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Mugabe tightens security

Sunday, 06 November 2011 08:52


PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has tightened security around himself and his family
in recent months following massive demonstrations against autocratic regimes
in several African countries in the past months, authoritative sources said.

The uprisings saw the demise of autocrats that never dreamt of the day when
the political tide would turn against them. The sources said Mugabe has
beefed up security details — that include police, CIO officers and
soldiers — making his already huge entourage bloated, especially when
travelling out of town.

The sources said the enhanced security was also necessitated by the fact
that Mugabe no longer trusts his cronies following revelations by
whistle-blower website, WikiLeaks, that most of them wanted him to go.

Some questioned his ability to continue to lead due to advanced age and
failing health. Mugabe’s reinforced security was evident last week in
Mazowe, about 40km outside Harare, where he officiated at the ground-
breaking ceremony for the multi-million dollar Grace Mugabe Foundation
Primary School.

The school was built on the same land that the First Lady grabbed from local
residents who had built their houses on it. Some of the 62 affected families
had built their houses while others were at foundation level.

Security details on Thursday were almost everywhere in Mazowe when The
Standard news crew visited the area.
Armed and unarmed police officers and soldiers were deployed at a dirt road
that turns from the main road along the Harare-Mazowe road from Blue Ridge
Shopping Complex, almost 10km from the venue of the ceremony.

Heavily armed soldiers were also deployed in the mountains near Mazowe Dam
and by midday some were visibly tired as they slept under trees.
The Standard news crew was prevented from covering the event by security
manning the entrance who accused it of writing negative things about the
orphanage and the First Lady.

Residents of Mazowe were afraid of walking freely because of the heavy
security presence.
Some of the residents said they were told to minimise their movements a day
before the event because the First Lady was visiting the area.
“I have not seen anything like this,” said one resident.

“How can one family have such security details around it? Is Mugabe really
under threat?” The resident stopped talking after a police officer emerged
from a service station shop where he had replaced the guard, who usually
keeps check at the door.

They were taking turns to sit in the shop. Other details were deployed at
the hotel and two shopping centres along a road that leads to Iron Mask
Farm, a prime agricultural farm that the First Family grabbed from a white
commercial farmer.

Sources said Mugabe’s security was enhanced soon after demonstrations that
rocked Malawi in July. The fall of leaders such as Muammar Gaddaffi of
Libya, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Tunisian leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
has shaken the 87-year-old leader, who has been ruling Zimbabwe to the core.
Efforts to get a comment from the Minister of State for State Security in
the President’s Office Sydney Sekeramayi were fruitless as he could not be
reached on his mobile phone.

. . . as he loses control of Zanu PF

PRESIDENT  Robert Mugabe is fast losing control of Zanu PF, as poor health
and old age catches up with the veteran politician.
Party officials and MDC-T officials said there was abundant evidence to show
that the 87-year-old had lost his once octopus-like grip on the party.
They said his failure to deal with political violence and rampant corruption
were clear signs that Mugabe was more of a figurehead in the presidium than
anything else.

They noted Mugabe’s failure to deal with officials named by whistleblower
website, WikiLeaks as having collaborated with the US officials behind his
back as another sign of weakness.

The observers said cliques of powerful and rich individuals in the army,
police and central intelligence organisation have virtually taken over
Mugabe’s roles both in the party and at national level.

They added that it would not be in the political interest of Zanu PF for
Mugabe to stand as the party’s presidential candidate in the coming
Former Zanu PF Masvingo provincial secretary for information Kudzai Mbudzi
said the party’s waning political fortunes will worsen if Mugabe stands for
another term.

Mbudzi said the party should come up with another presidential candidate if
it still entertains hopes of defeating the MDC-T’s Morgan Tsvangirai, now
Prime Minister in the inclusive government.

“It is therefore, more informed, instructive and with clear wisdom of
purpose for Zanu PF to put forth another candidate in future presidential
elections,” he said.

Mugabe is expected to be endorsed as the Zanu PF candidate in the coming
polls next year or in 2013. MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said despite
displaying apparent political strength on the surface, Mugabe is
increasingly showing that he has no spine to deal with rotten apples in Zanu
“Mugabe is a weak leader, he cannot stop some elements within Zanu PF from
misbehaving,” said Mwonzora.

“Take, for example, the violence that rocked parliament. He was busy
denouncing violence while Chipangano was unleashing violence. He cannot
control some bad elements within his party.”

Tsvangirai recently admitted that Mugabe was no longer in control. He said
security agents were behind a “coup’’ that is plunging Zimbabwe back into
political violence.

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, who on several occasions denied that
Mugabe was no longer in charge, could not be reached for comment.
But Zanu PF senior politburo member and chief negotiator in talks with the
MDC movements, Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa, recently said his party
could not afford to substitute Mugabe in the next elections.

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Deportations: MDC-T in quandary

Sunday, 06 November 2011 10:22


THE deportation of non-documented Zimbabweans has reportedly left the MDC-T
in a quandary, The Standard has learnt. South Africa last month resumed the
deportation of Zimbabweans that had not regularised their stay in that

This has seen thousands of Zimbabweans being deported back home on a weekly
basis, but many still found their way back to SA. According to high-ranking
sources within the MDC-T, the party’s leadership stood to gain if the
Zimbabweans returned home to vote, yet they could not be seen to be
encouraging the deportations.

