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Mugabe finally opens parliament

31st October 2012
Staff Reporter

Despite the official opening of the Fifth and final session of Parliament
being earmarked for 24th July, Mugabe only got around to it on Tuesday 30th

During his speech he made it clear that he wants lawmakers to move
“frantically and with haste” to finalize a new constitution and ensure
elections are held in March 2013 to end the coalition.

This is the last schedule of sittings of Parliament in Harare before its
five-year term expires next year.
At a luncheon to mark the opening of parliament he took the opportunity to
once again have a go at the West, accusing it of being “the mischievous
external hand” of Zimbabwe’s detractors. Mugabe went on about the ‘illegal’
sanctions and said the West lied about human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. “As
the British, to them the truth is nothing they go by,” Mugabe said.
As news agency the Associated Press reported, despite these anti-western
sentiments Mugabe arrived at parliament in a vintage British Bentley
surrounded by police on horseback wearing colonial style pith helmets.

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Chaos as Mugabe opens Parliament

on October 31, 2012 at 11:10 am

By Richard Chidza

HARARE – Harare came to a virtual standstill with a massive traffic jam as
President Robert Mugabe made his way to officially open the Fifth Session of
the Seventh Parliament of Zimbabwe yesterday. Security was tight and the
city centre was crawling with security details.

The veteran ruler – fond of denigrating Britain and its western allies –
rolled in a black Rolls Royce flanked by his wife Grace as he opened
Parliament amid centuries-old British pageantry.
Getting into the Central Business District (CBD) was a nightmare for
travellers and motorists alike, with some dropping off or parking their cars
on the outskirts of the city.

The lockdown of Nelson Mandela Avenue to make way for Mugabe’s British style
procession caused a traffic nightmare in Harare, with the morning rush hour
seeing all roads in the CBD clogged, with officers at major intersections
directing traffic.

“They have locked us out. The better part of the city is a virtual no-go
area just because the President has come to town, it’s not fair,” said a
disgruntled motorist who declined to be named. Thousands flooded Africa
Unity Square next to Parliament, but everyone was subjected to a thorough

Chauffeur-driven in a century-old vintage, Mugabe made his way from State
House in a huge procession that included policemen on horseback and the
latest top of the range vehicles.

The veteran ruler – fond of denigrating Britain and its western allies –
rolled in a black Rolls Royce flanked by his wife Grace as he opened
Parliament amid centuries-old British pageantry. His long and colourful
procession from State House arrived amid blaring music and a wailing

Soon after his arrival, he inspected a guard of honour mounted by soldiers
from the Presidential Guard who had stood in the sweltering heat for almost
half an hour. Police on horseback, donning a 100-year old British South
African Police uniform, escorted the President.

A full complement of Zimbabwe’s top military brass was on hand to receive
the President. Looking resplendent in a dark suit and a chequered white
shirt, Mugabe sang the national anthem at attention as four MiG jets flew
past, followed by a gun salute.

Mugabe then inspected the smartly-dressed soldiers before retreating into

Just after Mugabe entered the House of Assembly, Chief Justice Godfrey
Chidyausiku and his contingent of Supreme Court justices followed closely
behind clad in the colonial red gowns and off-white wigs called toupees –
worn by barristers in Commonwealth countries. Military generals followed
closely behind.

The usually buoyant Mugabe did not respond to his rancorous supporters’
praises and chants. The 88-year-old leader looked haggard and seemed to drag
himself through the proceedings.

Hordes of youths, women and members of the apostolic sect members sang
“Gabriel mutungamiriri” or “Gabriel the leader,” in reference to Mugabe’s
second name. Some shouted that Mugabe should rule forever.

The State opening was attended by head of government Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, legislators, ministers and diplomats. Two giant television
screens beamed the Parliament proceedings in Africa Unity Square, with full
coverage of Mugabe’s speech.

Unlike the violent scenes that characterised last year’s State opening of
Parliament at which some MDC supporters were bashed while Mugabe preached
peace inside the house, yesterday’s event was largely peaceful. | Daily News

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Mugabe Urges Security Forces To Prepare For Violence Free Polls "In March"

Harare, October 31, 2012 – President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday urged the
country’s security forces to ensure violence-free elections he insisted
shall take place in March next year and also called on fellow political
leaders to reign in their supporters during the volatile period.
Presenting his keynote address, while officially opening of the Fifth
Session of Zimbabwe’s Seventh Parliament, Mugabe praised the security forces
for their role in foreign duties under the banner of the United Nations.

He also said Zimbabweans had the duty to “jealously guard the gains of our
independence” and to police themselves during the election period as opposed
to delegating the task to foreigners.

“To this end, I wish to appeal to all our leaders, followers of our parties
and other organisations and stakeholders including the media to adopt the
pledge to work genuinely for national unity and cohesion,” Mugabe said to a
house packed with legislators from both chambers among them Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai.

“We are one. Lets’ remain united. Let us shun violence in all its
manifestations and latent forms especially as we look forward to our
national elections.”

President Mugabe insisted elections shall be held in March next year.

This is in spite of strong denials by his coalition partners he no longer
enjoyed the privilege to decide on the date for the next polls.

Mugabe said the next polls must be held under a new constitution. He said
the constitution process must be expedited.

Mugabe said his government will soon introduce the Constituency Development
Bill to curb abuse of the government funds by corrupt legislators.

“To correct the irregularities detected following an audit of the
constituency development fund, a Constituency Development Fund Bill, which
will strengthen accountability in the funds’ management, shall be brought
for debate by parliament during this session,” he said.

Mugabe highlighted strategies he said his government shall put in place
during the current parliamentary session to improve power and fuel supply as
well as mitigate the impact of drought among vulnerable citizens.

