By Lance Guma
14 November 2011
There is growing evidence that two factions within ZANU PF are uniting in
their attempts to try to remove the party’s 87 year old leader, Robert
Mugabe. Reports say Mugabe has been alerted to an internal plot to force him
to step down at ZANU PF’s December congress in Bulawayo. His loyalists
retaliated by announcing that the congress will now be a conference and
there will be no elections.
It’s being reported that Mugabe initially wanted to use the congress to get
rid of senior officials who were recently exposed by WikiLeaks as having
leaked ZANU PF secrets to US diplomats stationed at the embassy in Harare.
However Mugabe was forced into a u-turn when he realised it was actually him
who would be the casualty, as rival factions united to oust him.
The main problem is Mugabe’s health, and with Vice President John Nkomo
clearly unwell and very frail, ZANU PF is aware their main candidate cannot
sustain the rigours of a full election campaign. Mugabe has been to the Far
East more than 8 times this year to seek medical treatment.
On Friday he left for what is being billed as a week-long state visit to
China with his wife, Grace. It’s being reported that Mugabe will use the
trip to attend his daughter, Bona’s graduation in Hong Kong. Bona has been
studying at the City University and is said to be graduating with a BBA
(Hons) in Accountancy. But given Mugabe’s well documented, but closely
guarded battle with prostate cancer, it’s likely he will also see his
doctors in Singapore during the trip.
In October, political analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya told SW Radio Africa that
Mugabe’s health was a serious election issue for ZANU PF. “People will doubt
him on the basis that how can someone who is always in hospital be an
election candidate. So it has dire consequences for Mugabe’s candidacy.
Mugabe is already unpopular, will not win an election and this (health) will
just worsen his candidature.”
“In 2012 Mugabe will be 88. Surely before Mugabe says anything about what he
has to offer or what he doesn’t have to offer, his age and his face are an
election issue. He is no longer appealing to the people and his age is not
an age where people can invest their future in an 88 year old, who is always
in and out of hospital,” Ruhanya said.
by Own Corespondent Monday 14 November 2011
HARARE – Zimbabwe’s political parties will be barred from showing their
strength or popularity in a violent manner, while supporters will be banned
from carrying weapons to public rallies or marches under a proposed new code
The code sponsored by the ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe, the MDC
of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and the breakaway MDC faction of
Industry Minister Welshman Ncube also requires the parties to publicly call
for tolerance while denouncing political violence.
The political pact -- the first one of its kind under which Zimbabwe’ ever
squabbling parties will undertake to act to end violence -- comes amid
rising tensions and increasing clashes between supporters of the parties
ahead of elections expected next year.
"The leader of a party that has subscribed to this code will instruct the
party's officials, candidates, members and supporters that no weapon of any
kind, including any traditional weapon, may be brought to any political
rally, meeting, march or other demonstration," the code says.
"A party that has subscribed to this code will not engage in or permit any
kind of violent activity to demonstrate party strength or to prove
supremacy," it adds.
The code drafted by the country’s Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation
and Integration has been sent to the political parties who will make further
suggestions to be included in a final document that will govern the conduct
and behaviour of all participants during the upcoming elections.
Under the code, inter-party committees will be set up at national,
provincial and district levels to deal with political violence, while
national peace and reconciliation council will be established to resolve
No date for elections has been set. But both Mugabe and Tsvangirai have said
the country would go to polls once a new constitution still under drafting
is adopted. Drafting of the new governance charter is expected to be
complete by early next year.
The new constitution is seen as a further bulwark against political violence
that has marked the country’s elections since the 1999 emergency of the MDC
as potent electoral threat to Mugabe and his ZANU PF party.
But the increasing cases of political violence largely blamed on Mugabe’s
supporters -- including youth militia, veterans of the country’s 1970s
independence war and the military – have raised fears that the next polls
could yet again be marred by violence even with a new constitution and code
of conduct in place. -- ZimOnline
Harare, November 14, 2011 - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s formation of
the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) has asked the Southern African
Development Community (SADC), the guarantor of the power-sharing pact in
Zimbabwe, to urgently intervene in what the party views as the deteriorating
political crisis in Harare.
In a letter dispatched on Monday to SADC leaders, among them South African
President Jacob Zuma, the regional grouping’s appointed mediator in the
Zimbabwe crisis, the MDC-T said the political and
security situation was deteriorating at an alarming and scaring pace and
“the MDC calls on Sadc to intervene to ensure the GPA does not collapse.”
The lengthy letter follows incidents of political violence which rocked
Harare and Chitungwiza in the past two weeks.
