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Rowan Williams tells Robert Mugabe to end persecution of Christians

By Lewis Smith

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

It was controversial enough before it had even happened, so the Archbishop
of Canterbury could perhaps be excused for looking a little awkward as he
came face to face with Robert Mugabe for the most scrutinised handshake of
his career.

Prince Charles and the former Labour Foreign Minister Jack Straw have both
shaken hands with the Zimbabwean leader, each protesting afterwards that
they hadn't really meant to. For Dr Rowan Williams, who has described his
"healing" visit as an opportunity to confront the persecution of Anglicans
in the country, it was important not to appear to be lending legitimacy to
one of the world's most notorious rulers.

Mr Mugabe was the keener party of the encounter and, while looking to the
cameras, he and Dr Williams's hands played out a diplomatic charade – at one
point their little fingers appeared to become linked. But as they parted,
there had been no real shake.

While in Zimbabwe's capital city, Harare, Dr Williams, alongside the
Archbishops of Central Africa and Southern Africa and the president of the
All Africa Conference of Churches the Archbishop of Tanzania, presented Mr
Mugabe with a dossier of complaints about the treatment of Anglicans.

They are angry that services have been broken up and Anglicans intimidated
in what they regard as a state-sponsored campaign against the church.

Dr Williams had accused the Mugabe regime of "greed and violence" to a
congregation of more than 10,000 at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.
The dossier presented yesterday continued in the same vein. "This has been a
time of immense trial," the Archbishops said in a statement after the

"Since 2007, Anglican congregations in Zimbabwe have suffered serious
persecution at the hands of the police. They have been intimidated. Their
churches have been closed. Properties, including schools and clinics, have
been seized.

"Today we were able to present President Mugabe with a dossier compiled by
the Bishops in Zimbabwe which gives a full account of the abuses to which
our people and our church has been subject.

"We have asked, in the clearest possible terms, that the President use his
powers as Head of State to put an end to all unacceptable and illegal

Mr Mugabe's response is awaited but before the meeting he had made it clear
he would subject the Archbishop to a grilling on the church's silence on
Western sanctions against Zimbabwe and his attitude towards homosexuality.

Much of the intimidation of Anglicans has been led by Nolbert Kunonga, an
ex-communicated Bishop who regards Mr Mugabe as a "prophet of God". He has
led efforts to seize Anglican property, including the main cathedral and
bank accounts.

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Dossier of Abuses

For the attention of H. E. President R. G. Mugabe
Your Excellency
We, the Archbishop and Bishops of the Anglican Province of Central Africa
hereby submit a dossier of abuses committed against our Anglican dioceses in
Zimbabwe over the last four years.
Since 2007 Anglican congregations have suffered systematic harassment and
persecution at the hands of the police, often in direct contravention of
court rulings.
Details of this litany of abuses, which include false imprisonment,
violence, denial of
access to churches, schools, clinics and mission stations, are outlined
below. In the
dioceses of Harare and Manicaland properties belonging to the Province have
It is a matter of the greatest sadness that we are being prevented from
continuing our
work to support local and often very needy communities with healthcare and
education. Our priests and people are being denied access to our own clinics
schools. Many of these institutions have been taken from us and under
current poor
or corrupt management are being rapidly run in to the ground and stripped of
assets. Details of this unwarranted activity and the impact on local
communities are
also included in this report.
Every week tens of thousands of Anglicans are denied their basic right to
because of the lies and falsifications being propagated by the now
former bishop, Dr Kunonga, and his associates.
Nolbert Kunonga and Elson Jakazi chose of their own volition to leave the
2007. They are no longer recognised as bishops or leaders by their former
flocks, by
the CPCA, by the Anglican Communion worldwide or by national and
ecumenical bodies. We express our thanks to our brothers and sisters from
churches that have supported us as we seek to communicate these facts.
Despite all of the abuses and intimidation we continue to humbly serve our
communities in every way we can. We seek peace and reconciliation for all in
country and desire to play a role in promoting healing and prosperity for
this great
nation Zimbabwe.
Furthermore, let us state for the record that the Anglican dioceses in
Zimbabwe have
never aligned themselves with any political party. There is no evidence to
suggest we
are anything other than loyal citizens of Zimbabwe. We also totally reject
misrepresentation of our church as not holding to the Church’s traditional
teaching on
marriage. This is wholly untrue.

We are dismayed that our continued calls for justice go unheard. Meanwhile
made to our personal freedoms and security have continued to multiply over
the last
few months.
We respectfully ask that you, as Head of State and of the Executive in
Zimbabwe, put
an end to this illegal harassment by some members of the police, whose
mandate is to
protect civilians, and allow us once again to use the properties which are
ours so that we may worship God in peace and serve our communities and our
Yours sincerely
Archbishop Albert Chama (Primate of the Province of Central Africa)
Bishop Chad Gandiya (Harare)
Bishop Godfrey Tawonezvi (Masvingo)
Bishop Julius Makoni (Manicaland)
Bishop Cleophas Lunga (Matabeleland)
Bishop Ishmael Mukuwanda (Central Zimbabwe)
Bishop Trevor Mwamba (Botswana)

1. Introduction
2. Violence and intimidation
3. Church gatherings and Sunday worship
4. Education
5. Health
6. Relief and development programmes
7. Administration
8. Clergy training and housing
9. Concluding remarks

1. Introduction
The Anglican Church in Zimbabwe has been under attack from the
excommunicated bishop, Dr
Nolbert Kunonga, since 2007. Dr Kunonga and Elson Jakazi with the support of
some police
have seized property belonging to the Church of the Province of Central
Africa, to which the
Anglican dioceses in Zimbabwe belong. They have used violence and
intimidation to break up
church services, and deny people their basic right to worship. In addition
the dioceses have
lost huge sums of money through legal bills, rentals for offices and other
diocesan activities as
well as for church services. The quality of service delivery by diocesan
institutions like schools
and hospitals has been seriously affected through illegal seizure of assets.

2. Violence and intimidation
Violence and intimidation has been a hallmark of this struggle. Intimidation
is a daily
occurrence. Parishioners are not only denied access to their churches, but
increasingly are
threatened with punishment if they worship at all or attempt to carry out
their ministry to the
Priests and deacons are arrested without charge on a weekly basis, often on
a Friday, allowing
the police to hold them over the weekend without charge, so that they cannot
minister to
their congregations. Many of these are elderly priests. Even when priests
are not arrested
they are threatened with violence by armed men.
Many members of our congregations have been assaulted and have needed
treatment. There are numerous incidents of whole congregations being
tear-gassed and
The Zimbabwean bishops have received personal death threats by phone, in
person and at
gun point.
On 18th February 2011 Mrs Jessica Mandeya of Harare Diocese was murdered.
Her body was
not discovered for two days until Sunday morning when friends came to join
her to walk to
church. We have information which very strongly suggests that she was
murdered because
she belongs to the Diocese of Harare CPCA. She had received threats to that
effect in
preceding weeks and days as she consistently refused to join Dr Kunonga’s

3. Church gatherings and Sunday worship
In Harare the police have disrupted church services and have been using tear
gas and baton
sticks to drive people out of church buildings. As a consequence most
churches lie empty each
Sunday, except where a handful of Dr Kunonga’s priests and their families
are able to occupy
them. Several thousand people are thus denied access to their churches each
For two years now people have been denied access to the Bernard Mizeki
Shrine for their
annual pilgrimage. This pilgrimage has significance not just for Zimbabweans
but for those in
surrounding countries. In 2010, just as people from all over the country and
beyond started
converging at the Bernard Mizeki Shrine just outside Marondera. Police
turned up in full force
and drove the pilgrims away. The police took this action despite assurances
the bishops by
government that they would not be disturbed or harassed by anyone. One of
the Ministers of
Home Affairs recently appeared on television assuring people that they would
not be
disturbed and that they would be protected at the shrine, but this is far
from the reality on the
ground in Marondera. This year, 2011, Anglicans were told that they would be
denied all
access to the shrine at all.
The Diocese of Masvingo was denied its annual pilgrimage to the Arthur
Shearly Cripps Shrine
in August 2011. The District Police Officer commanding also wrote to the
diocese asserting
they had no right to go to the shrine and the police forcibly took church
properties in Chivhu.
The Priest-in-Charge for Chivhu was also detained without charge.
The diocese was also prevented from holding its annual St. Benedict Guild
planned from the beginning of the year to be held at Daramombe Mission from
August 2011. They used Daramombe Beit Hall as a conference room but were
denied access
to the church which had been locked by Dr Kunonga. On 12th August 2011, Dr
Kunonga’s priest
Mr T. Mugomo went to Chivhu District Police Office where he submitted false
claims of
ownership of the Mission. Dr Kunonga has never been able to produce any
supporting papers
to substantiate the claims. Mr T. Mugomo also claimed the youth had attacked
him. A few
hours later, two police officers were deployed from Chivhu to check the
reported situation at
the Mission. They moved about the Mission, only to find a totally different
scenario of
St Benedict Guild youth going about their business without interferening in
any way with Dr
Kunonga’s priest. After their return to Chivhu, three other police officers
from Chivhu arrived
later in the afternoon and told the three Heads of Departments (namely, the
High Head, the
Primary School Head & the Priest-in-Charge) to accompany them to the Police
Station in
On Sunday 31st July 2011, Dr Kunonga, in the company of two of his bishops
Harry Mambo
Rinashe and Elijah Masuku (and other individuals they came with from Harare)
and seven
police officers from Chivhu, arrived at Daramombe Mission before 6 am.
Church services for
students at the High School and for parishioners had to be cancelled. Dr
Kunonga and his
company forced their way in to the Daramombe church via a window, conducted
a service and
thereafter held their meeting in the church until 1pm. After this they
demanded the keys for
the church & rectory from the Priest-in-Charge (Ven. Murombedzi) who refused
to surrender
the keys.
In Manicaland the Mothers’ Union 2011 National Conference was held at Mutare
College where US$20,000 was charged for accommodation and other facilities.
Far less could
have been spent if the conference was held an Anglican Mission School, and
the money would
then have been spent on community development programmes.

