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Heat wave kills more than 77 elephants in Zimbabwe

Nov 23, 11:40 AM EST

Associated Press

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- More than 77 elephants have died in a three-month
heat wave that has dried up watering holes in western Zimbabwe, wildlife
authorities said Wednesday

Rangers in the Hwange National Park have counted 18 calves and 21 adolescent
elephants among the dead animals, the state Parks and Wildlife Authority
said in statement. Elephant carcasses were found mainly in large areas of
bush surrounding three tourism and conservation camps in Zimbabwe's biggest
nature preserve.

Since September, Hwange National Park has seen temperatures soar to above
104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 C), far higher than annual averages.

"Our information is that animals are dying of thirst right across the park,"
said Johnny Rodrigues, head of the independent Zimbabwe Conservation Task

The Hwange National Park has no year-round rivers and little natural surface
water, making it dependent on wells supplying artificial watering holes
known as pans. An adult elephant needs nearly 50 gallons (200 liters) of
water a day. But some watering holes have broken down because of scarce
funding, the state wildlife authority said.

Rodrigues said voluntary animal welfare groups helped provide pumping
equipment for some of the 60 watering holes in the preserve. Many now need
replacement pumps and the underfunded state authority has failed to keep
them maintained or buy spare parts and gasoline.

He said private conservation groups also installed solar pumps and windmills
to draw water from the wells.

"There's very little wind at this time of year and the solar pumps can't
provide the amount of water required by the number of animals reaching them"
and overwhelming the pans, he said.

An estimated 30,000 elephants live in the massive preserve, along with
giraffes, lions and most other game animals.

Independent conservationists say the death toll of elephants, buffalo, zebra
and antelope species could be larger in many inaccessible areas of the park.
The reserve is 9,000 square miles (14,000 square kilometer) and adjacent to
the western border with neighboring Botswana.

The state authority's statement said officials estimated that the death of
the 77 elephants represents a loss of $1.5 million in "compensation value,"
the term used for animals lost to poaching or unforeseen deaths.

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Alleged conspiracy to corner Tsvangirai into marriage

By Lance Guma
23 November 2011

On Tuesday SW Radio Africa reported that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
had paid US$36,000 lobola to marry his long term girlfriend, Harare
businesswoman Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo. But we have since spoken to
several senior MDC-T officials who told us Tsvangirai did not marry Tembo,
but only paid US$10,000 ‘damages’ for getting her pregnant out of wedlock.

“This is in line with our culture. Tsvangirai did not even attend the
ceremony but sent his emissaries there,” the official said. “What is
happening now is an attempt by the Tembo family to embarrass Tsvangirai into
marrying her. These people think they can corner him into marriage,” the
official said.

On Tuesday reports suggested Tsvangirai and his son Edwin had visited the
Tembo family home in Christon Bank, 20 km north-west of Harare. Tembo’s
aunt, Felistas Tsine, even described how Tsvangirai removed his shoes and
sat on the floor after arriving at their home.

This was however contradicted by Tsvangirai’s spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka
who said: “The PM spent the whole day at his Charter House office.” On
Wednesday Tamborinyoka reiterated his earlier statement that the PM did not
marry Tembo, adding: “The only marriage the PM is concerned about is the
dysfunctional marriage called the transitional government.”

Tamborinyoka refused to go into the finer details of the matter, telling SW
Radio Africa: “If at all the Prime Minister is going to marry, the nation is
going to be told at the appropriate time. What I am telling you is the Prime
Minister’s position.”

Another MDC-T official told us it appeared ZANU PF had an interest in
getting Tsvangirai married to Tembo, because she was the sister to the ZANU
PF MP for Goromonzi West, Biata Beatrice Nyamupinga. Beatrice’s husband
Felix Nyamupinga is also from ZANU PF and currently Zimbabwe’s deputy
Ambassador to Australia.

“We are suspicious of their intentions in lying about Tsvangirai marrying
her,” the official told us.

SW Radio Africa was told the state media had coordinated a ‘sting operation’
by getting all the editors together in a meeting and planning how the story
would be covered. This was the reason the stories were similar and the
details of the ceremony “were ‘sexed’ up to create a public relations
nightmare for Tsvangirai.”

We also have information that the Prime Minister is angry with the Tembo
family and feels they tried to ‘stitch him up’ with their daughter, using
the media. The Herald newspaper for example gave prominence to an interview
with Tembo’s sister Beatrice, commenting on the ‘marriage’.

“My sister is a humble and hardworking person and we have confidence in her
as a family that she can withstand all the pressure that comes with her new
status. As a family, we do not mix politics and family matters. From our
party (ZANU PF) we have not heard anything bad about the marriage. In a
family, we can choose to go to three different churches but that does not
mean that we no longer belong to the same family,” Nyamupinga claimed.

Political analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya said the behaviour of the state media was
instrumental in understanding what was at stake. “If Tsvangirai had married
an individual who is solid, they would have lampooned and attacked him. To
show that there is something very sinister about his arrangement, they are
celebrating it, they are giving it good coverage, which is very dubious,” he

Ruhanya said the key figure in the whole matter was co-Home Affairs Minister
Theresa Makone, the MDC-T Women’s Assembly Chairperson. “This woman (Tembo)
is a friend if not relative of Theresa Makone and the MDC and anyone else
who does not see the hand of Theresa Makone is not being honest.”

Ruhanya said Makone was working behind the scenes and had put Tsvangirai in
this situation. “Tsvangirai does not go out looking for girlfriends, but he
has personal friends who play matchmakers and at the heart of this free
dating service is personal interest, namely controlling Tsvangirai. Makone
should move out of the private activities of the Prime Minister and focus on
her job as a public servant. This woman is a source of instability in the
MDC-T,” Ruhanya said.

He said the onus was also on Tsvangirai to assess the type of people who
surround him and give him advice.

Ruhanya said so far the MDC-T has demonstrated, “that it is not able to deal
with the devil it knows. By the time they realise this, things could be out
of hand. It could derail democratic transition.”

SW Radio Africa made calls to Makone the whole day to get her comment on the
allegations, but she did not answer. It’s likely she was in meetings the
whole day.

Earlier this year it was reported that Tsvangirai had got a 23 year old
Bulawayo woman pregnant. Loreta Nyathi, the daughter of radio legend Inglam
Nyathi, is reported to have a son with Tsvangirai called Ethan. The PM is
said to have bought a house for the family and committed himself to looking
after the child.

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Chiwenga gags Standard newspaper over ‘wife beating’ claims

By Tichaona Sibanda
23 November 2011

The country’s top military general, Constantine Chiwenga, has reportedly
gagged the Zimbabwe Standard to stop the paper from revealing any further
details involving his volatile relationship with his estranged wife,

In a candid interview with the weekly paper two weeks ago Jocelyn broke 10
years of silence to tell her story of their turbulent marriage. Her powerful
account detailed how the general would beat her up and then send her to
Malaysia for medical treatment.

