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S.Africa farmers want land in Zimbabwe investment pact

Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:59pm BST

By Muchena Zigomo

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's biggest farmers union Agri SA Monday
urged the country's government to ensure a planned investment protection
agreement with Zimbabwe includes a clause to protect land and property

South Africa and Zimbabwe have for several years been in talks over a
bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement that would pave way
for South African investment in Zimbabwe and, among other things, protect
the properties of South African nationals in the country's northern

However, the conclusion of the agreement, which was expected to have been
signed earlier this year, has apparently been stalled by Zimbabwe's demand
to have land omitted from the pact.

"Agri SA wishes to urge the South African government not to succumb to
Zimbabwe's demands to exclude land from the proposed bilateral investment
agreement between the two governments," the union said in a statement.

It said South Africa's response to the demands "will also send an important
signal to local land owners regarding the South African government's
willingness to respect and protect their interests (in South Africa) and in
(a) regional context."

South Africa's government plans to resubmit a draft law to parliament that
would make it easier for the state to forcibly seize land if negotiations to
buy it from white farmers fail.

But farmers' groupings say the law would be unconstitutional and have called
for more protection for their properties.


Thousands of white farmers have fled Zimbabwe since 2000, when President
Robert Mugabe's government started often violent seizures of land from
whites to give to blacks under a land reform program.

Critics say the land reforms were responsible for plunging farm output and
accelerated the collapse of Zimbabwe's economy, whose recovery is the
biggest challenge for a new inclusive government formed by Mugabe and rival
Morgan Tsvangirai.

Agri SA said several South African farmers and business people had had their
farming assets in Zimbabwe confiscated by the government without

"This should first be rectified before investment can be considered," Agri
SA said.

Since the formation of the unity government, Zimbabwe has been on a drive to
attract foreign investment to key sectors in a bid to boost its economy.

While Agri SA has been leading a push for South African farmers to invest
and farm in a number of other countries across Africa, including the
Republic of Congo, Libya and Zambia, the union has urged its members to stay
away from countries where South Africa has no investment protection

Agriculture minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson has also said the government
will not assist any South African farmers going into countries where they
have no protection.

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WOZA scoops top human rights award

By Alex Bell
12 October 2009

Activist Magodonga Mahlangu and her organisation, Women of Zimbabwe Arise
(WOZA), have been named as the 2009 Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) Human Rights
Award winners.

Mahlangu, as a recipient of the award, has been described as a bold leader
and a pioneer of the women's rights movement, who has led WOZA's ongoing
campaign of direct but peaceful action. Tens of thousands of women have
joined WOZA in standing up for human rights and speaking out about Zimbabwe's
worsening economic, social and political conditions. Since its founding in
December 2002, WOZA has staged more than 100 non-violent marches in support
of democratic reform and women's empowerment. As a result, WOZA has often
been the target of severe police brutality, with Mahlangu and co-leader
Jenni Williams as well as thousands of other WOZA supporters, being arrested
many times for their participation.

"I feel both great excitement for the recognition of my work with WOZA and
sadness because although my work has gained recognition internationally, in
my own country I have been labeled an enemy of the state," said Mahlangu in
reaction to the award. "Now I know I am not alone, the world is watching and
one day [Zimbabwe] shall be a normal society - with the determination of the
members of WOZA, anything is possible."

Mrs. Robert F. Kennedy will present Mahlangu and WOZA with the 2009 Award in
a ceremony in mid-November. Mahlangu joins 39 RFK human rights laureates in
23 countries as the recipient of the 26th annual prize.

"In a country torn by violence and economic ruin, Magodonga Mahlangu and
WOZA provide a desperately needed voice for the people of Zimbabwe and we
were proud to select her and her organization for this prestigious award,"
said Gay McDougall, RFK Human Rights Award Judge and U.N. Independent Expert
on Minority Issues.

For 41 years, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights has
worked for a more peaceful and just world. The Robert F. Kennedy Human
Rights Award was established in 1984 to honor courageous and innovative
human rights defenders throughout the world who stand up against injustice,
often at great personal risk. The award includes a cash prize of $30,000 and
on-going legal, advocacy and technical support through a partnership with
the RFK Center. Winners are selected by an independent panel of human rights
experts. The 2009 panel included McDougall; Makau Mutua, Dean of University
at Buffalo Law School; Sushma Raman, President of Southern California
Grantmakers; and Dr. William F. Schultz, Senior Fellow at Center for
American Progress.

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Freelance journalist arrested for visiting Chiadzwa diamond fields

By Tichaona Sibanda
12 October 2009

The Chiadzwa diamond fields in Marange, Manicaland province are still
off-limits for journalists working in the country.

This was demonstrated by Friday's incident where freelance journalist Annie
Mtalume was arrested on allegations of entering the ' protected' area
without a pass. She was detained overnight in Chiadzwa and was only
transferred to Mutare on Saturday.

Nyasha Nyakunu, senior programmes officer for MISA Zimbabwe, told us Mtalume
was a freelance journalist accredited by the now defunct statutory Media and
Information Commission (MIC). Mtalume appeared in a Mutare court on Monday
and was charged with violating the Protected Areas Act. She was granted $30
bail and remanded out of custody to 26th October by a Mutare magistrate.

There is speculation Mtalume was in the area investigating ongoing human
rights abuses by the country's armed forces that have ring-fenced the
fields. Residents in Mutare are reporting ongoing cases of fortune seekers
recounting harrowing experiences in their attempts to gain access to the
diamond fields in search of instant riches. The diamond fields first came to
the world's attention after government ordered a clampdown on illegal miners
and mass violence and killings took place under the army.

Unconfirmed reports say there are still cases of gross human right abuses by
the security forces that are unleashing vicious dogs on suspected illegal
dealers and outright shooting of dealers found roaming the area.

The Chiadzwa diamond fields, also known as the Marange fields, were seized
from African Consolidated Resources Plc and handed to the state-owned
Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation three years ago.

The smuggling of diamonds has continued unabated, long after the government
introduced tight security measures around the diamond fields. Not only have
the law enforcement agents failed to stamp their authority, there is growing
evidence that in many instances they have joined the swelling ranks of the
illegal panners and middle-men.

An MDC MP in Mutare told us there is mounting evidence that police and army
operations are targeting only small-time panners and dealers, while
well-known and well-connected so-called diamond barons operate with total
impunity. It is openly believed that top politicians are involved in this
lucrative diamond trade.
------------- Watch the program on the goings-on at Chiadwa broadcast by SBS Australia on Sunday , or read the transcript

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State withdraws legal assistance to Mukoko's torture masters

By Tichaona Sibanda
10 October 2009

The government has withdrawn legal assistance to 'torture masters' who last
year were responsible for the abduction and torture of prominent human
rights activist Jestina Mukoko and several other MDC activists.

The deputy Attorney-General, Prince Machaya, told the Associated Press news
agency on Sunday that the state will not represent officials who are being
sued by Mukoko and eight others.

The activists are seeking US$500 million, for wrongful arrest, torture and
abduction, after their terror charges were dropped by the Supreme Court two
weeks ago. Mukoko is seeking $250 million of that settlement with the rest
split between the other activists.