“Yes for the party, it will be good if these Zimbabweans come home and vote
for us. “However, we know that life is hard for them and they need to work
and take care of their families, so we can’t be seen openly supporting their
deportation,” a party official said.

However, the party’s deputy national spokesperson Tabitha Khumalo denied
that her party was caught between a rock and a hard place. “Most of those
people who are being deported are from Matabeleland, a region that has been
de-industrialised, companies have been closed and if these people are
deported, there is no source of income for them,” said Khumalo.

“Another challenge for these people is that they are without citizenship
because of Gukurahundi that has left many with no proper documentation.
She added: “Now is the time for the MDC-T to push for the documentation or
registration of these people. So we are not caught in between anything.
“This is time for the MDC-T to correct this registration anomaly, where
these people have been denied registration for so many years.”

South Africa is deporting an average of 500 Zimbabweans weekly. Hundreds of
thousands of Zimbabweans have made their way into South Africa in recent
years to escape the country’s political turmoil and an economy crisis.

It is estimated that there are more than one million Zimbabweans in South
Africa with most of them living there illegally.

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Mugabe health under spotlight at Chinhoyi University ceremony

Sunday, 06 November 2011 10:18

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s health was under spotlight again yesterday
afternoon during the Chinhoyi University of Technology graduation ceremony.
The ceremony, which was supposed to have taken place two weeks ago was
delayed amid speculation that the President had hastily travelled to the
Asia for treatment.

Yesterday, a visibly shaking Mugabe was helped to manoeuvre the steps up and
down the podium where he conferred degrees while seated. Mugabe, who is
known to make long speeches, did not say much at the function.

In one instance he referred to Chinhoyi University of Technology as Chinhoyi
College much to the embarrassment of his learned colleagues at the high

Realising that his sharp memory was now fading away, he was seen constantly
referring to the prepared paper. In his heyday the President, who boasts of
many degrees and a sharp intellect, would not turn to papers for such simple

Most people who attended the graduation ceremony were surprised by the snail’s
pace in which the President was walking, leaving many in the audience
wondering why he should not retire.

A graduate who refused to be identified for fear of victimisation said it is
evident that the President is past his prime and advised parliament to force
him to retire.

The Constitution of Zimbabwe allows Parliament to relieve the President of
his duties if they see that he is incapacitated in any way.
Away from President Mugabe’s healthy woes, there was singing and jubilation
as more than 300 students’ graduated.

— By Nunurai Jena

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Zanu PF, MDC meet on violence

Sunday, 06 November 2011 13:36


PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai have agreed on
a meeting that will bring together their parties’ highest decision-making
bodies in a bid to find ways of eradicating political violence.

Sources last week said the meeting which was supposed to be held a fortnight
ago, was proposed by Mugabe and agreed to by Tsvangirai, but had to be
postponed indefinitely as the parties are continuously locked up in other

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo confirmed the pending meeting.

“That meeting is being coordinated by the secretary for administration Cde
(Didymus) Mutasa,” said Gumbo.

“All I can do is confirm that there is indeed a proposal to have a meeting
between the politburos of the parties.”

MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora also confirmed the meeting, and like his
Zanu PF counterpart, added that they were yet to be advised on the new date.

Violence continues to rock Harare’s high- density suburbs, especially Mbare,
where Zanu PF militia, known as Chipangano, wantonly terrorise residents and
vendors dispossessing them of market stands.

Gumbo said Zanu PF insists that some of the violence happening in the
country is being perpetrated by MDC-T despite the media’s coverage which
gives the impression that his party was the culprit.

“We hope to address various issues of violence, including causes and how
best we can improve the political situation in the country,” Gumbo said.
“Our position as a party is that we want stability, peace and a conducive
environment for campaigning, which will lead to free and fair elections.”

Mwonzora however, said the proposed meeting is just a clumsy public
relations stunt which may not do much in ending violence.

“If Mugabe hopes to find ways of eradicating violence through his proposed
meeting with the two parties’ highest decision-making bodies then he is
addressing the wrong people,” Mwonzora said.

“Our view is that the solution lies in President Mugabe telling the police
and some members of the army to stop harassing people.”

Mwonzora said politicians may spend a lot of time in discussions but this
would not yield anything as long as the police and the army were not roped
into the discussions.

He said the violence that took place just after Mugabe’s speech at the
opening of Parliament showed that the perpetrators of violence have gone out
of hand, as they can even disobey Mugabe.

What is disheartening, Mwonzora said, is that no arrests have been made to
date. But Gumbo said the police and the army were independent government
institutions which discharge their duties according to their professional

“MDC is part of government so if they want these institutions to be
addressed, they should raise that at cabinet level,” he said.

“Zanu PF cannot tell the police what to do, they are not our institution.”

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Zanu PF unleashes violence to threaten voters

Sunday, 06 November 2011 13:41


THE past few weeks have seen an escalation of violence, with Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai warning that the country had effectively slid back to the
2008 scenario.

Ugly scenes of violence engulfed the MDC-T party’s headquarters last
Tuesday, with police firing teargas and deploying scores of police outside
Harvest House.

Many feared that this was confirmation that the country had returned to the
dark old days, of settling political scores violently.

