The ZIMBABWE Situation
An extensive and up-to-date website containing news, views and links related to ZIMBABWE - a country in crisis
Return to INDEX page
Please note: You need to have 'Active content' enabled in your IE browser in order to see the index of articles on this webpage

Mugabe Faces Stiff Leadership Test At Party Congress

SW Radio Africa (London)

12 October 2007
Posted to the web 12 October 2007

Henry Makiwa

Robert Mugabe for the first time will walk into the Zanu PF special congress
meeting in December uncertain of an assurance that his candidature in next
year's election will be guaranteed, because of the recent succession
squabbles within his party.

Mugabe wants the congress to endorse him as the party's presidential
election candidate but faces opposition from the rival camps, one headed by
retired army commander General Solomon Mujuru and the other by former
security chief, Emmerson Mnangagwa.

It is understood all but two of the ten Zanu PF provinces are against
retaining Mugabe as party leader at the end of year congress. The other
eight provinces are split between Mnangagwa and Mujuru.

The widening rifts within Zanu PF resurfaced on Thursday when war veterans
in Bulawayo staged a march to support Mugabe, in open defiance of Zanu PF
leaders in the region. Cracks had been exposed in the past three months when
Mugabe's spokesman and loyalist George Charamba instructed the
state-controlled media to block coverage of Zanu PF politicians opposed to
Mugabe. The move was meant to ensure that Mugabe remained in the public
spotlight as the only capable leader to rule Zimbabwe.

Political commentator John Makumbe says Mugabe faces his "Waterloo" this
December and looks set to bow out.

Makumbe said: "Mugabe has been amassing the support of war veterans but they
are of no use at the special congress because they do not vote, or endorse
his leadership at such a forum. Only the ten provincial executives have the
power to vote and at the moment he only has the support of two."

He added: "It does appear that Mugabe faces the stiffest challenge to his
leadership since taking over at the State House because all these guys have
been waiting for too long to assume the reigns of power."

Earlier this week, Zanu PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira told the ruling
party's media mouthpiece, The Voice newspaper, that the presidential
position and that of the two vice presidents will be contested at the
special congress pencilled in for December 12-14.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Three more white farmers arrested in Zimbabwe

Monsters and Critics

Oct 12, 2007, 14:02 GMT

Harare/Johannesburg - Three more white farmers have been arrested in
Zimbabwe for defying a government order to leave their farms, reports said

The three, from the eastern farming districts of Rusape and Nyazura, have
already appeared in court and have been released on bail, the
state-controlled Manica Post newspaper reported.

Kenyon Ziehl, Peter Landos and Lodewyk Van Rensburg were arrested last week
for failing to vacate their farms by September 30, the paper said.

Having been duly notified of the expiry of that date, they failed to vacate
the farms. They had no right to continue occupying the farms, state
prosecutor Tafara Chawatama told the Rusape magistrates court.

More than a dozen white farmers have been arrested since the expiry of the
September deadline in what many believe is a last push by the authorities to
get white farmers off the land.

Only around 400 white farmers are believed to still be on their farms out of
more than 4,000 seven years ago, when the government began seizing
white-owned farms for redistribution to new black farmers.

Independent reports suggest that as many as 200 of those remaining white
farmers now face eviction.

On Thursday a magistrate in the central town of Chegutu ordered that 11
white farmers from surrounding farming districts would have to stand trial
for defying the eviction orders.

If convicted of breaching Zimbabwe's land laws the farmers could face
two-year jail terms or hefty fines.

The Chegutu farmers had wanted their case referred to the Supreme Court to
give them the chance to challenge the land laws that they say are violating
their constitutional rights.

© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

World Docs Slam Human Rights Abuses

Health-e (Cape Town)

12 October 2007
Posted to the web 12 October 2007

Anso Thom

Doctors worldwide have slammed the consistent health and human rights abuses
in Zimbabwe at the 58th General Assembly of the World Medical Association
(WMA), an international organisation representing physicians worldwide, in

Doctors adopted a resolution on Zimbabwe after the South African Medical
Association (SAMA) was tasked at the 176th Council Session in Berlin last
year to prepare a document on the health situation in that country.