Noting that it was now 32 months after the consummation of the inclusive
government, Tsvangirai’s party said despite the economic gains made thus
far, the political situation still remained precarious
with the potential of degenerating into anarchy.
It listed issues the party considered to be detrimental to the functionality
of the Inclusive Government as well as political and economic stability in
Zimbabwe and specifically mentions state sponsored and sanctioned political
“Violence and intimidation are the biggest challenge to a free political
environment in Zimbabwe. Since the formation of the Inclusive Government,
the cycle of political violence has not been broken and politically
motivated, State sponsored and sanctioned violence has not stopped ,” reads
part of his letter in possession of the Radio VOP.
Eyewitness News | 6 Hour(s) Ago
President Robert Mugabe is meeting with jewellers in Hong Kong as part of
his official visit to the region.
The Zimbabwean leader is looking for Chinese buyers for the country’s
controversial Chiadzwa diamonds, which have been cleared for export by the
According to state media, he is also keen to find investors to mine Zimbabwe’s
gold, tantalite, platinum and lithium.
At least two Chinese firms are already mining diamonds in Chiadzwa.
Mugabe is also scheduled to visit his daughter Bona, a graduate at City
University in Hong Kong.
By Alex Bell
14 November 2011
Diamond mining giant De Beers has indicated that it will not be selling
stones mined at the controversial Chiadzwa alluvial fields in Zimbabwe,
because of their ‘low quality’.
Stephen Lussier, the CEO of the high quality diamond side of De Beers,
Forevermark, said at the launch of the brand in South Africa last week the
diamonds are generally too small and low in quality for the brand to sell.
Lussier made no direct reference to concerns about the human rights
standards of the mines, but said that Forevermark “carries a guarantee that
the diamonds used for our products have contributed positively to
communities, the environment and supply chains along the way.”
“In a diversifying and maturing industry, consumers seek more from their
luxury purchases. Not only do they demand value for money, but there is
increasing interest in the source of their purchase and the journey it has
travelled. Forevermark offers customers a promise of responsible sourcing,
paired with rarity and beauty. Less than 1% of the world’s diamonds are
eligible to be branded Forevermark,” he said.
De Beers for many years held an exploratory licence at Chiadzwa, but in 2006
claimed it had found nothing meaningful in terms of high quality diamonds.
Earlier this year the Zim government reportedly launched an investigation
into De Beer’s activities during its explorations, accusing the group of
pilfering large quantities of diamonds.
Chiadzwa diamonds were meanwhile earlier this month given the green light to
be put on sale, after almost two years of debate by members of the
international trade watchdog, the Kimberley Process (KP). KP members in 2009
fell short of banning Zimbabwe from diamond trade, despite evidence of
murder and other abuses at Chiadzwa. Instead, the group gave Zimbabwe time
to fall in line with minimum trade standards.
This included removing the military from the highly militarised diamond
zone, ending human rights violations, and putting a stop to rampant
smuggling. According to human rights groups and media reports, none of this
has happened. But the KP, in an apparent effort to save face in the diamond
industry, more than a week ago cleared Zimbabwe to resume exporting.
The decision has been slammed by civil society for appearing to sideline the
critical issues of human rights and smuggling, which Zimbabwe’s Mines
Minister Obert Mpofu has since admitted is still rife. Meanwhile, some
diamond groups have already indicated they will not take part in Zimbabwe’s
trade. The US based Rapnet diamond trade network has warned its members not
to purchase the diamonds, saying in a trade alert that “diamonds from these
sources have been involved in human rights abuses.”
By Alex Bell
14 November 2011
Hundreds of Zimbabweans over the weekend added their voices to calls for
justice for the Gukurahundi genocide, during the launch of a new lobby group
in South Africa.
The group, the Gukurahundi Genocide Victims for Justice (GGV4J), was
launched on Saturday at the Hillbrow Recreation Centre in Johannesburg.
Hundreds of Zimbabwean exiles gathered to support the group, which aims to
lobby for the trial of perpetrators of the Gukurahundi massacres, and the
exhumation and reburial of the victims’ remains.
Speaking at the GGV4J launch the organisation’s chairperson, Magugu Khumalo,
said the group would campaign for delivery of justice for the estimated
20,000 victims in the 1980s, which was only last year officially classified
“How can Gukurahundi be a closed chapter when the blood of our dead
relatives is still boiling, when the bones of our relatives are lying
everywhere without proper burial?” Khumalo said.
