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Tsvangirai embarks on diplomatic tour of Africa

by Patricia Mpofu Thursday 06 November 2008

HARARE - Zimbabwe opposition MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has embarked
on a tour of key African capitals as he tries to mobilise continental
leaders to pressure President Robert Mugabe to agree to an equitable
distribution of key posts in a unity government.

Tsvangirai's diplomatic initiative comes as the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) prepares to hold an emergency summit next
Sunday to try to coax the opposition leader and Mugabe to reach agreement on
the composition of a new unity government proposed under September 15
power-sharing agreement.

MDC secretary general Tendai Biti told Zimonline that Tsvangirai had
this week held talks with the presidents of Botswana and South Africa, Ian
Khama and Kgalema Motlanthe respectively on the crisis in Zimbabwe.

Motlanthe holds the SADC's rotating chair and will preside over Sunday's
summit while Khama has emerged as the region's foremost critic of Mugabe's
controversial rule.

Khama on Monday called for a fresh vote in Zimbabwe, saying it was the
only way out of the deadlock over how to share ministerial posts in the
proposed unity government, a call that drew an angry reaction from Harare
which accused the Botswana President of interference in Zimbabwe's internal

Biti said Tsvangirai was due to meet African Union chairman and
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete on Wednesday while the MDC secretary
general was on Thursday set to lead a team of party officials to Senegal,
Nigeria and Ghana to meet leaders there.

MDC deputy leader Thoko Khupe was travelling to Zambia while another
team of officials had been dispatched to Mozambique where a key meeting of
regional ministers is taking place.

Biti said: "It is a massive diplomatic offensive and this time we hope
Africa sees Mugabe's true colours. We hope to achieve finality in this
matter but its unfortunate some regional leaders don't see that Mugabe wants
to take every one on a ride."

While Tsvangirai has strong support from key Western countries in his
bid to end Mugabe's rule, he enjoys divided support from African leaders.

Several African leaders have denounced Mugabe for ruining Zimbabwe but
the veteran leader still has many allies across Africa where many people
still respect him for his role in the anti-colonial struggle and also for
what some see as his standing up to the world's big powers.

Mugabe, Tsvangirai and another opposition leader Arthur Mutambara
agreed to form an all-inclusive government under a September 15
power-sharing deal that retains Mugabe as president while making Tsvangirai
prime minister and Mutambara deputy prime minister.

Analysts see such a power-sharing government as the first step to
ending decade-long food shortages and economic crisis in Zimbabwe. But six
weeks after agreeing to share power political leaders are yet to form a
unity government because they cannot agree on should control the most
powerful ministries.

Political analysts remain pessimistic that Sunday's regional summit
will be able to break the power-sharing deadlock, saying SADC lacks the
collective will to force Mugabe to compromise with Tsvangirai. - ZimOnline

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MDC, Zanu-PF launch regional forays

November 5, 2008

HARARE - Both Zanu-PF and the mainstream MDC have launched political forays
into the southern African region ahead of Sunday's extra-ordinary summit of
the Southern African Development Community (SADC)

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai left Harare on Tuesday to brief SADC leaders on
the current stalemate over cabinet posts in preparation for the
extra-ordinary regional summit scheduled to be held in Johannesburg , South
Africa , on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Zanu-PF has dispatched legal affairs secretary Emmerson Mnangagwa
on a diplomatic offensive of its own in the region aimed at countering the
MDC initiative and putting across the party's position.

Zanu-PF dispatched Mnangagwa into the sub-region on Monday following a visit
by former Namibian President Sam Nujoma last Friday, who reportedly asked
President Robert Mugabe to cede control of some of the key ministries to
make the deal work.

United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has meanwhile also warned that
the international community was losing patience with Mugabe.

Mnangagwa's diplomatic offensive has taken him to Angola where he has held
meetings with President Eduardo dos Santos . He has also held meetings with
Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete. He was expected to proceed to the DRC to
meet embattled leader Joseph Kabila.

Mnangagwa's trip to DRC comes amid reports the Zimbabwe army has dispatched
a full battalion to the DRC to reinforce Kabila's defence lines, under
threat from advancing rebels led by General Laurent Nkunda.

MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa declined to discuss details of Tsvangirai's
regional trip saying he could not divulge the party's strategy publicly. He
referred further questions to Tsvangirai's spokesman George Sibotshiwe, who
was not immediately available. He was said to be travelling with the MDC

Outgoing justice minister Patrick Chinamasa scoffed at Tsvangirai's trip,
saying the campaign vindicated the Zanu-PF position that the MDC leader
boycotted the SADC troika summit in Mbabane, Swaziland because he was
playing to the international gallery.

He said it was amazing that Tsvangirai was using an emergency travel
document he claimed was invalid.

Chamisa told The Zimbabwe Times: "We have a compelling case for equity and
equitable distribution of key ministries and authority within government in
line with the spirit of a genuinely inclusive government.

"It is our duty to articulate that compelling case within the regional
context and the African perspective, hence our aggressive approach to spread
the gospel for equity and responsibility with authority."

Top level MDC sources said Tsvangirai had been to Botswana where he met
President Ian Khama on Tuesday before proceeding to South Africa where he
met newly appointed President Kgalema Motlanthe.

He will travel to Swaziland for meetings with King Mswati III, then fly to
Zambia to congratulate newly-elected President, Rupiah Banda. His itinerary
also includes trips to Angola and to the DRC.