He also spoke of how government shall improve the operations of the national
carrier, Air Zimbabwe and the expansion of roads and the up-liftment of
Small to Medium Enterprises.

The veteran leader also said the current parliamentary session will see the
enactment of the Attorney General’s Act, the crafting of the Zimbabwe
diamond policy which will pave way for the enactment of the Diamond Act.

President Mugabe arrived at Parliament with his wife Grace shortly before
mid-day in his traditional Rolls Royce vehicle, which was driven at a snail
pace in a convoy of cars and horses.

Dozens of Zanu (PF) supporters were stationed at the adjacent Africa Unity
Square where they sang in his praise.

The 88-year-old leader inspected the guard of honour mounted by members of
the Presidential Guard.

The just opened parliamentary session is expected to be the most explosive
in the life of the unity government with the anticipated holding of the
referendum and the elections.

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Generals summoned

Staff Reporter 6 hours 42 minutes ago

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe on Monday met with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
and agreed to call an urgent meeting between principals of the Global
Political Agreement and army generals to tackle the issue of possible
violence in the forthcoming elections, Tsvangirai’s spokesman Luke
Tamborinyoka said yesterday.
Tamborinyoka said Mugabe and Tsvangirai agreed the country could only hold
peaceful elections if soldiers were confined to their barracks during the
polls. The meeting is scheduled for early next month.
The development comes amid reports that soldiers in civilian clothes have
already been deployed countrywide to campaign
for Zanu PF, triggering fears of a repeat of the bloody 2008 election
Mugabe has already indicated that he wants the elections to be held at the
end of March, although his coalition partners insist no date has been agreed
on and that reforms allowing for free and fair polls needed to be put in
place first.
“The principals agreed yesterday (Monday) to convene a National Security
Council (NSC) meeting as soon as possible to discuss the issue of
violence-free polls with the security chiefs,” Tamborinyoka said.
Mugabe has not called for NSC meetings at which Tsvangirai attended for
almost five months although the NSC Act stipulates that the body should meet
every month to receive reports and discuss key State security issues.
The council is chaired by Mugabe and is made up of Tsvangirai, the two
Vice-Presidents Joice Mujuru and John Nkomo, the two Deputy Prime Ministers
Thokozani Khupe and Arthur Mutambara, service chiefs, as well as ministers
responsible for Finance, Defence and the police.
The three political parties in the inclusive government also nominate one
minister each to sit in the meeting.
“The President has insisted on the need for free and fair elections and the
security forces will be key to this,” Tamborinyoka said. Some senior
military personnel have publicly threatened not to recognise Tsvangirai as
President even were he to win the forthcoming elections.
Soldiers, believed to be the force behind Mugabe’s long hold on power, are
reportedly threatening villagers with war if they do not vote for Zanu PF.
The MDC-T says it has received reports from Midlands, Mashonaland, Masvingo
and Manicaland provinces to this effect.
On another note, Tamborinyoka said the principals had also agreed that there
was no government policy that allowed the invasion of conservancies and that
Zanu PF bigwigs, military personnel and traditional leaders, who recently
invaded the Save Valley wildlife sanctuary in Masvingo, must be stopped.
Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba could not be reached for comment
yesterday as he was not picking up his cellphone. - NewsDay

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Gold panning destroying Zimbabwe environment

Illegal gold panners. Picture taken by David Coltart

By Tererai Karimakwenda
31 October, 2012

A cabinet minister, who has witnessed the deliberate burning of bush and trees by illegal gold panners, has warned of the severe damage being done to the environment and urged government to urgently introduce policies that create jobs and protect the environment.

Education Minister David Coltart told SW Radio Africa that he has seen hundreds of thousands of hectares of bush burned over the last three months, as he drives from Bulawayo to his office and cabinet meetings in Harare. The fires he saw were lit close to the road near Shangani.

The Minister stopped and spoke to some of the illegal panners on one occasion, and they told him that they were deliberately lighting fires to get rid of bush, grass and trees that get in the way of their metal detectors. They said a mini gold rush hit the area recently after deposits of alluvial gold were discovered.

The panners are being allowed to do this with impunity by local ZANU PF leaders, under the guise of indigenisation. But Coltart warned that the fires and panning in rivers are destroying river systems and turning the country into a desert.

“I find it ironic that the very same people allowing this rampant abuse of the environment by allowing gold panners to operate without interference from police, are the ones responsible for deterring efforts to create good jobs for the people,” Coltart said.

The warning comes amid reports that illegal gold panners are currently being allowed to operate without any interference from the police, when in the past they have been arrested and jailed for at least five years. But it has been reported that ZANU PF is allowing illegal panning as an election campaign tactic, in order to get votes.

“It is critical that everyone understand the issues. And the issue of environment is not being debated adequately. We need serious policies that are not in the interest of just one political party but the interests of all Zimbabwean people and the country,” Coltart said.

He warned that unless the illegal panning stops, the country could be transformed into a wasteland and desert.

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IMF eases restrictions on help for Zimbabwe

31 OCT 2012 07:31 - SAPA-AFP

The IMF has relaxed restrictions on supporting Zimbabwe as the country moves
toward constitutional reform and shows improvement in cooperation.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said easing its restrictions, set
after Zimbabwe fell behind in repayments to the fund, would allow its staff
to advise the government on its economic program and monitor the program's

The IMF's executive said it took the decision based on "significant
improvement in Zimbabwe's cooperation on economic policies" and the
government's renewed commitment to deal with its arrears problems.

It also cited the threat to Zimbabwe's economic stabilisation program from
"severe capacity constraints" in areas that the IMF would be able to provide

Zimbabwe has been behind in the repayment of $132-million owed to the IMF
since 2001; it is also in default on another $1.5-billion owed to the World
Bank and African Development Bank, according to a June 2012 IMF report.