Khumalo continued by saying that the GGV4J would campaign for the reburial
of the victims and pursue litigation against the perpetrators of the
“We need to have those who died reburied; we need to bury our dear departed
according to our own customs. We need to identify and engage with the
survivors of Gukurahundi. There are a lot among us even here now. We are
going to set up a platform where these survivors will come upfront and tell
their stories to the whole world,” she said.
The calls for justice come as civil society is being urged to push the
debate for Transitional Justice in Zimbabwe, which analysts say is not being
prioritised by the government. A recent report on Transitional Justice by
the Zim Human Rights NGO forum found that a significant portion of society
has experience violence, with almost complete impunity on the side of the
Independent political analyst Leon Hartwell told SW Radio Africa that “the
biggest mistake that Zimbabweans can make is to assume that an election,
even if it is free and fair, will solve all your problems.” He said at this
juncture, it was important to prioritise the transitional justice debate and
work on how to move that process forward, calling it vital for the country’s
“If you don’t link these processes of election and justice, it will be
difficult to imagine that Zimbabwe will experience long-term stability,”
He added: “It is important for civil society to push the transitional
debate. You can anticipate resistance and don’t expect to please everyone on
what the final product will look like.”
Bulawayo, November 14, 2011-Bulawayo city councillors have blocked Zanu-PF’s
bid to use free of charge the council’s facilities at the Zimbabwe
International Trade Fair (ZITF) during the party’s conference in December.
The party wanted to use the Bulawayo City council‘s pavilion at the trade
fair grounds without the consent of the local authority, the city’s deputy
mayor confirmed to Radio VOP.
“Zanu-PF wanted to use our property at their conference without following
formal procedures. Council treats every organisation and individuals as
equal .If the party want to use our facilities they should follow the proper
procedures,” said the city’s deputy mayor Amen Mpofu.
Mpofu said Zanu-PF had negotiated with the ZITF Company for the premises
instead of directly engaging the council over the issue.
“That pavilion is not owned by ZITF Company. It is owned by the council and
we do not know why Zanu-PF is negotiating with a second party,” he said.
Zanu-PF scheduled to hold its congress from 6 to 10 December in the city has
also announced its intention to use the facilities of some government
colleges and schools in the city to accommodate its delegates without paying
anything to the institutions.
The former ruling party has also been using the public transporter, Zimbabwe
United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) to transport its supporters to political
rallies and conferences without paying anything as well.
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) has also attacked Zanu-PF’s
intended plan to use state resources without paying for them.
“It is wrong for Zanu-PF to try to use public facilities without paying
anything. In April we held our congress in the city and we were denied
accommodation at most government institutions in the city despite the fact
that we wanted to pay for the services. We ended up hiring private
companies,” said Tabitha Khumalo, the MDC –T deputy national spokesperson.
By Chengtai Zvauya and Nkululeko Sibanda
Monday, 14 November 2011 13:34
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HARARE - President Robert Mugabe and his strategists are turning back on
plans to make the December Zanu PF conference an elective congress after
rival factions united to hijack the event to pressure the increasingly
unpopular 87-year-old to stand down before the next election.
Mugabe surprised many within his party when he declared that this year’s
Zanu PF annual conference would effectively be turned into an extra-ordinary
congress as he had effectively already won endorsement to be the party’s
It is only at congresses that Zanu PF gets a chance to change its
leadership. Party sources said Mugabe had planned to use the December
meeting as an opportunity to get back at top leaders, including his deputy
Joice Mujuru, implicated in having told American diplomats Zanu PF secrets.
The Zanu PF constitution only allows for top leadership changes at a
congress held every five years, except when an extra-ordinary congress is
Mugabe and his strategists had hoped to replace those exposed as privately
opposed to his rule with loyalists ahead of watershed elections
by turning the December conference into an extra-ordinary congress, sources
Internal sources told the Daily News last week that Mugabe had realised the
plot was thickening, forcing a somersault. The conference, the party now
says, will not be turned into an elective body as earlier pushed by Mugabe
and his strategists.
Party spokesman Rugare Gumbo confirmed this position to the Daily News on
“I am aware that we are having a conference and not a congress,” said Gumbo.
“Unless things change later on I will stick by what I know, which is that
the conference will be a conference and not a congress,” Gumbo said.
Mugabe has in the past confirmed that he lost the March 2008 presidential
first round vote to rival Tsvangirai because some of his senior lieutenants
publicly supported him but privately campaigning against him.
This resulted in the veteran politician getting fewer votes than his
Parliamentary and local council candidates in some areas.
“This is an election that presents his last chance to overturn that historic
stain of losing an election. And he knows he is unlikely to win if he goes
into battle with a team of double faced running mates,” said a source,
adding that rival factions were more likely to compromise on a unified
candidate other than Mugabe “than ever before”.
