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SADC to deploy Troika team to Zimbabwe in a fortnight

By Tichaona Sibanda
3 November 2011

A three-member SADC Troika team that is meant to assist the inclusive
government with implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) is to
be deployed to Zimbabwe in two weeks time.

MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that he
was assured by President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team that the SADC
technical committee will be in the country before the end of November.

Members of the team are to be seconded by their Heads of State who sit on
the Troika, which is chaired by the South African President. Other members
of the Troika are Zambia and Tanzania.

Mwonzora met the facilitation team of Lindiwe Zulu and Charles Nqakula in
Harare on Wednesday. He said they discussed the deployment of the team,
which Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai described to journalists in Harare on
Wednesday as being ‘long overdue.’

At a summit in Livingstone back in March SADC resolved to appoint a team
that would help speed up implementation of the issues already agreed to by
the country’s political parties. This was after the regional leaders
criticized the unity government for their slow progress in implementing the

SADC has since held summits in South Africa and Angola, which simply
‘reaffirmed’ the resolutions that were made in Livingstone with no movement
in sight on the deployment of the team.

According to Mwonzora the team is supposed to provide regular progress
reports on the implementation of the outstanding GPA issues and, where
possible, take appropriate action.

‘We are praying that the team will come as promised because we have seen in
the past that ZANU PF has been resisting the appointment of these officials
to sit in JOMIC,’ Mwonzora said.

ZANU PF has insisted that they will not accept the involvement of Troika
representatives in Zimbabwe’s affairs. But Mwonzora said it is not up to
them to decide, and no election in Zimbabwe will be deemed credible without
monitoring by SADC authorities.

Asked about ZANU PF’s statement that it has lost faith with the GPA forum of
negotiators and wanted other platforms to deal with outstanding issues, the
MDC-T legislator for Nyanga North told us he was not amused by that.

‘What do you expect from a party that reneges on anything that it agrees on?
There are several issues in the GPA that have been resolved but ZANU PF has
failed to implement them. So who is being a stumbling block? They were told
by SADC to stop violence, but violence has escalated in the past few months.

‘It is disingenuous for ZANU PF to try and blame the MDC. We all know they
are not comfortable with Zuma’s firmness and they want him and his team out.
That is what they mean when they say they want the establishment of other
platforms for negotiations,’ Mwonzora added.

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Zuma faces new GPA crisis

By Nkululeko Sibanda, Senior Writer
Friday, 04 November 2011 12:59

HARARE - South African President Jacob Zuma could see himself burning more
of his energy than he budgeted for in trying to douse flames in neighbouring
Zimbabwe’s political landscape, it has emerged.

Zimbabwe is reportedly caught up in an election roadmap conundrum that the
African National Congress (ANC) leader might find difficult to solve.

South African sources said yesterday Zimbabwe’s three political parties were
apparently refusing to give in to each other’s demands on the roadmap,
prompting the Zuma’s facilitation to refer the differences to their

The team, headed by Zuma’s international affairs advisor, Ambassador Lindiwe
Zulu, arrived in the country on Tuesday and flew out of the country
yesterday evening.

Issues said to have emerged from the meetings between Zuma’s facilitation
team and representatives of the three parties include the resurgence of
political violence in the country, reforms of the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission (Zec), and the thorny issue of security sector reforms.

The MDC formations, sources said, insisted there should be reforms in Zec as
well as in the security sector.

However, the sources said, Zanu PF representatives refused to give in,
saying these were non-negotiable areas.

However, there appears to be no agreement on how these would be addressed as
both Zanu PF and the two MDC formations appear digging in on their positions
which existed prior to the Luanda, Angola Sadc summit three months ago.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily News yesterday before departure,
Zulu said they would refer the troublesome issues back to Zuma for further

“We were following up on the implementation of the roadmap after the Angola
Sadc summit. Basically, we wanted to check on the implementation of these
issues which also include the roadmap towards free and fair elections.

“In the roadmap there are some grey areas.

“It was the expectation of the facilitator and the facilitation team that
the negotiators would have by now taken the grey areas to the principals so
that they can see how best these issues can be attended to and that possibly
an agreement could be struck on those,” Zulu said.

She revealed that given the stalemate that has been registered so far, the
only available option was to have Zuma fully engage the three principals on
the crisis areas.

Zuma recently pledged his full commitment to intervening in the Zimbabwe

“Now, with this situation, we are now preparing for the meeting of the
facilitator (Zuma) and the three principals in the Zimbabwean government to
discuss among other things the very roadmap which has proved to have created
challenges and grey areas in its implementation,” she said.

Zulu said the South Africans and Sadc would not let go of their grip on
Zimbabwe as doing so would result in a situation reminiscent of the 2008
political and economic crisis.

“We believe we cannot let Zimbabwe struggle alone with its problems. Our
main aim is to ensure that Zimbabwe holds peaceful elections that would
eventually mean that Zimbabweans are able to choose their next government in
a free and fair election which in the end will result in peace and
tranquillity in the country."

“There are advantages that will be derived from that peace and tranquillity
in Zimbabwe. As for South Africa, we will not enjoy peace and prosperity
while we are fully aware that our neighbours are having problems. That is
why we are so seized with this Zimbabwe situation,” Zulu added.

Zulu outlined that Zuma preferred that Sadc nursed the GPA as it was a
better tool for Zimbabwe to hold free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.

“We are sure that the facilitator would prefer to have this process to be
nursed than have a new process altogether as there is a risk that a new
process might actually divert the real attention to issues as well as track
of the achievements made so far,” Zulu said.

A Sadc troika meeting is set to be held soon where Zuma is expected to brief
the members of the Troika on the developments in Zimbabwe.

After the Troika meeting, Sadc is expected to host a full summit on Zimbabwe
where regional players are set to further examine Zimbabwe’s situation based
on the facilitator’s report.

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ZANU-PF Wants Out of S. Africa-Mediated Talks

03 November 2011

ZANU-PF lead negotiator Patrick Chinamasa told the Herald that his party 'no
longer (has) energy, inclination or willingness to maintain the team of
negotiators as a forum of resolving any disagreements'

Blessing Zulu and Ntungamili Nkomo | Washington

Zimbabwean Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, lead negotiator for President
Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF in talks within the troubled Harare unity government
has thrown the process into turmoil with a declaration that his party has
lost faith in the negotiating forum moderated by South African President
Jacob Zuma and his aides.

Negotiators for ZANU-PF and the two formations of the Movement for
Democratic Change met with Mr. Zuma’s facilitation team in Harare Wednesday.

Chinamasa later told the ZANU-PF-leaning Herald newspaper that the forum has
failed because the MDC wing of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has not
cooperated on implementing positions negotiated and settled in the talks.

Chinamasa told the Herald ZANU-PF “no longer (has) energy, inclination or
willingness to maintain the team of negotiators as a forum of resolving any

ZANU-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo confirmed the substance of Chinamasa’s

Tsvangirai MDC spokesman Douglas Mwonzora accused ZANU-PF of attempting to
delay the reforms called for in the Global Political Agreement.

Parliamentary Whip Edward Mkhosi of the MDC formation led by Industry
Minister Welshman Ncube said ZANU-PF is the party resisting GPA

Political analyst dismissed Chinamasa's comments as rhetoric, but former
student leader Blessing Vava said ZANU-PF wants to drive the MDC into
quitting the government.

Some observers believe ZANU-PF would like to press forward with elections
and bypass the political, electoral, media and other reforms spelled out in
the GPA, which is the basis of the national unity government in place since

But others now speculate that ZANU-PF may be reluctant to go to elections
given the health issues reportedly facing President Robert Mugabe, the
party's candidate. He is believed to be under care for prostate cancer that
has spread to other organs.

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CFU warns of ‘disaster’ as farm invasions intensify

By Alex Bell
04 November 2011

The President of Zimbabwe’s Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) on Friday warned
that the country was heading for ‘disaster’, with farm invasions
intensifying across the country.

CFU head Charles Taffs told SW Radio Africa that the situation is extremely
serious, describing a “definite spike in invasions with orders coming from
high up in the government.”