4. Education
The Diocese of Harare has ten primary and ten secondary schools and one
nursery school
(St Nicholas Nursery School for infants). These have all been taken over by
Dr Kunonga who
has removed suitably qualified headmasters and replaced them with those he
has handpicked
without any reference to the Ministry of Education, Sport, Art & Culture.
The result of
these actions is that academic standards have fallen to pitiful levels.
Arthur Shearly Cripps Children’s Home, which looked after about one hundred
orphans, was
taken over in August 2011. The Sisters who had been trained to run this
institution were
evicted and are having to pay rent at the local township where they are now
The Diocese of Manicaland has twenty four primary schools and twelve
secondary schools, six
of which are boarding secondary schools. Of these primary and secondary
schools, only five
secondary and sixteen primary schools are currently still operating under
the CPCA. Just like
any other school in the country, these schools are very crucial agents of
development. It is
pleasing to note that some Anglican Church boarding schools like St David’s
Bonda High
School, St Faith’s High School, St Augustine’s High School and St Anne’s
Goto High School are
among the best schools in Manicaland. They are all boarding schools that can
between 800 and 1000 pupils. However the work of all these schools has been
hindered by Mr Jakazi’s interference. He has mainly targeted the boarding
schools, which have
a great deal of infrastructure and where he can also demand large sums of
levies to help
finance his activities.
For example: At St Anne’s Goto High School Dr Kunonga and Mr Jakazi went and
havoc at this Mission on the 11th May 2010 claiming to have control over the
school. They
broke the gates and forced everyone in the Mission in to the church to
address them. They
were accompanied by police who were assisting them in their operations. They
the whole Mission and gave a command that they should all be loyal to their
priest that they
were imposing, Rev Mudhumo, who is actually under investigation for
embezzlement of funds
in the Mission. Dr Kunonga threatened to close the school if people were not
loyal to Rev
Mudhumo. On the following Sunday (16th May 2010) Hwedza police came to St
Anne’s Goto
and disrupted a church service being led by Rev Mavhezha who has always held
there. Eight elderly ladies were beaten up. Among the police who beat the
elderly ladies
were Constables Dube and Vhimai.
Pupils were threatened. It is alleged that Mr Jakazi and Dr Kunonga made an
attempt to close
the school through the Marondera Education Provincial Office because they
were failing to
force their way in to controlling the school. Many teachers have been and
continue to be
intimidated. It has been made clear that the moment the CPCA priest is seen
in the school he
will be arrested by police who always say they are acting on instructions.
The pupils have
church services without a priest and they do not receive the pastoral
services of a priest. To
aggravate the Mission’s plight, some pupils and teachers have been
threatened and victimized
by Mr Jakazi and his priests. Living in fear has de-motivated both students
and teachers.
Two school construction projects have been interrupted. Construction at the
Girls’ College in
Reshape and the Bishop Knight Bruce School in Mutare has been suspended.
Some of the
funders who were keen to see the projects to completion have been frustrated
by Mr Jakazi’s
office. Their help has not been accepted. The CPCA has not been able to
complete the
projects because of the fear of wastage of resources.
Mission schools in Manicaland have been prevented from hosting National
Conferences. They now have to resort to hiring buildings at high cost which
prevents many
youth from attending and benefitting from spiritual, social, physical, and
economic capacity
building, which is facilitated by experts invited specifically to help the
youth. Many youths are
missing out hugely on such opportunities.
Teachers and students at the High School at Daramombe Mission have also been
and told not to associate with their legitimate priests who serve them. Dr
Kunonga has begun
trying to change the departmental leadership, by serving them with illegal
eviction orders, and
attempting to bring in his own people to head the respective departments
within the Mission.
Authorities have since told Dr Kunonga not to interfere with the Diocese of
although he continues to do so.
Learning has been disrupted at Daramombe High School ever since the High
School Head, who
is one of the school account signatories, was evicted and the High School
SDC is no longer
recognized by Dr Kunonga. It is feared that standards may fall to rock
bottom if Dr Kunonga is
not stopped immediately. Daramombe High School is the pride not only of the
Church but the
District, Province and the nation in terms of academic standards. Last year
the school was in
fourth position for ‘A’ level results and third position for ‘O’ level
Dr Kunonga has a history of destroying each school he seizes. Clear examples
(although there
are many more) include:
 St John’s High School (Chikwaka) in Goromonzi District
 Langham Girls High School in Centenary
 St Mark’s Chirundazi High School (in Mhondoro)
 St Oswald’s Zimhindo
Surprisingly the District Education Officer for Chikomba (Mr Ngoni Simon
Mujuru) [who is also
a former Head of Daramombe High School, and was removed by the Ministry due
mismanagement of school funds and property], is abusing his authority.
Without following
any Ministerial policy, he facilitated the handover-takeover for Primary and
High School
Headmasters and appointed his own stooges. The CPCA questions the procedure
which the
District Education Officer used in demoting the affected Headmasters. The
CPCA also queries
how a substantively appointed person can be demoted by a DEO, without any
charge of
misconduct or the knowledge of the PED, the Permanent Secretary and the
Moreover, it is not anyone’s responsibility except the Ministry of Education
to expel a teacher,
more so without any charge for an act of misconduct.

5. Health
Manicaland diocese has been denied access to its numerous health facilities,
which have
faithfully served their local communities for generations. These included St
David’s Bonda
Mission Hospital, St Augustine’s Mission Clinic and St Peter’s Mandeya
Clinic. Donations of
much needed drugs and equipment are now prohibited by Mr Jakazi. To the
of the community around St Peters Mandeya Clinic in Honde Valley area, Mr
Jakazi’s priest
instructed the clinic staff to refuse to accept the donated drugs.
Tragically two people died
needlessly that same day when the drugs were rejected. The drugs they needed
were among
those rejected.
Honde Valley is a malaria prone area and clinics in such areas need to be
always adequately
stocked with important drugs. It is sad to note that standards have
drastically fallen in some
former Anglican Mission Hospitals and Clinics because they have refused to
accept these
donations. Patients who normally would be treated at these facilities have
had to be
transferred to other hospitals because of malfunctioning or obsolete
equipment that would
have been replaced using rejected grants. Lives that could have been saved
have been lost as
a result of these diminished standards.
Administrators, doctors, nurses and other workers in Mission Institutions
under the control of
Mr Jakazi have been compelled to comply with Mr Jakazi’s instruction to
refuse to accept any
money, drugs or any form of help that comes through the Anglican Diocese of
CPCA, in order to protect their jobs and their livelihoods. Experienced
staff have transferred
to government or non-Anglican Church Hospitals. Many who have endured these
intimidations and threats have become extremely de-motivated, which has
seriously retarded
their performance.
The Daramombe Clinic has been reduced to being run by a single nurse who is
loyal to Dr
Kunonga. She has caused problems at Daramombe Mission Clinic since January
this year, after
she refused to comply with an approved lateral transfer to Gandachibvuva
Mission Hospital
(where she herself had applied to go). Moreover, she was never under the
Mission Clinic’s staff establishment, because she came as a relief nurse and
is still a relief
nurse—but relieving no one, as our staff compliment was normal without her.
We have
presented the various cases of clinic staff’s evictions to the Provincial
Medical Director’s
(PMD) Office in Marondera for further action. A Clinic which is the size of
a rural Hospital,
with a Maternity Home and wards, cannot be run safely and effectively by a
single nurse.

6. Relief and development programmes
Development programmes initiated by the Diocese of Manicaland benefit
significantly from
the infrastructure in the Mission Schools. A good example is St Augustine’s
Mission School.
One section of the Mission has been set aside as a Training Centre. Examples
of workshops
run in this Centre include HIV and AIDS workshops, and Relief and
Development workshops.
Use of diocesan infrastructure serves to minimize the costs of running these
through the provision of accommodation free of charge. Mr Jakazi’s
interference at St
Augustine’s Mission has made this impossible. As a consequence, these
programmes have
been seriously affected because the hire of alternative venues has been very
expensive, and
this is unsustainable.
Currently the Anglican Relief and Development in Zimbabwe (ARDeZ) is running
the Umoja HIV
and AIDS programmes, using rented accommodation. Were St Augustine’s
facilities being
used, costs would be reduced by around fifty per cent, and the number of
beneficiaries would
be doubled.
The diocese of Harare has been prevented from carrying out many relief
programmes by being
denied access to its schools. In 2008 it received funds to purchase water
purification tablets
during the cholera epidemic, and basic medicines, but was prevented by Mr
Kunonga from
distributing these through clinics and schools. Instead the diocese had to
rely on
congregational networks, making distribution much more difficult. The
diocese has been able
to distribute seed to farmers, but this has also been hampered, by lack of
access to church
buildings as key distribution and registration points. And the diocese has
been denied access
to Runyararo Skills Centre, where school dropouts were equipped with life

7. Administration

The Diocese of Harare is currently renting offices at a cost of some US$1600
per month. The
diocese has been denied access to its own offices at Pax House, which, as
well as housing the
diocese, provided a source of income for the Diocese worth around US$3000
per month. This
income was used to fund social programmes and the running of the diocese. In
addition to
this, parishes have been forced to rent space from other churches and
institutions, paying on
average between US$300 and US$400 per month. Mothers’ Union has also been
forced to
rent space for some of their meetings.
The Diocese of Manicaland is currently renting offices that cost about
US$2000 per month.
The diocese has been denied access to its offices at 113 Hebert Chitepo,
Mutare, which has
three floors and about fifteen rooms on each floor. Similarly to the Diocese
of Harare, were
the Diocese of Manicaland using its own office complex, it would generate a
further US$2000
or more per month in rental income from two floors (extra free space) within
the complex
which Mr Jakazi now occupies and has refused to vacate. Under normal
circumstances rental
income from the extra space would cover all the diocese’s administrative
costs and part of the
diocesan clergy’s stipends. And the US$2000 per month which now pays for
rented office
space would normally be used for various developmental projects in the
diocese. Originally
many diocesan programmes, projects and activities were undertaken within
this complex, but
this has been made impossible. Many church buildings and priests’ houses
have been taken
over by Mr Jakazi. Congregations have been affected by the loss of their
property in the same
manner. They have been forced to rent accommodation for priests, and halls
for their church