The humiliating 2008 betrayal remains fresh in Mugabe’s mind, evidenced by
how he recalled the treachery during an inter-party anti-violence indaba on
But he has also been alerted to how the tables have turned as rivals quickly
hijacked Mugabe’s December strategy to plot Mugabe’s ouster in a project
aimed at reviving the party.
This will not be the first time Zanu PF top officials have planned to oust
All such efforts, such as the one planned ahead of the party’s 2006 congress
in Goromonzi, have in the past failed because none has mustered enough
courage to carry it through in the face of bullying by Mugabe loyalists.
Sources said members of rival factions had this time vowed to execute the
Mugabe retirement project given his age and failing health.
Exposures by his top aides that Mugabe is in ill-health and unlikely to
effectively tackle the rigours of an election campaign have in recent months
been buttressed by the former guerrilla leader’s frequent visits to Asia,
particularly Singapore where his doctors are based.
Top aides told US diplomats that Mugabe was battling cancer but had ignored
advice by doctors to rest.
The confidential conversations became public after whistle-blower website
WikiLeaks published US diplomatic cables.
Many of Mugabe’s close party officials and government ministers who publicly
swear by his name, held secret conversations with US diplomats leaking
sensitive information about his health and how he had become unpopular in
the party. The Zanu PF sell-outs also plotted ways of ousting Mugabe with
the help of the Americans.
One of the cables states that Mugabe was in 2008 spotted at Gleneagles
Hospital, a private medical facility in Singapore.
The cable claims a US citizen confirmed that Mugabe had seen an oncologist
based at Gleneagles Hospital, a 272-bed private institution in the Asian
Mugabe has been to Singapore no less than half a dozen times since last
December. During one of the visits Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba said
the trip to Asia was for an eye operation review as well as checking in on
the president’s daughter Bona, who is studying there.
Yet senior party members eager to see his back remain unconvinced.
“People believe he has to rest now. There is a lot of disgruntlement amongst
party members over other members of the presidium as well whom we feel
should be changed if the conference is turned into a conference,” said a
party member with knowledge on the goings on in the party.
“Nkomo (Vice president John) is frail. Why do we have to punish him by
keeping him in office? Now is the time to rest both of them. It will be
suicidal to go into an election with the two most senior leaders suffering
By Pindai Dube
Monday, 14 November 2011 13:43
BULAWAYO - Welshman Ncube the leader of the smaller faction of MDC said he
will not form a coalition party with mainstream MDC adding that some
journalists are only writing stories praising Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai as if he is God.
Addressing 500 of his supporters at Nketa Hall in Nketa high density suburb
yesterday an angry Ncube said the smaller MDC was not formed to support
“Some journalists especially those from the Daily News Harvest House take
Tsvangirai as a God; they do not want to write about bad things he is doing.
“Recently he wrote a book full of lies, but they do not want to talk about
Some of these journalists ran away from this country and are now
broadcasting from Washington but they behave the same as ZBC.
Again you can go on and cartoon us as many times as you want but we do not
care,” said Ncube.
Tsvangirai recently published his book “At the Deep End” and in one of the
revelations claimed that the MDC split was caused by former South African
President Thabo Mbeki in collaboration with Ncube.
Ncube said he is not looking for a coalition partner in the Tsvangirai-led
MDC saying his party will remain an independent entity.
“You hear journalists writing that what I said undermines the possibility of
a coalition. Please understand that Tsvangirai and his party are not our
allies just as much Zanu PF is not our ally.
“We are not looking for allies but we are looking for the support of the
people of Zimbabwe,” he said.
He challenged Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe for a live debate on
television on party policies just before next elections saying that he will
show them how brilliant he and his party are.
Tsvangirai and Ncube launched the united MDC together in 1999 with the
former becoming the president while the latter became the secretary-general
of the party.
Following its formation, the MDC had proved to be the most serious
challenger to Mugabe’s uninterrupted rule since independence in 1980.
However, there was an acrimonious split in 2005 over strategy and
participation in senate elections.
By Tichaona Sibanda
14 November 2011
Julius Malema was found guilty of provoking divisions within the ruling ANC
party and of bringing the organization into disrepute on Thursday last week.
The national disciplinary committee suspended him from all office and
membership of either the ANC or Youth League for the next five years.
But the close links he had with Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF also caused
‘turbulence’ at Luthuli House, the headquarters of the ANC.