The hard-hitting preamble to the resolution noted "information and reports
of systematic and repeated violations of human rights, interference with the
right to health in Zimbabwe, failure to provide resources essential for
provision of basic health care, declining health status of Zimbabweans, dual
loyalties and threats to health care workers striving to maintain clinical
independence, denial of access to health care for persons deemed to be
associated with opposition political parties and escalating state torture".

Recognising the collapsing health care system and public health crisis in
Zimbabwe, the WMA called on medical associations to publicly denounce all
human rights abuses and violations of the right to health in Zimbabwe.

It also noted the need to actively protect physicians who are threatened or
intimidated for actions which are part of their ethical and professional

WMA urged the Zimbabwe Medical Association to invite an international fact
finding mission to the country as a means for urgent action to address the
health and health needs of Zimbabwe.

The WMA resolution also called for a commitment to "eradicating torture and
inhumane, degrading treatment of citizens in Zimbabwe".

The WMA was founded on 17 September 1947, when physicians from 27 different
countries met at the First General Assembly of the WMA in Paris. The
organization was created to ensure the independence of physicians and to
work for the highest possible standards of ethical behaviour and care by
physicians, at all times.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwean church attempts to regain diocese from bishop who supports Mugabe

Times Online
October 12, 2007

Ruth Gledhill Religion Correspondent of The Times
The Anglican Church in Zimbabwe will on Monday file a court application
seeking to seize control of one of its dioceses from its bishops in a
long-running dispute that has become central to the row over homosexuality
in the Anglican Church.

The Province of Central Africa wants to seize three vehicles from the Right
Rev Nolbert Kunonga, Bishop of Harare, and bar him from using any of its
properties, according to a report on the African website

Bishop Kunonga is internationally discredited as a supporter of Mugabe's
regime in Zimbabwe. The ZANU-PF party has described him as a "model
Christian". In an unprecedented snub of a diocesan bishop for political
reasons, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has not invited
him to the 2008 Lambeth Conference.

Last month, Bishop Kunonga, who according to The Church Times has never been
forced to answer accusations of brutal evictions of villagers from their
homes or of incitement to murder, declared that he was breaking up the
Province of Central Africa and withdrawing the Harare diocese because of
province's "liberal" approach to homosexuality.

Most of the Province of Central Africa is conservative on the gay issue and
homosexuality is illegal in Zimbabwe and other African nations.

Although another diocese in the province, Lake Malawi, has elected a liberal
vicar from Acton in England, the Rev Nick Henderson, as its bishop, local
difficulties have meant that he has yet to take up the appointment.

But Bishop Kunonga insists that the province has failed adequately to
censure bishops who are sympathetic to homosexuality.

NewZimbabwe reports that the Anglican Church has engaged Harare law firm
Gill Godlonton & Gerrans to pursue the controversial cleric before the
"funds and investments are spirited away".

Documents seen by the website's correspondent show that the Anglican Church
is seeking an order barring Kungonga from accessing the Church's bank
accounts, transacting with the Church's investments and "from working and or
doing business from any of the Church's immovable properties wherever

"Following Kungonga's withdrawal from the Church of the Province of Central
Africa, he has no right to remain in possession of the Church's assets
including the bank's funds, investments, movable and immovable assets,"
lawyers said in papers to be filed at the High Court Monday.

"The Church entertains a well founded fear that Kungonga will fund his new
ministry with the Church's resources as he has access to the Church's
investments and funds."

Bishop Kungonga used an interview with Zimbabwe's state media last week to
defend his anti-homosexuality stance.