In a September report, the IMF said Zimbabwe's government had begun
cooperating more closely in discussions on its outstanding debt, including
making a new commitment to repay the money.

The IMF said on Tuesday that the eased restrictions would allow it to expand
its technical assistance to the country "to support Zimbabwe's formulation
and implementation of a comprehensive adjustment and structural reform
program that can be monitored by the staff."

No financial assistance is involved, the IMF stressed.

The move comes as Zimbabwe's economic situation, precarious in recent years,
is stabilising and the government commits to reforms.

Earlier on Tuesday, President Robert Mugabe said he expects fresh elections
early next year, held under a new Constitution, to choose a successor to the
country's shaky power-sharing government.

Last week, political parties and civic groups gathered to review the draft
Constitution that will be put to a referendum. The date of the referendum
has yet to be announced. – Sapa-AFP

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Zimbabwe says IMF move can help it pay off huge debts

Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:56pm GMT
By Nelson Banya

HARARE Oct 31 (Reuters) - Easing of IMF restrictions on Zimbabwe should help
it to clear its mountain of defaulted debt and pave the way for foreign
investment, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said on Wednesday.

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday relaxed restrictions on technical
assistance to Zimbabwe, a major step towards normalising relations with the
destitute southern African country.

Zimbabwe's voting rights in the IMF were suspended in 2003 over arrears and
policy differences with President Robert Mugabe's government. Voting rights
were restored in 2010, allowing Zimbabwe to again participate in IMF

"The decision basically lifts sanctions against engagement with Zimbabwe.
It's a major step towards Zimbabwe's debt payment programme," Biti told

Biti saw the move as allowing Zimbabwe to work on its programme to reduce
debt owed to global creditors, including the IMF and World Bank.

"An accelerated debt repayment programme was not possible as long as those
sanctions remained in place," Biti said.

While Zimbabwe is still not able to tap IMF funding, easing the restrictions
moves it in that direction.

The IMF would want to see a record of sound policies by the unity government
of President Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai before it agrees to
a lending programme.

"They looked at our track record and understood what we're trying to do, as
well as our growth prospects," Biti said.

A decade of decline culminated in Zimbabwe's economy being crushed about
four years ago by hyperinflation running as high as 500 billion percent.

The unity government jettisoned the local currency in favour of the U.S.
dollar and South African rand, ushering in economic stability and
single-digit inflation.

Zimbabwe has proposed a repayment plan where it taps into its mineral wealth
to pay debts while asking creditors to reduce some of the burden.

Its total external debt is huge, estimated at $10.7 billion, or 113.5
percent of GDP, at the end of 2011. More than half of it is in arrears.

The government recently projected growth of 8.9 percent in 2013.

There are concerns that elections required to be held next year as part of
the deal to form the unity government could spark an economic crisis in a
country with a history of deadly violence at the polls.

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Ex-farmers target Zimbabwe’s UK assets

31/10/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

A GROUP of white former commercial farmers forced off their farms under
Zimbabwe's land reforms have approached the UK government in a bid to have
seized Zimbabwe assets used to pay their compensation.

The eleven families believe the UK treasury is holding Zimbabwe assets
seized after sanctions were imposed against the country more than a decade

They also claim to have sent a 2,500-signature petition to foreign secretary
William Hague protesting EU plans to lift the sanctions at its next review
of the measures.

One of the farmers, Timolene Tibbett, 56, said they would not rest until
they get “justice" from President Robert Mugabe’s government.

“I can promise the Zimbabwean government we are not going away,” Tibbett
told the London Evening Standard.
“We are going to be on their toes until we see that justice is done and we
get paid - we have a good case. I’m sure we will win.”

She said a court awarded them more than $22 million compensation in 2009
adding the figure has since risen to $30 million due to interest.

At the time, the Zimbabwean Government agreed to settle the debts, but three
years on the money remains outstanding.
Now been reduced to living in a small flat in Harlow in Essex, the former
equestrian competitor says the stress of the ordeal led to her husband’s
premature death.

“It’s extremely difficult. I have no friends and very few family here. I
have a couple of relatives, but my children are not here with me. They are
scattered all over. Life has changed drastically, dramatically for me,” she

Recalling the build-up to her family’s eviction, Tibbett said: “There had
been lots of intimidation of our workers and a neighbour of ours who was an
opposition supporter was murdered.

“The War Veterans came to the farm, they got near the house and demanded
certain things. There was chanting, shouting and screaming.

“We stuck it out for about three weeks, watching and listening to them.
“Finally, my husband said he could not stand to watch the family’s
livelihood and that of all our workers being allowed to die - it was very

After being forced to leave their land in the Macheke district, which they
had worked since 1986, the penniless family fled to Harare to try to set up
a business, but times were hard.

Tibbett’s husband later travelled to Nigeria for work, coming home every
couple of months to see his wife, but the stress became too much and in 2008
he died from a perforated ulcer, aged just 50.

After a brief spell in South Africa, Timolene returned to the UK last year.

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'My Zimbabwe farm was stolen by Mugabe's thugs now I live in tiny Harlow flat'

Family: Timolene Tibbett, husband Rolf and two of their children in Zimbabwe

A Londoner forced off her 3,600 acre farm in Zimbabwe told today of her
battle to get justice from Robert Mugabe’s regime.

Timolene Tibbett, 56, was thrown out of their home with her late husband
Rolf and their three children by a pro-government group known as the War
Veterans in 2001.

The Kensington-born former equestrian competitor was promised compensation
by a court but has never received a penny.

She has now been reduced to living in a small flat in Harlow in Essex and
says the stress of the ordeal led to her husband’s premature death.

“It’s extremely difficult. I have no friends and very few family here. I
have a couple of relatives, but my children are not here with me. They are
scattered all over. Life has changed drastically, dramatically for me,” she

Determined not to give up, however, now Mrs Tibbett is leading a campaign
called Justice Zimbabwe to force Mugabe to pay the money she and 10 other
farmer families are owed.

