reported that "good welfare policies" were the major
contributory factor for staying with their current employer.
The welfare policies include provision of basic commodities (Baccosi),
company cars, fuel, school fees, accommodation, medical aid, loans and
"Married employees cited welfare (policies) as the main reason why
they are staying with their current employers. Employees who are not married
cited the availability of development opportunities as the main reason for
staying with their current employer," stated the survey.
About 20% of the 424 employees picked from 15 different companies
from the financial, manufacturing, production, mining, agriculture,
professional and telecommunication sector that participated in the survey
said their decision to stay with the same company was driven by
"opportunities to develop within the organisation".
"Under this dimension employees cited the availability of learning
opportunities, through self-development and opportunities to embark on
educational courses such as degrees and diplomas," the survey said.
With most organisations operating below capacity a number of employees
have taken advantage of the extra free time on their hands to embark on
employer-funded educational programmes.
"Some employees cited the need to gain wide and vast experience before
moving to join another employer. They viewed their current employers as
offering opportunities to gain the needed experience.
"Some organisations have also developed their own internal academies
in conjunction with universities and colleges to give all employees an
opportunity to develop," said the survey.
About 18% of the participants cited "lack of opportunities" for
staying with the current employer.
Entry-level workers between the ages of 20 and 30 cited "opportunities
to develop within the organisation as their motivation for continued
commitment to their current employers". This trend, the report revealed,
could have been necessitated by opportunities arising from massive exodus of
skilled labour to neighbouring countries and abroad.
An estimated three million Zimbabweans are believed to have left the
country's worsening political and economic problems for greener pastures.
An increase in company closures and job cuts around the country could
have led 18% of the workers to continue going to work because of limited
employment opportunities. With an estimated unemployment level of 80%, the
survey indicated that most workers above 40 years accounted for 11% of
workers that remained with the same employers because of "family or personal
The survey said 6% cited good remuneration, which are reviewed monthly
or paid in foreign currency.
Payment of "salaries" through coupons, attractive packages and timely
revision of earnings in line with inflationary pressures, the survey
reported was also the key of employee retention.
Labour unions are however pushing for payment of salaries in foreign
currency or the suspension of foreign currency licensed shops, which they
blame for the sharp rises in prices of basic goods and services. These
demands come at a time when the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe has
reintroduced a monthly basket for a family of six, which is now pegged at
US$280, much higher than South Africa's US$79,47.
Most shops that have foreign currency trading licences are charging
exorbitant prices for their imports, disregarding advice by the Reserve Bank
that they put a mark-up of 30% after factoring in transport and other
related costs.
About 5% said they were staying with the current employer because they
hoped that the socio-political environment would improve. Only 4% cited job
security (sound and solid
company which cannot be shaken by the economic turmoil prevailing in
the company) for staying with the same employer.
Independent economist John Robertson said although the survey
reflected the main reasons for staff retention in the formal sector, it fell
short of reflecting other underhand dealings that motivated workers to work.
"The survey is quite accurate in the formal sector employment because
of the longstanding relationships that could be existing between employers
and employees," Robertson said. "But the same participants could have
ignored other reasons that could be in conflict with company interests."
Apart from moonlighting, Zimbabwean workers eke out a living through
commodity broking at their workplaces and in some cases "misuse" of company
resources to augment paltry incomes.
Self-actualisation and "good management" according to the survey were
the least reasons for keeping staff at work, accounting for 3% and 1%
The survey warned that if the current economic environment does not
improve, more workers would join the thriving informal sector.
"In the event that the economic environment does not improve in the
short to medium term we are likely to see a number of employees opting to
stay at home as the current Zimbabwe dollar-denominated salaries are not
helping them."
"Those with requisite skills in demand in the region and
internationally are likely to move as well. The impact of the two scenarios
on the economy will be devastating," said the survey.
By Bernard Mpofu

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The Burgeoning 'dark' Side Of The Economy

Thursday, 13 November 2008 20:12
DESCRIBED as the "dark" side of the economy, there are no definitive
statistics on the informal sector, which markets everything from toiletries,
basic commodities, fuel, cash and electrical gadgets.

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) does not have a defined
figure as to how much of the country's population constitute the informal
sector. The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union however estimate unemployment
at 80%.
Against this background, analysts believe employment in the informal
sector has far surpassed that of the formal economy, where only about 20% of
the working population is still said to be employed.
Five years ago the informal sector acted as a buffer for cyclical
trends in the formal sector by providing a 'dumping ground' for retrenched
labour and a waiting station for job seekers.
Today many formally employed workers are leaving jobs to join the
"more rewarding" informal sector.
The Zimbabwean government last month said it had "serious concerns
regarding the country's joblessness and negative economic growth".
The government also said it was concerned about the mushrooming growth
of underground businesses and the resulting loss in tax revenues. The
informal economies have been defined as economic activity not included in a
nation's data on gross domestic product, and not subject to formal
contracts, licensing, and taxation.These businesses generally rely on
indigenous resources, small-scale operations, and unregulated and
competitive markets.
According to CZI, formal employment levels last year dropped by 12,2%
from the previous year.
According to the results from the sampled firms by CZI, there was no
change in working hours. The industry's mother body said on average most
employees were earning a gross salary equivalent to between US$10-US$50 per
month using the yesterday's street parallel market rate of 1US$ to $400 000.
The salaries are now a far cry from the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe
(CCZ) latest monthly basket for a family of six, which is now pegged at
Most shops that have foreign currency trading licences are charging
exorbitant prices for their imports, disregarding advice by the central bank
that they put a mark-up of 30% after factoring in transport and other
related costs.
CCZ executive director Rosemary Siyachitema said there was need for
businesspeople, most of whose prices were not justified, to consider the
plight of consumers.
"As CCZ, irrespective of whether basic commodities are charged in
rand, local currency and US dollars, consumers should get a fair price.
Prices are too high.
"The policy is there to stay and our expectations are to generate
sufficient foreign currency so that we can produce our own goods."
Siyachitema said the bigger part of the work force was underpaid and
could not access foreign currency.
"Fuel prices have dropped to US$0,80-US$0,90 per litre in the region,
but our public transporters have increased the transport fares to shocking
levels of about $100 000-$150 000," she said.
"The business community should stop exploiting the situation in our
economic environment," said Siyachitema.
The consumer watchdog, however, expressed concern that prices of most
basic commodities had been increased by worryingly wide margins as compared
to the prices charged in South Africa, Mozambique or Botswana where most of
the products are being sourced.
However, there is pressure on industry to remunerate workers in hard
currency on the back of ballooning inflationary pressure.
Food shortages and food inflation is becoming worse, such that more
people are absconding from work because of the high cost of living and
A lot of the workers spend the whole day hungry and their work output
was continuously deteriorating. Transport costs are now more than gross
monthly salaries.
The reasons for a drop in employment levels are because of less work,
less people/low capacity utilisation. Positions are not being refilled and
capacity is reduced.
Voluntary retrenchments are becoming commonplace as people earning
less than a living wage opt out of the formal system.
Meanwhile the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ)
this week said it had been affected by the brain drain as most of its
members were leaving the country for greener pastures.
Speaking to businessdigest this week, Lungile Ndlovu, the Registrar of
the Institute said: "Although the political and economic meltdown have not
directly affected us, we are not an island, everything that happens to the
economy also affects us," said Ndlovu.
"The economic crisis has made transactions and payments difficult just
as it has been for other institutions, sectors and industries but our main
concern has been the loss of our members to other jurisdictions while some
have simply left the country for greener pastures."
 "We have been trying to grow our membership to fill the void created
by those leaving for greener pastures by training new members but we have
faced challenges. Youngsters are not opting for training and those who
manage to start training cannot afford to finish and those who manage to
finish training offer their services elsewhere," he said.
"Other limitations include remuneration. There has been a serious
mismatch between expenditures and salaries earned thus we have come up with
the conference to address all these challenges," Ndlovu said.