He said: "We are inspired and motivated by our beliefs in the scriptures,
our beliefs as Catholic Christians and our beliefs as human beings that
homosexuality cannot be accepted because it takes away our human dignity and
it is not accepted in the Constitution of our country, and it is
inconceivable in our cultural background.

"It is unthinkable that a man could undress in the presence of another man
and a woman can undress for another woman. So it's an abomination not only
from the scripture point of view, but also from the cultural, political
set-up in which we are operating. All these are violated by thinking or
intending or compromising with homosexuality."

Having Bishop Kunonga against them is a gift for the pro-gay movement in the
African Church. Homosexuals in Africa suffer routine persecution and
discrimination. Bishop Kunonga's backing for the conservative evangelical
wing is an embarrassment that leaders will be anxious to distance themselves

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Concerns Growing in Zimbabwe About Elections Next March


By Peta Thornycroft
Southern Africa
12 October 2007

There is growing concern in Zimbabwe that presidential and parliamentary
elections scheduled for next March will not live up to the expectations of
the people. Peta Thornycroft reports that one of the major stumbling blocks
is the divided opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change.

Many Zimbabweans are deeply concerned that the two factions of the Movement
for Democratic Change, or MDC, will compete both against each other and
against the ruling ZANU-PF in elections next March. Both factions will also
put up candidates against President Robert Mugabe in the presidential poll
which, for the first time, will be held simultaneously with the vote for
members of parliament.

Eldred Masunungure, director of the Mass Policy Institute in Harare, says
that as things stand now, it seems clear that the MDC will get very few
seats in the legislature. "I interact with others at work and elsewhere and
that decision to stand against each other is a big disappointment," he said,
"and it is going to disarm the support base of both [factions of the
Movement for Democratic Change], its a highly demoralizing decision."

The elections are intended to mark the end of an intensive period of talks
between the two opposition factions of the MDC and the ruling ZANU-PF, which
are facilitated by South Africa. The goal is free and fair elections under a
new constitution that will usher in a renewal of democracy in Zimbabwe.

But civil society activists, both factions of the MDC, and independent
observers say that even if a new constitution is agreed on this month, there
will be insufficient time to put measures into place to ensure a free and
fair election by next March. Such measures will also need to ensure a halt
to state violence against the opposition, and to allow free political
activity and free speech.

All elections since 2000, the first time the Movement for Democratic Change
challenged the ruling ZANU-PF, have been accompanied by credible allegations
of vote rigging and violence against opposition candidates and their

Political analysts in South Africa, who are close to the negotiations but do
not want to be identified at this sensitive stage in the negotiations, say
the talks could break down if President Mugabe insists on elections in

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe approves price hikes to avert shortages

Yahoo News

Fri Oct 12, 8:16 AM ET

HARARE (AFP) - The Zimbabwean government authorised Friday new increases in
the prices of basis foodstuffs in a bid to ease widespread shortages that
followed an order for retailers to halve their tariffs.

The National Incomes and Pricing Commission announced it had approved rises
of between 50 percent and 200 percent for a range of staples including a bag
of sugar which will now cost 255,232 Zimbabwe dollars, up from 84,000

A packet of milk has been increased by 51.51 percent while retailers will
also be able to raise the price of a bag of fertilizer by 82.39 percent to
cost 893,714 dollars.

Supermarket shelves were left bare and shopowners have been battling to
replenish their stocks since June when President Robert Mugabe's government
launched Operation Dzikisa (Reduced Prices), forcing shops and businesses to
halve their prices.

Mugabe accused businesses of colluding with his foes in the West to push
prices beyond the reach of many and ignite a popular revolt against his

Although the price crackdown was initially welcomed since it enabled
Zimbabweans to stock up on goods which had been beyond their budget, it led
to widespread shortages with manufacturers unable to cover the cost of

The government, which is trying to rein in an annual inflation rate which
currently stands at more than 6,500 percent, also approved rises last month.

Central Bank chief Gideon Gono promised last week that he would help to to
restock empty shelves by the end of the month.