Currently, a South African national who leases a Belgian owned tobacco farm
near Mazowe, is fighting to get the Zim government to intervene, after he
was evicted by land invaders this week. The farm, Taveydale, is one of the
biggest tobacco producers left in the country. The South African farmer is
also meant to be protected under a bilateral investment agreement between
Zimbabwe and his country.

Taffs also explained how a couple in Mashonaland West were forced to flee
their farmhouse after a group of about 40 land invaders broke into the
property on Thursday.

“Things are really intensifying and there is no effort to intervene. I have
spoken to the MDC side of government, but there has been response,” Taffs

He added: “We seem to be a lost sector, and all the concern and focus is on
mining. But the thing is, primary agriculture has to be restored, because
without agriculture, Zimbabwe has no chance. And we are heading for a
disaster if this carries on.”

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Independent is reporting this week that a ZANU PF
official from the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) was
behind the invasion of a German owned farm recently. The farm, owned by the
Von Pezold family, has faced repeated threat of seizure despite an
investment protection agreement (BIPPA) between Germany and Zimbabwe.

According to the Zim Independent, ZANU PF’s JOMIC representative Kizito
Kuchekwa is behind the most recent invasion of the Von Pezold’s tobacco

The CFU’s Taffs said that the situation has returned to normal, saying
“Germany is very strong on their BIPPAs being enforced, so I am sure they
got involved.”

The Von Pezold family last year took the Zimbabwe government to an
international court over the repeated invasions on their properties across
the country. That matter is still pending before the International Centre
for the Settlement of Investment Disputes.

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ZANU PF divided over leaked COPAC document

By Tichaona Sibanda
4 November 2011

The continuing battle within ZANU PF over who leaked the party’s preliminary
draft constitution to the MDC has widened cracks in the imploding former
ruling party.

Edward Chindori-Chininga, the ZANU PF MP for Guruve South, was expelled by
his party from COPAC following allegations that he had leaked the document
to the two co-chairpersons from the MDC-T and MDC-N, Douglas Mwonzora and
Edward Mkhosi.

The legislator, who was dismissed three weeks ago, has vigorously protested
his innocence, accusing Paul Mangwana, co-chairman representing ZANU PF, of
orchestrating the dismissal through false representation.

After the dismissal ZANU PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa said
Chindori-Chininga’s case should serve as a lesson to all party members that
indiscipline will not be tolerated in the party.

The case however took a new twist on Friday when the weekly Zimbabwe
Independent reported that Mwonzora and Mkhosi told the paper the ZANU PF
party document was leaked to them by Mangwana. The three co-chairpersons
could not be reached for comment on Friday as they were attending a
pre-budget seminar in Victoria Falls.

The revelation elicited a strong response from Chindori-Chininga’s
colleagues in Mashonaland Central province, who have demanded an apology
from Mutasa and his immediate reinstatement to COPAC.

United States based political analyst, Dr Maxwell Zeb Shumba, told SW Radio
Africa on Friday the way Chindori-Chininga was dismissed is an indicator
that things are unravelling in ZANU PF.

‘The party is breaking apart, and as such people become suspicious of one
another. These are undercurrents of animosities that have lingered for long
in ZANU PF and now they’re erupting into the open,’ Dr Shumba said.
A fierce power struggle is rocking ZANU PF ahead of their party conference
set for Bulawayo next month. Opposing factions are jostling to control the
party, fearing the continuous leadership of Robert Mugabe is taking the
party down.

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Zanu-PF Wages Covert War Against MDC-T

Nompumelelo Moyo, November 04, 2011-Matabeleland North province has been
turned into a battle-field as Zanu-PF with the help of police wages a covert
war against the Movement for Democratic Change , non-governmental
organisations and human rights defenders in the region.

Radio VOP has it on high authority that the latest police crackdown in
Matabeleland is being coordinated by the Matabeleland North police chief,
Assistant Commissioner Edmore Veterai.

Despite  court rulings allowing the mainstream Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC-T) led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to conduct their
campaign rallies in the region; police have maintained their stranglehold
and barred rallies in Binga, Lupane and Victoria Falls in recent weeks.

Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC-T national spokesperson said “the police are
trying to deter and slow down MDC-T campaign machinery and their behavior
last weekend raises fundamental issues, the police went beyond disrupting
MDC-T rallies, they also disrupted and interfered with the work of the PM,
they barred him from visiting key state institutions as part of his
government work”.

Dumisani Nkomo, a political analyst has urged the MDC-T to stay put in the
coalition government despite secret plots by Zanu-PF to muscle it out.

“Police in Matabeleland are intolerant and they have been banning a number
of non-governmental organisations’ meetings fearing unearthing of the
Gukurahundi atrocities” said Nkomo.

Professor Welshman Ncube, leader of MDC’s smaller faction said that his
party has not been spared from rights abuses in the same province.

“In the past few months we also had running battles with Commissioner
Veterai when he arrested and detained Honorable Moses Mzila. On our way from
Victoria Falls he made us sit down on the floor and told the media that he
was briefing us about their activities “said Ncube.

The police spokesperson Superintendent, Oliver Mandipaka has denied
allegations leveled against police force.

“What you are saying are lies, it is not in the interest of the police to
comment on that issue, l am not obliged to give you a comment, you are not
my employer,” shouted Mandipaka.

MDC-T has threatened to report the disruption of their rallies to
Parliament, with PM Tsvangirai seeking an audience with President Robert
Mugabe over police actions.

The MDC-T claim the ongoing disruption to their rallies is part of efforts
to harm its leader, and force the party to quit the coalition government
ahead of elections expected before next March.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights has indicated that Matabeleland North
province is the most politically volatile province in the country, with over
40 political and human rights figures arrested by police since the beginning
of the year.

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Fresh divisions around Mugabe

Friday, 04 November 2011 09:49

Dumisani Muleya/ Faith Zaba

FRESH political divisions have emerged around President Robert Mugabe
(pictured below) whose continued stay in power ahead of the party’s key
conference and elections is increasingly becoming a catalyst for internal
strife within Zanu PF and state structures.

Extensive briefings to the Zimbabwe Independent this week show whereas
Mugabe’s inner political circle and close courtiers were relatively united
even at the height of the economic meltdown and hyperinflation in 2008, new
strains among them have now emerged due to the latest turbulent events,
widening existing divisions.

Informed sources say Mugabe’s inner circle, which includes members of the
Joint Operations Command (JOC), political diehards and personal advisors, is
now divided due to mutual suspicions and tensions, mainly after WikiLeaks

Before the 2008 elections there was a thread of largely consistent and
cohesive cooperation between JOC, Mugabe’s close advisors and allies like
Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono, his central bank bureaucracy and Zanu PF
heavyweights, mainly Emmerson Mnangagwa and his faction.

The Zanu PF camp led by the late retired army commander General Solomon
Mujuru wanted Mugabe out. The Mujuru faction  tried but failed to remove
Mugabe as the candidate at the party’s extraordinary congress in December
2007, where former politburo member Dumiso Dabengwa and Simba Makoni, who
later quit in frustration, were geared to mount a surprise challenge against
their leader.

JOC, which brings together army, police and intelligence chiefs, includes
members like Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Constantine Chiwenga,
Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO)  Director-General retired Major-General  Happyton
Bonyongwe, Air Marshal Perance Shiri and retired Major-General Prisons
Commissioner Paradzai Zimondi.

This group, despite its own internal contradictions fuelled by Zanu PF
factionalism, fought fiercely to keep Mugabe in power during the elections
in 2008.
It was largely supported by Gono who availed resources for its operations
and Mugabe’s campaigns.

Gono and his central bank bureaucracy worked closely with JOC and the state
apparatus structures to save Mugabe from defeat. Sources however say this
group is now fractured and engaged in political skirmishes due to recent
events which rocked the party like the WikiLeaks disclosures, the death of
Mujuru and the controversy over Mugabe being a candidate in the next

“Before and during the 2008 elections, there was an organised group around
Mugabe which included members of JOC, RBZ and a few Zanu PF officials
working closely to ensure Mugabe’s continued stay in power,” a source said.
“Although most Zanu PF officials wanted him out, this group rescued Mugabe.”

