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Zim inflation eases to 4.2%

by Tobias Manyuchi     Wednesday 16 November 2011

HARARE -- Zimbabwe’s annual inflation rate eased to 4.2 percent in October
down from 4.3 percent recorded the previous month, the Zimbabwe National
Statistical Agency (ZIMSTATS) has said.

During the period under review, month-on-month inflation also eased to 0.1%
shedding 0.7 percentage points on the September rate.

Inflation, which Finance Minister Tendai Biti forecasts to end 2011 on 4.5
percent year-on-year, has been on a general downward trend since the unity
government of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe
took office in February 2009.

The decision by the administration to dump the Zimbabwe dollar for a basket
of foreign currencies helped douse hyperinflation to allow the economy to
grow by 4.5 percent in 2009, the first time it had expanded in a decade.

Biti has predicted the economy to grow 9.3 percent this year, while slowing
down to between 7.8 and 9 percent in 2012.

However there are renewed fears that the economic gains could be reversed if
elections expected next year, which Mugabe and Tsvangirai say are needed to
end their uneasy coalition, degenerate into violence and lawlessness.

Zimbabwe’s elections have always been marked by violence since independence
in 1980 and there are fears any political instability would knock the
economy again.

There are also fears a controversial economic empowerment programme being
pushed by Mugabe could scare foreign investors whose cash the economy needs
to grow.

Under the empowerment regulations, foreign-owned firms are required to cede
significant stake to local blacks by 2015 and those failing to comply risk
losing their operating licenses.

Large multinational corporations such as cigarette manufacturer BAT
Zimbabwe, which is 80 percent British-owned; UK-controlled financial
institutions Barclays Bank and Standard Chartered Bank, food group Nestlé
Zimbabwe and mining giants Zimplats are some of the big foreign-owned firms
targeted under the empowerment programme. – ZimOnline.

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Fresh Abduction Fears For Mukoko

Harare, November 16, 2011--- An unidentified man on Tuesday stalked
prominent human rights campaigner Jestina Mukoko in central Harare raising
fears of surveillance on the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) director who was a
victim of abduction three years ago.

Human rights group, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights on Tuesday disclosed
that an unidentified man, who was driving a Black Rhino double-cab vehicle
trailed Mukoko who was exercising her right to
freedom of movement around greater Harare city.

ZLHR said while it was not able to ascertain the identity of the
unidentified man in the Black Rhino, such cars are known to be owned by, or
linked to, state security agents .

ZLHR said similar acts of surveillance targeting human rights defenders in
the past have culminated in serious life-threatening security incidents such
as abduction and enforced disappearance, and that Mukoko was also a victim
of such surveillance that ended up in her being disappeared on 3 December

The influential human rights organisation, which represented Mukoko when she
was abducted by state security agents in 2008 for allegedly plotting to
unseat President Robert Mugabe’s administration in 2008, deplored the
surveillance of Mukoko which the organisation said amounts to scare tactics
aimed at silencing the human rights campaigner from carrying out their
legitimate activities in Zimbabwe.

“ZLHR condemns these renewed attacks on Human Rights Defenders (HRDs)
especially with the anticipation of elections in the near future. ZLHR is
also greatly concerned given the upsurge in cases of violence that have been
witnessed in the last few weeks in Harare as well as other parts of the
country,” said ZLHR in a statement.

ZLHR implored the government to respect the work of human rights defenders
in the advancement of human rights promotion and protection in Zimbabwe.

“ZLHR urges the government of Zimbabwe to forthwith take concrete measures
to ensure that the security of HRDs is protected at all times in Zimbabwe by
fully implementing the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human
Rights Defenders,” said ZLHR.

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Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority Says No End to Blackouts in Sight

15 November 2011

Zesa increased tariffs by 31 percent in September and recent reports said it
was planning another increase of 47 percent on top of that

Jonga Kandemiiri

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority warned this week that consumers
and businesses should must brace for more load-shedding over the next three
to four years as it faces major challenges including massive financial debt
and vandalism.

Appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Energy, Zesa Chief Executive
Officer Josh Chifamba said Monday that vandalism alone is costing the
utility around $800,000 a month while increased scarcity of power in the
region is contributing to load-shedding.

Zesa increased tariffs by 31 percent in September and recent reports said it
was planning another increase of 47 percent on top of that. Projects to
bolster production at Kariba and Hwange won’t deliver results until 2015 and
2016, respectively.

The Kariba plant is hydro-electric. Hwange is coal-fired.

Energy Committee Chairman Simbaneuta Mudarikwa of ZANU-PF told reporter
Jonga Kandemiiri that the only way Zesa could properly serve the country
would be if the government assumed its debts.

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China urges Zimbabwe's Mugabe to expand economic ties

BEIJING | Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:58am EST

Nov 16 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe won praise on
Wednesday as a great African figure and "old friend" of Beijing,
underscoring China's commitment to boosting business ties to a leader
shunned by Western governments.

China's Vice President Xi Jinping told Mugabe, 87, that China wants to
expand farming, mining and infrastructure projects in Zimbabwe, where a
campaign to transfer ownership of land and mines to locals has caused
widespread economic hardship and deterred Western foreign investment.

Xi, likely to succeed Hu Jintao as China's president from early 2013, voiced
no such criticisms, according to an account of his meeting by the Chinese
Foreign Ministry (

"His excellency the president is a famed leader of the national liberation
movement in Africa, and also an old friend whom the Chinese people know
well," said Xi, whose name is pronounced "Shee".

"China is willing to join hands with Zimbabwe, enhance friendly exchanges,
and expand practical cooperation," he added.

The report did not say whether the two leaders reached any commercial

Shunned by the West, Mugabe has increasingly sought help elsewhere,
especially in China, whose companies covet the mineral resources of the
southern African country.

Zimbabwe has demanded that most foreign mining companies in Zimbabwe
surrender 51 percent of their local equity to blacks in the country.

But Zimbabwe has excluded Chinese mining firms from the demand, sending a
signal to foreign miners that if they do not agree to the demands, they
could lose their prospecting rights to Chinese competitors.

In March, China signed nearly $700 million in loan deals with Zimbabwe, and
urged the government to protect Chinese firms from nationalisation plans.

China's investments have been growing steadily in Zimbabwe and include
diamond and chrome mining, platinum concessions, road construction, cotton
and tobacco companies as well as a cement manufacturing plant.

In the first nine months of this year, trade between China and Zimbabwe grew
to $717.3 million in value, a rise of 62.2 percent on the same period last
year, according to Chinese customs statistics.

