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Southern Africa Leaders to Discuss Zimbabwe Stalemate


By Peta Thornycroft
04 November 2008

Southern Africa leaders plan to meet Sunday in South Africa in an attempt to
break a stalemate over allocating Cabinet positions in a planned government
of national unity in Zimbabwe. Peta Thornycroft reports for VOA from
Johannesburg, that in the meantime government repression against ordinary
Zimbabweans, including farmers and activists, is continuing.

A full regional summit will try to prod Zimbabwe Prime Minister-designate
Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe toward agreement over the
allocation of Cabinet posts.

There is growing concern in the region over the ever-deteriorating plight of
Zimbabweans and what experts say is an unprecedented shortage of food and
increasing levels of hunger. The World Food Program says it expects to be
feeding five million Zimbabweans by early next year.

But VOA has learned that despite this widespread suffering, police have
prevented one of Zimbabwe's most productive farmers from planting his maize
crop. Doug Taylor-Freeme is the only farmer in the large and fertile Makonde
district in northern Zimbabwe to have already begun planting maize, which is
the staple crop in Zimbabwe.

He said the Lands Department asked him to grow more maize this year because
of the desperate shortage of food. He had planted nearly a third of his
crop, which was expected to be the largest grown this season, when police
moved in last Thursday and stopped him. Armed police were left at his farm
to ensure he did not resume planting.

In order to obtain maximum yields all planting should be completed by the
end of November, after that yields will become progressively smaller.

In a similar incident, the country's last remaining wheat-seed producer was
arrested last weekend. Patrick Stooks, who farms about 80 kilometers north
of Harare, his wife Susan, and 12 of their workers were arrested Saturday.

The government says the Stooks remained on their farm in contravention of
land laws and accused them of inciting violence. But the Commercial Farmers
Union says the real reason is that a Zimbabwe diplomat normally based in
Japan wants their farm.

The Stooks were arrested at gun point. Mrs. Stooks has been held in a tiny
bathroom with a blocked toilet since Saturday. The room is so small she is
unable to lie down.

The farmers union says no farmer can be evicted without prior notification
and it says Mrs. Stooks is being held in inhumane conditions.

Elsewhere in Zimbabwe, scores of activists, including several members of the
group Women of Zimbabwe Arise, have been arrested at peaceful protests in
recent weeks. All remain in jail after being refused bail.

The Movement for Democratic Change says the power sharing agreement signed
in September by Mr. Tsvangirai and Mr. Mugabe has been seriously undermined
by the arrests. Under the agreement, Mr. Mugabe committed himself to allow
farmers to get on with producing food.

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Southern African Leaders Seen Divided On Zimbabwe Solution


By Blessing Zulu
04 November 2008

Leaders of the Southern African Development Community will meet in summit on
Sunday in South Africa aiming to break the deadlock in the troubled
Zimbabwean power-sharing process, but the SADC leaders could find themselves
deeply divided as well.

Spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa of the South African Department of Foreign Affairs
told VOA that the precise venue in South Africa will be decided on

Botswanan President Ian Khama has already taken a strong position, saying
the SADC leaders should consider an internationally supervised rerun of
Zimbabwe's turbulent March presidential election as a way to break the
entrenched deadlock.

Khama said it "should be unacceptable for ruling parties to seek to
manipulate election outcomes to extend their stay in power, as this is bad
for democracy on our continent."

African diplomatic sources said President Robert Mugabe and prime
minister-designate Morgan Tsvangirai have been working the phones seeking
support from regional heads.

The diplomats said some SADC leaders want to read Mr. Mugabe the riot act
and recommend the matter be taken to the United Nations Security Council.

But these sources said Mr. Mugabe is likely to find support from Mozambique,
Swaziland, Lesotho, Malawi and Namibia. Tsvangirai could have Angola, South
Africa, Tanzania, Botswana, Zambia and Mauritius in his corner, the
diplomats said.

British Minister for Africa Mark Malloch-Brown told the House of Lords
Monday that while African leaders are dismayed by Mr. Mugabe's conduct
though not saying it publicly.

He said the leaders "as a whole are in no doubt, in private conversations,
about their dismay at the damage that President Mugabe is doing to his
country and the region; but, as has always been the case, they often find it
difficult to express that complaint publicly, for fear that it would merely
strengthen Mugabe's position at home."

Spokesman Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change formation led
by Tsvangirai told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe
that the party is hoping SADC can resolve the crisis without resorting to a
presidential re-run.

Political analyst and human rights lawyer Brian Kagoro said from Nairobi
that Khama's proposition for a new round of presidential voting in Zimbabwe
is viable.