"He is visiting countries as a way of raising awareness on the issue of the
deadlock in this country," said our source. "Some of these visits are at the
invitation of the SADC leaders who want to understand the situation
regarding the implementation of the global political agreement.

"The president (Tsvangirai) is going to articulate our position and make it
clear that the main problem is that there is no commitment by Zanu-PF
towards implementing the agreement."

Tsvangirai launched his regional diplomatic initiative Tuesday after South
Africa 's Foreign Office announced that the full SADC summit had been
scheduled for Johannesburg on Sunday.

Tsvangirai reportedly told Khama and Motlanthe that Mugabe was not sincere
in implementing the agreement as required under the SADC brokered deal.

Khama has been critical of Mugabe's policies in the past and recently said

Zimbabwe 's problems reflected "a crisis of governance".

In his State of the Nation address on Monday, Khama called for fresh
elections in Zimbabwe . Chinamasa says the call for fresh elections by a
foreign leader constitutes "extreme provocation" under international law.

Tsvangirai expected robust action at the summit and was appraising the
leaders about the alleged catalogue of acts of bad faith by Mugabe and
Zanu-PF since the signing of the agreement, and the 'red herrings peddled by
Zanu-PF', said our source.

The alleged alteration of contents of the deal, which the MDC has described
as mischievous, is another contentious matter. The MDC leader also carried a
brief to tell SADC leaders that Mugabe's government continues its political
repression and human rights abuses.

Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since the country's 1980 independence from
Britain , won a presidential run-off vote described as flawed last June
after opposition leader Tsvangirai pulled out of the race, citing violence
and restrictions on his campaigns.

Mugabe claimed he had won 2 150 269 votes compared to 233 000 for
svangirai  -  an apparently stunning reversal of the initial elections in
March where Tsvangirai beat Mugabe with a five percent margin.

Official results said Mugabe won all ten provinces with 85.5 per cent of the

Three months after the widely-condemned victory, an unprecedented economic
implosion and biting international sanctions have forced Mugabe to agree to
a power- sharing agreement with Tsvangirai.

But implementation of the agreement remains on hold because of the dispute
over sharing of key ministerial posts.

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US: Zimbabwe Central Bank 'Diverts' Donor Funds

By Peta Thornycroft
05 November 2008

This week, the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis 
it would no longer fund projects in Zimbabwe through the central bank 
more than $7 million of its funds disappeared from the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe. Peta Thornycroft reports for VOA that the United States 
says it
too will no longer fund humanitarian agencies through Zimbabwe's central

United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe James McGhee tells VOA the United
States is pleased that the Global Fund has decided not to channel future
funds through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

"We do not want to see the people of Zimbabwe, who need this money,
disadvantaged. What we do want to see however, is a surefire system to
safeguard the money that is coming into Zimbabwe. So the move that the
Global Fund has made is an excellent move," he said.

Last month, the Global Fund technically approved $500 million for 
for its operations to fight HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. Final
approval of this allocation is still pending.

As in many other countries, the government requires that all foreign
donations to non-governmental organizations in Zimbabwe be sent 
through the
central bank.

But Ambassador McGhee says that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe "diverted"
Global Fund money to what he describes as other purposes. He says 
that, for
the time being, donor funding should be held out of Zimbabwe and that
non-governmental organizations be permitted to access it directly.

"Through the U.N. and we have submitted a letter asking the Reserve 
Bank to
give all [non-governmental organizations] operating here in Zimbabwe the
ability to access money from off shore accounts. We are still waiting 
for a
response. We need to know that our people will have access to their 
when they need it so that they can go ahead and help the needy people 
in Zimbabwe," he said.

The Global Fund said the Zimbabwe government has damaged its efforts to
fight AIDS, TB and malaria by diverting money intended for that work. 
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has failed to honor a commitment to repay 
the $7
million it diverted.

Several humanitarian organizations, and foreign currency earners in
commerce, industry and agriculture told VOA that foreign currency 
held in
their accounts was looted by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe ahead of 
held in March.

The Global Fund will decide Friday whether it will release the next $188
million to Zimbabwe. The Fund says the funding will be released only 
if it
is held off-shore.

Leading non-governmental organizations also say they cannot do their 
because the central bank restricts the amount they are able to 
withdraw from
their bank accounts.

The central bank has also banned electronic transfer of money from
non-governmental organizations to pay for goods and services needed to
distribute emergency food to millions of hungry Zimbabweans. McGhee says
this must change.

"The government of Zimbabwe has to do a better job. This is a brutal,
repressive regime that has instilled fear into nearly everyone -
[non-governmental organizations] included. These are brave people, 
they are
doing God's work trying to help the people of Zimbabwe, and until the
government takes these artificial restraints away from the system, it is
going to be very difficult for [non-governmental organizations] to do 
they are here in Zimbabwe to do," he said.

Central bank governor Gideon Gono is a strong supporter of President 
Mugabe. He has said he prints money to keep the economy going. In 
July, the
official inflation rate in Zimbabwe reached 231 million percent.

Ahead of elections in March, Gono handed out expensive farming 
equipment to
ZANU-PF supporters and he has also given top civil servants generous 
of imported goods.

In 2007, the  US  provided $176m worth of food through partner 
organisations and an additional $8m for non-food humanitarian 
assistance.  Much smaller amounts of programme support costs are paid 
via accounts  regulated by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

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Harare MPs Tour Cholera Hit Suburbs

HARARE, November 6 2008 - Opposition Members of Parliament for Harare
have taken a tour of the Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospitals and
Budiriro to get a clear picture on the impact of the Cholera outbreak that
has hit the city.