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Chinese to invest US$700 million in Zimbabwe mineral processing

Harare, Zimbabwe --- MININGREVIEW.COM --- 16 November 2011 - As the Chinese
appetite for natural resources continues to grow, the Zimbabwe Government
has secured deals worth over US$700 million with various Chinese investors
who are interested in the extracting and processing of minerals in Zimbabwe.

In an interview with New Ziana after his trip to China, mines and mining
development permanent secretary Prince Mupazviriho said his delegation had
been overwhelmed by the enquiries from investors willing to invest in the
mining sector.

“We signed transactions estimated at between US$700 million and US$750
million with investors eager to do mineral extraction and beneficiation,” he
said, adding that Zimbabwe's vast mineral wealth could help invigorate the
fragile economy.

He did not, however, divulge in which minerals the investors’ interest lay.

Mupazviriho added that the Chinese investors were also keen to extract
alluvial diamonds in Zimbabwe, following the decision by the Kimberley
Process and Certification Scheme (KP) to allow the Southern African country
to market its gems without restrictions.

Chinese investment in the mining sector of Zimbabwe is largely focused on
extraction of chrome and alluvial diamonds.

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Standard journalists bailed after spending night in cells

By Tichaona Sibanda
16 November 2011

Two Zimbabwe Standard journalists, arrested in Harare on Tuesday and charged
with theft, unlawful entry and criminal defamation, have been bailed after
spending a night in police cells.

Nevanji Madanhire the editor of the weekly paper, and reporter Nqaba
Matshazi, appeared before Harare magistrate Sandra Mupindu on Wednesday and
were granted US$100 bail each. Madanhire and Matshazi were asked to
surrender their passports. Their next court appearance is 20th December for

The two scribes were arrested over a story Matshazi wrote on 6th November
that claimed a new health insurance firm, Green Card Medical Society, was on
the brink of collapse. The story claimed that the company’s expenditure
outstripped its income.

Matshazi’s article was based on leaked documents, which the company founder
Munyaradzi Kereke claims were stolen from his offices to cast his firm in
bad light.

Kareke, through state prosecutor Tapiwa Kazema, had applied to the court to
ban the Standard newspaper from covering any stories relating to his
company. This request was however shot down by the magistrate.

SW Radio Africa is reliably informed that Kereke, who is Reserve Bank
Governor Gideon Gono’s advisor, is also a major sponsor of the journalists
awards run by the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists. It is believed Kereke has
strong links to ZANU PF and wields so much power that at times he gives
instructions to state security services.

Our Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa told us Green Card Medical Society
has in the last two years sponsored the National Journalistic and Media
Awards (NJAMA).

‘There are journalists right now who are calling for ZUJ to cut its ties
with Kereke because of his attempts to muzzle press freedom in Zimbabwe,’
Muchemwa said.

On Wednesday, the MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai condemned what
it called the ‘irrational arrests’ of the two Standard journalists.

In a statement the MDC said they are concerned by the behaviour of the
police in treating and arresting Madanhire and Matshazi as if they were
common criminals.

‘As a party we condemn the arrests as they are clear instructions of a ZANU
PF hawk who wants to target and silence independent journalists for exposing
his underworld operations,’ the statement said.

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Code of Conduct ‘not enough without reform’

By Alex Bell
16 November 2011

A Code of Conduct, drafted as part of efforts to end politically motivated
violence, has been handed to the principals in Zimbabwe’s shaky coalition
government. But according to a leading human rights group, the Code will not
be enough without key, practical reforms.

The Code has been drafted by the Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation
and Integration, amid worsening violence against members of the MDC-T. The
violence, perpetrated almost entirely by ZANU PF members, last week resulted
in a ‘violence indaba’, where Robert Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman
Ncube all ‘agreed’ to end violence.

The Code of Conduct presented at the indaba, calls on the leaders of the
country’s political parties to lead the way in ending violence, and ensuring
that the upcoming elections are free from bloodshed. 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 political disputes.

“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.

According to the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, the Code is a “breakthrough”.
But the group’s regional coordinator Dewa Mavhinga stressed that on its own
“it is not enough.”

“It must be viewed holistically, in that it is part of a series of critical
reforms required to achieve real transformation to a democratic and violence
free state,” Mavhinga said.

He added: “It is a symbolic gesture. It is more ceremonial, not practical.”
Mavhinga also agreed that more attention needs to be focused on ensuring
that the perpetrators of violence are brought to book, to ensure that the
cycle of impunity in Zimbabwe comes to an end. He also explained that there
are concerns that the Code could be an attempt to “hoodwink” people, with
ZANU PF pushing for an election as soon as possible.

“The political leadership is insisting on an early election and they would
want to how there is some movement in ending violence without the practical
steps. The fear is that the code might be a smokescreen behind which
violence will still take place,” Mavhinga said.

He added: “But we want to give the Organ and the government the benefit of
the doubt and we will have to wait and see what happens.”

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Madzore’s fresh bail application postponed

By Alex Bell
16 November 2011

A fresh bail application for the MDC-T Youth Assembly chairperson, Solomon
Madzore, was on Wednesday postponed, with the State arguing it was not ready
to file a response.

The application is not expected to be heard in the High Court on Thursday.

Madzore is part of a group pf 28 MDC-T activists who are facing trumped-up
charges of murdering a police officer in Glen View, Harare in May. Madzore
was arrested last month and has already been denied bail. He is being
detained at Chikurubi Maximum Security prison.

Meanwhile seven other MDC-T members, who were part of the 27 originally
arrested in May, have all now been in custody for more than six months. They
are Tungamirai Madzokere (the Glen View Ward 32 councillor), Rebecca
Mafikeni, Phenias Nhatarikwa, Lazarus Maengahama, Stanford Maengahama,
Yvonne Musarurwa and Stanford Mangwiro.

High Court judge, Justice Tendai Uchena, turned down their bail application
in July, saying they were a flight risk. The seven then approached the
Supreme Court, appealing the High Court’s bail refusal.

But last week Supreme Court judge and the Deputy Chief Justice, Luke Malaba,
referred the matter back to the High Court saying that the seven have to
first notify the High Court of their intention to appeal at the Supreme

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MDC officials arrested in Masvingo

By Godfrey Mtimba
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 16:24

MASVINGO - Masvingo police have arrested MDC provincial chairman Wilstaff
Stemere and Mwenezi district secretary Fortune Makonzo in circumstances
described by their lawyer as politically motivated.

Police officers picked up Stemere on Monday morning at his workplace. He is
accused of ferrying party youths to assault a Zanu PF supporter at a plot in
Morningside in the city.