Chiwenga eventually walked out on her and recently married Mary Mubaiwa, a
28-year-old former model and daughter of Dynamos Football Club Chairman,
Kenny Mubaiwa.

Last week Chiwenga instructed his lawyers Scanlen and Holderness to issue an
injunction against the Standard to prevent further details of the interview
with Jocelyn from being published.

The Standard’s Patience Nyangove had interviewed Jocelyn at her offices in
Willowvale, Harare. It is believed the paper intended to run a series of
explosives articles following the interview. But the injunction has put a
stop to that.

Meanwhile, Standard editor Nevanji Madanhire and reporter Nqaba Matshazi
presented themselves to the Harare central police station on Tuesday for
questioning. Their lawyer Linda Cook told SW Radio Africa the scribes were
questioned, charged with criminal defamation and released.

Police had been looking for the journalists over a story Matshazi wrote last
month. In that article, Matshazi alleged that Home Affairs co-Minister Kembo
Mohadi was muscling out resettled farmers in Beitbridge, to create room for
his son and nephew. Cook said after police recorded warned and cautioned
statements from the two journalists, they then charged them with criminal
defamation over the story.

The two were arrested two weeks ago over another story, written by Matshazi.
In the article he claimed a new health insurance firm, Green Card Medical
Society owned by the powerful Munyaradzi Kereke, was on the brink of
collapse. They were charged with theft, unlawful entry and criminal

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Kereke Accuses Standard Journos Of Extortion As Onslaught Escalates

Harare, November 23, 2011 – THE saga at ALPHA Media Holdings, the publishers
of the weekly Standard newspaper, has taken a new twist with prominent
businessman Manyaradzi Kereke, accusing journalists from the stable of
demanding financial bribes from him.

The damning accusation comes hard on the heels of the suspension of Newsday
political editor Kelvin Jakachira over allegations of corruption involving

Kereke, an advisor to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon
Gono, last week filed criminal and theft charges against Standard editor
Nevanji Madanhire and reporter Nqaba Matshazi after
the paper published a story alleging that the banker-turned farmer’s medical
aid society was facing imminent collapse.

However on November 16,  2011 Madanhire and Matshazi were granted US$100
bail each by Harare Magistrate Sandra Mupindu on charges of criminal

They are being charged with criminal defamation and theft of documents.The
charges arise from the publication of a story by the weekly on Kereke’s
medical aid company, GreenCard, allegedly facing

They were remanded to 20 December 2011 when their trial is expected to

But Kereke has distributed several public letters alleging that he was a
victim of extortion from the journalists from the stable. He has however
denied bribing Jakachira with a Toyota Corrolla as alleged by
his employer.

In his letters in possession of  Radio VOP, Kereke does not mention the
names of the two Standard journalists but warned that he would be ready to
expose them when asked by the proprietors of the newspaper.

A day after Madanhire and Matshazi appeared in court and were granted bail
Kereke wrote 18 November 2001 to Raphael Khumalo, the chief executive
officer of Alpha Media Holdings, requesting that they meet
to discuss rampant corruption within his newspaper stable.

The letter is copied to the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe, the
Zimbabwe Media Commission, the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists and the Media
Institute of Southern Africa (Zimbabwe).

Kereke said in his letter he was disturbed that Khumalo has rebuffed his
several requests for meetings to discuss bribery at his stable.

“I write to once again kindly request to meet with you at your earliest
convenience so that I highlight to you the grievances in have on the
following two cases: The continued silence by your office to
give me feedback on the formal complaint I raised about a journalist at The
Standard who explicitly extorted money from me.

As you are aware Sir, I highlighted this to you, as well as the Editor and
Deputy Editor of The Standard about the abuse I suffered. I had hoped we
would have closure on this matter in a much more diplomatic
way Sir; and I wanted to get the opportunity to bring to your attention that
another journalist under Mr. Nevanji Madanhire illegally entered my
residential house whilst I was at work after
misrepresenting to my security and domestic maids that he was my relative,”
reads part of Kereke’s letter.

He claims the unnamed journalist went as far as “my bedroom ostensibly
looking for news”. “The sad thing is that this journalist too later demanded
payment from me and I have evidence and witnesses to that
effect. “

Meanwhile, in another letter to Khumalo copied to stakeholders in the media
fraternity in Zimbabwe, Kereke has denied he bought a car for suspended
Newsday political editor Kelvin Jakachira. Jakachira was
suspended by Alpha Media Holdings on Saturday for alleged corruption. Kereke
said this was a “flat lie.”

He said Jakachira bought the vehicle from his medical company through an
open tender for US$4 900.

Meanwhile Madanhire and Matshazi were on Tuesday slammed with another charge
of criminal defamation over a story that alleged that co – Home Affairs
Minister Kembo Mohadi was trying to force new farmers off
their land and allocate it to his son and nephew.

Police recorded warned and cautioned statements from the two journalists on
Tuesday before charging them.

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Farmers blame land grab for serious food shortages

By Alex Bell
23 November 2011

The Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) has blamed the chaotic land grab campaign
for the current food shortages in the country, saying destructive land
policies have “shattered” Zimbabwe’s agriculture.

The United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP) has this week warned that
more than one million people in Zimbabwe will be unable to meet their food
needs in the coming ‘lean’ months. A statement from the group said failed
harvests and dry weather are partly responsible for the hunger threat.

“Most of the vulnerable households are located in the southern and western
regions which are very susceptible to dry spells,” said WFP Country Director
Felix Bamezon. “Agricultural production in these regions was once again poor
this season.”

Charles Taffs, the CFU President, told SW Radio Africa on Monday that these
predictions are “not surprising,” explaining that Zimbabwe has had food
security issues ever since Robert Mugabe launched the land grab campaign in

“Zimbabwe has been food deficient for 11 years. But it’s got nothing to do
with weather patterns. This is to all do with land policies and agricultural
policies,” Taffs said.

He added: “As long as there is no security of tenure and security of land we
are going to be food deficient.”

The Meteorological Services Department has also backed up Taffs’ statement
that the weather is not to blame, by dismissing reports that Zimbabwe is
facing a drought. The Department’s Tich Zinyemba is quoted by Newsday as
saying that there is “no evidence” to suggest a drought is on the cards.

Taffs meanwhile recalled how back in 1992, during the worst drought in
Zimbabwe’s recent history, the country had no fears of food insecurity. He
said that in a country with weather patterns like Zimbabwe, “there was
always a strategic reserve in case of a drought.” He added that it was only
because of the ZANU PF land policies that everything has changed.