They have sent a 2,500-signature petition to foreign secretary William Hague
protesting EU plans to lift sanctions currently imposed on the southern
African nation.

They have also suggested previously-seized Zimbabwean assets held by the UK
treasury are used to cover the money owed.

“I can promise the Zimbabwean government we are not going away,” said Mrs

“We are going to be on their toes until we see that justice is done and we
get paid - we have a good case. I’m sure we will win.”

Describing the build-up to her family’s eviction, she told the Standard:
“There had been lots of intimidation of our workers and a neighbour of ours
who was an opposition supporter was murdered.

“The War Veterans came to the farm, they got near the house and demanded
certain things. There was chanting, shouting and screaming.

“We stuck it out for about three weeks, watching and listening to them.

“Finally, my husband said he could not stand to watch the family’s
livelihood and that of all our workers being allowed to die - it was very

After being forced to leave their land in the Macheke district, which Mr
Tibbett had worked since 1986, the penniless family fled to Harare to try to
set up a business, but times were hard.

Mr Tibbett later travelled to Nigeria for work, coming home every couple of
months to see his wife, but the stress became too much and in 2008 he died
from a perforated ulcer, aged just 50.

After a brief spell in South Africa, Mrs Tibbett returned to the UK last

In 2009 a World Bank international court in Paris awarded more than 17
million euros to her and 10 other victims, a figure that has since risen to
23 million due to interest.

At the time, the Zimbabwean Government agreed to settle the debts, but three
years on the money remains outstanding.

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Soldiers terrorise Gokwe

By Tererai Karimakwenda
30 October 2012

Villagers in Gokwe, Mashonaland West, have reported that uniformed soldiers
are forcing them to attend political rallies, where they are being warned
that more soldiers with guns will be deployed to punish them if they do not
support ZANU PF policies on the constitution and in elections due next year.

The report comes just a day after Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s
spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, told reporters that Robert Mugabe met with
Tsvangirai on Monday and agreed to call a meeting with the country’s army
generals, to discuss the issue of political violence and elections.

According to Tamborinyoka, Mugabe and Tsvangirai agreed that peaceful
elections can only be held if soldiers were confined to their barracks
during the poll. The meeting with army generals is scheduled for early next

These meetings with what is called the National Security Council (NSC) are
supposed to be held every month, for Mugabe and Tsvangirai to discuss key
security issues. But Mugabe has not called an NSC meeting with Tsvangirai
for almost 5 months.

Mugabe is commander in chief of the military services and can order the
soldiers to stay in their barracks if he wants to, especially during the
elections. But given ZANU PF’s history of using the army to intimidate and
assault people, there is concern that he is just paying lip service to
Tsvangirai and will not restrain soldiers who attack any perceived “enemies
of the state”.

Meanwhile an activist from Gokwe told SW Radio Africa that soldiers recently
set up a camp at Moses Village in Mapfungautsi district. He said a soldier
named Magwizi, who wears a military police uniform, appears to be in charge
of the base. Another soldier named Mabhunu, is known to run a base at

Our contact said the soldiers have been preaching ZANU PF propaganda at
rallies that they are forcing people to attend. They have lists with the
names of all local residents, which they get from traditional leaders like
chiefs and headman. Those who fail to attend are penalized.

The next meeting will be held at a place called Rest Camp in Masore Area,
which is under Headman Chingoma. It is not clear whether Chingoma is
cooperating, or being forced by the soldiers.

Statements recently made by senior ZANU PF officials make it clear the party
has no intention of allowing the MDC-T and party president Tsvangirai to
take over, if they win the election next year.

In an interview earlier this month, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa told
the BBC that Tsvangirai cannot be allowed to win the presidential poll.
Chinamasa did not elaborate how this would be done. This was followed by
ZANU PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo, telling South African television that there
would be bloodshed if Tsvangirai won.

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Zimbabwe, South Africa abolish visa requirements

on October 31, 2012 at 6:42 am

Crossing the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe is expected to remain
a relatively simple matter after the two nations’ foreign ministers
concluded a deal basically abolishing visa requirements between the two

South African Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Maite
According to a Business Day report South African Minister of International
Relations and Co-operation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Zimbabwe’s Foreign
Affairs Minister, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, discussed progress made on a
memorandum of understanding (MoU) on migration.

“This MoU basically abolished visa requirements between our two countries,
making it easy for our citizens to cross our borders with relative ease,” Ms
Nkoana-Mashabane said.

Almost three years ago the South African government agreed to allow
Zimbabweans to visit for 90 days without a visa and during this time they
could seek temporary work. This they said was part of regional integration

Authorities said the relaxation in visa rules was to facilitate the legal
movement of people between South Africa and Zimbabwe and strengthen efforts
to fight human trafficking, human smuggling and other cross-border crimes.

An estimated three million Zimbabweans live in South Africa, many illegally.
A large number fled political persecution and applied for asylum. But the
South African government considers most of them to be economic migrants.

Two years ago undocumented Zimbabweans in South Africa were given the
opportunity to apply for work, business or study permits. The SA Home
Affairs Department received more than 270 000 applications.

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Justice Bhunu postpones cop murder trial again

By Tererai Karimakwenda
31 October, 2012

High Court Judge, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu, has cited illness again and
postponed the trial of 29 MDC-T activists, accused of murdering a Glen View
cop last year.

Defence lawyer Gift Mtisi told SW Radio Africa that the trial was supposed
to resume Wednesday after being postponed on Monday. But the judge asked
them to appear in his chambers and said he had a problem with his legs.

Mtisi said: “We appeared in his chambers and he gave an excuse. The judge
said there was some problem with his legs, especially with cloudy weather.
So he has postponed the trial until Monday November 5th”.