Makonzo is in trouble for allegedly commenting that President Robert Mugabe
is too old to rule. This was after the 87-year-old appeared on television
during the evening news hour at eight last Friday.

Makonzo is languishing in Mwenezi police cells while Stemere was detained
for over seven hours. Both are expected to appear in court today.

Their lawyer, Martin Mureri of Matutu and Partners confirmed the arrests.

“I am still trying to get hold of the guy in Mwenezi but Stemere is facing
assault and unlawfully entry charges,” said Mureri.

He said Stemere never went to the plot as claimed by the Zanu PF supporter.

“This is political and the charges are cooked up. The complainant alleges
that Stemere came to his plot at midnight. He said it was dark and I wonder
how he identified Stemere in the dark. It is just political victimisation of
my client,” he said.

MDC Mwenezi chairman Brian Nhachi told the Daily News that Makonzo was
languishing in police cells after he was picked up on Sunday for allegedly
insulting Mugabe in a bar at Rutenga Growth Point in Mwenezi.

“He was arrested after some suspected members of the intelligence reported
him to police alleging he had insulted the president who had appeared on
news hour launching the inputs scheme last Friday. He is currently in police
cells in Mwenezi,” said Nhachi.

“As MDC we think he was targeted because he is our party official. There has
been a crackdown on our people. The comments he made did not have anything
to do with the president’s age but these guys cooked it all up,” he said.

Efforts to get a comment from Masvingo police spokesperson Inspector Tinaye
Matake were fruitless as his phone was not reachable.

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Plot to unseat Mugabe gathers pace in Zanu PF

KELVIN JAKACHIRA 6 hours 46 minutes ago

THERE is a plot to oust President Robert Mugabe from the helm of the party
during the forthcoming annual conference in Bulawayo, a senior Zanu PF
official has confirmed.

Didymus Mutasa, the Zanu PF politburo secretary for administration, told
NewsDay in an interview yesterday the party was aware of the individuals
clamouring for President Mugabe’s ouster, but declared the conference would
not give anyone any opportunity to do such a thing.

President Mugabe was aware of the plot to unseat him, but Mutasa said the
party leader was not bothered because that was unlikely to happen because of
his grip on power.

“We know them (plotters) because you write about them,” Mutasa said. “How
could we not be aware of that when it is being written left right and
centre? We are not paying attention because it’s rubbish, rubbish, rubbish.
We have better things to do than attend to that rubbish.”

Mutasa spoke amid reports of growing evidence some in the Zanu PF top
echelons were plotting to block President Mugabe’s imminent endorsement as
the party’s presidential candidate in elections likely to be held next year.

The reports said President Mugabe had been alerted to the internal plot to
force him to step down at the December conference, but was unfazed.

Mutasa was adamant the plot would be squashed ahead of the conference.

He said the Zanu PF chairman, Simon Khaya Moyo, who would be in control of
proceedings during the conference, would not allow discussions to deviate
from its prepared agenda.

“The agenda is done before the meeting and at the present moment we are
actually looking at the agenda and the programme,” Mutasa said.

“There is nothing like that (ouster),” he said. “That is rubbish. There will
be no such opportunity.”
“We have been with President Mugabe right from the founding of Zanu PF and
who could be so stupid to desire to remove him from the party he founded?”

Reports suggested some senior Zanu PF officials were of the opinion
President Mugabe was no longer able to stand the rigours of a tough election
given his advanced age and reported failing health.

President Mugabe has been to the Far East on several occasions this year
reportedly to seek medication.

The alleged plot against President Mugabe comes a few months after leaked
United States diplomatic cables exposed several top Zanu PF stalwarts and
government officials telling US diplomats of their desire to have President
Mugabe leave office and active politics.

Reports suggested some top Zanu PF officials were worried about President
Mugabe’s health, and also that of Vice-President John Nkomo, who sources
said was also unwell.

President Mugabe’s political nemesis, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, has
joined in the fray urging the 87-year-old strongman to rest.

“The question of age is catching up, the question of health is catching up,”
Tsvangirai said recently.
“I am sure that advisably he would be in a position for the sake of the
country, for the sake of his legacy, for the sake of his children, to
consider stepping down.” - NewsDay

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No trees in 50 years

Time to take action
by Fungai Kwaramba Harare

A cocktail of power cuts, ad hoc deforestation and veld fires has seen the
loss of 330 000 hectares of trees annually, while Forestry Commission
sapling nurseries wither through lack of investment from the cash-strapped

Philip Mataranyika, from Friends of the Environment, told The Zimbabwean
this week that the current rate of deforestation could see the complete
destruction of trees in just 52 years. The Friends plan to raise awareness
of the importance of trees by walking from Harare to the Eastern Highlands
on November 27 - December 2.

“Our situation is desperate. Factor in the debilitating power cuts and you
have a cocktail for disaster,” said Mataranyika.

Since the land reform programme began, Zimbabwe has been losing trees at an
accelerated pace as new farmers, particularly the 62,000 small-scale tobacco
producers, use firewood as a source of energy. It takes 11kg of firewood to
cure 1kg of tobacco and small-scale farmers are producing an average of 1,5
tons a year. Others cut wood for resale in light of frequent power cuts.

“A quick drive on our national highways will give you an indication of how
far we have gone in using wood as an energy source. Creating nurseries in
rural communities is vital if people in the rural areas are to replenish
their energy sources, preserve the environment and restore our rural
 beauty,” added Mataranyika.

Alarmed at the trend of deforestation, some tobacco companies have started
re-forestation nurseries. Farmers contracted to them are required to replace
all the trees they use by planting saplings every year. However, only 12,000
tobacco farmers have signed up to the initiative.

Friends of the Environment intend to plant millions trees in the next 20
years to replenish the dwindling forests.

“I am happy to report that we received a resounding yes from Zimbabweans
across the economic, cultural and social divide and now we are now at the
implementation stage. It is a collective responsibility to get Zimbabwe
green again,” he said.

With the Forestry Commission struggling to maintain existing forests and
plant new ones, Mataranyika said the corporate world should adopt trees.

“Our plan is to get Corporate Zimbabwe to adopt all the nurseries, and I can
tell you the buy in has been tremendous. We plan to create another 52
nurseries by 2015 to bring the total to a hundred. This will build capacity
to 500 000 seedlings per year and ultimately 500 million trees should be
planted by 2025,” he said.