By Paul Nyakazeya/Jeslyn Dendere

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Is There Hope For The Worker?

Thursday, 13 November 2008 20:09
ZIMBABWEAN parents are known for naming their children after
significant events, places and circumstances in their lives, hence names
such as Hope, Clever, Succeed, Destiny, Canaan, Gracious, Brilliant, Polite,
Brains, amongst others are commonly given names.

But a lot of Zimbabweans are not feeling very ambitious these days.
They are too concerned about the future. Social security has all but
collapsed and inflation is said to be well above the 231 million % according
to official estimates.
The Organisational Excellence Consultants (OEC) recently undertook
research on "why employees were not leaving their current employers" despite
the economic challenges facing the country.
Workers across the country are downtrodden.
That could inspire a new naming slant such as Mistake, Sufferer,
Die-Once, Lonely, Restless, Never, Survival, Inflation, and Miracle.
Yet still, Zimbabweans are an incredibly resilient and determined lot
and they will surely weather the storm.
But for Sharon Mtizwa (34), there isn't much hope at the moment. Her
employer paid her a transport allowance in the form of a cheque. Cashing the
cheque is a nightmare. Her employer, who knows  only too well that the
banking system is a joke and that the minimum bank withdrawals per day are
ridiculous, does not seem to care. Her salary is not enough to even open a
current account with one of the commercial banks.
"My company, despite handling cash on a daily basis, claims it cannot
pay me in cash," Mutizwa said. "They claim to be  failing to access cash
from the bank."
Mtizwa, a mother of three, is among the 11% who according to the
survey by OEC were staying with their current employers because of family or
personal reasons.
"I am widowed. If it was not for the (school fees) assistance I
receive from my company and the company car I use, I could have left the
company a long time ago. I want my children to finish school," she said.
According to OEC, the provision of company cars is proving to be a
successful retention strategy.
As the policy of providing housing/building loans has become
increasingly impossible, offering cars to employees is the next best option.
"Frequently the disparity between what an individual earns and the car
they drive is astounding.  In a society that is so highly driven by social
status concerns this benefit is extremely important,"said OEC.
Some organisations, although paying low salaries, have attractive
polices which allow car users to become owners after a designated period of
"Payment of school fees has always been and continues to be a popular
retention strategy. However, many organisations have reduced this policy
from being an open benefit to include any amount of children to a maximum of
two per family," OEC observed.
Ten year ago children were taught three life stages-going to school,
going to work and starting adult life.
There is no more pride in being formally employed these days. Parents
and guardians now encourage their children to start income-generating
projects other than looking for a job.
It is a great shame how workers who lived their lives on the straight
and narrow and worked hard for the country and their families have become
the society's laughing stock. The middle-class has been reduced to paupers.
Pensioners and workers still hanging on to their jobs are simply
miserable. According to the International Monetary Fund, Zimbabwe's economy
is the fastest shrinking in the world. Going to work does not make sense for
many at the moment.
The plight of the worker has been worsened by fading of prospects for
a better harvest next year. Experts warn that Zimbabwe's food crisis is set
to claw into 2009 because of poor preparation, lack of inputs and a late
onset of rainfall.
Frightening levels of material poverty is the major issue on
Zimbabweans' minds as they watch their once prosperous country
slip further into chaos, hunger and economic collapse. And with no
sign of rains, availability of fertiliser or maize seed in sight,
people are losing hope and becoming more and more disillusioned.
The situation paints a bleak picture of a country on the brink of
massive starvation, unprecedented unemployment, low salaries, stress and
deteriorating health services.
It never rains but it pours for the Zimbabwean worker.

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Zanu PF, MDC Must Learn To Trust Each Other

Thursday, 13 November 2008 19:56
WHEN hunger and disease are taking their toll on most Zimbabwean
households, people's hopes have been further dampened by the fact that most
fields are not yet tilled and that there are no drugs in hospitals,

among many essentials, yet our national leaders are dithering on a
political solution to these problems.

The circus Zimbabwe is watching today could have been avoided if we
were not desperate to see signatures put in place and give hope to a nation
that has not known economic stability for many years to date.
It is lack of foresight which led to a defective deal, blinded by
fighting for how much power the president and the prime minister were
supposed to wield. This fight at one time led many people to believe that
the division of power between these powerful posts was the only stumbling
block to a deal yet issues of sharing ministries and other posts were
equally deal breakers.
In other countries where gutter politics is not practised, a new
government would have been formed without any hassles. It is only in
Zimbabwe where politicians conspire to inflict unnecessary suffering on the
massesthrough bickering over ministries that has led to a failure to
establish a government eight months after elections because the leaders
don't trust  one another.

The fights we are seeing have led many to lose hope in the formation
of an inclusive government beyond seeing the potential good that can come
out of the arrangement. They justifiably question whose policy will prevail
on the issue of the land reform and other burning issues, the president's
view or that of the prime minister. They also ask the role of a minister in
driving policy in a ministry over decisions made by the council of ministers
or cabinet.
Some also ask whether we will see the same partisan leadership style
in the Ministry of Local Government or a bi-partisan approach to all
problems facing the people of Zimbabwe. Some also point out that our leaders
are not putting the country first as hunger is not selecting whether one is
a Zanu PF, Zanu (Ndonga) or MDC-Tsvangirai supporter, indicating the need
for radical solutions to the political stalemate.

One major problem in coming up with a political settlement is serious
lack of trust between Zanu PF and MDC-Tsvangirai that is needed if their
contribution in shaping the future of Zimbabwe is going to be positive. Many
people were encouraged by the election of Barack Obama as President of the
United States because Americans believed that Obama had the interests of the
US at heart therefore they could trust him with the stewardship of their
national interests. Once this kind of trust is encouraged through the
working together of the national leadership across the political divide, the
next election in 2013 should really express the true wishes of the people.
The state of democracy in Zimbabwe is akin to giving a month old baby a
piece of meat to chew and needs careful nurturing until elections become the
only way of deciding national leaders whose sole purpose is to turn Zimbabwe
into a great nation.

As such it is the expectation of many Zimbabweans that President
Mugabe prevails over his Zanu PF party and Tsvangirai does the same over his
formation of the MDC that what the country needs right now is trust. The
trust can be built by accepting that the country is in dire straits and
needs a bi-partisan approach to bring back productivity in farms, factories
and mines. That trust can also be built by deliberately putting aside
negative characters who are bent on destroying whatever good the country is
likely to achieve when the economy improves for everyone.  There are a few
evil men who are benefiting from the suffering of everybody else and it is
this clique which deserves to be told that we have had enough. The trust we
seek should result in many compromises including appointments of ministers
with a non-partisan approach to government business, those who have always
had the interest of the people at heart before those of their own.