8. Clergy training and housing
Sixty-five priests have been evicted from their rectories in Harare Diocese
and forced to stay in
rented accommodation, paying rent on average of US$450 each per month. An
equal number
of churches have been taken over resulting in the majority of the parishes
paying rent of
approximately US$200 per month for the varied places where they now worship.
There are a
few parishes which have been offered such places of worship free of payment.
In August 2011, police attended Bishop Gaul College, Harare, and served
eviction papers to
our principal, Friar Joshua. They padlocked the library before they left.
The college is not a
diocese of Harare institution but belongs to all five dioceses and indeed to
the Province
(CPCA). Loss of the books we have there would take us back many years. The
diocese now
pays about US$800 per month for rental of space for our theological
education programmes
that cannot be run at Bishop Gaul College.
The Diocese of Manicaland has a clergy training programme, Zimbabwe
Theological Education
by Extension (ZIMTEE) and Lay Leaders’ workshops which would normally be run
at St
Augustine’s Mission. Clergy retreats would sometimes use the Mission as a
venue too. For
the last week of every month the Clergy on the ZIMTEE programme are supposed
to have a
one week tutorial session. It has become impossible to hold formal tutorials
at St Augustine’s.
Occasionally the Diocese has been able to afford to hire an external venue
for the ZIMTEE
tutorials, but such a venue is usually not conducive to study, prayer and
reflection. Lay
Training workshops and meetings cannot be held in our own institutions

9. Concluding remarks
We would like sincerely to thank various denominations including the Roman
Catholic Church,
Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, United Methodist Church, Lutheran Church,
Church, Presbyterian Church, United Church of Christ and Mugodhi Church and
others, who
have generously allowed some of our congregations to use their church
buildings. We know
that some of them have been threatened but have continued to offer us
Others have painfully told us to stop using their buildings after being
threatened. We do not
hold it against them. We understand the gravity of those threats and we
would not want any
denomination to go through what we are currently going through. We would
like to thank all
those churches and organisations who have publicly stood in solidarity with
us in our suffering
especially the Zimbabwe Pastors Conference. Our appeal to the Christian
community in
Zimbabwe is that all should stand up for justice, that all should speak out
against the unlawful
arrests of our people, the beatings and tear-gassing of our congregations,
the disruptions of
church services, the flouting of Court Orders and partisan behaviour of the
police and now the
disturbing developments beginning to unfold.
An end to this persecution would enable our church to fully resume its role
in serving all of
God’s people in our great country of Zimbabwe.

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Mugabe 'on top of things': Williams

10/10/2011 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

THE Archbishop of Canterbury didn’t know what to expect as he was driven
into State House in a wailing police convoy on Monday.

“People say that sometimes you get a long lecture, nothing much else; others
have said he'll be very charming, and so we didn't know what to anticipate,”
Rowan Williams said after emerging from the 90-minute meeting.
“In fact it was a very serious conversation with real exchange.”

Something was also at the back of his mind: persistent rumours of Mugabe’s
ill health. But like other western leaders who have visited Zimbabwe
recently, Williams admitted he found the 87-year-old in robust nick for a
man of his age.

"He's on top of things intellectually," Williams commented after the
discussions which included a history lesson from Mugabe on Anglo-Zimbabwean
relations from 1997 onwards.

"We had the history of Anglo-Zimbabwean relations from 1 May 1997 onwards in
some detail. So I don't know. I think if there's a problem that is soluble
without loss of political face, maybe he feels he can do something about
this,” the Archbishop told reporters.

"I said at the end that what we'd all like to see is Zimbabwe fulfilling the
potential that it showed in the early years of independence. He's very clear
that he blames everybody else for what's gone wrong since."

Mugabe also detailed his own religious upbringing and reminded Williams that
the Church of England is "a breakaway group" from the Catholic Church.

Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba had indicated before the meeting that the
president would tackle Williams about what he perceives as the Anglican
Church’s support for homosexuality.
"It was a very candid meeting; disagreement was expressed clearly but I
think in a peaceable manner," said Williams.

"In the US and in Canada, there is a more relaxed attitude to these
questions but these are provinces which do not represent the general mind of
the communion on this matter. The Anglican communion worldwide holds the
position that whatever our views on the morality of homosexual behaviour, we
regard homosexual persons simply as human beings, as deserving of dignity
and respect.”

Williams, accompanied by half a dozen other Anglican leaders, was at State
House to deliver a pointed message to Mugabe about the plight of Anglicans
in Zimbabwe who claim persecution by renegade bishop Albert Kunonga.

Asked if Mugabe had been receptive, he replied: "No president is ever going
to say, 'I don't care about people being beaten up'. But I think there's a
real concern that this is a running sore, that he and others in government
would like to see it sorted.
“He was fairly clear that he and his people would want to talk to Kunonga."

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Archbishop harassed

By Thelma Chikwanha, Community Affairs Editor
Tuesday, 11 October 2011 09:30

HARARE - Visiting Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams was yesterday
verbally harassed and barred from attending a church service in Mutare and
Penhalonga by thugs believed to have been hired by the excommunicated Bishop
Nolbert Kunonga.

He later told President Robert Mugabe to stop the madness and violence.

The highest authority in the Anglican Church worldwide met with Mugabe after
having been denied entry into St John’s Cathedral in Mutare and St Augustine’s
Mission in Penhalonga earlier in the day by hired kongonya dancing law

The Anglican boss saw for himself the lawlessness surrounding his churches
in Zimbabwe. Kunonga is a Zanu PF functionary who has been at the helm of
destabilising the Anglican Church throughout the country.

Williams, who leaves for Zambia today, was in the country at the invitation
of the Anglican Province of Central Africa (CPCA) where he tackled Mugabe
over the issue of murder, violence, intimidation, education, health, relief
and development programmes which were being compromised by Kunonga’s

“On 18th of February 2011, Mrs Jessica Mandeya of Harare Diocese was
murdered and her body was not discovered for two days until Sunday morning
when friends came to join her to walk to the church.

“We have information which very strongly suggests that she was murdered
because she belongs to the diocese of Harare CPCA.

She had received threats to that effect in preceding weeks and days as she
consistently refused to join Dr Kunonga’s church,” reads part of a dossier
presented to Mugabe at State House yesterday.

The visiting Archbishop, who drove into the country via Mozambique on
Sunday, came face to face with Kunonga’s brutality when placard wielding
Kunonga followers barred him from entering the two churches in Mutare and
Penhalonga to pray.

Williams was denied entry into the school church to hold prayers and had to
worship in the small nun prayer-house nearby.

Kunonga’s supporters were waving and singing and denouncing Williams’ visit
accusing him of supporting homosexuals.

Some of the members who blocked the entry into the church in Mutare had
placards written which read: “Manicaland says no to homosexuality;
Homosexuality is evil; Sodom and Gomora were destroyed because of
homosexuality; Gandiya, Bakare, Makoni how do you invite homosexuality in
our soil.”

“You can enjoy your money though ill-gotten from acts of homosexuality. We
are not with you and will never be with you. Homosexuality is unwelcome in
the church and the Bible states as such,” shouted one angry parishioner who
was in church uniform as the Archbishop walked past.

Makoni (Julius) is the Bishop for the CPCA Manicaland Diocese, while Bakare
is a retired Bishop and Gandiya (Chad) is a bishop of the Harare Diocese.

Williams, however believes that the homosexuality card is being overplayed
and is being used to cover up real issues.

“The issue of homosexuality is a distracting tactic aimed at covering up the
real issues. The church does not allow same sex unions and the allegations
are entirely fictitious,” Williams told journalists at a press conference
after his meeting with Mugabe.

The bishop was accompanied by Archibshops Albert Chama, Primate of the
province of Central Africa and Bishops Chad Gandiya of the Harare Diocese,
Godfrey Tawonezvi of Masvingo, Julius Makoni of Manicaland, Cleopas Lunga of
Matabeleland, Ishmael Mukuwanda, Central Zimbabwe and Trevor Mwamba of

The clergymen told Mugabe they were concerned about unfair arrests of
priests and deacons and continued violence and intimidation of innocent
parishioners at their places of worship.

Mugabe heard how men of the cloth were threatened with violence by armed men
adding on that bishops even received death threats by phone and in person at
gun point.

“It is a matter of the greatest sadness that we are being prevented from
continuing our work to support local and often very needy communities with
healthcare and education. Our priests and people are being denied access to
our own clinics and schools. Many of these institutions have been taken from
us and under current poor or corrupt
management, are being rapidly run to the ground and stripped of their
assets,” the bishops told Mugabe.

Kunonga, a Mugabe ally who was excommunicated by the CPCA over misconduct,
has since taken over 90 properties of the church since 2008, forcing
parishioners to find alternative places of worship.

Recently, the disgraced bishop had care-givers at Shearly Cripps orphanage
in Chikwaka evicted from the orphanage leaving children vulnerable.

Kunonga, who openly supports Zanu PF, has also taken over 19 primary schools
claiming that all the Anglican Church property belonged to him. He even told
journalists recently that the Anglican Church was in fact his throne.

Williams, who described his meeting with Mugabe as candid, said the
Zimbabwean leader was not fully apprised of the situation on the ground.

“The president expressed concern over the damage and said he would speak to
Kunonga. The meeting was peaceable, it was worth coming and it was worth
meeting the president,” Williams said.

The bishops also took a swipe at the police in Harare who disrupted church
services at Kunonga’s instructions.

“In Harare, police have disrupted church services and have been using tear
gas and baton sticks to drive people out of church buildings.”

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Kunonga ordered to stop violence

By Chengetai Zvauya, Senior Writer
Tuesday, 11 October 2011 12:23

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says government has ordered a stop
to the takeover of Anglican churches and mission schools by the
ex-communicated Anglican Bishop Nolbert Kunonga.

Tsvangirai revealed this after meeting the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan
Williams who had paid a courtesy call at his home yesterday evening.

“We discussed the problem the Anglican Church is facing in the country, we
want a solution to be found and we agreed in cabinet that the state through
the police had to take action to ensure that there is peace in the church.

“People are suffering needlessly. We all went to the mission schools
including politicians from Zanu PF and it is very unfortunate that we let
these institutions be destroyed by an individual. We want this problem  to
come to an end,’’ said Tsvangirai Williams said during his visit he had
discussed the Kunonga matter with President Robert Mugabe and PM

“The Anglican Church needs to be protected by the law and this is what
President Mugabe and the Prime Minister have assured me in my discussions
with them, today. What is happening here is very sad and we hope that it
shall end.

“We deplore the manner in which many of the historic assets of the church
including schools and hospitals has been seized by the breaka-way group but
are no longer used for the purpose for which they were designed for," said

Kunonga, a Zanu PF supporter is on a countrywide crusade of harassing
Anglicans in the country for supporting Bishop Chad Gandiya, who is
recognised by the Anglican church of England in the battle for the
institution in Zimbabwe.