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Govt rejects EU observers

As Zimbabwe prepares for presidential elections, the government has set
itself up for a showdown with the West by rejecting offers to send poll
by Chief Reporter

Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said the government had refused the
EU request, saying there was "poison" in it and that Zimbabwe needed to
preserve its "sovereignty", but Zanu (PF)'s political opposition said the
party wanted to rig the ballot.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai said: "It means they want to control the
process and the outcome. They want a predetermined outcome. I think they
want to demonstrate they don't want to run a clean election".

The Zimbabwean understands EU Africa Chief Nick Westcott made the offer to
President Mugabe when they met at State House two months ago. That was
followed by an offer to send election observers by new British envoy,
Deborah Bronnert, amid fears that the presidential election would be a
repeat the June 2008 run-off ballot. Mugabe again turned down the offer.

Harare's decision breaches Cotonou accords with former European colonies in
Africa, the Caribbean and south Pacific.

"It's a bad sign and a missed opportunity for Zimbabwe to restore good
relations with the EU," said a western diplomat.

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Police demand ‘permit’ for birthday party

By Lance Guma
16 November 2011

A Harare family had the shock of their life last Friday evening after an
overzealous policeman demanded that they produce a ‘permit’ for the birthday
party they were hosting. The party, attended by 40 to 50 people, was
interrupted when a senior policeman driving a BMW arrived at the property
and demanded a permit, claiming it was a public gathering of more than 5

Many people at the party expressed surprise since they were on private
property. Even the repressive Public Order and Security Act (POSA) which is
used to crack down on political activity does not cover activities on
private property. But the policeman was not bothered by this and spent an
hour demanding a permit, at one time even insisted on taking the home owner
to Borrowdale Police Station for questioning.

It was only after one of the revellers called up someone in the police force
and handed over the phone to the officer on site, that the matter was
eventually resolved. Under POSA there is no requirement for notice to be
given for gatherings held exclusively for “bona fide religious, education,
recreational, sporting or charitable purposes, baptisms, weddings, funerals
and cremations.”

Additionally POSA does not say that police permission is required for any
meeting, procession or demonstration, but the police have taken advantage of
the general lawlessness in the country to do as they please. The incident
only highlights the growing paranoia gripping Mugabe’s regime and suggests
that an instruction has been issued to clamp down on any gatherings, to
create increasing intimidation.

In a related issue the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition on Wednesday reported
that police in the Midlands city of Kwekwe arrested two of their employees,
Beloved Chiweshe and Maureen Gombakomba, for convening a public meeting. The
two are said to be in police custody in the town facing as yet unclear
charges. The Coalition said: “The harassment of civil society activists is
rising sharply.”

In addition to the arrests of Chiweshe and Gombakomba the Zimbabwe Lawyers
for Human Rights have also raised alarm “over the unlawful surveillance on”
former TV presenter and human rights activist Jestina Mukoko “by unknown

In December 2008 Mukoko was abducted in the early hours of the morning by
six men and a woman who did not identify themselves. In her testimony she
said they forced her into a Mazda Familia vehicle and ordered her to lie low
on the seat of the car. Once at a torture base they put her in solitary
confinement for 19 days while torturing her to try to force her to admit to
recruiting youths for military training.

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City of Harare called upon to scrap residents’ debts

By Tichaona Sibanda
16 November 2011

Poor accounting practices within the City of Harare are costing the capital
city millions of dollars in revenue per month, the Harare Residents’ Trust
claimed on Wednesday.

Precious Shumba, HRT’s coordinator, told SW Radio Africa that the council
was now embarking on a program to punish residents for the council’s
incompetence and failure to sort out their bookkeeping problems.

The City of Harare has warned residents who owe money to settle their
accounts, or risk losing their homes if they fail to do so. But HRT said it
has not been explained how residents were left with huge debts when the
country ditched the Zimbabwe dollar and started trading in US dollars two
years ago.

‘We have asked to see the books to see how residents ended up with debts of
over $2,000 but because the accounting system is in shambles the council has
failed to produce any papers at all.

‘What you see now is a daily practice where officials are referring
residents to different departments within the council in an effort to
frustrate their enquiries,’ Shumba said.

He added: ‘If they cannot explain or show us the accounts, we are saying to
them, let’s turn over a new leaf and start on a clean slate by scrapping all
debts accrued from 2009 to December 2010.’

Shumba explained that instead of trying to engage residents in this
proposal, council has enraged its members by using ‘bullying’ tactics and
threatening to repossess homes. He said council must tell residents why the
poor accounting practices have continued unabated for so many years and why
there is no indication that anything has been done to clean up the system.

‘Most residents in Harare earn a meager $100 or $200 a month and council
expects them to settle debts that they don’t even know were they came from.
We will not relent in our efforts to force council to scrap the debts even
if it takes us to hit the streets and demonstrate,’ according to Shumba.

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Africom espionage case drags on

By Tererai Karimakwenda
16 November, 2011

The drama in the case of three telecoms executives accused of espionage has
continued to drag on this week, strengthening suspicions that the case is
not about spies and satellites but more about political retribution and
factionalism within ZANU PF.

Banker Farai Rwodzi, who is a non-executive director at Africom Holdings,
acting chief executive Simba Mangwende and Oliver Chiku from Global
Satellite Systems were arrested last month and accused of spying for
theUnited States, Canada and Afghanistan.

The three executives were released on bail with strict conditions two weeks
ago, after the State failed to produce any evidence showing that hostilities
exist betweenZimbabweand the countries they allegedly spied for. They
appeared in court on Tuesday, to apply for refusal of remand, but the
magistrate remanded the case to Wednesday in his chambers, without any
explanation for the postponement.

The charges stem from a satellite system that was set up at the company
offices, allegedly in contravention of the Posts and Telecommunications Act,
which was then used to send information to the three countries named.

But as we reported, the case has more to do with factionalism within ZANU PF
and Rwodzi’s close ties to the family of the late Solomon Mujuru, who led a
powerful faction within ZANU PF.

Professor Ken Mufuka of the Global Zimbabwe Forum said the case is not about
guilt or innocence, but a ZANU PF way of punishing opponents by tying them
up in legal expenses. “The idea is that Rwodzi cannot leave the country. He
has to hire an expensive lawyer and report to the police all the time. He
cannot attend to his usual business,” Professor Mufuka explained.

He added that this same strategy has been used against Morgan Tsvangirai and
theMDCas well as several other opponents of ZANU PF. “The charges will
eventually be dropped or the case will fall apart for some other reason,”
the professor said.

As we reported, SW Radio Africa received allegations that the arrest was
engineered by the members of the other faction, led by Emmerson Mnangagwa,
as a signal to alert Mujuru’s widow and Vice President Joice Mujuru, that
her faction no longer had the upper hand and they can do whatever they want.