The Zimbabwean electorate seeks those leaders with a spirit of
servitude, whose sole purpose as leaders is to improve the lives of many and
follow the guidance of the constitution in execution of duty. Zimbabwe is
now lagging behind our neighbours on many fronts including health,
education, political maturity and infrastructural development and we cannot
sleep any longer as if things are normal. Somebody has to lead and deliver
Zimbabwe from where it is today and that task can never be carried out by an
individual or a small group of people but by the whole country.

The failure to notice that the level of poverty in Zimbabwe has
reached astronomical levels is the biggest betrayal by the political
leadership in our country. Even though we seek mediation from our
neighbours, our neighbours have a limit to how much they can help. In Shona
they say nhamo yeumwe hairamwirwi sadza (you can not stop eating because of
somebody else's problem) so we must never expect Sadc, the AU or the UN to
really articulate our problems in the same way we see them. We can never
place our hope for the future and those of our children in someone else's
hands except our own.

There was a mistake on signing that defective document, but we should
not make that mistake overshadow the greater good of oneness. If elections
could be held tomorrow because there are disagreements over formation of a
government as in other mature democracies, then the voters would help
resolve what politicians would have failed to do. But for such an event to
come soon is not easy. The challenge now is in the squarely in
MDC-Tsvangirai's court to choose the electoral solution, which could be
elusive, negotiate with the hope of extracting some compromises from Zanu
PF, compromise unconditionally or quit the whole deal. The last option
though will be regrettable but not unexpected but will hurt many Zimbabweans
including millions who want immediate and total change. Zimbabweans hope the
MDC-Tsvangirai will engage itself and others in making the best decision for
the good of the country and also for development of a democratic culture in

By Madhanzi writes from Harare.

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Sadc Resolution Leaves MDC Bitter

Thursday, 13 November 2008 19:54
A SADC resolution for the establishment "forthwith" of a government of
national unity in Zimbabwe brought a controversial closure to the
cabinet-formation impasse between President Robert Mugabe and the Morgan
Tsvangirai-led MDC although it did not leave room for an appeal process,
analysts have said.

The analysts said although there was finality on allocation of
ministerial portfolios, if Mugabe goes ahead and appoints a cabinet
excluding Tsvangirai, the country's crisis would worsen the socio-economic
and humanitarian situation.
They warned that the Western donor community would stay away, leaving
the country in a "Hobbesian state of nature" where life will be "nasty,
brutish and short".
Sadc leaders met in Sandton, South Africa, on Sunday and resolved that
Mugabe, Tsvangirai and the leader of the smaller formation of the MDC,
Arthur Mutambara, should "forthwith" constitute an inclusive government in
line with the power-sharing agreement they signed on September 15 in Harare.
The regional leaders also ruled that Mugabe and Tsvangirai co-manage
the Home Affairs portfolio and start work on the drafting and enactment of
Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment No19 to give effect to the political
But Tsvangirai rejected the decision and said he had been "saddened"
by how Sadc handled the impasse.  He said the African Union (AU) should step
in and try to salvage the power-sharing agreement.
Eldred Masunungure, a political science professor at the University of
Zimbabwe, this week said Tsvangirai should abide by the Sadc decision and
"participate under protest" in the proposed unity government. He said
Tsvangirai should realise that the resolution by the regional bloc was not a
recommendation, but a final decision.
 "Given the resolution of the Sadc -- which was not a recommendation
but a final decision -- there are very few options for MDC-Tsvangirai other
than to participate under protest," Masunungure said. "It appears to me that
the Sadc resolution brings the cabinet formation impasse to finality and
does not seem to leave room for an appeal process."
Masunungure, who is also the director of the Mass Public Opinion
Institute, suggested that the best Tsvangirai can do is to participate in
the government, but insist on a professional oversight body for the security
sector of the government.
"This oversight structure will comprise men and women of integrity
consensually selected by all three principals and its function will be to
monitor the conduct of the police, defence forces and intelligence sector
and ensure that these agencies do their work professionally and above
partisan considerations," he said.
Masunungure said there was no hope of the AU overturning the decision
of the Sadc summit.
After all, he argued, the Sadc was an organ within the AU structure
and therefore would merely "endorse and baptise" the decision of the
regional bloc.
"Frankly, the road for appeals is blocked," Masunungure said. "To this
extent, the MDC-Tsvangirai has to weigh its options very carefully and with
sensitivity to its image and place within Sadc."
He said there was a grave danger that the MDC's actions may be
construed as analogous to Unita's Jonas Savimbi and as such Tsvangirai has
to act in a manner that the tag does not stick.
Zanu PF has already accused the MDC-Tsvangirai of recruiting and
training youths in Botswana to destabilise the country, allegations the
party and the Botswana government have dismissed as unfounded and baseless.
Another political analyst, the Zimbabwean-born South Africa
businessman Mutumwa Mawere, warned that it would be foolhardy for Mugabe to
proceed with forming a government without Tsvangirai pursuant to the
resolution of the summit.  He argued that the summit did not endorse Zanu PF
to proceed with a unilateral approach and warned that Mugabe would fail to
have Constitutional Amendment No19 passed in parliament without the backing
of the MDC-Tsvangirai.
"It (Sadc) recommended that a power-sharing government be established.
Clearly, Zanu PF lacks the parliamentary majority to change the
constitution," Mawere averred. "Surely Mugabe must know that any change to
the constitution to provide for the formation of a government of national
unity will require the positive support of MDC-Tsvangirai."
He said after the humiliation suffered when Zanu PF endorsed candidate
for parliamentary speaker Paul Themba Nyathi, it was unlikely that Mugabe
would take the risk and proceed to approach parliament with the
Constitutional Amendment No19 without first cutting a deal with the
Nyathi lost the speakership to MDC-Tsvangirai's national chairperson,
Lovemore Moyo in August.
"Mugabe still has a problem with legitimacy and this will not be cured
by him deciding to go it alone. Sadc has not endorsed this approach leaving
Mugabe, not Tsvangirai, in a corner," Mawere said. "It is Mugabe who has to
put into effect a government of national unity. Any rational person would
know that it is Tsvangirai who now holds the key. The decision of Sadc
actually suits Tsvangirai because he knows that Mugabe cannot proceed
without his support."
Mawere agreed with Masunungure that Sadc's decision was final and had
helped to resolve the deadlock on ministries and there was no need to
approach the AU. He argued that Mugabe would soon realise that he has lost
power when he takes the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment No19 to
parliament where the MDC enjoys a majority in the House of Assembly, while
Zanu PF is in control of the Senate. Without cutting a deal with Tsvangirai,
the amendment would not "sail through" parliament because Zanu PF will fail
to garner the two thirds majority in the House. Mawere argued: "The process
is now squarely back in Zimbabwean hands. It is now showdown time. Mugabe
will know what time it is after failing to change the constitution.
"Zimbabweans are in for some interesting developments. If Tsvangirai
gets Home Affairs then it augurs well for him because he would have proved
on two occasions that he can play the high stakes game and prevail. Will
Mutambara's people be on MDC-Tsvangirai's side or Zanu PF's is the question?
Once Mugabe fails to get his way from his own people he will come to the
realisation that he needs to change the game plan."
But National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chairperson Lovemore
Madhuku said the decision by Sadc was not surprising as the regional bloc
has a history of taking positions that are in favour of Mugabe. Madhuku said
it was "unrealistic and naïve" for anyone to think Sadc would have taken a
different position from its Troika and mediator Thabo Mbeki.
Both the former South African president and the Sadc Troika on
politics, defence and security have in recent weeks supported the sharing of
the ministry.
Madhuku said the MDC and Zimbabweans should focus more on finding
their own solutions locally and insisted that the solution did not lie with
Sadc, the African Union or the United Nations, as the results were
"You must ask why the MDC is in an arrangement with such a dishonest
party like Zanu PF," Madhuku said. "If they found reason to sign a deal on
September 15 I think it is too much to simply blame Zanu PF. The blame must
be put on the shoulders of both parties as that agreement on the 15th was
unworkable from the start."
On Monday, Mugabe declared he would constitute a new government "as
soon as possible", while Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa said the
84-year-old Zanu PF leader will invite Tsvangirai to submit names of his
party members he wants to be appointed into the cabinet.
In terms of the inclusive government agreement, Mugabe will have 15
ministers, Tsvangirai 13, Mutambara three. The MDC-Tsvangirai's national
executive and council will meet on Friday to decide on the way forward after
Sunday's Sadc summit. The party argues that it cannot be party to a unity
government where it would be a junior partner. It added that there were 10
key ministries in dispute it wanted to be shared equitably and freely
between Zanu PF and itself.
The Mutambara faction said although it accepted the decision of Sadc,
it would not be party to a government in which Tsvangirai was not involved.