Mtisi also represented two other MDC-T activists in a bail hearing
Wednesday. Jackson Mabota and Tarisai Kusotera, both MDC-T youth leaders
from Glen View, were arrested earlier this month and also charged with the
murder of Officer Petros Mutedza, in May, 2011, over a year after the

Mtisi said the two activists were in court for their bail hearing but
Justice Mayera reserved judgement indefinitely.

“The state had finished their response to our application yesterday and
judgement could have been passed. But the judge may have needed time to go
over both submissions. She did not indicate when she would make a ruling on
bail” Mtisi explained.

This hearing was also supposed to have been held on Monday but was postponed
after the prosecutor failed to turn up.

The main trial of the 29 activists has dragged on for more than year, with
the state and judges giving various excuses to cause delay. The excuses have
included the absence of witnesses and assessors who were due in court on
several occasions. The judge’s illness has become the latest excuse.

Beatrice Mtetwa who heads the defence team, has complained about the amount
of time spent on actual court business. She says court sessions add up to
only a few hours, even though the trial has been going on for months.
The MDC-T insists the delays are deliberate and meant to prolong the
detention of their officials and party members. They say officer Petros
Mutedza was killed by unknown revellers at a Glen View pub. But the state
claims he was killed by MDC-T members who held a meeting at the pub.

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ZPS officers eye gold mine

Several senior Zimbabwe Prison Service officials have allegedly set their
sights on Connemara Gold Mine in the Midlands.

by Edgar Gweshe

The mine is 30km north of Gweru, next to Connemara Open Prison on a farm
owned by the ZPS. In recent years, the gold mine has faced serious viability
challenges, prompting ZPS to search for a business partner.

A source privy to the shady deal told The Zimbabwean that ZPS had invited a
foreign-owned firm to help revive operations at the gold mine. Under the
partnership, ZPS is supposed to get 51 percent shareholding as stipulated
under Zimbabwe’s indigenization law.

A ZPS front

However, the source said that a coterie of senior commissioners with
influence in a ZPS-owned company, Pamberi/Xobikani, were conniving to grab
the 51 percent ownership of the mine by forking out their personal finances.

“Pamberi is owned by ZPS but the truth is that it is under the control and
influence of powerful figures here who have benefited from a lot of
fraudulent deals conducted by the company,” said the source who declined to
be named for security reasons.

The source identified Deputy Commissioner Agrey Machingauta as the leader of
the group of senior officials. However, Machingauta, when contacted for a
comment, refuted the allegation.

“No, I couldn’t be involved. That is not my area as I only do administration
and my work involves looking after the welfare of prisoners. I don’t know
anything about the operations of Xobikani,” he said.

He then referred further questions to Deputy Commissioner Moyo who declined
to comment.

ZPS not benefitting

Pamberi/Xobikani firm was established in 2007.

“Although they would like to claim the company (Pamberi/Xobikani) is owned
by ZPS, the truth is that Prison Services is not benefiting from that
company,” the source added.

ZPS spokesperson, Superintendent Elizabeth Banda, confirmed they were
looking for a partner to help revive operations at Connemara Gold Mine but

she was not aware of any clandestine arrangement by senior officials to
snatch the 51 percent shareholding.

“I am not aware of any move by anyone to snatch the shares. What I know is
that we are looking for an investment partner and as soon as we get one, we
will let you know,” said Banda.

Mine in trouble

She acknowledged that Connemara mine was facing viability constraints but
could not be drawn into disclosing whether the ZPS was looking for local or
foreign investment partners.

Contrary to Banda’s sentiments, the source said: “Some of the senior
commissioners involved in the deal have paid as much as $38 000 which they
said is to help revive operations at Connemara and all this is being done
using the Xobikani name,” said the source.

The source added that attempts to thwart the clandestine arrangement had
resulted in victimization of some officers at ZPS.

“One officer was dismissed by word of mouth and his service vehicle has been
parked for almost five months now,” added the source.

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Chihuri named in dubious burial scheme

Police Commissioner General, Augustine Chihuri, and other senior officers
have been named as being behind a clandestine bid to pressure members of the
force to join a new funeral scheme run by serving cops.

by Staff Reporter

Investigations by The Zimbabwean show that the life assurance firm, Kuitira
Mhuri Funeral Scheme, is owned by at least four serving senior police
officers whose offices are situated in the Avenues area of Harare. The
company was registered in June, this year.

According to sources, Chihuri last week addressed police officers and urged
them to join the scheme.

Following his address, Kuitira Mhuri registration forms were distributed to
police officers to complete in order to join the scheme. Stop order
deductions would begin in November. A copy of the form given to this
newspaper shows the logo of the funeral firm and requires members to fill in
their force number, rank and station, among other details.

“We were addressed by the Commissioner General last week and he told us
about the launch of the funeral scheme and said it was proper that every
police officer should join the scheme. Of concern to us is the fact that
this amounts to coercion. Right now, some senior members involved in the
scheme are busy monitoring our compliance. It’s just not fair,” said one
irate police officer.

According to company registration papers at the Deeds Office, the Kuitira
Mhuri Funeral Scheme is owned by Assistant Commissioner James Nyakotyo,
Chief Superintendent Takawira Nzombe , Blessing Dirani, Clement Munoriarwa
and Albert Richard Bondi.

Further investigations established that the first four are currently
employed by the ZRP, while the current position of Bondi could not be
ascertained at the time of going to print.

Despite evidence at hand, senior national police spokesperson, Charity
Charamba, denied any links between ZRP and Kuitira Mhuri.

“Let me point out that I learnt about Kuitira Mhuri from (you). ZRP has no
connection whatsoever with the company and has not been approached by anyone
from Kuitira Mhuri. All Police Officers are accorded burial by the
organisation,” Charamba told The Zimbabwean.

