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Reforms face further delays

by Tobias Manyuchi     Friday 18 November 2011

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s constitutional reforms could face further delays after a
multi-party committee leading the drafting of the new governance charter
said it was facing difficulties securing funds for a key conference to
discuss the reforms.

Constitutional Parliamentary Select Committee (COPAC) joint-chairman
Douglass Mwonzora said the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was
unwilling to fund the conference to discuss the draft constitution before it
is submitted to Zimbabweans in a referendum.

The UNDP that in 2009 funded the first constitutional conference that was
marred by violent clashes between delegates fears the second conference
scheduled for January and expected to cost US$2 million could also
degenerate into violence, said Mwonzora.

“UNDP expressed some reservations that they could not fund a process, which
was likely to be marred by violence like what happened at the first all
stakeholders conference. They argued that they could not sink over US$2
million into violence,” said Mwonzora.

Mwonzora, representing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in the three-member
committee that chairs the COPAC, said violent clashes between supporters of
the three ruling parties that have disrupted public hearings on some key
Bills before Parliament could have also convinced the UNDP that the
constitutional conference could go the same way.

Mwonzora said the constitutional committee was looking for alternative ways
to raise cash for the conference that he said was required by law to be held
before the draft constitution is put before the nation.

The constitution-making process is already running behind schedule by
several months due to a host of problems including bickering between Mugabe’s
ZANU PF party and the MDC over how to interpret public submissions on the
new charter.

The proposed new constitution is part of reforms agreed by Zimbabwe’s
coalition partners that are meant to democratise the country’s politics.

The government is expected to call fresh elections once a new constitution
is in place although there is no legal requirement for it to do so.

Zimbabweans hope a new constitution will guarantee human rights, strengthen
the role of Parliament and curtail the president's powers, as well as
guaranteeing civil, political and media freedoms. -- ZimOnline

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Colonel revives torture bases

A Zimbabwe National Army colonel, Charles Muresherwa, has allegedly been
resuscitating torture bases here which were used by Zanu (PF) during the run
up to the bloody June 2008 presidential run-off.
by Zwanai Sithole Harare

Villagers who spoke to The Zimbabwean this week accused Muresherwa of
setting up semi-military bases at Mhakwe, Biriwiri, Nhedziwa and Shinja
primary schools where Zanu (PF) youths are being indoctrinated.

“Muresherwa is moving around the district in army uniform setting up Zanu
(PF) youth bases. One famous base is at Mhakwe primary school where youths
spend the whole night singing pro-Zanu (PF) songs and denouncing the MDC,”
said a teacher at Mhakwe primary school who refused to be named for fear of

The villagers said the army colonel was working closely with Zanu (PF)
youths who terrorised villagers during the previous election.

“It seems this exercise is well co-ordinated and sanctioned by the party
because Zanu (PF) chefs such as Joshua Sako are often seen at these bases,”
said another villager.

Muresherwa is aspiring to be a Zanu (PF) MP in the area.

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Bonus Crazy Soldiers Beat Up Villagers

Masvingo,November 19,2011-Villagers and beer patrons at Bhani business
centre in Masvingo north had a torrid time on Thursday after they were
severely assaulted by drunken junior soldiers from the Zimbabwe National
Army who were seemingly crazy after getting their bonus salaries.

The gun men who are stationed at a nearby training camp  are believed to be
from 4 brigade, took one too many beers after government rewarded them with
their 13th cheque and started beating villagers and bar patrons accusing
them of being sell-outs because of supporting Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai MDC party.

About eight villagers who were drinking  beer at Banhi bar were seriously
injured and admitted at Morgenster were they are receiving treatment.

One of the victims, Archfod Bungu told Radio VOP that the soldiers who were
visibly drunk, were boasting that they had enough money to drink because of
the bonus and started beating people accusing them of undermining and
looking down on them as poor people because of their meagre salaries.

They also allegedly accused parents of causing their suffering because they
supported MDC which they accused of inviting sanctions in the country.

“They were so many in civilian clothes drinking hard. When they got drunk
they began to brag that they had a lot of cash mentioning the bonus they had
just received. They started shouting at everybody and accused the locals of
being sell outs because of supporting MDC,” he said.

He added that they started assaulting villagers after some youths told them
that it was their right to support a party of their choice.

“Some youths answered them that they had the right to support a party of
choice and this triggered the assault. They fought with the youths who later
fled living them to beat any one they came across at the shops which were
later forced to close,” said Bungu.