“We have all the ingredients for a successful agricultural sector. But the
land policies are holding the entire country to ransom,” Taffs said.

The food situation has also been worsened by the politicisation of food.
Listeners in Bikita West have explained how MDC-T members are losing out on
receiving food packages, to the point that people are having no choice but
to join ZANU PF.

Bikitia West is an MDC-T constituency, after ZANU PF candidate Elias Musakwa
lost the position to the MDC-T’s Shoko Heya in 2008. But SW Radio Africa
listeners have said that Musakwa regularly tours the area with a truckload
of fertiliser and maize, but will not hand it over unless a ZANU PF card is
produced. It is not known where he is getting these supplies from.

On Wednesday a woman from Bikita West said she had to buy a party card and
join ZANU PF, to ensure her family can get grain. She also admitted going to
party meetings where food is often handed out, so that she can take it back

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GPA facilitators meeting delayed again

By Tererai Karimakwenda
23 November, 2011

A meeting that was scheduled for Wednesday between negotiators to Zimbabwe’s
Global Political Agreement (GPA) and the facilitation team representing
President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, has been rescheduled for next Monday.

The facilitation team, headed by Lindiwe Zulu, was due in Harare today
(Wednesday) for this crucial meeting, but the negotiators were reportedly
not ready, after failing to meet on Monday to iron out remaining issues.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti, who is a negotiator for the MDC-T, was
reportedly busy on Monday preparing the 2012 National Budget, which is to be
presented on Thursday.

The political parties remain deadlocked over the remaining issues blocking
full implementation of the GPA. Even the issues that were agreed on, have
not been implemented.

Political commentator and activist Sanderson Makombe blasted both the GPA
negotiators and chief mediator Zuma, saying they showed no sense of purpose
and urgency towards the process and have achieved little in the three years
since the GPA was signed.

“To leave the parties alone when they know they have such ideological
differences was doomed to fail from the beginning. I put the blame squarely
on the SADC facilitator himself. He did not push it to the limit to make
sure reforms were completed within the prescribed time,” Makombe explained.

The activist said Zimbabwe’s political parties are so polarized that they
need a strong mediator “cajoling them on a daily basis in order to bridge
the gap”.

Zimbabwe’s principle leaders, who were signatories to the GPA, are expected
to meet with chief the negotiator, President Zuma, once his facilitation
team delivers a final report on issues yet to be resolved. “At the current
pace, that may take another three years,” a frustrated Makombe said.

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China funds Zim SMEs

by Own Corespondent     Wednesday 23 November 2011

HARARE – The Development Bank of China will provide US$30 million to fund
small and medium-scale enterprises in Zimbabwe as Beijing looks to
strengthen ties with the resource rich African country.

The loan facility to be availed through the Infrastructure Development Bank
of Zimbabwe will be given in tranches with the first US$10 million-tranche
set aside for capital expenditure. The second tranche of US$20 million will
go towards working capital.

Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Xin Shunkang said the facility priced at 10
percent interest per annum was "only the beginning, bigger things will come
in the near future."

Beijing has emerged as one of Zimbabwe’s most important political allies and
trading partners since 2000 when President Robert Mugabe adopted his ‘Look
East’ policy

The policy is premised on the need to find new trading partners and markets
after traditional investors from Western nations turned against Harare in
protest over Mugabe’s human rights abuses, repression against political
opponents and his violent land reform programme.

The “Look East” policy specifically targets investors from Muslim and Asian
nations and in exchange Zimbabwe has promised minerals – including diamonds
and gold – and prime land to the investors, resulting in Harare penning
several investment and cooperation agreements mainly with China, Russia and

While Harare has sought to deepen ties with its Eastern allies, Beijing has
been on a drive to strengthen relations with African countries that hold
vast mineral deposits and other raw materials the Asian giant needs for its
manufacturing sector.

The facility advanced to Zimbabwe is part of a US$1 billion financial
support package for African SMEs launched by Beijing at the Fourth
Ministerial Conference on China-Africa Co-operation in 2009. -- ZimOnline

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ZOU Degrees Suspended

Harare, November 23, 2011- A Zimbabwean education quality body has suspended
some degrees and diplomas offered by the Zimbabwe Open University saying
they are below standard.

Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (ZIMCHE), a body that looks at the
quality of degrees and diplomas offered by the country’s institutions of
higher learning yesterday suspended two degrees and three diploma programmes
offered by ZOU with immediate effect, plunging educational plans of many
people undertaking the degrees involved into disarray.

The announcement was made in a public notice titled Suspension of
degrees/diplomas of the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU).

The notice was placed in Tuesday newspapers.

“In terms of Section 17 of the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education Act
(Chapter 25:27) read in conjuction with Sections 8 and 9 of the Manpower
Planning and Develeopment Act, Chapter 28:02, ZIMCHE wishes to inform all
stakeholders in higher education that the following degrees/diplomas offered
by the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) have been suspended with immediate
effect,” read part of the statement.

The programme listed include Master of Science (MSC) in Counselling,
Bachelor of Science (BSC) in Counselling, Diploma in education graduate
certificate, Diploma in Education primary and Diploma in Early Childhood

“These programmes will remain suspended until corrective measures are
effected and ZIMCHE issues an announcement lifting the suspensions. The
process of monitoring degree offering institutions and degree programmes is
an ongoing exercise and the public will be informed from time to time”, read
the statement.

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Mugabe Launches Community Trust, Critics Say Its Electioneering

Harare, November 23, 2011—President Robert Mugabe launches the Unki
Tongogara Community Share Ownership Trust in Shurugwi Wednesday (today) as
the government plunges headlong with the empowerment programme, critics say
the move is meant to curry favour with the electorate ahead of possible
elections next year.

In the trust, Unki will transfer 10% ownership to the community in the first
step towards complying with the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act which
says that 51% of all foreign owned companies operating in
Zimbabwe should be in the hands of locals.

Unki mines platinum along the Great Dyke and is owned by AngloAmerican.

The launch of the trust follows a similar initiative by platinum miner
Zimplats when it offered 10% to the Mhondoro—Ngezi community.

Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister confirmed
Wednesday function.

“We will be proceeding to Shurugwi, Midlands in the morning to launch Unki
Tongogara Community Share Trust scheme. President Mugabe will officiate as
we achieve another milestone in the empowerment drive,”
Kasukuwere said.

“We are happy that we have received maximum cooperation from the Anglo team
and the entire leadership of the Midlands and Shurugwi chiefs in

Since government gazetted the regulations governing the empowerment
legislation last year, there has been concern that the programme will scare
away investment needed to rebuild the economy.

This  concern has fallen on deaf ears.

Kasukuwere recently said that the empowerment programme would be underpinned
by three areas: setting up the community share ownership trust, employee
trusts and the sovereign wealth fund.