While ZRP has internal arrangements for the burial of deceased members, the
scheme has of late been dogged by logistical constraints owing to a critical
shortage of transport, resulting in members joining their own schemes.

Sources within ZRP queried Chihuri’s interest in the scheme. “We wonder why
the CG (Commissioner General) would like to make it mandatory for us to join
the funeral scheme. What interests does he have in the company? Who exactly
stands to benefit from the scheme?” asked one officer.

If all members of the 30,000-strong police force were to join the scheme,
Kuitira Mhuri would rake in some $3million a month on the premium plan where
a member can register three dependents.

Officers based at the Police General Headquarters and Chikurubi Support Unit
are angered by the possibility that they could be forced to abandon their
current funeral schemes.

“We believe one should make one’s own choice of a funeral scheme but the
instructions from the Commissioner General seem to insinuate that we should
dump our preferred funeral schemes,” said an officer who spoke on condition
of anonymity for security reasons.

Those interviewed also expressed fear that they could lose their money as
the Kuitira Mhuri scheme was “not reputable and seems to be a dubious

Several years ago, police members complained that they were being
short-changed when they were made to join another funeral scheme, Moonlight,
which failed to honour its obligations to cover funeral expenses. In some
cases, bereaved members were forced to make unplanned switches to other
funeral houses when they lost relatives.

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Chipangano’s links to the top exposed

Officers from the President’s Office have been implicated in an ongoing
court case in which Zanu (PF) Harare province Youth Chairperson, Jim Kunaka,
has accused two employees from Mashwede Diesel Services (Pvt) Ltd of

by Edgar Gweshe

The police in the aftermath of violence at Machipisa Shopping Centre when a
gang of Zanu (PF) youths, believed to be part of the notorious Chipangano
gang, were bussed into the area to attack market vendors.
In the case, Kunaka (31), who is believed to be the leader of a Zanu (PF)
militia group, Chipangano, claims that two Mashwede Diesel (Pvt) Ltd
employees, identified in court as Isheanesu Maribha (34) and Gwezuva
Changamire (35), connived to give him a $5 000 bribe after which he made a
police report and a trap was set leading to the arrest of the duo.

President’s Office

The two Mashwede Diesel employees have since appeared in court facing
charges of bribery. However, the defence team for the Mashwede Diesel
employees, led by Augustine Runesu of Chizikwi Legal Practitioners, claims
that Kunaka, acting on advice from staff at the President’s Office, connived
with Superintendent Chrispen Makedenge to set a trap for the duo and effect
their arrest.

“It emerges that the informant (Jim Kunaka) had engaged the office of the
President on this matter and on advice from the office went to see Makedenge
of the CID Law and Order section who was supposed to be looking for him.

“Makedenge hand-picked officers from different departments and gave CID
Residential (Section) the responsibility of having the accused arrested when
money had been paid,” reads part of the defence outline.

The defence team alleges that the two Mashwede Diesel employees were victims
of partisan conduct by the police force.

Too powerful

The defence outline also highlights how the Zimbabwe Republic Police failed
to act against attacks of Mashwede Diesel workers by Zanu (PF) youths led by
Jim Kunaka at the site where businessman Alex Mashamhanda was constructing a
food court, saying he was too powerful for them.

“Mashamhanda went to formally report the violation of the law but was
advised not to make a statement by Assistant Inspector Shoko but to go and
discuss the matter with the chairperson of Zanu (PF) who demanded that the
company employ their youths. This was complied with and about 20 youths were
employed,” reads the defence outline.

Follow ups on the matter revealed that complaints against Jim Kunaka and the
Chipangano militia were being forwarded to the CID Law and Order Section who
were reluctant to take action.

The case has unearthed the wanton grabbing of council properties in Mbare by
powerful Zanu (PF) youths.

Kunaka gave his address in court as 5 Special House, Mbare and claims he is
the rightful owner of the property which legally belongs to the City of

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Spy Agents threatens Speaker of Parly's workers

Suspected state spy agents on Sunday night visited the Bulawayo home of the
Speaker of Parliament, Lovemore Moyo in High Mount low density suburb, where
they threatened his workers and demanded information about his personal
properties and his background.

by Gladys Ncube

Moyo who is also the MDC-T national Chairman spends most of his time in
Harare at parliament and party business.

Speaking to The Zimbabwean last night, Moyo’s Personal Assistant, Artwell
Sibanda said the suspected spy agents that were travelling in a white Nissan
Hardboy vehicle, threatened to arrest and beat up the caretaker and his wife
for refusing to cooperate.

“They came at night and hooted at the gate but the caretaker at the house
refused to open and asked to know their identity. Two of them then jumped
out of the car and demanded to know the Speaker’s whereabouts.

“They then they threatened to arrest the caretaker who stays at the cottage
with his wife for refusing to give them the information. They wanted
information about the Speaker’s personal properties in the city and those at
his rural home in Matobo.They also asked about his background and later
drove off at high speed,” said Sibanda.

Sibanda said they have since reported the matter to Saursetown Police
Station adding that Zanu (PF) is making frantic efforts to intimidate the
MDC-T Chairman as the country is heading towards referendum and elections.

“He is not going to be intimated by this, they should confront him if they
want to know about his personal life,” he said.

Last year Moyo’s bottle store and supermarket in Matobo were raided by
unknown assailants.Moyo was first elected as the Speaker of Parliament in
2008 but his election was nullified by the Supreme Court in 2011 following a
complaint by Zanu-(PF)’s Jonathan Moyo, who said the vote had been
"disorderly". He was re-elected the same year after beating the Zanu (PF)
Chairman, Simon Khaya-Moyo

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Ex-soldier appeals over son’s death in Chiadzwa

Staff Reporter
31ST October 2012

According to Newsday newspaper a retired soldier, Misheck Kajai, has
appealed to Vice-President Joice Mujuru, over the mystery surrounding his
son’s death in Chiadzwa in 2008.