Observers have said the police response to a vendor who alleged assaulted an
officer, was disproportionate and they did not have to deploy in the manner
they did.

The skirmishes outside Harvest House in Harare, however, may not be isolated
but rather could be seen as part of a political strategy by Zanu PF and the
law enforcement agents, the observers said.

Last weekend a battalion of armed police officers stormed St Paul’s Mission
in Lupane in Matabeleland North province where they disrupted an MDC-T

rally, arguing that they listened to their bosses and would not follow court

These scenes were replicated in the resort town of Victoria Falls, where
police barricaded themselves into a stadium, ensuring that no one was
allowed to enter and attend an MDC-T rally.

A Zanu PF outfit, known as Chipangano, has also allegedly unleashed a reign
of terror in Harare, where they are threatening to take over businesses and
land among a host of illegal activities.

Recently they attacked legislators and journalists inside parliament.
Chipangano also unleashed an orgy of violence outside the august House,
while, ironically, President Robert Mugabe preached peace inside it.

Brilliant Mhlanga, a media scholar believes there is nothing new, but that
it was part of the way Zanu PF handled its negotiation process.

“We must understand it as a sign of the elections we should expect soon,” he
said. “But above all violence in Zimbabwe has often been used as a form of
negotiating our weird constitution of society.”

Mhlanga said violence was used by Zanu PF as a tool to intimidate people and
also as a reminder of the past, when violence had been used as a tool.

“Further, as a strategy it boldly confirms the presence of Zanu PF to the
ordinary masses and, as a process of re-incarnation, it serves to remind
them of violence they would have seen before and that if they do not play
ball more of it will follow,” Mhlanga added.

The media scholar said he described Zimbabwe’s social order as weird,
because it was strange that citizens were violently coerced into deciding
issues that would affect them in the future.

Mhlanga said, Zanu PF hoped that the threat of violence would continue
looming over the heads of people so that in the event of elections the party
may be in ascendancy, failure to which, mayhem may be unleashed.

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Project to contain cholera underway

Sunday, 06 November 2011 13:44


A Harare MP is working with a United Kingdom-based company to install water
purification facilities at public places in an effort to contain cholera
which ravaged his constituency three years ago.

Minister of Science and Tech- nology Development Professor Heneri
Dzinotyiweyi, who is MP for Budiriro in Harare, said the facilities were
designed to provide clean water to his constituency which has had perennial
outbreaks of cholera since 2008.

A representative of the UK-based Meckow Limited visited the country a
fortnight ago to study the challenges and explore project sites in Budiriro.

Meckow, which is involved in the production of water filters, also sources
and supplies road construction equipment.

Statistics indicate that over 4 000 people succumbed to cholera in the
country in 2008 with a significant number of them from Budiriro, a suburb
dubbed “Baghdad” because of its militancy against President Robert Mugabe’s

It is estimated to have 18 000 households, with each having an average of
seven people. The suburb is among the most populous in Harare with run-down
public facilities such as schools and clinics.

Campaign targets public places

Concerning the anti-cholera project, Dzinotyiweyi, said: “For a start we are
hoping to have at least six points where we put the water purifying machines
and these will be stationed at clinics, schools and other public places. The
facilities use a membrane to purify the water.”

But the project is unlikely to materialise before the start of this rain
season as studies are still being conducted.

The idea of installing water purification facilities came up after it was
discovered that underground water in the area was contaminated.

In 2009, a team of experts from Bangladesh, who were working under the
auspices of the World Health Organisation (WHO), said water samples from
taps, wells and even boreholes in the suburb were found to be heavily
contaminated with coliform, a cholera causing bacteria.

Although Unicef came to the rescue of the residents by drilling 19 boreholes
in the area, Dzinotyiweyi said there was still need to boil the water as
underground water was contaminated.

When The Standard news crew visited the area last week long queues of people
fetching water from boreholes wound their way through, potholes and moulds
of flourishing garbage that almost blocked roads.

Rows of vendors selling wares from pieces of fresh meat, clothes, hardware
items to vegetables lined up almost every street near shopping centres. Big
green flies hovered around the dishes of meat — a recipe for a cholera
outbreak, especially during this rainy season.

Raw sewage from burst sewer pipes have formed rivulets in most parts of the
suburb meandering to a larger stream that feeds into Lake Chivero, Harare’s
major source of drinking water.

Most of the shopping centres have no public toilets forcing residents,
mostly beer drinkers, to use areas behind buildings to relieve themselves.

Residents denounce the timing of the project

Dzinotyiweyi however,  has his own detractors. Political opponents in
Budiriro do not appreciate what the MP is doing in the area.

They last week accused Dzinotyiweyi of frequenting the constituency because
elections were around the corner. Elections are expected to be held next
year or in 2013.

“We now see him here and there because of the impending elections,” said
Aaron Mukwazhi of Budiriro 5 suburb.

“He can’t claim to have assisted us in any way because most of the boreholes
were drilled by Unicef when people were dying from cholera.”

The situation in Budiriro is reflective of suburbs such as Mbare, Mabvuku,
Tafara, Kuwadzana and Glen View. Dzinotyiweyi is however undeterred.

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Siwela seeks police protection

Sunday, 06 November 2011 13:39


BULAWAYO — Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF) economic adviser, Paul Siwela,
has sought police protection as suspected state security agents stormed his
house in the early hours of Monday and started wandering about the premises.