Former intelligence Minister Didymus Mutasa, co-Home Affairs Minister Kembo
Mohadi, national Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri and several senior
police and intelligence officers, are those being sued for the abduction,
wrongful arrest and torture of Mukoko and the MDC activists.

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku ruled recently that Mukoko and her
co-accused could not be tried now, or in the future, because their
constitutional rights had been violated.

Mukoko was abducted from her Norton home in the early hours of the morning
last year in December and was held incommunicado for three months. When she
finally appeared in court she was charged with helping to recruit people for
purposes of military training in Botswana.

The accusations that Mukoko and the others had been plotting to overthrow
Robert Mugabe had been widely denounced as trumped-up and politically
motivated. Human rights lawyer Nyaradzo Muza told us that by withdrawing
legal assistance to the defendants, the inclusive government was actually
distancing itself from acts of torture.

'If the state went ahead and represented them, they will be endorsing
torture. Don't forget the Supreme Court has already ruled that their
abduction and torture was illegal and that their constitutional rights were
violated,' Muza said.

'It's a tacit admission by the AG's office that Mukoko and others were
wronged by these officials outside official government guidelines. What the
state is doing is separating what these people did in their personnel
capacity from official duties,' the human rights lawyer added.

Muza said it was quite a momentous decision in terms of human rights
progress in the country. The state may be now trying to distance itself from
human rights abuses and torture, but it is a commonly accepted fact that the
violence spiral that plunged Zimbabwe into chaos was orchestrated and
organised at the highest levels of government.

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Bennett's trial starts Tues but no indictment papers from prosecutor

By Violet Gonda
12 October 2009

The trial of Roy Bennett, the MDC Deputy Agriculture Minister-designate, is
supposed to start in Mutare on Tuesday but his lawyer, Trust Maanda, has
said it may not kick off because the defence team has still not been
furnished with the indictment papers. The lawyer said he will apply for his
client's removal from remand because since July the prosecutor has failed to
give him the indictment papers which are supposed to outline the State's
charge sheet and the witness statements. This is information that is
supposed to help the defence lawyers know what accusations their client is
facing and the State's evidence against him, in order to prepare for his

Bennett was arrested in February, soon after his return from South Africa
where he had been living in exile, and spent a month in remand prison. Ever
since his arrest Bennett's lawyer have complained that their client is being
victimised and that the State is failing to come up with a case against him.
Since his arrest the State has slapped him with various charges ranging from
flouting immigrations laws to treason, and then reverted back to terrorism
charges after the first two accusations failed to stick. Maanda said the
State had for months failed to come up with a trial date because they are
not ready and have failed to come up with any incriminating evidence against
the former Chimanimani MP.

Maanda said during Bennett's last remand hearing in July the prosecutor
settled for the 13th October for the trial. "But because we knew the State
would not be ready we asked the court to put it on record - that if that day
comes and the state would not be ready, then Mr Roy Bennett should be
removed from remand."

Maanda went on to say: "We think the State is not ready because it does not
have anything on its hands in terms of evidence, specially as they say this
matter was being investigated since 2006. So for them not to be able to come
up with a trial date immediately, to us it shows that they don't have any
evidence at all and they are trying to postpone the Ides of March."

The defence lawyer said no proper reasons have been given by the State for
the delay, even though he has demanded the indictment papers consistently
from 1st July, both in writing and by phone with the Attorney General's

Meanwhile, Robert Mugabe continues to refuse to swear the MDC Deputy
Agriculture Minister-designate into office, insisting that it's because he
is facing serious charges of possessing weapons for the purposes of
insurgency and banditry. Bennett, who served a year in jail for pushing
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa in parliament, denies the allegations.

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Zimbabwe's MDC says state prosecutors plan to revoke bail conditions of top official

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) Zimbabwe's former opposition Movement for Democratic
Change said Monday that it had unearthed a plan by state prosecutors to
revoke the bail conditions of its treasurer general who is facing banditry

The trial of MDC national treasurer and deputy Agriculture
Minister-designate Roy Bennett on charges of insurgency is due to start in
the regional court in the eastern border town of Mutare on Tuesday.

"However, it has come to the attention of the MDC that the Attorney General's
office is intending to serve indictment papers on Senator Bennett at the
start of his trial requesting that the matter be moved to the High Court and
that Senator Bennett be remanded in custody," an MDC spokesman said.

Bennett was arrested on 13 February 2009 for offences allegedly committed in

He was initially granted bail in June by the High Court but the state
appealed against the bail order with the effect that the case was referred
to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court upheld the High Court decision and he was released on

In June, the state set down October 13 as Bennett's trial date in the
regional court in Mutare.

The MDC spokesman said the state had since June failed to provide Bennett
with evidence against him despite numerous demands by his lawyers for them
to do so.

The serving of indictment papers to Bennett on a day his trial is scheduled
to commence would therefore immediately result in him being remanded in
custody, the MDC said.

It would also mean that his trial in the High Court would only commence
sometime next year as the High Court calendar is already full until February

"The intended serving of indictment papers on Senator Bennett is therefore a
malicious ploy by the Attorney General's office to keep his criminal charges
pending thereby denying him opportunity to be sworn in as the deputy
Agriculture Minister," the MDC spokesman said.

President Robert Mugabe has said Bennett would only be sworn in after he is
cleared of the charges he is facing.

JN/APA 2009-10-12

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Biti: I'll quit if asked to bring back Zim dollar

HARARE, ZIMBABWE Oct 12 2009 11:07

Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Tendai Biti vowed on Monday that he would quit
if he is asked to return the local dollar which was abandoned as the country
fought a losing battle with hyperinflation.

"If someone is to ask me bring back the Zimbabwe dollar, then there will be
a vacancy on the sixth floor of the government complex and I will go back to
my law firm," Biti was quoted as saying by the state-owned Herald newspaper.

"The Zimbabwe dollar has been an instrument of arbitrage and rent-seeking
behaviour. It had become an instrument of theft so we can't allow that."

He said debate on the possible return of the Zimbabwe dollar should only
start in November next year.

Biti, a lawyer, was appointed finance minister in February in a
power-sharing government of the country's three major political parties -
long-ruling President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF, Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and a breakaway faction of
the MDC led by Arthur Mutambara.

The compromise government sought to ease political tensions in the wake of a
contentious presidential run-off election and to mend the country's economy
which was on its knees after taking years of battering.

When it took office the new government abandoned the Zimbabwe dollar and
adopted multiple foreign currencies as a measure to curb galloping inflation
which forced thrice-daily price increases in some cases, rendering the local
currency unusable.

The move saw shops which resembled empty sheds restocking although the
foreign currency was hard to come by for the average citizen.

Mugabe hinted that he would ask Biti to bring back the Zimbabwe dollar,
saying the majority of the people had no access to foreign currency.

Biti said he was reluctant to join the inclusive government.

"I took this job because Mr Tsvangirai asked me to do it," the Herald quoted
him as saying.