Old Mutual and Meikles Limited have already set up employee trusts while
other trusts and community share ownership trusts are on the way.

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Rapaport Group Calls on Diamond Trade to Avoid Marange Diamonds

RapNet extends ban on Marange diamonds, will expel and name members
violating policy.
Nov 22, 2011 8:08 AM   By Rapaport

RAPAPORT... PRESS RELEASE, November 22, 2011, New York: The Rapaport Group
strongly opposes the recent decision of the Kimberley Process (KP) to allow
for the immediate exports from the mining operations Mbada Diamonds and
Marange Resources in the Marange region of Zimbabwe.

We hereby publicly warn members of the diamond trade that the KP does not
certify against human rights abuses and KP certification does not ensure
that diamonds are not involved in human rights abuses. Furthermore:

1. There are persistent reports of human rights violations related to
Marange diamonds.

2. In spite of KP certification these diamonds are under U.S., EU and U.K.
government sanctions and are illegal for trade by U.S., EU and U.K. citizens
and entities owned by them.

3. The funds generated from the sale of these diamonds are not properly
accounted for. It is likely that they will be used to fund human rights
violations in Zimbabwe.

The Rapaport Group calls on all ethical members of the diamond trade to
cease and desist from the trading of Marange diamonds. In the event that
firms insist on buying and producing them we demand that these Marange
diamonds be separated from non-Marange diamonds so that they are not sold to
U.S., EU or U.K. entities. We firmly believe that the mixing of Marange
diamonds with non-Marange diamonds  and their subsequent sale to U.S., EU or
U.K. entities without disclosure is unethical and illegal. We demand that
firms selling Marange diamonds do so with full disclosure, similar to the
disclosure requirements for treated diamonds.

RapNet - Rapaport Diamond Trading Network continues to ban the trading of
any diamonds sourced from Marange, Zimbabwe even if such diamonds have KP
certification. Members found to have knowingly offered Marange diamonds for
sale on RapNet will be expelled and their names will be publicly
communicated. RapNet will be publishing new trading rules and ethical
guidelines in the near future.

The Rapaport Group warns the diamond trade that continued sourcing and
legitimization of diamonds involved in human rights abuses threatens the
integrity and reputation of all diamonds. Diamond trade organizations
particularly those promoting responsible trade and those serving in the
U.S., EU and U.K. trade should immediately issue clear guidelines banning
all their members from trading Marange diamonds. We believe it is unethical
for trade organizations to refrain from clearly banning the trade in illegal
Marange diamonds under the guise of supporting the KP.

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Violence haunts Copac

By Godfrey Mtimba
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:28

MASVINGO - The government is still haunted by the memories of chaotic scenes
that rocked the first constitutional all-stakeholders conference last year,
threatening to derail the drafting of a new constitution for the country
even before it had started.

The Minister of Constitutional Affairs, Eric Matinenga told a constitutional
update meeting in Masvingo on Monday that he remains worried by the on and
off violence that has characterised the process saying he cannot rule out
the disruption of the second all stakeholders conference if the violent
scenes currently rocking the country are not dealt with decisively.

“I cannot say the meeting will be free of violence. At the first meeting I
was there when it was disrupted and they even poured water on me as others
exhibited their Kongonya dancing skills on top of the tables."

“But we do not wish the same to happen again as our principals have been
preaching peace, I hope their pleas will be heard,” said Matinenga while
addressing Masvingo residents to update them on the constitution-making

He had been asked if the government can guarantee the safety of the
delegates to the second all-stakeholders conference and avoid a repeat of
violent scenes that were witnessed during the first all stakeholders meeting
at a Harare hotel.

“It’s pretty difficult to say there will be zero tolerance to violence on
this important stage because it has become a culture of our people to fight
if one disagrees with the other over a political issue.”

Matinenga said the actual drafting of the constitution will start next week
saying his ministry will try by all means possible to ensure that there is
no violence at the all stakeholders meeting.

“We will try to have a peaceful and non-violent second stakeholders meeting
after completing drafting the document,” said Matinenga.

He added that the drafting of the constitution is likely to stretch until
the end of February next year putting paid to President Robert Mugabe and
his Zanu PF party’s clamour for early polls.

“The drafting stage needs patience as it is a very complicated process,”
said Matinenga.

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Zanu-PF threatens farmers in Insiza North

FARMERS in Insiza North in Matabeleland South province, among them Zapu
members and supporters, on Sunday 20 November, 2011 resisted attempts by
Zanu-PF to extort donations from them to fund its so-called national
conference to be held in Bulawayo next month.

Zanu-PF Insiza district official Aggripa Ndlukula, in the company of an
accomplice only identified as Moyo, gate-crashed an Insiza/Shangani Farmers
Association meeting at Shangani Farmers Hall and told farmers to donate
towards the Zanu-PF conference, threatening that those who did not would
lose the land.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union Matabeleland South provincial chairman, Mr
Ernesrt Ndlovu, who is a local farmer, told Ndlukula and Moyo that the land
was for all the people of Zimbabwe regardless of political affiliation, and
their threats were therefore misplaced. The vice chairman of the
Insiza/Shangani farmers association, Mr Nehemiah Nyathi also told the two
gentlemen that “things have changed” and farmers would not allow political
parties to hold them at ransom anymore.

Realizing that their threats were backfiring, Ndlukula and Moyo backtracked,
saying only those who were willing should donate.

Zapu has cross checked with several of our members and supporters who
attended the meeting to verify these details.

For the record, Zapu led and won the fight for the restoration of land
rights to the majority of the people. Our party is totally against the
partisan allocation of land, and using land allocation to hold people
hostage, as is being done by Zanu-PF. The land belongs to all the people of
Zimbabwe, regardless of their political affiliation, race, tribe or other
creed. Zapu warns those victimizing others like is being done in Insiza
North that they may soon find themselves in a weaker political position.
Would they wish to be treated the same manner they are treating others now?

Zapu, the founder and authentic liberation movement of Zimbabwe, is ready
and willing to fight for the people’s right to land, like we did during the
liberation struggle. We urge the people of Zimbabwe to resist threats and
coercion, like the Insiza/Shangani farmers did on Sunday. We also call on
Zanu-PF to live by their leader President Mugabe’s words calling for an end
to violence and intimidation. - ZAPU

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MDC voters removed from roll

Plans to rig the next elections in Zimbabwe are said to be underway, with
accusations that Zanu (PF) is secretly removing known MDC-T supporters from
the voters’ roll.
by SW Radio Africa

Sources who refused to be named for fear of victimisation, have claimed that
chiefs in the rural areas are being coerced into supplying the names of
known opposition supporters.