The MPs from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, said they
were deeply disturbed by the 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.

Head of the Harare MPs and Kambuzuma MP Willas Madzimure said: "I
think many people have to be educated to become health educators and move
around suburbs teaching people about the disease. We have had so many people
die in a short space of time because of a disease that can be prevented let
alone can be cured."

Hospital authorities also revealed that a lot of Non-Governmental
Organisations and international health organisations had moved in to try and
contain the situation.

An official for the hospital revealed to the MPs, that among the
organisations that were providing assistance were, Medicine San Frontiers
(Doctors Without Borders) and the Red Cross Society.

The official also said beside Budiriro, they had also received
patients from Dzivarasekwa, Glen View, GlenNorah and Mbare.

The MDC also toured Budiriro where they were told by residents that
the suburb had been without running water for more than six months and
feared more people would get the disease.

Susan Kahari of Budiriro 5 told the MPs that she was now buying water
from Highfield, a suburb which is 10 kilometres away from her house, for

"Sometimes we queue for several hours at the provided water tanks but
only get a 5litre container of water, it's painful. I pray something is done
before we all die of Cholera," said Kahari adding that she has six-month-old
baby who constantly requires water for the nappies.

Hospital officials however declined to give statistics on the number
of deaths from cholera but maintained it was not high as reported in the
public media.

The official death toll from cholera is now at 14.

But secretary for Local Government in the MDC Cecil Zvidzai said over
100 people had died so far adding that the Zimbabwe National Water Authority
(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," said Zvidzai.

He said Zinwa was not in a position to maintain water and sewer
equipment since they did 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

specialists," added Zvidzai.

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Bank Demands USD 5 For Purchase of Cheque Book

HARARE, November 6 2008 - CFX Bank Limited on Wednesday shocked
customers when it started  demanding US$5 for a cheque book, Radio VOP can

CFX is listed on the lucrative Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE).

The money can also be paid in local currency at Zd 50 billion for a
bank cheque and the figure is expected to go up  to Zd 150 billion by

This comes just only a week after RBZ Governor, Dr Gideon Gono, warned
all commercial banks to stop over charging customers. Gono questioned why
customers should pay a lot of money when the cheque book paper was sourced

Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe Limited was asking customers to pay Zd 11,4
million for a cheque book.

CFX  said its supplier of cheque books was also asking for payment in
foreign currency.

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Zim union calls strike to press for transitional authority

by Cuthbert Nzou Thursday 06 November 2008

HARARE - Zimbabwe's biggest labour union has called for an indefinite
strike by workers beginning next Tuesday to press for the establishment of
transitional authority to draw up a new constitution for the country that
will lead to free and fair elections.

The Zimbabwe Congress Trade Unions (ZCTU) is backed in its call for a
transitional authority by the country's biggest political pressure group,
the National Constitution Assembly (NCA), which is a coalition of churches,
civic and human rights groups, women's organisations, the student movement
and other groups.

The ZCTU and the NCA that met on Monday this week to plot their push
for transitional government in Zimbabwe say only such an authority would be
best equipped to break Zimbabwe's long-running political crisis.

The two groups are opposed to a planned power-sharing government
between the ruling ZANU PF and opposition MDC parties and say both President
Robert Mugabe and main MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai should be excluded from
the transitional authority.

NCA national director Ernest Mudzengi on Wednesday told ZimOnline that
the transitional authority or government would serve for two years and would
be tasked to revive the economy, oversee the writing of a new constitution
and conduct democratic elections that will be monitored by the international

Mudzengi said: "We agreed that a government of national unity deal
signed on September 15 will not extricate the country from the current
crisis because of mistrust between Mugabe and Tsvangirai.

"Already the two leaders have failed to agree on Cabinet positions,
what will happen when they move to policy formulation?"

Mugabe, Tsvangirai and the leader of a break away faction of the MDC -
Arthur Mutambara - agreed to form an all-inclusive government under a
power-sharing deal that retains Mugabe as president while making Tsvangirai
prime minister and Mutambara deputy prime minister.

Analysts see such a power-sharing government as the first step to
ending Zimbabwe's unprecedented economic recession that in addition to the
world's highest inflation rate of 231 million percent is also seen in
shortages of food and basic commodities, rising unemployment and deepening

But six weeks after agreeing to share power, Zimbabwe's squabbling
political leaders are yet to form a unity government because they cannot
agree on should control the most powerful ministries.

Tsvangirai accuses Mugabe of trying to retain key ministries and
render the MDC junior partners in the government.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) will hold an
emergency summit on Sunday in South Africa to try to resolve the deadlock
between Mugabe and Tsvangirai.

The 15-nation SADC and African Union are the guarantors of the pact.

Mudzengi said the leader of the proposed transitional authority should
be a neutral person drawn from the clergy or civil society.

The NCA official was upbeat that workers would heed the call to
boycott work.

Previous attempts by the ZCTU to call job strikes or public
demonstrations have faltered in recent years either because workers feared
reprisal by Mugabe's security forces or were simply too afraid to risk
losing their jobs in a country where 80 percent of labour is unemployed.

But ZCTU president Lovemore Matombo urged workers to heed the call to
strike in order to demonstrate to the world that the unity deal between
Mugabe and the two MDC leaders will not work.