Siwela, who faces treason charges, said he fears for his life, adding that
he suspects that the security agents “wanted to plant something or to take
something they had already planted in his yard” to incriminate him.

Bulawayo Police spokesperson Inspector Mandlenkosi Moyo last week confirmed
that Siwela had sought police protection.

“We are investigating the matter. No arrests have been made as yet,” said

Siwela told journalists on Tuesday that the suspected state security agents
that have been trailing him were driving a 4x4 Toyota Fortuner.

“These people have been following me for over a week now and their motive
scares me. In the early hours of Monday, they parked their brown vehicle at
my gate and got into my yard, where they started wandering about for around
15 minutes engaging in activities which I do not know,” said Siwela.

“We could not come out to confront them because of fear as they might even
have shot us. Judging by their movements, they were up to something evil
because nothing was stolen.

“I am exposing this because maybe there is something which they want to
achieve. Knowing these people, there is obviously an intention to be
accomplished by this visit.”

Siwela was released in July from Khami Maximum prison after spending almost
three months in remand on treason charges for calling for a separate
Matabeleland state.

He is out on US$2 000 bail with stringent reporting conditions.

Siwela’s MLF is leading calls for a separate Matabeleland state saying the
province is being sidelined from national development programmes.

MLF, which was formed last year, says a separate Matabeleland state is
necessary to put an end to the marginalisation of the region, which lags
behind in development.

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Kereke’s medical aid firm collapses?

Sunday, 06 November 2011 10:25

A new health insurance firm, Green Card Medical Society, is reportedly on
the brink of collapse with claims that the company’s expenditure outstripped
its income.

But Munyaradzi Kereke, the company’s founder said these claims were untrue
and “malcontents” had stolen documents from his offices so they could cast
the company in bad light. Kereke has since filed a report for stolen
documents at the Harare Central Police Station, CR Number 1611/11.

The leaked documents revealed that Green Card members had made claims of
about US$121 000, yet the company had only collected US$87 600, meaning the
company was spending up to a quarter more than it was receiving. These
figures are from April 2011 to September 2011.

The insiders said that what had compounded Green Card’s position was that
its membership drive had not been successful, with the company only managing
2 000 subscribers since its launch in March. Some medical institutions were
reportedly turning away patients who held Green Card membership, citing the
delay in recouping their money.

An income and expenditure account for six months ending on August 31, shows
that the company was straddled with very high staff costs and other

Green Card’s financial position, the sources said, was so precarious that
the company had sought a merger with GrainMed, a medical aid society for the
Grain Marketing Board.

In a written response, Kereke dismissed reports that his company was in the
red and instead said he was owed close to a million dollars by various
medical aid societies. “The brand, together with Rockfoundation Medical
Centre, is collectively owed US$732 714 by various medical aid societies, a
result of the current laws which give debtors up to 60 to 90 days for
accounts to be settled,” he said.

Kereke said he had written to the Ministry of Health to have this anomaly
addressed. He further said reports indicating that claims were higher than
premiums were false and the reverse was true. He also dismissed as false
insinuations that Green Card was looking for a merger with GrainMed, saying
neither the board nor management had considered this position.

Kereke said he was astounded by reports that people were being turned away
from medical institutions, saying it was illegal to turn away patients and
such medical centres should be reported to authorities.

On workers demanding their exit packages, Kereke said they had part paid
those and the full package would be paid once the company’s debtors had

“Your source is exuding a great deal of sour grapes,” he charged.“The
package was given on a voluntary basis to allow those that found the
high-performance standards expectations at Green Card too high for them.”

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Colleges ill-equipped to deal with students’ health needs

Sunday, 06 November 2011 14:25


Most clinics at colleges are operating without essential drugs and lack
comprehensive systems for the treatment and management of sexually
transmitted infections (STIs), a health official said last week.

Beatrice Savadye, Advocacy Officer for Student and Youth Working on Sexual
Reproductive Health Action Team (Saywhat), said there is no college that
offers Anti-retroviral Therapy (ART) or comprehensive treatment and
management of STIs.

Speaking at a Southern Africa HIV and Aids Dissemination Information Service
(SafAids) media briefing session recently, Savadye called for a health
budget that addresses the plight of students.

Savadye also noted that there was limited access to HIV counselling and
testing facilities at universities with only Africa University, Bindura
University and University of Zimbabwe offering such facilities.

She said most colleges only offered basic drugs such as paracetamol and MMT
at their clinics.

“There is limited access to HIV- testing and counselling (HTC) services and
psycho-social support for students living with HIV,” said Savadye.

“Most teenagers are under pressure to keep their status a secret, especially
those in colleges and universities because they worry about what their peers
will think of them.”

She said government policies and their implementation were not friendly to
all youths citing an example of those with disability.

“Sadly, young people with disabilities are often left out of such
programmes,” she said.

The Opportunity in Crisis, a report on preventing HIV during early
adolescence to young adulthood released in June this year by UN agencies
says young people worldwide face a significant risk of HIV infection every

It says reducing levels of incidence requires not a single intervention but
a continuum of HIV prevention programmes that provides information and
support services to adolescents and young people throughout the life cycle,
from very young adolescents (aged 10 -14) through older adolescents (aged
15-19) to young adults (aged 20-24).

