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MDC formally rejects SADC proposal

November 14, 2008

By Raymond Maingire

HARARE - The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has formally rejected a
recent ruling by regional leaders that compelled both Zanu PF and the MDC to
share responsibility over the Ministry of Home Affairs and form an all
inclusive government forthwith.

An SADC Heads of States Extra Ordinary Summit held in Johannesburg, South
Africa, on Sunday rubber-stamped an earlier ruling by its Organ on Politics,
Defence and Security in Harare last month that the rival parties must
jointly control the Home Affairs Ministry.

But the MDC says SADC continues to ignore its principal concerns by
narrowing its deliberations and focusing on the Home Affairs Ministry, when
it is only one of the burning issues that have stalled the controversial
September 15 agreement.

Zanu-PF and the MDC signed the power-sharing agreement which committed the
rival parties to an all- inclusive government for the next five years.

The agreement leaves Zanu-PF leader Robert Mugabe in the office of President
and installs MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the position of Prime Minister.

The parties also agreed to form a government of 31 ministries and a
proportional distribution of 15 ministries to Zanu-PF, 13 to MDC while the
smaller faction of the MDC led by Arthur Mutambara will take up three.

MDC Deputy President Thokozani Khupe told journalists in Harare Friday that
her party has resolved not to participate in any new government until all
its concerns have been addressed.

"The MDC rejects the Organ Troika's resolution and Communiqué of 28 October
2008 seeking to erroneously reduce the sticking points to only the Ministry
of Home Affairs," said Khupe.

MDC says it will also not abide by the unpopular ruling by the full SADC
summit on November 9 which it says was arrived at "unprocedurally", as it
allowed President Mugabe, an interested party, to remain seated among them
in defiance of the SADC's chairman's instruction that the feuding parties
should recuse themselves while they sought private opinion on the matter.

The MDC contends this had a huge bearing on the final ruling by the regional
bloc, which was largely welcomed by Zanu-PF.

The opposition also says Zanu -PF has a history of insincerity and will only
agree to take part in the new government once the five outstanding issues it
has raised have been clarified and allowed to pass.

Khupe said her party sought to have Constitutional Amendment No 19 agreed
upon by the parties before the new government is installed.

The MDC went to SADC to ask the regional bloc to help resolve alleged
disparities in the allocation of key ministries between itself and Zanu PF,
which have all been grabbed by Zanu-PF.

The party is also agitating for clarity on the composition and terms of
reference of the National Security Council, itself a by product of
protracted power-sharing negotiations between the parties.

The MDC has also set the issue of equitable allocation of provincial
governors, which President Mugabe has unilaterally allocated to his Zanu-PF
party loyalists, among some of the issues to be resolved before the MDC can
commit itself to the proposed new government.

President Mugabe has since "invited" Tsvangirai to submit a list of his
party officials to be drafted into the new cabinet.

The 84-year-old leader is expected to announce a new administration this
weekend against warnings by political analysts that his government will
immediately be confronted by a legitimacy crisis and would be unable to
unlock crucial support from the international community to keep his
government running.

But the MDC contends the resolution by SADC last week does not bestow any
right to the Mugabe and his party of forming any government or inviting any
party to joining government.

Said Khupe, "The longer that this crisis remains outstanding, then the
obligation on SADC, AU and the people of Zimbabwe that a transitional
authority be instituted pending the enactment of a new people driven
constitution and the holding of elections under African and International

The MDC has also vowed to resist any attempts by President Mugabe to form a
unilateral government.

"In the event of an illegitimate government being unilaterally formed, the
MDC will not be party to the same and will peacefully, constitutionally and
democratically mobilize and campaign against the illegitimate government."

The MDC also accused Zanu-PF of "serious breaches of the parties' Memorandum
of Understanding, which have manifested themselves in the continued alleged
abductions and assaults on its officials and supporters and political

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Zimbabwe opposition issues Mugabe warning


HARARE, Zimbabwe (CNN) -- Zimbabwe's main political opposition party refuses
to join a unity government with President Robert Mugabe unless several
conditions are met, a party official warned Friday.

Movement for Democratic Change Vice President Thokozani Khupe said those
conditions include amending the country's constitution to allow for the new
posts and institutions that were created under a power-sharing agreement
signed by Mugabe and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

"Given the lack of sincerity and lack of paradigm shift on the part of
ZANU-PF, the MDC shall participate in a new government once the
constitutional amendment has been passed and effected into law," Khupe said.

MDC and Mugabe's ZANU-PF signed the power-sharing resolution in September,
but it has failed to ease political tensions. Tsvangirai accuses Mugabe of
grabbing all key ministries such as home affairs, information, local
government, foreign affairs and defense.

Khupe said the MDC wants an "equitable distribution" of existing ministerial
posts if it is to join a government with Mugabe.

"In the event of an illegitimate government being unilaterally formed, the
MDC will not be (a) part ... and will peacefully, constitutionally and
democratically mobilize and campaign against the illegitimate government,"
she said.
On Wednesday, the ZANU-PF party resolved that it must form a government of
national unity, regardless of Tsvangirai's position.

Khupe rejected that move, saying that "neither Robert Mugabe nor ZANU-PF has
the legitimacy to form a government."

Tsvangirai garnered the most votes in the March vote, but did not win enough
to avoid a runoff with Mugabe, who has ruled the country since its
independence from Britain in 1980, when it was called Rhodesia. Britain is
one of many countries that do not recognize Mugabe's reelection.

The MDC leader withdrew days before the June 27 runoff, alleging that
Mugabe's supporters had waged a campaign of violence and intimidation
against opposition supporters.

He said he could not participate in the election, which he condemned as a

Last week, the Southern African Development Community -- a group of nations
charged with mediating the situation in Zimbabwe -- proposed that two
ministers would oversee the Ministry of Home Affairs, one from the MDC and
one from ZANU-PF. SADC asked both sides to assess that arrangement over the
next six months

On Wednesday the ZANU-PF party resolved that it must form a government of
national unity, saying that SADC had addressed the outstanding issues.

But Khupe rejected that position, noting that only Mugabe was present at
last week's SADC summit in South Africa. Neither Tsvangirai nor the leader
of a splinter MDC faction, Arthur Mutumbura, was present.
"Neither Robert Mugabe nor ZANU-PF has the legitimacy to form a government,"
Khupe said. "The SADC resolution does not bestow Mugabe with the right to
form a government."

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The divorce becomes final

What happened?
BULAWAYO, 14 November 2008 (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's political crisis deepened on 14 November with the withdrawal of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), led by Morgan Tsvangirai, from the moribund power-sharing deal with President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF.

An MDC communiqué at the end of a national council meeting said it would peacefully campaign against any unilateral government appointed by Mugabe, and called for fresh elections under international supervision.

The party defended its decision on the grounds that, since the signing of the power-sharing agreement on 12 September, Mugabe had pursued an "obstructionist approach" and an "entrenched power-retention agenda" for the ZANU-PF party.

The MDC alleged that this included the "crafting of an assassination plot, codenamed Operation Ngatipedzenavo, intended to eliminate the MDC leadership", amid a wider campaign of violence and intimidation aimed at the party "and the people of Zimbabwe".

The communiqué rejected a resolution passed by leaders of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on 9 November, urging the formation of an all-inclusive government to save the faltering agreement.

The MDC accused the SADC of mistakenly narrowing the sticking points to only control of the home affairs ministry and police, ignoring the unresolved logjams over the distribution of other portfolios, the appointment of provincial governors, permanent secretaries and ambassadors. IRIN was unable to get comment from ZANU-PF.

The power-sharing deal, brokered by South African President Thabo Mbeki, appointed as mediator by the SADC, was meant to fairly apportion ministries between ZANU-PF, Tsvangirai's MDC, and a breakaway faction of the MDC led by Arthur Mutambara.

Mugabe was to retain the presidency, while Tsvangirai was to become prime minister and have a say in the running of the government until new elections in 2012. But no constitutional amendment was passed to create the post of premier, and the deal was quickly overcome by bickering over posts and powers.

Mugabe is now expected to form a government without Tsvangirai – which many fear signals a return to the extreme levels of violence that racked the country during this year's election, when over 80 MDC supporters were killed.

''Everybody knows that ZANU-PF has no solution to the country's problems, and everyone was hoping that Tsvangirai will agree to come into the government and solve our problems''
The MDC won the 29 March legislative poll and Tsvangirai beat Mugabe into second place in the presidential vote, but fell short of the 50 percent plus one ballot required for a first-round victory.

Tsvangirai withdrew from the presidential run-off, citing the political violence, which left Mugabe as the sole candidate. However, the election was condemned regionally and internationally as unfree and unfair.


Zimbabweans in Zimbabwe's second city, Bulawayo, received the news of the MDC's withdrawal from the unity deal with mixed feelings.

Martha Moyo, 28, said she was disappointed. "Everybody knows that ZANU-PF has no solution to the country's problems, and everyone was hoping that Tsvangirai will agree to come into the government and solve our problems."

Jabulani Sithole, 36, said the MDC was justified in refusing to take part. "It is clear that Mugabe did not want the MDC in government, because he should have negotiated in all earnestness, but giving them useless ministries was an indicator that the talks are dead, and what is left now is for the talks to collapse."

The MDC was condemned as "unpatriotic" by Nhamo Tsunga, 40. "These people [MDC] just want power, and they do not care how much we are suffering. The MDC should have just agreed to join government, and then sort out the other issues when they are in government. All this shows that they are selfish, and they are doing these things for themselves and not for the people."

Zimbabweans have been battered for years by shortages, lack of social services, and an inflation rate estimated at 231 million percent in July.

A trio of elders - former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, former US president Jimmy Carter, and rights activist Graca Machel - are due to visit Zimbabwe next week to try and focus global attention on the humanitarian crisis.


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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Zimbabwe's MDC says uncovers assassination plot

Fri 14 Nov 2008, 14:19 GMT

HARARE, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's opposition MDC said on Friday it had
uncovered a plot to assassinate its leaders, increasing the chances that
deadlocked power-sharing talks with President Robert Mugabe will collapse.

"The (MDC) national council notes with concern...the crafting of an
assassination plot intended to eliminate the leadership of the MDC," party
vice president Thokozani Khupe said.

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Full text of MDC National Council Resolution

November 14, 2008


Harare, November 14, 2008


NOTING the resolution of the African Union of the 30th of June 2008, taken in Sharm El-Scheikh, Egypt, on the resolution of the Zimbabwean crisis, dialogue commenced between Zanu PF and the MDC culminating in the MOU on the 21st of July 2008, and the Global Political Agreement (GPA) on the 11th of September 2008 with the signing ceremony on the 15th of September 2008.

AWARE of the high expectations of the people of Zimbabwe and Africa following the execution of the GPA.

NOTWITHSTANDING that the GPA was to come into effect immediately after its execution, Zanu PF has in fact prevented the implementation of this agreement and its consummation.