Matombo said, "The suffering Zimbabweans have a right to demand a
transitional government because Tsvangirai and Mugabe have let them down. We
told the world when the agreement was signed that the deal was bad."

He said although previous work boycotts organised by the ZCTU were not
successful, this time round workers would heed their call because of the
economic hardships they were facing.

However government deputy information minister Bright Matonga scoffed
at the proposed strike.

"Let us wait and see what will happen on Monday, but I am 100 percent
sure that our Zimbabwean workers will report for duty," Matonga said. "Who
are the NCA and the ZCTU to tell us how a government should be constituted?
To hell with them." - ZimOnline

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British journalist skips bail

November 5, 2008

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - A British journalist facing charges of practising journalism
without accreditation in Zimbabwe has skipped bail and sneaked out of the
country, according to his defence lawyers.

As a result, the trial of Phillip Warrington Taylor, who faced a two-year
jail term if found guilty for practising journalism illegally, failed to
take off at the Harare Magistrates' Court yesterday.

Taylor did not show up at the court throughout the day.

Under the Access to Information and Privacy Act (AIPPA) passed in 2000, it
is a criminal offence for local and foreign journalists to practice
journalism without accreditation from the state-controlled Media and
Information Commission (MIC).

Defence lawyer, Harrison Nkomo, told a magistrate  yesterday that the
prosecution of Taylor could not proceed as he had received reports that his
client sneaked out of the country.

"I have gathered that Taylor skipped bail and sneaked out of the country
over the weekend and so his trial could not go ahead," Nkomo said in court.

Taylor, who is out of custody on bail, was arrested last Thursday by state
security agents while aboard a UK-bound plane at the Harare International

The journalist, who was ordered to surrender his passport when he initially
appeared in court last week, denies the charges against him. Taylor, who
spent 30 days in Zimbabwe, says he was a tourist.

The government has pledged to uphold press freedom and stop its clampdown on
the media following the signing of power-sharing deal with the opposition.

Zimbabwe has the toughest media laws in the world, which have been invoked
on numerous occasions to expel foreign correspondents and close about four
private newspapers.

CNN and BBC are banned in Zimbabwe .

Journalists face up to 20 years in jail on charges of publishing false
information or statements that are prejudicial to the state or are likely to
cause, promote, or incite public disorder, or adversely affect the security
or economic interests of the country.

Zimbabwean authorities barred foreign media from covering the March 29
elections and warned that it would deal severely with journalists who
sneaked into the country to report illegally.

Scores of foreign journalists have, however, managed to slip into the
country without detection over the years. However, a few have been caught
and charged as the condemned government of President Robert Mugabe tries to
shield internal events from the international community

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DRC rebels say Zim, Angola preparing to join fight

by Own Correspondent Thursday 06 November 2008

JOHANNESBURG - Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) rebels say Angola and
Zimbabwe are mobilising troops to fight in the mineral-rich country in a
repeat of a 1998-2002 war that drew in armies from eight African nations,
media reports said on Wednesday.

The groundwork "is being laid for a generalised war in the region . . .
foreign troops (are) preparing to make war against us," Bertrand Bisimwa
spokesperson of the Laurent Nkunda-led rebels told reporters without
offering any proof of the allegation.

The rebels claimed that Angolan troops were in Bukavu, south of Goma, with
550 Angolan commandos in Goma itself and others in the central city of

Zimbabwe strongly denied any military involvement while two Angolan foreign
ministry officials also denied Angolan troops were in the DRC, although
Congo's government appealed last week for help from longtime ally Angola.

Fears of a regional conflict added impetus to UN Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon's attempts to bring Kabila and Rwandan President Paul Kagame
together for talks with the UN chief said to be leaving for an African Union
summit on Thursday on the crisis in Kenya, to be attended by Kagame and DRC's
President Joseph Kabila.

Kagame is believed to wield strong influence over the Tutsi-led rebels and
reports by UN peacekeepers say Rwanda is helping the insurgents.

Head of a Uruguayan contingent of UN peacekeepers in the DRC General Jorge
Rosales said intelligence reports indicated Rwandan troops were already
"integrated in the rebel forces".

The fighting - a relic of ethnic hatreds left over from the 1994 Rwandan
genocide that killed a half-million Tutsis - has sent tens of thousands of
refugees fleeing through the countryside.

Rwanda invaded the DRC twice in the 1990s to hunt down Hutu militiamen who
fled there after taking part in the mass slaughter.

The war ripped the DRC into rival fiefdoms, with rebels backed by Uganda and
Rwanda controlling vast swaths of territory rich in coffee, gold and tin.
Angola and Zimbabwe fought for Congo in exchange for access to copper and
diamond concessions. - ZimOnline

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Rabies Outbreak Hits Gutu Area

The Herald (Harare)  Published by the government of Zimbabwe

4 November 2008
Posted to the web 5 November 2008


A RABIES outbreak has hit areas around Mupandawana Growth Point in Gutu amid
reports that at least 20 people, bitten by dogs have contracted the deadly
disease over the past two weeks.

Though no fatalities have been reported, there were fears that some of the
infected people might be in danger because of a shortage of anti-rabies
vaccines at nearby health centres and hospitals.

The outbreak has hit areas such as Gona, Mushayavanhu and Makuvaza on the
outskirts of Mupandawana.

Jackals prowling villages in search of food are believed to have infected
dogs in the area.

There were reports that the district's health referral centre, Gutu Mission
Hospital, and other health centres did not have anti-rabies vaccines in
their stocks.