Our sources in Johannesburg told us relations between Malema and high
ranking officials of the ANC turned very sour when it was discovered he was
allegedly being funded by ZANU PF to undermine President Jacob Zuma’s
mediation efforts in Zimbabwe.
The ANC also accused ZANU PF of using Malema to try to topple Zuma, amid
allegations the youth leader was being given Marange diamond funds to
confuse Pretoria, the ANC and South Africans in general, in their
interactions with Zimbabwe.
Malema allegedly made no secret of this when he confided in a few ‘friends’
that he was out to get Zuma with the help of ZANU PF. Unknown to him, the
top leadership of the ANC got wind of this and dispatched a high level
delegation to Harare to confront ZANU PF.
That five-member delegation in September was led by Secretary-General, Gwede
Mantashe who accused ZANU PF of sponsoring and influencing Malema. It is
believed Mantashe told ZANU PF that the South African government security
agencies were aware that Malema was being trained and funded by Zimbabwe’s
state intelligence officials and receiving direct advice from senior ZANU PF
Mantashe held separate meetings with then acting President John Nkomo, Vice
President Joice Mujuru, Secretary for Administration Didymus Mutasa and
party Chairman Simon Khaya Moyo.
‘It is difficult to say whether Malema was an idiot, a fool, or a lunatic.
Otherwise who in his right mind would confide in fellow colleagues that he
was in the process of getting rid of Zuma using cash from Zimbabwe,’ one
On Saturday the beleaguered Malema also openly told a meeting of the Youth
League that he was going to ask Mugabe for money to fund the League’s
The daily Sowetan newspaper said league members who attended the National
Executive Council meeting on Saturday confirmed that Malema complained that
the Youth League’s programmes were not well funded and he accused the office
of treasurer-general Pule Mabe of not doing its work.
South African based political analyst Munjodzi Mutandiri told SW Radio
Africa that Malema’s close links with certain figures in ZANU PF alarmed and
deeply concerned the ANC. Malema had visited Zimbabwe in April this year
where he received a heroes welcome from ZANU PF supporters.
‘It has been an open secret that since his visit to Zimbabwe, Malema became
very radical to a point where he declared his intention to dethrone Zuma
from the ANC leadership.
‘It was obvious to the ANC he had been radicalised in Zimbabwe because that
is when he started his rhetoric to nationalise land and mining companies.
This also alarmed investors, and the die was cast that his days in the ANC
were numbered,’ Mutandiri said.
By Lance Guma
14 November 2011
The saga surrounding the mysterious death of retired army General Solomon
Mujuru deepened over the weekend, after his 69 year old elder brother Joel
Tazviwinga Mujuru told a local paper that the family suspect he was
murdered. Mujuru died in a farmhouse fire in Beatrice, this year in August.
Speaking to NewsDay from Goromonzi, Joel said all indications were that
Mujuru was murdered and “he vowed to leave no stone unturned in unravelling
the mystery behind the death.” Joel said they would also pursue ‘traditional
practice consultations’ to establish what happened to Mujuru.
“Solomon was unable to go back to his vehicle where he left his phone,
groceries and documents. It was not possible for him to leave his phone in
the vehicle and go to sleep,” the elder Mujuru told NewsDay.
“Secondly, I did not hear that the car keys were found. Solomon could have
escaped through the window if it was a genuine fire. Where he died and where
his bedroom was there was some distance.”
He added: “Solomon could have been burnt on the bed, not where he was found
dead. The fire was coming from the other side going to his bedroom, but
Solomon died where the fire was coming from. All this gives me unanswered
questions,” he said.
Joel Mujuru said the family had suspicions surrounding the handling of
Mujuru’s body. “For us to be satisfied as a family that this was Solomon, we
were supposed to identify him while he was still at the spot. But I found
Solomon removed. Can that satisfy me that this was Solomon? Who had
identified him? I very much suspect foul play, (but) God knows,” he said.
The story took an even more dramatic turn as it was reported that Joel was
denied entry into the official residence of Vice President Joice Mujuru in
Harare. Joel told NewsDay he was “pushed out by a rifle butt as he tried to
gain entry into the family’s Chisipite house.” He was also told he would
“disappear” if he continued following up on circumstances that led to his
Joel said he went to the house to ask Joice Mujuru if she had seen the
police report on the investigations into her husband’s death. Police have
kept the report under wraps and instead announced that they had forwarded it
to the courts for an inquest to be conducted.
“On October 4, I was chased from (the) house by security. I wanted to
discuss with the VP as a ‘wife’, but I was told that there is a list of
people allowed entry and I was not one of those allowed. One officer came
out and pushed me with a rifle butt,” Joel said.
A Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) agent at the gate, identified only
as Zambuko, told him: “You old man, you and your entire family will
disappear if you continue coming here”. Joel told NewsDay he was sure the
Vice President was aware he was being chased from the gate because “her
daughter was the one who came to the gate and told him he was no longer
wanted at the house.”
“Before Solomon died I used to frequent his house. I had my own bedroom with
my own set of keys. Whenever I went there I did not need to ask where to
sleep,” he said. “I do not know what has happened now to the extent of being
warned by Zambuko that I will disappear because of my brother’s death.”
Rather curious is the fact that Joice Mujuru is reported to have never
spoken to Joel since the death of Mujuru. Not only has the Vice President
not responded to his phone calls but even her children are refusing to talk
to him. There was a suggestion the VP might be angry at Joel for speaking to
NewsDay, but then that would not explain the cold shoulder given to him
since Mujuru’s death in August.
Karoi, November 14, 2011 - Aspiring soldiers are being asked to go through
rigorous vetting by Hurungwe war veterans as Zanu-PF steps up efforts to get
rid of "sell outs and unpatriotic youths in the army".
This comes amid revelations that army is due to recruit junior officers at
Magunje's 2:3 Infantry Battalion this week.
"We are submitting our certificates including birth, Ordinary level even
Grade Seven and a recommendation letter from Zanu-PF local leadership from
our wards " said one youth speaking on condition that he is not named.
Radio VOP reporter visited Karoi town and wittnessed hoardes of the
youngsters clutching files that were to be submitted at Hurungwe District
War Veterans offices within Zanu -PF offices in the small farming town at
Some were coming from rural areas around Hurungwe and other farms
surrounding the town.
Sources said the war veterans will submit the names to recruiting officers
at Magunje battallion situated about 35 kilometers west of Karoi away.
It is alleged youth officers from Ministry of Youth Development,
Indigenisation and Empowerment whose employment is questionable are also
assisting in the vetting process.
The army workforce is depleted due to resignations, ill health of some but
it is considered a security issue to expose. It was not immediately known
how many soldiers will be recruited although some sources say "the army is
in massive recruitment drive as it will not do so for the next five years .
The target age is from 18 to 22 years although there will be few exceptions
. There was no immediate reaction from the army at the time of writing .
by Staff Reporter
A MINISTER was ordered out of the business class of an Air Zimbabwe flight
to make way for President Robert Mugabe’s aides.
Water Resources Minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo (MDC-T) cut short his sleep to
catch the 6.30AM flight from Harare to Bulawayo last Thursday – but he and
dozens of other passengers were made to wait until 9AM when Mugabe turned up
with his typically large entourage.
“Air Zimbabwe officials said they were sorry that I had been downgraded from
business class to economy because the President was travelling to Bulawayo,”
Nkomo told NewsDay on Monday.
Air Zimbabwe’s B737 has 12 seats for business class – 11 of those were
grabbed by Mugabe’s aides and bodyguards.
Nkomo blasted: “I am the President’s minister, appointed by him and I see no
reason why I was downgraded to economy class.”
Air Zimbabwe chairman Jonathan Kadzura said Nkomo had been moved over
because Mugabe was “more senior”.
The 87-year-old leader was on his way to Bulawayo for the National
University of Science and Technology graduation ceremony where he capped
By Ignatius Banda
PLUMTREE, Zimbabwe, Nov 14, 2011 (IPS) - Collecting the monthly
subscriptions for her co-operative has always been a headache for Thelma
Nare, 41. This is because Nare lives in Tshitshi, Plumtree in rural
Zimbabwe, about 60 kilometres away from the humdrum of the nearest town
centre where banks are located.
"We meet after a long time as here in the rural areas our homesteads can be
very far from each other. So members of our club do not meet or contribute
regularly," Nare said.
In fact, the women in the co-operative do not have a bank account. Until
recently, Nare and the other co-operative members had to physically be
present to make their monthly contributions.
But now, these "unsophisticated" rural women find themselves at the centre
of efforts by mobile phone service providers to introduce mobile phone money
transfers in Zimbabwe.
Those without bank accounts, like Nare and her co-operative, can now send
and receive cash via their mobile phones.
The system is fairly simple. A user registers for mobile phone banking with
their service provider and is given a mobile "e-wallet" - an application on
their sim card that is linked to their phone number.
When the user wants to pay for services or transfer money to someone they
simply have to go to an agent and pay the desired amount, which is loaded
onto the "e-wallet". The payment is made and the recipient can withdraw the
money from an agent. There are various agents affiliated with the mobile
service providers across the country, making the service easily accessible
to those in rural areas.