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Cash withdrawal limit raised to Z$500 000

Back to Home Page

Central Bank Governor Gideon Gono

Related Articles

 Opinion Zone
  a.. Shocking number of people have left the country writes Cathy Buckle
  b.. Cabbages and condoms in 'deadlocked' country writes Zimbabwean author
Cathy Buckle
  c.. Why civil disobedience will save Zimbabwe, Africa and the US writes Dr
Paul Mutuzu
  a.. 05 November 2008

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has, with immediate effect, increased daily
cash withdrawal limits for individuals from $50 000 to $500 000 while
companies will now access $1 million, up from $10 000.

In a statement yesterday, the central bank said the upward review of
withdrawal limits followed the introduction of $100 000, $500 000 and $1
million notes that are expected to be released today.

"The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is pleased to announce the introduction of
$100 000, $500 000 and $1 000 000 bank notes, which will come into
circulation with effect from November 5, 2008," read the statement.

The review comes at a time when various stakeholders were calling for a
viable cash limit that would adequately cover daily expenses.
The central bank last reviewed withdrawal limits on October 10 from $20 000
to $50 000 when the $50 000 note came into circulation.

Withdrawal limits for companies had stayed at $10 000 per day as a way of
encouraging companies to use alternative non-cash means of payment such as
cheques and various forms of plastic money.

Economists however slammed the measures as unworkable and say in the absence
of proper political and economic reforms the Central Bank was simply fire

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Tsvangirai travels to Botswana using emergency travel document

05 November 2008

By Never Kadungure

MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai is reported to have travelled to Botswana en
route to a special SADC summit set for Pretoria in South Africa on Sunday
this week. According to a state media report he used an emergency travel
document after the government continued with its refusal to renew his
expired passport.

Tsvangirai boycotted the SADC Swaziland Troika meeting on October 20
demanding a passport with MDC Secretary-General Tendai Biti describing the
ETD as an insult to his party. Pressure on Tsvangirai to ignore Zanu PF's
deliberate use of the passport affair to frustrate him has led to Tsvangirai
deciding to ignore the matter for now.

Tsvangirai is said to have drove to Botswana on Monday with his family
through the Plumtree Border Post.

Botswana's President Ian Khama meanwhile called for an internationally
supervised rerun of the presidential election in Zimbabwe as "one viable way
forward" to get that country out of its political impasse. In his State of
the Nation address to his parliament on Monday, President Khama said:

"We strongly believe that the one viable way forward in Zimbabwe is to have
a rerun of the presidential election under full international sponsorship
and supervision." A bitter Zanu PF responded by describing Khama's statement
as "based on a heap of lies that they have been fed by Tsvangirai and his
MDC formation".

Former Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, said the statement, 'is an act of
extreme provocation to Zimbabwe. He has no right under international law as
an individual or country to interfere in our domestic affairs. Elections are
the prerogative of Zimbabweans and when they are ready to be held is a
matter of our Constitution.

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Swift action needed to curb more cholera deaths

05 November 2008

By Sesel Zvidzai

The MDC is disturbed by the Zanu PF government's failure to react swiftly to
the cholera outbreak that has led to the deaths of over 100 people in less
than a month.

Due to the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) failure to supply clean
water, the MDC is surprised that the illegimate government does not care
about the lives of the people of Zimbabwe as more and more deaths are being
reported on a daily basis.

Zinwa should urgently cede its supply of treated water to local council
authorities in order to alleviate further deaths from cholera in the

The MDC is alarmed that Zinwa continues to cling to the supply of clean
water in urban council when it has failed. This has led to the deaths of
over 100 people in less than a month.

For people with a conscience and the people's needs at heart, one would have
expected the whole of the Zinwa leadership to be looking for a quick
solution to the water crisis.

As the MDC we maintain that Zinwa and the government should give the sole
operations of running water supplies to the MDC led council as we were given
the mandate by the people to provide them with basic social services.

It is sad to note that the Zanu PF regime continues to fiddle while the
country burns and innocent people are dying.

Zinwa is not in a position to maintain water and sewer equipment since they
do not have hands on engineers. All the engineers have deserted the water
authority because of poor salaries on the other hand councils can make
special provisions to retain such specialists.

Elected councillors who enjoy the mandate of the people have the capacity to
consult residents and come up with people-driven initiatives to solve the
challenges facing the country.

Masvingo City remains one of the few cities that have not been affected by
the cholera outbreak because the MDC led council is in control, as Zinwa has
not taken over the operations of water supply in the area.

The municipality approached the residents who took it upon themselves to pay
for the broken down sewer system and this reduced to zero the amount of
sewerage flowing into the water bodies itself a major contributor of

Corruption and bureaucracy in government is also a major contributing factor
to cholera deaths where Zinwa is involved in providing water supplies.

Zinwa is buying chemicals for water treatment from third parties instead of
buying chemicals directly from the suppliers, which makes the process prone
to abuse by senior officials.