However, Masvingo provincial medical director Dr Robert Mudyiradima
yesterday said health institutions were free to buy anti-rabies vaccines
from Natpharm, where Government medical stocks are kept.

"If there is an outbreak of rabies, health institutions in the affected
areas should order anti-rabies vaccines from Natpharm because there are
sufficient stocks of the drugs.

"It is imperative that the drugs be ordered because rabies is a deadly
disease," Dr Mudyiradima said.

He said they would investigate the origins of the disease and start working
closely with the Department of Veterinary Services to put down all infected

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Masvingo Runs Dry

The Herald (Harare)  Published by the government of Zimbabwe

5 November 2008
Posted to the web 5 November 2008


THE city of Masvingo has been without tap water for the past three days
following a technical fault at the pumping station on the shores of Lake

Residents fear that if the fault is not attended to soon, there might be an
outbreak of cholera as some residents have begun drawing water from unclean

However, repair work was reported to be underway at the pumping station.

Yesterday, council was busy looking for water bowsers from Zinwa and the
nearby Nemamwa Growth Point to supply residents and strategic institutions
such as hospitals with water.

Masvingo mayor Alderman Femias Chakabuda was hopeful supplies would be
restored soon.

"We are trying by all means possible to repair the broken-down water pump
but in the interim we are mobilising water bowsers from Zinwa and Nemamwa
Growth Point to make sure that we supply residents with clean water as they
have not had supplies for the past two days," he said.

Masvingo, with a population of nearly 100 000 people, draws its water from
Lake Mutirikwi, the country's largest inland dam.

However, supplies have of late been erratic due to rising demand and a
critical shortage of water purification chemicals, which are imported from
South Africa.

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Crisis Management Needed for Water

The Herald (Harare)  Published by the government of Zimbabwe

5 November 2008
Posted to the web 5 November 2008

HARARE and Chitungwiza both have areas very short of water.

Cholera outbreaks have occurred in both municipalities as a result of people
drawing water from contaminated wells.

Something needs to be done, and done now.

All Harare City Council and its mayor can say is that they would do it
better and that water should be given back to the city.

The Government, in remarks by the Minister of Local Government, Public Works
and Urban Development, Cde Ignatius Chombo, has its doubts since the city
seems totally unable to cope with the far simpler task of rubbish removal.

We would tend to agree that simply transferring back the Greater Harare
water supplies to the city council would be unlikely to achieve anything;
the city failed before and shows no sign that it can even replace a bulb in
a traffic light, let alone collect rubbish.

If the city was so capable, it would not have lost the control over water
treatment in the first place.

But arguing about who should control water while people die is neither right
nor useful.

The objective -- of the Government, Zinwa and the city council -- should
surely be to ensure that everyone gets enough water to maintain their
health, that such water is available frequently and is available regularly.

There are major problems at the water treatment works and at some of the
pump stations that deliver water to Harare, Chitungwiza, Ruwa, Epworth and

Whoever runs the water supplies cannot wave a magic wand and get all
equipment fixed and adequate chemicals delivered instantly.

What Harare, Chitungwiza and their satellite centres need is some effective
crisis management, and a willingness for all involved to pull together and
stop people dying.

Bulawayo has been through far worse crises over water in the last decade,
seeing dams dry up.

Yet that city has yet to lose people to cholera.

There, a proper crisis committee was formed that laid down policies and
ensured that the responsible authorities implemented these.

The starting point for Harare is to remember that water is treated and
pumped from Morton Jaffray Waterworks every day.

It is not enough for everyone to use to

water gardens, wash cars and waste. But it would be enough to give every
resident a reasonable supply of safe water for all domestic needs.

Over half the population of Harare and Chitungwiza do, in fact, get a
continuous supply of water.

A few more get water reasonably regularly, at least for a few hours a day or
every other day.

And more than a quarter of the population gets nothing; they seem to have
been written off.

No one cares.

The immediate problem is to ensure an equitable division of available water,
so that everyone has some, and preferably has some every day.

By turning valves and using pumps, it should be possible to rotate water
cuts, in the same way that Zesa rotates its power cuts.

The total reluctance of Zinwa to even consider such a plan is what makes so
many wish for the return of water to the city council, in the vague and
unsubstantiated hope that the city could do better.

The second plank of a proper emergency water policy would be to cut waste.
The ban on hosepipes is seen as a joke, and is continually ignored.

Pipe breaks are not repaired, and thousands of cubic metres of treated water
run into the drains every day.

The third plank of a proper water policy would be to have bowsers, boreholes
and tanks in those relatively few places that a proper water-rationing
scheme could not reach.

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Zanu PF Plans A Feast

HARARE, November 6 2008 - The ruling Zanu PF party is expected to
slaughter 1 000 cattle, about 500 goats, 500 sheep and more than 5 000
chickens when it holds its annual congress in December, RadioVOP can reveal.

Zanu PF's Ephraim Masawi confirmed that the party is planning to
slaughter the said number of animals at its congress to RadioVOP, adding
"more is still coming".

The cattle, goats and chickens are believed to have been taken from
commercial farmers, mainly party goons who benefitted from the controversial
land resettlement programme. The programme resulted in Zimbabwe being
isolated by the international community.

Masawi said party officials would donate handsomely to the party
congress at a time when the ruling party is in talks with the Movement for
Democratic Change formations of Arthur Mutambara and Morgan Tsvangirai.

He warned people against withholding donations as they would be dealt
with by the party bosses in Harare.