"As you know, I didn't want to be part of this government but after the
[MDC] party's national council resolved that we should go in, I had no
option." -- AFP

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Zimbabwe govt unfreezes Nestle accounts

October 12 2009 , 6:28:00

Thulasizwe Simelane, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's unity government has gone into damage control after the
freezing of Nestle's accounts threatened to spook investors away from the

The country's investment minister says the freeze, which was ordered
by the central bank, has now been reversed. Nestle had its Zimbabwean
accounts at five banks frozen and faced an audit after the reserve bank said
it had detected irregular transactions.

The move was widely viewed as a backlash for Nestle's decision to stop
sourcing milk from the dairy farm belonging to first lady Grace Mugabe.
Investments Minister Elton Mangoma says the accounts have now been unfrozen.

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Teachers End Strike, Union Leaders Threaten New Action in Zimbabwe

By Scott Bobb
12 October 2009

Teachers across Zimbabwe struck for three weeks last month over demands for
higher pay. The country's unity government is coming under increasing
pressure as it struggles to raise funds for education and other basic
services in the face of depleted revenues caused by the country's economic

School children from Ruvimbo school read outside the school premises
in Harare (File Photo - 05 Feb 2009)
The teachers strike closed schools and caused parents to worry that their
children might lose a second school year to the country's economic crisis.

Like most civil servants in Zimbabwe, teachers have been earning about $100
a month. The power-sharing government offered this salary to all civil
servants after its inauguration in March.

The new government took over following years of hyper-inflation that had
eroded salaries, devastated economic production and caused widespread
unemployment and food shortages.

It said the salary was a temporary measure until it could revitalize the
economy and restore government revenues.

The president of one of two main teachers unions, Raymond Majongwe of the
Progressive Teachers Union, says teachers want $500. But they decided to end
the strike because it was hurting the children.

"The best way for teachers is go back to the schools and teach and allow
their leadership to engage government," he said. "Then more positive results
are going to come. We are killing ourselves because the very children who
are not learning are our own children."

Zimbabwe's education system has been in decline for a decade, due to falling
government revenues and an exodus of teachers.

Analysts blame the crisis on the policies of President Robert Mugabe's
ZANU-PF party, but the party blames the problems on sanctions imposed by
Western countries.

Education Minister David Coltart is a member of the former-opposition
Movement for Democratic Change that joined the government as part of the
power-sharing agreement between Mr. Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan

Coltart has been trying to rebuild the school system on a shoestring budget.

"The problem that we face, however, as a government, is that our economy is
in state of near-collapse," he said. "Our treasury coffers are almost bare."

The United Nations recently donated $70-million for materials for Zimbabwe's
schools. But donor countries hesitate to subsidize salaries for fear the
funds will be diverted.

Coltart says he can only hope additional funding begins to flow in the next
six months.

"I cannot today make any promises and all that I can do is to call on the
sense of patriotism of our teachers and the trade union movement to
recognize that we are acting in good faith, but there is a limit to what we
can do," added Coltart.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions President Lovemore Matombo says the
group's 350,000 workers in 32 trade unions are struggling to survive. But he
says economic reforms eight months ago ended hyper-inflation and restored
some economic production.

"The workers now know that the economy has started to stabilize and that
there should be an increase of salaries," said Matombo. "Should they fail to
do that [increase salaries], there is very much this feeling among workers
that we should take [strike] action."

He says if worker demands are not met, there could be strikes before the end
of the year, placing more pressure on the unity government and Zimbabwe's

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Journalists Run For Dear Lives

Chinhoyi, October 12, 2009 - Journalists here had to run for their
dear lives after marauding Zanu PF youths chased them away from a meeting
aimed at discussing the fate of Hurungwe East legislator Sarah Mahoka, who
faces expulsion from the party.

Mahoka and central committee member from Kadoma, Jimayi Muduvuri, were
suspended from the party two weeks ago for "putting the party into
disrepute", but this was resisted by another faction in the party led by
John Mafa.
The journalists had congregated at Chinhoyi Hall where the meeting was
to take place on Sunday when hired youths from Hurungwe, Karoi and Chegutu
descended on them.
''This means Zanu PF is still yet to embrace media reforms...barring
us will not unite the party that is divided,'' said one of the Chinhoyi
based freelance journalists.
Mahoka faced stiff resistance from the party's heavyweights in
Mashonaland East, who included Ignatius Chombo and Webster Shamu who want
her expelled from the party for standing in the election against their
''Chombo's camp is not willing to accept Mahoka whom they believe is
linked to Emerson Munangagwa for presidency while the other camp prefer
Joice Mujuru,'' said a source.
Mafa confirmed that the politburo members failed to endorse Mahoka's
suspension at the weekend meeting.
''Those senior members wanted to bulldoze their way into our affairs
as a province. We see no reason to suspend her... although they hired youths
from as far as Karoi to demonstrate. As an executive we stood our ground and
Mahoka will not be suspended by anyone...'' said Mafa who is from former
Zapu before the 1987 Unity Accord.
Mahoka is said to be originally from Masvingo but had settled in
Hurungwe as a new farmer.
Mafa's executive claims that Mahoka is ''the party workhorse who does
not deserve to be suspended during these trying times when the party is
still yet to get more support after the March election when it lost to
Movement for Democratic Change''.

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Wildlife sector under threat as gov adopts new land 'reform' policy

By Alex Bell
12 October 2009

The government has adopted a new, controversial, land 'reform' policy aimed
at 'resettling' the wildlife sector, as the countrywide rush to grab any
remaining commercially viable land continues.

The programme has been adopted under the position of conservation and
'sustainable use of wildlife'. The policy document, which was recently
adopted by Cabinet, will see the roll out of three models of wildlife land
'reform' programmes.

National Parks and Wildlife Authority director-general, Dr Morris Mtsambiwa,
last week said in an interview with the state-run Herald that the major
thrust of the policy was to facilitate the indigenisation of the wildlife
sector and to ensure more access by Zimbabweans to land and wildlife

"All land under conservancies and game ranches shall cease to be an
exclusive right of the few," Dr Mtsambiwa said. "Those owning conservancies
and game ranches shall be required to surrender portions of their land to
accommodate indigenous Zimbabweans."

The move comes as conservancy and safari owners have already reported being
forced to give up their land, mainly to top ZANU PF affiliated officials.
Most recently a top army official has become the latest in a string of
high-level ZANU PF members who have grabbed wildlife conservancies in
Masvingo, in a new exercise that could soon see the total destruction of the
private conservancy sector.

Major General Engelbert Rugeje, who is the army's chief of staff, last month
seized control of Wanezi Block Ranch in Mwenezi. Other unnamed senior army
and police officers have apparently also seized vast tracks of land in the
area. It is further understood that several conservancy owners in Mwenezi
have been ordered to either vacate their properties or enter into forced
'partnership' with so-called 'beneficiaries' of the land. Rugeje joins the
likes of Attorney General Johannes Tomana, President of the council of
chiefs Fortune Charumbira and Chivi central legislator Paul Munyaradzi
Mangwana, who have all grabbed conservancies in Masvingo, arguing the sector
is too white-dominated.