The MDC calls upon Zinwa to take the lives of the people of Zimbabwe
seriously and give back water and sewer control to town councils.

Sesel Zvidzai, MDC Secretary of Local Government

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Manicaland treated with disdain

November 5, 2008

By Mafira Kureva

WHEN I read the story of victims of police brutality at the Chiadzwa diamond
mines I was moved. This is because I have first-hand information of police
brutality in the extremely criminalised diamond mining operations  of

As a researcher, I neither write things from hearsay nor sensationalise them
as a journalist. Mine is usually participant observation, subjected to
academic analysis, interpretation and prognosis of social effects and
trends. I never received any training in this; I am a born researcher.

I went to Chiadzwa last year to research on the conflict between the state
and the local peasant population in natural resources management. I drove
from Harare to Marange. I started researching on the diamond diggers from
about a 50 kilometers radius of Chiadzwa. I wanted to investigate the local
understanding of diamond mining, their perceptions about state intervention,
their local beliefs, the history, the organisation of diamond mining and
many other issues pertinent to the anthropological research of this nature.

I talked to people of various backgrounds. They included buyers (white and
black and locals as well as foreigners), peasants (regular diamond miners
and non-miners; old and young, women, men, local professionals and elites
like teachers and shop keepers). I also went to visit the local Johanne
Masowe religious sect and the n'angas who are consulted by some miners
before going to Chiadzwa mines.

I attended a schools sports competition and talked to many more people
there. In short, I carried out what qualifies as serious research. I would
not reveal the details of how they organise their mining operations.

Then came the trip.

I walked with them to Chiadzwa for about 12 hours till we got to within the
vicinity of the area of the bases. These are established in the radius of
the area about five to ten kilometres around the diamond mines. There are
many different people who are there and according to my observation then
there were no criminal activities that I came across such as assaulting each
other or the likes although I am not ruling out this.

These are the places from where people launch mining expeditions.

Usually they go in groups. From as early as 19.00 hrs until the cock crow
groups will be moving in and out. Information about what is happening there
is given by those returning. They also indicate the nature of police patrols
and whether they have dogs, horses or are conducting foot patrols. They also
exchange information about "hot spots", that is where the best stones are
coming out.

Chiadzwa itself is located in a semi arid area with typical vegetation of
the low veldt and has hilly outcrops. At the mines there is a two-metre high
security fence, which one has to go through first. Then there is another
fence which is immediately followed by remains of a wide gravel road
apparently used during the war by the Rhodesian security forces to patrol
and observe guerrilla movements in the area.

Then one enters the mines.

There are areas such as Mbada One and Mbada Two, then kuMuuyu which are hot
spots and have lots of diamonds. These hot spots are highly contested
between state forces and peasant miners.

I went through all these places and many more. From Mbada or kuMuuyu you can
then go to the heart of Chiadzwa. This is preceded by another road with a
perimeter fence running along it. This is where you find the authorised
miners whose identity was difficult to establish. However what is
interesting is that the local people identify the various spots according to
their knowledge of who owns the heaps of the diamond ore.

Mutaka or a heap is a commonly used word. The pile of ore nearest to Mbada
or Muuyu is Mutaka waMai Mujuru (Vice President Joice Mujuru's heap). Then
there is Mutaka waGrace (First Lady Grace Mugabe's heap) and others. I
wanted to visit these very important sounding mitaka, but was advised this
was tricky.

I had seen people who were nursing wounds after being mauled by German
Shepherd dogs led by police handlers but I will come to that later. I used
my skills of guerrilla warfare. I made a camouflage ring, and advanced to
the area employing individual tactics (kitten crawling, snake crawling, side
crawling, bouncing) using terrain and terrain features, to dodge the
patrolling police.

I got to the fence with one daring youth. However I failed to get to the
point to verify these heaps because it became too risky to do in day light.
We returned but I was eager to verify allegations made about the police. The
question is how could I do that without getting into the police post?

It so happened that when they started to chase the "illegal" miners I did
not run and two policewomen and one policeman got me to the camp where I had
the opportunity of witnessing everything that goes on there. I had managed
to show the police who arrested me my war vet card and my university card
and told him that I was actually not an illegal miner but a researcher.

It was such a coincidence because this particular policeman had just arrived
that same day and was quite understanding. He is the one who tipped me that
I should not say anything about the research because the seniors might take
even tougher measures against me. He offered to take me straight to a point
where I would simply pay a fine without first being assaulted or harassed.

At the police post I saw many people who were under arrest. They were being
subjected to all sorts of harassment, being forced to crawl or sing. They
were flogged all over the body and particularly under the feet. These
prisoners were also responsible for cooking, laundry and all sorts of manual
work for the police officers. Indeed, with the nature of beating I witnessed
one can break a limp because not only is it random but it is also heavy.