The lists being drawn up from this exercise are being forwarded to the
Registrar General’s office, who is in turn removing the MDC-T supporters
from the voters’ roll. The Registrar General’s office is still run by
Tobaiwa Mudede, a card carrying member of Zanu (PF) who has, in the past,
presided over many disputed elections.

Wasting his time

MDC-T National Executive member Charlton Hwende said the strategy to remove
their members from the voters’ roll would not work because they were already
demanding a new roll. He said they would not participate in any election
that did not use a ‘credible’ voters’ roll and that Mudede was wasting his
time if he was removing anyone.

“As a party our position is very clear. If the issues that we have
identified that enable us to go into a free and fair election are not
solved, we are not going to participate. I think that the President
(Tsvangirai) has made that very clear on numerous occasions.” Hwende also
confirmed that several of their members in Kariba had been removed from the
voters roll, for no apparent reason.

Commenting on growing incidents of violence, Hwende said Zanu (PF) abandoned
political violence in the run up to the March 2008 election and, because of
that, they lost the election to the MDC-T. After that defeat he said Mugabe’s
party went back to their ‘tried and tested’ method to win back the
presidency via “the violent and discredited June 2008 presidential run-off

Hwende said because of that precedent it was unlikely the country could hold
free and fair elections.

Appeal to the East

Meanwhile, the Sunday Times newspaper in South Africa is reporting that
Mugabe is appealing to China and Russia for protection should a future
disputed election in the country be taken to the United Nations (UN)
Security Council for intervention.

The paper said that Mugabe had made the appeal for support from China and
Russia while on an official visit to Beijing. Mugabe’s fears are said to be
drawn from reports that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is lobbying the UN
and has also visited several African countries currently sitting in the UN

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MDC-T youths barred from ZNA

MDC-T youths here have been barred from army recruitment by a known partisan
war veteran and Zanu (PF) bootlicker.
by Brenna Matendere Munyati

The youths, who wanted to qualify for admission to the Zimbabwe National
Army as junior soldiers, were fished out from the process. One of the
affected youths told The Zimbabwean that a war veteran identified as Maxwell
Chitera, moved around the queue where youths were waiting to take part in a
10km marathon race which the army would use to select trainees.

“Chitera pointed at several youths from the queue and told us that no MDC
members would be allowed to be become soldiers. He added that they should
first convert to Zanu (PF), the party with liberation credentials, if they
were serious about pursuing their dreams of getting into ZNA,” said the

Another youth added: “We are indeed MDC-T supporters, but we never imagined
it could cost us an opportunity of becoming civil servants.”

Jameson Tsuro, the MDC-T Midlands South Information and Publicity chief,
told The Zimbabwean that the development was unacceptable as it violated the
constitutional rights of bona fide Zimbabweans.

“It’s a problem when Zanu (PF) monopolises state institutions like the army.
It makes me mad. The youths were eligible for that recruitment because they
are citizens of Zimbabwe,” Tsuro said.

It is not the first time that MDC-T youths have been blocked from ZNA
enrolment by Zanu (PF) activists. Recently, Fidelis Danger, the Zanu (PF)
youth District Chairman for Chirimumanzu, also screened MDC-T youths from
the recruitment process in the area.

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Madzore bail hearing postponed to next Wednesday

By Tererai Karimakwenda
23 November, 2011

The High Court in Harare has been strongly criticized for failing in its
duties, after postponing the bail hearing for MDC-T Youth Assembly President
Solomon Madzore, for a fourth time on Wednesday.

Justice Maria Zimba Dube ruled that the hearing be postponed to next
Wednesday in order to give her and the State time to review new evidence
that was presented by the defence lawyers.

Madzore was arrested in October and is facing murder charges in the ongoing
case of police officer Petros Mutedza, who was killed during a brawl in Glen
View back in May. A total of 28 MDC-T members were arrested and most have
since been bailed, except 7 who were denied bail as flight risks.

The High Court has delayed Madzore’s bail hearing four times this month,
honoring the State’s requests. Lawyer Alex Muchadehama criticized this and
explained that bail applications are urgent “by their very nature” since
they involve a person’s fate.

“The rules say the registrar of the High Court is supposed to set down the
matter within 48 hours, which means immediately thereafter the court must
determine the issue of bail,” Muchadehama explained. He added that the State
loses nothing when a hearing is postponed because the accused remains in
custody, which is what they want.

The police have insisted officer Mutedza was killed by MDC-T members who
held a meeting at a Glen View pub in May. But the party insists their
supporters are not guilty and there is documented evidence that many were
not even at the pub when Mutedza was killed. They say the arrests are part
of a ZANU PF plot to destroy their structures.

The other six MDC-T activists still in remand prison include Councillor
Tungamirai Madzokere of Ward 32 Glen View, Rebecca Mafikeni, brothers
Lazarus and Stanford Maengahama, Phineas Nhatarikwa and Stanford Mangwiro.

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Ruling on Zhanda case tomorrow

By Chengetai Zvauya, Senior Writer
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:20

HARARE - The Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo will make a ruling tomorrow
on whether Zanu PF MP for Goromonzi North Paddy Zhanda has a case to answer
over allegations of bribery being levelled against him by Reserve Bank
Governor Gideon Gono.

Acting chairman of the Parliamentary committee on Finance and Budget and MDC
MP for Kambuzuma Willas Madzimure yesterday told Parliament that Moyo would
deliver his ruling on the matter tomorrow.

Zhanda who is the chairperson of the committee has been suspended from
chairing the committee on issues to do with the RBZ until he is cleared of
the allegations levelled by Gono.

“The Speaker has to decide whether Zhanda has a case to answer, if he feels
there is a case to answer, he will set up a privileges committee to
investigate his conduct,” said Madzimure.

The Finance and Budget committee last week received a letter of complaint
from Gono over the allegations.

Gono is  claiming that Zhanda sent some emissaries to him  asking for a
bribe after he had appeared before the committee in August to stop the probe
into the activities of the RBZ.

In his letter, Gono alleged that Zhanda was chasing a personal agenda.

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Zim politician turns gun on himself after shooting wife in SA

By Tichaona Sibanda
23 November 2011

Justine Chiota, the South African based founding member of the Zimbabwe
Peoples’ Party, shot himself dead on Monday following a dispute with his

Police in Johannesburg told the media that Chiota, a lawyer by profession,
shot and seriously injured his wife before turning the gun on himself. His
wife Emily is reportedly fighting for her life at the Sunninghill Hospital
in northern Johannesburg.

Reports say Emily had moved out of the house three days earlier, alleging
domestic violence by the husband. She had gone back to the house,
accompanied by a police officer for protection, to collect her possessions.

But in a fit of rage on realizing his wife was leaving him, Chiota fired
shots at his wife and the police officer. His wife was hit in the upper
body, while a bullet grazed the policeman’s uniform.