NOTING the material unresolved and outstanding issues connected to the dialogue in particular;

i. The non-enactment of Constitutional Amendment No. 19
ii. The appointment of Provincial Governors
iii. The appointment of senior government officials such as Permanent Secretaries and Ambassadors
iv. The equitable distribution of ministerial portfolios
v. The composition and constitution of the National Security Council
vi. The fraudulent and unexplained alteration of the agreement of the 11th of September 2008 and the one that was signed on the 15th of September 2008

APPRECIATING the keen desire of SADC and other key institutions of seeing a genuine resolution of the Zimbabwean crisis and expressing gratitude for the huge amounts of time and effort devoted by the same leaders to the same,

DESIROUS of achieving finality to the current dispute given the economic meltdown and the massive suffering of the people of Zimbabwe reflected in entrenched poverty the collapse of public health, education, transport , water and energy crisis, monetary policy dislocation and supersonic inflation.

CONCERNED with the obstructionist approach, lack of paradigm shift and the entrenched power retention agenda of Zanu PF reflected in;

a. serious breaches to the Memorandum of Understanding,
b. renewed violence, abductions and assaults against the MDC and the people of Zimbabwe in the obvious direction of replicating the post 29 March barbaric violence, in particular the arrest and continued detention of MDC Mashonaland West senior leadership such as Concilia Chinanzvavana and ten others at unknown centres,
c. concerned about the hindrance, denial and obstruction of food aid to Zimbabweans,
d. the vicious attack on Civic Society members such as Jennie Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu of WOZA, Lovemore Madhuku
of NCA and members of ZINASU,
e. the vicious and unmitigated hate speech, propaganda and unbecoming
statements in the State media,
f. the crafting of an assassination plot, code named Operation Ngatipedzenavo intended to eliminate the MDC leadership and decimate the Party through frivolous allegations, and
g. Zanu PF training of militia in Zimbabwe to be redeployed back into
the country from neighbouring countries posing as MDC bandits and

FURTHER CONCERNED about the non-sitting of Parliament and the destructive interference with Local Authorities and MDC Councillors.

Now this Council resolves that:

1. The Party expresses acknowledgement for the role and efforts of SADC and the AU in finding solutions to the crisis in Zimbabwe.
2. The MDC rejects:-
a. The Organ Troika’s resolution and Communiqué of 28 October 2008 seeking to erroneously reduce the sticking points to only the Ministry
of Home Affairs.
b. The SADC “ruling” and communiqué of the 9th of November 2008 on the basis that the same was unprocedurally arrived at in that Robert Mugabe, an interested party, sat in during deliberations in total defiance of the SADC Chairman’s ruling that the three Zimbabwean parties recuse themselves
c. The Communiqués of the 28th of October and 9th of November ignored the other five outstanding issues, in particular, the principle of equity and the fact that a new government cannot be formed without Constitutional Amendment No. 19 and all other issues remain outstanding.
3. Given the lack of sincerity and lack of paradigm shift on the part of Zanu PF, the MDC shall participate in a new government once Constitutional Amendment No. 19 has been passed and effected into law.
4. Implores the high offices of SADC and the AU as underwriters and guarantors of this agreement to step in and ensure a successful conclusion and finality to the current breakdown.
5. Notes that there was a sham election on the 27th of June 2008 and therefore neither Robert Mugabe nor Zanu PF have the legitimacy of forming any government or running this country in the absence of the consummation of the GPA, the enactment of Constitutional Amendment No. 19 and the resolution of all other outstanding issues. In addition, the SADC resolution of the 9th of November does not bestow any right on Robert Mugabe or Zanu PF of forming any government or inviting any Party to joining that government.
6. The longer that this crisis remains outstanding, then the obligation on SADC, AU and the people of Zimbabwe that a transitional authority be instituted pending the enactment of a new people driven constitution and the holding of elections under African and international supervision.
7. In the event of an illegitimate
government being unilaterally formed, the MDC will not be part to the same and will peacefully, constitutionally and democratically mobilize and campaign against the illegitimate government.
8. The humanitarian crisis has to be urgently attended and that Zanu PF and its interim authority must ensure free, unfettered availability and access of food aid and more importantly the international community must exercise its obligation of Responsibility to Protect under the United Nations.
9. The MDC submits itself before God and reaffirms its commitment to the present dialogue and more importantly reaffirms its commitment to achieving democratization in Zimbabwe through constitutional, peaceful nonviolent and democratic means.
10. Parliament must be convened as a matter of urgency to carry out its normal business of overseeing the Executive.
11. Ignatius Chombo and the Zanu-PF authorities desist from obstructing and
interfering with the work of Local Authorities.




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12 MDC "terrorism" detainees disappear

November 14, 2008

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - High Court judge Charles Hungwe on Tuesday issued four court
orders, including one on the Home Affairs Minister, Kembo Mohadi, to
immediately produce 12 MDC activists held incommunicado since October 30 on
charges of receiving training in sabotage, terrorism and banditry in
neighbouring Botswana.

The High Court orders were issued to Mohadi, Police Commissioner-General
Augustine Chihuri, the Officer Commanding the Homicide Section of the
Criminal Investigations Department, Chrispen Makedenge and the investigating
officer, one Detective Constable Muhuya.

Earlier, the Magistrates Court had expressed dissatisfaction over the
defiance by the police, who successively failed to produce the twelve in

Defence lawyers then approached the High Court seeking an order to declare
the continued detention of the MDC activists illegal.

The 12 were on October 30 seized by state security agents in Banket,
Mashonaland West province. The State agents raided the homes of the MDC
leadership and arrested the MDC members including a two-year-old girl.

During the arrests, police are said to have seized property including a
computer and official party documents at the home of MDC's national
executive member, Concilia Chinanzvavana.

She is the MDC Women's Assembly provincial chairperson for Mashonaland West
and was the MDC parliamentary candidate for Zvimba South constituency during
the elections held in March.

She is in custody along with her husband Emmanuel, an elected councillor in
Banket and together with their two year-old baby.

Others in police custody are MDC ward 22 councillor, Fidelis Chiramba, the
losing candidate in senatorial election for Zvimba, Fani Tembo; ward
coordinator Lloyd Tambwa, as well as MDC activists Fidelis Musona and Ernest
Mudimu. Other MDC activists being held incommunicado are Jerry Musona,
Fanuel Tembo, Theater Kaseke, and one other identified only as Mutendagawi.

Makoni told The Zimbabwe Times that the 12 were transferred from Banket to
Harare and were initially held at Mabelreign Police Station before they were
moved to Avondale Police Station.

They were then released into the custody of Makedenge, who has moved them to
an unknown location, said Makoni.

Makedenge was said to be off duty and would only return to work next week.

"We don't know where these people numbering 12 are," Makoni told The
Zimbabwe Times. "But they are accused of training insurgents and being
terrorists and saboteurs."

They are being charged for treason under the draconian Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly undergoing training in banditry,
which carries life imprisonment if convicted. The 12 are being charged under
a clause that reads: "Any person who attends or undergoes any course of
training, whether inside or outside Zimbabwe, for the purpose of enabling
him or her to commit any act of insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism
in Zimbabwe shall be guilty of training as an insurgent, bandit, saboteur or
terrorist and liable to imprisonment for life or any shorter period."

The officials and activists are accused of being part of a team sent by the
MDC to Botswana to receive training in sabotage, terrorism and banditry.

Botswana has angrily rejected the charges, and invited a fact-finding
mission to prove the allegations, provoking a diplomatic tiff between Harare
and Gaborone.

President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party alleges that the MDC was plotting
acts of banditry to destabilise government and oust the veteran leader.

The Zimbabwe Times heard that Mugabe and his party presented the detained
MDC activists' treason cases to regional leaders at the extraordinary SADC
summit on Zimbabwe at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg last

Mugabe and his Zanu-PF negotiators are said to have used the MDC activists'
case to argue for sharing of the Ministry of Home Affairs with the MDC,
stating the opposition could not be given sole control of the key ministry
because it was plotting to destabilise the country.

The alleged subversive plot was earlier reported to the SADC troika on
Politics, Defence and Security ahead of the summit, explaining the activists'
prolonged detention and their apparent use as cannon fodder in the
convoluted battle for the Home Affairs ministry.

The Zimbabwe Times learned that the police had defied four court orders now,
beginning with the first order issued last week Monday. There was a
subsequent hearing where police again failed to produce the accused in

Makoni was then forced to file an urgent court application at the High Court
compelling the police to bring the arrested to court or release them as 48
hours had lapsed from the time of their arrest.

By Thursday last week, the police were still defying the High Court order.
Makoni returned to court to seek an order declaring their continued
detention illegal, an order issued by Hungwe Tuesday.

Hungwe on Tuesday ordered Mohadi, Chihuri, Makedenge and Muhuya, who claimed
they were not aware of the whereabouts of the accused in opposing
affidavits, to utilize all sources including the CID and other private
informers, at their disposal to locate the 12 detainees immediately.

Hungwe declared the continued detention of the 12 beyond 96 hours was
blatantly illegal and contemptuous of the High Court; he said the officers
were overstepping their bounds.

The defence team stated that there was mounting apprehension that the 12
could have been harmed or even murdered. Hungwe said the allegation against
the activists was alarming and required the serious attention of the police
officers concerned.

Police officials presented a daily progress report of their efforts to date,
including searches of various places for the 12.

But Makoni told the court that the police officials' were not making sincere
efforts to trace the twelve and were misguiding the court. Hungwe had ruled
that the detained be produced in court at or before 4pmon Tuesday, but the
State has again defied the order.

The police have also been ordered to allow the detained people access to
their lawyers and their families and that they should receive medical
treatment at medical facilities of their choice, amid fears some of them
could have sustained injuries from beatings.

Hungwe's order compels the respondents and the police intelligence agency,
the PISI Unit, to establish the whereabouts of the detainees and inform the
court. The court order also directed the police officers and other
respondents to protect the lives and rights of the detainees.

The MDC has denied the banditry charges and also rejected claims by Zanu-PF
lead negotiator at the talks, Patrick Chinamasa that Western intelligence
services in collusion with the Botswana government were attempting to
transform Tsvangirai into a warlord like the late Angolan rebel leader,
Jonas Savimbi.

MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa demanded the immediate and unconditional
release of the MDC activists and alleged Zanu-PF was trying to incriminate
the MDC on fictitious charges of banditry and terrorism.

He said that the systematic plot and concoctions of banditry against the MDC
was high on the agenda of the MDC's 44-member National Executive and the
128-member National Council meetings scheduled for Harare on Friday.

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Growing reports of abductions spark fears of renewed ZANU PF crackdown


By Alex Bell
14 November 2008

There are a growing number of reports of abductions across Zimbabwe amid
fears that ZANU PF has renewed its violent crackdown on opposition activists
and supporters.

In a web blog depicting daily life in Zimbabwe for the British news service
BBC, the Harare based author on Friday described the rising concerns of
recent abductions and 'rumours about renewed violence.' The author
continued, saying: "One of my colleagues confirmed it was true - people in
the rural areas are disappearing in the night, she told us."