I witnessed a lot as I paid my fine and went away. However, as I returned to
the bases, I collected stories about police brutality. I saw one who had
been mauled by police dogs and he told me of his ordeal. When he was caught
the police released their dogs on him. He said he had screamed. His whole
arm had deep cuts where the dogs bit him - deep gushes which oozed water and
blood mixed with puss.

I was told that two girls who were caught a few days before my arrival had
been ordered to sit down and the dogs were released on them and they started
to maul their bare breasts. It looks like the girls had been forced to
expose the top part of their bodies for this purpose. I also heard of many
other people who were mauled by police dogs deliberately set on them. These
stories were confirmed by traditional leaders whom I interviewed. Of course
I would not identify them. In fact a story such as this is difficult to
write because of the need to protect sources.

Anyway, I was keen, as I said, to find out the feelings, the thoughts and
understanding of the local population about what was going on. This is when
now it became apparent to me that the Chiadzwa story was a complex ethnic
issue in the opinion of the locals of Marange and beyond. But how does it
become an ethnic issue if the state is preventing illegal mining, a process
done everywhere in the country - Operation Chikorokoza Chapera.

My first visit to Chiadzwa to study the so-called illegal mining there, was
prompted by a somewhat very unrelated issue that arose in Mashonaland
Central Province. In a previous article I wrote about the fact that Zanu-PF's
treatment of war veterans is actually an ethnic issue and I illustrated my
point. It is common cause that whenever one talks of the war veterans of the
1970s anti-colonial war one is talking of at least eight out of 10 people
from Manicaland of that group.

This was the ratio when war vets embarked on the land occupation campaign in
2000. In general the whole operation ended up having a numerical bias in
favour of Manicaland participants.

Actually Manicaland itself could not accommodate its own war veterans on the
farms of the province simply because of their overwhelming numbers. Now
imagine war veterans who led the land movement and took over farms in
Mashonaland Central, West and East. With the high level of tribalism in
those provinces war veterans were now being dispossessed of the land they
had taken from the white settlers.

They were told plainly that they would not be accommodated because they were
from Manicaland. This was even captured by the Utete Report itself. One of
the war veterans was dispossessed of his new land by a lecturer at the
University of Zimbabwe.

The lecturer was in Europe during the land occupations and I know he
actually opposed them.

So what happened? Some of the war vets decided to go to their own province,
Manicaland, to engage in the mineral resource exploitation of diamonds. This
then became interesting for me to see how ethnic conflicts in resource
distribution of Zimbabwe are unfolding in the countryside and how they are
affecting war veterans, since I am one of them. This is also the reason why
it was interesting to me to see the Mutaka waMai Mujuru and Mutaka waGrace.
The owners came from the very provinces where Manicaland war veterans were
being dispossessed of farm land on tribal and ethnic grounds.

It is true that the diamonds of Marange, at Chiadzwa are not benefiting the
local community or the province. It is true that other provinces do not want
people from outside their provinces, particularly Mashonaland provinces, to
utilise resources as Zimbabwe's endowment. But this is not just being
emotional and ethnic biased towards the Manicaland province because I come
from there. There are few more illustrations to substantiate this point.

Gold panning is the most widespread and perhaps the oldest form of
contemporary illegal mining in the country. It flourished in 1992 because of
the double coincidence of the worst drought in living memory and effects of
ESAP (Economic Structural Adjustment Programme). I so happened to go round
the country studying gold panning.

In the 1990s I worked in Masvingo and studied gold panning along the Runde
River and many other areas there. I also visited Shamva, Chinhoyi,
Mutorashanga, Mazowe, Madziwa, Shurugwi and many other places. I have
first-hand information of all these places, as a participant observer, not
hearsay. During the 1980s I was familiar with the emerald mining in
Mberengwa although I did not study it in depth. I am also familiar with the
mining of chrome and semi-precious stones like aquamarine in Mashonaland
West and other places.

I mention all these areas and "illegal" mining activities because the
treatment of miners in Manicaland is nowhere near what all these places have
ever experienced. In all these areas the police indeed do their duty to
raid. But I want anyone to come forward to tell me that there is at any one
time in any other area outside Manicaland where there were deliberate cases
of the police killing illegal miners. I am not saying there are no
skirmishes here and there which at times result in loss of life. But the
situation in Chiadzwa is different - totally. This is a clear state
organisation aimed at brutal deprivation of access to natural resources and
particularly directed against Manicaland.

Chiadzwa is not only an isolated case; it is a unique case because of the
existence of a rare mineral - diamonds. Even with gold, when it is found in
Manicaland, the state behaves differently. A case in point is the famous
gold rich area of Chimanimani. When an Eldorado was discovered in
Chimanimani a few years ago, you know what happened? It was not ZRP that was
sent there, it was the army and similar killings occurred as in Chiadzwa.