Top government officials, including the Masvingo provincial Governor, Titus
Maluleke, have been passing down orders to private conservancy and safari
operators, to give up their lucrative businesses or enter into 'partnerships'
with chosen individuals. They have reportedly compelled safari operators in
the Save Valley Conservancy, a thriving wildlife reserve, to cede
shareholdings from 50 to 80 per cent, to allies in the police and military,
as well as party loyalists.

President of the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) Deon Theron on Monday said
the surge for commercial land is nothing more than "racially motivated
theft," arguing that it "doesn't matter what you are farming, or producing
or even if the country needs what you're producing, you will lose your

"This is not about land reform or new policies or anything, this is just
about taking as much as you can for your own gain," Theron said. "If this is
allowed to go then we're headed for disaster."

The commercial farming community has been left reeling by the intensified
offensive to remove them from their land, with more than 80 farms forcibly
seized since the formation of the unity government. But Theron said the
community is more determined than ever to fight to hold on to their land.
This includes Chegutu farmer Ben Freeth, who has travelled to Washington to
ask the Obama administration to put pressure on the Zimbabwe government
before it seizes the last remaining white farms.

Freeth has come under severe initmidation and attack for remaining on his
Mount Carmel farm, and most recently his home, his parents-in-law's home and
the homes of his workers, were burned down in a suspected arson attack.

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The Tashinga wildlife initiative

IThe Tashinga Initiative outlines its project as follows:

Africa is a continent rich in natural resources, yet sustainable development and use of these resources is still to be fully realised.

In Zimbabwe, despite a severely troubled economy, protected areas still extend to 13% of the country’s land surface. Along the length of the Zambezi River and its Zimbabwean hinterland, formally protected wildlife and forest areas (Pas) form a mosaic with adjacent Communal Areas. Many of these areas also support CAMPFIRE-initiated wildlife programmes and projects. The present socio-economic crisis however, has presented numerous challenges to maintaining conservation integrity and the continuity of community wildlife protection efforts.

The Project

In full collaboration with the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (PWMA), this Wildlife Protection Project seeks to address the problem of unsustainable resource use, illegal activity and the lack of operational capacity within PWMA. This will be achieved through a set of targeted outputs for The Tashinga Initiative’s selectedProtection AreaClusters (PACs) in the Zambezi Valley.

The Tashinga Initiative will operate through its USA Foundation, The Tashinga Initiative Foundation Inc., its partner UK Registered Charity, Conservation Zambezi and its local The Tashinga Initiative Trust to implement the project, which is designed to provide support to PWMA in the management and protection of its wildlife areas along and adjacent to the Zambezi River. Funding will be sought through business and philanthropic organizations and individuals, taking a business and private-public partnership approach to achieving its objectives. Geographical Coverage

The Project intends to target all PACs in the Zambezi Valley, a total area covering more than 17,000 sq miles of wild land. Four discrete Protection Area Clusters have been identified, which encompass the targeted PA system of National Parks, Safari Areas and Forest Areas (see map), namely:

Victoria Falls, Chizarira, Matusadona, Mana Pools

Social Return on Investments

Given the needed inputs (human and financial resources),
the project intends to deliver 5 outputs, each of which have an anticipated outcome. The sum or aggregation of the outcomes meets the purpose of the project. Each outcome yields an anticipated impact after the project has ended. The sum of the impacts meets the development objective, or long-term goal of the project.

Thus the social return on the project investment is measured in terms of the deliverables reflected by the anticipated project outcomes and impacts. These are the intended long-term environmental, social and economic benefits following the project.

The word “Tashinga”, loosely translated means “we have been on a journey of endeavour, and despite the difficulties, we have won through”.

More on the Tashinga Initiative website here.

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Zim voters' roll need overhaul: Study

by Own correspondent Monday 12 October 2009

HARARE - Zimbabwe's voters' roll is in shambles and should be completely
overhauled before the next general election to eliminate cases of multiple
entries and weed out ghost voters, a study by a local pro-democracy group
has revealed.

An audit of the voters' roll conducted by the Research and Advocacy Unit of
pressure group Sokwanele unearthed several anomalies in the current voters'
roll maintained by the Registrar General's office.

These include a surprisingly large number of people aged 100 and above. The
audit identified names of 74 021 voters aged above 100 on the roll used in
last year's harmonised parliamentary and presidential elections. There were
also 82 456 people registered who are aged between 90 and 100, according to
the report released at the weekend.

"These figures are quite amazing when you consider that average life
expectancy in Zimbabwe is 34 for women and 37 for men, and in light of the
fact that the World Health Organisation predicts that only 14.7 percent of
people live beyond 60 in Zimbabwe," the pressure group observed in a report
titled "2013 Vision - Seeing Double and the Dead".

The Sokwanele researchers said they were not able to determine whether the
very large number of elderly people on the voters roll (over 17 percent of
the roll comprises people aged 60 and over) are living or deceased.

They said attempts to get an electronic copy of registered deaths were

Under Zimbabwe's repressive Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Act, the RAU researchers were obliged to apply to Registrar-General Tobaiwa
Mudede for an electronic copy of registered deaths.

The Registrar-General is obligated to reply within 30 days of receiving the
request - but he failed to comply with the law.

The audit also discovered a "large number of duplicate entries" on the roll.

The report noted that despite denials by Mudede that there was no way
identity numbers could appear twice in the same roll, the audit proved that
several ID numbers, names, addresses, birth dates and all details were

"Specifically: 182 564 instances of duplicate entries were identified where
people were registered in two or more constituencies simultaneously," the
report said.

The report acknowledges that this could happen if, for example, a person was
registered in one constituency during one poll, and another a second time.

The researchers however pointed out that about two thirds of the
constituency shifts occur in rural areas, and therefore do not reflect the
typical rural-urban migration pattern that has taken place in recent years
in Zimbabwe.

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Parly interviews rights commissioners today

by Own Correspondent Monday 12 October 2009

HARARE - Parliament will today interview candidates wishing to serve on the
Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC), a senior official announced at the

Zimbabweans hope establishment of the commission will help protect citizens'
rights and freedoms after a decade of worsening political violence and
rights abuses as President Robert Mugabe's pervious government resorted to
more repressive methods to contain rising public discontent in the face of
an economic and food crisis.

Parliament spokesman Edward Mbewe confirmed that interviews for the country's
first ever rights commission would be held today. "The standing rules and
orders committee will conduct interviews for the Zimbabwe Human Rights
Commission on Monday morning," Edward Mbewe told ZimOnline.

Nine people will sit on the ZHRC as commissioners.

The ZHRC is part of several commissions to be formed by Zimbabwe's
power-sharing government as part of a raft of reforms meant to reshape and
democratise Zimbabwe's politics.

The other commissions provided for under Constitutional Amendment Number 19
that established the power-sharing government are the Zimbabwe Media
Commission (ZMC), Independent Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (IZEC) and
Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC).

Once the commissions and a new constitution are in place the government will
call fresh elections with the whole process that began in February expected
to last between 18 to 24 months.