A source close to the faction told SW Radio Africa that Rwodzi’s banking
experience helped him gain influence and he ran the finances of the vast
Mujuru business empire, which included mining, agriculture, transport,
tourism and construction. The source said Rwodzi even calls Joice Mujuru
‘mainini’, meaning auntie, as he is a close relative and is trusted.

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British ambassadors to deliberate on Sadc developments

By Bridget Mananavire, Staff Writer
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 16:17

HARARE - Britain's ambassadors from southern Africa are meeting in Zimbabwe
starting today to deliberate on political developments affecting the region.

The meeting will end on Friday, Keith Scott, First Secretary Political
Communications at the British embassy told the Daily News.

“They will discuss political developments across the region, including
Zimbabwe, as well as a range of corporate and international issues such as
the build-up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London and climate
change,” Scott said.

Scott said the meeting is usual practice for British ambassadors in any
given region to meet for discussions.

Political relations between Zimbabwe and its former colonial master have
been on ice for almost a decade after Britain joined other European
countries in imposing travel and financial sanctions on President Robert
Mugabe and his inner circle for human rights abuses.

Mugabe accuses the British of using sanctions to destroy Zimbabwe’s economy
in retaliation to Harare’s decision to evict white farmers and replace them
with landless blacks.

Britain says it will normalise relations with Zimbabwe once the country
successfully implemented democratic reforms negotiated by Sadc under the
Global Political Agreement (GPA).

The GPA is the founding accord to the country’s shaky coalition government.

Part of the reform agenda includes a roadmap to free and fair elections
being crafted under Sadc’s watch.

British Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) Lord David
Howell and Government Whip and Spokesperson for the Cabinet Office
(International Development and Equalities and Women's Issues), Baroness
Verma told the House of Lords on Tuesday that London stood ready to fund the

“The (British) government recognises Sadc’s important role as the guarantors
of Zimbabwe’s Global Political Agreement and we endorse its current efforts
to create a roadmap leading to credible and properly monitored elections.

“We also continue to look for ways of using UK funding to strengthen
regional forums to increase pressure for free and fair elections in
Zimbabwe, for example through civil society,” said Baroness Verma.

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Typhoid cases rise in Harare

By Gugulethu Nyazema, Senior Writer
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 16:12

HARARE - Typhoid cases in some high density areas of Harare have risen from
99 to 193 over the past two days, as fears worsen that the number could
spike even further given Harare’s erratic water supplies.

Typhoid fever is a bacterial disease, caused by Salmonella typhi. It is
transmitted through the ingestion of food or drink contaminated by faeces or
urine of infected people.

Health experts say symptoms usually develop 1–3 weeks after exposure, and
may be mild to severe. They include high fever, malaise, headache,
constipation or diarrhoea, rose-coloured spots on the chest, and enlarged
spleen and liver.

Typhoid fever can be treated with antibiotics. However, resistance to common
antimicrobials is widespread and carriers should be excluded from handling

Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) representatives say the water situation in
Harare’s high density areas has not helped the situation with residents
reportedly getting water at night only.

“To contribute in averting the typhoid scare, the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society
donated water treatment detergents and other materials that go with curbing
typhoid outbreaks.

“The total donation is made up of 240 bars green soap, 480 units of regular
jik, 120 000 water maker sachets and 52 blankets.

This donation was handed over to the City of Harare’s Rujeko Clinic in
Dzivaresekwa 3,” said a ZRCS representative.

Please read tomorrow’s Daily News for an in-depth coverage of the typhoid

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ZANU-PF Chairman Under Fire for Alleged Inflammatory Remarks

15 November 2011

Major General Martin Chedondo called the former opposition Movement for
Democratic Change party a "Trojan horse" and vowed there would be bloodshed
if anyone tried to remove ZANU-PF from power

Violet Gonda & Blessing Zulu | Washington

Simon Khaya Moyo said: “I said there must be no violence. If of course you
are attacked yourself what else should you do? Do you pray?”

Zimbabwean human rights groups have expressed grave concern at remarks made
by ZANU-PF chairman Simon Khaya Moyo and an army general seemingly
advocating violence shortly after leaders of parties in the unity government
advocated peace.

President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Industry
Minister Welshman Ncube urged their supporters in a large meeting of party
officials on Friday, November 11, to be tolerant and to halt mounting
political violence.

But later that same day Army Chief of Staff Major General Martin Chedondo
addressed the Presidential Guard and vowed there would be no security sector

Chedondo called the Movement for Democratic Change party of Mr. Tsvangirai a
"Trojan horse" and vowed there would be bloodshed if anyone tried to remove
ZANU-PF from the power it held for decades before the advent of power
sharing in 2009.

Khaya Moyo instructed ZANU-PF supporters at Mkoba Teachers College on Sunday
in Gweru, Midlands province, to retaliate if they were attacked.

Khaya Moyo told VOA reporter Blessing Zulu that he does not expect ZANU-PF
supporters to wait for the police to intervene if they are attacked.

“I said there must be no violence. If of course you are attacked yourself
what else should you do? Do you pray?” Khaya Moyo said.

When asked if people should go to the police when attacked, Khaya Moyo
responded: “Why should you go to the police when you are down and you are
being beaten. Why do you go to the police? The rule of law says you must die
and then go to the police?"

The Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee has promised to act on
complaints about the army, the police and political parties regarding
political violence.

JOMIC Co-Chairwoman Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga said the panel has
instructed Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa to communicate to Defense
Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and Police Commissioner General Augustine
Chihuri that the committee wants to speak with them about the conduct of the
army and police.

JOMIC Co-Chairman Elton Mangoma, representing the Tsvangirai MDC formation,
said Khaya Moyo's statement was unfortunate as it promoted vigilantism.'

“From a senior member of a political party that only last week on Friday was
calling for peace it is very irresponsible, if he has said so," Mangoma

Zimbabwe Human Rights Association Director Okay Machisa said the principals
in the country's national unity government must sanction the perpetrators of

“You find the chairperson of ZANU-PF, Mr. Khaya Moyo, saying hit back when
you are attacked. We should not be saying any words like attack, hit back
because we should be singing the same hymn which the leaders are saying in
the forum," Machisa said.

The comments by General Chedondo followed a statement last week by US
Ambassador Charles Ray that Zimbabwe needs a professional army which stays
out of politics.

"In general the Zimbabwe military is quite skilled but I'm troubled at times
that many in the senior ranks do take very partisan views and positions
which body on interference on the nation's political life," Ray told VOA in
an interview.