Zimbabwe is facing widespread shortages of of basic commodities such as
sugar, the staple maize meal, soap and cooking oil from the formal market
although the products are readily available on the parallel market.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

ZINWA cuts UZ water supply

The Zimbabwean

THE Zimbabwe National Water Authorities (ZINWA) has cut off water supplies
at the University of Zimbabwe due to late payment by the university
authorities, creating a health hazard for students and staff.

Although it could not be immediately ascertain how much the UZ owed ZINWA, a
visit to the once prestigious institute of Higher Learning on Wednesday
indicated the water cuts have created inhabitable conditions for students
who have resorted to depositing "excretory" behind the campus' buildings.

The government evicted over 5 000 resident students from camp in July after
alleged vandalism by the students after protests over poor food, lack of
lecturers and the general sub-standard of facilities at the UZ.

Stranded students said the situation has been exacerbated by the fact that
the students were no longer able to use the rest rooms from the halls of
residence that were shut down by Professor Levy Nyagura led administration
which could not immediately comment during the visit.

But the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CZC) immediately condemned the latest
health hazard at the university posed by the water cuts.
"It seems as if the government has continued to turn a blind eye to the
future of Zimbabwe by ignoring the students plea for a formal and concrete
redress of these pertinent issues looming over the University of Zimbabwe,"
said Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition in a statement.

"A crisis has developed and serious concerns continue to unravel but to no
avail as government continues to arrest students who try to voice their
genuine concerns amicably," it said.

Most Zimbabweans, including central bank governor Gideon Gono, have
expressed reservations over ZINWA's capacity to supply clean water to Harare
and other cities and towns since the government ordered that it take over
water provisions and sewerage reticulation of all local authorities- CAJ

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

MDC Activist Hospitalised in Chipinge After Torture

SW Radio Africa (London)

12 October 2007
Posted to the web 12 October 2007

Tichaona Sibanda

A magistrate in Chipinge on Thursday ordered MDC activist Charles Nyathi to
be rushed to hospital for treatment after he was badly tortured in police
cells. Nyathi is the information secretary for Chipinge.

The 27 year-old self employed Nyathi, who has a wife and small daughter, was
arrested on Monday by the police in Chipinge following political
disturbances that saw at least 10 MDC supporters sustaining injuries in
violence ignited by Zanu-PF councillors.

Nyathi who had visible cuts and abrasions when he appeared in court to
answer charges of public violence was later released on Z$500 000 bail. He
had some of his front teeth knocked out and is also suspected to have
suffered a broken jaw.

The MDC district chairman for Chipinge, Godfrey Chenjerai, said many of the
party's activists are leaving police cells so seriously ill that instead of
going home, they have to be taken straight to hospital.

'The cell conditions were harsh. We have been informed some police officers
would laugh off any complaints by Nyathi, and one officer responded by
telling him that he deserved nothing better than death,' Chenjerai said.

The district chairman said it was clear the police were reluctant to release
Nyathi within the stipulated 48 hours because of the extent of his injuries,
which were inflicted by Zanu-PF militias and the police.

He said violence was fast becoming the tool most commonly used by the
government in the district to achieve its political goals. Zanu-PF officials
in Chipinge now believe that violence was not only justified but also
necessary in order to achieve their political objectives.

'By the same token, I urge our party leaders to reflect closely on this
development because you can't negotiate with an institution, which behind
your back, unleashes its terror gangs to beat up your supporters,' Chenjerai

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Tortured MDC Activists Claim Z$3.8 Trillion in Damages

SW Radio Africa (London)

12 October 2007
Posted to the web 12 October 2007

Tichaona Sibanda

Tortured Movement for Democratic Change activists, accused by the government
of petrol-bombing public institutions in March this year, have sued the
State for a record 3.8 trillion dollars.

A statement released by the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition on Friday said the
separate claims for damages by 34 opposition activists arising from unlawful
arrest, detention without trial, assault, torture and denial of food as well
as medical attention came after the state withdrew charges against them last
week for lack of evidence.