MDC Masvingo north District youth Chairperson, Anorld Batirai confirmed the

“We received reports yesterday that villagers including our supporters were
beaten by soldiers who were drunk after they were paid their bonuses. We
have since visited some of our supporters who are critically injured at
Morgenster Mission. As MDC we condemn such barbaric actions when members of
the uniformed forces assault innocent
civilians over political issues, when they are supposed to be
apolitical,” said Batirai.

Batirai said  such incidents reflects why their party have been pushing for
security sector reforms because the security forces had been turned into
extensions of political parties in particular Zanu-PF.

Efforts to get a comment form Masvingo ZNA spokesperson, Warrant Officer
Kingston Chivave were fruitless as his mobile was not reachable.

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Magistrate acquits Mugabe ‘insulter’

By Pindai Dube
Saturday, 19 November 2011 15:25

BULAWAYO - Bulawayo magistrate,Victor Mpofu acquitted a 76-year-old white
commercial farmer and miner, Mike Van Royen who was arrested in July this
year  on charges of insulting President Robert Mugabe.

Van Royen who runs Cynthia Mine and Asher Estates in Matobo district in
Matabeleland South province was arrested after a group of Zanu PF youths
attempted to grab his properties.

Lennon and Rodney are claiming to be rightful owners of Asher Estates saying
that the properties were left in their hands by their late parents.

Van Royen was charged under Section 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and
Reform) Act.

After hearing both submissions from Van Royen’s lawyer Nathan Tawanda
Mashayamombe and state witnesses Lennon and Rodney, magistrate Mpofu
acquitted Van Royen.

Van Royen has been running the mine and the farm for the past 36 years.

Allegations against Van Royen are that sometime in July he was phoned by
Bulawayo Zanu PF secretary for security Joe Tshuma over the farm and mining
business and he told him “to go and hang together with Mugabe.”

There are currently less than 200 white commercial farmers left out of at
least 4 500 white commercial farmers who used to farm in Zimbabwe until the
year 2000 when Zanu PF embarked on land grab.

The land grabs programmes which were led by militant war veterans in that
year resulted in several white farmers losing their land and fleeing the

Mugabe says the violent land grab exercise was meant to correct historical

Farm equipment and materials were also grabbed by the new farmers as well as
livestock and crops which were later harvested and sold by the land

Government said it will compensate the improvements that were made on the
farms by the white farmers, whose land was compulsorily acquired.

Mugabe has vowed that the land reform will not be reversed.

In July this year, a Sadc tribunal ruled in favour of two white commercial
farmers, Louis Fick and Michael Campbell that they can stay on their farms
and continue with their farming.

The Zimbabwe government, however, said it does not recognise the tribunal as
the country and most Sadc members are yet to approve that the tribunal
rulings be effective.

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Airzim workers return to work

by Staff reporter
2011 November 19 08:23:39

NORMALCY returned at Air Zimbabwe​ yesterday with workers reporting for work
following negotiations with management. On Thursday Air Zimbabwe workers
held their bosses' hostage and slept at the airport in protest over
outstanding salaries. But normalcy returned yesterday following negotiations
with management.

The workers, however, gave management up to Monday next week to address
their grievances.

Air Zimbabwe acting chief executive officer Mr Moses Mapanda confirmed the
development in an interview with the Herald yesterday.

"Everything is now normal. We are in the process of paying them. Operations
went smoothly today and everything is in order," Mr Mapanda said.

A representative of the workers said they had given management up to Monday
to address their grievances.

The struggling Air Zimbabwe owes workers US$5,6 million in outstanding
salaries. The national airline is facing a number of challenges among them
an ageing fleet.

Customers have also lost faith in the airline as a result of perennial
labour disputes that have negatively impacted on its image. The parastatal
is struggling to settle the salary arrears because of cash flow problems. On
Thursday, Mr Mapanda confirmed Air Zimbabwe was battling to pay workers
their outstanding salaries.

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Air Zimbabwe Looks to China's Hainan Airlines as Possible Strategic Partner

18 November 2011

Lawmaker Blessing Chebundo, transport committee chairman, said his panel
opposes any complete takeover of Air Zimbabwe by a foreign investor, but
would welcome a strong strategic partner

Sandra Nyaira | Washington

Air Zimbabwe is in takeover talks with China’s largest privately-owned
carrier, Hainan Airlines, said reports Friday following discussions between
President Robert Mugabe and Hainan Chairman Chen Wenli in Beijing about the
proposed deal.

The Zimbabwean Parliament's committee on transport said recently that the
government should assume the state airline’s US$140 million debt to put it
in a better negotiating position to seek a strategic partner who would
assume a major stake in the carrier.