The gold in Chamanimani is no different from gold anywhere else. The
preciousness of diamonds is no different from the Mberengwa emeralds, for
example. However, the treatment meted out on the Manicaland people is so
different. They are shot on sight and the area is now fenced (as I
understand and guarded by armed soldiers). But don't you ever imagine that
nothing is going on there. Mining is going on but only by outsiders like the
Joice Mujurus and the Grace Mugabes and other tycoons who hate not only
Manicaland peasants but also war veterans because of their origins.

This is saddening.

This is why when people ask why war veterans do not do this or that, it is
because we are well aware how the state will react upon our people. The
state is itching to find an excuse to punish the people of Manicaland. Why?
It is a puzzle. Of course, the majority of war veterans are from Manicaland
and they remain a big threat to Zanu-PF. They remain a threat because they
fought the war and would want people to realise the objectives they fought
for, not these cases of tribal and ethnic privilege.

When we were fighting we were not doing so for individuals. We were not
doing so for a minority tribe but for the poor people of Zimbabwe who
suffered under colonial dispossession. Why should the state target us and
our people as if we rebelled against it? Do you not think if we were not
competent and disciplined and if we did not consider the interests of the
Zimbabwean masses first, we would have taken the route that other liberation
movements have fallen into?

Take Mozambique, Angola and the DRC for example. We did not take this route
although the state drove us to that edge through sheer neglect and
inequitable distribution of resources to a minority clique. And if it had
been a war what would have become of our country?

We realise all this that is why we try to resolve these things without
bloodshed. But then why should trained policeman or soldiers hunt innocent
and poor people down with helicopters, firearms, dogs and horses. When
scenes such as this are described is there any ex-combatant (one who really
went to the battlefront to fight) who knows of a situation worse than this
even during the war itself?

Is it necessary?

This is why the state would want to parade people like Chinotimba and
Jabulani Sibanda to masquerade as war veterans. They are being used to hide
the faces of the real war veterans. They are being used, just like Enos
Nkala was used by Robert Mugabe against his own Matebeleland people in the
1980s to advance the interests of a minority and tribalistic clique. This
calls for all peasants and war veterans to unite and expose this.

War veterans who really understand the struggle, wherever they are should
stand up against this and explain to the people why such things are being

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Zimbabweans expect no shift in US policy towards Harare

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) Zimbabweans do not expect a major shift in the United
States' policy towards Zimbabwe even if African-American candidate Barrack
Obama wins the polls, APA learnt here Wednesday.

Obama was on the verge of winning the November 4 historic poll after scoring
a series of victories in key battleground states.

The US elections triggered a lot of interest in the southern African country
but there was no illusion among ordinary Zimbabweans that the ascendancy to
the White House would thaw frosty ties between the two countries.

"We are naturally excited about the prospects of having a black man in the
White House but we must not lose sight of the fact that having a black face
in the highest US office does not necessarily mean a change in Washington's
foreign policy, including the relations between the US and Zimbabwe," said a
University of Zimbabwe political analyst.

Ties between Harare and Washington have been strained since 2000 when
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe expropriated land from white farmers
under a programme blamed by the West and the local opposition for plunging
the southern African country into economic turmoil.

The outgoing George W. Bush administration responded by imposing "targeted"
sanctions which barred Mugabe and more than 100 of his officials from
travelling to the US or owning assets in that country.

The US also initiated the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of
2001 which ostensibly sought to punish the Zimbabwean government for its
role in the Democratic Republic of Congo civil war of 1998-2002 but was seen
by Harare as punishment for its land policy.

"Hostilities between the two countries will not change as long as the status
quo remains in Zimbabwe. If anything, we may see a deterioration in
relations as the Zimbabwean authorities refuse to take orders from one of
their own," commented Harare resident Paul Mahachi as patrons watched
proceedings on Tuesday night at a bar in the capital.

Zimbabwe has accused the US and other Western powers of pursuing a
regime-change agenda where they want to topple Mugabe from power and install
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change endorsed Obama's candidature at
the weekend.

Democratic candidate Obama, who would become the first black president of
the US, led Republican John McCain by 207 electoral votes to 135.

To win the race to the White House, a presidential candidate requires to
amass at least 270 electoral votes.

  JN/tjm/APA 2008-11-05

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Foreign Briefing: Jane Fields in Zimbabwe

Published Date: 05 November 2008

I NEVER thought I'd hear my own child plead for bread. "When can we have
bread?" he asked last week. "I'm longing for bread." I haven't been able to
buy bread for a month.

Cash shortages mean I'd have had to spend days in a bank queue to withdraw
the Z$50,000 (£69 at official rates) needed to buy a loaf. So we went
without, relying instead on maize-meal porridge and what Zimbabweans call
"relish" - a mush of spinach and whatever other vegetables I could find.