Pishai Muchauraya an MDC official in the Manicaland constituency, on Friday
further confirmed that there have been more abductions and a rising level of
violence. He explained that there have been reports of 'violence and more
abductions across the country,' and confirmed one attack on MDC members in
his constituency. Muchauraya said three MDC supporters were abducted by ZANU
PF members who raided an MDC meeting in Rusape last week.

"The ward chairman, Leighton Sithole and two student leaders were beaten and
left for dead and are still recovering in hospital," Muchauraya said. "I
still think there is a likelihood of more abductions and more violence
against our members in an effort to force us to submit to ZANU PF."

This comes days after police brutally broke up several NCA protests across
the country, arresting over 100 activists. On Thursday the NCA reported that
one of their detained activists, a three months pregnant woman 'miscarried
after a particularly brutal attack by officers at Mutare Central Police
Station. Nine NCA members still remain in police custody in Mutare, and face
a weekend in detention at the Mutare Central Police Station.  The nine were
scheduled to appear in court on Friday but their case had still not been
heard by the end of the day.

At the same time 12 MDC activists who were arrested in Banket two weeks ago
are still missing, despite an urgent High Court order filed on Tuesday
demanding the abducted people be brought to court. Opposition activists have
said ZANU PF is returning to its 'default language of violence,' saying they
are now being attacked randomly.

Meanwhile, as fears grow of more violence, Zimbabwean NGOs and Human Rights
groups have been campaigning at the current session of the African
Commission on Human and People's Rights taking place in Nigeria. The
Commission, which is an organ of the African Union (AU), is tasked with the
protection and observance of human rights across Africa.

Gabriel Shumba, the director of the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum has been in
Nigeria this week, and said on Friday that Zimbabwe has been a 'hot topic'
of debate, despite not being top of the session's agenda. He explained that
human rights campaigners at the session have warned that the situation in
Zimbabwe 'will explode' if serious action is not taken. Shumba said the
Commission itself has expressed grave concerns, and added it is likely to
take the Zimbabwe issues to AU leaders.

But Shumba warned that while the Commission has made 'encouraging
pronouncements,' it is the AU ultimately that will decide what action needs
to be taken in Zimbabwe.

"The Commission as an institution is ultimately accountable to the AU and
therefore the regional leaders that head the AU," Shumba explained. "The
commission therefore might not be in a position to act according to its own

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Annan, Carter to visit Zimbabwe on humanitarian mission

Fri Nov 14, 9:27 am ET
HARARE (AFP) - Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan said Friday that he
and former US president Jimmy Carter will visit Zimbabwe next week to find
ways to ease the country's deepening humanitarian crisis.

They will travel with rights activist Graca Machel, wife of former South
African president Nelson Mandela, on November 22-23 on a mission to prevent
the crisis from worsening, Annan said in a statement.

"Relieving the suffering of millions of people must be the priority of
Zimbabwe's leaders," Annan said in a statement. "But global attention is
also slipping as Zimbabwe's humanitarian crisis worsens."

Zimbabwe's economy has been in free-fall for years, battered by
hyperinflation last estimated at 231 million percent in July.

Although the country was once a food exporter, the United Nations estimates
that five million people -- nearly half the population -- will need food aid
in January.

Annan insisted that their mission was purely humanitarian and would not not
touch on the protracted negotiations to form a unity government under a
two-month-old power-sharing deal.

"However, we urge Zimbabwe's political leaders to move swiftly to fully
implement the September 15 agreement, particularly the provisions on
humanitarian and food assistance," he said.

"Delays in forming a government are prolonging the suffering of the people,
Annan added.

Annan, Carter and Machel are members of the Elders: 12 world-respected
statesmen with hands-on experience in conflict resolution.

The group was formed last year by Machel and Mandela on his 89th birthday.

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Obama criticises South Africa over Zimbabwe

Caren Bohan
26 June 2008

US presidential candidate says African nations have been "quiet for far too

CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama said on
Wednesday the international community must do more to try to help resolve
Zimbabwe's political crisis and to pressure President Robert Mugabe who is
clinging to power.

He singled out South Africa as one country that needs to apply more pressure
on Mugabe, 84, who has refused to step down.

"What's happening in Zimbabwe is tragic. This is a country that used to be
the bread basket of Africa. Mugabe has run the economy into the ground. He
has perpetrated extraordinary violence against his own people," Obama told a
news conference in Chicago.

Obama, a Democrat, is running in the November presidential election against
Republican John McCain.

"Not only do I think that the United Nations needs to continue to apply as
much pressure as possible on the Mugabe government, but in particular other
African nations, including South Africa, I think have to be much more
forceful in condemning the extraordinary violence that's been taking place
there," Obama said.

"And frankly, they have been quiet for far too long and allowed Mugabe to
engage in this sort of anti-colonial rhetoric that is used to distract from
his own profound failures as a leader," he added.

"What is remaining of this election is a complete and total sham," Obama
said, echoing U.S. President George W. Bush

"I don't think that whatever the results of this election on Friday, that
Mugabe will be able to claim any sort of legitimacy as a democratically
elected leader in Zimbabwe," he added.

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Two Zimbabwean Soldiers Die In DRC

HARARE, November 14 2008 - Two Zimbabwean soldiers reportedly died in
the Democratic Republic of Congo this week in the Eastern Front at Bujumayi,
RadioVOP can reveal.

"They are obviously clashing and fighting with the rebels because
there are two Zimbabwean who died on the warfront recently and their bodies
will be brought back home. One of the soldiers has been confirmed to be from
Gweru while it has not been yet confirmed where the other soldier is from
but he is suspected to be from Masvingo," said a soldier who spoke to

The soldier, who would not be named for security reasons, said some
soldiers remained in the DRC to mann key points such as diamond mines,
providing security services to DRC's President Joseph Kabila among other

He said the soldiers have since been sent to the warzones to fight

The current fighting, which began when a peace deal between Nkunda's
rebels and the army collapsed in August, has displaced some 250,000 people,
bringing to 1 million the number of people in North Kivu who have fled their
homes in two years.

Nkunda initially said he was defending fellow Tutsis against attacks
by the Hutu rebels. But he has since widened his objectives to overthrowing
President Joseph Kabila unless he agrees to direct negotiations.

Congo's army is in no shape to resist him. It was supposed to be
reconstituted from the various units, militia and rebels that fought in a
civil war that ran from 1998-2003 in which several million people, mostly
civilians, died. But poorly paid government soldiers scattered as rebels
advanced, fleeing mere rumours of fighting. The retreating soldiers looted
and killed in Goma as they fled the front line in late October and did the
same more recently as they pulled out from the town of Kanyabayonga.

Over 5 million people have died since Congo's last war began in 1998,
more than in any conflict since World War Two and nearly all from
war-related hunger and disease.

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"Food relief operators are overwhelmed"

Photo: IRIN
Waiting for food
BULAWAYO, 14 November 2008 (IRIN) - Impatience among the hungry and food relief operations put on the back foot by a nearly three-month ban are complicating an already desperate situation as Zimbabwe barrels towards its peak food crisis, less than two months away.

The UN estimates that in the first quarter of 2009 more than 5.1 million people, nearly half the population, will require food assistance, although many humanitarian workers privately fear the extent of malnutrition may be deeper than first thought, a worrying situation that has surfaced in the past few days after a severe funding shortfall resulted in a cut in food rations to below the minimum monthly requirement.

Preparations by food relief agencies for the impending crisis were compromised by President Robert Mugabe's ban on their operations - for alleged political partisanship - as he fought for his political life during a presidential run-off that he eventually won, although the high levels of violence and intimidation made the international community dismiss the poll as unfree and unfair.

The ban disrupted the vetting process of potential beneficiaries and the delay in distributions are causing rising levels of frustration among those in need of emergency food assistance.

Effort Ncube, 54, whose extended family includes his four children, eight grand-daughters and several other relatives, has survived on the roots and wild fruits available in Matabeleland South Province for the past four months.

"The donor agencies are taking long, and already, as it is, we are facing death due to hunger, but some villages have benefited from food donations. But we have been assured by the relief agencies that we will be benefiting soon," he told IRIN.

Ncube's family has borrowed relief food from people in the neighbouring districts of Ntepe and Gwanda, who have received the reduced food rations from World Vision, a Christian relief and development non-governmental organisation (NGO).

"Once we get our rations then we will pay back what we got from the neighbours, but the rations are taking too long to come," Ncube said. World Vision is covering six of the seven districts in Matabeleland South Province.

Making up for lost time

Rations have been cut to below the recommended monthly calorific minimum in response to dwindling food supplies, as international donors have failed to heed a US$140 million emergency appeal by the UN World Food Programme (WFP). At current rates, WFP has sufficient food supplies to last until the end of December.

''We are making up for the lost time. The process should have started long before the situation got so bad, but we were not on the ground [because of the government ban]. The need in the country currently is overwhelming''
Each person now receives a monthly ration of 10kg of maize, 1kg of beans and 0.6 litres of cooking oil, in a bid to stretch resources. Recipients were previously given 12kg of maize and 1.8kg of beans.

"We are still vetting some communities and verifying information that we have, and because of the magnitude of the crisis and the objective of feeding all deserving cases, the vetting process has not been easy due to the numbers involved," Wilfred Sikhukhula, director of World Vision's Humanitarian Emergency Aid, one of the relief agencies falling under the US-funded Consortium for Southern Africa Food Security Emergency (C-SAFE), told IRIN.

"We are making up for the lost time. The process should have started long before the situation got so bad, but we were not on the ground [because of the government ban]. The need in the country currently is overwhelming," he said.

"We have had a situation where communities are doing whatever they can to access food, and that in some instances includes them inflating the number of family members ... we have to go through the figures and rectify where there are anomalies before we can commence the feeding process," Sikhukhula said.

An aid worker, who declined to be named, told IRIN that the exaggeration of family sizes was becoming commonplace, as "people, out of hunger, believe if they inflate the numbers they will get more and they will not starve in future."

The strict processes used to determine need are not readily understood by the beneficiaries, and the wait for food assistance often translates into accusations of favouritism by humanitarian agencies.

"The relief agencies are selective - how did they decide which village to start with, and which people to give the food to? Some people, who are deserving, were removed from the list and were told that they will not get any food," an irate Martha Sibanda, 49, in the Dongamuzi area near Lupane, the provincial capital of Matabeleland North Province, told IRIN.

Relief agencies use a standard procedure for determining who should receive food first: top of the list are households headed by children, the elderly and the chronically ill, followed by single-parent families, households with orphans, and families with a high dependency ratio.

Next in line are beneficiaries that include families with no fixed or temporary income, families with no ownership or custody of assets with a market value that could be exchanged for cash or barter, and those without remittances from national or international sources.