By Constantine Chimakure

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Erich Bloch: Labour Bent On Suicide

Thursday, 13 November 2008 19:47
LIFE for most workers in Zimbabwe has become an unadulterated hell.

No matter what their wages may be, and no matter how frugal they may
be, they just cannot make ends meet.

Their entire day is invariably a grim and ghastly hell. So
cataclysmically great is hyperinflation, with prices no longer rising
monthly or weekly, but daily or hourly, that with very rare exception they
cannot provide for the essential needs of their families or themselves.

And this circumstance is greatly exacerbated  by their having to fend
for an ever greater  number of dependants, for Zimbabweans have the
remarkably  admirable culture of the extended family system, whereby there
is a deep-seated sense of obligation  to provide support for any relatives,
no matter how distant, as are in need. And the numbers of such impoverished
relations grow continuously, partially as a consequence of the ravages of
HIV/Aids, partially because so many  who were family providers  have died
from malnutrition or from failing health not reversed, due to the lack of
resources to seek medical attention, and partially because of
ever-increasing unemployment.
For an average worker, the day begins with rising well before down, in
order to walk distances of five to 15 kilometres to place of employment, as
public transport has become unaffordable for most. The worker departs home
without having had breakfast for, if there is any food in the home, that is
kept for the children. Very often (at least three times weekly, the worker
first goes to his bank where, together with many hundreds of others, he
queues for hours in a desperate attempt to withdraw a minuscule portion of
his wages due to the appalling constraint of cash withdrawal limits (until
last week a niggardly  $50 000, and now an almost as niggardly $500 000).
Those hours of queuing discomfort, and unauthorised absenteeism from work,
are necessitated by employers being precluded from paying wages in cash, for
they are restrained to daily cash withdrawal limits of a pitiful  $1
Eventually the worker arrives at his place of employment, often to be
berated for his immensely late arrival, and threatened with consequential
wage deductions. For the remainder of the day, inevitably his thoughts and
focus are not on his prescribed tasks, but are intense worries about how to
meet his family's immediate needs, be they food, healthcare, education,
payment of rent and utilities, essential clothing, and so forth.
He is also suffering pangs of hunger, and subconsciously is dreading
the long walk home at the end of the day. Moreover, he knows that when he
does get home, he is likely to be faced by an anguished family, and a
distraught wife. The children are crying because they have been sent home
from school for non-payment of fees, or for lack of prescribed textbooks and
stationery, or because they are hungry. The wife is beside herself with
distress because of the state of her children, because the home has been
without power or water for much of the day, or because the landlord is
threatening eviction due to non-payment of rent.
Unintentionally, but reactive to stress, she is going to berate her
husband, and he has been aware of that  probability throughout his day of
extended walking, bank queueing and at work. All of this impacts very
negatively upon his productivity and upon the quality of his work, resulting
in pronouncedly voiced employer dissatisfaction, adding yet further to the
worker's despondency and distress.
The only relief for some, but not all, and rarely of a sufficient
extent, is the aid and support forthcoming from worker relatives who
departed Zimbabwe to take up employment in neighbouring territories, or
further afield. But, whilst this accords some relief for some, it is usually
only a minimisation, and not elimination, of the innumerable trials and
tribulations afflicting the worker and his family. In addition, the worker
who is recipient of such support has an ongoing, inherent fear, that it may
suddenly cease, for more and more countries are striving to contain the
flood of Zimbabweans pouring across their  borders, are not renewing work
permits, and are deporting many back to Zimbabwe,  whereupon the much-needed
largesse given by them to their families in Zimbabwe  will peremptorily
The workers' lot is not a happy one, and as a result the workers are,
through their unions, constantly demanding wage reviews of  the employers.
That they do so is understandable, and to the extent  that employer  incomes
can keep pace with,  or exceed, inflation, it is only just and fair  that
there be very regular and appropriate  upward wage reviews. But, driven by
the desperation that confronts the workers, almost without exception there
are continuous  demands for increments  which, prima facie,  would be just
and fair in the abysmal prevailing  economic environment, but in reality
are  grossly untoward in relation  to the ability of employers to fund those
wages, and to preserve business viability.
In the last few weeks some of the labour unions have gone even more
overboard, demanding that wages be paid in foreign currency. Not only is
such demand unlawful, in terms of prevailing exchange controls, but it is
blatantly beyond the ability  of almost all employers to comply, for they do
not have, and cannot lawfully access,  such foreign currency. A very large
number  of businesses do not engage in exports,  and therefore do not earn
foreign  currency. Others, who do export, are mandatorily bound to sell 25%
of their foreign currency receipts into the interbank market, at spuriously
low rates wholly non-aligned to inflation. The remainder of the foreign
currency is invariably required to fund imports of operational inputs,
export marketing expenses such as sales agents' commissions, and so forth,
and to enable occasional refurbishment, rehabilitation, upgrading or
replacement of plant, machinery and equipment. Thus, even if wage payments
in foreign currency were lawful, from whence are the employers to source the
foreign currency?
Hence, whilst one must have every sympathy for the oppressed plight of
the grievously beleaguered workers, they must recognise that not only can
that which the employer does not have not be paid, but that to demand it
endlessly, and to resort all too frequently to threats of labour stoppages
in the absence of surrender to the demands, can only result in the collapse
of the employer businesses, and consequential unemployment for the workers.
Whilst an inadequacy of income is distressful in the extreme, zero income is
even worse. In addition, the worker needs to strive for increased
productivity, for the greater the productivity, the greater the wages that
employers can then afford to pay.  Over and above that key factor, enhanced
productivity would be a major contributant to containing the never-ending
upward surge of the backbreaking inflation that is destroying the economy,
the Zimbabwe people, and Zimbabwe.
The current devastating levels of inflation, greater than ever
sustained by any country, at any time in recorded history, also irrefutably
demonstrates the critical need for the immediate implementation of the long
proposed, but never materialised, Social Contract. If all prices, all
governmental charges, and all salaries and wages  were frozen  for a
transitional period of time, that inflation would be halted, and a
foundation created upon which  to rebuild  the economy,  and improve  the
lot of employers, workers, and all others. The time for talking about a
Social Contract must end and instead constructive implementation be achieved
forthwith. In the meanwhile, labour must be realistic, and not be bent upon