He said the cattle, goats, sheep and chickens had nothing to do with
the collapsing economy as these were being sourced from Zanu PF cadres only.

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Cash Measures By Zimbabwe Central Bank Fail To Relieve Shortages

By Jonga Kandemiiri
05 November 2008

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on Wednesday raised the daily cash withdrawal
limit for individuals to Z$500,000 from Z$50,000, at the same time
officially releasing new bank notes in denominations of Z$100,000,
Z$500,000, and Z$1 million dollars.

The withdrawal limit for companies was raised to Z$1 million a day from
Z$10,000. In previously setting the limit at an insignificant Z$10,000 the
central bank was trying to encourage companies to use alternative means of
making payments, like checks. But checks can take weeks to clear, by which
time hyperinflation last officially measured at 231 million percent has
taken a massive bite out of the value of the payment.

The bank had earlier shut down a system for electronic payments as a radical
measure to prevent currency speculators from transferring large sums of

Many banks ran out of cash quickly Wednesday as customers took full
advantage of the higher withdrawal limit, in addition to which the new notes
were slow to be delivered by the Reserve Bank, financial sources said. In
Bulawayo, the country's second-largest city, some banks limited withdrawals
to $200,000, local sources said.

The latest Reserve Bank policy changes immediately came under attack by the
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, which said withdrawal limits should be
abolished completely so that workers like other Zimbabweans could have the
full use of their money.

ZCTU Secretary General Wellington Chibebe told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of
VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that his union might reconsider its October
decision to shelve plans for a labor action in protest of continuing cash

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SADC must now really wake up and serve the region

by Tananoka Joseph Whande
05.11.2008 9:50:15 P

A few weeks ago, SADC assembled its so-called Troika in Swaziland to sit
down with Zimbabwean protagonists Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai and
see to it that the two sides agreed on terms to form a government of
"national unity."

SADC Executive Secretary facilitated the mini summit and was there in
Mbabane with Robert Mugabe and Arthur Mutambara of the breakaway faction of
the Movement for Democratic change.

Mswati of Swaziland hosted the summit with Mozambique, Angola and South
Africa represented at the highest level.
But the man central to this meeting was absent. Morgan Tsvangirai was
marooned in Zimbabwe. He could not travel to Swaziland for this important
meeting because he had no passport.

The Registrar General in Zimbabwe told the media that Tsvangirai's passport
was issued a long time ago but was being withheld by orders from Mugabe.

So SADC organized a summit to help Mugabe and Tsvangirai to reach an
agreement but did not care that Mugabe would not give Tsvangirai a passport.
And instead of turning to Mugabe and demanding that his Registrar General
issue the passport to Tsvangirai back in Harare, Mswati sent his private jet
to collect that he could travel illegally across international

Chillingly, he was to travel alone on that plane and Tsvangirai, of course,
refused to get on that plane without a passport.
SADC did not bring the issue up with Mugabe and chose instead to schedule
the summit for Harare. How cowardly!

"The troika summit did not meet to deal with the issues related with how you
deal with travel documents to the principals," said SADC executive secretary
Tomaz Salomao. "I think that it's not the role of the troika to deal with
Why then did SADC converge in Swaziland if they cannot facilitate such minor
SADC, it appears to me, is only good at organizing tea parties and nothing

But SADC is an organization that never ceases to amaze me. And nowhere has
it shown its ineptitude than in the case of Zimbabwe where it has
shamelessly failed the ordinary starving people amid severe humanitarian

So the leaders packed their bags and headed for Harare. The Presidents of
South Africa and Mozambique were there along with Thabo Mbeki, Angola and
The SADC Troika, once again, failed to resolve the Zimbabwean crisis and has
now summoned all SADC Heads of State to assemble in Johannesburg next week
to discuss the Zimbabwean fiasco.

But is it true that leaders of Angola, Mozambique and South Africa "failed"
to resolve the crisis? Did they try at all?
Meanwhile, people are suffering while politicians are bickering and SADC
itself must be held responsible for Robert Mugabe's intransigence because
without SADC leaders' support, Mugabe would never behave in this manner.

Indeed, during the failed talks last week, South Africa, Mozambique and even
Swaziland believed that Mugabe was being unreasonable in his demands but
Angola and, of course, deposed former South African president Thabo Mbeki,
sided with Mugabe and refused any pressure to be applied on him.
This indicates that SADC has no policy on how to deal with its own errant
member states.

And, on Thursday, as the world started hearing about the resumption of
violence in Zimbabwe and as other citizens of that troubled nation started
killing and eating their dogs to fight off starvation, SADC Executive
secretary Salomao finally confessed that, indeed, the power sharing deal
signed by Mugabe and Tsvangirai on the 15th September was fraudulently
altered before the signing ceremony and was different from the one agreed to
by the parties on the 11th September.

As far back as early October, Tsvangirai's MDC told SWRadioAfrica in the UK
that ZANU PF had doctored the agreement to alter certain clauses in the
document that was to be signed a few days later. "Despite Monday's Troika
meeting acknowledging this fraud, the communiqué released by Salomao after
the meeting said nothing about the issue," said the radio station.
Tsvangirai's MDC accused Mugabe's Justice Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, and
Secretary General of the MDC Mutambara group, Welshman Ncube, and Thabo
Mbeki's representative at the talks, Mujanku Gumbi, of making the changes to
the document without Tsvangirai's knowledge.

And with all this bumbling at SADC, why should we Zimbabweans have any hope
for a breakthrough at the SADC meeting in Johannesburg this coming week?