“However, the situation has now dramatically changed because of different
events, including WikiLeaks revelations, Mujuru’s death and the issues of
conference and elections. There are now serious divisions to be found within
this group. For instance, relations between Chiwenga, Shiri, Bonyongwe,
Chihuri, Gono and others have changed in major ways.

These individuals and by implication the institutions they head are no
longer working as closely and systematically as they were during times of
adversity in 2008 and before.”

A senior government official said relations between JOC members, Gono and
others around Mugabe chilled after WikiLeaks disclosures in which Chiwenga,
Bonyongwe and Gono were mentioned in different cables amid plots and
counter-plots to get each other arrested.

“So many things have been happening but after WikiLeaks the environment was
poisoned,” the official said. “There have been tensions and suspicions
within JOC. There have been problems between officials like Bonyongwe and
Gono. Relations between Gono and the likes of Chiwenga and Chihuri have also
become frosty. Chiwenga and Shiri don’t see eye to eye.”

“Now we practically have a Hobbesian state of existence –– everyone fighting
against everyone. It’s a dog eat dog situation, survival of the fittest.
Political players are very selfish; they are willing to hurt each other if
they think that will help them to survive.”

Officials say Gono and some of senior officials at the RBZ also have
tensions. The situation is said to have been worsened by divisions on the
issue of Tsvangirai’s Highlands house purchase. While some officials around
Mugabe want Tsvangirai arrested, others have warned this would be
ill-advised as it could ignite political mayhem.

... Zanu PF stuck with leader

ZANU PF is stuck with President Robert Mugabe ahead of its conference in
Bulawayo next month and crucial elections expected either next year or in
While there is a lot of informal debate in Zanu PF about the need to replace
Mugabe because of old age and ill-health, senior party officials are finding
it difficult to deal with the issue because of the party’s constitutional
provisions, which clearly state that a person elected president at a
congress becomes the party’s candidate at  elections between congresses.

According to the Zanu PF constitution, one of the powers and functions of
the conference is to declare the president of the party elected at congress
as the party’s candidate. In between regular congresses the change of a
presidential candidate can only be done at an extraordinary congress. Six
weeks’ notice is required to convene such a congress.

Because Mugabe was duly elected at the party’s 2009 congress in Mutare, he
remains Zanu PF’s presidential candidate until the next scheduled congress
in 2014.

Zanu PF politburo members said yesterday discussion about the party’s
presidential election candidate was a closed chapter. Zanu PF spokesperson
Rugare Gumbo said Mugabe’s endorsement in Mutare still stood.

“President Mugabe’s endorsement was done last year — that endorsement still
stands,” said Gumbo. “It is not on the agenda at the Bulawayo conference,”
he said.

Gumbo said key issues to be discussed at the conference in Bulawayo were the
land reform programme, the indigenisation and empowerment programme and the
humanitarian crisis obtaining in areas facing starvation such as some parts
of Manicaland, Mwenezi, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, and

Party chair Simon Khaya Moyo said Zanu PF was silent because the issue was
not up for debate. “I don’t know why there is a misunderstanding over the
issue when our constitution is very clear that it is at congresses that we
elect the leadership,” said Khaya Moyo.

“We did it in 2009 and our next congress is in 2014. At conferences, like
the one we are going to have in Bulawayo, we review  what we have done over
the year and those that want to reaffirm what the congress decided are free
to do so. Whoever is elected president at the congress becomes the party’s
candidate in the event of presidential elections in-between congresses,”
Khaya Moyo said.

Provincial conferences will be held in two or three weeks and some
provincial chairpersons interviewed said they would endorse Mugabe. Masvingo
chairperson Lovemore Matuke said: “Our provincial conference is on November
22 and it is then that we will endorse the president. President Mugabe was
elected at the congress and he is our candidate for the elections.”

“This issue has further fractured the cohesion of the group around Mugabe,”
a source said. “Mugabe’s health and the succession turmoil are further
complications. It’s a political powder keg around Mugabe.”

Fence-mending meetings between Mugabe’s courtiers are however currently
underway. Gono and others have been meeting to try to bridge their

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Mugabe Blocks Chiyangwa’s Election Bid

Chinhoyi, November 04, 2011 - Flamboyant businessman and politician, Phillip
Chiyangwa’s bid to contest in the Mashonaland West leadership was nearly
sealed amid revelations that top Politburo members had fast tracked his
readmission into Zanu-PF.

A senior Zanu-PF member confirmed to Radio VOP the heavy involvement of
Didymus Minister Mutasa in the admission of Chiyangwa back into the
liberation party.

Party insiders confirmed that President Robert Mugabe challenged why some
senior party members were quick to have Chiyangwa readmitted back into the

"We were surprised to hear that question as Didymus Mutasa, the Secretary
for Administration of Zanu-PF had written to the province to have him
readmitted" said an insider.

Mutasa unknowingly danced to the tune of a camp led by Local Government
Minister, Ignatius Chombo that fast-tracked Chiyangwa into Makonde district
coordinating committee to position him into party provincial leadership,
confirmed a party senior member who refused to be named.

He added that it was later resolved that he may be admitted into the party
but as an ordinary member.

Speaking after the Politburo meeting at the Zanu-PF headquarters in Harare
on Wednesday, party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said Chiyangwa bounces back
into the party as an ordinary member.

"On the Chiyangwa issue we have agreed that he comes back as an ordinary
member until such a time he is cleared. The Politburo has made a decision
(that he would not contest any party position)," he said.

However, rumors continue making rounds in Zanu-PF circles that Chombo is
playing behind the scenes to support the former Chinhoyi legislator’s
candidature for the vacant provincial chairmanship post.

"The camp led by Chombo supported Chiyangwa and has since put forward Walter
Chidhakwa to contest the seat an idea  shot down by Mugabe  saying Zanu-PF
is not Zvimba clan as all hail from his home area and are relatives" added
another source also speaking on condition that he is not named.

Among those cleared are former chairman John Mafa who will is the acting
provincial chairperson and   Reuben Marumahoko.

Mafa and Marumahoko are reported to belong to another faction not aligned to
Chombo's camp in election due to be held this month.

Yotamu Yotamu is among those who have submitted resumes for the chairperson

Chiyangwa is accused of sponsoring youths from Kariba, Karoi and Hurungwe to
campaign for him in September during the provincial district conference
where elections were postponed.

The Zanu-PF Politburo, the supreme decision-making body outside congress,
also cleared deposed provincial chairman Mafa to stand for any position in
the provincial structure, according to Gumbo.

Mutasa denied that he had a link to fast track Chiyangwa but admitted he
wrote to have him considered back into the party.

"He is a party member and we understood his plea to be admitted back into
the party. Just accept that" said Mutasa in a brief response. Chombo could
not be reached for comment at the time of writing

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Police ban Ncube meeting and rural clinic celebrations

By Tererai Karimakwenda
04 November, 2011

A meeting scheduled for the weekend by the MDC-N was banned by police in
Masvingo, after the district commanding officer said he was aware of only
one political party in Zimbabwe, ZANU PF.

The police also banned celebrations for the electrification of a clinic in
Binga district, calling it an MDC affair, despite clear evidence that Binga
councilors from all political parties had been invited.

The news comes in a week that started after the police and ZANU PF thugs
banned MDC-T rallies in Lupane and Victoria Falls, where Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai was due to address supporters. The MDC-T leader is said to
be fuming.

The MDC-N meeting planned by Welshman Ncube was to be held on Saturday in
Chivi district. In a statement, the party said: “There can be no further
confirmation that our beloved country is degenerating into a police state.”
A Chivi police officer named Mawadza also told the MDC-N provincial
chairperson, Sibusisiwe Tamirepi, that ZANU PF was the only party in Zim.

The law in Zimbabwe requires that police be notified of any public events,
but the Mugabe regime and ZANU PF have made unilateral decisions to ban all
public events organized by the MDC formations and civic groups, while ZANU
PF continue to hold theirs, complete with police escorts.

SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme received reports from Lusulu
ward in Binga, where the MDC-T had organized celebrations on Wednesda, for a
clinic that now has electricity, after being ignored since independence.

“They can now store important medicines in a refrigerator and have patients
stay overnight,” Saungweme said. But the police forced Binga district
Councillor Temba Toonse Kunjulu, who was involved with the electrification
project, to cancel the event insisting it was an MDC meeting.