A little is a lot

Raviro Mahara, 46, a single parent of three children in Chirumanzi district, about 120km southeast of Gweru, the Midlands provincial capital, went on a fruitless 100km journey on foot searching for maize. She had left her children with no food, apart from a small stock of the wild fruit known locally as hacha.

"I had been away for four days looking for maize-meal for my three children and myself, but could not get it because where it was available, it was being sold in foreign currency, which I did not have," Mahara told IRIN.

In desperation she submitted her name, with other people from her district, to an NGO operating in the area and after three days was called to a local shopping centre, where staff from the NGO provided each family with 20kg of maize-meal, two litres of cooking oil and 10kg of maize seed.

''It was such a relief. Without that help from the NGO my family would have definitely starved. Considering the size of my family and given that we have to depend on what has been given to us almost exclusively, the food aid is not much, but that little makes a big difference''
"It was such a relief. Without that help from the NGO my family would have definitely starved. Considering the size of my family, and given that we have to depend on what has been given to us almost exclusively, the food aid is not much, but that little makes a big difference," she said.

Without the donation, her final option would have been to slaughter one of her two remaining cows, but it would have left her without draught power for the main farming season, which has already begun.

Rugare Gadaga, 60, who lives in the same area, also received a donation from the NGO. "I just hope this is the beginning of good things to come. For months, officials from the district headquarters have been sending word that we will soon receive food aid from the government, but promises don't drive our hunger away," he told IRIN.

"I wonder why the same government that purports to be disturbed by our plight has been barring the NGOs from distributing food to us, only to reverse that position when some people have starved to death," he said.

Gadaga's son, Samuel, 30, has a job as a supervisor at a Gweru factory. His salary of a few dollars a month, which is continually eroded by the inflation rate of 231 million percent, supports his five children and his father.

"Urban life is now so stressful, and I am struggling to keep my head above the water, fending for my family. After every two weeks I am forced to look for 20kg of maize to send home, and my prayer is that the NGOs continue with their work, for that will lessen my burden," Samuel told IRIN.

Fambai Ngirande, spokesperson for the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations, the NGO umbrella body, told IRIN that the distribution of food "though still coming in small measures, is refreshing".

"People have nowhere to turn to but NGOs because the government, even though it is supposed to play the leading role in ensuring food security for affected communities, is proving to lack capacity or will," he commented.

"It should be remembered that relief operators are overwhelmed, and are constrained by the lack of resources and politically motivated disruptions as the food crisis deepens daily."


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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Police recruit dies after assault while training

November 14, 2008

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - A young female police recruit died at Morris Depot from injuries
sustained after she was allegedly assaulted by her instructor while training
last week.

The circumstances surrounding the death of police recruit Pamela Mudzingwa,
aged 26, (ID No. 03-119025T-03) are as intriguing as the explanation given
by the police to the bereaved family, amid allegations of a clear cover-up.

Mudzingwa died last Thursday during training after she was allegedly
viciously assaulted by her instructor, an Inspector Mawone, at Morris Depot.
The police cited the cause of the deceased's death as low blood sugar level.
It is now alleged that the post-mortem report was falsified. While the post
mortem report prepared by the police says "recruit died of low blood sugar
level," a medical report states that Mudzingwa sustained injuries from the
impact of a blunt object.

Sources within the police informed The Zimbabwe Times that Mudzingwa died
after she was allegedly assaulted by Mawone, who allegedly accused her of
being "sympathetic to the opposition". The Zimbabwe Times has not been able
to obtain independent of official confirmation of these serious allegations.

It is alleged that the assault on Mudzingwa was so vicious that she soiled
her pants before she lapsed into unconsciousness. She was rushed to the
Morris Depot clinic from where she was referred to Parirenyatwa Hospital.
She was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

In the forefront of the alleged cover-up of what could be a case of alleged
murder are Assistant Commissioner Chris Ndebele, the Morris Depot
Commandant, and Chief Superintendent Douglas Marekera, the Deputy

Sources allege that Marekera is openly interfering with investigations, amid
reports he has stopped the Harare Central Police Station's Homicide Section
from instituting murder charges against Mawone.

Marekera claims he has instructions from Deputy Police Commissioner Barbara
Mandizha to quash any investigations into the case. Mandizha is alleged to
be related to Mawone. She was the Morris Depot Commander before she was
catapulted through promotion to the position of Deputy Police Commissioner,
the second highest in the police force. The Deputy Commissioner normally
emerges from the ranks of assistant commissioners with many years of
experience at Police General Headquarters.

Mandizha has allegedly issued instructions that the Mudzingwa case should be
handled internally at Morris Depot. No charges have so far been preferred
against Mawone.

In a bid to pacify the Mudzingwa family, Marekera allegedly led a delegation
to their rural home at Mataga in Mberengwa for the funeral and offered to
bankroll all funeral expenses.

Our police sources said this was highly unusual.

"When a recruit constable dies, the police force usually sends an inspector
or superintendent as the commissioner's representative," said our source.
"In this case the Chief Superintendent attended."

A family member who has confided in The Zimbabwe Times said from the day
their daughter's body was returned to them, the parents and family members,
have harboured grave suspicions about the nature of police investigation
into Pamela's death and the police claim that it was diabetes-related.

"We want justice to be done," he said.

The family member said Pamela had called home regularly from Morris Depot
and had never indicated that she had any health problem.

"She was clearly happy and seemed in very good health both physically and
emotionally," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "Of course she
was complaining like everyone else that there is widespread hunger but we
don't buy this explanation that her death was related to poor health."

He said after they viewed the deceased's body at the burial, family members
had expressed concern at the bruising on her face. The family member said
personally he was puzzled by the discrepancy in the autopsy report on the
cause of death and the medical record referred to on the autopsy.

"Clearly the investigation into the death of our daughter was flawed," he

He added that they had persistently requested documents concerning Pamela's
death from the police but their efforts had been in vain. Gradually,
however, sympathizers in the force had sneaked the documents to them.

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NCA member miscarries while in police custody

Friday, 14 November 2008 06:28

13 November 2008

National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) members have been exposed to
brutal acts of violence at the hands of the Zimbabwe Republic Police after
being arrested for participating in peaceful protest actions on Tuesday. An
NCA Regional Officer has reported that a female detainee, who was three
months pregnant, miscarried after a particularly brutal attack by officers
at Mutare Central Police Station.  Many NCA members remain in police
custody, while others have been released on bail or after being forced to
pay fines.

A female NCA member, name withheld, was three months pregnant when she
was arrested during Tuesday's peaceful demonstration in Mutare.  She was
taken to Mutare Central Police Station, where she was detained along with
eight others.  The NCA Regional Officer for Manicaland has not been granted
access to the woman, but has learned from the other female detainees that
she has suffered a miscarriage.  The women report that they were all
subjected to severe beatings while in policy custody.  They described how
the pregnant woman was kicked in the stomach by police officers wearing
heavy police boots.  A lawyer from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights is
currently trying to gain access to the woman to ascertain her condition and
demand that the police allow her to receive the necessary medical treatment.

All nine Mutare detainees remain in police custody while awaiting an
appearance in court scheduled for tomorrow.  Police officials have not yet
indicated what charges the NCA members may face.

Today in Bulawayo, five NCA members were taken to court and charged
with a violation of Section 37 of the criminal code, which concerns actions
intended to incite violence.  These men were released on bail pending a
court date set for November 27.

Additionally, ten NCA members were today discharged from police
stations in Harare and Gweru after being forced to pay fines.  The fines
were said to be penalties for disorderly conduct or similar behavior.  Many
of the released individuals described beatings at the hands of police
officers.  NCA staff attempting to take food to the Gweru detainees were
themselves detained, and much of the food they delivered was confiscated and
eaten by police officers.

The violence that has been directed at NCA members is deeply shocking
and demonstrates the current government's contempt for democratic principles
and the rule of law.  Moreover, the collaboration of state security agents
and prosecuting authorities in charging peaceful protesters with various
crimes is a clear sign of the degenerating state of affairs.  All those
detained for participating in Tuesday's peaceful demonstrations should be
immediately released and all charges relating to the action should be

The NCA remains committed to a democratic transition founded on the
writing of a new, people-driven constitution.  The continued violence and
injustice directed at NCA members will not deter the organization from
pursuing its campaign for constitutional reform.

NCA Information and Publicity Department
ncapublicity@yahoo.comThis e-mail address is being protected from
spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
(04) 736 338

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ZANU PF in desperate bid to stop ZAPU breaking away

By Lance Guma
14 November

After celebrating the split of the MDC in October 2005, ZANU PF is staring
deep into its own impending split after disgruntled members from ZAPU
announced they were breaking away. The 2 parties came together under a unity
accord in 1987 but since then senior ZAPU members feel their authority and
relevance has been undermined by current political developments. The group
says their members are being sidelined in important decisions and they cite
the manner in which the inter-party talks between the MDC and ZANU PF have
been conducted as an example. Last weekend the leaders of the group declared
the unity accord 'dead and buried.'

Former Home Affairs Minister Dumiso Dabengwa, war veterans' leader Andrew
Ndlovu, Tryphine Nhliziyo the ZANU PF secretary for administration for
Bulawayo Province, and publicity secretary Effort Nkomo among others are
leading the rebellion. In a desperate bid to stop the rebels breaking away,
ZANU PF on Wednesday assigned National Chairman John Nkomo to meet the
disgruntled members. But as our correspondent Lionel Saungweme reports,
Nkomo is a poor choice for mediator and does not command the respect of his
ZAPU colleagues who view him as having completely sold out to ZANU PF.

Saungweme told Newsreel the rebels initially invited Vice President Joseph
Msika to their meeting, not because they wanted him to lead the party as
reported. Instead they wanted Msika, the most senior former ZAPU member to
hear their grievances. A ZAPU statement confirmed that 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.' District councils will prepare and convene a
consultative conference in December in order to mobilise and restructure the
party for a congress by March 2009.

Newsreel also understands the rebels have said ZANU PF does not have the
right to investigate their breaking away from the party. "We are not slaves
to ZANU PF," one member declared, telling our correspondent, 'the 1987 unity
accord was a voluntary arrangement and they have every right to walk out of
it if they felt it was no longer serving its purpose.' Another official
blasted the unity accord as, 'a mere surrender document signed by the late
nationalist Joshua Nkomo.' After years of acrimony between ZAPU and ZANU PF,
Nkomo and Mugabe signed a unity deal that merged the 2 parties into ZANU PF.
Over 20 000 people in the Midlands and Matabeleland provinces were butchered
to death in state sponsored attacks most commonly referred to as the
Gukurahundi Massacres.

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Banks Say They Were Not Told Of Gono's New Regulations

HARARE, November 14 2008 - Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor (RBZ), Dr
Gideon Gono, on Wednesday rushed to his Financial Gazette newspaper and
dished out a statement meant for commercial banks and building societies
instead of giving bank managers, RadioVOP can confirm.

Gono announced a return to Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and
internal transfers to his newspaper before he had given the notice to
commercial bank managers.