Among those detained for four months were Morgan Komichi, the MDC's deputy
organizing secretary, Denis Murira, Paul Madzore, MDC MP for Glenview and
Ian Makoni, the director of elections.

The statement added that the civil suit prepared by their lawyer Alec
Muchadehama, Makoni, Murira and Komichi are each claiming $130 million as
damages against the State while Madzore wants the authorities to pay him
$110 million.

The state had alleged that the MDC activists had attended terrorist training
programmes and were responsible for the bombing of a Marimba Police Station
among other public institutions.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

SA to scrap non visa requirement for Zim civil servants

The Zimbabwean

THE Zimbabwean government is having negotiations with its South African
counterparts to scrap the non visa requirements for civil servants in a bid
to curb the influx of public servants especially teachers into South Africa.

At the moment, bilateral agreements between Zimbabwe and South Africa exempt
all civil servants from applying for visas when entering into South Africa.

Other ordinary Zimbabwean visitors into South Africa are expected to pay at
least R2 000, which is meant for their upkeep once they arrive into the

However, because of the deepening economic and political crisis in Zimbabwe,
thousands of Zimbabwean civil servants, especially teachers are fleeing
their country in search of greener pastures in neighbouring South Africa.

According to an official in Ministry of Home Affairs in Zimbabwe, the
Zimbabwean government was worried that if civil servants continued to be
exempted in visa requirements the government would continue to loose its

"The Zimbabwean government is currently negotiating with officials at the
South African Embassy in Harare to come up with measures on how it can curb
the influx of civil servants into South Africa," the official said.

He said the requirement, is to be put in place before the end of this year's
school final term when an influx of more teachers is expected into South

Like other workers civil servants are among the most hit workers in Zimbabwe
by basic food and transport shortages.

Last week the Zimbabwean government increased the salaries of teachers by
nearly 400 percent to an average of $14 million, which is less than R200 on
the black market.

 In South Africa the fleeing teachers and other civil servants including
soldiers and police officers are doing menial jobs especially in the
construction industry.

Some of the teachers are also coming into South Africa as that country's
Department of Education has embarked on a massive national recruit drive of
foreign teachers to boost its education system.

The exodus of Zimbabwean teachers into South Africa and other countries such
as Botswana, has led to some schools being closed down as there are not
enough teachers.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Outcry as ZINWA tariffs continue to bite- rates boycott gathers momentum

The Zimbabwean

 The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) raised its water tariffs 3
weeks ago to levels that have left Harare residents thunder struck.  The
water tariffs have been increased from $3596, 20 per cubic meter to $23 765,
63 backdated to August 1 2007. Residents who received bills of between
$5million and $25 million continue to flood CHRA offices stating that they
cannot afford the bills. What is baffling is that residents continue to
receive erratic water supplies amid the ballooned costs.

 Residents have suffered in a number of ways as a result of the takeover.
Here are some of the complaints brought by residents to CHRA.

 Disease outbreaks (Cholera and Dysentery) mostly in Mabvuku, Tafara and
·  Increased water bills

·  Right to challenge water increases usurped

·  Erratic water supplies (dirty when supply comes)

·  Unattended sewer bursts.

 CHRA urges all residents to boycott payments of water bills. CHRA continues
to receive many residents looking for information on the rates boycott
campaign. The campaign has been running for the past one year and has over
3000 rate boycotters. Residents are willing to starve the regime of vital
resources that are sustaining oppression. ZINWA is illegitimate and has no
legal mandate to collect water bills. Residents must not fund their

 The takeover of water services from local authorities follows a Cabinet
decision authorizing the water body to act as such. Harare has been having
water problems ever since. We appeal to other local authorities to resist
the takeover as it will lead to the collapse of services in the country.
ZINWA has no capacity to run water affairs.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Why evil triumphs

Financial Mail

12 October 2007


Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, honoured us with her presence
this past week, admiring our scenery, singing "Shosholoza" and making the
obligatory pilgrimage to the sainted Nelson Mandela. She found the
experience very moving, she said.