“It’s shocking because the clinic serves the whole community and ZANU PF
councilors from Binga were also invited. The area is an MDC stronghold so
ZANU PF did not want them to get credit for the positive development,”
Saungeme explained.

We were unable to get the police or the MDC-N for comment.

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Police try to force one-man protester to eat ‘Mugabe faeces’

By Lance Guma
04 November 2011

The spokesman for the splinter MDC-99 formation was finally released from
police custody on Thursday after being arrested Monday for staging a one-man
demonstration at the Munhumutapa offices in central Harare.

Aaron Muzungu told SW Radio Africa he went to the offices which house Robert
Mugabe, holding up his placard written “Mugabe and his GNU must go”. He said
he was almost immediately apprehended by a number of Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO) agents and members of the police support unit.

Muzungu said they took him behind the Munhumutapa building and started
torturing him there. Once they got him into police custody he said they
brought a glass of urine and some faeces and said: “These faeces are Mugabe’s
faeces, so if you want to rule this country you have to eat Mugabe’s

Although Muzungu said he managed to avoid eating the faeces he said he had
no choice but to take ‘one or two gulps of urine.” Asked why he felt
motivated to demonstrate against Mugabe, Mazungu said: “We need Mugabe to
understand our true feelings cause it seems he is very much confused and is
too old to run this country.”

Muzungu said because he demonstrated alone the police struggled for days to
come up with charges against him. He said repressive legislation which was
in place, like POSA, mainly dealt with groups of more than 5 people and
since he was alone,  ‘they failed to get a charge that would suit my

Police later charged Muzungu with ‘disorderly conduct.”

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MISA ‘shocked’ by fresh threat to Zim journalists

By Alex Bell
04 November 2011

The Chairman of the media rights watchdog, MISA Zimbabwe, said the group is
‘shocked’ by the fresh threats leveled against the country’s media
fraternity this week.

Njabulo Ncube was reacting to statements by the Zimbabwe Media Commission
(ZMC), which has threatened to censure what it called “errant journalists”
through a ‘Media Council’

Addressing media stakeholders in Kwekwe on Wednesday, ZMC chairperson
Godfrey Majonga said the council, to be set up as early as November 30th,
would have the power to have journalists prosecuted, suspended or
deregistered, along with their media houses.

“Powers of the Media Council as provided by the Act include the following
when a breach has been made in the case of a journalist: cautioning the
journalist, referring the matter for prosecution, suspending for a specific
period not exceeding three months the accreditation of the journalist or
deleting his or her name from the roll of journalists,” Majonga said.

He also warned media houses that they risked prosecution or suspension if
they contravened the regulations.

MISA Zimbabwe’s Ncube told SW Radio Africa on Friday that his organisation
“does not support this threat to media and to freedom of expression.” He
added that Zimbabwe is far from where it should be in terms of media
freedoms, as promised by the unity government.

“The Global Political Agreement (which formed the basis for the coalition
government) talks of media reforms. But such reforms have not been
forthcoming save for what I regard as cosmetic reforms, like the licensing
of a few newspapers this year,” Ncube said.

He also referred to the calls for commercial radio licence applications as
evidence of this ‘cosmetic’ reform, saying “three of the four shortlisted
applicants have definite ties to the ZANU PF side of government.” The four
are KISS FM (which is partnering with the ZBC to provide news broadcasts),
AB Communications (led by the former head of the ZANU PF linked Affirmative
Action Group, Supa Mandiwanzira), the ZimPapers Talk Radio Project (which
publishes the state’s mouthpiece Herald newspaper), and Radio VOP.

“Three are linked to the government. Now you have a plot to censure
journalists. Surely you cannot even talk of media freedom when this is
happening,” Ncube said.

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Discipline magistrate: reinstated councillors demand

Four MDC councillors fired by Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo and
reinstated by a High Court judge want the Judicial Services Commission to
discipline Magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi who presided over their
disciplinary hearing.
by Chief Reporter

Mutevedzi presided over the inquiry into the alleged unprocedural allocation
of Harare City Council stands to the four councillors.

In his report submitted in December 2010, the magistrate found the four
councillors guilty and recommended their dismissal.

On the basis of the magistrate's recommendations, Chombo fired the
councillors - Maxwell Katsande ward 26, Johnson Zaranyika ward 39, Paul
Gorekore ward 3 and Silas Machetu ward 25.

They appealed against their dismissal in the High Court. And last week
Justice Bharat Patel acquitted them all of allegations of irregularly
acquiring stands and forcing themselves into council houses.

Justice Patel said in his ruling Chombo had blatantly ignored evidence
presented to him absolving the four councillors of any wrongdoing - but
proceeded to fire them anyway. He said Chombo was directed by his handpicked
commission to fire the councillors and blatantly disregarded the detailed
record of proceedings of the inquiry and the evidence contained therein.

"If he (Chombo) had done so he would not have simply adopted the commission’s
findings and recommendations of dismissal," Justice Patel's ruling says.

"The town clerk and deputy director of housing were not called to testify at
the inquiry and the commission totally ignored the evidence of the director
of housing (Chivavaya) and that of chief housing officer (Mandizha) which
clearly exculpated the applicants of any wrongdoing," Justice Patel said in
his ruling.

"In short the findings of guilt in relation to all four applicants were so
grossly irrational in their defiance of logic that no reasonable person
applying his mind to the matter could possibly have arrived at those
decisions," Patel said.

The Elected Councillors Association of Zimbabwe’s legal secretary, Tinashe
Madamombe, has written to the Judicial Services Commission calling for
disciplinary action against the magistrate.

"We are concerned that a very senior magistrate failed to apply the
objective test in arriving at his recommendation to dismiss the
councillors," said the letter to JSC seen by The Zimbabwean.

"A man of his stature and experience on the bench chose not to uphold the
professional tenets expected of a magistrate presiding over a disciplinary
hearing of a political nature. The effects of his recommendation seriously
impacted on the social standing of the 4 councillors in a negative manner.

"It is our considered view that the commission is empowered and mandated to
look into the professional conduct of magistrates in the exercise of their
duties. We are concerned that a senior magistrate chose to negate the basic
principles applicable in arriving at a determination. In the circumstances
we implore the commission to take appropriate action against Mutevedzi.”

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No Seeds for Zimbabwean Farmers

November 04, 2011

Peta Thornycroft | Johannesburg

Zimbabwe’s summer rains have started but many peasant farmers have no seed
to plant crops and many families, particularly in the south of the country,
are desperately hungry because their crops failed last year.  The Solidarity
Peace Trust produced a detailed report this week about rural poverty in
southern Zimbabwe and said the situation was so bad that South Africa should
stop deporting Zimbabweans as their families at home cannot feed them.
Solidarity Peace Trust, the South Africa-based rights group, has been
monitoring hungry families in the dry, southern part of Zimbabwe where there
is desperate poverty, especially in the Matabeleland South province.

Shari Eppel, the group's director in the city of Bulawayo, said that seeds
and fertilizer, known in farming circles as "inputs," are not available to
produce the staple food of maize.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti allocated money to buy inputs for the country’s
poorest 100,000 farmers, and subsidized inputs for a further half-million
vulnerable farmers, but officials have apparently not yet located and
distributed the materials.

Eppel said Zimbabwe’s meteorological service and the Commercial Farmers
Union agree that rains will be plentiful until year's end, so people must
plant crops now as there will be little rain from January onwards.

"The problem which people are facing in Matabeleland South and I assume all
over country is that there are no free inputs available and it is absolutely
crucial that people plant now," said Shari Eppel.

She said research among some of the poorest families in Matabeleland South
showed that many families are becoming ever weaker for lack of food, as
crops failed because inputs were also late last year.

"Children were crying of hunger during interview sessions and by the second
round of interviews in October adults were noticeably weaker," said Eppel.
"This is a real concern when you have a family with children when there is
no food whatsoever in the house, which is the situation at the moment."

Agriculture in Zimbabwe's tense inclusive government is controlled by
President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party.  So far the ministry has not
replied to questions about the missing inputs.