There were therefore no internal transfers or RTGS allowed Thursday as
banks professed ignorance about the new notice.

A CFX Bank Limited manager told RadioVOP that they could sanction RTGS
or internal transfers as Gono had not told them.

The Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) president, John Mangudya,
refused to comment saying the issue was sensitive. However he confirmed that
commercial banks had not been given the statement by Gono.

Gono is understood to have a substantial stake in The Financial

Meanwhile investment levels have been increased once again this time
to Zd 200 billion by stock broking firms.

Kingdom Stock brokers (Private) Limited and Renaissance Securities
(Private) Limited on Thursday confirmed that they had hiked investment
rates, which were now expected to go up every month. The stockbrokers said
citizens should buy unit truts, which were much cheaper than investing on
the Zimbabwe stock Exchange (ZSE). Last month the levels stood at Zd 20

ZSE Chief Executive Officer, Emmanuel Munyukwi, said the rates would
be pegged in US dollars soon duue to inflation currently at about 231
million percent in Zimbabwe.

The ZSE is a hive of activity but money is being eroded by inflation
and people cannot get their funds from the bourse as they are only allowed
to withdraw Zd 500 000 daily while corporates get Zd 1 million.

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Anthrax outbreak kills six people in Zimbabwe  2008-11-15 00:40:17

    HARARE, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- At least six people and more than 200
cattle have died in Lupane District in Zimbabwe's western province of
Matabeleland North following an outbreak of anthrax, the daily newspaper The
Chronicle reported on Friday.

    Although Provincial Medical Director for Matabeleland North Irene
Ndiweni could not comment, saying she was attending a conference in Victoria
Falls, sources in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare insisted that six
people have died so far from the disease.

    Some of the villagers who ate the affected meat are reported to be
still undergoing treatment.

    Principal Director in the Department of Veterinary Services Stuart
Hargreaves said he had not yet received a comprehensive report on the
anthrax outbreak.

    Provincial Veterinary Officer in Matabeleland North Dr Polex Moyo
confirmed the outbreak of the disease but said it was now under control.

    "There was an outbreak of anthrax in Dongamuzi last week where a
large number of cattle died. I cannot give you the correct figures now about
the number of the cattle which died since I am not in my office but it was a
large number," said Dr Moyo.

    "We have put the area under quarantine. We have also vaccinated
the area and the situation is coming under control. Villagers should rest
assured that their cattle will be saved."

    Reports emanating from Lupane indicate that many villagers lost
their cattle to the disease.

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Media watchdog slams Zimbabwe's collapsed telecommunications industry

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) A media watchdog on Friday criticised the collapsed
state of Zimbabwe's telecommunications sector following more than a week of
erratic coverage by the country's main service providers.

The sole fixed telephone network run by the state-owned TelOne is in an
appalling state of affairs, with erratic coverage in the urban areas and is
virtually non-existent in the rural areas.

Problems on the fixed telephone network have also negatively affected
Internet traffic in Zimbabwe during the past three weeks.

The three mobile telephone networks - Econet Wireless, Telecel Zimbabwe and
the state-owned Net One - have also failed to cope with the market demand
for their services in Zimbabwe 's hyperinflationary environment.

Econet Wireless published a statement on November 10 withdrawing its
contract line services for clients under one of its payment schemes, a move
which has deprived thousands of Zimbabweans of their right to communicate.

Together with other mobile service providers, Econet Wireless subsequently
raised tariffs by 2,000 percent this week, with the average cost of a text
message rising from approximately 1,000 Zimdollars (about US$2 at the
official exchange rate) to at least 20,000 or US$40.

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) said the collapse of the
telecommunications industry was an impediment on the right of the people of
Zimbabwe to communicate as well as their right to freedom of expression as
guaranteed in Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and People's Rights.

"This right includes the ability and access to usage of tools of
communication such as the Internet, fixed telephones and mobile telephone
networks by ordinary people, as emphasised by the World Summit on
Information Societies held in Tunis, Tunisia, in 2005," MISA said.

  JN/nm/APA 2008-11-14

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A letter from the diaspora

14th November 2008

Dear Friends.
Where to now? That is the question we are all asking ourselves since the
shameful SADC decision to support the status quo in Zimbabwe. This was the
much vaunted 'African solution to African problems'.
I ended last week's Letter with the words, "Dare we hope that this time
common sense, decency and human compassion will prevail?" and now we know
the answer. Hope deferred, it seems. We were told that the fifteen members -
though apparently there were only six of them present - of SADC voted in
favour of a resolution instructing the opposing parties to go home and form
a government of national unity. That, said SADC Secretary Thomaz Salamao was
the decision of SADC and must be respected. As for the disputed Ministry of
Home Affairs, well the two sides must share that Ministry between them. How
that would work, Salamao could not say; indeed he was forced to admit that
not one of the SADC countries had such an arrangement in their own country
but that was the solution proposed for Zimbabwe. That was the 'African
solution' to the human tragedy that has engulfed our country and is spilling
over the borders with refugees flooding into the surrounding countries of
these very states whose leaders are content to ignore the human suffering of
thousands of African people. Once again SADC has demonstrated its total
failure to recognise the democratic will of the people as clearly stated in
the March elections which Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC won. Instead, SADC
chose to placate Mugabe, recognised him as president and even allowed him to
sit in on their deliberations. The MDC delegates obeyed the ruling to leave
the room but Mugabe categorically refused and a gutless Chairman, none other
than the South African President Motlanthe, apparently lacked the moral
authority to compel the old man to leave. Thus Mugabe was present in the
chamber when the ruling was made, daring the SADC members to say one word
against him, no doubt.
Not only have SADC recognised an illegitimate president, they have, by their
failure to act, become complicit in the criminal activity of a government in
'borrowing' donated funds intended to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
The money was diverted says Gideon Gono for 'other national priorities' It's
not hard to see what those 'priorities' were as the Mugabe regime dishes out
bribes to judges and chiefs to continue their craven support for a morally
and financially bankrupt government. SADC turns a blind eye to all this as
they do to the violence inflicted on the opposition. SADC surely know it is
happening but continue on the same path of blind support for a man who has
destroyed his country and allows men women and children to die rather than
give up on iota of his power. Only God can remove him says Mugabe but in the
meantime he will kill, beat, starve and imprison anyone who dares to oppose

MDC meets today to discuss the way forward following this slap in the face
from SADC. I imagine it will be a very stormy meeting. Certainly local
pundits have been vocal with their advice but then words are cheap. Opinions
range from : Let Mugabe get on with it, leave him to hang himself; Pull out
of the Agreement entirely; Fresh elections are the only answer; Go to the AU
and failing that the UN for a solution. No doubt all those views and many
others will be reflected at today's meeting. Zimbabweans are very good at
talking but what is needed now is Action. Looking in from the outside what I
see is the lack of unity even among the democratic forces. Months ago all
the civic organizations vowed they would work together to overthrow the
regime. When one group demonstrated they said they would all be there to
support their brothers and sisters. It has not happened; instead the police
pick off the brave demonstrators - be they WOZA or NCA or ZCTU - like so
many flies and toss them in gaol to rot in the fetid prisons that daily spew
out their dead. It is only by acting together that the civic movements and
the MDC will demonstrate to SADC, the AU and the UN that they are one united
people. Without that unity of purpose, the people will remain rudderless,
like a ship without a captain sailing on an ocean of endless suffering. Only
through solidarity of purpose and unity in action will Zimbabweans free
themselves from the dictator's cruel tyranny. Then hope will be restored. We
can do it.Yes we can!
Yours in the (continuing) struggle PH

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Namibia's Zimbabwe Policy: The Dark Side Of Solidarity

Friday, November 14, 2008 - Web posted at 8:04:51 AM GMT

SINCE the mid-1990s, Namibia emerged as one of the closest allies of
Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF.

The Nujoma government never missed an opportunity to document its
unconditional loyalty to Mugabe.

Despite his official retirement from government politics in 2005, the
Founding Father of the Republic (as Swapo President in office until November
2007) remained actively involved in policy matters and influential in terms
of Namibia's policy to Zimbabwe.

On July 1 2006 Nujoma used a political rally in Outapi in the party's
northern stronghold area to reiterate his unconditional support for Mugabe:
"If the English imperialists make a mistake today to occupy Zimbabwe, I will
instruct Swapo to go fight for the Zimbabweans," he told his audience,
adding, "you touch Zimbabwe, you touch Swapo".

Nujoma's close ties to the Mugabe regime have effectively undermined
any attempt to mark out a more obviously critical or at least more distant

When in mid-2006 Isak Katali, Deputy Minister of Lands and
Resettlement, was quoted by the Zimbabwean media as praising Zimbabwe's fast
track land reform as suitable for Namibia, this was officially downplayed
back home as being quoted out of context.

But Nujoma came publicly to Katali's rescue.

In the same speech quoted above he declared that, "if the people of
Zimbabwe did this, we can do it in the same manner".

But Zimbabweans preferred another option and indicated that they would
actually like to do it differently.

They voted against all odds for the opposition MDC, and the Zanu-PF
lost its parliamentary majority.

The people also chose the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai as next
head of state and gave him more votes than incumbent Mugabe.

Only the latter was not willing to vacate his seat.

Instead, he resorted to even more state terror in a desperate effort
to coerce people into what they did not want.

Since mid-2008 it is obvious that Zimbabwe is governed by an
illegitimate regime.

Following the example set in Kenya earlier on, the new exit option for
those unwilling to give up power is not to accept the defeat and to
negotiate themselves back into a government of national unity.

Sadly enough, several SADC states were willing to play along and give
support to a despot and his securocrats, whose time had actually run out.

Namibia is among those countries which, despite own official
commitment to a democratic political system, have been party to the ongoing

COMRADELY RELATIONS President Mugabe's to Namibia on February 27-28
2007 was declared to be a symbol of the enduring friendship between the two
countries, notwithstanding public protest by some local human rights

Their protest over the massive outbreak of renewed repression of the
political opposition from March 11 2007 onwards resulted in the protesters
being banned from presenting a petition to the Zimbabwean High Commission in
clear violation of constitutionally enshrined rights.

An opposition party motion in the National Assembly to discuss the
Zimbabwean situation was dismissed by the Swapo majority and the Foreign
Minister declared such a debate would amount to interference in the internal
affairs of another country.

In August 2007 the prominent government critic John Makumbe, a scholar
from the University of Zimbabwe, was to give a lecture at the University of
Namibia (which had been planned and announced publicly long before).

But the office of the Vice-Chancellor cancelled the event at short
notice, presumably on the instruction of the former Head of State, who is
the University's Chancellor.

As a result, the lecture was moved to a different venue and drew a
large audience.

The aborting of academic freedom in the wake of this censorship
remained largely a non-issue.

During 2008 Namibia's government policy was an increasingly passive
but nonetheless reliable support factor for the Mugabe regime and its
efforts to remain in power.