Kunonga was sacked in 2007 by the Anglican church of the Province of Central
Africa and has become a Zanu PF willing tool since then.

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Analysis: will Robert Mugabe keep his word to the Archbishop of Canterbury?

When the Archbishop of Canterbury emerged from his meeting with Robert
Mugabe this afternoon, he did so with a grim face.

By Aislinn Laing, Harare

11:21PM BST 10 Oct 2011

But speaking to journalists at a hotel a few miles from State House later,
he insisted that he had made headway with the notoriously stubborn
octogenarian president.

Yes, Mr Mugabe had lectured Dr Williams and his fellow bishops about the
history of land reform and yes, he got time for his obligatory rant about
sanctions, but a full hour was devoted to the split in the Anglican church.

Robert Mugabe, he said, had promised to "talk to" the renegade bishop
Nolbert Kunonga, who has previously called the president "an angel ... a
prophet from God".

He said that Mr Mugabe had been "unaware" of the full extend of the abuses
of Anglicans by Dr Kunonga's faction, which has forced them out of churches,
schools, hospitals and orphanages, sometimes with the backing of the police.

He conceded that Mr Mugabe had not in the past proved himself a man of his

"No president is ever going to say, 'I don't care about people being beaten
up'," he said.

He said that when he expressed sadness for the years of turmoil in Zimbabwe,
sparked by violent land reform and resulting in rampant inflation, Mr Mugabe
was still adamant he was not to blame.

"I said at the end that what we'd all like to see is Zimbabwe fulfilling the
potential that it showed in the early years of independence," he said.

"He's very clear that he blames everybody else for what's gone wrong since."

Commentators had suggested that Dr Williams should not have given Mr Mugabe
a platform to air his views, that visiting Zimbabwe's Anglicans to offer
support was enough.

But having delivered one of the most powerful sermons of his career to
15,000 Anglicans on Sunday, and ensured he had the last word from their
meeting by holding a press conference while Mr Mugabe retreated from the
media glare, many will argue that he, and the local Anglicans, are now in a
stronger position.

Whether Mr Mugabe will act to rein in Dr Kunonga remains to be seen. He
faces one of the toughest times of his presidency. Plagued by health
problems, he has been dealt an extra blow by the revelations in documents
released by WikiLeaks that some of his closest allies have been briefing the
Americans and plotting his overthrow.

So despite his assurances to Dr Williams, he may be loath to alienate a
vocal cheerleader – who as Bishop of Harare was slapped down by the church
for preaching Zanu PF propaganda from the altar – at a time when he needs
all the cheerleading he can get.

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Statement by the Archbishops

10 Oct. 11- Statement by the Archbishops of Canterbury, Central Africa, and
Southern Africa and the
President of the All Africa Conference of Churches the Archbishop of

(Statement delivered at the Bronte Hotel, Harare, Zimbabwe)

In our capacities as leaders of the Anglican Church in Africa and worldwide,
we have just met President
Robert Mugabe.
We come here to be in solidarity with our Anglican sisters and brothers at
the invitation of the local
church – the Anglican Province of Central Africa, which includes the five
dioceses of Zimbabwe.
As you know this has been a time of immense trial.
Since 2007 Anglican congregations in Zimbabwe have suffered serious
persecution at the hands of the
police. They have been intimidated. Their churches have been closed.
Properties, including schools and
clinics, have been seized.
As representatives of the Anglican Communion, and with the support of
ecumenical friends worldwide,
we strongly and unequivocally support the efforts of ordinary Anglicans to
worship in peace and to
minister to the spiritual and material needs of their communities.
Today we were able to present President Mugabe with a dossier compiled by
the bishops in Zimbabwe
which gives a full account of the abuses to which our people and our church
has been subject. We have
asked, in the clearest possible terms, that the President use his powers as
Head of State to put an end to
all unacceptable and illegal behaviour.
We are proud of our church and our people who have suffered so much, but who
continue to serve with
love and with hope.
For our part we pray, and invite you to join us in praying, that the
Anglican Church in Zimbabwe be
allowed to carry out its mission in peace, and serve its communities with

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Leading article: Courage of a good man in Africa

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

It was courageous of Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, to travel
to Zimbabwe to give succour to the thousands of Anglicans in that country
who have been routinely arrested, beaten and tear-gassed by the regime of
Robert Mugabe. And it has been doubly brave of him to enter the lion's den
by requesting a meeting with the Zimbabwean President, knowing that there
was a risk that Mr Mugabe might seek to turn the encounter to his own
advantage by attempting to humiliate or embarrass the prelate.

The head of the world's 77 million Anglicans upped the ante by launching, on
the eve of the meeting, an attack of unprecedented ferocity on the man who
is one of Africa's greatest bullies. By comparing the "mindless and Godless"
injustice of the Mugabe government with that of the white colonial regime it
replaced, Dr Williams touched a raw nerve. Suggesting that the President and
his cronies paralleled the "greed of colonialists and imperialists" risked
angering Mr Mugabe ahead of their meeting. But it pre-empted the possibility
of the President suggesting that the visit was an implicit endorsement of
his authority.

Dr Williams has come under attack from Mr Mugabe's stooge bishop, Nolbert
Kunonga, who has seized both church buildings and finances after being
excommunicated by the main Anglican Province of Central Africa. The
schismatic cleric accused Dr Williams of being a homosexual and neo-colonial
heretic. But the thousands of ordinary church-goers who have flocked to see
the Archbishop show how little purchase such attacks have had.

No one will suppose that anything will change within the Mugabe regime as a
result of Dr Williams's visit. But knowing that the Archbishop presented Mr
Mugabe with a dossier of "harassment and persecution" abuses by the
Zimbabwean authorities has boosted the morale and resolve of those who seek
to oppose the regime by peaceful means. Hope is not the same as optimism, in
theological terms, but it is what the people of Zimbabwe need.

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Homophobia in Africa prompts UK to cut aid

October 11 2011 at 09:00am

London: Poor African countries that persecute homosexuals will have their
aid slashed by the UK government in a bid by Prime Minister David Cameron to
take his gay rights crusade to the Third World.

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell has already cut aid to
Malawi by £19 million (about R233m) after two gay men were sentenced to 14
years of hard labour. And he has warned the country’s leaders to scrap plans
to introduce draconian new anti-lesbian laws.

Mitchell, one of Cameron’s closest allies, is also threatening to impose
further aid “fines” against Uganda and Ghana for hardline anti-gay measures.

The policy was disclosed after Cameron defended his decision to legalise gay
weddings when he addressed last week’s Conservative Party conference.

Now he wants to persuade those countries where homosexuality is still taboo
to follow his lead – and he is ready to reduce aid to some of the world’s
poorest people to do so. The cut in aid to Malawi came after two gay men
were convicted last year under the country’s rigidly imposed ban on

Pop stars Elton John and Madonna joined an international outcry when Tiwonge
Chimbalanga, 26, and Steven Monjeza, 20, received a 14-year sentence for
getting engaged.

A judge in Malawi told them: “I will give you a scaring sentence so that the
public will be protected from people like you, so that we are not tempted to
emulate this horrendous example.

“Malawi is not ready to see its sons getting married to its sons.”

The two men were later freed, but Malawi’s defiant president, Bingu wa
Mutharika, went ahead with new anti-lesbian laws, prompting a sharp rebuke
from Mitchell.

It is not the first time that Britain has punished Mutharika. The Labour
Government reduced aid to Malawi by £3m after he spent £8m on a presidential

However, Malawi has still received more than £200m from Britain in the past
three years.

Uganda faces the threat of an aid “fine” by the UK unless it abandons plans
to extend the death penalty to homosexuality.

Three weeks ago, Mitchell protested to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni,
who has claimed “European homosexuals are recruiting in Africa” and who
believes gay relationships are “against God’s will”. Uganda is due to
receive £70m from British taxpayers this year.

During a visit to Ghana earlier this year, Stephen O’Brien – Mitchell’s
deputy – told President John Atta Mills that Britain would cut its aid
unless he stopped persecuting gay people.

It appeared to have little effect, even though Ghana gets £36m a year from
the UK, as weeks later the president vowed to “institute measures to check
the menace of homosexuality and lesbianism”.

A spokesman for Mitchell said: “The government is committed to combating
violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
people in all circumstances, in this country and abroad…

We now allocate funds every three months, rather than every year, so that we
can review a country’s performance, for example on human rights, and take
swift action when governments fall short. We only provide aid directly to
governments when we are satisfied that they share our commitments to reduce
poverty and respect human rights.”

Even so

, Britain still hands out huge amounts to nations known for human rights

According to Amnesty international, gay people in Zimbabwe, which received
£69m last year, face persecution, freedom of speech is almost impossible,
and opponents of the regime face intimidation and attacks from the security
forces. Pakistan (£203m) allows widespread discrimination against religious
minorities, including Christians, and counter-insurgency operations have
involved extrajudicial executions. – Mail on Sunday

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Chinamasa comes out swinging in Geneva

11/10/2011 00:00:00
    by Barnabas Thondhlana I Geneva

JUSTICE Minister Patrick Chinamasa was at pains to defend Zimbabwe’s human
rights record at the UN Human Rights Universal Periodic Review in Geneva on

Chinamasa attributed most the country’s problems, omissions and commissions
to the “illegal economic sanctions” which he said had “caused untold
suffering and violated the people of Zimbabwe”.

“Had these sanctions not been in place, Zimbabwe today would have made
massive strides economically, socially and politically,” Chinamasa said.

“At one stage we were the bread basket of the region, and this position we
could have retained had it not been for these sanctions.”

Chinamasa said the government had no intention of amending the Public Order
and Security Act and Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act as
it was convinced “they are justified pieces of legislation”.
Some of the advance questions submitted by countries which the minister was
asked to respond to were:

    What plans does the government of Zimbabwe have to separate the Attorney
General’s office from the prosecuting authority?

    What plans does the Government have to move cases through court more
quickly and to prevent the over-use of Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure
and Evidence Act?

    Given concerns raised by NGOs, what plans does the government of
Zimbabwe have to improve access to food and legal representation for
detainees in police custody?

    What plans does the government of Zimbabwe have for independent civilian
oversight of its police forces?

    What is Zimbabwe’s timeframe for acceding to the Convention against
Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment?

    What steps will Zimbabwe take to help ensure that Human Rights
Commission will operate in accordance with the Paris Principles,
particularly regarding independence and funding?