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Muckraker: 'Dossier' Over And Over Again

Thursday, 13 November 2008 19:47
WE drew attention recently to the "big lie", how it is agreed upon in
the upper echelons of state power, and then handed to the state media to
disseminate as fact.
Editors in the state media know perfectly well it is a lie but they
carry out their orders nevertheless.
So on Monday we saw the Herald's Mabasa Sasa reporting from Sandton
that "opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who stands accused of
facilitating the training of militias in a neighbouring country with the aim
of destabilising Zimbabwe, on Saturday evening sought a meeting with
President Mugabe here in a bid to keep a lid on the unfolding saga".
But Mugabe apparently refused to see Tsvangirai and reportedly said it
was "too late for Tsvangirai to put a lid on the unfolding saga because the
entire Sadc leadership was aware of what was going on".
Why should Tsvangirai try to "keep a lid" on a story he knew to be
After all, this one has been knocking around for months. The last time
it made an appearance the state was embarrassed to see it fall apart in
The militia training scheme that it claimed the MDC was sponsoring
simply didn't exist. The state was unable to identify the farms in South
Africa where the "training" allegedly took place.
Now the allegation is that the same training took place, only this
time in Botswana. Which is perhaps why the Sadc leaders declined to swallow
They knew it was a warmed-up version of a story they were already all
familiar with.
And they also probably recalled encountering something similar in
Dar-es-Salaam nearly two years ago. A "dossier" was presented on that
occasion alleging all sorts of things by MDC "plotters", only again there
was not a shred of evidence to support it. Instead of taking those
allegations seriously, the Sadc leaders expressed their horror at the
treatment of Tsvangirai and other MDC leaders who were severely assaulted at
a police station. They appointed Thabo Mbeki as mediator to find a solution
to the ongoing Zimbabwe crisis.

Ahead of the March election we had another story doing the rounds,
described by a judge as good bedtime reading, involving Tendai Biti as the
villain of the piece.
The authors didn't even bother to get people's names right.
And needless to say, the state media published it all as fact.
Biti was incarcerated for a week on the basis of the allegations made.
Then of course there was the Ari Ben-Menashe treason trial which
failed to pass muster in court. It was an obvious case of entrapment but the
state media swallowed every word of it.
And before that, Ndabaningi Sithole was implicated in various
assassination charges which also failed to find purchase.
Who makes up these stories? Is there an office somewhere where
professional conspirators sit down to plan their preposterous stories about
the MDC which are then fed to gullible hacks at the Herald?
"How can we deal with Tsvangirai and punish Botswana at the same
 time?" they appear to have decided last week. "Let's dust off that
ridiculous story we circulated two years ago about the MDC training militias
in South Africa and put it back into circulation, only this time targeting
Botswana. And then let's argue that Tsvangirai can't be trusted with Home
Affairs because he is a Jonas Savimbi. 'Give a dog a bad name and then beat
it'. That should do the trick."
Only it didn't. There were certainly no takers at the Sadc summit or
the earlier Mozambique meeting where the latest version was launched.
Botswana was quick to invite a full investigation by Sadc security
officials, wondering why Zimbabwe had never raised the subject at bilateral
We didn't hear much from the story-tellers after that!

But we did like Patrick Chinamasa's statement that calling for free
and fair elections in Zimbabwe was "provocative". This must be the only
country in the world where calling for elections is considered provocative!
And our rulers haven't realised yet that by planting these silly
stories in the Herald they simply undermine the reputation of their chosen
Meanwhile, what did Mugabe's reported refusal to meet with Tsvangirai
in Sandton tell us about the unity agreement? Is this a president committed
to dialogue and reconciliation?  Is this a government the MDC should be
doing business with, a government that persists in abusing the public media
to conduct a war of words against the opposition and locking up peaceful

US President-elect Barack Obama must have been surprised to receive a
letter of congratulation from President Mugabe. Obama stands for everything
Zanu PF rejects. Perhaps they weren't following his campaign.
The letter from Mugabe looks as if it was taken off a template in
somebody's C-drive. It was utterly formulaic and impersonal.
How many times have we heard this: "On behalf of the government and
people of the republic of Zimbabwe and indeed on my own behalf."?
Can we stop him if we've heard it before?
The government remained ready to engage the US government in "any
desirable endeavour to improve our bilateral relations", the letter said.
OK then, Zanu PF should stop arresting people who have stood up for
democracy and the rule of law, stop fabricating childish stories about the
US ambassador, open the airwaves to a diversity of voices, end its campaign
of abuse and calumny against the opposition, and ensure food aid gets to
those most in need.
That would be a start.

As for Tsvangirai "overplaying his hand" (Herald, Wednesday), why do
state propagandists continue to hurl insults at the MDC leader if he is so
insignificant? Why not ignore him and get on with the task of recycling dead
wood? Isn't that what Mugabe does best?
After all, Zanu PF has so poisoned the political climate that any
attempt to work with them on economic recovery would be futile. They had
their chance to find an accommodation and blew it. Now let them stew in
their own juice. As Nelson Chamisa has said, a flawed agreement with a
recidivist party is worse than no agreement at all.
Tsvangirai has refused to be provoked through all this. But when
scurrilous and false charges are brought against him in the state media he
should at least respond with vigour instead of regarding it as part of the
give-and-take of national politics.

And why is the MDC not telling us what it would be doing if it were
part of government? What issues would it attend to as a matter of urgency?
What measures for recovery would it be putting in place?
This is a perfect opportunity to inform a desperate nation of how
their party could make a difference Obama-style. But they are saying
Meanwhile, Muckraker recommends that if Mabasa Sasa is to continue
writing on Sadc issues, which he does passably well, he should get the name
right of South Africa's president. It is Motlanthe, not Montlanthe.
And it was helpful of him to point out all the MI6 agents milling
around in Sandton "masquerading as journalists". But he didn't say what he
was masquerading as!

There has been public outrage over Zesa's announcement that it will no
longer accept cheques, only cash. How are people supposed to get cash with
Gideon Gono's prohibitive ceilings in place?
Here is a parastatal agency determined to make life as difficult as
possible for the public. That is its mission, it would appear.
Is there an office next door to the political inventions office, which
we mentioned earlier, where parastatal heads are asked to suggest ways in
which the public can be inconvenienced? And who is responsible for all those
lights left on in government offices at night? Who picks up the tab for all
that wasted electricity? We can be sure they are not civil servants burning
the midnight oil in Mkwati Building!
The Reserve Bank is also setting a poor example of power-saving. It is
lit up at night like a Christmas tree.
Perhaps Gono is at work. Why doesn't he rule that all cheques must be
accepted and thereby reduce bank queues, help the public and facilitate
It would be the easiest thing to do and make a huge difference. Does
he want to help people or not?

The City of Harare needs to act expeditiously in fixing traffic
lights. One of the busiest junctions in the city, at the corner of Samora
Machel and Prince Edward, is a death trap as traffic coming from Prince
Edward towards Rotten Row is unable to tell whether it is safe to proceed.
Muckraker is loath to apply the label "Much-Ado-About-Nothing Masunda", but
unless we see some action soon on delinquent robots we will be obliged to
resort to name-calling!