Justine Chiota made headlines in 2007, when it emerged that he was driving a
VIP presidential car in South Africa and in 2008 he was one of the
presidential candidates in the harmonized elections in Zimbabwe.

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Retailer giant OK posts a stunning 1,167 % on earnings

Reuters 9 hours 8 minutes ago

HARARE - Retail group OK Zimbabwe reported a 1,167 percent jump in
first-half earnings, spurred by growing demand as the country's economy
continued to recover from a decade-long slump.

OK Zimbabwe's basic earnings per share was 0.38 cents in the six months to
end-September, compared to 0.03 cents in the same period last year,
financial results released by the company on Wednesday showed.

After-tax profit was $3.9 million in the first half of the year, up from
$322,000 registered during the same period of 2010. Revenue grew 61 percent
to $185.6 million from $115 million previously.

Zimbabwe's retail sector is one of the fastest growing in an economy that is
recovering under a coalition government formed two years ago by President
Robert Mugabe and his rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

The economy is expected to grow for the third successive year this year,
expanding by 9.3 percent, while inflation has come down to single-digits
from a peak of 500 billion percent in December 2008,

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Cattle banking plans

TN Bank in Zimbabwe is planning to introduce cattle banking, a new
innovative product meant to empower rural farmers and alleviate poverty,
Hazvinei Kapfunde, Group Chief Treasury Officer said recently.
by Wallace Mawire

Farmers will no longer have to keep tabs on their cattle, thanks to a new
initiative to be established by TN Bank. Farmers will no longer have to keep
tabs on their cattle, thanks to a new initiative to be established by TN

Kapfunde said that the proposed new product would be initiated in the first
quarter of 2012 and it would enable farmers to keep track of their cattle.
The animals would be kept at the bank a certificate would be issued which
can be used by the farmer if he or she needs collateral. The bank will just
transfer the certificate to the new recipient upon agreement with the
farmer, instead of having to move the cows from one place to another.

"When the farmer's cattle are in our custody, we will have all the
responsibility of taking care of them, including all the veterinary needs
like dosing etc. We will keep them in a safe place," Kapfunde said.

The idea was discussed at a retail banking Africa conference in South Africa
and was endorsed by various partners.

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UNICEF to stop water provisions

United Nations agency Unicef will next year stop supplying water chemicals
to Zimbabwe's cash-strapped local authorities, it has been established.
by Chief Reporter

Unicef has, since 2009, played a priceless role in supporting the provision
of clean portable water in urban local authorities, through the procurement
of water treatment chemicals. The UN agency intervened after a cholera
outbreak claimed over 4 000 lives.

The support facility was extended at the height of a deadly mix of
hyperinflation and a devastating cholera outbreak, when local authorities
had completely lost the capacity to supply clean water to residents.
Unicef's decision to stop buying the chemicals has caused consternation in
local authorities, who have been struggling to balance their books even with
the Unicef intervention.

Unicef chief, Peter Salama, said their intervention had only been a stop-gap
and was meant to run for two years to mitigate the cholera outbreak.

Local Minister Ignatius Chombo said the government was grateful for Unicef’s
help and hoped the local authorities would cope without its assistance.

"I wish to emphasise that as a ministry, we are convinced that local
authorities have been given ample time to prepare for the takeover and
therefore should not be found wanting come 2012,” he said.

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Next elections in 2013

From where I sit now, it is very unlikely that Zimbabwe could manage to hold
its next elections in 2012, as is being demanded by the former liberation
party and its leader, Robert Mugabe.
by John Makumbe

The snail’s pace adopted by the three political parties in the inclusive
government in relation to resolving outstanding issues will ensure that no
concrete agreements will be reached in time to hold of elections next year.
Besides, it is not true that the totality of Zanu (PF) would like to have
elections held in 2012. The truth is that Mugabe and the securocrats are the
only ones that hold such a desire.

The majority of the politicians in the former ruling party, particularly
those in councils and in the legislature, would like the nation to hold its
next plebiscite in 2013, that is five years after the fraudulent 2008
harmonised elections.

Meetings between the MDC principals and their Zanu (PF) counterpart have
lost their potency to resolve controversial issues. One such meeting is
scheduled to be held some time this week, but it is likely to result in
little change to the status quo. It is very likely that the political
parties will maintain their positions with regard to most of the outstanding
issues, regardless of Zuma’s pending visit to the country. Indeed, Zuma
seems to have lost his earlier enthusiasm to facilitate a speedy resolution
of the crisis in Zimbabwe. We would have thought that having successfully
defused the notorious Malema grenade, Zuma would now devote his time to
resolving the Zimbabwe crisis. Alas! The man has so much on his plate that
Zimbabwe may be way down the line of his priorities.

Meanwhile, the political playing field is still very much uneven in favour
of Zanu (PF) and at the expense of all other players. The state-controlled
media is still hostile to the MDC and other smaller parties. The electronic
media is still restricted to the partisan and useless ZBC while the
Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) is dragging its feet in licensing
independent players. The MDC-T has vowed not to participate in national
elections before the airwaves are effectively freed to allow other players
to participate. Although all efforts are being made to conclude the drafting
of the foundation law for this nation, there is no guarantee that the draft
constitution will be accepted by the electorate of this country. It is
likely to be over-loaded with nasty clauses that are preferred by Mugabe and
Zanu (PF).

All these factors point to the possibility of a GPA2 which may result in a
GNU2 from some time in 2012 to the holding of elections in 2013. This means
that the nation will remain at the standstill where it is now, until those
elections are held. This is something that Mugabe and his handlers, the
securocrats, would not like to see, given the ailing aged man’s health.
Whichever way you look at it, the nation must brace itself for a long, drawn
out struggle on the political front.

Although the national economy is slowly creeping upwards, there is still a
lot that needs to be changed in order to energise it and allow it to move
faster along the

path of recovery. Some of the nasty pieces of legislation that Mugabe and
his underlings are promoting, such as the damaging Indigenisation and
Empowerment Act, are not helping the case. Foreign direct investment is
still wary of Zimbabwe as a safe and viable destination. The likelihood of
holding elections in 2012 is, almost daily becoming remote and far-fetched.

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Sustainable solution to resuscitate Zimbabwe's Agriculture

by Dr Vincent Gwarazimba
2011 November 23 17:06:32

ADAMAWA - Zimbabwe's agriculture is currently facing serious challenges of
productivity. In recent years, productivity has declined drastically and the
country is unable to feed itself. The reasons for the collapse of
productivity are varied and both agricultural experts and politicians blame
the failure of the sector on politics. While politics has indeed played a
significant in the demise of the sector, there are other contributing

The unplanned and chaotic land reform is sometimes blamed for food shortages
but that may not be the case because maize being the staple crop, 80% of the
crop had always been produced by small holder rural farmers. Displaced white
commercial farmers were critical to the sector for export crops such as
tobacco and horticulture and indeed quality beef for the export market.