    How does Zimbabwe plan to deal with complaints of human rights abuses
that took place before February 2009?

    Could Zimbabwe provide an update on the work of the Organ for National
Healing, Reconciliation and Integration and its future programme of work?

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a
review of the human rights records of all 192 UN Member States once every
four years. The UPR is a State-driven process, under the auspices of the
Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each country to
declare what actions it has taken to improve the human rights situation in
its territories.

As one of the main features of the Council, the UPR is designed to ensure
equal treatment for every country when their human rights situation is
Contributing to the debate, members countries gave varied comments on the
prevailing situation in Zimbabwe.

South Africa and Zambia called for a full investigation and arrests of
perpetrators of political violence in the lead-up to the 2008 presidential
election run-off.

Cuba commended Zimbabwe for striving in the face of the sanctions and called
for their immediate lifting. It asked Zimbabwe to clearly tabulate how the
sanctions regime had resulted in the decline of the country.

The United Kingdom said it was concerned at the lack of progress over the
“outstanding issues” in the Global Political Agreement—the power sharing
agreement between President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party and the two MDC

The UK also called for the ratification of the Convention Against Torture
and guarantees for political parties to call public meetings without police

Canada called for full compliance with the Kimberley Process and the
cessation of human rights violations in the Marange diamond fields.

Ethiopia called on the international community to support Zimbabwe on
capacity building, to enable the country to fight diseases and invest in

Angola said sanctions had resulted in massive brain drain, and asked
Zimbabwe to come up with measures to combat the skills flight.

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Bennett out as Tsvangirai appoints new ministers

10/10/2011 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was forced into a mini-reshuffle of his
government team following the death of Public Service Minister Elphas
Mukonoweshuro in August, and Mugabe’s trenchant refusal to swear-in Roy
Bennett as Deputy Agriculture Minister.

Trade unionist Lucia Matibenga stepped into the vacant Public Service
portfolio and Seiso Moyo, MP for Nketa, was named Deputy Minister for
Agriculture Mechanisation and Irrigation Development.
Moyo, a first term MP, said he “felt honoured” by Tsvangirai’s appointment.

His swearing-in ends Bennett’s long-running saga after Mugabe refused to
accept him into Cabinet, originally citing treason charges he was facing.

Despite telling CNN last year that Bennett, who now lives in exile, would be
sworn in should he be cleared of the charges, Mugabe went back on his word
after the former Chimanimani MP was acquitted in May this year.

Matibenga, surprisingly overlooked in Tsvangirai’s Cabinet team which took
the oath of office back in February 2009, said: “I realise the mammoth task
that lies ahead. I assure you, I will be there whether it will be tough or
Tsvangirai and Vice Presidents Joice Mujuru and John Nkomo attended the
swearing-in ceremony at State House.

Tsvangirai's MDC-T party, Mugabe's Zanu PF and a second MDC faction led by
Welshman Ncube share power in a shaky coalition which could be dismantled as
early as next year when new elections are set to be held.

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Tsvangirai confident of winning elections

Eyewitness News | 4 Hour(s) Ago

Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Tuesday said he was confident
that he will trounce President Robert Mugabe in elections that could be held
in 2012.

The Prime Minister said he will only win if the election is free and fair.

Tsvangirai added that time was up for Mugabe.

He was quoted in Newsday telling his supporters that the 87-year-old
President would wear himself out with campaigning.

He said the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was not afraid of

The party was still under the impression that it had won the 2008 elections.

He certainly won the first round of those polls and then pulled out of the
runoff because of violence.

Mugabe wanted the elections in November but rights groups said 2012 should
be a year for reforms, not polls.

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Analysis - Mugabe's health sends shivers through Zimbabwe

By Jon Herskovitz

JOHANNESBURG | Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:27pm BST

(Reuters) - President Robert Mugabe's failing health has likely forced his
ZANU-PF party to press for early elections in Zimbabwe and accelerate a plan
compelling foreign firms to surrender majority shareholdings, but it has not
so far loosened his grip on power.

While factions within ZANU-PF are battling to take over from Mugabe, the
87-year-old leader is still the only figure who can unite the party and has
so distanced himself from possible successors that no direct challenger has

In any case, ZANU-PF would be hard pressed in elections, that must be held
by 2013 but which could come next year, if it fielded a candidate other than
Mugabe, who has been in power since Zimbabwe gained independence from
Britain in 1980.

But Mugabe has slowed down, diplomats have said. His meetings are fewer
while his visits to Singapore for medical checks have increased.

Over the past few years, he is thought to have spent several weeks abroad
for treatment, described as routine and for maladies such as eye trouble by
official media. But talk in Zimbabwe of Mugabe's deteriorating health is
taboo and harshly punished.

A June 2008 U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks last month said
Mugabe has prostate cancer that has spread to other organs. He was urged by
his physician to step down in 2008 but has stayed in the job.

In the cable written by James D. McGee, the former U.S. ambassador in
Harare, Zimbabwe's Central Bank governor Gideon Gono was cited as saying the
cancer could lead to Mugabe's death in three to five years.

Mugabe went to Singapore for a medical check-up about two weeks ago, a
privately owned newspaper in Zimbabwe reported, saying it was the seventh
such visit this year by the president, who denies he is suffering from

"The health of Mugabe is deteriorating and ZANU-PF's success at the next
elections is not assured unless it builds up a war chest and relies on
coercion," said Anne Fruhauf, an expert on Africa at the Eurasia Group
political risk consultancy.

ZANU-PF leaders fear that if Mugabe dies in office or his health forces him
to quit before settling the succession battle, the party could disintegrate
or the army could be tempted to take over.

Zimbabwe has pushed hard in the last few months to have foreign firms,
mostly mining firms and banks, to abide by a law to turn over a majority
stake of their holdings to locals.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change, forced
into a unity government with ZANU-PF after a disputed 2008 election marred
by violence, said the empowerment law has undermined investor confidence and
could strangle a fragile recovery in an economy crushed by hyperinflation
under ZANU-PF management.

But whatever the potential problems for the economy as a whole, the income
generated from implementing the law could be crucial for ZANU-PF and its

"(The law) is little more than an extortion scheme, with rival players
offering companies 'protection' in return for pay and equity stakes,"
Fruhauf said.

Mining firms risk losing their claims in the country with the world's
second-largest platinum reserves if they do not play along. Many are waiting
for a future government more amenable to international investment before
they ramp up production, analysts have said.

The MDC has a lead in opinion polls, and ZANU-PF likely needs cash to
finance the tactics it has been accused of using to win elections -- hiring
armed thugs to intimidate voters and rigging ballot boxes.

"Mugabe's health impacts entirely on Zimbabwe's political landscape.
Everything revolves around his health and his age," said a U.K.-based
Zimbabwe analyst who asked not to be named.

ZANU-PF is in a bind. Voters may not want to support Mugabe if they think he
may not survive the term, but the party has no other candidate who can rally
the electorate.

Zimbabweans in urban areas have probably heard of Mugabe's failing health,
but urban areas are MDC strongholds. Many rural areas, considered ZANU-PF
strongholds, have far les access to news and are probably not up to date on
the health reports.

The most recent report on Mugabe's health came from the Archbishop of
Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who met him during a visit to Zimbabwe this week
and told reporters: "He's on top of things intellectually."

The problems facing ZANU-PF as it considers a post-Mugabe future were
highlighted by the death of a top Zimbabwean army officer in a fire.

General Solomon Mujuru, a powerbroker in Mugabe's party for nearly four
decades, was, according to authorities, burnt to ashes when his farmhouse
caught fire, which led to rumours he was murdered.

The incident has further muddied the waters within ZANU-PF, meaning that
with the bruising succession battle still unresolved, attention remains
focussed for now on the state of Mugabe's health.

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MDC-T councillor finds loaded AK47 magazine outside his house

By Tichaona Sibanda
11 October 2011

An MDC-T councillor in Victoria Falls was on Saturday shocked to discover a
fully loaded AK47 magazine outside his house in Chinotimba.

Councillor Bernard Nyamambi, who is also the Hwange West district chairman
of the MDC-T, told SW Radio Africa he found the magazine next to a flower
pot as he was walking to his car over the weekend.

In Zimbabwe, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms or
ammunition. The maximum penalty for illicit possession of firearms is five
years in prison or a fine.

The outspoken councillor accused political opponents of hatching a plan to
get him arrested but he said he would not bow down to any such tactics.

Nyamambi, the ward 1 councillor in the resort town, claimed the culprit who
‘planted’ the magazine set out to blacken his name and exploit tensions in a
district scarred by political violence.

‘I’m a politician and this is a naked attempt to discredit my standing in
Victoria Falls. It also demonstrates ever so clearly that our political
opponents will stoop to any new low in an effort to paint the MDC-T as a
violent party,’ Nyamambi said.

The councillor also refuted claims in the media that he was arrested and
questioned by the police over the magazine find. On advice from a security
expert, he was able to use protective material to pick up the magazine and
take it to the police without contaminating the evidence. Footprints from
someone wearing gumboots were also left at the scene.

‘The police were quite happy that I took the magazine to them and commended
me for the way I preserved the evidence. It is their belief if the culprits
were careless, they may have left fingerprints on the magazine,’ he said.

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War 'Vets' Torch MDC Legislator's Bus

Roy Chikara, Masvingo, October 11, 2011 - Suspected boisterous war veterans
on Sunday night set ablaze a bus belonging to the Movement of Democratic
Change (MDC) faction led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai at Mashoko
mission business centre here.

Bikita south MP, Jani Vharandeni, told Radio VOP that he suspected that it
was the work of Zanu (PF) war veterans who accused him of ferrying villagers
from his constituency to a rally for the late Gutu South legislator and
Public Affairs Minister, Eliphas Mukoneweshuro that was addressed by
Tsvangirai the previous day in Gutu.

Vharandeni operates a fleet of buses in the district plying under the name
Mabuku bus services.

“My bus was burnt beyond repair and I think war veterans are behind this
because they have been threatening me and my people for going to the rally
addressed by our President and the country’s Prime Minister,” he said.

Vharandeni said the arson attack was carried at around 12 am when the bus
was packed at Mashoko Mission waiting to carry passengers to Masvingo the
following day.

He added that a war veteran only identified as Mavhundi was sleeping in the
bus and suspect that he was behind the attack with his colleagues who are
believed to have followed later.