Many Zimbabweans whose applications to work in South Africa failed are being
deported home at present.  Eppel said South Africa should stop deporting
them because their families were too poor to cope with another mouth to

“I think it is disastrous at this state in terms of the additional pressure
it is going to put on families," she said. "Those family members are
returning to a situation of  desperate poverty and it is simply going to
exacerbate the desperate economic situation in the country.”

Eppel also said she is distressed at the lack of emergency food aid
available for so many hungry Zimbabweans in the south of the country.

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Tomana Strips Off ZILOA Leaders Prosecution Powers

Harare, November 04, 2011---Attorney General , Johannes Tomana has withdrawn
power to prosecute vested in some of the prosecutors who led a strike last
month after charging them with misconduct.

The Zimbabwe Law Officers Association (ZILOA) leaders Dereck Charamba and
Mehluli Tshuma together with three other leaders saw their powers being
stripped off Thursday.

Tomana removed the authority and powers to prosecute after charging ZILOA
leaders with defying him, defying Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick
Chinamasa, physically blocking access to his offices and the courts without
his authority and for withdrawing their services.

Before prosecution, the law officers are granted an authority to prosecute
signed by the Attorney General.

“My constitutional mandate and duty to uphold the constitution of and the
laws of Zimbabwe and in particular my duty to administer criminal justice,
does not envisage a situation in which I would rely on a prosecutor of the
predisposition….,” Tomana wrote in one of the letters served to the ZILOA

It could not be ascertained whether the letters had also been served on
other ZILOA leaders including the organisation’s President Leopold Mudisi,
Patrobs Dube, and Musekiwa Mbanje.

Tomana charged the five labour leaders early last month with misconduct and
inciting prosecutors to boycott their work stations for two weeks in protest
against poor salaries.

The prosecutors wanted to be paid salaries and benefits equal to those
earned by
magistrates, who earn three times as them.

During their protest, the prosecutors staged demonstrations outside Tomana’s
office and at magistrates’ courts around the country.

The strike was only called off after their employer, the Public Service
Commission agreed to address their grievances.

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Jailed robber calls Mugabe ‘impotent’

By Lance Guma
04 November 2011

A robber convicted to serve 12 years in prison stunned a Harare court on
Thursday when he called Robert Mugabe ‘impotent’ and threatened the
prosecutor with unspecified action soon after his sentence was passed.

A report by the Daily News says 26 year old Daniel Mutema threatened
prosecutor Zivanayi Makwanya telling him: “I am not afraid of you, even if
you sentence me to 70 years in prison, I don’t care because Mugabe will be
dead by then and Tsvangirai will be in power and I will still come and deal
with you.”

Mutema and two of his accomplices, Brian Juma and Tatenda Nyanhemwa, who are
all from Mbare, faced accusations of robbing a Tynwald man of his car in
Chinhoyi after they hoodwinked him by posing as genuine travellers.

Mutema however lost his cool when Magistrate William Bhila passed sentence
on the matter. He also targeted a female court orderly, accusing her of
being Mugabe’s prostitute. It’s reported another docket has been opened
against Mutema and he will now face charges of undermining the authority and
the office of the President.

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Students arrested for demonstrating

By Godfrey Mtimba
Friday, 04 November 2011 12:13

MASVINGO - Police in Masvingo yesterday afternoon arrested two student
leaders at Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) after they led a demonstration
against officials at the institution who barred them from holding Students
Representative Council (SRC) elections.

The students also protested against the deferment of students exams over
tuition fees arrears.

Angry students led by Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) provincial
spokesperson and GZU SRC, secretary-general, Prosper Tiringindi and Butah
Makuvire the Zinasu provincial deputy organising secretary demonstrated at
the university.

The student leaders stand accused of leading an unlawful demonstration as
well as assaulting university staff including the Dean of Students, Lovemore
Chirove, a Ms V Chikodzi, the Deputy Registrar and their secretaries.

Zinasu national treasurer general Zivanai Muzorodzi confirmed the arrests.

“Our two leaders were picked up by police at the college after they led a
demonstration demanding the authorities to allow the holding of elections
for the sake of leadership renewal.

“They have been adamant and reluctant because they want the old executive
which is loyal to them and their political party to continue for another
term, but students have said no,” said Muzorodzi.

Police were called in to quell the demonstration leading to the arrest of
the two.

Muzorodzi blasted the police and university authorities for their heavy
handed approach in handling the matter.

“Maladministration and dictatorship has no permanent legs, the voice of the
students will prevail. Even if they rope in the heavy handed police force,
we will continue to fight for our rights.

It was a simple call of elections for renewal and continuity. The outgoing
executive’s term is up and we need a new SRC that will lead students,” he

Muzorodzi said they were not aware of their colleagues’ whereabouts as they
failed to locate them at Masvingo central police station and other stations
in the city.

Their lawyer, Dumisani Hwacha of Hwacha and Ndlovu legal practitioners said
he was still looking for them.

“It’s true they have been arrested but I can’t locate them as yet. I have
been to Masvingo Central Police Station and the rural station and they were
not there.

We are not sure where they have been taken to but we will continue our bid
to locate them,” Hwacha said.

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

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‘Zim adult literacy could drop to 70pc’

By Xolisani Ncube, Staff Writer
Friday, 04 November 2011 11:16

HARARE - The celebrated 98 percent adult literacy rate of Zimbabwe could
fall down to 70 percent if the current rate of school dropouts is not nipped
in the bud, Swedish ambassador to Zimbabwe Anders Liden has said.

Speaking at the launch of the second phase of the Educational Transition
Fund (ETF) yesterday, Liden said that there was need for government and the
donor community to support the educational sector particularly the girl

The fund which is being spearheaded by United Nations Children Fund (Unicef)
and other donor community will see over 7 million textbooks in six subjects
which include English, mathematics, history and other local languages being
distributed to over 1 million secondary schools and reduce the student book
ratio from 1:15 to 1:1.

“When schools are forced to close, teachers run away as happened in 2008,
there is a high rate of school dropouts and the impact is very negative.

“The World Bank has estimated that this could lead to a drop in adult
literacy rate that is over 90 percent to as low as 70 percent by 2015. If
that happens, it will be very difficult for Zimbabwe to compete on the
international community,” said Liden.

He said educating a girl child is educating a community.

Unicef country representative Dr Peter Salama added that the current
situation spelt doom for the country as most girls were being forced out of
school especially at secondary school level.

“Data suggests that the likelihood of girls dropping out of secondary school
is 40 percent higher than boys.

“In addition, while girls and boys appear to have equal opportunities in
primary school, the situation in secondary schools changes,” said Salama.

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PM: Country risks political implosion

04/11/2011 00:00:00
    by Agencies

SECURITY agents loyal to President Robert Mugabe are behind a ''coup'' that
is plunging the country back into political violence, Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai has claimed.

Tsvangirai, speaking this week after police sealed the offices of his
Movement for Democratic Change party, firing tear-gas into the building and
at bystanders in Harare, said: ''It appears the demons of violence are
back - a siege mood seems to be slowly gripping the country.

''The state security agents have instituted a coup over the civilian
authority and they are now above the law, to the extent of disrupting
government programs and assaulting civilians with impunity.''

Incidents of political violence decreased after Mugabe and Tsvangirai formed
a unity government following disputed elections in 2008, during which more
than 200 people died, but talk of a poll next year has reignited tension.

Tsvangirai remains critical of the President for clinging to power, but
describes the relationship in their weekly meetings as cordial.

However, tensions appear to be escalating as parties begin campaigns for
elections expected early next year and in recent weeks police have disrupted
Tsvangirai's rallies in the western Matabeleland region, where the MDC won
the majority of parliamentary seats in 2008.
Last Saturday, ZANU-PF militants disrupted an MDC rally organised by a
minister jointly responsible for police affairs.

Tsvangirai said: ''The violence we are witnessing is state-sponsored and
state-driven. It is being championed by a few fascist leaders who want to
reverse the little progress we have made.