None of the violations of human rights and other minimum standards of
governance, including the rigged elections and the refusal to share power in
a meaningful way were commented upon in any uncompromisingly critical
government statements.

Instead, the commander of Namibia's army, General Martin Shali,
visited despite the problematic situation in mid-2008 Zimbabwe for earlier
scheduled official talks with the military.

When this was questioned, the official response justified this as a
routine exchange, which had nothing to do with the current political

CONTINUED SOLIDARITY President Pohamba summarised Namibia's current
official Zimbabwe policy in his response to a journalist in mid-2008.

In his view, Namibia as a SADC member, would adhere to the official
SADC policy.

In the absence of such a policy, Namibia's passivity translates into
continued support for the status quo while refraining officially from the
earlier demonstrative declarations of support to the Mugabe policy.

Such declamatory statements of solidarity are left to individual
political office bearers representing influential views within Swapo.

For the party and its government, Zanu-PF remains the only acceptable
political partner.

High-ranking members of Swapo eagerly voice unconditional support to
the Zanu-PF government.

At a Swapo rally in late August 2008 in Windhoek the Deputy Minister
of Labour, Petrus Ilonga claimed that SADC countries were misled by
Tsvangirai and would need to apologise to Mugabe and Mbeki.

At the same event, the Minister of Lands and Resettlement, Jerry
Ekandjo, claimed that Mugabe was freely and fairly re-elected.

Both political office bearers are prominent representatives of the
Nujoma-inspired camp, which exerts strong influence within Swapo's political

The hard-liners include the leadership in the Youth League, the Elders
Council, the Women's League and the National Union of Namibian Workers.

Meanwhile the government continues to abstain from any public
criticism of Mugabe's policy.

While attending the United Nations General Assembly in late September
2008, President Pohamba reportedly appealed for lifting of all sanctions and
urged the international community to provide financial and humanitarian
assistance to Zimbabwe to ensure the successful implementation of the
power-sharing agreement.

Since then, there have been no critical interventions by Namibia with
regard to the delay of the implementation of the agreement and the impasse
over the distribution of portfolios between the parties.

President Pohamba was among the five SADC Heads of State attending the
extraordinary meeting in Johannesburg on 9 November 2008, which failed to
overcome the stalemate by at least indirectly strengthening the Zanu-PF
claim to maintain a large control over the state's security organs.

There were no indications that the Namibian President has used his
influence to advocate a more conciliatory political option seeking to meet
the expectations of Tsvangirai's MDC.

Neither has Namibia had any official contacts with Tsvangirai.

EVER ONWARD TO SHAME Namibian parties prepare for the next
parliamentary and presidential elections towards the end of 2009.

With the RDP in existence, the unchallenged hegemony of Swapo might be
seriously contested for the first time.

This new constellation absorbs all energy of current policymakers and
party officials in Swapo to regain its two-thirds majority in the next

Zimbabwe is in this perspective largely a domestic affair, and not a
foreign policy issue.

The disappointing result of the SADC meeting in Johannesburg on
November 9 2008 testifies once again to the fact that so far former
liberation movements in Southern Africa, who have obtained political power
in their sovereign states and are in control of the government, remain
foremost loyal to each other and find it difficult to accept any political
alternatives beyond the common bonds.

While most media in Namibia provide an arena for a much more critical
public discourse also on Zimbabwe, Namibian government politics will not

Hidipo Hamutenya, the former Foreign Minister who now heads the
opposition party RDP, has recently articulated more critical views on the
violation of democratic principles and human rights under the Mugabe

This does not enhance the chances that such a view might gain further
ground and ultimate acceptance within Swapo or the government.

The opposite might well be the case: Swapo has announced in October
2008 the establishment of a new party think-tank.

According to the party's Secretary General, the politically reliable
party members appointed to serve in this new institution are among others
tasked to offer advice on Namibia's foreign policy in the spirit of
anti-imperialist solidarity.

Given the implications of this erstwhile noble term as abused in the
more recent context of Southern Africa and in particular Zimbabwe, this does
not bode well for democracy and human rights.

Even though the anti-imperialist struggle for the Independence of
Namibia did once claim that the fight was not least for democracy and human
rights as alternatives to oppression and illegitimate rule against the will
of the majority of the people.

The current translation of the erstwhile slogan "Ever onward to
victory" into the ongoing solidarity with the regime in Zimbabwe seems in
this light to become increasingly a reason for shame.

* Henning Melber is the Executive Director of the Dag Hammarskjoeld
Foundation in Uppsala/Sweden.

He joined Swapo in 1974.

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Reflections after the SADC Summit

November 14, 2008

Constructing a contextualized way forward

By Arthur G O Mutambara


DURING the Extraordinary SADC Summit on the 9th of November 2008, the
regional leaders considered the political and security situation obtaining
in our country. They released a communiqué in which, among other
resolutions, they decided that: (1) the inclusive government be formed
forthwith; (2) the Ministry of Home Affairs be co-managed between ZANU-PF
and MDC-T; (3) the efficacy of the arrangement in (2) be reviewed after 6
months; (4) Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment 19 to give legal effect to
the global political agreement be introduced without delay. There have been
various responses to this SADC ruling on Zimbabwe. The purpose of this
treatise is to contextualize all these healthy debates and try to proffer a
structured and systematic way forward.

The Urgency of Now

At this juncture in the history of our country we should be seeking
solutions that enable us to unite our people. We need to bring supporters of
all the three political parties together. Being Zimbabwean should take
precedence over political affiliation. Our country is going through a
humanitarian, social and political crisis of immense proportions, and our
challenge is to pursue the national interest ahead of personal and partisan
aspirations. The question is; what is it that we should do to unite our
people, and salvage our country?  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 other security ministries, and in pursuit of fairness and equity. Our
position was that MDC-T should be given sole ownership of that ministry. We
clearly and vigorously articulated our position before the SADC leaders in
defence of Morgan Tsvangirai and his Party. We dismissed Robert Mugabe and
ZANU-PF's claim to the ministry as not only baseless, but unreasonable,
frivolous and vexatious. We dismissed the allegations of banditry against
MDC-T with the contempt that they deserved. We fought a good fight against a
greedy and intransigent ZANU-PF regime, but lost at the Summit.

However, it must be emphasized 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. This ruling we sought from the regional leaders was
meant to be binding on all three protagonists. Although there is no legal
instrument to ensure enforcement and compliance of such SADC decisions, the
understanding was that given the eight weeks of dialogue that had taken
place, since the signing of Global Political Agreement, we were going to
SADC for finality and closure. Clearly, from the communiqué, the SADC ruling
was not favourable to both MDC formations. It was particularly devastating
to MDC-T.

As a party, we sought a particular outcome and got a different result. The
Summit decision is not what we wanted. We were disappointed. As we move
forward, the challenge is not whether one likes the SADC decision or not,
but rather how to respond to the negative outcome.  Zimbabwe is still a
member of SADC. We have not left. Until such time that as a nation we leave
SADC we must respect it as one of our regional institutions. We must find a
way of remaining engaged with SADC. We can't disengage. We must clearly
explain and outline our reservations about the ruling, but at the same time
respecting SADC processes and outcomes. This is more so because we, as
Zimbabwean leaders are the ones who went to SADC seeking a ruling. If we had
no faith in the SADC system we should not have gone there with our national
matters in the first place.

The key thing is that all the stakeholders on the Zimbabwean dialogue must
remain engaged. As Africans let us have the capacity to disagree without
being disagreeable. As Zimbabweans let us have the capacity to disagree
without being contemptuous of each other, and without being disrespectful of
each other. We need a new kind of discourse in our country and continent. We
need dispassionate and rational disputation. You can't insult SADC without
insulting yourself as a country and as a Zimbabwean. So, even though the
ruling was unfavorable to us, we must, as a matter of principle, respect and
honor it. Nonetheless, we do not suggest brazen and unimaginative
compliance. We recommend innovative engagement with SADC leading to both
adherence to the ruling and resolution of our reservations about the same.

Restating the Purpose of the Inclusive Government

In the discussions about the allocation of cabinet positions leading to the
establishment of an inclusive government, we seem to be 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. The winners of
a free and fair poll will then form a proper government. What we seek to
establish is an imperfect institution, a means to an end. We are not trying
to form a government which will run Zimbabwe forever. We are not trying to
form a perfect government, the alpha and omega of governance. We seek to
create an imperfect institution which will create conditions in Zimbabwe
that will allow free and fair elections. We intend to do this by resolving
the humanitarian crisis in our country in particular the health and food
situation, carrying out national healing, and recovering and stabilizing our
economy. More importantly this transitional government has a mandate to
develop and adopt a new people driven constitution. Most of our problems
leading to unfair and undemocratic elections are a result of a dysfunctional

We should spend more time discussing the core business, agenda and strategy
of this government and not bicker over cabinet positions. What is important
is setting up a multi-party policy task force to harmonize the positions of
the three political parties on this work to be executed by the new
government. If we were to disagree in such debates, that will be honorable
and respectable disputation. While we solidly support Tsvangirai in his
efforts to get the Ministry of Home Affairs, we are not prepared to destroy
Zimbabwe because he has not gotten that ministry. We are saying let us set
up this imperfect government and carry out the activities outlined above.
Thereafter, we can go to fresh polls. The sooner we do this the better. At
this time our country and people are not election ready. What we have done
is that since the 15th of September we have lost nine weeks of preparing for
elections. We have lost nine weeks of making Zimbabwe ready for free and
fair elections. We have lost nine weeks of goodwill and enthusiasm among our
people. We have gone back to destructive politics of name calling and
insults.  Most significantly, in the past nine weeks lives have been lost,
through disease, starvation and acute economic decay. Parirenyatwa and
Harare hospitals have now been effectively closed down. Businesses have
either collapsed, operate at dismal capacities or are shut down. We have had
nine weeks of destroying lives and businesses 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. He is
not worth it. Not a single Zimbabwean life should be lost in the MDC-T
ascendancy to power. We are sure our brother Tsvangirai and MDC-T agree with
us on these observations. If they do not we are happy to vehemently disagree
with them. There is no political leader or political party in our country
that is worth dying for. We are saying as Zimbabweans let us close ranks and
work together to save our country. This is the imperative need we face as a
country. This is our definition of the urgency of now. It is an opportunity
we have to lay the foundations of a better and lasting democracy and to
repair the economic fundamentals of our country. So, we are appealing to the
Zimbabwean in Mugabe, and we are appealing to the Zimbabwean in Tsvangirai,
to put national interest before personal interest.