Therefore the current challenges must be blamed on first, government policy
on the sector. Several policy frameworks on agriculture have been announced
over a period of 10 years but these have had little impact because they were
politically motivated, emotionally enacted as justification of a runaway
land reform process. The policy frameworks lacked content and specifics on
investment and role of parastatals in driving home the need to maintain or
increase productivity of the sector.

The policy frameworks also lacked technical support, processes and systems
to support implementation.  The frameworks lacked alternatives and options
in the light of climate change and subsequent change in weather patterns.The
sector also faces challenges of technical expertise.

Agricultural experts have left the country due to lack of motivation and
lack of acknowledgement for their contribution. Indeed Zimbabwe at one time
had the best organized extension and research services in Africa, but
underfunding and political interference caused collapse of these services.
There is unfortunate belief that free inputs can help resuscitate the
sector. That is wrong thinking. Free inputs will not sustain the sector.
Malawi is an example where input subsidy was too expensive for the
government and relied heavily on donor support. When donors pulled the plug,
the sector is now on course to collapse.

Sustainable Solution to Resuscitation of the Sector

There is indeed no silver bullet to resuscitation of the sector but the
country needs to address the sector as follows;

Policy- Government policy on the sector must correct, organized and specific
on delivery of services and support of systems. The role of government in
the sector, providing a sustainable and suitable environment for investment
in the sector should be clearly defined. Zimbabwe must not only look at and
rely on foreign direct investment in the sector but creating an environment
that creates, develops and support local investors. Even villagers can be
investors if the policies promote and support their interests.

The problem is government has not invested in gathering information on:

a) the driving forces behind  small holder farming
b) the interests of the small holder
c) the motivation of the small holder farmer
d) expectations of this farmer
e) internal and external constraints on the small holder farmer
f) infrastructural challenges facing the farmer and indeed
g) understanding the national, regional and international commodity markets
relative to the capacity of rural communities to produce quality

Information on these will enable government to formulate a policy framework
supportive of small holder farming and budget for investment in these

Capacity building of rural farming communities. Much of the say is about
free inputs from the Grain Marketing Board. That is not capacity building.
It is not sustainable. Solution is on empowerment in the sector. Provide
farmers with investment tools in the form of transferable Certificate of
Ownership (COOs) on land to enable farmers to access finance.

99 year lease agreements are not a silver bullet in this case but a villager
in Chibi depositing an ownership certificate with an agricultural finance
bank and get money for inputs, land preparation and even labor depending on
the size of the land. This will create value for land and make the farmer
understand and appreciate protection of the land as own for future
generations. Land must be converted into an asset for rural communities. It
must be tradable, exchangeable and protectable and viewed as source of

Enabling technical support for the small holder farmer will go a long way to
sustain productivity. Until late 1999s when the Department of Agricultural
Extension (Agritex) was dismembered by misguided policies, technical support
was effective, enabling farmer training programs and motivating farmers into
competitive mode of agricultural production. Indeed then the farmers were
receptive to training and desired to be part of growing population of
successful small holder farmers.

While the government was at hand to proffer support, small holder farmers
were equally enthusiastic to make food production successful. Now the new
and young farmers on the land are untrained and technically unqualified to
undertake and manage agricultural operations and more so they live on get
rich quick mentality through deals which sometimes don’t succeed and farmer
ends up selling inputs to make up. Hence it is time government invests
heavily in training of young farmers and providing resources to Agritex to
provide technical support on a daily basis. New farmers must be kept
conscious of their responsibilities to the nation as long as they occupy
productive land.

Farmer responsibility to the nation. Much of the current farmer mentality is
self-enrichment at the expense of the nation. Farming is indeed a business
and must be viewed so but must be undertaken with responsibility to provide
nation with sustainable food security. If a farm is suitable for and had
history of maize production, why then change to capital intensive tobacco
which often fails due to lack of finance. Government must promote sense of
responsibility to the nation and farmers must be encouraged to take farming
as serious business within the context of serving the nation.

Lack of adequate and suitable infrastructure is one of the major constraints
in resuscitating Zimbabwe agriculture. Taking cognizance of small holder
farmers as key stakeholders in the business of food production and supply,
most of the farming areas are inaccessible due to lack of or dilapidated
infrastructure. Thus roads no longer exist because of years of neglect. To
make an immediate difference on farming, roads must be rebuilt or improved
to increase farmer access to inputs and markets. Domboshava and Mutoko are
able to supply Harare with much needed vegetable because of better roads and

Supporting and training of technical staff. Research and Agritex staff
require support to motivate and drive them into supporting farmers. There
are many ways of doing this. It is not about salaries but providing support
in the form of vehicle loans payable over a period of time. Previously
Agritex officers used to get brand new single cab trucks to enable to access
areas remote. Motor bikes will also make a difference.

Thus budget to the Ministry of Agriculture must be inclusive of such
vehicles on an annual basis. The technical neglect of the agriculture has
also led to decline in quality of human resources. This requires government
to recapitalize institutions like Chibero, Gwebi, Mlezu, Esighodini and
others and increase capacity and quality.

Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) and Cold Storage Company
(CSC). Much has been said about these organizations failing to fulfill their
national responsibilities of augmenting food supplies. These two
organisations are endowed with land resources but have over the years
declined into money wasting monoliths due to neglect by government and
mismanagement by incompetent staff.

While there are calls for their privatization that probably is not the
solution but take on board a public/private sector arrangement or contract
management and let the private sector run the institutions for and on behalf
of government. With government providing a limited guarantee of loans
acquired from banks and/or with involvement of banks in driving the nation
towards a definite goal, CSC and ARDA could make an impact on food security
of the nation.

Financial institutions are currently risk averse when it comes to supporting
farmers, especially small holder farmers. This is happening across Africa
and this has resulted in Africa being food insecure. Indeed the banks have
lost confidence in agriculture as a business but it is government policy
that creates and motivates desire for investment in the sector.

Perhaps one way of doing this is to have a policy backed by legal framework
that works towards cooperation between government and banks in providing
financial support to small holder farmers with tacit support and involvement
of Agritex. Then Agritex must play a leading role through an Agritex-linked
agricultural development limited government/private sector company
government and banks.

Commodity pricing is also a major factor in food production. Previously,
honest pre-season commodity price announcement promoted maize production.
While this has happened in the last few years, however, government did not
have money to pay for the produce. There is need to develop an honest
culture of does business with farmers and government must take
responsibilities having retained the ownership of the Grain Marketing Board.