Savadye said despite the sharp drop in prevalence rate at national level new
infections among the youth were still high.

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Five perish in accident outside Gweru

Sunday, 06 November 2011 10:33

By Our Staff
Five people died on the spot yesterday after the car they were travelling in
was involved in a head on collision near Connemara outside Gweru.
One of deceased was an employee of the New Ziana in the marketing

Details of the accident were sketchy yesterday evening, although employees
from New Ziana and other travellers confirmed the accident.
Contacted for comment, police spokesman, Inspector Patrick Chademana said he
was driving and would only comment later.
Efforts to contact him later proved fruitless as his number was unavailable.

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Water tables depleting

Sunday, 06 November 2011 13:37


SOME companies involved in the sale of water in Harare are negatively
affecting the water table and disturbing the water supply to their
neighbours, especially those living downstream, council has said.

Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda last week said the city had received a lot of
complaints especially from low-density areas like Borrowdale and Avondale
concerning bulk water suppliers’ activities.

“Some of these people who are in the business of selling water are
abstracting large amounts of underground water, affecting their neighbours,
especially those who are downstream,” Masunda said.

“You see tankers all over the place and we have a problem with this
abstraction of unusually large amounts of water.”

There have been reports that some residents had resorted to sinking
boreholes in their properties without council approval.

“We have not had any problems with the sinking of boreholes for domestic
use,” Masunda said.

“One cannot sink a borehole without approval from the designated local
authority and a designated drilling company does the drilling on behalf of
the City of Harare.”

A University of Zimbabwe researcher, Professor Chris Magadza, warned
recently that Harare water table has sunk from 15 to 30 metres within the
last decade, something some people have partly linked to the sinking of
boreholes to avert water shortages.

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MDC-T linked pastor fired

Sunday, 06 November 2011 13:38


A Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Africa (Zaoga) pastor based in the United
Kingdom, has been excommunicated for his alleged links with MDC-T.

Demos Jeko was also accused of being gay after some of his pictures
allegedly manipulated to show him engaging in homosexual activities were
circulated on the social network site Facebook.

Sources said Jeko’s troubles started when he was accused of addressing an
MDC-T meeting in Gweru in January this year. “Jeko, who is married with four
children, has been surviving from handouts, courtesy of friends and
relatives here in the UK,” the source said.

“He is afraid of coming back home for fear of being arrested over that
unsanctioned meeting, but at the same time he can’t also stay here as his
work permit has been revoked.”

He has also been receiving threatening emails from unknown people, the
sources said. Jeko confirmed that he had been excommunicated from the church
after he was accused of supporting the MDC-T and being gay.

“Yes it’s true I have been ex-communicated from the church over my links
with the MDC-T before. They also accused me of being gay,” he said.

“That’s all I can tell you.”

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Visually impaired teacher seeks reinstatement

Sunday, 06 November 2011 13:47


MUTARE — She gropes her way around with the help of her only child, Tapiwa,
who finished writing Grade Seven examinations this year.

Without the child’s assistance, it would be virtually impossible to navigate
her way or carry out ordinary chores.

This is the sad story of Tendai Ndongwe, a former primary school teacher,
who lost her job after she was dismissed on medical grounds a few years ago.

But the 35-year-old teacher is now fighting with her former employer, the
Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture, for reinstatement.

She claims to have been forced out and paid a paltry compensation.

“I want to go back to work,” says Ndongwe. “But the PSC (Public Service
Commission) says it is still waiting for a directive from above to start

But the PSC says it will reconsider her case when the government unfreezes
posts that remained vacant after it ceased employing new staff due to the
decade-long economic crisis that bedevilled the country.

Presently over 1 000 teachers, who were granted amnesty after spending years
out of service following indications that they were recruited
unprocedurally, face dismissal.

The teachers emigrated at the height of the economic crisis in 2008. But the
government later offered to reinstate them following a critical shortage of

Public Service deputy minister Andrew Langa recently said his ministry only
considered those recommended by the Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and

Ndongwe said she trained at Mary Mount Teachers’ College in Mutare before
getting a teaching post in Chipinge, where she started developing sight

She longs to read newspapers which she last did in 2006 when she read a
story about gospel singer Ivy Kombo.

But she did so with some difficulties.

Disaster struck when she visited a doctor that fateful day, who injected her
three doses of a drug and about 40 minutes later she was totally blind.

“The doctor injected a drug that sad day and my right eye was the first to
be affected after that and 40 minutes later I could not see,” she said.

The first days were the most difficult in her life as she could not live
with her new condition. But with time, reality dawned on her and she
accepted her situation.

“Acquired disability and the disability that one is born with are two
different things,” she said.

Liberty Lupahla, who is also visually impaired, said he also lost a lot of
opportunities due to his visual impairment.

Lupahla, a trained journalist, said for 12 years he walked from pillar to
post in search of a job but to no avail.

“Employers at a certain prominent media organisation in Harare did not take
me for unclear reasons but they claimed they were not discriminating against
my disability,” he said.

Ndongwe and Lupahla’s cases are not unique.

There are many people with disabilities in the country who face similar
discrimination because of their condition.

Progressio, an international charity organisation, estimates that there are
1,4 million people living with disabilities in Zimbabwe.