Only a Tripartite Arrangement Will Work

The inclusive government that SADC endorsed, by definition, must involve all
three political players. There is no scope in the implementation of the SADC
decision for President Mugabe to form a solo or unilateral government. The
communiqué speaks about immediately putting in place mechanisms to process
and adopt Constitutional Amendment No19 in the Parliament of Zimbabwe. This
will then give legal effect to the Global Political Agreement, thus
providing legal standing for the inclusive government. For the amendment to
pass, it requires two-thirds majority and that can only be achieved by the
three political parties working together. There is absolutely no scope for
President Mugabe to form a unilateral government. As a Party, we hereby make
an unequivocal declaration; we will not be involved in any Mugabe government
that excludes our colleagues in MDC-T. In the national interest and as a
matter of principle, decency and integrity we say no to any such
arrangement. We are not interested in any unilateral Mugabe government. The
only way we can unite and heal all our people is by involving all three
political parties in government. Furthermore, it is neither practical nor
technically possible to work with ZANU-PF while excluding our colleagues.
Enacting amendment 19 requires two thirds majority which the three parties
can only achieve if they work together.

Any functional arrangement has to include both MDC-T and ZANU-PF.
Tsvangirai has to be party of any mathematics that produces the two-third
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. We are also
leaning on Mugabe and pressurizing him to be magnanimous, and behave like a
Statesman. He should not be gloating over the SADC ruling. He must reach out
to Tsvangirai, and await further guidance from SADC. There is no government
that can be formed in Zimbabwe without both Tsvangirai and Mugabe. They need
each other. Our role as a Party is to keep these Zimbabwean leaders and
their followers engaged with each other. This is national interest time. We
are caught up in between the proverbial rock and hard place. Any brazen
behaviour on the part of Mugabe will be totally unproductive and will drive
the country into further chaos. Mugabe and Tsvangirai must find each other.
Tsvangirai must be strategic and clearly take cognizance of the limited
options that he has. Both political leaders must desist from toying around
with unproductive and destructive shenanigans. They must put national
interest ahead of their narrow partisan aspirations.

The Alternatives are too Ghastly to Contemplate

It is our humble submission that there is absolutely no alternative to the
Global Political Agreement of 15th September 2008. This is as good as it
gets. The sooner we consummate this arrangement the better for our entire
country. One misleading theory and misconception that has been advanced by
misguided and un-intelligent Western analysts and Governments is that; "Just
stay out of this inclusive government and give Mugabe six months, his regime
will collapse. Mugabe will be brought to his knees by the economy and then
MDC-T can walk into power." This is clearly unimaginative and uninformed
analysis. We want to respectfully disabuse our colleagues in MDC-T of this
false consciousness and distortion of reality. There is no regime in Africa
that has collapsed because of economic problems alone. This regime of Robert
Mugabe will not collapse because of the economy. This has never happened
anyway. Yes more Zimbabweans will die, as they are already dying in droves,
but the regime will not collapse. 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 complimentary revolutionary activities without any
support among the 15 SADC countries and their organizations? Are Zimbabweans
ready to get into the streets and fight? We hope that these un-intelligent
Western analysts and Governments will improve their thinking and analytical
capacity. In any case, in our situation should it be necessary to kill for
political office? Why should we walk into power over dead bodies of our
people? Do we learn anything from the Obama experience?

Of course, we are not recommending an armed response, nor do we think it is
desirable at this point in time, given the history of our country and the
nature of our dispute.  We are saying even if you were to engage in an armed
struggle, how do you do it without a regional base, without support in the
region. You cannot launch your armed struggle from New York and London. You
do it from the region. We seek to emphasize the foolishness of going against
15 Heads of State. Let us learn the importance of the region and regional
leaders from history. In 1979 when Mugabe and Nkomo where at Lancaster House
and they didn't like the agreement they pulled out and decided to go back to
the bush. It was Presidents Nyerere, Kaunda and Machel who instructed them
to 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 Mr Tsvangirai today? Mugabe and Nkomo disagreed with the
regional leaders but realized they could not survive without those regional
players. In the same spirit we are saying we don't like the SADC decision,
but we should show respect to the African leaders and continue working with
them. MDC-T must understand that it is not enough to have American and
British backing without regional support.

We have read remarks by President Khama before the SADC summit, where he was
proffering an internationally supervised Presidential poll as a solution to
our crisis. This proposal has been repeated in many circles. First and
foremost, as we have already explained, the people and the country are not
election-ready. Under what law do you call for a fresh presidential
election? Who is going to call the election? How can we even talk about
international supervision of elections, if SADC cannot even force Mugabe to
handover Home Affairs to Tsvangirai? Who is going to force Mugabe to bring
international supervisors to monitor our elections? If we are to have
elections today, they will be under the June 27 2008 conditions. More
importantly the only legally possible elections will be harmonized ones,
that is, Presidential, Senatorial and Parliamentary elections. The current
Parliament and Senate would have to be dissolved prematurely. These
elections will then be conducted under brutal and unjust conditions of June
27, where there will be neither international supervision nor freeness and

More significantly, these polls will be under the current dysfunctional
constitution. It doesn't take too much imagination to guess who will win in
such a plebiscite. So why impose such a futile exercise on our country? The
gains that the opposition made in both the Senate and House of Assembly will
be totally reversed. The Presidential election will again go to ZANU-PF. All
these outcomes will happen not because ZANU-PF is popular, but because we
will be operating under unjust conditions and a flawed constitution. A new
election is a non-starter. We wish people like President Khama would talk to
us before they proffer unimaginative and impractical solutions on our
country. The only way to prepare for elections is to go into this imperfect
government and prepare our people for elections by doing the things we have
outlined above. This Global Political Agreement is as good as it gets. It is
the best short-term answer that will allow us to extricate our country from
its current morass. We are saying that our options are very limited as three
political leaders, Mugabe included. Pragmatism and flexibility demands that
we as opposition leaders go into this flawed government and prepare our
people for an election that we can win.

The Key Ministry Misnomer

It is important that we deconstruct the nature of the dispute that led us to
SADC. As political leaders in Zimbabwe we are victims of a seriously flawed
characterization and ill-conceived importance of ministries. By using a
dysfunctional and meaningless framework to inform the allocation of
ministries, we have set ourselves for failure. The notion of a key ministry
is a huge misnomer. Every ministry is important. Why is Home Affairs a key
ministry while Education and Health Ministries are not? Why is Defence a key
ministry when Economic Planning, Water and Public Works are not? The
definition of a key ministry is very subjective. Education can be more
important in terms of dealing with the people's lives than home affairs.
There is a school in every village, there is a school in every ward and as a
political party if you are in charge of education you can positively
influence the lives of more Zimbabweans. 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.

While we all agree that there must be equity and fairness, it must be stated
up front that the whole exercise of sharing ministries and distributing key
ministries is a subjective exercise. In fact to fight over ministries is a
misguided exercise because we are seeking to construct one inclusive
government, not two or three governments. We seek to establish, one
government with one cabinet, not a fragmented 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 - just Ministers for the people of
Zimbabwe. No Minister will take instructions from ZANU-PF or MDC
headquarters. The executive authority will reside in the one cabinet. Our
problem is that the three political parties are very low on trust and
respect for each other. We must build trust and respect for each other.

With respect to the contentious Ministry of Home Affairs, both MDC-T and
ZANU-PF's obsession with it is misplaced and unwarranted. The Minster of
Home Affairs is just a figure head. The ministry is run by a Permanent
Secretary who is the ministry's chief accounting officer, a Police
Commissioner who reports to the President and the Police Act. Cabinet has
overall executive authority over the ministry. It is instructive to note
that it was during Joshua Nkomo's tenure as Home Affairs Minister that the
onslaught against his Party, ZAPU, was instigated. Dumiso Dabengwa was a
hapless Minister with insignificant influence. The same applies to John
Nkomo and Kembo Mohadi. This means Mugabe can give up on the ministry
without jeopardizing his interests, while Tsvangirai can possess the
ministry without being able to use it to pursue any of his aspirations.
Thus, both political leaders can do without the Ministry of Home Affairs.
What each of them gain by possessing the ministry is just propaganda value
that they can use to placate their constituencies. It is a shame that we are
destroying our country over a dispute that is ostensibly driven by form and
not substance at all.

The Envisaged Way Forward

There are two things we need to emphasize 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. We can't go to the African Union
without SADC. We can't go to the UN without SADC. Any further appeal has to
involve SADC. 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. The AU will ask President Kikwete, the
chairman of the AU, to report on the SADC outcome. We don't actually expect
a different outcome from the AU even if we are able to get there. It is
important to clearly understand that the SADC decision was by consensus,
which means both Presidents Kikwete and Khama have to vigorously defend it.
Both personal and institutional integrity means that not a single SADC
leader can criticize or operate outside this SADC ruling. Furthermore, there
will be no moral basis for anyone to discuss Zimbabwe at the UN without SADC
or AU involvement and support.

The US and the UK cannot even begin to bring Zimbabwe to the UN systems
without the support of these two African institutions. Any way forward will
have to start with SADC. We need to reengage SADC and raise all our concerns
with them while not undermining SADC processes in general and the ruling on
Zimbabwe specifically. The challenge is how do we strategically respond to
this bad outcome in an effective and sustainable manner? As an opposition
party in Zimbabwe you cannot go to war with 15 Heads of State, and expect to
win. This SADC consensus decision is a ruling the ANC leadership has to
defend because their President was chairing that meeting. You can't
disrespect the SADC's summit and its recommendations without insulting Zuma
(ANC), Vavi (Cosatu), and Blade Nzimande (SACP). Now if you lose all these
potential allies, in addition to all the 15 regional leaders, how much
traction can you achieve? We need to apply our minds and be strategic. Even
the Western governments, in particular the American and British, if they
have any modicum of intelligence and strategic thinking, will realize that
they cannot afford to be rubbishing a regional institution like SADC , going
to war with 15 Heads of State, and setting onto a collision path with the
continental body- the AU. If they were to do this, these Western governments
will be ineffective and destroy their own economic and strategic interests
in the region and continent. We are clear that they are driven by their
permanent interests and they will not sacrifice their aspirations in the
entire continent just to please Mr Tsvangirai. We have to be smart in our
analysis. There has to be a way of discussing the Zimbabwean crisis without
being un-strategic and hence ineffective.

An effective way forward for our country requires both creativity and
imagination in the implementation of the SADC ruling. It is important that
all the four aspects of the ruling are attended to simultaneously. We must
seek to satisfy all four aspects of the SADC prescription. The starting
point is to immediately stop President Mugabe from unilaterally forming a
government. This was not the SADC recommendation. We should try to address
all MDC-T concerns in the process of implementing the SADC communiqué. 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 amendment must be
gazetted by next Tuesday. 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 PM designate and DPM 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 gazetting of the legal instruments,
a public pronouncement must be jointly made by the three principals, with
the assistance of SADC, outlining the timelines and processes which the new
government will use to discuss the outstanding issues of Governors,
Permanent Secretaries and Ambassadors. This should be an unequivocal
statement. 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 of
the same. The dispute around the Ministry of Home Affairs can be addressed
by using the 6 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 6 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 6 months we can have a make or break
SADC Summit review of the entire inclusive government.