To make a difference government and private sector must come into position
on making the GMB, an institution responsible for food security but
answerable to both government and private investors. There is money in food
and the private sector has the desire to access the many food storage
facilities in the countries in partnership with government.

Agricultural Investment Commission. To oversee and promote investment in the
sector. The commission to support and work with small holder farmers,
working with and in support of Agritex, financial institutions towards
creating commodity market dynamics based on internal and external forces.

Leading markets reviews and guiding policy formulation, working with
agricultural establishments for effective and productive use of resources
towards a sustainable market structure and food security. A commission based
on both government and private sector fostering partnership in developing
the sector.

DR Vincent Gwarazimba, Senior Agricultural Consultant, Adamawa Agricultural
Development and Investment Limited (AADIL), Adamawa State Government,
NIGERIA. Email Phone +2348093143032.

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Ambassador Ray's Speech

Ambassador Ray's Speech at the
Chakona-Muunganirwa Irrigation Scheme, Bindura District,
November 23, 2011

    Good morning, and thank you for such a warm welcome.  I am especially
grateful to the District Administrator, John Chihobo, for joining us today
and making this visit possible.  I would also like to thank Paul Chimedza
and his colleagues from Africare for making all of the arrangements.  Most
of all, I wish to thank our hosts here at the Chakona-Muunganirwa Irrigation
Scheme.  It is generous of you to neglect your potatoes and other crops this
morning to show me around.
    In the United States tomorrow is our national Thanksgiving holiday.
Farmers in America have just finished their harvest, so this is the right
time for Americans to reflect on the natural bounty and blessings we enjoy.
    Where we are standing today is also a good place to give thanks.  For
instance, I heard that Mrs. Mutandadzi has already harvested over
one-and-a-half tons of potatoes from her plot.  This will allow her to buy
the inputs she needs for an even better harvest next year.  And I am told
that Mrs. Muzama from Imbwanhema has done well enough with her rabbits to
buy a cow and inputs and pay for her child to do O-Levels.
    So let us give thanks.  With good weather, hard work, and some help from
Africare, over 5,000 families in Bindura and Guruve districts have become
more productive and increased their incomes.  That means over 20,000 people
in this area are better off, and thousands of children are able to stay in
    Some people would look at this success and call it development.  I
prefer to call it empowerment.
    "Empowerment" sometimes gets a bad rap, but it is a good word for the
expanding possibilities that we all should be thankful for.  A farmer who
becomes more productive and a student who gets good exam results have more
power over their own futures than they did before.  A farmer with a surplus
has the power to choose: he can either invest his surplus or consume it.  A
student who earns good exam results has the power to choose from many
possible futures.
    This morning I have met many farmers who empowered themselves through
higher productivity.  Their investments of much labor and a little capital
allowed them to get the most out of the land.  Access to markets allowed
them to transform their surplus into whatever else they need and want.
Everyone remembers how bad it was here in 2007 and 2008 when there was
nothing to sell or buy. The market disappeared, and everyone suffered.  In
Bindura and Guruve districts today, Zimbabweans are bringing markets back to
life.  And markets empower people.
    The main reason markets empower people is that they don’t care who you
are or where you came from.  All that matters is what you can do.  I think
Zimbabwe's leaders understood that when they called for land reform at the
dawn of Zimbabwe’s independence.  It is a simple idea that we all
understand: give people land and the skills to make it productive and you
give them a chance to succeed.  The old distinction between communal farmers
and commercial farmers is no longer valid.  Any farmer who sells into the
market is a commercial farmer.  Farming is a way of life for many
Zimbabweans.  But it is also a business that empowers people when the
government allows markets to work.
Many of the Zimbabweans I have met think that my government is unhappy with
President Mugabe and ZANU-PF because of land reform.  Let me take a moment
to set the record straight.
    Long before Zimbabwe had A1 or A2 farmers, the U.S. government
recognized that land reform was necessary in Zimbabwe.  Access to land for
more people was clearly needed for Zimbabwe to achieve the human dignity
people fought for.  Yes, the U.S. strongly opposes the violence and
displacement through which land reform was achieved and which ended or
disrupted far too many lives.  But let me be clear that we do not oppose the
general aim of land reform, which is to economically empower people by
helping them to build better lives through jobs, income generation,
self-reliance, dignity, and opportunity.
        The United States – and I personally, for that matter – believe that
land reform is still necessary in Zimbabwe.  Far too much of Zimbabwe's
farmland lies fallow.  Far too many Zimbabweans –black, white, and in
between – lack opportunities to make the most of their talents, ideas, and
ambitions.  I believe that Zimbabwe can achieve far more with its fertile
land and talented people, and there are many ways to expand production and
achieve a more equitable distribution of its benefits.
    The United States urges Zimbabweans and their government to look
positively to the future.  Politically motivated dispossession and
retaliation create conflict, not empowerment. At some point, a society must
shift from focusing on revenge for sins of the past to instead centering its
efforts on building a better future for all of its people.
        While I cannot advise you on how to tackle this problem, I can and
do listen to Zimbabweans who think constructively about it.  What I hear
from them is encouraging.  I find that they agree more often than they
disagree.  One thing they agree on is that the administration of land should
be more transparent and more flexible.  With transparency there will also be
fairness.  With flexibility comes greater efficiency and more production.
    The market does not care who tills the land; but the market does care
about the rule of law and respect for property rights.  People who can make
good use of land should get a fair chance to make it as productive as
possible without undercutting the production of others.
    Another group that I listen to a lot is American business leaders.  They
see the opportunities that come with Zimbabwe's economic recovery.  But they
worry about the security of their investments.  The violence of how land
reform was carried out in the past is the main reason for this concern.  As
Zimbabwe moves into its future, perhaps its greatest challenge is to show
its own citizens and foreign investors alike that their claims to property
are safe.  Whether you are a farmer with a leasehold, a business holding the
title to a warehouse, or an investor with shares in a company, you will not
be able to prosper unless everyone knows that your claim to that property is
secure and cannot be taken from you without due process.
    To create this sense of security that Zimbabwean and foreign investors
require, it is vital that the rules be both clear and consistently applied.
The American investors I speak to all have the same message for me:
uncertainty around property rights is a deal-breaker.
    Neither American businesses nor the American government oppose
empowerment or more equitable distribution of national wealth.  Let me
repeat that: Neither American businesses nor the American government oppose
empowerment or more equitable distribution of national wealth.  But as
Zimbabwe pursues these objectives, I hope you will remember that true
empowerment does not come at your neighbor's expense.
    As we give thanks today in this place, we should look around and notice
how thousands of families have empowered themselves by building something
new.  In a few weeks' time, you will see in these fields the green shoots of
your next harvest.  I hope that harvest will remind you of my country's
partnership with Zimbabwe. It is a partnership that I hope will help
Zimbabweans renew and build their country together.

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