The United Nations estimates that the total number of people with
disabilities in Africa is approximately 80 million.

A good number of them are not employed and depend on begging for survival.

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Mpofu warns of mine takeovers

Saturday, 05 November 2011 16:07

MINES and Mining Development minister Obert Mpofu has threatened to
nationalise all mines if legislators insist on government taking over the
Marange diamonds. MDC-T legislator, Eddie Cross recently moved a motion in
Parliament for government to nationalise the Marange diamonds.
“The Marange diamonds are the only diamonds that are government-owned across
the entire mining sector in this country and you have an honourable member
targeting what belongs to government for nationalisation leaving what is
totally private out of his thought,” Mpofu hit back.

“If he wants nationalisation, we can go that route to everything in the
sector, but we are a responsible government, we cannot be advised by people
like Cross.”

Mpofu’s threats on Wednesday came a day after the Kimberley Process Plenary
in the Democratic Republic of Congo gave Zimbabwe the nod to sell diamonds
produced by Mbada and Marange Resources after more than two years of
fighting to unconditionally sell the gems.

Other than allowing Mbada and Marange Resources to sell its gems with
immediate effect, the KP Plenary said that monitors should visit other
players operating in Marange to verify levels of compliance with
international standards.

The KP monitoring team of Abbey Chikane and Mark van Bockstael will visit
Anjin “to discharge their mandate within 14 days after the plenary and with
respect of other new mines, within 14 days from the date of invitation. Upon
verification exports would immediately commence”.

Mpofu said Cross was seeking political mileage through the motion and wanted
to pre-empt the decision of the KP during its plenary in the Democratic
Republic of Congo.

“I am not minister for Marange. I am Minister of Mines and Mining
Development. So if you want me to segment my functions to a particular place
because you think it will make political mileage for you, what about Murowa,
Zimplats? What are we getting from those companies?”
The KP banned Zimbabwe from selling diamonds from Marange in 2009 over
allegations of human rights abuses in the extraction of the gems and failure
to meet minimum requirements for trading in the precious stones.

But the organisation allowed Zimbabwe to conduct two supervised sales which
took place in August and September last year following a report by Chikane
that said Harare had met all KP conditions.

The last KP plenary in Jerusalem in November last year failed to reach a
decision on Zimbabwe, but the country was however, given a conditional
agreement to sell its diamonds in January. Proceeds from diamonds are touted
to fuel the recovery of the economy in the absence of lines of credit. Mpofu
said the country can generate US$2 billion annually from the Marange

He said the KP decision to allow the country to sell its gems was a
realisation that Zimbabwe is a giant with the largest diamond reserves in
the world.

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Kenyan delegation scouts for business opportunities

Saturday, 05 November 2011 16:06

A 15-member delegation from the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM)
will be in the country this week for a three-day trade and investment
mission. The mission runs from November 9-11 and was organised by the
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), Kenyan Embassy and KAM to
strengthen trade ties between Zimbabwe and Kenya.The two countries belong to
the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa trading bloc. The
three-day mission is also designed to identify investment opportunities in
Zimbabwe and partners for the Kenyan business in Zimbabwe.

The members are drawn from sectors such as paper and paperboard printing and
packaging, motor vehicle and assembly, footwear manufacturers, textile
industry and pharmaceutical industry.

According to a schedule of the KAM members visiting the country, some want
to explore business opportunities while others want to scan the environment,
especially after the demise of the Zimbabwean dollar.

Government has indentified investment as one of the pillars for economic
According to the Medium-Term Plan unveiled two weeks ago, government wants
investment to contribute 20% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2015
from the current 4%. It is against this drive that government is drafting an
investment promotion and protection legislation to lure foreign investors
into the country.

An Investment Promotion and Protection Bill is currently at the drafting
stage in the Attorney General’s Office after it was approved by cabinet.
The Bill says all investments should be handled by Zimbabwe Investment
Authority (ZIA). Under the current dispensation, investment proposals are
processed by sector regulators.

Foreign Direct Investment into the country was stagnant last year on the
2009 figure of US$105 million as investors took a back seat to scan the

Although the environment has improved with the use of multi-currencies, the
Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act poses a new threat to luring of
new investors. According to the legislation, locals should have a minimum of
51% in all foreign-owned companies operating in Zimbabwe.

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SundayOpinion: AU, Sadc toothless bulldogs

Sunday, 06 November 2011 13:49


When Nato forces alongside the so-called rebels were fighting the Gaddafi
regime in Libya, the African Union (AU) was silent, save perhaps for the
organisation’s alleged initiative that saw South African President Jacob
Zuma jetting to the troubled country to broker peace and persuade Muammar
Gaddafi to step down or as is traditional in Africa, to share power with the

There were however some hushed tones of protests from some isolated sections
of the African continent, with some countries castigating the attacks on
Libya, other African leaders opting to call the attacks neo-imperialism, a
commonly known rhetoric among African revolutionaries, particularly from
Zimbabwe’s Zanu PF political circles, who claimed the Nato move was a
deliberate ploy to root out Africa’s revolutionary fathers opposed to the
western world’s neo-imperialism agenda.

But surprisingly, no pragmatic action was taken by AU, Sadc or the Arab
League when disaster struck in Libya.