But reports from China said Harare has already presented a proposal to
Hainan, which operates 112 planes and flies to 90 destinations.

Reports said Mr. Mugabe and Hainan executive Wenli discussed the possibility
of a strategic investment by the Chinese carrier.

Harare would waive a requirement under the Indigenization and Economic
Empowerment Act that Zimbabwean investors hold a 51 percent stake, the
reports said.

Wenli told reporters Hainan was still studying the proposal. Zimbabwe's
Ambassador to China, Frederick Shava, said talks with Hainan had been under
way for some time.

"Hainan said they are still studying some aspects of the proposal and soon
they should be able to define the nature of the relationship (with Air
Zimbabwe)," said Ambassador Shava. Agreement by Hainan could help Air
Zimbabwe turn the corner, he said.

Lawmaker Blessing Chebundo, chairman of the parliamentary transport
committee, said his committee opposes any complete takeover of Air Zimbabwe
by a foreign investor, but would welcome a strong strategic partner to
stabilize the troubled carrier.

Economist John Robertson said that while Harare is desperate to find a
strategic partner, the Hainan deal could fall through like many others
broached with Chinese firms.

The news emerged late Thursday as Air Zimbabwe workers held managers hostage
in an all-night vigil demanding payment of $5.6 million in salary arrears.

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Envoys: EU Sanctions to remain

19/11/2011 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

THE European Union (EU) will maintain sanctions imposed against Zimbabwe
until the country fully implements the Global Political Agreement (GPA).

EU envoys based in Harare reiterated the position during meetings with
Acting President, John Nkomo on Friday.

Nkomo met separately with Swedish Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Anders Linden and
his Germany counterpart, Hans Gunter Gnodtke. Both officials insisted that
the sanctions would remain in place.

Linden told Nkomo Zimbabwe should fully implement the GPA, which facilitated
the formation of the coalition government between President Robert Mugabe
and long-time rival and now Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
For his part, Gnodtke said Germany was keen to re-engage with Zimbabwe wants
reforms agreed under the GPA were completed.

"No one in Germany would want to see the sanctions go beyond the conclusion
of the current political reform processes. Even the European Union will
appreciate the need to revisit the restrictive measures once Zimbabweans
achieve the targets they have set for themselves in the GPA," he said.
However, Nkomo said the country would move forward regardless.

"We were hoping that the West would re-examine their stance on Zimbabwe and
help us promote development and reconciliation among Zimbabweans,” he said.

"Instead, they have conveniently chosen to call the sanctions restrictive
measures, which they know will be divisive on our society creating suspicion
and strife among our people.”

The government wants the sanctions – imposed following allegations of human
rights abuses and electoral fraud – lifted, blaming them for the country’s
economic problems.
But the EU and other Western countries claim that he sanctions are
 “targeted” at individuals blamed for the rights abuses.

Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party accuses Mugabe’s party of reneging on implementing
aspects of the GPA while Zanu PF insists its partners have not done enough
to push for the removal of sanctions.

The coalition government is expected to implement a raft of political
reforms leading to elections, possibly early next year.
Civil society groups say the GPA has stalled because of the lack of
political will “to achieve real reform”.

“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 International Crisis Group said in a
recent report.

“Prospects for constructive engagement are diminishing, which makes it
difficult to see how even minimal conditions for free and fair elections
will be secured”.

Negotiators from the coalition parties met on Friday ahead of another
meeting with South African President Jacob Zuma's facilitation team and
party principals next week.
Zuma is the regional SADC grouping’s point-man on Zimbabwe.

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South Africa’s Zuma to Meet Zimbabwe Leaders, Herald Reports

By Brian Latham - Nov 19, 2011 7:38 PM GMT+1000

Negotiators from Zimbabwe’s rival political parties are holding meetings in
secret locations ahead of the arrival of South African mediators on Nov. 23,
the state- controlled Herald said, citing Patrick Chinamasa, the country’s
justice minister and chief negotiator for President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe
African National Union-Patriotic Front.

The mediators, Zanu-PF and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for
Democratic Change will discuss what issues remain to be addressed before the
southern African nation can hold elections, the Harare-based Herald said on
its website. The negotiations will come before a meeting between South
African President Jacob Zuma, Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara,
Zimbabwe’s Deputy Prime Minister and the former leader of a splinter-group
of the MDC, said the Herald.