But like George W Bush before her, apparently she came here to betray
a principle, sell out or to be duped - on Zimbabwe. And our president,
sitting beside her, once again made promises which he surely must have known
he's unlikely to keep.

A mini-tussle is going on between the European Union and African
leaders over a summit to take place in Lisbon in December this year. Some EU
countries rightly want to exclude Robert Mugabe from the summit in line with
EU sanctions against his country. The EU has imposed a travel ban against
131 Zimbabwean politicians, including Mugabe. Typically the Africans would
have none of it. The EU, they say, cannot decide the composition of their
delegation for them.

EU members are divided on the issue. The hosts, Portugal, the poor man
of Europe, simply want a successful summit. To them, Mugabe's human rights
abuses are an irrelevance. Gordon Brown, the new UK prime minister, has made
it known that he won't be seen anywhere near Mugabe, and therefore won't
turn up for the summit.

Besides presiding over the biggest economy in Europe, Merkel
personally has grown in stature since winning a closely fought campaign
against Gerhard Schröder only two years ago. Her presidency of the EU is
adjudged to have been able to deal effectively with the constitutional
crisis which, at one point, seemed to be threatening the future of the EU;
and in June this year she chaired the G8 summit which Germany hosted with
some aplomb. Currently, she's therefore Europe's most influential leader,
and what she does or says carries a lot of weight.

Before leaving for her African safari, Merkel's officials let it be
known that she would not mince her words on human rights abuses, especially
in Ethiopia, and that she would read Thabo Mbeki the riot act on the mess in
Zimbabwe. But once seated next to Mbeki, she suddenly became a pussycat.
Yes, she said as Mbeki nodded approvingly, Mugabe should be allowed to go to
Lisbon. She lost her nerve. Her stand is likely to sway other countries.
Poland has since come out in support of Mugabe's presence in Lisbon.

Mbeki seems to have a stock answer on Zimbabwe for every visiting
dignitary: the Zimbabwean government and the opposition are engaged in
serious negotiations and there will be a resolution soon. He fed the same
line to Bush four years ago who, before his arrival, had been breathing fire
and brimstone on the issue. But he changed his tune after a cordial meeting
with Mbeki at the Union Buildings. Four years have elapsed since Mbeki gave
that undertaking to Bush, and nothing has happened. And he has uttered nary
an angry word on Zimbabwe since. The upshot of all of this is that nothing
will be done on Zimbabwe, which seems to suit Mbeki to a T.

Brown should be applauded for his stand. The EU needs to show some
bottle and enforce its own ban. Mugabe and his henchmen deserve their
isolation. He should be barred from the summit, even if that's at the risk
of aborting it.

Edmund Burke, author, orator, political theorist and so-called father
of modern conservatism, is alleged to have said: "All that it requires for
evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." It's a statement that rings
true whether we're talking about Nazi Germany, apartheid SA, Burma or
Darfur. Human suffering won't last a day longer if those who can make a
difference do something about it.

African leaders have decided to avert their eyes from the suffering in
Zimbabwe. Europe should not emulate their callousness.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Not with Zim

Financial Mail

12 October 2007


By Rob Rose

Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni describes how a friend e-mailed an
article to him titled "Fighting inflation the African way", which, clearly
referring to Zimbabwe's monetary madness, begins with the premise: make a
declaration in the morning to cut prices by half. "I felt embarrassed to be
an African, " he said.

As the region's dominant central banker, the ebullient Mboweni is
central to plans to create a monetary union of the 14 countries of the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) by 2016.