Rich Western nations have refused to back the Harare government or lift visa
and financial sanctions imposed on Mugabe and his inner circle seven years
ago, saying they were not happy with the slow pace of political reforms. -

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KMAL saga: Gonese must tell the truth

by Mutumwa Mawere Monday 12 October 2009

OPINION: On Saturday, October 10 2009, an article entitled: "KMAL saga:
TM Cleared" was published by the Herald informing the public and investor
community that the government of Zimbabwe had revoked the specification of
TM Supermarkets, a subsidiary of Kingdom Meikles Africa (KMAL).

It is significant that in the same article that it was reported that
more evidence of corruption against companies and individuals linked to the
major shareholder of the group, John Moxon, had been unearthed.

The above-mentioned statement was attributed to Jacob Gonese who
represented himself as acting principal director in the Ministry of
Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies fully fixed with the knowledge that in
the framework of the inclusive government no such ministry exists.

To the extent that the reporter and the editor of the Herald, a
newspaper that is state-controlled, found no problem with accepting the
position that a person representing a non-existent ministry can have the
authority to make such profound and far reaching statements, exposes the
gravity of the Zimbabwean crisis and its seemingly intractable nature.

Accepting that Gonese may very well have no legal standing to make the
kind of representations that he is alleged to have made, it is startling
that notwithstanding the fact that the co-Ministers of Home Affairs who
appointed separate investigators pursuant to the Prevention of Corruption
Act (PCA), Gonese whose role in the KMAL affair is not clear was reported to
have said: "Investigators have also unearthed further alleged acts of
corruption on the part of the (following) companies and persons: Andrew Lane
Mitchell, Kingdom Meikles Limited, Tanganda Tea and Company (Pvt) Ltd,
Thomas Meikles Centre (Pvt) Ltd and Murlis Investments (Pvt) Ltd."

The authority of the co-Ministers of Home Affairs to issue the
specification order is already under judicial review and yet it appears that
the investigators appointed pursuant to the operation of the disputed order
are not only already at work but in truth and fact report to Gonese, person
not mentioned in the specification order.

There is no disclosure in the said article about the connection
between Gonese and the dubiously appointed investigators let alone an
interrogation into the kind of constitutional democratic order that would
produce this kind of confusion.

Surely, people who purport to represent a higher moral order must be
underpinned by legitimate authority. The anti-corruption function of the
state no longer has a home and there is nothing that can be done to
authenticate the specification and de-specification of people using state
organs not vested with the authority to do so.

Notwithstanding, Gonese is reported to have said: "In order to curtail
any further prejudice to the taxpayers the last shareholders' meeting was
barred to enable the finalisation of investigations into attempts to sweep
an alleged case involving the externalisation of US$22 million by Moxon,
under the carpet. The co-ministers are naturally unhappy about the gravity
of the allegations and have given directives to the investigators to get to
the bottom of the case and the investigators are doing their work

It is important that we attempt to analyse the full import of the
above statement as it raises interesting and fundamental legal and
commercial issues.

Gonese is essentially justifying the intervention by the state in the
holding of an emergency shareholders meeting duly called in accordance with
the Companies Act on the grounds that holding such a meeting would further
prejudice the taxpayers without explaining precisely how taxpayers' interest
feature in matter involving shareholders exercising their constitutional
right to make decisions on behalf of companies in which they have interests.

What kind of political morality would justify the state's purported
interest to override the constitutional rights of shareholders? Do
shareholders still have the sovereign right to make choices under the
inclusive government?

Gonese further makes the allegation that if the general meeting of
shareholders were to be held before the conclusion of the investigations,
then this would be tantamount to "sweeping" the alleged externalisation
charge under the carpet. Hose carpet, one may ask?

As if he is the spokesman for the co-ministers, Gonese makes the case
that the co-ministers are unhappy not with the fact that the state is
interfering in a purely commercial matter but about the purported gravity of
the untested allegations.

In any democratic society, no one would expect a state actor to be
unhappy about matters that involve the interests of private actors.

What is being alleged is that the proceeds generated in the disposal
of certain assets situated in a foreign state have not yet been remitted to
Zimbabwe and, therefore, that non-remittance constitutes a criminal conduct
on the part of not all shareholders but the former chairman of the company
who also happens to be a major shareholder of the company.

It is common cause that the funds in question are the exclusive
property of KMAL and not the state. The state's interest in the funds could
only conceivably be in the taxes due and payable but the principal amount
whether in a foreign or domestic account is and must be the property of the
owner i.e. the company and definitely not the state.

The only legitimate way for the state to access such funds is to make
Zimbabwe an attractive investment destination by respecting property rights
and observing the rule of law.

Would it have been in the interests of the company to remit such
proceeds to Zimbabwe at a time when it is commonly acknowledged that there
exists a crisis whose resolution lies outside the control of private actors?

Gonese then made the case that the specified persons could present
their evidence to prove their innocence if they so wished.

What kind of political morality would make it discretionary on the
part of the accused to prove their innocence? Should the state not presume
the accused to be innocent until proven guilty by a court of law?

Until the startling revelation by Gonese that it is "hot air" to claim
that the decision to specify KMAL was not made by the inclusive government
as maintained by the MDC-T and following the widely publicised comment by
Minister Mutsekwa, the general public was and is legitimately entitled to
assume that the co-Ministers of Home Affairs are at loggerheads over the
specification issue as it undermines the credibility and integrity of the
new dispensation.

To the extent that any rational mind that wishes Zimbabwe well would
expect the kind of culture that preceded the formation of the inclusive
government to end, it is remarkable that Gonese had this to say: "The hot
air surrounding this case does not surprise this office or that of my
co-ministers who have co-operated well as politicians. In this particular
case, like in all others, the co-ministers are behind each other every step
of the way."

How can co-Ministers of Home Affairs be Gonese's supervisors when it
is common cause that the administration of the PCA has not been assigned to
the Ministry of Home Affairs?

If there were people in doubt about the values, beliefs and principles
informing the inclusive government, Gonese has provided the answer.

He pointed out that the co-ministers are guided by sustained
consultations and, indeed, the decision to specify KMAL was in the national
interest. Accordingly, using this reasoning, the enforcement of the order is

As if Gonese is completely oblivious to the many examples in which the
specification route has been used to undermine private property rights, he
made the case that the specification of the companies and individuals was
not implemented so that the government could take over the entities
concerned, but rather to create conditions for the smooth and legal
operation of business.

I can only remind Gonese that in May 2004, a warrant for my arrest was
issued by the Zimbabwe Republic Police that then paved the way for the GOZ
to apply for my extradition in South Africa. When the extradition
application was dismissed in South Africa, nine days later, Justice Minister
Patrick Chinamasa issued a specification order in terms of the PCA.

On August 13 2004, Assistant Commissioner Mangoma was appointed as my
Investigator. On August 26 2004, CFI Holdings Limited (CFI), a listed
company on the ZSE was also specified in conjunction with other companies
deemed to be associated with me. Saruchera was appointed as Investigator of
the companies.

At the time of specification, the shareholding of CFI and ZIMRE
Holdings Limited (ZHL) was different from what it is today. The difference
can only be due to the effect of the specification order. Gonese will no
doubt find out that the government is now the controlling shareholder of

How did the government come to be the controlling shareholder? He will
understand that without the assistance of the PCA, the control of both ZHL
and ZIMRE would not have changed.