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Zimbabwe Activists Propose to Target Justice Minister Chinimasa With Eggs

18 November 2011

Madhuku said civil society will organize a pelting protest starting in
January to push for reforms, followed by a series of other actions focusing
on what he called political hypocrisy regarding the rising level of violence

Violet Gonda | Washington

Zimbabwean civic activists up in arms over comments by Justice Minister
Patrick Chinamasa at a recent human rights conference in Geneva saying
Zimbabwe does not need security sector reform say they are considering a
novel protest approach.

At a public meeting this week organized by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
Rights, National Constitutional Assembly Chairman Chairman Lovemore Madhuku,
also a lawyer, said activists should pelt Chinamasa with eggs to object to
his stance.

Reform of the police, the military and other security agencies is a major
sticking point in talks between the two formations of the Movement for
Democratic Change and President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF about fulfillment of
the 2008 Global Political Agreement for power sharing and the scheduling of
a new round of national elections.

The MDC says the security sector must be reformed or it will interfere with
elections and potential block a transition. ZANU-PF insists the security
sector can’t be touched.

Madhuku told VOA reporter Violet Gonda that civil society will organize a
pelting protest starting in January to push for reforms, followed by a
series of other actions focusing on what he called political hypocrisy on
the rising level of violence in the country.

“We say the only way of reacting to Chinamasa’s arrogance and
misrepresentation of the situation in the country is to harass him
politically ... and in this case we called upon people to do a symbolic
action of throwing eggs at him,” Madhuku said.

But Goodson Nguni, president of the Federation of Non-Governmental
Organizations, objected to the pelting strategy which he said amounted to

“We think it is undemocratic. We think it’s immoral for anybody to encourage
anybody to be hit with eggs," Nguni said. "We don’t even think that our
political enemy – someone we don’t like here like Morgan Tsvangirai, should
be pelted by eggs by anyone.”

Madhuku said it is not illegal to throw eggs at ministers, as no harm can be

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Kasukuwere links political violence to 'youth poverty'

17/11/2011 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

YOUTH poverty is a major driver of political violence in Zimbabwe, says
Youth, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere.

Launching a US$11 million Youth Economic Fund, Kasukuwere reeled out shock
statistics of young Zimbabweans dropping out of school. Many of them were
left “vulnerable” to manipulation by unscrupulous politicians, he added.

“Unemployment is the greatest challenge facing young Zimbabweans. More than
50 percent of children who register for Grace 1 do not pass or complete
Grade 7. More than 80 percent of those who make it to secondary school do
not register for A Level. Over 300,000 young people drop out of school each
year,” Kasukuwere said.

“... they are vulnerable to violence. We have seen in recent weeks the
increasing number of incidences of violence. The reason is because many are
idle and not employed. They have become vulnerable to the whims of cheap
politicians who hope to gain support through violence.”

Kasukuwere, speaking to an audience which included Vice President Joice
Mujuru on Wednesday, said violence “damages relations between youth and
threatens the unity that is needed in order to live in harmony and engage in
jobs or income generating activities”.

He added: “It is very difficult to repair the damage caused by violence once
it has happened. I am therefore appealing to all youths to make conscious
decisions to shun violence.

“Say no to any situation that leads to violence. Work hard on being tolerant
of each other. Openly discourage perpetrators. Refuse to be involved. Name
the perpetrators. Disgrace them.”

Only a fortnight ago, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai claimed at a news
conference that Kasukuwere had mobilised Zanu PF youths to disrupt an MDC-T
rally in Chitungwiza. Kasukuwere’s aides say the minister is considering
suing Tsvangirai as he strongly refutes the claims.

The violence led to an unprecedented violence indaba addressed by the
leaders of Zimbabwe’s three main parties who called on the police to come
down hard on perpetrators.

Kasukuwere said the youth development fund, a scheme sponsored by Old
Mutual, will see US$1 million disbursed to each province “to help youth
business projects”.

He added: “Out of a total population of 14.5 million, there are more than
six million young Zimbabweans who are... roaming the streets of towns and
villages. They are not invisible, but they are visible by their idleness, by
not having clear goals for their lives and most importantly by their
inability to support themselves and their families.

“They have no reason to be happy and proud. They are unable to make
decisions to help themselves. This is a shameful situation for all

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Chombo re-expels Harare councillors

By Nkululeko Sibanda, Senior Writer
Saturday, 19 November 2011 15:27

HARARE - Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development, Ignatius
Chombo says he has re-expelled four Harare City councillors who were
re-instated into council courtesy of a High Court order.

Speaking to journalists at a press conference in Harare yesterday, Chombo
said his ministry had appealed to the High Court contesting the decision by
Justice Bharat Patel to have the four councillors re-instated.