He is seeking her intervention in solving the case in which he believes the
police shot his son.

He said his son Flint was killed on 23rd October 2008 after he had gone to
Chiadzwa looking for diamonds.

Newsday have a copy of the letter that the father has written to Mujuru,
pleading with the government to deal with the issue.

The letter reads: “The information I have is that he and others were made to
pay and be allowed by the police officers manning the area to mine the
diamonds. The boys were captured and beaten. My son tried to escape from the
beatings and was shot dead.”

Kajai said the cops at Marange police station said they had been issued with
instructions ‘from above’ and told to shoot to kill.

He said he had contacted numerous government officials in his attempt to
seek justice, but none of them had done anything. He said he had finally
approached human rights group ZimRights for assistance.

The organisation’s legal practitioner, Nancy Madzivire, confirmed to NewsDay
that they were dealing with Kajai’s case. She said: “We wrote to the Police
General Headquarters in Harare in February this year after Mutare Police
Station had failed to co-operate. We are pursuing this case which has
dragged on for years.”

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MDC-T say Midzi swindled Epworth residents

31st October 2012
Staff reporter

The MDC-T has issued a press statement saying that ZANU PF’s losing Epworth
parliamentary candidate, Amos Midzi, swindled thousands of dollars out of
home-seekers in Epworth.

The statement referred to the over 200 homes, illegally allocated to the
home-seekers, that were demolished two weeks ago.
The statement also said that Midzi had been involved in a variety of illegal
activities and had been sponsoring ZANU PF youths who operate under the
Chipangano terror group.

In August Didymus Mutasa rebuked Midzi for failing to reign in the
Chipangano militia and stop them from terrorising commuters and vendors in
The MDC-T said that the Epworth residents who had had their homes torn down
had originally paid US$1,000 each for the land, to ZANU PF members aligned
to Midzi. But the land belonged to Sunway City and was designated for
industrial use.

Senator Zvidzai, the MDC-T Secretary for Local Government, said instead of
demolishing the people’s homes, police should arrest those who sold council
land illegally.

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SA's Zimbabwe interests secured

October 31 2012 at 10:53am

South Africa's economic interests and investments in Zimbabwe would remain
protected, Zimbabwean Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said

“There is no doubt regarding this country's economic interests in Zimbabwe.
They are and will remain protected,” Mumbengegwi said in Pretoria.

He was speaking after talks with his South African counterpart Maite

They discussed bilateral relations under the auspices of the Joint
Commission for Co-operation.

Nkoana-Mashabane said the implication of Zimbabwe's Indigenisation and
Economic Act was raised during the meeting. - Sapa

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Fears grow for frail John Nkomo

30/10/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

FEARS grew for Vice President John Nkomo last night as his family was forced
to deny he was gravely ill.
Nkomo’s last public engagement was a mining conference held in Harare on
September 12 at which he looked emaciated and his voice weak.

He was conspicuously absent at the burial of Tertiary Education Minister
Stan Mudenge early this month and has missed a string of official

The privately-owned NewsDay newspaper reported last week that Nkomo, 78, was
“bedridden” in a South African hospital.

But Nkomo’s son Jabulani has now come out to say his father is “in a steady
health condition”.

“He is okay, he will be back at work soon,” he insisted on Tuesday.

Jabulani said his father was “relaxing at home” – denying he had been flown
to South Africa in a critical condition.
He added: “Umdala [The old man] is recovering very fast and is relaxing at
home despite the lies that have been peddled by some people.”

Nkomo revealed in 2010 that he had been diagnosed with cancer.

Nkomo, 78, and Joice Mujuru, 57, are 88-year-old President Robert Mugabe’s
The only other people to occupy the job since 1980 – Joseph Msika, Joshua
Nkomo and Simon Muzenda – died on the job aged 85, 82 and 80 respectively.

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Proud Ex-Rhodesians

A few weeks back, Jacqueline Zwambila – Zimbabwe’s envoy to Australia – was
fingered for ‘wining and dining with white ex-Rhodesians’. Chief accuser:
ZANU-PF media. Nauseating! Let us not get sucked into the ZANU-PF’s super
storm of collective condemnation. Everyone born in Rhodesia before or at 12
midnight, 31 December 1979 is an ex-Rhodesian.

by Rejoice Ngwenya

The ‘all ex-Rhodesians are evil’ syndrome is a ZANU-PF tactic of
discrediting non-compliant white Zimbabwean citizens. I have no doubt that -
second only to Apartheid South Africa - Rhodesia practised one of the
harshest forms of colonial repression. The Southern African country produced
its own genre of narcissist scoundrels – Ian Smith, General Peter Walls,
Colonel Reid-Daly and P.K. van de Byl. Apart from racial segregation, Smith’s
Rhodesia Front committed large-scale genocidal acts using Polish built
T-55LD tanks, Canberra light bombers and Hawker fighter jets on refugees in
Zambia and Mozambique. Wikipedia says there were 459 confirmed cases of
anthrax poisoning in Rhodesia over the period 1959 to 1978 with over 10,000
people contracting anthrax between 1978 and 1980.

Surprisingly, ZANU-PF chooses to conveniently ignore the record of ‘good’
white ex-Rhodesians. Liberal Prime Minister Garfield Todd excelled in
promoting ‘development’ of the Black community. He pushed a Bill allowing
for multiracial trade unions, thereby undercutting the growing white
nationalist influence in the workers movement. Lastly, in a bid to increase
the number of Blacks eligible to vote from 2% to 16% of the electorate, he
lowered property and education qualifications, although this was rejected by
rightwing element. It is common knowledge how his daughter, Judith Todd, was
forced into exile for her pro-black activism.