“My conductor told me that a war veteran Mavhundi had demanded to sleep in
the bus saying he had a ticket to travel in the morning. I also feel it’s
the war vet because when I was going to the scene of the accident I met some
more war veterans about 40 km who told me that my bus was burnt. How did
they get to know when they stay away from Mashoko, it was a planned thing,”
said Vharandeni.

“We made a police report at Mashoko mission and they said they were making
investigations and have since interrogated Mavhundi who had some burns from
the fire, he is currently admitted at Mashoko Mission hospital receiving
treatment,” he added.

Masvingo police spokesperson, Inspector, Tinaye Matake declined to comment
when contacted by Radio VOP on Monday.

This is not the first time MDC legislator and officials have been targets of
arson by Zanu (PF) thugs. Recently an MDC top official in Triangle, Isaac
Tinago Imbayarwo survived an attack on his life after his house was petrol
bombed by suspected Zanu (PF) youths.

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No date set for Zuma’s meeting with GPA principals

By Tichaona Sibanda
11 October 2011

President Zuma’s facilitation team will have to meet party negotiators
first, before the South African President can meet the principals to the
Global Political Agreement (GPA).

But Lindiwe Zulu, Zuma’s international relations advisor, told SW Radio
Africa that the facilitation team had so far been unable to meet the
negotiators, due to other commitments.

‘As it is Patrick Chinamasa is in Geneva for a United Nations summit and
Priscillah (Misihairambwi-Mushonga) is in Malawi on government business.
Zambia is still to decide on its nominee to sit on the three- member team
from the SADC Troika, so it has been impossible to come up with a date,’ she

Zulu, however said it was important that a meeting between the facilitation
team and the negotiators be held ‘very soon’ to work out an agenda for Zuma
and the principals.

‘We will go to Harare as soon as we are able to and President Zuma will meet
with the principals immediately thereafter,’ Zulu said.
A SADC summit held in Pretoria, South Africa in June recommended that a
three member team be deployed in Zimbabwe to help the Joint Monitoring
Committee (JOMIC) effectively monitor the implementation of the GPA.
This followed concerns that JOMIC was failing to deal with violations of the
GPA, mainly by ZANU PF activists who continue to engage in politically
motivated violence.

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Coalition government accused of abandoning UZ

By Lance Guma
11 October 2011

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe, Levi Nyagura, has accused
the coalition government of abandoning the country’s oldest university. A
report in the Daily News quotes Nyagura telling a Parliamentary portfolio
committee on higher education that government was failing to pay off its
cadetship bill.

Nyagura said the government has not paid over US$7 million in outstanding
cadetship tuition for two semesters, starting from 2010, and about US$100
000 of this amount is for students with disabilities. Nyagura said everyone
assumed they have access to tuition fees, when in fact this is ‘locked up’.

“The salary bill alone requires US$3.2 million monthly and I would say you
need between $40 million and $50 million annually to run the UZ effectively,
but if we are to factor in the salary increases we made in January and July
it would put the figure to $60 million for next year,” the Daily News quotes
him as saying.

For a man who has spent most of his tenure persecuting student activists at
the university it was surprising to hear Nyagura speak out for students and
blaming the government for not supporting them financially, leaving them
stranded. Students who have led demonstrations highlighting exactly the same
issues at the UZ have been suspended or expelled under Nyagura’s orders.

Meanwhile half of the 4,258 beds meant for accommodation remain vacant, with
students not able to afford the US$400 boarding fees required each semester.
Nyagura has warned the UZ could close its campus residence if water problems

“If there is no water we have no choice but to turn away students purely for
health reasons. Imagine thousands of students living without water,” Nyagura
said. Although the UN agency UNICEF helped them drill 14 boreholes, only
four of them had a “little” water.

Problems at the UZ have mirrored the economic collapse of the country over
the years. Once the pride of the country, producing graduates that excelled
in different fields, it is now a pale shadow of itself, more prominent for
strikes by staff members, demonstrations by students, accommodation and
water issues.

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Chisumbanje Villagers Threaten To Destroy Ethanol Project

By Garikai Chaunza, Chisumbanje, October 11, 2011 - The multimillion dollar
Ethanol production plant which is nearing competition is being threatened
with destruction by disgruntled villagers who plan to invade the 40 000
hectare sugar cane irrigation plantation to grow cotton.

This is as a result of a long standing land dispute between Macdom Private
Company in charge of the plant and the local community.

Radio VOP visited the area and met angry villagers who said while they were
not opposed to the ethanol project, they were not happy with the process of
implementation which they described as 'unjust'.

“The whole community is from next week going to plough in the area," said
Headman Chisumbanje who was leading angry villagers. "We are not afraid of
what comes after because we have no source of livelihood...other than the
land which the company grabbed from us. As a matter of fact we have been
battling with this company since it came here three years ago that we need
our land which we used to rely on. We have been further impoverished by this

Headman Manyanga said they had been disempowered by the company because it
had taken their land.

The company was given the 40 000 hectares of land with irrigation facilities
by Agriculture & Rural Development Authority - ARDA which was previously
utilising only 5 000 hectares.

Villagers had been using the 35 000 hectares of land for peasant farming
since the 1950s.

Radio VOP visited the areas’ paramount chief Tobias Hliziyo Garawe to get
the historical background of the disputed land.

“It’s true that villagers were using the land since time immemorial but it’s
unfounded that they were displaced by the arrival of this company in
question," said Chief Garwe. "What used to happen was that the land was
reserved for sugarcane production in the 1950 well before the country
attained independence. The community did not build permanent homes there
because of this but used to till in the lands knowingly that it was a
reserved area for the project which upon the attainment of independence the
country could not find an investor, till three years ago. So the area has a
long history which the new generation might not easily understand,” he said.

The area’s local member of Parliament Meki Makuyana, who said he was not
opposed to the ethanol project, said the community was worried by
irregularities in the process of the company’s takeover of the 35 000
hectares of land which had for a long time not been used by ARDA.

Makuyana said he has approached government to quickly redress the issue for
the smooth running of the ethanol project.

“What is confusing is the fact that the issue falls under a number of
government ministries and departments. But what I have done to avoid the
potential massive disturbances of the project, is that of approaching Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who personally visited the areas on a fact
finding mission. After his visit he recently sent a ministerial delegation
which also visited the area for assessment and we are still waiting for its
report and response.

“As the local Member of Parliament I am not opposed to the project which
whose idea is noble, but I am worried by lack of community consultation
hence this dispute, which can be resolved if proper engagement with
concerned parties is done,”Makuyana said.

Contacted for Comment Macdom Representative, Alex Zichauya, said they have
no issues with villagers as they got the land from ARDA.

“We are not aware of any evictions or displacements of people from the area
are we are operating from. Yes we understand that they were people who used
to use the 35 000 hectares which ARDA was not using which were reserved for
the project and as a company we have since embraced them through giving them
irrigated sugarcane portions. In fact we have allocated 10% of all the newly
cultivated land constituting 4 000 hectares of flood irrigation to the local
community. Under this programme we are providing them with the inputs as
well as watering their portions which are within the irrigation scheme, and
this a life time programme we have brought to the community which used to
use the land which we are now using .It’s unfortunate that there are a few
individuals who are resisting the project which on a broader scope is a
national benefit, “he said.

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We do not belong to anyone: Chiefs

By Godfrey Mtimba
Tuesday, 11 October 2011 11:16

GUTU - A chief in Masvingo Province have lambasted political parties in the
country for using traditional leaders as weapons of political violence
during elections and pleaded with Prime Minister Tsvangirai to engage other
party leaders in the shaky inclusive government to resolve the issue before
the next polls.

Addressing villagers in Gutu, Chief Save Mawere breathed fire and warned
political parties to stop claiming ownership of traditional leaders when
campaigning for elections.

“I want to tell you that chiefs do not belong to any political party and
should not be used as agents of political violence against their innocent
subjects,” he said.

“We are custodians of our culture and tradition not weapons of violence. We
are tired of parties who come to us to force our subjects to support and
vote for them,” he said.

Zanu PF has repeatedly been accused of using traditional leaders as agents
of political violence, ordering them to whip their subjects into line by
intimidating and threatening to sack them from their areas of jurisdiction.

“Please ensure that we get peaceful elections free of violence. We are not
happy as traditional leaders when we see our children abused in violence.
They will be busy killing each other for politicians who want to get
luxurious cars in Parliament or cabinet when we do not have any cars here,”
he said.

He blamed political party leaders for failing to instil discipline in their
parties leading to high cases of political violence when elections come.

“I want to challenge all political parties to instil discipline in their
supporters so that cases of violence will be minimum or totally done away
with. Discipline is important in all parties including your MDC here and the
country will have peace,” Chief Mawere said amid applause from the crowd.

Chief Serima said the habit by other political parties of boasting and
claiming that chiefs belonged to them should come to an end.

“There are those who say traditional leaders belong to us. We do not belong
to anyone. Actually the parties belong to the chiefs because they are the
ones on the highest level. Chiefs will never be used to solicit for support
for individual parties. We should be left to see that people leave together
harmoniously in their villages while they
are accorded the right to choose political parties of their choice,” he

Speaking at the same gathering, Tsvangirai said the hands of his MDC party
were clean on the issue of using chiefs as weapons of political violence.

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Zimbabwe Army Chief Sounds Alarm on US, British 'Recolonization' Effort

10 October 2011

General Sibanda told army recruits that Britain and the United States were
working with, 'our misguided brothers and sisters as their agents' to effect
regime change, this a thinly-veiled reference to the MDC

Ntungamili Nkomo & Jonga Kandemiiri | Washington

Zimbabwean National Army Commander General Philip Valerio Sibanda has called
on the military to remain on high alert to defend the country from what he
described as "recolonization" efforts by Great Britain and the United

Sibanda told army recruits this weekend that the two countries were working
with, “our misguided brothers and sisters as their agents” to effect regime
change in Zimbabwe.

This appeared to be a veiled reference to the Movement for Democratic
Change, whose two wings are sharing power with President Robert Mugabe's

Sibanda told the recruits to stand ready to defend Zimbabwe, adding that “we
say no to regime change,” the state-controlled Herald newspaper reported.

Spokesman Nhlanhla Dube of the MDC formation headed by Welshman Ncube told
VOA reporter Ntungamili Nkomo that Sibanda’s remarks were misguided because
Harare is under no threat from the United States or from Britain.