With food in the pantry, my child is one of the lucky ones.

Zimbabwe is in the grip of its worst food crisis since Robert Mugabe
launched his takeover of white farms in 2000. But with the world focusing on
the global financial meltdown, it's going virtually unnoticed.

Five million Zimbabweans - nearly half the population - will soon need food
aid, and the country is short of 789,000 tonnes of cereal this year due to
another poor harvest. In a country where prices can quadruple in 24 hours,
few can afford the little alternative food on sale. I hear stories of quiet
desperation every day.

A white part-time pre-school assistant from the eastern city of Mutare
admits she goes without food "for two or three days sometimes". She lives
alone with her pensioner father - but Zimbabwe's 231 million per cent
inflation rate has wiped out any pension he might have had.

An elderly ethnically Ndebele friend falls into my arms when I take her five
eggs sourced after repeated calls to a "contact".

"We haven't tasted eggs for six months," she says.

Reports from the rural areas are even worse. My cleaner gets a phone call
from her father in the mountainous Nyanga district. He hasn't eaten for
three days. "He went to the village to buy apples, but they were too
expensive," she says.

Some communities survive by trapping beetles or harvesting wild berries. In
western Hwange, food outlets have closed because they have nothing to sell,
says the local rights group Bulawayo Agenda. In drought-prone Matabeleland
South province, 98 per cent of households have no food, state ZBC radio

Aid agencies are doing what they can. But their work was hampered by Mr
Mugabe's three-month ban on non-governmental organisations (NGOs) before the
presidential run-off in June. And it's five months until the next harvest.

And it's not just humans who are hungry. Farmers had been relying on waste
products from the milling of grain from NGOs to feed their livestock.

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CPU bans food vending to fight cholera

Herald Reporters

THE Civil Protection Unit has come up with an intensive programme to combat
the cholera outbreak that claimed nine lives in Harare's Budiriro suburb
last week, which includes immediate banning of food vending in the area.

It is hoped that the move will help prevent the disease from spreading to
other suburbs.
Some of the strategies to combat the water-borne disease include
intensifying educational campaigns, enhancing waste management, de-clogging
sewer lines and increasing water supplies.
These strategies will be implemented with the help of local authorities,
including Harare, Chitungwiza and Norton, as well as United Nations
humanitarian agencies such as Unicef and the World Health Organisation.
In an interview yesterday, CPU director Mr Madzudzo Pawadyira said the
strategies did not just entail provision of clean water and medicines for
the residents but were also meant to curb future disease outbreaks in area.
"We have adopted zero tolerance to illegal food vending. The Zimbabwe
Republic Police has already moved into the suburb to enforce the strategy.
Those caught outside the law will be prosecuted.
"More water tanks have been directed to the area and this will see water
supplies increasing to 80 000 litres by the end of day.
"Zinwa will also chip in with an additional 30 000 litres of treated water
to augment available clean water supplies," he said.
Mr Pawadyira said additional vehicles had been pledged to intensify
awareness programmes targeting churches, shopping centres and schools.
Decontamination of wells, he said, would be intensified to lessen pressure
on water brought to the suburb in bowsers.
"To help manage the situation, the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare has
seconded 30 environmental health technicians to the area while some NGOs
have undertaken to start de-clogging sewer lines.
"The unit would also supervise removal of waste dumped in the suburb. These
strategies would be expanded and extrapolated to other areas in the city,"
Mr Pawadyira said.
The situation was still critical in Budiriro yesterday with scores of people
visiting Budiriro Polyclinic to seek treatment.
Harare Health Services Director Dr Stanley Mungofa said no cholera deaths
had been reported at the clinic yesterday although more people were turning
up for treatment.
"I can safely say we have been admitting a number of people suffering from
the disease but no deaths. Some might have died in their homes, but we are
not aware,'' he said.
Chisipite Senator Obert Gutu yesterday called for the establishment of a
commission of inquiry to probe the current water shortages in Harare.
Addressing the Senate, Sen Gutu took a swipe at Zinwa for "not being
He, however, said the authority required assistance. "Zinwa needs urgent
help to ensure sustainable water provision. They (Zinwa) are reactive
instead of being proactive. I call for the establishment of a commission of
enquiry to establish why there is shortage of water," he said.
Sen Gutu asked what Zinwa was doing to alleviate the water shortages in most
suburbs in Harare like Budiriro and urged the Upper House to play its role
to ensure the authority acts decisively.

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Zanu-PF mellows in secret talks


Published: Wednesday 05 November 2008

ZIMBABWE - HARARE - The rapprochement in behind-the-scenes talks between
President Robert Mugabe and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai over power-sharing
have  created the ideal conditions for southern African leaders meeting in
Pretoria on Sunday to hammer out the "fine print" in sharing of cabinet
posts, according to top officials.