But at a Unisa banking conference in Sun City, Mboweni reiterated his
scepticism - and it didn't look pretty for Robert Mugabe's government. For a
start, he said it was unlikely that the agreed macroeconomic convergence
targets, such as containing inflation to 5% by next year, would be met. "If
we can't meet the criteria, then forget about the process [of economic
integration]... the political leadership needs to take very serious and
strong decisions not based on brotherhood and sisterhood," he said.

Zimbabwe's inflation is projected to be 4 539% this year, according to
Mboweni, compared with 9% for the rest of the SADC. Include Zimbabwe and the
figure for the region balloons to 331%.

He believes monetary union membership should be restricted to
countries that meet the macroeconomic criteria - which would rule Harare out
for the foreseeable future - and should not be based on politicians'
misplaced sentiments of ubuntu. The same "stepping stones" approach should
apply to efforts to establish an African central bank.

Mboweni said Zimbabwe's political bosses had their "heads in the sand"
and described Harare's recent empowerment bill, aimed at giving majority
control of foreign-owned assets to black Zimbabweans, as "not the brightest
thing to do". It violated a fundamental principle of monetary policy:
respect for private property rights, he said.

"You own a Zimbabwe platinum mine and [next day] you are told that 60%
of your mine now belongs to some indigenous people. You don't do that."

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Aid agency strengthens the right of education to Rusape School

12 October 2007

Harare- IN order to strengthen the voice of the girl child, and facilitate
the attainment of children's right to education, ActionAid International
Zimbabwe, in partnership with Fact Rusape will tomorrow Saturday 13 October
hand over classroom furniture worth $600 million to Dzvairo Primary School,
near Tsanzaguru, south-west of Rusape.

This handover follows visits early this year by aid workers from the two
partner organisations to the area to document the experiences of the
children attending school at Dzvairo Primary School.

In an interview, Momo Masoka, the ActionAid International Food Rights
Thematic Head, said when they visited the Dzvairo community to interview
kids on their lives, they heard that the children walked over eight
kilometers to and from a nearby school in Tsanzaguru to write Grade Seven
examinations,  covering a total of 16 kilometres each day.

Mr Masoka said the school had no single furniture; children share
classrooms; teachers cycle or walk eight kilometres from their residential
places in Tsanzaguru to Dzvairo to conduct lessons, and the levels of
poverty in the area are beyond apprehension as most pupils go for days
without a decent meal.

"Our fear was that the girl child would be exposed to sexual abuse during
examination time," Masoka said. "What ActionAid International Zimbabwe,
through its partner, Fact Rusape has done is to intervene and empower these
children through guaranteeing their right to education. An ideal learning
environment helps build the capacity of the child to concentrate on their
schooling and become full beings equipped with knowledge."

The school provides classes up to Grade Seven level but has only one
classroom block with two classrooms which serve four classes. One of the
remaining classes uses a makeshift structure as a classroom while the other
class uses a villager's homestead to conduct lessons. Yet another class
conducts its lesson in a church. All these children have their classes while
seated on the floor as the school has no furniture.

The situation at Dzvairo is further compounded by the absence of reading
materials de-motivated teaching staff and general entrenched poverty in the
community and the continued marginalization of the woman in the community

In response to these challenges AAI and its partner FACT Rusape are
expanding their work within Makoni district. This work shall focus on
building the capacities of the local communities to link their poverty and
existing local and national policies.

ActionAid (AAI) is an international development agency whose aim is to end
poverty worldwide helping over 13 million of the world's poorest and most
disadvantaged people in more than 46 countries. AAI is a rights based
organization with a special focus on women and children. Formed in 1972, for
over 30 years AAI has been growing and expanding to where it is today. In
all of its country programmes AAI works with local partners to make the most
of their knowledge and experience focusing mainly on children rights.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe police arrest 51 Ethiopian refugees, says report

Raw Story

dpa German Press Agency
      Published: Friday October 12, 2007

Harare- Zimbabwean police have arrested 51 Ethiopian
nationals believed to have escaped from a refugee camp in the
capital, reports said Friday.
The 51 were arrested on board a bus bound for Zimbabwe's border
with neighbouring South Africa, the official Herald daily said.