If this is the case, Gonese must accept that the public is not nave
and more importantly Moxon is and must also be alive to the real dangers of
trusting a government that has not only already shown that the concept of
self help is not inimical to the rule of law but that it can achieve its
ulterior motives through the assistance of unjust laws and unconstitutional

How can the state be a judge unto its own cause? It has no shares in
KMAL? However, it must be obvious to Gonese that state power is being rented
to improve the bargaining power of the "chosen" people. Should state power
be used in this manner? Can Gonese be allowed to make untested allegations
without the involvement of the courts?

What Gonese may also not know is that the Zimbabwean judiciary has so
far not only turned a blind eye at numerous attempts by victims of this kind
of tyranny but has creatively sought to use the courts to give life to the
abuse by refusing to deal with the merits of the cases choosing to use
technicalities to dismiss any legal challenge.

When Gonese says: "Government is in no way taking over these companies
but simply trying to cure them of their mischief", one is forced to accept
the general proposition that when the wheels are off the remedy may not lie
in targeting the head of the fish but in better understanding the true
extent of the decay of the political and economic morality as this will
naturally focus people's attention beyond personalities to the core of what
is clearly a systemic problem.

Gonese who evidently has not done his research or he is nave goes on
to say: "In fact, specification does not and should not affect the
day-to-day operations of these going concerns but the same provides for a
period during which specified companies must account for their alleged
corrupt actions to appointed investigators and once stolen or externalized
resources are returned, an affected entity will not stay specified for a
minute longer."

I was specified in July 2004 and after five years; Messrs Mangoma,
Saruchera and Gwaradzimba (appointed to give life to the expropriation
agenda) have yet to produce reports that deal with the merits of the
original allegation but evidently Gwaradzimba is richer today because of
state intervention.

Surely, Gonese must tell the public the truth if, indeed, he is the
most senior state actor responsible for anti-corruption, albeit, with no
ministry to house his obsolete department.

Before commenting irresponsibly on the KMAL affair, perhaps he should
start by commenting on his decision to ignore the evidence confirming that
the allegations that I externalised funds were baseless.

Indeed, Gonese appears to have taken the view that he can be the
judge, jury and executioner and anyone who has critically reviewed the
statements attributed to him will not be mistaken to conclude that he is
doing a hatchet job to defend the indefensible.

We now know that the government no longer has the burden to amend the
constitution as it can deprive citizens of their rights using instruments
like PCA and reconstruction.

With people like Gonese in government, who is safe? - ZimOnline

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Tares’ operation a big success “The moment everyone was waiting for”

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Politburo has final say on VP

Monday, October 12, 2009

By Michael Padera

THE Zanu-PF Politburo will select a candidate for nomination to the post of
Vice President of the party if the three Matabeleland provinces fail to
agree on a single candidate by Wednesday, secretary for administration Cde
Didymus Mutasa said yesterday.

If subsequently nominated and endorsed by at least six provinces, the
candidate will fill the vacant posts of Vice President and Second Secretary
of Zanu-PF following the death of the fearless founding nationalist Cde
Joseph Msika in August.

That process will take place only in the event that more than one name is
forwarded by the three Matabeleland provinces, which were given until
Wednesday this week to select a single candidate to be endorsed by all the
party's 10 provinces.

"As soon as I get the report, it would be tabled before the Politburo and
Central Committee. If the three Matabeleland provinces select a different
candidate each, the Politburo will pick one.

"The Politburo, will use its discretion to select a single candidate and
present him before the 10 provinces,'' said Cde Mutasa.

Asked how the Politburo would arrive at a single candidate, Cde Mutasa said
seniority in the party would take precedence.

"We cannot run away from the precedence of seniority now. All our leaders
have always been seniors in the party," he said, giving reference to the
ascendancy to the Presidium of the late national heroes and Vice Presidents
Cde Joshua Nkomo, Cde Simon Muzenda and Cde Msika.

He said the Politburo had only asked the three provinces of Bulawayo,
Matabeleland North and South to select a candidate to be endorsed by all

"We are not saying all given by the three provinces is final. The candidate
would have to be endorsed by at least six provinces. The person should
achieve six nominations from the provinces," he said.

He said the media had got it wrong by referring to the ongoing process as

"We want selection of a candidate to be nominated in terms of our
constitution. The candidate would have to be nominated and endorsed by all
provinces," he said.

Bulawayo Province has already selected Zanu-PF national chairman Cde John
Nkomo while the other two provinces are still to either second his selection
or proffer different names.

Officially, it is not clear if there is any candidate challenging Cde Nkomo
for the post, although several names have been thrown around in the rumour

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Moyo threat to coalition government

October 12, 2009

By Jacob Rukweza

THE reason why the Zanu-PF politburo readmitted Jonathan Moyo into its
structures last week is because the disintegrating party desperately needs
anyone who will bring even the slightest number of voters to bolster the
shrinking support base of the former ruling party severely weakened
indirectly by policy bankruptcy and more directly by its failure to replace
its ageing leadership.

Zanu-PF which has failed to re-invent itself beyond what Moyo did for the
party when he was the vociferous information minister and politburo member
between 2000 and 2005 desperately needs the services of a sabre-rattling
spin doctor who will do better than what the former DJ currently running the
ministry of information is doing.

From where he stands, Moyo is in a hurry to vacate his lonely corner as an
independent MP who faces the clear and present danger of being defeated in
the next general election in 2011 because of the obvious fact that the MDC
led by Morgan Tsvangirai will not repeat the unintelligent mistake of not
fielding a candidate in the Tsholotsho North constituency which he currently

Everyone, including Moyo himself, knows that he is extremely lucky to be a
legislator today and that the only reason why he is part of the Seventh
Parliament of Zimbabwe is because the MDC naively decided to support him
instead of fielding its own candidate who could have easily won the
Matabeleland North constituency.

But more importantly, after the dramatic but expected collapse of the 1987
Unity Accord and the re-launch of PF Zapu whose powerbase is in the
Matabeleland region Zanu PF urgently needs new legs to stand on in the

When re-admitted, Moyo, who has a strategic constituency and has no
historical ties with PF Zapu, will be useful in retaining the critical
Ndebele vote that PF Zapu is threatening to take away from Zanu-PF.

The re-emergence of PF Zapu under the leadership of former Zanu-PF politburo
member Dumiso Dabengwa and the recent defection by former Zanu-PF stalwart
Thenjiwe Lesabe, who commands considerable respect in the Matabeleland
region, has shaken the foundations of the former ruling party to the extent
that its leaders are running scared and clutching at straws.

Moyo who realises that Zanu-PF is in panic mode and alarmed by its apparent
loss of grip in Matabeleland has characteristically seized this opportunity
to rejoin Zanu-PF with the promise of delivering not only the Tsholotsho
North constituency to Zanu-PF but also pledging to resuscitate the party's
propaganda machinery which is currently in comatose.