The four, Maxwell Katsande (Ward 26), Paul Gorekore (Ward 3), Johnson
Zaranyika (Ward 39) and Silas Machetu (Ward 25), were suspended last year on
allegations involving improper acquisition of housing stands and eviction of
tenants from council properties.

Their suspension followed recommendations made by a commission of enquiry,
led by senior Harare magistrate, Munamato Mutevedzi, which was set up by the
local government ministry to probe the irregularities.

“We have contested the ruling that was made by the High Court to throw out
the expulsion of the four councillors,” said Chombo.

“Our basis is that when the ruling was handed down, it was done
clandestinely in such a way that we were excluded from the entire court

“We have, thus, gone back to court and argued that we need to have our side
heard by the court — a move that has seen our appeal sailing through to
result in a situation where the earlier ruling has been set aside to pave
way for a proper hearing,” Chombo said.

He added: “As a result, I have re-expelled the four affected councillors
pending the finalisation of the matter in court.”

In an interview yesterday evening, Leslie Gwindi, the Harare City Council
public relations manager told the Daily News that Chombo was yet to furnish
the council with letter of re-suspensions.

“The councillors were re-instated by way of a court order by the High
 Court,” explained Gwindi.

“What then happened is that last week, after the court order was made, the
councillors came back to council and were re-introduced as councillors.

If the minister says he has re-expelled them after an application was made
at the High Court, he has not furnished us with that appeal and until that
is done, they will remain councillors,” Gwindi added.

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Gono nails MP over bribe

By Chengetai Zvauya, Senior Writer
Saturday, 19 November 2011 15:11

HARARE - Goromonzi North Zanu (PF) MP Paddy Zhanda who is chairman of the
Parliamentary Committee on budget and finance has been recused from dealing
with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) debt issue allegedly for pursuing a
“personal agenda” against governor Gideon Gono.

The central bank governor reportedly wrote a letter to Parliament
complaining that Zhanda was chasing a personal agenda and insinuated that
the Goromonzi North MP was asking for bribes from him.

The clash — and subsequent stepping side of Zhanda in the issue — emanates
from the lower house’s probe of the farm mechanisation programme, which was
financed by the central bank, and as part of a wider inquiry into the apex
bank’s indebtedness to the tune of $1,2 billion.

Willas Madzimure, the MDC MP for Kambuzuma, confirmed having been appointed
interim chairperson of the key committee to deal with RBZ issues until
Zhanda has cleared his name.

“The committee has asked me to make a report to the House, so that the
Speaker (Lovemore Moyo) can a make ruling on whether Zhanda has a case to
answer against Gono.

“Gono is making complains that Zhanda is pursuing a personal vendetta and
that he asked for a bribe to stop questioning the central bank governor.

“According to  Standing Rules and Order No. 13, Zhanda had to recuse himself
on the issue due to the nature of allegations levelled against him. He can’t
chair the committee when dealing with the central bank issue. Gono says
Zhanda sent two emissaries asking for favours and that (Zhanda) is using his
Parliamentary privilege, and immunity to harass him,” he said.

Madzimure stressed, though, that he saw nothing, but a personal fight
between Gono and Zhanda — a wealthy businessman and known pig farmer.

“The issue of the RBZ debt has been with the committee (for some time now)
and it is not supposed to be a personal fight between the two (and) Zhanda
has to recuse himself when we are dealing with RBZ matters,’’ he said.

Madzimure said Zhanda can chair the committee on any other issues and
reasoned that maybe Gono was pinning Zhanda to rescue himself from further

However, Zhanda said yesterday that as far as he knew, he was still the
chairperson of the budget and finance committee.

“I am not at liberty to discuss those allegations as it is sub-judice (and
since) the matter has been brought before Parliament for a ruling. I,
therefore, refer you to the Clerk of Parliament, but it must be known that
the committee has been seized with the RBZ issue for more than a year now
and we are going to deal with it. I am still the chairman of the committee,”
Zhanda said.

On the other hand, Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma professed ignorance over
the matter, saying it “has not been brought to my attention yet” and he
could only comment on it by releasing a press statement.

A letter written by Gono to committee members and briefly seen by the Daily
News at Parliament yesterday details the RBZ chief’s complaints against
Zhanda which Madzimure confirmed.

Gono has been appearing before Parliament since September and this is not
the first time that he has allegedly clashed with members of the committee,
especially after the well-publicised feud with former
Guruve North MP David Butau.

In his appearance before the august house, the RBZ boss provided papers on
who benefited from the farm mechanisation drive, but declined to make the
reports public.

At the time, he was accused of shielding Zanu PF looters under the farm
mechanisation programme.