Finally, Bright Matonga says in Wednesday's Herald that MDC-Tsvangirai
"could not continue to hold the nation to ransom with its flip-flop
Two paragraphs later he says: "If they are not interested, I do not
see why there cannot be a government. They will never hold this country to
So what's it to be Bright? They are or they aren't?
At least nobody can say the lights have been left on here. More a case
of Dim Matonga!

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Editor's Memo: Sadc Toothless Bulldog

Thursday, 13 November 2008 19:44
SOME things will never change. It was more of the same from the Sadc
summit held in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the weekend.

There was nothing new under the sun and that was to be expected.
However, there were great expectations -- perhaps misplaced -- in some
quarters that Sadc would finally  deal with the Zimbabwe deadlock which
continues to inflict serious collateral damage across a swathe of the
region. Internally, the crisis is deteriorating into a calamity.
Zimbabweans continue to flee in increasing numbers across borders to
escape repression and the economic meltdown to neighbouring states.
This has become a problem for all the host countries, in the region
and overseas, which have had to contend with rising waves of political and
economic refugees created by Zanu PF's political tsunami destroying
everything in its ugly wake.
The Robert Mugabe regime's disastrous failures are now the stuff of
legend: inflation is currently in millions, if not billions; poverty,
unemployment, company closures, food shortages and hunger, chronic scarcity
of almost everything basic, diseases, including cholera, collapse of
schools, clinics, hospitals, public transport networks, roads, railways,
state institutions and all key infrastructure are ubiquitous.
The Zimbabwe meltdown is engulfing the region. It is also discouraging
investment into neighbouring states and donor aid, particularly to Sadc
itself which depends on it for its operations.
The destabilising corollary of the crisis, among other reasons, were
seen as the raison d'etre for Sadc leaders to come up with a plan to break
the current stalemate and help the country's recovery for the collective
good of the region.
However, Sadc leaders again failed to tackle the issue forthrightly
due to inherent weaknesses in the organisation and intense divisions among
the leaders stemming from regional rivalries and self-interest.
The geo-political dynamics of the region -- coupled with the
ever-growing negative competition for influence among leaders -- militated
against unity of purpose and led to failure to confront a rogue member
This allowed Mugabe by default to appear as a skilful statesman who
got his desired outcome by running rings around his timid colleagues and the
I heard some delegates and observers at the summit suggesting maybe
retired statesmen like former South African president Nelson Mandela, former
Botswana President Sir Ketumile Masire or ex-Zambian leader Kenneth Kaunda
might be able to persuade Mugabe to change his ways and accept a compromise
But Mugabe has already rejected requests by Mandela and others for him
to retire.  Masire succeeded in persuading Kaunda to introduce some
political reforms in 1991 when Zambia was in crisis and that way helped to
resolve the situation.
This means it can be done, but the trouble here is  Mugabe is rigidly
determined to be president for life. This is the bottomline.
Despite their public efforts to appear united, Sadc leaders were
sharply divided at the weekend's tense summit at Sandton on how to deal with
the Zimbabwe situation. With daggers drawn, but hiding behind their fingers,
Sadc leaders were exposed as powerless when Mugabe even refused to leave one
of their sessions to allow them to discuss Zimbabwe freely. Mugabe also
protested and interrupted MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai during his address.
He was reminded by the chairman that nobody had interrupted him.
 It was a rather embarrassing incident, yet emblematic of theoretical
and structural weaknesses of Sadc.
The regional grouping is just a toothless bulldog. It's like a
After wringing their hands for hours, Sadc leaders adopted a phoney
united position that Mugabe and the MDC must go home to form an inclusive
Mugabe felt he had won -- although he knew that he was going nowhere
alone -- but the MDC, especially  Tsvangirai's faction, felt let down.
Mugabe is going ahead to form his government. The result will be an
unmitigated disaster for this country. His regime will basically lead the
country to hell. More misery, agony and anguish will be visited upon a
population already traumatised by repeated acts of intimidation, terror,
torture, disappearances and killings spanning 28 years.
Add to this, the economic turmoil and starvation and the picture of
what is in store fully emerges. It's chilling.
The MDC says it will appeal to the AU or UN. This is a non-starter.
What the party must be doing now is going back to the grassroots to find out
the way forward. The people know what should be done. After all they created
Mugabe and must know how to deal with him.
If the deal collapses, the MDC has two clear choices: to surrender or
intensify resistance.
The party has over-concentrated on international lobbying at the
expense of internal mobilisation. This is where the MDC's problem lies.
There is no doubt the party has wasted too much energy and resources
gallivanting around the world, while internally it remained very weak and
exposed. That is why Mugabe is not really worried about what the MDC can do
on the ground, but what its international allies are planning.
The MDC has given primacy of external factors over internal dynamics
and this has had the effect of "internationalising" the national question,
while "denationalising" it. Unwittingly, the party and people now believe
the solution to this crisis can only come from abroad.
This is off beam. The answer lies here at home and the sooner the MDC
realises this the better. Democratic resistance and defiance are the only
way out if other options fail. History and precedent show this.

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Comment: Misrule In The Time Of Cholera

Thursday, 13 November 2008 19:28
THERE is no official tally of innocent lives which have been lost to
the cholera outbreak in Harare and smaller urban settlements because our
rulers are still in denial.

They believe that masking the statistics of deaths is a way to dilute
the level of degeneracy within their ranks and the state's blameworthiness.

Reports have been reaching us daily from Glen View, Budiriro, Glen
Norah and Kuwadzana that people are dying and the situation is deteriorating
fast. Raw sewerage has formed rivulets of death in the suburbs and taps have
remained dry. Desperate residents have resorted to digging shallow wells in
soils contaminated with deadly bacteria from the effluent. Water from these
shallow wells is a cocktail which delivers death.
Funeral wakes for the deceased are spread across the high density
areas which have been hard hit. The residents are dying daily as a direct
result of failure by the state institution Zinwa to supply potable water to
the city. The cholera outbreak is today the most apt illustration of the
collapse of the Zanu PF administration fronted in this latest scene of shame
by Zinwa and Water Resources minister Munacho Mutezo.
It will be hard for the crocodiles in Zanu PF to apportion the blame
for the dry taps, sewerage systems working in reverse and broken water pipes
in major urban centres to the usual punch bags, the opposition and the West.
The Zanu PF government is culpable here. It grabbed water and sewerage
management, together with assets, from local authorities two years ago on
the pretext that it would manage water resources more equitably and
efficiently. But as has become evident, the move was a ploy to cripple local
governments which had fallen to the opposition as urban dwellers rejected
Zanu PF's misrule.
At the height of the annexations Zinwa - with the excitement of a
child with a new toy - announced its acquisition of water infrastructure and
the role to supply clean water in towns, cities and rural service centres.
In essence Zinwa never really improved services. It superintended the
running down of infrastructure and displayed arrogant contempt when
residents demanded a better service. In smaller towns broken down water
treatment plants have become monuments to this failed regime.
Zinwa's taking over the supply of bulk in urban areas was therefore a
bonehead political ruse which had nothing to do with efficiency. So when the
authority denies culpability, it is merely blaming those who dropped the
huge responsibility on its weak shoulders, the Zanu PF government.
Bad policies have become the hallmark of President Mugabe and his
cohorts. What is evident from this crisis is that the Zanu PF government
never learnt to plan and formulate any workable policies in anticipation of
growing urban populations. It toyed with plans to build a canal to
Chitungwiza instead of developing the Kunzvi Dam project in Harare and the
Matabeleland Zambezi Water scheme. Fancifulness is a major driver of this
Zimbabweans today have been made to endure arrogant incompetence by
public officials appointed to office largely by their ability to praise-sing
overbearing demi-gods than their ability to deliver.
When confronted with evidence of their failure the ruling elite and
their agencies switch to denial mode. From Zinwa we have heard that water
problems are due to Zesa's failure to provide power. The authority has said
it does not have funds to acquire chemicals. It has said it is encountering
transport problems to move chemicals to water treatment plants. Zinwa
officials and Mutezo have over the years sharpened their competence in
explaining the problems to us and not proffering solutions.
 Urban residents who have been left high, dry and in the dark want to
know when they will get water or when sewerage will stop flowing into their
kitchens. They know the causes of their plight, poor politics. That is why
they rejected Zanu PF at the polls.
We are now all aware that Zanu PF's politics is turning us into a sick
nation where curable diseases have become fatal scourges of epidemic
proportions- misrule in the time of cholera. The party, even in the proposed
unitary government can no longer be trusted to deliver for the nation.
Everything the wretched hand of Zanu PF touches is cursed. The Reserve
Bank - and not for the first time - has provided funds and equipment to
Zinwa to rescue the situation but there are no apparent improvements. People
are still dying of cholera and more than 60% of the capital and most major
urban centres are without water. For any ruling order to claim legitimacy
when it cannot provide basics like water and electricity is a big fuss. It
cannot do basic plumbing! Can Mutezo wake up and smell the...sewerage.