The list of ‘good ex-Rhodesians’ is endless: Alec Douglas-Home famous for
his ‘six liberal principles’; Arthur Guy Clutton-Brock of Cold Comfort Farm;
Trevor Huddleston; Fenner Brockway; Michael Scott and Mary Benson. Shona
language expert George Fortune, social activist Eileen Sawyer and hundreds
of high school heads at places like Goromonzi, Umzingwane, Fletcher, Tekwani
and Kutama missions; heads of faculties at the University of Rhodesia and
also principals at agricultural and teacher training colleges.

Thus I get overwhelmed by a sense of ire when ZANU-PF ‘intellectual
counterfeits’ want to make us believe that only ‘white commercial farmers
are ex-Rhodesians’. Award-winning idiocy! Ironically, Zimbabwe has produced
its own sizeable stock of post-Rhodesia lunatics – none of which are white,
by the way. It is under the ‘black watch’ of President Robert Mugabe that 20
000 innocent Zimbabweans were murdered by his Fifth Brigade, not to mention
massive de-industrialisation, unemployment, large-scale starvation,
hyper-inflation, homelessness and epidemics. The recalcitrant Ian Smith - in
declaring UDI and committing the country’s resources to a huge military
adventure – is no different from ZANU-PF cronies obsessed with
militarisation of state institutions. While Smith was paranoid about
liberation ‘communists’, Mugabe’s ‘high command’ is haunted by the phantom
of ill gotten wealth!

Says Vince Musewe: “This is a clear indication that ZANU-PF remains frozen
in the past and refuses to acknowledge that the world has indeed moved on
and that they must either move with it or be left behind.” I do not argue
that the Rhodesian identity bestowed on me was acceptable, neither was I
consulted to be labelled Zimbabwean. My point is that Zimbabwe has assumed
pariah status but not all Zimbabweans – let alone ZANU-PF members - are
‘evil’. Collective condemnation is unjustified. We may resent what some of
the white ‘ex-Rhodesians’ did to us, but they were not all merchants of
death. The trajectory of economic and academic supremacy black Zimbabwe
inherited from white Rhodesia deserves accolades.

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Zimbabwe's pricy democracy

30 OCTOBER 2012 23:31 (SOUTH AFRICA)

In Zimbabwe, democracy comes with a price tag. Referendums and elections don’t
come cheap, and already the parties are squabbling over who is going to foot
the bill. By SIMON ALLISON.

You might think democracy is priceless. You’d be wrong. In Zimbabwe, there’s
a very definite price tag attached: $219-million (in case you were confused,
that’s American dollars; the conversion into Zimbabwean is beyond the
computing power of most calculators).

It’s a two-for-one deal. In the coming year, if all goes to plan – and it
rarely does – Zimbabweans should vote twice: once in a referendum on a new
constitution and again during national elections. According to the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission, the referendum will set the state back a hefty
$104-million, while the elections required $115-million.

As a bonus, these elections will include three by-elections which should
have been held this year. They were postponed when President Robert Mugabe
successfully argued they should be delayed. His reasoning? They were too
expensive. According to his estimates, the by-elections would set the state
back around $38-million – that’s just under $13-million per member of

Zimbabwe’s situation is not unusual. Elections are a generally expensive
business. In the United States, spending in preparation for next week’s
elections is estimated to be nearly $6-billion, with campaign adverts taken
into account. That’s more than twice the GDP of Lesotho. In fact, it’s only
a few billion short of the GDP of Zimbabwe itself.

But the United States can afford expensive elections. Zimbabwe, alas,
cannot. Finance Minister Tendai Biti came out last week and told the rest of
his unity government quite bluntly that there’s unlikely to be enough money
in the budget to fund the necessary democratic processes. He suggested that
Zimbabwe look to foreign donors for assistance: to the likes of the European
Union and the International Monetary Fund.

While it is probably perfectly true, Biti’s position supports the argument
of his party – Morgan Tsvangirai’s faction of the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC-T) – that the elections should be delayed. The MDC-T is
concerned that rushed polls will damage the country in the long term. It is
also concerned it might lose: the ruling Zanu-PF, despite the many mistakes
it has made, continues to enjoy significant popularity.

And Zanu-PF has not been slow to attack Biti’s financial concerns as
political posturing. “Zimbabwe is not in the pockets of donors. The money
for elections is there. We are going to have the elections once the
President proclaims the dates,” said Zanu-PF MP Jonathan Moyo. “It is not up
to Minister Biti to decide on this matter. His tricks are not going to delay
the elections anymore.”

The state-run Herald newspaper added another criticism: “(Unnamed) Political
party officials and analysts say opening the country's electoral processes
to foreign funders, including countries that imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe,
would result in manipulation of the processes.”

It is a strange situation that the MDC-T and other opposition parties find
themselves in: while they want to delay elections, Zanu-PF – not known as
paragons of democracy – wants to hold them as soon as possible. There are
two reasons: First, a rushed election and referendum might help to force
through a constitution that the party is attempting to alter to protect the
sweeping and unregulated powers of the president. Second, they want to make
sure that the president himself is around to contest the elections – yet
another medical visit to Singapore last week has fuelled rumours that he is

Suspiciously silent during this cross-party bickering is Jacob Zuma and his
mediation team. These are exactly the kind of intractable disputes that the
South African president is mandated to resolve, and yet there has been no
public comment on the issue so far. Perhaps he is working behind the scenes;
or, more likely, he’s got quite enough local issues to keep him busy.

Meanwhile, the real cost of Zimbabwean democracy is only getting higher. If
the 2008 post-election violence is anything to go by, a mere $219-million
might be the deal of the century. DM

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