Needless to say, our hopes currently lie in Botswana's hands. I do hope
that, this time around, President Ian Khama does attend the SADC summit.
Knowing his stance on the Zimbabwean issue, his presence there would be
quite comforting to some of us even if he were to say nothing for in this
short space of time since becoming president, he has said much more than all
African leaders combined have said over the years.
We hope Raila Odinga will be watching too; we need all the help we can get
because, ironically, it appears to me that politicians are not the right
people to entrust people's lives with.

But above all else, it is my hope that sometime soon SADC will find its feet
and turn itself into a truly useful organization. They should justify their
existence. Even if they failed in Zimbabwe, SADC must succeed elsewhere not
to exist for endless summits while SADC citizens suffer.

SADC must exist to serve its citizens, not to organize junkets and tea
parties for its members.
They should leave the business of catering to citizens of SADC who can do a
better job.

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Better days for Zimbabwe not too far away

November 5, 2008

By Blessing Chimbwanda

WATCHING the American election returns and the euphoria that filled the
entire country I knew I was witnessing history in the making.

I was amazed by how President-elect, Barack Obama who might not have been
allowed to legitimately vote in certain parts of the country only 43 years
ago was going to be elected as the next President of the United States. I
could not comprehend Zimbabwe electing a white Zimbabwean as President of
the country in 2023, regardless of that person's ability. I blame this on
the hate language, and deeds that most of our African leaders have fed our
population from the likes of Idi Amin to Robert Mugabe and all others in

As a black man in the United States, this was a bitter-sweet victory because
of the past history of the country. The celebrations from sea to sea and
north to south, as much as they were for President-elect Obama, were also
for the end of George W. Bush's presidency. I could not help but imagine
with high hopes that Zimbabweans will soon be pouring onto the streets to
celebrate a new error in Zimbabwean politics.

Obama told tens of thousands of his jubilant supporters, "If there is anyone
out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are
possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our
time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your
answer." In our Zimbabwe that answer was erased by our founders; we know all
things are not possible, and there is no democracy, for that reason we have
placed our hopes in the hands of our new founders.

Obama's crowds; white, black, Hispanic, Indian, Asian, old, young,
blue-collar, white-collar, men and women were all jubilant in celebrating
the reassurance that America is the land of opportunity and anyone can make
the most of themselves in this wonderful country.

Unfortunately, we can not say the same about our homeland, for that reason
people have left in droves for better lands. It is a well known fact that
Barack Obama's father was Kenyan, and in Mugabe's Zimbabwe just this fact
would render him a non-citizen, and illegible to run for the presidency or
to vote even if he was born in the country. The surprising thing is that
countless people have established that Mugabe himself would then be an
illegitimate president since his father was of Malawian decedent.

Obama's win was not just for black America, but it was for all of America,
and as an African this is what we should aim to achieve. It saddens me to
hear and read from some of my African brothers and sisters' claim that
Africa for Africans. What I always asked them is what makes one an African?
And sadly, none, absolutely none has given me a convincing answer to date.
My response to most of them has truthfully been, "I have come across many
white Africans who are more African than you can ever dream of."

This is in line with our Zimbabwean political leaders who claim that
Zimbabwean solutions can only be resolved in an African manner. This makes
me ponder, "What is an African solution? What is a distinct African problem?
What makes African problems different from problems facing countries on
other continents? We need to progress as a people, as a country, as a
continent, and we need a new group leadership if we are to develop and
thrive and stop depending on the west like babies.

African politics can not only be left to Africans because that approach has
been continuously tried and failed. We live in a global community, and what
the SADC does impacts the AU, EU and the UN. Although there are some
positive signs of democracy in parts of Africa, as a continent our leaders
have failed us dismally. What a democratic country the United States is, and
what a goal we should set for ourselves as Zimbabweans and Africans.

Some people have said electing Bush for four years and eight years was a
mistake, but the fortunate part of American politics is that they always get
a legitimate do over, as opposed to what we see in many African countries
were we get stuck with the same old people and policies for 28 years or
more. How can an 84 year old President and 85 year old Vice-President claim
to be agents of change after they have failed to govern for 28 years in

What makes Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans different from other countries on the
continent and in the world? As Zimbabweans we all want to be treated with
respect and dignity that the United States incoming leadership has shown to
its electorate, as Obama proclaimed in his victory speech, "this victory
belongs to the people".

To whom does Mugabe's supposed victory belong? If he can genuinely answer
this question then he knows he should step down.

During Obama's election and victory speech he offered a vision to the United
States, the same vision that has been offered by Morgan Tsvangirai for
several years now. Mugabe is more unpopular is his country and abroad than
George Bush. The United States economy, although it is not in great shape,
is a far cry from the shambles that Zimbabwe's economy currently lies in.
Since the biggest factor in Obama's win was the economy, this single
greatest factor affecting Zimbabweans in a legitimate election should have
seen Mugabe and Zanu-PF swept out of power.

I have hope and faith that Obama will succeed with the mandate that has been
accorded on him by the American population. How does Mugabe intend to govern
with no mandate and who is he going to govern? Botswana's outspoken
President, Seretse Ian Khama, has called for internationally supervised
re-run elections in Zimbabwe as "one viable way forward" to get the nation
out of its current political crisis.

This is not possible in the current Zimbabwean atmosphere, but change is
coming, and a better day for Zimbabwe is not far away.