''The country is at a high risk of imploding if some in the leadership
continue to be privately abetting lawlessness while publicly preaching
Tsvangirai said Mugabe had assured him during a meeting on Tuesday the issue
of violence would be dealt with.
In a speech to parliament in September, Mugabe called for an end to

While he was speaking, militants attacked MDC activists outside. ZANU-PF
denies engaging in violence and accuses MDC supporters of provoking its

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With Zimbabwe Cleared to Sell Marange Diamonds, Accountability a Key Issue

03 November 2011

Independent Harare economist John Robertson said the lack of a robust
government structure to account for Marange diamond revenues will ensure
that funds continue to be diverted, suggesting Botswana as a model

Sandra Nyaira | Washington

Now that the Kimberley Process has given the green light for Zimbabwe to
sell diamonds from its controversial Marange field on international markets,
the question remains whether Harare's system can ensure gem proceeds go
where they should.

Mines Minister Obert Mpofu bragged this week that Zimbabwe will now “unleash
her worthiness” on international markets and will never need to seek donor
aid again.

But skeptics note wide discrepancies between official revenue figures and
independent estimates of how much should be generated by the rich Marange
alluvial field.

Meanwhile, non-governmental organizations argued that the Kimberley deal
reached this week in Kinshasa is bad for Kimberley and for ordinary

Research director Alan Martin of Partnership Africa Canada said NGOs have no
faith in the diamond supply chain out of Marange and that black market sales
will continue.

"The integrity of the entire clean diamond supply chain is on the  line,"
said Martin.

"How can consumers buy a diamond this Christmas with any confidence that
they are not buying a Marange diamond mined in unquestionable violence?"
Martin demanded. "How can industry give any assurances that they will be
able to separate these diamonds from the legitimate diamond supply chain?"

Global Witness researcher Mike Davies said in a discussion Thursday on
LiveTalk, a call-in program of the VOA Zimbabwe Service, that the Kimberley
votes in Kinshasa failed to address the risk of diamonds financing political
violence in Zimbabwe.

VOA reporter Sandra Nyaira turned to independent Harare economist John
Robertson and former Affirmative Action Group president Supa Mandiwanzira,
who was involved in a plan to build Zimbabwe’s diamond industry, for

Robertson says the lack of a robust government structure to account for
Marange revenues will ensure that funds continue to be diverted. He said
Zimbabwe should look to neighboring Botswana for ideas on how to manage a
diamond resource.

Mandiwanzira maintained there is sufficient transparency to how diamond
revenues are handled, saying some problems were to be expected in a new

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Tsvangirai to address thousands at Chibuku Stadium on Sunday

Friday, 04 November 2011

All is set for the MDC Real Change Peace Rally on Sunday at Chibuku Stadium in Chitungwiza  where President Tsvangirai will be the main speaker .

Thousands of MDC supporters are expected to attend the rally at which President Tsvangirai who will be accompanied by the party’s senior leadership will touch on a number of issues affecting the party and the country.

The President is expected to speak on the life and health of the party ahead of the next year’s free and fair elections, on the performance of the inclusive government in his capacity as the Prime Minister, this week's visit by President Jacob Zuma's facilitation team and the roadmap to a free and fair election.

President Tsvangirai is also expected to talk and denounce the increase of State sponsored violence across the country, the Constitution-making process and other issues that are daily affecting the people of Zimbabwe.

The rally comes a week after police in Matebeleland North province disrupted rallies that the President was supposed to address in Lupane and Victoria Falls although the rallies had been sanctioned by the High Court.

On Tuesday, police in Harare armed with AK 47 rifles and baton sticks, fired threw teargas into the MDC headquarters, Harvest House injuring scores of people and indiscriminately beating up people in the process.

However, the people of Zimbabwe remain undeterred in their fight for real change and will on Sunday show this by attending in their thousands the Chitungwiza rally.

During the Sunday rally President Tsvangirai will also introduce the party’s new leadership that was voted into office at the party’s 3rd National Congress held in Bulawayo in May.

Similar provincial rallies attended by thousands of party supporters have been held in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Mutare, Masvingo, Kwekwe, Chegutu, Marondera and Nkayi.  

Together, united, winning, voting for real change!!!

MDC Information & Publicity Department

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History is in the Making, Zimbabwe Arise! - Zimbabwe We Can

From the Zimbabwe Vigil

We have been asked to circulate the following press notice  by Zimbabwe We Can.

Zimbabwe Vigil Co-ordinators

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe.



Press Notice from ‘Zimbabwe We Can’ – 4th November 2011


History is in the Making, Zimbabwe Arise!


It was great to gather in Woking as concerned Zimbabweans under the banner of ‘Zimbabwe We Can’ and even more exciting to leave behind a team of dedicated cadres eager to take the movement and its mission forward. The setting up of Woking branch was historical and inspiring in many ways:

·         It was our very first grassroots structure and many more are to come

·         It was our first, direct appeal to the people

·         it represented our resolve and commitment to take the Zimbabwe question head-on

·         it was a road test for our vision and for us as leadership

·         We stood up and took the first steps leading our people from bondage and suffering to a possibility of being able to dream, believe and live again. Indeed, the struggle has truly begun.


At the start of his address, the Interim President, Mr Ephraim Tapa, asked what the audience thought when they heard news about the Zimbabwe We Can movement. One attendee (later to become Interim Provincial Chair for Woking) Miss Mahachi answered, ‘we just thought like; here comes another organisation, all talk and no action’. When the same question was posed at the end of the President’s address, Miss Mahachi said ‘now I know this is different, Zim We Can is about each Zimbabwean taking responsibility of the Zimbabwe situation and not just blaming, complaining or waiting for others to change things’. Quite rightly so, Zimbabwe belongs equally to all its citizens and we all need to take responsibility in our different ways and according to our calling. We all must accept responsibility for the Zimbabwe that was, that is and that will be.


Gone are the days when we would constrain ourselves to providing support or being bystanders. In 2008, Nelson Mandela criticized Zimbabwe as a ‘tragic failure of leadership’. Zimbabwe We Can adds the concept of taking responsibility. We all participated to bring about our liberation, we were there when Zimbabwe and its leadership lost its way, and we did not do anything even if we could. We only have ourselves to blame and until such time when we come to accept that and begin to believe in our collective ability to stop the rot, the suffering will continue.


In the run-up to the 2000 parliamentary elections, the late Vice President, Simon Muzenda declared; ‘tichatonga kusvikira madhongi amera nyanga (we will rule until the donkeys grow horns)’ and ‘kana tikakupai Gudo, munotorivhotera (If Zanu-PF gives you a baboon as a candidate, you vote for the baboon)’. Some in the audience ululated whilst some remained mum.  What arrogance on the part of the Zimbabwe leadership and what docility on our part. Yes, those days are over. Together WE CAN set ourselves free. In Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and much closer home Malawi, we have seen the people’s power manifest itself in a bold push to overcome fear and insignificance and to reclaim their power and with it, their destination.


Saturday, 5 November represents another historic day. Yet another structure will be put in place in Wolverhampton adding more belief and impetus to the dream. We urge Zimbabweans from all walks  of life not to look aside this time around. Violence in Zimbabwe coupled with police brutality is on the rise. We can stop this! Never mind if you have never done anything or whether you have difficulties understanding the history; Zimbabweans like other citizens of the world, deserve peace, dignity, respect and well-being. Our experience so far has shown that the cost of not doing anything at all is too ghastly to contemplate. Make an effort to attend the Wolverhampton meeting this Saturday; we need a better deal for Zimbabwe by Zimbabweans. Those in other countries including Zimbabwe, are encouraged to get together under the unifying and energising banner of Zimbabwe We Can and organise themselves ready for action.


Isaiah Bizabani: Zimbabwe We Can Publicity and Information Secretary (07427496737)

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Beyond the Reign of Zimbabwe's Mugabe: A Chance for Democracy or Prelude to Conflict

Johnnie Carson
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs
House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and
Human Rights
Washington, DC
November 2, 2011

Chairman Smith, Ranking Member Payne, honorable Members of the Committee:
Thank you for the opportunity to testify before you concerning the situation
in Zimbabwe and U.S.-Zimbabwe relations.

Zimbabwe is a country of enormous economic, agricultural, and regional
potential. Unfortunately, a history of fiscal mismanagement, poor
governance, and a culture of political violence have limited that potential
for nearly 15 years. While some visible improvements have been made, serious
challenges remain.