Gono’s fight with Zhanda, meanwhile, is being seen in the wider context of
political and factional clashes in the country, and observers said the feud
had hallmarks of a carryover from the period when the latter was chairman on
NMB Bank Limited.

The group, which is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, had numerous
run-ins with authorities, which led to the suspension of its foreign
currency dealing licence.

Said an MP privy to the Zhanda/Gono war: “After what appeared to the RBZ as
hostile interrogation by the committee and Zhanda in particular on several
occasions, it has emerged that there are serious wars behind the scenes that
were taking place between Zhanda and Gono and some attempts to settle
personal scores.

“Zhanda was once the powerful chairman of NMB Bank which escaped curatorship
in 2004 after the founders fled the country. Upon investigation, the bank
was said to be in a serious liquidity situation and Zhanda was forced to
resign by Gono on allegations that he had a significant exposure in the bank
in non-performing loans. Gono is now viewing this as a fight back by Zhanda
and now Gono is making serious allegations of bribery,” said the MP.

Gono was not available for comment with a secretary at his office saying the
central bank governor was not at liberty to discuss the issue.

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Zimbabwe's feared police Support Unit warns violence perpetrators

by Staff reporter
2011 November 19 09:57:58

POLICE'S Support Unit says is ready to deal with all forms of violence in
the country before and during general elections expected next year.

Speaking on the preparedness of the unit to handle violent situations in the
country at Chikurubi yesterday, Senior Assistant Commissioner Mekiah
Tanyanyiwa, said the force would not be found wanting.

"We have the mandate, capacity and capabilities to effectively deal with
rogue elements," he said.

He said the Support Unit would be wary of people who used violence to pursue
political agendas ahead of the coming referendum and elections.

"We are aware of some misguided social misfits who thrive on violence as
means to express and perpetuate their political agendas as we wait for the
referendum and elections next year," said Snr Asst Comm Tanyan-yiwa.

The unit displayed special tactics in a mock violence scene as they
demonstrated how to deal with riotous situations.

Snr Asst Comm Tanyanyiwa warned the force not to use their special training
to engage in criminal activities.

There have been cases of politically motivated violence in Harare City
Centre, Hatcliffe and Chitungwiza recently that resulted in some youths
being arrested.

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Elephants in grave danger

Elephants in the country’s largest National Park are at serious risk as
water and food shortages bite.
by Zwanai Sithole Harare

Wildlife conservationists who spoke to The Zimbabwean said the current heat
wave had worsened the situation in the park where jumbos and buffaloes are
reportedly dying every day due to thirst and stress.

“Elephants and other wild animals are competing for water at the few
remaining water sources in the park. To worsen the situation, veld fires
have destroyed grass and edible trees for elephants. Elephants are now
travelling to neighbouring Botswana in search of food and water,” said Helen
Martin, a wild life conservationist doing research in the area.

Martin said of the 10 water holes in the giant national park, only three
were functioning.

“Most of the water holes in the park have dried up. I went around the water
holes last week and saw decomposing carcases of elephants and buffaloes
strewn all over the place. Disaster is looming if the rains do not fall
within the next few days,” she said.

A National Park and Wildlife Management Authority worker at the main camp
also told The Zimbabwean that several elephants had died this week at
Guvalala and Tchabema water holes. The worker said the diesel –powered
boreholes which NPWMA installed during the height of the 2002 draught were
failing to cope with the desperate situation.

“There is chaos in the park. The pumps are few and they are pumping very
little water, which is not enough for the thousands of elephants in the
park,” said the worker.

Hwange national park is believed to be home to about 70 000 elephants,
against a holding capacity of 30 000. NPWMA spokesperson, Caroline
Washaya-Moyo, could not be reached for comment.

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Growing US interest in Zim

American businesspeople are beginning to change their negative opinion about
doing business here, with a growing number of US companies contacting the
local embassy to learn about business opportunities, US Ambassador Charles
Ray has said.
by Wallace Mawire

Ambassador Ray made the remark to welcome a business delegation from
Chicago, USA with keen interests to do business in Zimbabwe. The
delegation's visit on November 14, 2011 was facilitated by the American
Business Association of Zimbabwe.

ABAZ has been working hard to spread the word that Zimbabwe is open for
business, according to Ray.

"ABAZ is doing great work to open doors. The association is growing
partnerships with Mr Higginbottom, the Corporate Council on Africa and the
US Chamber of Commerce. Other organizations are helping American companies
gain a clear picture of business conditions in Zimbabwe so they can make
informed decisions about available opportunities," said Ray.