The former information minister already had crucial supporters within the
Zanu-PF politburo in the form of Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa,
politburo members Didymus Mutasa and Emmerson Munangagwa who had already
started welcoming Moyo back into the party, describing him variously as
patriotic, hard-working and an important asset, even before the politburo
had made a decision on his application for re-admission.

Moyo's backers had a relatively easy task of convincing the ageing President
Robert Mugabe, who has a soft spot for Moyo but considers him as headstrong
and arrogant, to accommodate the Tsholotsho MP because the Zanu-PF leader
still believes that the former minister has the granite needed to turn
around the waning fortunes of his party.

John Nkomo, the chairman of Zanu-PF and head of the party's disciplinary
committee, who does not see eye to eye with Moyo but has a very dark cloud
of homosexuality allegations hovering over his balding head, will find it
difficult to thwart Moyo's come back.

More so because Nkomo belongs to the emasculated group of former PF Zapu
cadres suspected of harbouring intentions to defect from Zanu PF.

The other reason why Moyo applied for re-admission into Zanu-PF, a political
party he in 2007 described as a dead party full of geriatrics clinging to
power, is because he sees abundant opportunity to grab power as well as
bounce back as the party's chief's spin doctor given that Webster Shamu, the
clueless man chosen by President Mugabe to replace him has failed to

It is evident for those in and outside Zanu-PF that Shamu has retarded the
velocity with which the information ministry operated when Moyo was in
charge a few years ago and has failed to match the abrasive manoeuvring of
his predecessor.

Another reason why Moyo was re-admitted into Zanu-PF without any hassle is
because he never resigned from Zanu-PF in the first place and has in fact
remained a crucial member of the now influential faction led by Mnangagwa
which emerged stronger from the recently held youth league conference where
its candidate, Edson Chakanyuka from the Midlands Province, was elected to
the powerful post of deputy secretary of the league.

Moyo's recent attacks of Prime Minister Tsvangirai and MDC ministers are
meant to convince both his sympathisers and detractors in Zanu-PF that he is
still part of them by speaking their language and crying louder than the

That is why Moyo is making laughable claims about the MDC forming a parallel
government and compromising national security when in fact it is President
Mugabe who is guilty of the crimes that Moyo is accusing Prime Minister
Tsvangirai of committing.

SADC leaders do not need to be told because they already know that it is
President Mugabe who is running a parallel government by contravening the
Global Political Agreement and illegally appointing or retaining senior
government officials including provincial governors, the attorney general,
the central bank governor and diplomats not the prime minister.

Nobody will believe the preposterous claims by Moyo that the MDC is creating
a parallel government just because a handful of employees in the prime
minister's office are getting an extra allowance for working on a
publication whose sole function is to enhance transparency and
accountability in the prime minister's office unless if they are coming from

Zimbabweans know that it is President Mugabe who, until the formation of the
unity government in February this year, deliberately and relentlessly
compromised national security by his continued efforts to starve the masses
and underpaying civil servants including central intelligence operatives,
policeman and soldiers thus fertilising conditions for civil and military
unrest in the country.

Moyo was watching but did not rebuke President Mugabe when agitated soldiers
went on the rampage destroying shops and looting food and clothes in central
Harare last year when these manifestations spawned by Zanu-PF's misrule
clearly represented a grave threat to national security.

Moyo who has returned to Zanu-PF to usurp power is defending the
indefensible by supporting President Mugabe who is violating the GPA and
threatening to take Zimbabwe back to the pre-unity government era where the
spectre of civil or military unrest was an ever present danger as result of
pervading poverty and starvation engineered by Zanu-PF.

More than anything else it is Moyo's self serving return to Zanu-PF and his
support of President Mugabe's violation of the GPA that should worry
everyone as this represents the clearest threat to the cohesion of the
government of national unity and national stability.

Jacob Rukweza is an MDC councillor for ward 17 in Chitungwiza.

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Deep tension at Ministry of Information

October 12, 2009

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - Tension is simmering within the ministry of information amid
suggestions Webster Shamu, the minister, and permanent secretary George
Charamba, have completely shut out Jameson Timba, the deputy minister, from

Central to the discord is Charamba, also President Robert Mugabe's press

Charamba, known to have direct control of the state media, was heavily
criticised by Deputy Prime Minister Athur Mutambara last week.
Mutambara said Charamba's behaviour threatened the image of the inclusive

Zanu-PF appointed Shamu after retaining the strategic ministry of
information under a power-sharing agreement with the MDC parties led by
Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara.

Timba, an MDC official, was appointed deputy to Shamu.

Recently, Shamu, in cahoots with Charamba, made appointments to boards of
organisations under his ministry, including Zimpapers and the Broadcasting
Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ).

The move sparked protests from Timba, who said the appointments were

Mutambara weighed in, stating the appointments, which include retired
military officers, were null and void.

"Those appointments are null and void," Mutambara said in an interview on
BBC's Hardtalk. "The cabinet was not consulted, the prime minister was not
consulted. We are going to reverse them."

Last week, Timba also said he was not consulted when Shamu made the media
board appointments. So far, Shamu has backtracked on Zimpapers appointments.
Charamba claimed they were made in error.

But significantly, relations between Timba, on the one hand, and Charamba
and Shamu on the other, appear to have broken down.

Timba says he has been completely shut out he cannot even raise his concerns
with his colleagues in the ministry.

"I do not have a platform to do so," he said. "The Minister and the
Secretary (Charamba) hold management meetings to which they do not invite
me. They make most of their decisions and I see them in the newspaper like
every other Zimbabwean.

"Unless we are forced to meet because there is a requirement to do so from
another office, then I am excluded.

"I am supposed to be the Deputy Spokesperson of this inclusive government
but, I am excluded in its processes, including not being given information
on government decisions which if the minister is not reachable I am supposed
to communicate."

Charamba, a long-serving official at the ministry, holds an influential role
within the ministry. Critics say he has virtually abandoned his functions as
a civil servant to act as a Zanu-PF official.

He clashed with Mutambara again when he told editors at a media conference
in Harare last week that the long awaited Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC)
would only come into existence when three other constitutional commissions
had been put in place.

These are the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption
Commission and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission.
But Mutambara said Charamba was wrong and unqualified to make such comments.

"These are the individuals who are damaging the standing of the government
by speaking out of turn and speaking without authority," said Mutambara. "We
do not take that very kindly; he has no authority to speak as he has done."

"He is a civil servant but he is behaving like a political commissar, which
is a travesty of justice in our country."

At the same UNESCO-sponsored media conference, Charamba was also at variance
with Timba when he threatened to shut down NewsDay, sister publication to
the Zimbabwe Independent, if it hit the streets without registration.

This is despite lack of clarity and controversy over the current licensing

Charamba said the High Court ruling nullifying the existence of the Media
and Information Commission (MIC) did not preclude his ministry from
demanding licences from new players.

"What that judgment cannot do is to stop the ministry from visiting a
publication that is on the street to ask it to produce its licence," said
Charamba. "That we will do without fear or favour - get it from me because
you will be breaking the law. That we will definitely do.

"If you find yourself on the street without proper registration, ahh, you
are inviting us and we will react instantly."