The noise only emerged after Gaddafi was captured and killed by rebel

When the uprising started in Tunisia, AU never sent a peace-keeping force to
quell the revolt.

When the wind of revolution swept through Egypt, again AU never helped in
any practical ways.

Even more still, when the same hurricane of cries for change spread to Ivory
Coast, the AU remained passive.

There were continued calls for governments of national unity in the troubled
countries by African leaders, a well-orchestrated move to protect dictators
refusing to relinquish power.

Back home, when Gaddafi was silenced, analysts loyal to President Robert
Mugabe lined up to describe the murder of the former Libyan leader as a
return to what they called the dark days of imperialism, a rhetoric expected
from Mugabe’s bootlickers, who knew the comradeship that bound their boss to
the former Libyan strongman, a hand that bankrolled Zanu PF.

Those leaders that benefitted from Gaddafi’s “generosity” called his murder
an onslaught on revolutionary leaders in Africa. Yet AU was a signatory to
the permission that saw Nato forces being deployed in Libya to help the
rebels now in control. Why did AU not send its peace-keeping forces to Libya
if some African leaders say they were perturbed by the happenings?

And why did the organisation become a signatory to a document that allowed
Nato forces to pounce upon Gaddafi, alongside the now victorious rebels?
African leaders, signatory to AU are still making noise about Nato having
infringed upon the sovereignty of Libya, way after the harm has been done. I
wonder why they never made noise when Gaddafi launched his artillery against
defenceless Libyan civilians. Much noise against revolutions sweeping across
Africa is emerging from within the circles of leaders clinging to power,
losing allies by each passing day as nature takes its course, with ordinary
people awakening to its call, kicking out tyrants.

Perhaps, someone out there needs to wait and see how the wind blows . . .
but it may be too late. In Zimbabwe, Professor Jonathan Moyo has been making
the loudest noise, castigating the way Gaddafi was dragged around the
streets, kicked, punched and undressed, as barbaric and brutal, but I
understand our fellow revolutionary fathers in Zanu PF boast of having
degrees in violence and instead of crying from behind the scenes, they
should have put their degrees to test and pragmatically come to the rescue
of their comrade instead of making noise after his death.

Professor Moyo blamed African states representing the continent in the
United Nations Security Council, South Africa, Gabon and Nigeria, for
supporting the UN resolution 1973, which paved the way for the invasion of
Libya, saying their hands were dripping with blood.

Why was the “learned” professor silent when Libya was being bombarded and
when the anti-Gaddafi forces went all out in search of the unrepentant
dictator? And finally, AU and Sadc are just but toothless barking dogs,
which should never be relied upon for they have never called dictators to
order in Africa.

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SundayView: Service provision: Residents must play their part

Sunday, 06 November 2011 13:53


While service providers such as the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority
(Zesa) and the City of Harare are responsible for providing and maintaining
quality and affordable services to residents, citizens should appreciate
their responsibility in service provision. Citizens have a right to service
delivery by all standards but should be responsible with services provided.
Service delivery in Harare is on the verge of collapse and may easily become
extinct if residents fail to take up their own responsibilities in
maintaining the existing services.

One of the critical programme priorities of the Harare Residence Trust is
building a responsible citizenry. We note with concern a culture that is
within the public towards its own environment.

There have been reports of vandalism of water and sewerage reticulation
systems in communities such as Kambuzuma where residents were caught
chopping a water carriage pipe in search of water.

Electricity cables are daily vandalised by known and unknown residents
residing within our communities, driven by their greedy and narrow view of
community belonging.

At a recent meeting on the water demand situation in Harare, Engineer
Christopher Zvobgo, the Director of Harare Water indicated that the sewerage
and water plants (Morton Jaffray and Prince Edward) have been affected by
the use of grit (jecha) by residents. This has caused many sewerage chokes
which have pushed City of Harare to buy three pressure pumps to clear
drainage systems.

This is an additional cost on the part of the local authority and will be
shouldered by struggling residents.

Persistent water shortages are mainly attributed to poor pumping capacity by
Harare Water which is supplying 50% of the daily requirement of 1 200
megalitres required by residents in Harare, Chitungwiza and Norton.

The city claims that it requires US$3 million for water treatment and
purification every month; US$2 million for water chemicals and US$1 million
for Zesa charges. Due to pollution being caused to water sources by
industries, 10 water treatment chemicals are used by Harare council as
compared to other local authorities like Mutare that use at most three
treatment chemicals.

The water crisis has also been caused by countless and frequent water bursts
in the city centre and suburbs. We cannot afford to waste the little water
we have.

Refuse collection is inconsistent. Instead of dumping waste in open areas in
our communities, most citizens are forced to resort to burning waste at
night or during the day, further polluting the environment.

While the responsibility to maintain a clean environment resides in the
local authority, the public continues to cause excessive land pollution by
throwing litter all over along the streets. Mobile recharge cards from
service providers are used and just thrown away along the streets, littering
the environment.

What are Econet, TelOne and Telecel doing in return to ensure the waste they
generate is properly disposed? What will become of our environment if
everyone neglects their key responsibilities of playing their part?

There is now serious debate and talk on climate change issues. These are
largely man-made disasters, which could be greatly minimised if all citizens
think about their environment before they litter!