Ray added that US businesspeople were coming to Zimbabwe because the economy
was growing and trade and investment ties between the US and Zimbabwe were

Zimbabwe is the fastest-growing economy in Southern Africa and among the top
three fastest-growing on the continent. Ray encouraged Zimbabwean
politicians to liaise with visitors from Chicago on potential investment

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Mugabe to blame: SA analyst

An economic analyst based in South Africa, Kenneth Moelapise, has said that
President Robert Mugabe’s untrustworthiness is to blame for the prolonged
economic downturn that continues to hold Zimbabwe back.
by Tony Saxon

Moelapise, who is touring timber plantations in the Eastern Highlands, said
Mugabe and Reserve Bank Of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono abused the
financial aid that the international community provided over the years.

“While the MDC-T seemed to have a clear economic plan for the country,
Mugabe and Gono were devoid of plans on how to deal productively with
financial aid from the international community like the International
Monetary Fund,” he said.

Moelapisi added that Zimbabwe would continue to have similar problems, if
Zanu (PF) party was allowed to meddle in the finances of the country.

“The problem is that Zanu (PF) wants the money to be used as soon as
possible on trivial issues like funding farm mechanisation, but the majority
of the resettled farmers are not trained and have been producing nothing
from the land that they grabbed. On the other hand, the MDC-T, through its
Finance Minister (Tendai Biti), wants to lay down a plan of how the country’s
finances can be used productively. This has created a severe stalemate that
needs to be solved amicably as a matter of urgency,” he said.

According to Moelapise, Zimbabwe needs to begin servicing its huge debt to
the international community so that balance of payment support continues to

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Zimplats submits revised local ownership plan

November 18 2011 at 01:39pm


Impala Platinum's Zimbabwe unit Zimplats this week submitted a revised local
ownership plan to comply with a law requiring foreign mining firms to turn
over a 51 percent stake to local blacks, the empowerment minister said on

The plan was submitted on November 17, and the government plans to conclude
talks with Zimplats by next Thursday, Saviour Kasukuwere told reporters.

“I can safely say we are not unduly disturbed by what's coming from
Zimplats. I am very excited that we are making very good progress,” he said.

He also said that Unki mine, the Zimbabwean unit of Anglo American Platinum,
had agreed to sell a 10 percent stake to local communities. - Reuters

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Parties want free, fair elections

By Editor
Saturday, 19 November 2011 15:29

HARARE - Global Political Agreement (GPA) negotiators have drawn up a list
of “teething” problems affecting the smooth implementation of the agreement
to lay the framework for free and fair elections.

The problems were identified yesterday during a meeting held by negotiators
from Zanu PF and the two MDC formations at a secret location in Harare.

Zanu PF, MDC and the smaller faction of the MDC negotiators  attended the

In an interview, Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga said the negotiators would
now proceed to hand over the issues to the South African facilitation team
which was mandated by Sadc to deal with the Zimbabwean issue.

“We had a fruitful meeting today (yesterday) and we have agreed on a number
of issues that we collectively feel need to be attended to as a matter of
urgency so that we can be able to fully implement the GPA,” she said.

“The list of those things that we agreed upon will now be handed over to the
South African facilitation team which will then table them with the
facilitator, South African president, Jacob Zuma,” Misihairambwi-Mushonga

Zuma, after being furnished with the list of the problems, is then expected
to send his facilitation team back to Zimbabwe again next week for another

“The facilitation team is expected here next week for a meeting with all the
negotiators. After that meeting, the facilitator (Zuma) is then expected in
the country for his meeting with the principals and that is when the issues
are going to be tackled,” Misihairambwi-Mushonga said.

Some of the issues said to have been raised at yesterday’s meeting include
media reforms, the electoral framework, and security sector reforms.

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I am so sick of the Constitutional debate

November 19th, 2011

I am so sick of the Constitutional debate and all the rubbish around it.  It
is a process which has gone on and on and on.  It has eaten millions of
dollars.  A few weeks ago in Bulawayo Zanu-PF activists created a furore at
the Small City Hall when Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (COPAC)
co-Chairman Douglas Mwonzora had no other choice but to stop the meeting.
The committee of legislators had come to gather views on what should be
contained in the new constitution. One man who was just about to finish
giving his contribution when suspected Zanu-PF members began to interject
saying that he was “talking rubbish”.