After a deeply flawed and violent election in 2008, Zimbabwe’s former
opposition parties are now part of a transitional coalition government that
has lasted nearly three years. This coalition government was established
under the stewardship of the Southern African Development Community as a key
tenet of the Global Political Agreement, which was negotiated between the
opposing parties to end political violence and move past contested
elections. Although significant challenges remain on the political front,
there has been progress. A tri-partisan parliamentary committee has sought
input for a new draft constitution from millions of Zimbabweans. Zimbabwe’s
economy, which dollarized in 2009, has made a remarkable recovery. The
International Monetary Fund estimated that

Zimbabwe’s Gross Domestic Product grew at nine percent in 2010. Humanitarian
need has decreased significantly since 2009, when 7 million people received
humanitarian aid. In January 2012, the number of people needing humanitarian
assistance is projected to be just one million. Schools and health clinics
previously closed due to a lack of staff and supplies have re-opened and are
providing vital social services to the Zimbabwean people.

At the same time, substantial progress has been impeded by censorship, weak
rule of law, and the continued politicization of state institutions.
Politically motivated harassment, intimidation and violence continue, and
state institutions are beholden to partisan agendas.

The United States has always supported the people of Zimbabwe’s aspirations
to create a country that would truly empower its citizens. In the 1960s and
1970s, we supported UN efforts to pressure Rhodesian authorities to accept
majority rule. The United States was the first country to extend diplomatic
relations to the newly independent Zimbabwe in 1980.

We have also voiced our concern when the liberation-era leadership has taken
actions that posed a threat to Zimbabwe’s stability, prosperity, and
development as a modern democratic state. The U.S. sanctions program is the
most visible manifestation of that concern, as it targets 121 individuals
and 69 entities pursuant to Executive orders issued to address the
undermining of democratic processes or institutions in Zimbabwe. These
sanctions began in March of 2003. Much has changed in Zimbabwe since then.
Over the past year, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign
Assets Control has modified the sanctions list, adding or deleting names on
the list to reflect some of those changes. The Administration will continue
to ensure the targeted sanctions program remains meaningful and accurate.

At the same time, the United States is working to help develop a strong,
democratic, market-oriented Zimbabwe and respond to humanitarian needs. We
have provided nearly a billion dollars in assistance from Fiscal Year 2006
through Fiscal Year 2011. I will defer to my USAID colleague, Senior Deputy
Assistant Administrator for Africa Sharon Cromer, to provide more
information about USAID programs in Zimbabwe.

We are mindful of the current fiscal climate and the existing legal
restrictions on our assistance and we will continue to consult closely with
Congress, especially with this Committee, on any proposals to change our
assistance program to Zimbabwe.

The next two years will be a test for Zimbabwe, and the world will be
watching to see if its political leaders stick to the commitments they made
and hold free and fair elections according to a roadmap negotiated with the
assistance of the Southern African Development Community.

Zimbabwe’s future will not depend on the actions of any one individual or
even one political party. It will depend on the collective decisions
Zimbabwe’s people make to replace a legacy of political violence and
one-party rule with a culture of tolerance, reconciliation, and the
de-politicization of state institutions. We are contributing to empowering
Zimbabweans to build the markets and institutions necessary to determine
their own future.

The United States values partnerships with nations whose leaders demonstrate
a commitment to the rule of law and the free flow of information. These
features form the foundation of stable, growth-oriented democracies all over
the world, and will be a key factor governing our relationship with the
Government of Zimbabwe in the years to come.

If Zimbabwe’s political parties implement the commitments that they
themselves have made in the Global Political Agreement and the electoral
roadmap, there will be a clear imperative for the United States to
reconsider our current sanctions policy. Specifically, this would mean the
holding of free, fair, and internationally monitored elections. It will also
require state institutions to be de-linked from ZANU-PF.

The Department of State will continue to press for the protection of human
rights and accountability for those who abuse them while acknowledging
progress where it is made. Zimbabweans have already enshrined these rights
in their own laws, constitution, and international obligations, and we will
continue to stand by Zimbabweans who are working to protect these rights.

We are also doing what we can, within the confines of the targeted sanctions
program, to promote Zimbabwe’s economic recovery and to highlight
opportunities for investment that will benefit U.S. and Zimbabwean
businesses alike. We will continue to provide guidance to U.S. businesses
interested in taking advantage of opportunities in Zimbabwe about how they
can move forward in a way that complies with U.S. law.

I would be remiss if I did not mention Zimbabwe’s importance to the Southern
African region. Zimbabwe shares borders with South Africa, Botswana, Zambia,
and Mozambique. It is a critical transport hub, a rich resource of talent,
and a country with great economic potential. Unfortunately, as we saw in
2008, the unstable political situation in Zimbabwe affects all the countries
around it. Partisan influence over elements of the security sector and the
use of these forces for violent actions against political opponents has led
to a darkening of the security sector’s reputation, both at home and abroad.
Zimbabwe’s neighbors are still feeling the effects of the refugee flows and
economic collapse.

It is important to note the areas of concern and stalemate, as we often do,
but also to recognize progress and change in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is a young
nation with a long colonial legacy to overcome. Social, political, and
economic advances do not happen quickly, nor will they necessarily follow an
American or western model. Implementation of the Global Political Agreement
has been problematic from the beginning, but the Southern African
Development Community takes its mediating role seriously, and I am confident
that they will not allow elections to go forward if it appears that the
prevailing conditions will lead to a repeat of the 2008 crisis.

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, I want to thank you for the
opportunity to appear before you today. I will be happy to answer any
questions you have.

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Contextualising South Africa’s Foreign Policy Towards Zimbabwe

By Leon Hartwell

South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma, seems to be tougher on Zimbabwe than
former president Thabo Mbeki with his much criticised ‘quiet diplomacy’
approach. What lead to this rapid change?

Zuma can be condemned for many controversial decisions he has made in the
past, but one has to give him credit for promoting a democratic process in
Zimbabwe. As vice-president under Mbeki, Zuma was not particularly outspoken
about the Zimbabwe situation. This changed soon after he lost his position
as vice-president.

In July 2009, shortly after becoming president of South Africa, Zuma said
during Q&A time in parliament that “interventionist measures” will be taken
through the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) if there is “any
indication that the provisions of democracy are compromised.” This was a
stern warning that the Global Political Agreement (GPA) should not be
derailed. In South Africa, this statement went largely unnoticed, but two
days later prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai met the National Security
Council for the first time.

Over the next year South Africa was caught up with the FIFA World Cup and
Zimbabwe’s government of national unity (GNU) continued to miss key Global
Political Agreement (GPA) deadlines. When the Cup ended in July 2010, Zuma
began to turn up the heat.

By March 2011, South Africa secured the Livingstone Consensus at the SADC
Troika meeting in Zambia. As facilitator, Zuma condemned the GNU for failing
to implement key agreements contained in the GPA and said that “the
situation can no longer be tolerated”. He also raised the issue of a roadmap
towards free and fair elections, which his team had been discussing with
Zimbabwe since January 2011. Since then, SADC has been driven by an almost
uniform voice, demanding to see progress in Zimbabwe’s unfinished business.
This is despite objections from ZANU-PF that Zuma should no longer be the

Clearly, South Africa’s approach changed at a rapid pace. What caused such a
radical shift in foreign policy? Broadly speaking, it is due to the
personalities of South Africa’s leaders and their relations with other

Mark Gevisser, Mbeki’s biographer, often described him as “disconnected”.
This characteristic also defined his lack of interaction with the South
African Embassy in Harare: he often flew in and out of Zimbabwe without any
real consultation with his chief representatives. He also gave the cold
shoulder to the MDC formations. Mbeki much rather preferred to meet with the
ZANU-PF elite and to make use of ‘red telephone diplomacy’, which led him to
proclaim in 2008 that there was “no crisis” in Zimbabwe.

Mbeki established contact with ZANU during the liberation years when
relations between the ANC and ZANU were frosty. The ANC was much closer with
ZAPU, as it shared linguistic and cultural affinities, both parties were
sponsored by the Soviet Union, and they lived side by side in Lusaka.
However, when ZANU won the 1980 election, Mbeki was tasked with bonding with
Zimbabwe’s new ruling party. His main contact was Emmerson Mnangagwa, the
country’s top securocrat. Mbeki’s diplomatic endeavours in Zimbabwe also
brought him closer to president Robert Mugabe who treated him like a son,
and to whom Mbeki became greatly indebted.