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Candid Comment: He Overcame The Burden Of 'tribe'

Thursday, 13 November 2008 19:23
ALMOST everyone has been seized with the Barak Obama fever.

He has become a phenomenon from the day he dared the American Dream.
He told fellow Americans: yes, we can. They have. President-elect
Obama will be the first African-American to rise to that post from the race
of former slaves. Africans have every reason to be proud, and to celebrate
with his family and America.
Expectations from this man are varied, but the best that Obama can do
for America is to reduce the Bush wars. From his campaign messages, he
appeared to appease America's youth, weary of deadly wars in the two Bush
administrations which have hurt the American economy and damaged its image
abroad. He has indicated that he is prepared to talk to Iran. He would talk
to Al-Qaeda and the Talibans if he could. Trouble is he can't "talk" to
If it were in his power, he would immediately end the Bush wars in
Afghanistan and Iraq, wars Americans loathe. But they also love cheap fuel,
and the green lobby won't let anyone violate Alaska for oil. So we can
expect bloody wars in the Middle East so long as there are profits for
corporate America. There is little Obama can do.
He will need to tread cautiously in his engagement with China and
Russia which are on the rise and in search of resources. America is still
the sole superpower but one in decline, not in ascendancy. It is in decline
economically, militarily and morally. Such a superpower no longer inspires
fear. Its arrogance provokes acts of bravado from Venezuela's Hugo Chavez to
Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to North Korea's Kim Jong-il. Rather than show
fear, these small states want to embarrass America and quicken its decline.
Will Obama be the man to slow down this process by presiding over an
America which is less belligerent and earns the world's respect?
America has been less of a problem in Western Europe. It is suffered
as a Big Brother providing a shield against a Russia slowly growing
confident of itself and aggressive against any acts it perceives as American
bullying. Europe gets irritated with America's unilateralism because it
understands the overwhelming power of collective decision and action in an
interdependent world, which we disconnected third worlders mistake for moral
correctness, hence ascribe a moral superiority to the Western world.
Europe's position is simply that it is not another state of the United
States. So no headache there for Obama. In fact, beyond the pale of colour,
millions of Europeans love him.
So do Africans, only for different reasons, if not motives. Africa is
a beggar state - a vast state convulsed by genocidal strife, hunger and
disease. But it is primarily a black continent seeing something akin to
itself at Pennsylvania Avenue. It is a continent in desperate need of trade
and aid, but more often it gets more guns to fight itself for control of its
natural resources by the developed world.
Africa is a prostrate rich drunk giant whose pockets are constantly
looted by world powers to sustain their affluence. Can Obama change that?
Obama is entering the White House to take charge of a System. Africans
should not expect a golden era because of his Kenyan roots. While he may not
start fresh wars, those already under way in the DRC and Somalia will
continue. More will die in Darfur.
While Obama is inclined towards positive engagement with all nations,
his attitudes will be influenced by the System more than by the colour of
his skin. The key is not what he thinks but the messages he is fed by the
"intelligents" overseas who have determined and dictated US foreign policy
throughout the blood-soaked era of the cold war and beyond. These
"intelligents" have created a wall around the White House few American
presidents have dared climb over since 1945. It is unlikely Obama will be
the first to jump out to read the world independently for him to make
"informed decisions" because he is black
Africa puts the same value on colour as the African-Americans in the
US. It is a perception I find demeaning of Obama's colour-blind charisma.
Due to our colonial past, colour is a staple diet in Africa but less
damaging than tribalism, ethnicity and regionalism. It would have been a
decisive factor had Obama been unfortunate to try his luck in an African
country. African democracy has no room for minorities. America has just
demonstrated that all are allowed to dream.
However, in celebrating Obama's victory, African-Americans appear to
be reverting to type as if they were the majority tribe in the US. There is
unnecessary emphasis on Obama's blackness which runs the danger of
reigniting the centuries-old racial prejudices and stereotypes which Obama's
campaign sought to gloss over. It is as if he must do something special for
blacks because he is one of us, begging whites to rue why they voted for a
black president instead of an American.
American governments generally do well for their citizens. That is why
when they attack foreign leaders for human rights violations, they accuse
them of committing crime against "their own people", a sin in America. Save
for exceptional cases, Americans are a protected species. So Obama was voted
for by all America, including white states such as Washington and Indiana.
He spoke to an America fed up with the Bush wars. The financial crisis
was a godsend which dealt the Republicans a coup de grace. Obama spoke to
the future; he spoke the language of transformative rather than substitutive
change represented by John McCain. He spoke a language which said there is a
new broom in America. What is historic about his victory is that he
shattered the vile mental enslavement to white power which still afflicts us
back in Africa, to dare the American Dream. He overcame the burden of his
blackness to become a president for all Americans.

By Joram Nyathi

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Gono's statement, 12 November 2008

1. Introduction
1.1 Persistent queues at most banking institutions
call for urgent intervention in order to restore
confidence in the banking sector and
creditability of the national payment systems.
1.2 As such it has become necessary to come up
with radical solutions to deal with the cash
challenges once and for all in a holistic

2. Foreign Currency Sales to RBZ by Foreign
Exchange Licenced Shops
2.1 The foreign currency sales to the Reserve
Bank by Foreign Exchange Licenced shops is
reduced from 15% to 7.5% with effect from 10
November, 2008.
2.2 The increase in the retention entitlement to
92.5% for Foreign Exchange Licenced shops
shall be applied in retrospect. Those
institutions that had sold 15% of their gross
foreign currency sales to the Reserve Bank
since the commencement of their trading
operations shall be credited with the 7.5% into
the security deposit account held at the
Reserve Bank in line with the refundable
security deposit requirements stated in the
Exchange Control, S.I. 131 of 2008.
2.3 Foreign Exchange licenced shops, both local
and foreign owned, that are able to raise
external lines of credit, supported by
documentary evidence shall have their foreign
currency sales to Reserve Bank pegged at 5%.
2.4 Local banking institutions who on-lend their
own resources to Foreign Exchange Licenced
shops shall be entitled to the 2.5% from
Foreign Exchange Licenced shops' gross

3. Local Transporters Engaged by Foliwars
3.1 Local transporters registered to ferry goods for
Foreign Exchange Licenced shops shall be
deemed exporters, and shall be required to
complete special Form CD3 formalities with
Exchange Control.