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Mugabe failed to maintain Smith inheritance

November 5, 2008
Tanonoka Whande

AMERICANS have voted for a new president and the transition from one
president to the new has already started.

Lucky people!

I watched the great spectacle of Americans choosing a president and rather
than enjoy this free entertainment that has so many lessons, I found myself
thinking of our own President Robert Mugabe.

While other people serve their nations better by standing aside for better
or new ideas, we have this old political rogue who has caused so much
suffering to the very people he is supposed to be protecting.

The election of an American president is outrageously expensive but the most
important thing I envy about it is that every president has to renew their
mandate with the people every four years and can only do so once.

Four years, let alone 28, is long enough a time for anyone to build or
destroy a nation and I have enjoyed watching American presidents winning or
getting booted out after four years in power.

And in Zimbabwe, we have Mugabe still blaming the colonialists whom we
dislodged thirty years ago. We still have Mugabe presiding over the killings
and disappearances of fellow citizens; we still have Mugabe deliberately
withholding food from innocent starving compatriots because he suspects them
of supporting a party other than his own; and we still have a president who
regards the Ministry of Finance as a private pantry where he stashes his
personal money.

While I appreciate that Zimbabwe is one of the countries whose HIV/AIDS
infection rate is going down, it is by no means something to gloat about
because such trends are not permanent and might, in fact, work against us in
the sense that it will make us believe that we can manage this seriously
deadly disease.

The fact that Mugabe and his ministers and party add to the suffering of the
citizens has never been clearer than it is today.

When Jonathan Moyo turned against the nation and became Mugabe's rabid
mouthpiece, he, with Mugabe's knowledge, raided the coffers of the National
AIDS Council and used the money to stage a useless beauty pageant at
Victoria Falls. Moyo argued that the pageant was being staged to market
Zimbabwe. But how much more insensitive could one get than taking money
meant for ARV drugs for our afflicted compatriots and, ironically, using
that money to stage a worthless beauty pageant with half-naked lasses
prancing around on a stage while Mugabe's cabinet ministers drooled at the
young women?

Now Mugabe is at it again, this time with Gideon Gono's assistance.

With Mugabe and my homeboy Emmerson Mnangagwa leading, Zanu-PF stalwarts are
reportedly buying up land in the billions with money that was clearly not

Mugabe and his cronies want land to grow sugar for starving Zimbabweans. How

But now we also hear of millions and millions of donor money earmarked to
buy anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs for people living with HIV in Zimbabwe that
just gone mysteriously missing.

And it has been reported that the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis
and Malaria has demanded that government reimburse them the US$7, 3 million
"stolen from the US$12, 3 million it gave to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
last year to buy medicine for sick people in Zimbabwe".

With the situation as it is and with countries all over the world under
attack from HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other deadly diseases, a
group of men can just take donated money, share it among themselves and
leave people to die.

Even if it were their own money, they, as leaders, would still be under the
obligation to put citizens first.

But it was not their money; someone somewhere wanted to save the lives of
Zimbabweans and our own leaders take that money to buy hats, shoes and
sunglasses for their wives.

At independence, people laughed when the late Ian Smith called Mugabe and
Zanu-PF gangsters, saying that those were words of a defeated racist who was
jealous of a new black government.

Now we agree; and we are no longer laughing any more.

Now people can understand why the MDC is adamant on having the Finance
ministry; who in their right minds can give Mugabe, or any of his proxies,
cash meant for the sick and disadvantaged?

It appears the honorary doctorate degree Mugabe tossed at Gono is costing
the nation money, lives and its well-being.

It is not an exaggeration that the agreement signed by Zanu-PF and the MDC,
with all its faults, gave people genuine hope of resolving the impasse in
our country. People are hungry, tired and eager to rebuild their lives;
eager to see their children back in school; eager to access medical
attention and drugs, clean water, food and a decent life.

Then we have someone like Welshman Ncube admitting that a member of his
group of negotiators participated in the alteration of a document that was
supposed to set the stage for the easing of hardships for our people. The
fact that Ncube denies personal involvement does not exonerate him. He is a
lawyer and his team knew of the alteration of a document that was going to
be the basis of national revival and he said nothing until it was found out.
He is as guilty of this as Mugabe, Mutambara and Chinamasa are because they
are the ones who stood to benefit.

What is wrong with our politicians? Why are they so mediocre and imbued with
such greed? How come they do not value the lives of our children and our
elderly? Our women and our citizens?

The world continues to be tied up with Zimbabwe. Nations are trying to help
us out of the hole into which we pushed ourselves and yet it is those who
led this nation astray who stop such help from coming in and from reaching
the people.

A few dishonest people are holding the nation to ransom. It now appears as
if our ambition to resuscitate our nation is not going to be realised any
time soon.

I don't know why people don't realise that stealing from other people may
yield short term gains but, in the end, the purse that is stolen becomes
empty and there is no means of refilling it except to steal again and again.

And we have been watching this looting take place since independence.

I am so sad to see a nation that I once knew was dignified, gracious,
peaceful and moral descending to this level. Now because of these people, my
country has become aggressive, fearful and racist, I am afraid to note.

This is a legacy which will not soon be overcome.  Our children and
grandchildren will hold us responsible for letting a few irresponsible
politicians destroy this once great nation while we stand by and watch.

And for those in the Diaspora like me, I fear that what we may return to
will be very different country from what we left behind. After all, we even
failed to maintain, just to maintain what we inherited from Ian Smith.

It is all so sad.

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