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FromtheEditor'sDesk: Zanu PF now a threat to country’s stability

Sunday, 06 November 2011 13:52


“What drives people in an organisation that is in a state of chaos,
disintegrating and about to implode, to pursue with such heightened fervour
and passionate zeal, an elective conference that will, for all intents and
purposes, lead to its ultimate demise and its destruction? Can anyone
explain the rationale of an organisation that is conscious of its imminent
disintegration and implosion and yet decides to ignore these dangers and opt
instead for a route to self-destruction; only because its constitution
requires that an elective conference be held at certain prescribed regular

It’s not about Zanu PF, stupid; it’s about the ANC!

The ANC is the African National Congress, South Africa’s liberation party.
It celebrates its centennial next year but as a governing party it is just
under half the age of Zanu PF having ruled South Africa since 1994. Zanu PF
has been in power for 31 years.

The excerpt is from a document authored by a group of uMkhonto weSizwe (MK)
veterans calling itself “The Commissariat”. The MK veterans say the ANC is
infested with factionalism, corruption, incompetence in government,
tenderpreneurship and pending implosion. They therefore want to stop the ANC
from holding an elective conference due next year in Mangaung, Bloemfontein.

“That the elective conference of the ANC must take place is a constitutional
imperative. But that it must take place at all cost (considering the current
state of the organisation), is suicidal for the ANC and its members and, is
a threat to the stability of the country,” says the document.

South African President Jacob Zuma seems to be in big trouble; a strong
lobby to unseat him is under way in the country led by charismatic ANCYL
president Julius Malema. Malema is widely seen merely as a proxy of bigger
players in the power game. Zuma is likely to go the way of his predecessor
Thabo Mbeki who was deposed in a palace coup at Polokwane at another
elective congress in December 2007.

What is interesting are the similarities between the problems bedevilling
the ANC and those haunting Zanu PF, which is set to hold its own conference
next month. Its leader Robert Mugabe has hinted that the conference, which
in normal circumstances would not be elective, would be turned into a
congress at which a new leadership could be picked. This would be in
preparation for national elections that may be held next year or in 2013. It
is more than likely that Mugabe will be endorsed as the party candidate for
that election besides it being “unreasonable and impractical” to do so
because of his failing health and age. He will be 88 next year amid reports
that he is suffering from some cancer. Many believe that due to these two
factors Mugabe would not be able to withstand the rigours of an election
campaign in which he is fighting a popular young and sprightly Morgan
Tsvangirai who is 20 years younger.

But due to the factionalism in the party, the issue of replacing him with a
younger leader is a matter of life and death. So debilitating is the
factionalism that without Mugabe the party would crumble like a cookie. The
death in August in a mysterious fire of factional strongman Solomon Mujuru
demonstrated just how deep rooted the schism is in the party. The factions
were generally believed to be two with the other led by feared party
secretary for legal affairs Emmerson Mnangagwa. It now emerges there is a
third faction of Young Turks calling themselves Generation 40 which is
baying for leadership renewal in the party.

Corruption is another disease that has taken its own toll on the former
ruling party. As its cadre detects the endgame, looting of state resources
has become the order of the day. This is done mainly through awarding
tenders to dubious foreign companies that are given huge infrastructural
projects while giving a “cut” to the minister responsible. In South Africa
they have coined a term for it; they call it “tenderpreneurship”. Corruption
is also manifested in the way many ministers who had nothing to their names
recently have become some of the riches people in the country deserving
mention in Forbes Magazine’s list of the rich. This newly-rich class has not
only riled those in opposing political parties but many in Zanu PF itself as
they see their colleagues inexplicably become richer and richer.

The politics of patronage, which has become the culture in Zanu PF, has also
seen underperforming minister stick to their jobs even when it is patently
clear that they are doing more harm than good. Some are allegedly openly
involved in corrupt activities such as the poaching of rhino and elephant
and the illicit trade in diamonds.

So, could the conference-cum-elective-congress next month be Zanu PF’s

Many considerations come to the fore in dealing with this puzzle, not least
the fact that by endorsing its geriatric leadership headed by Mugabe
himself, Zanu PF risks losing the support of its young supporters and the
generality of Zimbabweans who are now suffering from a condition called
ennui, a kind of boredom borne of dealing with the same thing  for far too
long a period of time. Too many young Zanu PF members have been lurking in
the shadows waiting their own turn to grab the reins of power. If the
conference next month does not give them the chance to do so frustration may
burst at the seams.

But what is also important will be the role the WikiLeaks cables will have
on the whole thing. The cables leaked by the whistleblower website have
shown how concerned the party is about Mugabe’s continued leadership. The
cables reveal there is a consensus across the board in Zanu PF that Mugabe
must go. The consensus is not a new development, according to the cables,
having existed since the turn of the millennium. Senior politician upon
senior politician is quoted as telling successive US diplomats that Mugabe
was now a liability to the party. These include his deputy presidents.

Those not compromised by the cables have formed a strong lobby to have those
who undermined Mugabe punished by the party at the conference. If this
happens, that means all the big names who have led the party during the
liberation struggle and in the past 30 years may see the end of their
political careers. But can they take it lying down?

Whatever happens in Bulawayo next month, Zanu PF is in danger and as the MK
veterans said about the ANC, the conference is suicidal for Zanu PF and its
members, and is a threat to the stability of the country.

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