4. Licencing of Building Societies, Property
Developers and Real Estate Agents as
4.1 Building societies, property developers, and
real estate agents shall be licenced as Foreign
Exchange Lice entities to be eligible tosell
housing units in foreign currency and shall
have their foreign currency sales to Reserve
Bank pegged at 10%.

5. Cash Withdrawal Requirements for
5.1 Cash withdrawal entitlements for companies
that handle bulk cash shall be tied to 120% of
the previous week's actual cash deposits at
banking institutions.

6. Mininum Bank Capital Requirements
6.1 All banking institutions are now required to
keep their minimum capital requirements in
foreign currency as tabulated below:
Type of Institution Minimum Capital
Requirement (USD)
Commercial Banks 12,5 million
Merchant Banks 10 million
Building Societies 10 million
Finance Houses 7,5 million
Discount Houses 7,5 million
Asset Management Companies 2,5 million

6.2 Every banking institution shall be required to
demonstrate, at the request of the Reserve
Bank, the adequacy of their foreign currency
denominated capital bases on an on-going

7. Return to Core Banking Business
7.1 Every bank, asset management company and
unit trust shall be required, with immediate
effect, to reposition its balance sheet in line
with its core activities.

8. Usage of RTGS & Internal Transfers
8.1 Suspension of the usage of the Real Time
Gross Settlement (RTGS) system and internal
transfers was motivated by widespread abuse
of the system by a breed of selfish and
unrelenting money-launderers and speculators,
who include individuals, corporate entities and
some banking institutions.
8.2 Notwithstanding the clear regulatory Know
Your Customer (KYC) requirements, some
banking institutions continued to offer
themselves as conduits in the transfer of huge
volumes of funds with no meaningful
underlying economic transactions,
8.3 The weak enforcement of KYC requirements
by banking institutions, some of which were
active participants in irregular transactions,
abetted the abuse of RTGS and internal
transfers to the detriment of financial stability
and confidence in the banking system.
8.4 The blanket suspension of RTGS transactions
and internal transfers has served its purpose,
and time has come for policy instruments to
punish the bad apples while rewarding those
practicing good citizenship.

9. Reinstatement of RTGS Transactions
9.1 With immediate effect, individuals, corporate
clients and financial institutions may effect
transactions with a minimum value of $5
billion, given that RTGS is meant for high
value, high risk transactions. This threshold
will be reviewed in line with economic trends.
9.2 The RTGS threshold stipulated herein shall not
apply to salaries, settlement transactions, and
Government payments.
9.3 With immediate effect, all customers may effect
a maximum of five internal transfers per day to
third parties. The limit, however, does not
apply to inter-account transfers for the payment
of salaries by corporates to their employees.
9.4 For avoidance of doubt, banking institutions
shall continue to allow inter-account transfers
among accounts bearing the same names
and/or for companies within the same group,
up to a maximum of three accounts per day,
to facilitate sweeping arrangements between
9.5 With immediate effect usage of the RTGS
system shall strictly be conditional on total
adherence to all applicable KYC requirements.

10. Enhancement of KYC Due Diligence
10.1 In order to promote adherence to the letter and
spirit of KYC principles, every banking
institution is with immediate effect required to:
a. ensure, on an on-going basis, that all its
customers and bank employees fully
adhere to KYC requirements, including
maintenance of proper identification
documents, as well as taking resolute
remedial action where deficiencies are
b. ensure on an on-going basis that the
entirety of their customer base is free of
briefcase companies and customers
involved in suspicious transactions;
c. clean up customer database to eliminate
cases of multiple account holders where
activity on the accounts is not in line with
the customer's declared nature of business.
For avoidance of doubt, holders of four or
more accounts with the same banking
institution are required to justify the need
thereof, to the institution's senior
d. subject reactivation of all dormant account
close scrutiny by bank senior management,
internal and external auditors;
e. subject tellers' and/or cash depot
custodians' transactions to thorough
independent verification on an on-going
basis by bank senior management,
compliance and internal audit functions.
Monthly exception reports on tellers and/or
cash depot custodians transactions shall be
submitted to the Reserve Bank;
f. put in place appropriate policies and
procedures to curtail irregular teller
transactions, including but not limited to, the
selling of cash, diversion of cash deposits
and parallel market activities;
g. maintain proper records of all deposits,
withdrawals, and cash distribution done at
all branches and cash depots;
h. report to the Reserve Bank all agency
agreements and "special"arrangements
entered into with third parties for the
provision of banking business and
consultancy services;
i. specifically incorporate evaluation of
compliance with KYC requirements in the
internal audit plan;
j. ensure external auditors evaluate and
report on the status of compliance with KYC
k. provide to the Reserve Bank copies of
reports informing the institution's board of
the bank's status of compliance with KYC
requirements on an on-going basis; and
l. report status of compliance with KYC
requirements on a quarterly basis as part
and parcel of the statutory reporting

11. Cheque Payments
11.1 The banking public is reminded that cheques
are still an acceptable means of effecting
11.2 In this regard the banking institutions may
facilitate the special clearance of cheques
below the obtaining RTGS threshold, subject to
compliance with KYC requirements.

12. Accessibility of Banking Services
12.1 We note with concern that some banking
institutions have suspended the opening of
new accounts while others have astronomically
increased minimum balances to be maintained
in customer accounts.
12.2 Banking institutions should not penalize
genuine current prospective customers, to the
detriment of financial inclusion, via unrealistic
minimum balances as well as informal
moratoriums on opening of new accounts.

13. Enhanced Board Oversight
13.1 The board of every banking institution shall put
in place adequate risk management policies
and procedures to ensure adherence to the
letter and spirit of KYC principles,

14. Penalties for Non-Compliance
14.1 Banking institutions that are found abusing,
facilitating the abuse of, or failing to take
decisive action against customers abusing the
RTGS system and/or internal transfers shall be
suspended, in part or whole, from the RTGS
system for a period of up to three months.
14.2 Repeat offenders shall be banned from direct
participation on the RTGS system for an
indefinite period at the discretion of the
Reserve Bank.
14.3 Bank officials and/or employees found
engaging in, or facilitating irregular
transactions, shall be deemed not fit and
proper to work in the financial sector.

Be guided accordingly.
12 NOVEMBER 2008

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Metallon Gold Press Release




Following recent numerous articles in the print and electronic media, Metallon Gold Zimbabwe would like to take this opportunity to provide the public with facts:

·      Metallon Gold Zimbabwe, which employs about 5000 people, has not closed nor has any intention of closing its five mines or embark on a retrenchment programme;

·      While it is true that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe owes the Company around US$20 million for gold proceeds, all of its five mines continue to operate;

·      Consistent ZESA power cuts and interruptions continue to negatively affect operations, with no expected solution at hand;

·      Delayed payment, power cuts and interruptions have affected our pumps and availability of relevant spare parts resulting in mine flooding, with consequent negative affects our operations;

·      Metallon Gold Zimbabwe remain committed to its loyal employees and to Zimbabwe, and remain hopeful that there will soon be a political resolution in the country that will lead to its economic recovery.

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