It is a convenient system that no longer limits the women’s movements. Nare
and the women in her co-operative make regular trips to Bulawayo to sell
produce, like Mopani worms. This means that they miss paying their monthly
And as with many co-operatives, or money clubs as they are called here,
defaulters are not particularly valued. But these women would have not been
able to cope with the country’s failing economy if it had not been for the
For the women in Nare’s money club, belonging to the co-operative is what
cushioned them during the tumultuous years of empty shop shelves in
Zimbabwe. In the mid-2000s the country experienced hyperinflation and nearly
94 percent of the country was unemployed.
It was on a recent trip to Bulawayo, some 100 kilometres from Tshitshi, that
Nare discovered mobile cash transfers.
Mobile network giant Econet Wireless, which has five million subscribers,
introduced the service in September and was quickly followed by its
competitors, the government-owned NetOne and Telecel.
These service providers have affiliated agents throughout the country, which
include the Zimbabwe Post Office, supermarkets and stores where people like
Nare can access their funds.
"I was in the city and was told about the use of mobile phones to transfer
money. When I told the other women in my money club, it seemed to be the
answer to our problems," she said.
The model is borrowed from Kenya’s pioneering M-Pesa, which has experienced
phenomenal growth from 20,000 users at its launch in 2007 to an estimated 14
million this year.
Girlie Moyo, 40, another member of Nare’s money club said that in the past
the women had to gather under a tree to make physical contributions. Now,
the convenience of the mobile transfers means "we can co-ordinate our
contributions without concerns about distance."
"Sometimes even if you have the money you will have no clue how to get it to
the club members because our co-operative does not have a bank account like
some in the city," she said.
While money transfer services sprouted across the country in the aftermath
of the mass exodus of Zimbabweans to work across the world, the "bureaux de
change" remained in the cities. So those in the rural areas were forced to
rely upon undependable and expensive cross-border transporters who demand up
to 20 percent of the total amount being sent.
Mobile banking seems to be the best solution for rural Zimbabweans, as a
report released on Nov. 9 by the Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA)
found that Africa has the fastest growing mobile phone market in the world
and is the world's second-largest mobile market by connections, after
Asia.′The GSMA report predicts that there will be more than 735 million
subscribers in Africa by the end of 2012.
In Zimbabwe, it is expected that with the majority of the country’s
population living in the rural areas, mobile phone money transfers will
likely meet with the same success as seen in Kenya. The GSMA report noted
that Kenya was the leader in mobile phone money transfers.
According to Econet Wireless, by 2015 mobile money transfers in Africa will
reach 200 billion dollars.
"These are services which people, especially rural women, have always
wanted," said Viola Matongerere, an economist and gender and development
"Zimbabwe is one of many developing countries where the efforts of rural
women to improve their livelihoods has been thwarted by little things which
men have ready access to, like bank accounts for example.
"I think for women, these mobile phone-based services provide opportunities
for the realisation of financial autonomy as they can now easily move their
money without relying on anyone," Matongerere said.
Money transfer agents affiliated with the country’s service providers are
already reporting huge interest in the initiative as the government of
Zimbabwe continues its promotion of paperless banking transactions.
"What has been great so far since the introduction of the service is the
amount of cash that is moving to rural areas," said Stewart Manyora, who
works with the Zimbabwe Post Office.
"We have not registered much business of our own lately, yet we can already
see that the mobile phone money transfers are making a difference," Manyora
However, service providers are yet to release figures on the amount of money
that has been transferred since the introduction of the service.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development report titled the
Information Economy Report 2011 stated that there remain huge hindrances for
women entrepreneurship, and this has been particularly worse for rural-based
The report noted that there are an absence of programmes and initiatives
that promote the use of ICTs to assist women. Mobile phone banking is being
touted by development agencies as a starting point towards empowering rural
"Even when we get money from husbands’ working in Botswana and South Africa,
it has been a problem sending this money to our children who are attending
school away from the village," Moyo said.
"The fact that we can organise ourselves as women in our co-operative
through our phones is what matters," she said.
Monday, 14 November 2011
Wilstaf Sitemere, the MDC Masvingo provincial chairperson was today arrested by police on allegations that he teamed up with a group of MDC youths and assaulted seven residents of Morningside on 4 November. He was detained for over five hours at Rujeko Police Station before being released in the afternoon and will appear in court tomorrow.
The police are claiming that seven residents who include Nyasha Mazorodze and six other unidentified women were assaulted by MDC youths who were following orders from Sitemere.