“Get away, get away,” the alleged Zanu-PF activists shouted to the
unidentified man.   As the “get away” chorus grew louder, suspected MDC-T
party members began to chant, “Kakhulume,” which means, “Let him speak”. One
Zanu-PF activist demanded that the man making his contribution should speak
in a language that he could hear. “Khuluma ulimi oluhle esiluzwayo,” he

This statement shocked almost all the people who, it seems, had genuinely
come to give and hear views on the proposed electoral laws. Seeing that the
peace had been disturbed by the rowdy and rude heckling of the contributor
by  Zanu-PF activists, Mwonzora called on the people to put forward their
contributions in writing. Many there have got busy writing but the Zanu-PF
youths approached the Parliamentarians, grabbed the papers and fled
immediately. Another group, which seemed to support the “robbery”, remained
behind to sing Zanu ndeye ropa Baba, which means Zanu-PF is a party of

This entry was posted by Makeke on Saturday, November 19th, 2011 at 8:43 am

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Mayhem and obscenity

Dear Family and Friends,
The moment I saw the long legged bird with its stout body and flat
head I was taken back in time. As I watched the bird walk, head above
the grass, I searched for its name in my memory. It didn’t take long
to remember that this was a Kori Bustard, once a familiar bird I’d
seen often on our highveld farm. The sighting of the Bustard on a hot
and very humid November day announced the start of a very strange and
contradictory experience this week.

I had been given the rare opportunity of going back in time for a few
hours by paying a brief visit to a commercial farm that was still
partially functional. There aren’t many of them left eleven years
into land seizures. These politically biased land takeovers should
have ended years ago for the good of the country. Instead they just go
on and on, year after year, slowly draining the last drops of
lifeblood from our once thriving agricultural industry. Every week now
we hear of what are being called ‘black on black’ land seizures.
These entail repeated invasions and evictions by black people, of
black people who themselves invaded and evicted white people from the
farms a decade ago. It all makes a complete nonsense of the rhetoric
that land invasions were allowed in order to correct colonial, racial
imbalances and empower indigenous black Zimbabweans.

With all this in mind, you can’t help but feel very apprehensive
when visiting one of the few remaining commercial farms in Zimbabwe.
The farm gates were locked and manned by a guard and it wasn’t far
from there to the cropping lands. The road was of deep red soil and it
snaked around a cluttered workshop and a couple of run down buildings.
The obvious neglect told its own story. Farmers no longer spend money
on buildings and immovable infrastructure because they know that on
any day, at any moment an arbitrary bod off the road can walk in and
claim the farm as his own. After writing this fact down for eleven
years, it is still as absurd and incomprehensible as it was when it
first happened in March 2000.

The road passed through an avenue of towering gum trees and alongside
the remains of depleted seed beds before emerging at the tobacco
lands. Perfect lines lay in measured sections, bisected by roads at
equal intervals. Row after row of tobacco plants with enormous leaves
met the eye in every direction. Looking down the lines there wasn’t
a plant out of place and hardly a weed to be seen anywhere. Three
tractors and trailers were at work in the lands. At least fifty men
and women were busy doing various tasks. The first reaping was
underway and a dozen or so were picking the lowest leaves, loading
them into spring clips and laying them on the trailers so they could
be taken to the barns for curing. A gigantic irrigation pivot towered
over a section of the field, looking like an enormous scaffolding on
wheels, the multiple watering points reducing the risks for the vast
crop. This is farming the way it should be done, farming that
contributed to a country’s economy, you knew it at a glance. The
chilling reality was that this farmer and his fifty employees may not
be here at the end of the day, week, month or year. He had no
guarantee at all that he would be allowed to harvest this crop at the
end of the season – it all depended on who was passing by and what
their political connections were.

There were 36 commercial tobacco farms in this district a decade ago.
Only six remain and all are enduring varying degrees of mayhem and
obscenity at the hands of people trying to evict them. Leaving the
farm and returning to the main road, the contrast is so dramatic that
you literally draw in your breath. All of the neighbouring farms have
been taken over. All the boundary fences have gone. Cattle and goats
graze right on the edge of the main highway, tended by children who
should be in school. A scrappy, primitive mud and thatched hut stands
in what was once a large tobacco land. Two men guide a pair of long
horned oxen as they plough up a small field. They are making a small
red square of an acre or two in the midst of a vast, deserted land. A
group of women sit under a tree selling wild fruits displayed in
chipped enamel tin bowls.

This week the President of the Commercial Farmers Union described
farms being the least prepared for the growing season in fifty years.
He speaks of catastrophe and predicts massive food shortages in the
coming months. Anyone who doubts his predictions doesn’t have to
look far to see what has prompted this dire warning. Until next time,
thanks for reading, love cathy. 19 November 2011. Copyright � Cathy

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