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Indian diamantaires rush to Zimbabwe

Dilip Kumar Jha / Mumbai November 17, 2011, 0:50 IST

With UN lifting the ban on rough diamond imports from there, supply booking
starts ahead of the wedding season.

Within a week of the first of Zimbabwe’s diamond mines getting an okay from
the United Nations’ certification process for eligibility to be marketed,
Indian firms have rushed there to book supply.

According to an industry source, around half a dozen Surat-based importers
of rough diamonds (‘roughs’) are in Zimbabwe, wishing to book at the current
low prices, ahead of a possible upsurge due to the wedding season in
December. And, it appears, leading Indian diamantaires based out of Belgium
have already booked roughs worth $500 million from the region.

The sales of diamonds thought to finance conflicts and human rights abuse is
banned by the UN. In 2003, it established what is called the Kimberley
Process (KP) certification scheme to ensure this. Any raw (rough) diamond
without KP certification is considered a ‘blood diamond’ and Zimbabwe, the
subject of global focus over many years for human rights abuses of its
citizens, is considered a particular problem. It has been a long time since
any of its roughs have had the KP label.

However, two mining operations from Zimbabwe’s Marange region (it has a
tenth of the world’s reserves) have finally got KP certification. Last week,
an agreement was ratified by KP members at the organisation’s plenary
meeting in Kinshasa, Congo, to enable export of roughs from these two
KP-compliant operations. More exports from other mining operations in the
area are expected to follow, after the KP monitoring team says so.

India’s gross import of roughs, says the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion
Council (GJEPC), rose by 31.2 per cent in 2010-11 to $11.9 billion. India,
and Surat in particular, is the world’s biggest diamond cutting and
polishing centre, handling 70 per cent of all roughs mines across the world.
the rough diamonds mined across the world and processes India’s 90 per cent
of rough imports.

With increased supply from Zimbabwe, the diamond cutting and polishing
centres in the world — mainly India, Israel and Belgium — are expected to
process $17 billion worth of roughs this year, a 27 per cent increase over
the $13 bn in 2010.

“This is a real milestone and demonstrates categorically that the KP
provides the framework through which the integrity of the rough diamond
chain of distribution can be protected, while enabling producing countries
to benefit from their natural resources,” said Eli Izhakoff, president of
the World Diamond Council.

Praveen Nanavati, joint secretary of Gujarat Heera Bourse, said, “The miners
and Indian manufacturers are going to benefit a lot from this decision (KP
okay for Zimbabwe). Mining is costly and selling the mined goods is
necessary to generate a cash flow. In India, factory owners want large
quantities of low-cost roughs to keep their operations running, as well as
being able to offer products to price-conscious buyers.”

A majority of mines in these regions are owned by Chinese, who are not
interested in investing in the region’s actual growth. They are willing to
stockpile the roughs only to sell at a higher price, he said.

“(India) processors are keen to get roughs from Marange and any such deal
would be welcome,” said Rajiv Jain, chairman of GJEPC.

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Eviction threatened

MDC-T supporters here have been threatened with eviction by Zanu (PF)
officials, if they continue to accept donor food at the expense of President
Robert Mugabe’s followers.
by Tony Saxon

Most MDC-T supporters have been victimized by Zanu (PF) thugs and have been
told to choose between accepting donor food and eviction unless they give
Zanu (PF) supporters exclusive access to the food handouts.

“We are in a serious situation as notorious Zanu (PF) supporters’ threats
are real. They said that if we are spared death, we will be booted out of
the village,” said an elderly villager.

Villagers identified those tormenting them as: Vimbai Chatyoka, Amos
Samanga, Julias Nyabereka, George Chivese, James Nemaunga and Titos

The villagers in Samanga area expressed despair at the reluctance of police
at Ruda police station to arrest the thugs who were threatening them.

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Libraries abandoned…

Despite the standard of education having been affected by the political
turmoil of the last decade, many believe it is still the highest in the
continent. Zimbabwean professionals are regarded highly, not only in Africa,
but the world over.
by Talent Bhachi

Educational institutions such as libraries have facilitated this sterling
reputation, but a visit to some of those institutions today shows that
unless something is done soon, they could become obsolete.

Libraries, like many other public facilities, have been abandoned by
responsible authorities. The windows have been broken and, in the majority
of cases, the toilets are in sorry state.

Surfers replace readers

Books hang precariously on the disjointed shelves gathering dust. Many of
them are worn and torn, or they are missing pages. Some of the academic text
books have been replaced by later editions which the authorities are failing
to stock. Glen Norah library used to be full of students from surrounding
schools. The library has sections for adults and children and it was common
to see people queuing all day for their turn to use the facility. Today this
is far from a reality.

The perimeter fence has been vandalised and the stench from the nearby bush
is overwhelming. One official, who has worked at the library for more than
15 years, attributed the library’s decline to a new generation of students
who were shunning the facility. “Many students no longer use the library.
They prefer to go to the internet cafe and surf rather than using hard
copies of books. We are no longer as busy as we used to be, even the records
show that we are operating at less than 20 percent capacity,” he said.
Students confessed that they no longer used the libraries. A form six
student from Glen View High said he used the library once when he was at
Ordinary Level.

“I went to the library to prepare for my examination, but I was
disappointed, the library had no adequate books and I had to patch the book
that I was using together because it was torn,” he said.

Preserve culture

Veteran Educationist, Lisbon Mhonda, urged the government and the city
council to revamp libraries country wide to preserve a culture of reading.

“These facilities are our educational heritage. They are there for a purpose
and relevant authorities should provide money to cater for the institutions
as they save the community,” said Mhonda.

He added that the state of the libraries was just an epitaph on the death of
quality education in the country.

“It is common knowledge that Zimbabwe’s education was a model for the rest
of Africa. However, the economic meltdown affected every sector, including
education. The decay of libraries is just the tip of the ice-berg,” he said.

Mhonda encouraged the authorities to make use of the subscription fee paid
by members each month for upkeep and maintenance of the libraries. He noted
that the subscription fee ranged from $5 to $10 and, if put to good use,
could help to renovate the library and stock new books.

The Harare City Council Spokesperson, Leslie Gwindi, is on record saying
that the council was facing man power shortages and could not afford to
improve service delivery.

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Ncube Is Being Used By Zanu-PF: Bhebhe

Bulawayo, November 16, 2011--- Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) deputy
national organising secretary, Abedinico Bhebhe who was expelled from the
smaller faction of the MDC led by Welshman Ncube said, Ncube is a desperate
mad-man who has run out of ideas and being used by Zanu-PF and spends time
attacking Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai instead of talking about his
party policies.