The future of our country is in our hands as Zimbabweans. The divisions we
are experiencing are too trivial for us to allow the country to
disintegrate. The nature of our dispute and the content of our disagreements
do not warrant nor justify national self-destruction. There is more that
unite us than that which divide us. It is time to heal and unite our people
and nation. If we fail future generations will not blame SADC, but us as
Zimbabwean leaders. Pursuit of the national interest, political tolerance,
inclusivity, and mutual trust and respect, will guide us towards the answer
to our national challenges. If we keep hope alive, we shall overcome. This
is time for statesmanship and stateswomanship.

(Prof Arthur Mutambara is the president of a faction of the Movement for
Democratic Change.)

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Zimbabwe: Lamentations of dying people

Friday, 14 November 2008 17:03 Peter Nyoni News

By Gibson Nyambayo (opinion)

Today the whole nation is in a seizure; the whole country is in fits of
anguish, desperation, misery and utter despair. This day Zimbabweans from
all walks of life are shaken by the convulsions of a dying economy, a
disintegrating moral and social fabric. Today the nation is in desolation.

Zimbabweans today sing one song, a song penned by burdened hearts, a hymn
that tells of desperation. The masses have endured a lot for long hoping for
a respite. A respite that is proving all but precariously elusive. They
waited for that day when persecution, hunger, diseases and unnatural deaths
will be history. A day that will signal the new beginning, a new
dispensation, a new life, a new dream, a hope for all, a day that will
change their lives. The day is not coming; we are facing death before it is
with us. Can anyone hear us?

Our reservoirs of hope and dream are dry. Dry, very dry after years of false
hope and daydreaming. Today only streams of agony tears flow endlessly among
us. Our challenges have become a curse of the century, a thing one who will
never envy even in hell. This day after the hullabaloo about the talks,
there is no more talks. The deal that brought the zeal amongst us is all but
dead. The light that we all thought we saw at the end of the talks tunnel is
all but no more. There is no more hope.

The house that we all built with pride and love is now a ramshackle. Today
our beautiful past and nation that we used to enjoy is way unimaginable, its
like we migrated to another planet. A planet that is ruled by madmen, where
mad laws are the order of the day. A dangerous planet where elections don't
mean anything more than a time to beat, maim, rape or kill your brother for
his choice. A planet where leaders care for themselves and family, where
human rights are not sacred, where a person's life is equivalent to that of
a disease carrying cockroach.

In our country everyone has become a prisoner of a manmade tragedy. Our
lives are today are nothing but a sign of our rulers power. They have the
power and discretion to terminate our lives at will. Today the country is in
ruins. The whole nation is fast turning into a cemetery, everywhere you go,
fresh graves greet you as people die en masse. Dying of hunger and treatable
diseases while leaders haggle, dine, wine and gloat about cabinet posts.
Today Zimbabwe is a nation in exile. Today many have been forced tout of the
country, running away from the madmen, fleeing away from hunger and
diseases. A land that all envied is no more. The land that was once a beacon
of hope is now in ashes. The breadbasket nation is but all a horrible basket
case. Today Zimbabwe is no more; at least the country that we used to know
and love is dead. It's painful.

Our country today is suffering from calamitous leadership deficiencies.
Leaders; at one moment we revered as God given. Today mass migration by a
country not at war bears the hallmarks of a failed state. Today we rue our
choices of yester year. Today Zimbabwean should look at itself for
salvation. We at one time looked at the west for the sanctions and isolation
but the regime is still with us, we then looked upwards for divine answers
and intervention but alas we are still waiting, we then focused South for
diplomacy and we got quiet diplomacy from Mbeki a man whose denialism and
aloofness is the major factor to the catastrophe we are in today.

Today tears run down my cheeks if I think of all the problems below.

Collapse of the Education Sector

There is no more education to talk about in Zimbabwe. The state of the
sector resembles that of a war torn state, a state where guns substitute
pens. Education is now a pale shadow of its former self in the early
nineties and early eighties, a time when the whole world had some good words
about it. A time when it was an envy of many in the region. The time that we
reached the highest literacy levels in the continent paralleled only by

Today nobody cares that our children are spending the day at home or in town
selling BACOSSI airtime. Nobody cares a dime that the teachers that used to
impart knowledge to our children have all crossed the borders to take up
menial jobs in neighboring countries. No one feels embarrassed that our
teachers with all their academic achievements are being employed by people
who cant even spell their names, some who are practicing sangomas! It's not
an issue to those masquerading as our government that our children are fast
losing their future. It does not dawn on them that claim to be our chosen
leaders that our children will be vagrants if this situation is not dealt
with immediately.

Today Mugabe and his man stand watching us horror stricken, as the nation is
slowly turns into a banana republic. A state that will increase their
returns in looting and hemorrhagic corruption. Their drunken policies over
the years decimated and disintegrated the once promising nation. Today
Zimbabwe is far off worse than Rhodesia during the war and sanctions era; at
least people had food and teachers in most schools. Today there is no food,
no clothes, no drugs, no electricity, no freedom, no teachers, no education,
today there is nothing. Today there is ZANU PF and its messengers of death.
There is nothing left anymore.

This year we all were amazed to see headman and militias supervising exams.
Surely we have watched our country going to the dogs. It beats me to imagine
how and why anyone normal can sanction an illiterate drunk to supervise an
exam. It boggles the mind to think that a person who dropped or was not
willing to attend school during his time can suddenly appreciate it to the
extend of being trusted to supervise an exam! It frightens me to think where
we might end up soon. I hope this is the furthest we have allowed to be
taken for a ride concerning our education and other sectors.

Today virtually every school has shut its doors. Today no pupil is receiving
education. This time every pupil can write off this year as an academic
year. Our children will remember this year as a year when we their parents
ignored their futures, a year that we all took part to ruin their tomorrow,
a year we all stood and watched Mugabe and his madmen crush their ambitions.
We will cover our faces in humiliation and cry our hearts out but it will be
too little too late. Lamentations of a dying people.

Health and Sanitation

The ongoing Cholera epidemic in Harare bears the hallmarks of a failed or
crippled health and sanitation sector. Today Zimbabwe is in an acute and
unprecedented manpower and drug shortages. Today all big and small hospitals
have closed officially or unofficially. Today the closure of hospitals has
condemned Zimbabweans to the cemetery, people dying from simple treatable

Years of neglect, corruption, looting and utter misadministration has put
the health sector where it is now. Rampant contempt and utter disrespect of
medical practitioners rights, wishes and demands all but forced them to
search for greener pastures. Today the sector is reeling under severe
manpower deficiencies. We all watched when the regime went at length to
pauperize the medical personnel. We are now paying dearly for that grave
mistake. For only a dead man can offend a medicine man.

Today the water in Harare is no longer a life giving basic but a disease
bearing threat. The water that we cant live without has turned into a
life-sucking monster, a vampire killing anyone who dares ingest. That is our
water in Harare, a water that is no longer coming from tapes but shallow
sewage infested pools. The water reticulation system is all but overwhelmed
or collapsed as a result of disrepair and neglect. The system can no longer
cope with the rise in population, it was not meant the high population now
in town. Since it was inherited from the Smith government nothing has been
done to uplift it to match demand. The ministers have took turns to loot the
funds meant for the refurbishment of the water works. Today we bear the cost
as our relatives children die as a result of that. Today everybody faces
cholera death.

With all Hospitals closed or not functional any emergence case will result
in a death. All pregnant women have 50-50 chances with death. A simple
disease or ailment is no longer such but a death sentence. Those carrying
the HIV are having the worst of moments as the few ARV's that are available
are beyond a normal person's reach. A nation that has a failed or collapsed
health and sanitation system is all but near a dead state. I don't know but
these are just lamentations of a dying person. Dying while our leaders dine
and wine in hotels quarrelling over who should take what for his powers. By
the time they come back to their senses very few will be there to see them,
we all will be dead.

From an Economy to a Zhanuconomy

There is no more economy to talk about. Years of unparalleled greedy,
embezzlement, corruption, neglect, plutocracy, abuse and mass looting left
the economy in this dead state. Hemorrhagic hyperinflation fuelled by
chronic policy flip-flops, economic indiscipline and reactive and
unprecedented populist government expenditures has all but condemned the
once vibrant and diversified economy into a coma. We are now surviving in a
zhanuconomy where unheard off economic policies are the order of the day.
This is a type of an economy where those in power determine the prices of
commodities, an economy where market forces mean nothing.

The levels of economic collapse are only expected of a country at war, where
everyone everywhere is carrying a gun! The economy has shrunk to levels of a
small American town. Ours is an economy under siege from its leaders who are
ready to see it die. The economy is a victim of several African dictatorship
diseases, those ailments that come from porous management systems,
non-existent accountability parameters.

Today the economy has been dollarised. Very few people are getting the
dollars in salary or wage. I wonder how people will survive. The owners of
the USD shops are the same people that made our Dollar tissue paper. Today
they charge prices that can scare even the worst devil.

The economy is grappling on its knees as a result of erratic supplies of
power and water. The environment prevailing under the zhanuconomy does no
support production but dealings and quick money. An economy that does not
produce or produce very little will continue to find it difficult to survive
to see another day. There is no more economy to talk about. Its only
lamentations my friends.

Agriculture or Zhanuculture

I will not bother myself writing anything about this area. I will only take
this opportunity to ask a few questions. Right, what do we call a nation
where every minister, his wife, children and girlfriends own commercial

Which is prudent to buy a tractor and thousand tonne of maize seed than to
buy thousands of tractors and a pack of seed for the whole nation?

When do you plan for an agricultural season, when rains start falling or
after harvest? Forgive me it was only lamentations of a dying man.

Gibson Nyambayo can be contacted on

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Hot Seat interview : Heated discussion on the outcome of the SADC meeting with MDC leader Arthur Mutambara

SW Radio Africa

Broadcast 14 November 2008

Violet Gonda's guest on this week's Hot Seat programme is Professor Arthur
Mutambara, one of leaders in the inter party talks, who gives us his
position on the status of the power-sharing deal. The MDC leader describes
the other MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai as "foolish" and "un-strategic" by
not accepting the recent SADC recommendations. Mutambara goes on to tell
those critics who are calling him a spoiler 'to go hang.'

(click on links below or copy and paste to web browser to listen to audio


OR for MAC users:


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Coping with the Zeros, a Scientific approach

Here is a little suggestion you can put on your website concerning coping with the Zeros in Zimbabwe.


In the scientific and Mathematical fields there is what is known as the Standard or Scientific notation.


Examples follow


346,000,000,000,000,000.00 (Three hundred and forty six quadrillion) surely to write this figure on the check amount is getting tedious if not impossible. This number can however be written as 3.46 X 1017

Which is quite easy to write. More examples maybe applicable


346,000,000,000,000,000.00 = 346 X 1015  => 346 quadrillion

500,000.00 = 5 X 105  => 5 Quadrillion

1,000,000.00 = 1 X 106   => 1 Million.


This idea can be quite useful considering the rate at which the zeros are progressing.


For a quintillion it will be something like 1 X 1018 . This I am sure Zimbabweans can easily cope with.



Thanks for putting this on your web



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