"We respect the constitutional role of the military, and we urge military
leaders to also respect each institution as it should be," Dube said.

Thabitha Khumalo, a spokeswoman for the MDC formation of Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai, said statements like Sibanda’s are the reason why the
former opposition has been pushing for reform of the national security
sector before elections are held.

Commenting, political analyst Charles Mangongera said the army is now using
threats to silence dissenting voices because it fears a democratic

Elsewhere, President Mugabe swore in Lucia Mativenga of the Tsvangirai MDC
as public service minister, replacing the late Eliphas Mukonoweshuro, and
Seiso Moyo as deputy agriculture minister, filling the position Mr.
Tsvangirai had designated for party treasurer Roy Bennett when the unity
government was launched in 2009.

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Biti Unveils Bulawayo Survival Fund

Bulawayo,October 10,2011- Finance Minister Tendai Biti on Monday evening
unveiled US$40 million for the survival of Bulawayo industries under the
Distressed and Marginalised Areas Fund (DIMAF).

Biti told Bulawayo businesspeople during the launch that the DIMAF is a five
year collaborative Facility between government and Old Mutual Zimbabwe. Old
Mutual contributed US$20 million while the government contributed US$20
million to make it a total of US$40 Million.

“The low level of participation of Bulawayo based companies can be
attributed mainly to information asymmetry hence the move launch of DIMAF in
Bulawayo. The decision to establish the US$40 million under DIMAF was
informed by the need to improve liquidity in the market and enable more
companies to access funds to retool and capacitate their operations,”Biti

More than 90 companies have closed shop in Bulawayo and over 20 000 workers
lost jobs in the past year, a development that has put the coalition
government under pressure to save the country’s second-biggest city.

Two months ago the unity government set up a Cabinet task force under “Let
Bulawayo Survive” campaign to work on the revival of the city industry. This
taskforce is chaired by Industry and Commerce Minister, Welshman Ncube and
also includes Biti, Agriculture minister Joseph Made, Labour and Social
Welfare minister Paurina Mupariwa, Economic Planning and Investment
Promotion minister Tapiwa Mashakada, and Youth, Indigenisation and
Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere.

During the DIMAF launch Biti added that the fund will be channelled to
Bulawayo companies through banks and there will be serious vetting of
application for the funds by his ministry and by “Let Bulawayo survive.”

The Cabinet task force has to make sure that no companies which are not from
Bulawayo get the funds.

Bulawayo was historically known as Zimbabwe’s industrial hub and people
used  to travel from all corners of the country in search of jobs in the
city’s industries, but due to economic meltdown in the past decade most have
shutdown or re-located to Harare or South Africa.

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Rebound projected for Zimbabwe tourism

11 October, 2011 10:01
Tawanda Karombo

Zimbabwe's tourism sector, badly affected by negative sentiment stemming
from alleged human rights abuses by the state and politically motivated
violence in recent years, is projected to rebound by about 7% annually over
the next 10 years.

The sector contributed just 13% to the country's Gross Domestic Product
(GDP) last year and is now expected to contribute more on the back of
revived interest by international tourists. Analysts at Imara Securities say
the sector is on course to register significant growth in the next few

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), on the other hand, says tourism has
raked in more this year than last year, although finer details could not
immediately be established. With the revival of Zimbabwe's economy seemingly
on course, albeit at a slower pace, the tourism sector is also likely to
benefit from domestic tourism.

"The tourism sector has the potential to be one of the fastest growing
sectors in Zimbabwe's economy, benefiting from the continued recovery in
both global and domestic economic activity, and also on the back of targeted
marketing strategies," said one of Imara's analysts.

Paul Hubbard, an archaeologist and safari guide at the monumental Great
Zimbabwe (a ruined city, the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe from about
1100 AD to 1450 AD) said the tourism sector had witnessed phenomenal growth
in the past two years and that the strong interest in most of Zimbabwe's
historical centres and tourist resort destinations was expected to underpin
the growth of the sector.

He said at least 150 people visited Great Zimbabwe every month, attributing
the strong interest in the positive uptick in the tourism sector to the
relevant stability and calmness following the signing of the Global
Political Agreement (GPA), which gave rise to Zimbabwe's coalition
government, bringing together Zanu PF and the two MDC formations in 2008.

"Perceptions of my country are beginning to change, and we've witnessed
enormous progress in the past two years," said Hubbard.

Information at hand shows that the tourism sector, due to register "6.9%"
growth over the "next decade" - according to Imara - has been buoyed by a
47% jump in earnings for the previous year after recording 2.3 million
visitors to the country. This excludes domestic tourism, which informed
sources say is equally on the up.

Zimbabwe's hoteliers, the biggest of whom have ditched their South African
operations, have also been buoyed by significant growth in hotel occupancy
levels. Meikles Hotels and African Sun are some of the major hotel operators
that have shelved their South African operations in the Cape Grace and the
Grace respectively.

"Occupancies for resort hotels have slowed to about 25% from their previous
peak of about 75% recorded in 1995."

Zimbabwe's tourism sector is also a major employer, especially for the
communities around resort and historical areas, while major attractions
include the Victoria Falls, Great Zimbabwe, Manna Pools and the picturesque
eastern hills among others.

"The sector generates greater employment than many other industries, with
relatively low skill levels, thereby spreading the benefits more evenly,"
said the analysts.

They did however called on the government to invest intensively in the
tourism sector. "However, considerable effort in terms of planning and
alignment of priorities is required if the country is to repeat the
successes seen elsewhere and return (the sector) to prior peak levels."

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Virgin Zimbabwe... Secret cable shows how Sir Richard Branson 'led plot to remove Mugabe'

By Steward Maclean In Kenya

Last updated at 5:20 PM on 11th October 2011

Sir Richard Branson funded a secret project to try to secure the end of
Robert Mugabe's regime in Zimbabwe, leaked diplomatic cables have revealed.

An international initiative founded by the 61-year-old Virgin boss
apparently launched a plot to persuade the tyrant to stand down.

Details of the covert plan were revealed in an American diplomatic message
sent to Washington in July 2007 from the US embassy in South Africa.

The document, written by America's then-ambassador to South Africa Eric
Bost, revealed how Sir Richard agreed to meet in Johannesburg to discuss the
scheme with a group of former African statesmen.

The British entrepreneur is well known as one of the founders of the
'Elders' organisation which brings together respected former presidents to
help tackle global crises.

However, Mr Bost's confidential memo is the first indication that the group
had ever plotted to help directly instigate regime change.

In the memo, which has been published by Wikileaks, Mr Bost wrote: "UK
businessman Richard Branson is bankrolling an African 'Elders' initiative to
convince Zimbabwean President Mugabe to step down.

"The 'Elders' plan to meet secretly in Johannesburg July 17 to 18 with
Branson to discuss their initiative.

"Former Presidents Nelson Mandela (South Africa), Sam Nujoma (Namibia),
Kenneth Kaunda (Zambia), Jerry Rawlings (Ghana), Joaquim Chissano
(Mozambique), Daniel Arap Moi (Kenya) and Ketumile Masire (Botswana) have
reportedly agreed to participate."

The leaked cable detailed how the group of former statesmen planned to
travel to Harare to meet with president Mugabe.

Once there, they hoped to convince him he could save his legacy by handing
over power in a calm and controlled manner.

Extracts from the diplomatic memo have been published by Zimbabwe's Daily
News newspaper, which claimed Sir Richard had even been prepared to offer
Mugabe a £6.5 million incentive to stand down as part of the plan.

The report said: "The Daily News on Sunday understands that among other
initiatives, the plan involved dangling a US$10 million carrot to Mugabe to
sweeten him to step down, but the 87-year-old leader was reportedly not

The leaked cable said Sir Richard's group were being assisted in their plan
by Zimbabwe's former information minister Jonathan Moyo.

Mr Bost wrote that the ex-cabinet minister, who was expelled from the
country's ruling Zanu-PF party in 2005 after falling out with Mugabe, had
helped prepare a script for the statesman to use on the aging tyrant.

The cable said: "Moyo suggests a script for the Elders in their proposed
meeting with Mugabe: "Tell Mugabe that they are approaching him because they
'respect him' and want to safeguard his 'proud legacy', express concern
about the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe, tell Mugabe the time has come
to step aside 'graciously and with dignity to allow his country to move on',
stress that 'it is now certain Zimbabwe will slip into dangerous chaos' if
Mugabe does not step down and suggest that they support Mugabe now, but
'will not be able to do so if the situation in Zimbabwe deteriorates'."

Bost's memo stated that Branson had agreed to give financial backing to the

The note was marked confidential and entitled 'UK businessman Branson
funding 'Elder' initiative to get Mugabe out of power'.
Elders group from left to right: Activist Peter Gabriel, Professor Muhammad
Yunus, former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, former Secretary General
of the U.N. Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmont
Tutu and Richard Branson

It continued: "Former Mugabe Information Minister Jonathan Moyo is working
with Branson on the plan.

"Moyo reached out to Branson, who owns Virgin Atlantic airline as well as a
game lodge and chain of gyms in South Africa, in early June to suggest the
involvement of the former African leaders.

"Branson agreed to fund the initiative, including Moyo's travel and
technical assistance."

The leaked cable reported that the group's planned meeting in Johannesburg
in July 2007 would be attended by former United Nations secretary general
Kofi Annan.

Bost said America's former president Jimmy Carter would also be present,
although he added it was 'not clear if he will be involved in the Zimbabwe

Sir Richard joined former South African president Mandela in 2007 at the
launch of the Elders group.

The organisation stated then that its aim was to use the influence of
retired statesmen to tackle some of the world's problems.

The group's supposed plan to try to persuade Mugabe to stand down came
during a period of heightened tensions in Zimbabwe.

In 2007 the dictator unleashed a wave of violence against his political
opponents ahead of elections due the following year.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, left, meeting with Zimbabwe's
President Robert Mugabe at the State House in Harare, Zimbabwe, yesterday

Meanwhile the country's economy was suffering the effects of devastating
inflation and its farming industry virtually collapsed following the forced
seizures of properties.

The leaked cable claimed the secret group hoped to persuade Mugabe to accept
a new constitution for the country.

They then hoped to persuade him to stand down by offering him total immunity
from prosecution and allow for a 'truth and reconciliation process' similar
to the one used during South Africa's post-apartheid years.

Under the proposals Mugabe would have been permitted to stay on as head of a
coalition government until a general election in November 2010.