“What Zimbabweans should understand is that Welshman has run out of ideas,
he is just greedy and power hungry. Instead of telling us about his party
policies he now spends time insulting the Prime Minister,” said Bhebhe who
is also former Nkayi South parliamentarian before expelled by Ncube in 2009.

Bhebhe accused Ncube of being a Zanu-PF messenger  who is trying to weaken
Tsvangirai’s support base in Matebeleland region.

“We know that he is being used  by Zanu-PF and only campaigns in
Matebeleland region and attacking Tsvangirai. Why is he not doing that in
other parts of the country? It is very funny  that he is talking about
Tsvangirai being a ceremonial leader when its actually him who  is a
ceremonial Minister, since he lost  parliamentary elections but  went  ahead
to appoint himself  as an Industry and Commerce Minister,” he said.

In the past weeks Ncube has been blasting Tsvangirai at his rallies
describing the premier as a useless leader who has betrayed Zimbabweans by
allowing the powers bestowed upon him upon signing the Global Political
Agreement (GPA) to slip away to President Robert Mugabe.

Only on Sunday Ncube told his supporters at Nketa Hall in Bulawayo that
Tsvangirai’s book “At the Deep End” which was published some few months ago
is “full of lies”.

When contacted for comment smaller MDC   faction spokesperson in
Matebeleland region Edwin Ndlovu said: “Bhebhe is still excited by being
appointed MDC-T deputy national organising secretary so he feels he must
speak even though he has nothing to speak, typical of an empty vessel.”

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Welshman sees ghosts where none exist

By Staff Writer
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 16:27

HARARE - It is very difficult to say what it is that Welshman Ncube, the
leader of the smaller faction of the MDC, wants to achieve as he
ill-advisedly goes on the war path against the private media, and the Daily
News in particular.

What is clear is that the “learned” professor is upset by our coverage of
his former political boss, Morgan Tsvangirai — which he mistakes for support
for the Prime Minister, as well as a vote of no confidence in him (Ncube).

Nothing could be further from the truth.

We wish to state unequivocally that it is Ncube’s inalienable right to say
what he wants to say on any subject and wherever he wants to, including
criticising the Daily News. We would never be the media house that would
want to see him censored, whatever the circumstances or the naivety of the
substance of his utterances, because that is his democratic right.

We believe in democracy where freedom of speech, no matter how disagreeable
the baloney being espoused, is affirmed all the time. Our guiding vision is
to be Zimbabwe’s most reliable source of news and information; broadest
platform for the free exchange of ideas and opinions; and to be the clearest
voice for democracy and an open, plural society.

We also wish to state very clearly and openly that we have no beef with
either Ncube personally or his fledgling party. He, indeed, has a right to
start and lead his party.

These are the reasons why we have chosen to carry his unprovoked and
gratuitous attacks on us in our paper over the past few weeks.

So, to the critical question: Why is Welshman joining the likes of serial
political flip-flopper Jonathan Moyo, a notorious anti-private media yob, in
attacking the independent media violently and at every turn? Are we really
his political problem?

As the saying goes, you can take the man out of the bush but you can’t take
the bush out of the man.

Similarly, a man may advance his education to PhD level, and even be
honoured by his peers as a professor, but you can’t make him learned. One
needs only look at how many so-called professors have not got the faintest
clue where they are coming from or going!

Here is media theory 101 for the “learned” professor and his ilk, for their
own benefit. We do not make or create news, we only carry it. We do not make
political leaders either (Zimbabweans do), we only cover them. If you say
anything half interesting or useful we will cover it — no matter who you

Even if we attempted to favour any one political player or party — as many
media houses sought to do over the past decade during our forced closure by
the government — it would not influence who Zimbabweans want to lead them.

We hope this little lecture assists Professor Ncube.

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MDC disturbed over the continued persecution of scribes

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The MDC once again condemns the irrational arrests of two Standard newspaper
journalists yesterday on charges of criminal defamation and theft of
documents. The MDC is concerned by the behaviour of the police in treating
and arresting the Editor, Mr Nevanhi Madanhire and reporter, Mr Nqaba
Matshazi as if they are common criminals and we call for their immediate
release. What is worrying is that the arrests came only a few days after the
police had raided and ransacked The Standard newsroom.

As a party we condemn the arrests as they are clear instructions of a Zanu
PF hawk who wants to target and silence independent journalists for exposing
his underworld operations.

The MDC notes with concern that the continued arrests in the country are
only targeted at private media reporters while those writing for the State
media have an open approval to do as they wish by going on a campaign of
writing entire falsehoods against elected officials who are not from Zanu

The MDC’s position is that freedom for all media practitioners should be
guaranteed. Zanu PF supported by its rogue elements in State security should
know that; “the pen is mightier than the sword”.

The MDC believes in the free flow of public information. Giving citizens the
right to know and to be heard – is a hallmark of a functioning democracy. We
therefore condemn the police for using outdated laws in arresting and
bullying innocent journalists. The MDC believes a law that criminalises
journalism and tries to block the free flow of information is an affront to
democracy and must be repealed.

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

MDC Information & Publicity Department

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ZLHR strongly condemns the acts of surveillance and intimidation of Jestina Mukoko

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) advises that on 15 November 2011
between 08:10 and 08:45hrs an unidentified man who was driving a Black Rhino
double-cab vehicle stalked Jestina Mukoko who was exercising her right to
freedom of movement around greater Harare.

ZLHR recalls that similar acts of surveillance targeting Human Rights
Defenders (HRDs) in the past have culminated in serious life-threatening
security incidents such as abduction and enforced disappearance, and that
Jestina Mukoko was also a victim of such surveillance that ended up in her
being disappeared on 3 December 2008.

ZLHR deplores such acts of surveillance which amount to scare tactics aimed
at silencing HRDs like Jestina Mukoko from carrying out their legitimate
activities in Zimbabwe.

While ZLHR was not able to ascertain the identity of this unidentified man
in the Black Rhino, such cars are known to be owned by, or linked to, state
agents and have in the past been associated with the state.

ZLHR condemns these renewed attacks on HRDS especially with the anticipation
of elections in the near future. ZLHR is also greatly concerned given the
upsurge in cases of violence that have been witnessed in the last few weeks
in Harare as well as other parts of the country.

Other than condemning these renewed attacks on Jestina Mukoko, ZLHR implores
the state to respect the important work that is played by HRDs in the
advancement of human rights promotion and protection in Zimbabwe. ZLHR urges
the government of Zimbabwe to forthwith take concrete measures to ensure
that the security of HRDs is protected at all times in Zimbabwe by fully
implementing the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human
Rights Defenders.