The agreement announced on Sept in Harare, the Zimbabwean capital, binds the
Zimbabwean government to stopping violence and restoring the rule of law,
sharing power with the opposition and to reconstruct Zimbabwe's shattered

A full SADC summit will be chaired by chairman Kgalema Motlante in Pretoria
Sunday specifically called to discuss the deadlock over sharing over Cabinet
posts in Zimbabwe.

The meeting is expected to cajole Mugabe to join forces and equitably share
cabinet posts, subsequently reconstructing the country vandalized by decades
misrule by his Zanu-PF party.

The fourteen regional leaders will also press the parties to work with the
international community to pursue "effective and sustainable diplomatic
relations" instead of Zanu-PF's isolationist policies.

ZimDaily heard that there was a flurry of activity behind the scenes, with
high powered talks between the parties taking place secretly. The MDC has
been warned against negotiating through the media.

Zanu-PF had reportedly expressed a willingness to cluster ministries into
security, services and social then equitably share the posts. The party has
conceded that the economic hardships were mounting and that they could not
go it alone any longer. Zanu-Pf was also terrified by the prospect of
further sanctions.

The MDC says Zanu-PF is negotiating in bad faith, but recent events have
shown a change in direction, a top source said.

There was mixed reaction to the agreement brokered by former South Africa
President Thabo Mbeki and signed before several SADC leaders in Sept. Some
senior diplomats were cautiously optimistic, saying it remained to be seen
whether President Robert Mugabe would abide by the deal because he had
reneged on agreements in the past.

However a top MDC source assured ZimDaily that the latest overtures by
Zanu-PF in behind the scenes talks had created a favourable environment for
Southern African leaders meeting in Pretoria Sunday to consolidate the
agreement and to set time frames for action for the new government.

MDC secretary general Tendai Biti told reporters two weeks ago that the
stage of the power-sharing deal was like the stage of courtship.

"We are not receiving any flowers from Zanu-PF," Biti said. "Instead of
courting us, they are throwing bricks at us."

A source, with hindsight of Biti's remarks, told ZimDaily: "It looks like
they are now sending roses."

The full complement of SADC leaders gathering in Pretoria on Sunday were
directed by the SADC troika emergency summit in Harare last week that met
principals of the main political parties but failed to break the deadlock
over sharing of cabinet posts.

ZimDaily heard that senior officials from the SADC troika governments were
in Pretoria this week paving the way for the meeting.

"The SADC meeting on Zimbabwe will have to be a practical one. It will have
to be about cementing the agreement and emerging with a government
satisfactory to all of us" the MDC official said.

There was however little hope among Zimbabweans that the leaders would leave
Pretoria "with a concrete plan" to form a new government, said a South
African representative.

Political commentator Ronald Shumba said: "There is going to be pressure for
SADC leaders to get something more tangible basing on what was agreed in
Harare in Sept.

Now their challenge is to come up with an agreement on Cabinet posts because
there is an acknowledgment that this is no longer just a SADC problem. If
they (SADC) drag their feet now, they have lost the battle."

After almost eight weeks of inaction, the SADC summit in Pretoria is
expected to make it clear that the walls were closing in on Mugabe.

With the European Union and US considering action against Zimbabwe that
could further affect the region's economy, the bloc decided to take action.
Now with the Pretoria meeting looming, the question is whether SADC can rise
to the challenge of calling Zimbabwe's stubborn and longtime ruler to order.

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Divisions emerge in Makoni's movement

by Cuthbert Nzou Wednesday 05 November 2008

HARARE - Divisions have rocked former finance minister Simba Makoni's
movement with its 10 provincial executives accusing the ex-ruling ZANU PF
party politburo member of retarding its transformation into a full-fledged
political party.

Impeccable sources in Makoni's Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn movement said the
executives led by the three Matabeleland provinces nearly revolted against
the former finance minister during a meeting of the national coordinating
committee in Harare on October 27.

"The executives accused Makoni of slowing progress in transforming the
movement," a senior founding member of the movement said yesterday.

"They accused him of being too academic in launching the party. The meeting
was tense with provinces telling Makoni point blank that they were prepared
to walk away from the movement and form a party independent from him."

The sources said the party - to be known as the National Alliance for
Democracy - was supposed to have been launched in August, but Makoni
allegedly continued to postpone its inception arguing that there was need to
come up with a sound constitution and policies.

Apart from accusing Makoni of delaying the launch of the party, the
provinces reportedly accused him of refusing to distribute 20 vehicles
donated to the movement before the March 29 presidential elections to
provincial staff.

Makoni, a respected businessman and former diplomat, was expelled from ZANU
PF party for daring to challenge Mugabe in the March 29 presidential
election in which he came a distant third.