Meanwhile, Hon. Tongai Matutu, the MP for Masvingo Urban has urged the youths to maintain discipline and integrity ahead of the forthcoming elections and said the MDC is ready to complete the struggle for democracy and bring real change to Zimbabwe through the ballot box. Hon. Matutu made the call at a youth forum held at Building Brigade, Mucheke, on Saturday. The event was attended by hundreds of youths from Masvingo Town.
Hon. Matutu is the Deputy Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment.
“We are in the twilight zone of the struggle and we are ready for the elections and the youth must engage in serious mobilisation because we must win the next plebiscite and that is very critical,” said Hon. Matutu.
“For us to win, the youth must be able to sell party policies to the people. Above all we need a disciplined and dignified Youth Assembly. All youths must register to vote and that is the way we can protect our vote,” he said. Hon. Matutu castigated Zanu PF terror squads, particularly Chipangano, for causing mayhem in the country adding that violence should not be tolerated among MDC youths.
“Zanu PF thugs are causing mayhem in the country but as the MDC, we should not tolerate violence as we believe a free and fair election is the only way forward. We must shun violence and bickering. Let us do away with the spirit of infighting. We should not thrive on cheap political grandstanding and we are very serious on the need to stop violence. You must reflect cohesion and discipline .We don’t need confusion, bitterness and internecine fighting,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hon. Josiah Rimbi the Senator for Chipinge in Manicaland province has encouraged the people to maintain peace and register to vote in preparations for the next elections as it was the only way to bring about a new Zimbabwe with jobs and food. Hon. Rimbi made the remarks on Saturday while addressing hundreds of party supporters gathered for an MDC Real Change Peace Rally at Mutovhoti Business Centre in Chibuwe, Musikavanhu.
“If we stay committed to peace and justice, another world is possible. One based on human needs not corporate greed, on people not profits, on justice not power. Let us all go and register to vote so that we add our voice as every vote counts. This is the only peaceful way to bring about the Zimbabwe want, Zimbabwe with food, jobs, security and freedom,” he said.
The people’s struggle for real change: Let’s finish it!!
MDC Information & Publicity Department
“The Zimbabwe National Ballet Centre was destroyed
on Sunday 30th October after the roof caved in leaving the building unsafe and
unusable. The Dance Trust of Zimbabwe announced that the collapse of the centre,
which was built 35 years ago and has housed and trained the national dancing
community for decades, is a national disaster and throws doubt over the future
of dance in Zimbabwe. All dancers, teachers, parents and friends of dance were
devastated by the news as it leaked out. Fortunately the centre was not in use
at the time and there were no casualties.
The National Ballet centre, situated on East Road, Harare
(behind Reps Theatre) has staged many shows over the years including its annual
dance festival Starlight Dancing. It is also registered as a Royal Academy of
Dance (RAD) examination centre and its facilities are used daily by many of
Zimbabwe’s top dance studios and dancers including the Tumbuka Contemporary
Dance Company, The Dance Foundation Course, The Outreach Project and the
National Ballet dancers themselves.
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND:
The National Ballet was formed approximately fifty years ago by teachers and lovers of ballet. It was, and still is, run by a committee of volunteers. The name "National Ballet" was chosen because, at that time, it was possible for the company to tour nation wide. The National Ballet was registered as a Welfare Organization in 1978. The original members of the National Ballet were dancers, teachers or persons, who were interested in furthering the cause and course of ballet in Zimbabwe. Affiliated to the National Ballet were "The Friends of the Ballet", who assisted to raise a large proportion of the funds required to buy the land and build the Centre.
ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE NATIONAL BALLET:
to the benefit of some of the pupils of the Dance Training Courses
Chairman of The Dance Trust of Zimbabwe, Tereza Carter, said that "Rebuilding the National Ballet Centre is critical to ensure that all gains over the past 35 years are not jeopardised. Dance in Zimbabwe must continue and it is important that the National Ballet Centre remains the hub of that national project.”
We are appealing to well wishers, friends of Dance and the
Corporate World to assist in our appeal for funds to rebuild the National Ballet
Centre. Donations to the fund no matter how small would be most sincerely
Please feel free to contact The Dance Trust Of Zimbabwe on
Gary Jenkins on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the DTZ websitehttp://dancetrustofzimbabwe.com
The account for donations is as follows:
Bank : Stanbic
Branch : Belgravia
Branch Code : 3103
Account Number : 0240090176202
Account Name : Dance Trust Of Zimbabwe
Swift Code : SB1CZWHXXXX
Reference : Gary Jenkins Fund Raising Initiative
This account is solely for donations towards the disaster