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Resistance and Denial: Zimbabwe's Stalled Reform Agenda


Resistance and Denial: Zimbabwe's Stalled Reform Agenda

Johannesburg/Brussels, 16 November 2011: Slow and inadequate progress in implementing the compromise they reached three years ago threatens to push Zimbabwe's contending forces into premature elections and undermine political and economic recovery.

Resistance and Denial: Zimbabwe's Stalled Reform Agenda, the latest briefing from the International Crisis Group, examines the stalemate on the 2008 Global Political Agreement (GPA) between President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), in light of the recent effort of the regional organisation to be more active, particularly regarding deteriorating internal security.

Following the lack of significant reforms in key areas, including the electoral and security systems, communiqués from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) since late March, indicated they would take a more robust stand on GPA issues. Its recommendations, however, have yet to be acted on. Delays around deployment of SADC monitors and slow progress on a draft electoral roadmap have been compounded by further delays on a new constitution and a resurgence of political violence. ZANU-PF has largely frustrated the divided MDC movement in the “Inclusive Government” formed under the GPA and has fought to keep its security sector monopoly. There are doubts SADC’s harder line will result in tangible reforms in time for elections that must be held before June 2013.

“The primary challenge is not at the talks, where the chemistry between the negotiators is constructive, but rather with the party principals”, says Piers Pigou, Crisis Group's Southern Africa Project Director. “The emerging pattern that apparently negotiated solutions are followed by interminable delays in execution reflects a fundamental deficit of political will to achieve real reform”.

The GPA, signed months after Mugabe’s controversial re-election in a climate of political violence that led Morgan Tsvangirai, the first round winner (and current prime minister), to withdraw, was intended to resolve Zimbabwe’s multiple political and economic crises and lay the foundations for reform that would lead to credible elections. This has not happened, and the situation is complicated by succession machinations inside ZANU-PF, the death in not fully explained circumstances of ex-Defence Force Commander Solomon Mujuru and WikiLeaks revelations that were uncomfortable for Mugabe’s party. Nevertheless, ZANU-PF is pressing for an early vote while the 87-year-old Mugabe can still be its standard bearer.

There are two major transitional challenges: development of a mature political system that enables both cooperation and responsible competition between the parties and security issues that threaten to undermine meaningful reforms. Despite flaws, the GPA still provides a coherent framework for sustainable political stability and legitimate elections. But political violence and partisanship in the security sector and attorney general’s office have to be dealt with before any vote can be free and fair.

“The contested narratives on security sector reform have prevented emergence of a constructive and inclusive dialogue between the political parties and between political and civil society entities and the security sector itself”, says Comfort Ero, Crisis Group’s Africa Program Director. “This cannot be endlessly deferred. Prospects for constructive engagement are diminishing, which makes it difficult to see how even minimal conditions for free and fair elections will be secured”.

Executive Summary | Full PDF Report

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I applaud Bulawayo residents for Zesa money clubs

By Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 16/11/11

I have been following with interest the hardships that ordinary Zimbabweans
are facing with electricity bills that I am even writing a book which
includes Zesa. But, please don’t rush me to finish it soon!!

However, I was very impressed by the innovative money saving scheme mooted
by the residents of Bulawayo (Bulawayo24, 16/11/11) who have reportedly
formed money link clubs to help them reduce their electricity debts.

Their modest innovation which entails groups of 50 households making a US $5
contribution every week and US$35 being paid to accounts belonging to 10
households should be applauded as a community project that needs public
support and encouragement.

The Bulawayo project reminds me of some of the brilliant ideas we exchanged
with delegates who attended a small business workshop that I ran for ORAP on
behalf of Speciss Training Services in the 1980s near Ascot Centre when I
was a training consultant.

Although not yielding enough money to pay-off the huge Zesa bills, which for
some households are as high as US$500, the community’s money link scheme has
potential for success if its sponsors adapted the idea of the Grameen Bank
to their situation.

According to Wikipedia, the Grameen Bank is a microfinance organisation and
community development bank started in Bangladesh that makes small loans to
the impoverished without requiring collateral.

The inspiring Grameen Bank is traceable to 1976 when Professor Muhammad
Yunus, a Fullbright scholar at Vanderbilt University and Professor at the
University of Chittagong launched a research project into the feasibility of
lending to the rural poor.

Later, the Grameen Bank was transformed into an independent bank by
government legislation, while the organisation and its founder, Muhammad
Yunus were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.

I don’t see why the good work started by the residents of Bulawayo should
not be assisted by the inclusive government through training, development
and project finance.

Equally, another idea I would like to share with the innovators of Bulawayo
and hopefully emulated countrywide at some stage is for the residents to
negotiate to do what we could call “work for power” whereby they would get
their bills paid off through group work for Zesa such as cleaning offices,
slashing grass, simple decorative (painting), digging trenches or filling up
and some repair work

I say so because I went to a farm school near Bromley, Harare for my Form 1
and worked on tobacco and maize fields for my tuition fees at the boarding
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, London, zimanalysis2009@gmail.

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Bill Watch 50/2011 of 16th November [2012 Budget Statement on Tuesday 22nd November]

BILL WATCH 50/2011

[16th November 2011]

Both Houses of Parliament sat on Tuesday 15th November, then adjourned until Tuesday 22nd November

2012 Budget Statement Set for Tuesday 22nd November

Contrary to various press reports the Budget Statement will not be read in Parliament tomorrow Thursday 17th.

Parliament have confirmed that Minister of Finance Tendai Biti will present his 2012 Budget Statement to the House of Assembly next Tuesday 22nd November.

Admission to the Public Gallery in Parliament to hear the Budget Statement is by invitation or for ticket-holders.  Seating is limited, so members of the public wishing to attend should contact Parliament’s Public Relations office to check if there are any tickets available.  Telephone Harare 252936 or 700181/2/3 and ask for Mr Moyo or Mrs Huwa, extensions 2309 and 2310. 

It is also advisable for journalists to check availability of seats in the Press Gallery with Mr Moyo or Mrs Huwa.

At the conclusion of the Budget Statement the Minister will table the Estimates of Expenditure for 2012 and a draft Finance Bill to give effect to any proposed tax changes.  Then the House will probably adjourn for a few days to allow members and portfolio committees time to study the Budget in preparation for the debate on the Budget; portfolio committee chairpersons will present their committees’ reactions to the Budget and the Estimates during this debate.


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