"We sent them back to their refugee camp in Harare," Lancelot
Matange, a senior police officer in southern Zimbabwe, was quoted as

None of the Ethiopians had passports, the paper said. Ethiopian
refugees often cross Zimbabwe as they try to illegally enter South

In January 23 Ethiopians were arrested in Zimbabwe's border town
of Beitbridge. They were also bound for South Africa. Two years ago,
up to 300 Somali and Ethiopian refugees were reported to have escaped
from holding camps in Zimbabwe.

A growing number of desperate Zimbabweans also make the hazardous
journey across the Limpopo River into South Africa to escape food
shortages and poverty back home.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zim seeks foreign investors


Oct 12 2007 03:28 PM
Harare - Zimbabwe is seeking foreign investors in its energy sector but says
it will not be held to ransom by investors who impose tough conditions, a
senior official in the energy ministry said.Acting secretary in the energy
and power development ministry Munyaradzi Munodawafa told a parliamentary
committee yesterday that "scores of investors" were willing to invest in the
troubled country's energy sector and talks with different parties were
underway.Munodawafa told parliamentarians that local and foreign investors
have expressed interest in the Manyuchi mini hydro power station, extracting
gas at coal-bed methane in Lupane, in Northern Bulawayo, and extracting
uranium in the Zambezi Valley where uranium deposits were discovered."A
total of ?28m is needed for the construction of the Manyuchi Power Station
but we only got Z$300m from the fiscus for the project. We have got an
investor who is looking at getting the project off the ground," Munodawafa
said.He said designs for the hydron power station at Manyuchi had been done
while an agreement was reached between the Government and Russian investors
who have shown interest in the project."What is only left is for the Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe to finalise issues with the Russians," he said.'In its
infancy'Legislators heard that Manyuchi Power Station would on completion
generate 5.5 megawatts while a local company had partnered a foreign
investor to tap a long shelved coal-bed methane in Matabeleland North."We
also have an investor we are discussing with on coal-bed methane. It is a
Zimbabwean company with international partners able to give technical
backup. The partners comprise of Indians and various others. A memorandum of
understanding between Zesa and the company is being drafted," he added.He
added that investigations showed that $15m was needed to tap coal-bed
methane."The nuclear energy issue is still in its infancy but we have got a
company in Bulawayo that has given us its proposal," he said.The official
was grilled why his ministry was concerned with small power project and not
focussing on bigger project which would help Zimbabwe's dwindling supplies,
Munodawafa said establishing huge power stations required large amounts of
foreign currency.Zimbabwe is facing a severe foreign currency shortage made
worse by the withdrawal of balance of payments support by the International
Monetary Fund (IMF). The troubled country is also facing an acute energy
crisis which has seen massive power cuts daily for both companies and
homes.Uphill taskAlthough Zimbabwe has the capacity to produce its own
energy, a crippling foreign currency shortage coupled with a worsening
economic crisis and a poisoned investment climate, has not helped the
country in attracting foreign direct investment.Zimbabwe is sitting on a
thermal power station project in Gokwe, south of the country, because
foreign investors are not willing to invest $1.4bn for the construction and
development of the lucrative power station while another $2.5bn power
project at Batoka has failed to entice investors.Hwange Power Station, one
of the country's larger power stations, is need of care and maintaince.
Officials say "it chews a lot of foreign currency" and operates at near 10%
capacity.The station has capacity to generate over 900MW but generates less
than 100MW forcing the country to rely on power imports from South Africa,
Zambia, Mozambique and the DRC. Critics say attracting investors is going to
be an uphill task given that President Robert Mugabe's government is
actively pursuing an indeginisation bill aimed at giving 51% shareholdings
in companies to blacks.The country is in its eigth year of economic
recession characterised by high inflation now close to 7 000%, the world's

Back to the Top
Back to Index