It is not known to what extent the plan was followed or whether the Elders
group ever approached Mugabe with their proposals.

The following year the dictator clung to power despite losing the first
round of a presidential election.

He was later forced into a 'unity government' with the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change.

Mugabe has recently stated his desire to call fresh elections in the

The 87-year-old statesman, who yesterday met the Archbishop of Canterbury in
Harare, is believed to be keen to secure a fresh mandate for his government.

The claims about Sir Richard's supposed plot are the latest revelations to
emerge from Wikileaks' US cable dump.

The document was one of around 250,000 secret and confidential diplomatic
notes published online by the website.

Eric Bost was America's ambassador to South Africa from 2006 to 2009.

A spokesperson for Sir Richard Branson told Mail Online: 'In 2007 Dr
Jonathan Moyo approached Richard Branson to discuss ways to broker a
peaceful reconciliation in Zimbabwe, help end the deteriorating political
and economic situation and suggested the formation of a coalition

'After meeting no further action was taken.'

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Bill Watch 43/2011 of 11th October [MDC-T Minister & Deputy Minister Sworn In]]

BILL WATCH 43/2011

[11th October 2011]

The House of Assembly sat last week and continues on 11th October

The Senate resumes on 11th October after a two-week break

MDC-T Minister and Deputy Minister Sworn In

A new MDC-T Minister and Deputy Minister were sworn in by President Mugabe yesterday:

·      Mrs Lucia Matibenga, MDC-T MP for Kuwadzana, as Minister of Public Service [she fills the vacancy created by the death on 4th August of Professor Eliphas Mukonoweshuro]

·      Mr Seiso Moyo, MDC-T MP for Nketa, as Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development [this post has been vacant since the inclusive government was sworn in February 2009 because President Mugabe refused to swear in the original MDC-T nominee, Senator Roy Bennett.  MDC-T have at last given up on what was at one point a major “sticking point” between the parties.  Mr Bennett remains a Senator, but his prolonged absence from Zimbabwe and from Senate sittings means he could lose his Senate seat if Senators so resolve.]

Universal Periodic Review [UPR] on Human Rights Instruments

The Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs is in Geneva to present the Government’s UPR report to the United Nations Human Rights Council.  Governments were so dilatory in fulfilling their reporting obligations under international human rights instruments that there is now a system under which each country comes up automatically every four years for review.   [Electronic version of Government’s UPR report available from]

Budget Strategy Paper Launch

On 5th October Minister of Finance Tendai Biti made a Ministerial statement, enlivened by a Power Point  presentation, introducing the Government’s 2012 Budget Strategy Paper [BSP] to the House of Assembly.  [The BSP can be downloaded from the Ministry’s website at  It is a pdf file of approximately 1.2 MB.  If you do not have Internet access please request a copy from]    When presenting his mid-term Fiscal Policy Review on 26th July the Minister told the House the BSP would be launched in early August, so that all stakeholders would have ample time to study it and made suggestions. The budget speech in Parliament will probably be late November, so there is still time for inputs direct to the Ministry or at country-wide Ministry consultations, or at Parliamentary public hearings [see below].

In his foreword the Minister says the BSP has been developed to underpin participatory democracy, inclusivity and ownership in policy formulation.  The Budget is an important fiscal element that must belong to the people and a BSP serves to guarantee bottom-up participatory approach in budget formulation.”  The BSP is therefore being made available to the public “for full participation by stakeholders in order to build consensus on the priorities that should guide the preparation of the 2012 Budget.  The document should also guide Ministries and public sector institutions in the formulation of their 2012 Budget Proposals.”

Highlights  Budget formulation will be guided by estimated revenue for 2012 of $3.4 billion [2011 $2.7 billion].  Of that at least $2.1 billion will have to be earmarked for the public sector wage bill, including pensions; other recurrent expenditure and capital expenditure will have to come out of the remaining $1.3 billion.  The Ministry hopes to get at least $500 million from international donors, for allocation under the vote of credit to “off-Budget” projects that cannot be funded from revenue.

Role of Budget Portfolio Committee in Budget Formulation  The BSP will assist the House of Assembly’s Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Investment Promotion to fulfil its responsibility under section 28(5) of the Public Finance Management Act which provides that “the Minister [of Finance] may through the appropriate portfolio committee of Parliament, seek the views of Parliament in the preparation and formulation of the national annual budget, for which purpose the appropriate portfolio committee shall conduct public hearings to elicit the opinions of as many stakeholders in the national annual budget as possible.”  

Public Hearings  The portfolio committee is finalising plans to hold public hearings in all ten provinces starting on 17th October [details to be announced later]. 

Ministry of Finance Consultative Process  The Ministry of Finance is conducting its own 2012 budget consultative process, launched on 29th September. 

Last Week in the House of Assembly

Bills  None of the Bills that lapsed at the end of the last Session were restored to the Agenda.  These include the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill and the Electoral Amendment Bill.

Queries about BIPPA with Iran  The Minister of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion ran into trouble when, in a somewhat cursory fashion, he asked the House to approve a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement signed with Iran in 1999.  MPs demanded a fuller explanation and justification of the agreement, and asked how the indigenisation policy would impact on an agreement signed long before the policy was introduced.  Debate was then adjourned.  [Note: There are two other BIPPAs coming up for approval – one with India, also signed in 1999, and one with Botswana signed in March 2011.]


Action on “Asiagate” soccer match-fixing scandal   There being no contributions from MPs, the proposer Hon Madzimure wound up the debate and the motion was passed.  As the main thrust of the motion is the appointment of a Parliamentary committee to investigate the scandal, the next step will be the setting up of the committee.  Under Standing Orders its members will be appointed and given their terms of reference by the Standing Rules and Orders Committee.

General Mujuru Condolence Motion:  The House approved a motion restoring this motion to the Order Paper.  The motion fell away on 21st September for want of a quorum in the House.  Debate took up most of the House’s time on Thursday, with appreciative contributions from all sides of the House, and will continue.

Restoration of other lapsed motions  The House passed resolutions restoring the following lapsed motions to the Order Paper: 

·      to present the report of the Portfolio Committee on Local Government on local government Service Delivery in Harare, Chitungwiza and Norton

·      to present the report of the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy on the state of affairs at Shabani-Mashava Mines.

Question Time  There was improved attendance by Ministers after a poor showing two weeks before.  Issues raised included:

·      Abuse of Constituency Development Funds  Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Matinenga declined to “put the record straight” regarding press reports of MPs abusing CDFs. Saying he had no control over the press, he advised aggrieved MPs to sue for defamation.

·      Withholding of birth records by hospitals  The Minister of Health said he would stop hospitals insisting on payment of “user fees” before releasing birth records.

·      Retention of Revenue by Government Departments  The Minister of Finance confirmed the existence of a policy allowing some Government departments to retain part of the revenues they generate for operational costs, e.g., the police can retain traffic fines they collect.  As the correct constitutional position is for all revenues to be deposited into the Consolidated Revenue Fund, the Minister said he would be revisiting the policy with a view to reversing it.

Parliamentary Legal Committee

The PLC submitted a non-adverse report on all statutory instruments gazetted during August 2011.  This means it found no inconsistencies between any of the month’s statutory instruments and the Constitution.

Coming up This Week in the House of Assembly

Bills  No progress is expected on the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill or the Electoral Amendment Bill.  The Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, who is the Minister responsible for both Bills, will be out of the country all week.

The Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs is due to start public hearings on the Electoral Amendment Bill on 17th October. 

Motions  Items listed on the Order Paper include:

·      the General Mujuru condolence motion

·      the Third Session motions which were restored to the Order Paper last week [listed above]

·      a condolence motion on the death of the late Public Service Minister, Professor Mukonoweshuro

·      a motion calling on the Government to nationalise all diamond mining operations on the Marange Diamond Fields and secure the fields against unauthorised access by fencing

·      a motion calling for the withdrawal of the Indigenisation and Empowerment Regulations [SI 21/2010] and the indigenisation requirements for the mining industry [GN 114/2010], as being contrary to the Government’s economic revival policy and as having been made without Cabinet authority and in contravention of international agreements

·      Government motions seeking approval of international agreements, including BIPPAs with Iran, India and Botswana. 

Question Time  There are already 20 written questions listed; more may be added before Wednesday.  Issues raised include:

·      for the Minister of Agriculture: who benefits from ARDA Silobela?

·      for the Minister of Water Resources Development and Management: what is being done about continuing water shortages in Bulawayo?

·      for the co-Ministers of Home Affairs: why are birth certificate records kept only in Harare, making them inaccessible in the provinces?

·      for the Minister of State Security: why are three named members of CIO still in full-time State employment when they hold positions on the ZANU-PF Central Committee?

Coming up This Week in the Senate

There are only two items on the agenda:

·      Motion to Restore POSA Amendment Bill to the Order Paper  This is item 1, and Hon Gonese has said he intends to press ahead with it.  ZANU-PF is expected to oppose the motion.  The Bill was passed by the House of Assembly in December 2010.  Senate proceedings started on 2nd August when Mr Gonese delivered his speech moving the Second Reading of the Bill.  On 3rd August, after Minister Chinamasa raised objections to the Bill being debated while changes to POSA were on the agenda of the GPA negotiators, debate was adjourned.  The Bill then lapsed at the end of the Third Session. 

·      Motion of thanks to the President for his speech opening the session. 

Expulsion from House of Assembly: Tracy Mutinhiri

Following receipt of written notice from ZANU-PF that as a result of Dr Mutinhiri’s expulsion from the party she no longer represents its interests in Parliament, the Speaker wrote to her notifying her that her seat had become vacant.  [Constitution, section 41(1)(e).]   As a result party strengths in the House are as follows: ZANU-PF 96; MDC-T 97; MDC-M/N 8.

Status of Bills

Bills Passed by Parliament awaiting gazetting as Acts

Deposit Protection Corporation Bill

Small Enterprises Development Corporation Amendment Bill

Bill Awaiting Presentation

Older Persons Bill [gazetted 9th September]  [Electronic version available from] The Bill is being considered by the Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.

Government Gazette

30th September  No Bills, Acts or statutory instruments were gazetted.

7th October  SI 116 contains meat by-laws for Norton.  SIs 117, 118 and 120 suspend customs duty for a few mining companies.  SI 119 grants a rebate of customs duty on water treatment chemicals imported by the Zimbabwe National Water Authority and local authorities.  [Electronic versions NOT available.] 


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