Makoni who stood as an independent garnered 207 470 votes or 8.3 percent of
total ballots cast against 1 195 562 votes or 47.9 percent of total valid
votes cast for MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and 1 079 730 ballots or 43.2
percent of total votes cast for President Robert Mugabe.

Mugabe went on to win a June 27 second round runoff vote uncontested after
Tsvangirai withdrew from the poll because of political violence against his

Makoni, the sources said, was of the opinion that the near revolt against
him was being orchestrated by the movement's convener Ibbo Mandaza and
national mobilisation coordinator Kudzai Mbudzi.

Makoni, the sources said, accused Mandaza and Mbudzi, during the meeting of
allegedly influencing the provinces to turn against him.

Yesterday, Makoni's spokesperson Denford Magora declined to comment on the
alleged rift in the movement.

Mbudzi confirmed there were problems in the movement but refused to give

"We had a problem in our last meeting, but we hope to resolve it," said

Mandaza was not immediately available for comment on the matter.

Before the latest upheavals, the three Matabeleland provinces had threatened
to pull out of Makoni's movement. Bulawayo, and Matabeleland North and South
provinces wrote to Makoni threatening to quit over the way the movement was
being run.

In a recent letter to Makoni, the inter-provincial steering committee said
it was dismayed by the manner in which the Harare office had handled its
contributions to the formation of the party.

"We would like to remind you that we are equal human beings and that we were
ill-treated for a long time under similar circumstances, and cannot live to
repeat this," the letter said.

"We have seen the superiority complex displayed by individuals at 'the head
office' which is run like a family outfit and are very unhappy to be part of
this, and particularly detest the arrogance, lack of foresight and
leadership that has so far been displayed."

Furthermore, the letter warned that failure by the Mavambo head office to
deal with issues of concern raised by the steering committee could lead to
the severing of ties.

"We request audience with you (Makoni) before the national consultative
conference to discuss the issues (stated in the letter). If this is not
possible, we shall have no option but to announce (an) immediate suspension
of the relationship between ourselves and the head office and we shall
proceed with the development of the party in the direction and pace that we
feel shall be beneficial to our supporters," added the letter. - ZimOnline.

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Home again

Sent: Wednesday, November 05, 2008 6:00 AM

I came home Sunday after being away a few weeks, and although I was expecting the Zimdollar to have slipped further, etc, I was not prepared for the shock as I ran around organising myself again yesterday.  This is what I found.
On Sunday, John Robertson warned me the banking sector had collapsed.  Monday at the bank, I was informed that US$ 100  would buy me Z$ 50,000  - which is a rate of 500-1.  The few people in the bank were complaining bitterly, and saying openly they would go onto the street instead.  Sure enough, at the corner by Borrowdale Primary, a Standard newspaper cost Z$ 100,000 or 2 US.  This means that the street rate there was 50,000 - 1, or 100 times the bank rate! 
At Spar supermarket, a loaf of bread cost Z$ 110,000.  At the official bank rate, this was the equivalent of US$ 220, for a loaf of bread!!  At the street rate, it cost US$ 2.
Various other prices: car licence for a year - Z$ 1,5 Million (plus penalty 0.5 Million not doing it in time!)  Bread roll - 0.20 US.  Breakfast cereals - 4-6 US .  oranges etc - 2-5 US/kg, mealie meal 7 US for 10 kg.  At this supermarket, only standard bread was available in Z$, everything else US only and there was no milk, eggs, marge, butter, cooking oil, salt...A vendor was selling eggs at 8 US per tray of 30.
Today I discovered that the real street rate is around 100,000 - 110,000 - 1 (the Standard vendor was trying it on!) whereas there is another astronomical rate for cheques if you shop around, up to around a Trillion-1.  They call this "burning" and it would certainly burn the Z$ fast!  On the other hand, to be treated at the Trauma Centre you have to put down a deposit of US$ 500, then you  get a bank cheque in Zim for whatever amount the treatment (assuming you would have such an astronomical amount in your account!), and they will then return your deposit.  Government hospitals are closed or closing, and have no drugs or staff in any case.
Meanwhile there was no water, no electricity and no telephone landline at my house again yesterday or today - but both electricity and phone came back on tonight (hence this email!).  Water for the high density areas of Glen View and Budiriro has been handed over to the Civil Protection Unit because of the increasing incidence of cholera. Econet is planning to cancel all contract mobile telephone lines imminently, I hear, and we will have to buy international calling cards in forex.
One wonders whether any of the negotiating "principals" has talked to ordinary people trying to cope with the daily struggle for survival recently.  I can only pray that SADC manages to resolve the impasse over the power-sharing agreement this weekend, so that we can begin to return our poor country to something like normality. 
Trudy Stevenson
4 November 2008

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