Zuma’s personality is different from Mbeki’s; he listens and asks for advice
from the people who surround him. Zuma’s Deputy Minister of the Department
of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), Ebrahim Ebrahim, who
once shared a jail cell with him, came to office promising to promote
Pretoria’s human rights agenda. Ebrahim seems to be governed by human rights
and democracy rather than pure liberation rhetoric.

Zuma also listens to his facilitation team which engages all stakeholders
(including the MDC formations), giving them a more balanced view of the
Zimbabwe situation. His international relations advisor and spokesperson for
the facilitation team, Lindiwe Zulu, has often been belittled by the ZANU-PF
controlled media whenever she expresses frustration with the GNU.

In contrast to the Mbeki years, South African diplomats in Harare are
engaged with their president. The country’s ambassador to Harare, Vusi
Mavimbela, has spoken out against “lawlessness” and “a culture of impunity
that has to be stopped”. Zuma’s policy towards Zimbabwe could therefore be
expected to reflect and respond more accurately to the situation.

Back in Pretoria, DIRCO has started to regularly debate South Africa’s
position in the region with civil society. There are a number of
individuals, including a new generation of diplomats and analysts, who argue
that DIRCO should not be afraid to throw its weight around the region,
something it shied away from in the past. Mbeki was overly cautious not to
be seen as the region’s bully.

Unlike Mbeki, Zuma also listens to concerns raised by the ANC’s alliance
partners, who have not only been instrumental in his accession to power, but
also vocal about human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. Beyond that, they
represent a large domestic constituency that is angry about its economic
disenfranchisement and easily blames Zimbabwean expatriates for “stealing”
local jobs.

Zuma is also under pressure from a multitude of South African businesses
whose interests are threatened. Despite ratification by Zimbabwe of a
bilateral investment agreement in May 2010, companies such as Zimplats and
Old Mutual continue to be under threat from indigenisation policies, while
South African farmers are still being evicted.

Zimbabwe is thus not only seen as a political problem, but is now more
clearly defined as an economic threat that also affects South Africa and the
region. As Mavimbela recently stated, “the ill health of one [state in SADC]
affects the others”. South Africa’s regional integration efforts will be
constrained as long as Zimbabwe remains fragile.

While Mugabe and Mbeki had a father-son relationship and an intellectual
common ground, Zuma has been perceived by many ZANU-PF elites as the former’s
junior. However, Zuma has shown time and again that he can outwit many a
politician, and it is said that he is a pragmatist and a negotiator par
excellence. He has the ability to simplify highly complex ideas, which is a
key skill in any negotiation process. Mbeki can be credited with developing
the GPA, but Zuma’s message is that parties have to be realistic about the
transition; Zimbabwe should not gun for another election in the absence of
key institutional reforms.

In addition to Zuma’s personality differences from his predecessor, it is
critical that he succeeded in mobilising several strategic individuals in
the region.

Most decisively, Zuma cleverly re-engaged Angola’s president Jose Eduardo
dos Santos, head of southern Africa’s second largest economy and leader of
the MPLA – the ANC’s traditional liberation ally. Mbeki mockingly referred
to the dos Santos’ administration as “urban mulattoes”.

Zuma visited dos Santos first as ANC president in March 2008 and again as
head of state in August 2009. The latter occasion marked Zuma’s first state
visit and he was joined by 124 business delegates. At the time it was the
largest business delegation to accompany a head of state in post-1994 South
Africa. Dos Santos oiled this relationship further by visiting South Africa
in December 2010.

These exchanges focused predominantly on developing both countries’ economic
interests. Beyond business prospects, an entente developed between the two
leaders; Zuma recognised the importance of dos Santos’ leadership within
SADC, while the Angolan gave more leeway and support to Zuma in his
facilitator’s role vis-ą-vis Zimbabwe.

It is thus noteworthy that the Livingstone Consensus was once again
reiterated in Luanda in August, when, in reference to Zimbabwe, dos Santos
as the SADC chair stated, “we have to realise that peace and stability are
the backbone of our development.”

We have not yet witnessed any substantial cracks in the Livingstone
Consensus. The bottom line is that the space for those who want to
destabilise the transitional process in Zimbabwe is becoming smaller by the
day. As long as Zuma is South Africa’s president, he will do his best to
promote peace and stability for his northern neighbour.

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Fighting violence with non violence

November 4, 2011, 2:49 pm

Events in Zimbabwe this week have once again illustrated that without an
impartial police force to implement the law, society descends into violence
with no protection for the victims. In Zimbabwe, the police have, in effect,
become a law to themselves. Despite a Court Ruling that all three opposition
rallies in Matabeleland North could go ahead, the police ignored the Ruling
and banned the rallies. When that failed and the MDC attracted thousands to
their rallies, the police did everything they could to disrupt the
gatherings. At one rally in Matabeleland North police actually threatened to
shoot people who attended saying that they were not obliged to follow court
orders – and anyway the orders were fake! But the real give away line was
the comment that the police only take instructions from their bosses! The
increasing level of violence throughout the country was reported by Prime
Minister Tsvangirai to Robert Mugabe at their weekly meeting and he was told
by the President that ‘it will be dealt with.’ The truth, however, is that
without the police doing their job and maintaining law and order in an
even-handed way, the violence will continue.

That violence came right into the middle of Harare this week when a group of
30 fully armed police raided MDC headquarters on the flimsy excuse that they
were searching for vegetable vendors who had taken shelter in the building.
The police then fired tear gas into the opposition’s head quarters; unlikely
that would ever happen to Zanu PF HQ. And therein, as I have said before, is
the root of the whole problem: the police have become a totally politicised
force. Augustine Chihuri, the present Commissioner, has openly declared his
support for Zanu PF and police officers who support the MDC have been
demoted or dismissed from the force. In the wider public, MDC supporters
face constant harassment for trivial ‘offences’ such as putting up posters
for an MDC rally in Vic Falls while two other MDC supporters were detained
when they were heard saying that Mugabe could meet the same fate as Mumar
Gaddafi, a remark that was deemed to be a criminal offence, since insulting
the president is a crime punishable by imprisonment. There is almost daily
evidence that speaking your mind in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe is an increasingly
dangerous occupation. Senator Eddie Cross spoke out openly about the
corruption and theft going on at Marange and was then followed and
threatened by the CIO for his blunt speaking.

Apparently the Kimberley Process chooses to turn a blind eye to the human
rights abuses going on at the diamond mine and this week they announced that
Zimbabwe is once again free to sell their rough diamonds on the open market.
Today, Friday, the US is on record saying – if I understood it correctly –
that it was necessary to compromise on the Zimbabwe diamond issue in order
to find out if Zimbabwe would improve its behaviour! Meanwhile the Minister
of Mines, Obert Mpofu is crowing with delight at the KP.decision. In the
light of news this week that 1 in 10 Zimbabweans will need food aid by early
2012, it would be good to think that diamond revenue might actually be used
to feed the hungry and not just to enrich the few already wealthy

The question of how a downtrodden population counteracts the violence of a
brutal regime was addressed this week by the MDC’s Theresa Makone and her
words deserve serious consideration. The MDC’s original non-violent stance
was approved by many Zimbabweans tired of the constant violence meted out
against them for no reason other than their belief in a different political
party. For the past eleven years and more, those opposed to Mugabe and Zanu
PF have appeared to sit back and wait for the blows to fall. And fall they
did. It has become clear that Zanu PF has nothing but contempt for the MDC’s
non-violence stance. Now, in November 2011, here’s what Theresa Makone
advises the people: “You do not attack anyone, you do not offend anyone but,
should anyone strike you, don’t just sit there because they will kill you.
You have seen them do it before. That is what Zanu PF got on Sunday from the
people. The people refuse to be battered citizens.”

Theresa Makone’s words do indeed deserve the serious thought and
consideration of all Zimbabweans.

Yours in the (continuing) struggle PH.

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