He added: "We have a very funny situation where Barnabas (Thondhlana -
editor- designate of NewsDay) should be editing a paper but can't do it
because there is no registering authority. And certainly he knows that if he
goes on the street without registration, Charamba will be on him.

But Timba said: "Zimbabwe is not a police state. It is not the policy of
this government that its employees go around threatening citizens with
arrest for imagined crimes.

"The alleged remarks and threats by Secretary Charamba to cause the arrest
of Editors of NewsDay are not only unfortunate and regrettable but do not
represent government policy and are not in keeping with the Zimbabwe the
three political parties in government have committed to create."

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FBI fugitive seeks Zanu PF cover

12/10/2009 00:00:00
by Lebo Nkatazo

A CHARITY boss wanted by the United States Federal Bureau of
Investigations (FBI) on allegations of fraud is seeking Zanu PF protection
after claiming the charges were "fabricated" by individuals said to have
opposed "support he lent to the Zimbabwe government".

Zimbabwean police confirm they have received a request from Interpol
to apprehend Phillip Mazorodze, 45, and send him back to the US state of
Indiana to face "counterfeit/forgery, fraud and theft" charges.

Mazorodze is head of WishKids International, a US-registered charity.
New revealed last month that Mazorodze was a fugitive
after he applied and was interviewed by MPs to be a member of the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission (ZEC) which will oversee Zimbabwe's next elections.

Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena
last Friday said they were "trying to verify if Mazorodze was still in
Zimbabwe", just days after he handed over 155 wheel-chairs bought from China
to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. The wheel-chairs were distributed to
three Harare hospitals.

But Mazorodze's charm offensive on the unsuspecting Prime Minister
will look like a desperate attempt to influence

Zimbabwean officials to prevent him being sent to the United States to
face the music.

Mazorodze told the state-run Herald newspaper on Saturday that he was
in Harare and "not hiding from anyone".

"The issue was ironed out last year and neither US authorities nor
Interpol are looking for me," he said, before casting himself as a political
target of "people who were against the idea of supporting Zimbabwe because
of the sanctions on the country."

Despite his claims, Mazorodze is still listed on the Interpol website
as "wanted" (SEE HERE).

Mazorodze said: "The allegations were fabricated by some individuals
who were against the support I lent to the government. It started when I was
in America when we used to run programmes to support medical institutions in

"But I am Zimbabwean and I should support my country. I have vowed to
continue supporting Zimbabwe."

Mazorodze's pitch is a common stance taken by businessmen and other
suspected criminals to scare civil servants - including the police -- from
pursuing any action against them for fear of upsetting powerful Zanu PF

Mazorodze slipped out of America early this year as police closed in,
leaving behind a wife and three children. He denies abandoning his family.

Mazorodze's charity claims to have "substantial experience (in)
implementing HIV/Aids welfare projects and poverty reduction
income-generating projects in developing nations, especially Africa".

WishKids says it "offers solutions for developing country projects",
claims "significant experience with United Nations Population Fund impact
evaluation projects" and states that its specialties "include designing
management structures for efficient project implementation and effective
evaluative project-data collection systems".

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Dabengwa says Msika initiated pull-out

October 12, 2009

By Owen Chikari

MASVINGO- The late vice president Joseph Msika formally initiated PF Zapu's
pull-out from the unity accord signed between the party and Zanu PF in 1987,
former government minister Dumiso Dabengwa has said.

Briefing journalists in Masvingo on Sunday, Dabengwa , chairman of the
revived Zapu, said Msika urged aggrieved PF Zapu supporters to organise a
congress and formally pull out of the agreement with Zanu-PF.

The accord was signed between PF Zapu leader Joshua Nkomo, also late and
President Robert Mugabe of Zanu-PF in 1987.

Dabengwa has since led a breakaway of disgruntled PF Zapu members, a move
dismissed out of hand Mugabe and Zanu-PF officials.

"It is vice president Msika who told us to organise a congress which we did
in May this year," said Dabengwa .

"He told us that after the congress the party members should formally
endorse the decision to pull out of the unity accord, which we did.

"We formally pulled out of the unity accord in May this year and we have a
resolution to that effect."

When Nkomo died in 1999, Msika replaced him as vice-president. After
suffering a stroke in 2005, he tried to retire, but Mugabe insisted on
keeping him in office. The ageing and sick Msika then lapsed into almost
total inactivity.

He died on August 4 aged 85.

Dabengwa said that the decision to pull out was made after members of the
party felt that Zanu-PF was trying to destroy PF Zapu's liberation war

"Zapu is the mother of the liberation struggle," said Debengwa. "Infact
Zanu-PF came out of Zapu but if you look at it now it appears as if it is
only Zanu-PF which participated in the liberation struggle."

Dabengwa initially teamed up with another former minister, Simba Makoni
under an opposition outfit dubbed Mavambo Kusile Dawn (MKD).

The former Home Affairs minister said he did not regret joining the project
led by former finance minister, Makoni.

"We are grateful to Mavambo and we do not regret being party of that
project," said Dabengwa.

Asked if they were going to recall senior members of Zapu who have remained
in Zanu-PF Dabengwa said; "We are not going to recall them because we do not
have the mandate to do so.

"Those who want to remain in Zanu-PF are doing that in their personal
capacity but Zapu as an organisation has pulled out."

Dabengwa said the party was happy with the inclusive government and it would
participate fully in the constitutional reform process.

"We are going to participate in the constitutional reform process, and as a
party we have our own position," he said.

Zanu-PF and PF Zapu signed the unity accord in 1987 to form a united

Dabengwa said that the unity accord no longer existed and this year's unity
day would only be commemorated for the purpose of uniting people only, and
not because of the unity accord.

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Banking - Agriculture's Siamese Twin

"Vana vembwa havasvinure musi mumwecheta" - when puppies are born they are
all born blind and yet, from the same litter, some puppies open their eyes
before others do.

Commercial agriculture in Zimbabwe was efficiently funded by private banks
and the government played no part in subsidising farmers. Even new entrant
indigenous farmers received no direct financial assistance from the Reserve
Bank or the government.

History illuminates the fact that in the 1890's white settlers were given
land and subsidised by the British South Africa Company (BSAC), their
sovereign authority at that time. This period of subsidies extended up to 10
years until the farmer "stood alone".

The same model was used by ZANU (PF) in 2000, and ten years later the
majority of the so called "new farmers" are neither productive nor
economically independent.

The difference with these two seemingly similar scenarios is that in the
1890's, the white settlers started out on virgin land with no
infrastructure. However, they had the advantage of "chibharo" free labour
provided by "natives", which was vital for the development of the savannah
into productive farmlands.

In 21st century Zimbabwe, at the beginning of the new millennium, the farms
were fully developed, highly productive, and had the most modern agrarian
infrastructure in Africa. 600 000 persons were gainfully employed on these
farms with each worker earning the government's stipulated minimum wage. The
majority of the farms that were misappropriated had crops that had been
planted, fertilised, irrigated, and ready for harvest. The war veterans
helped themselves to the profits and lined up at the RBZ for handouts for
the next crop inputs, which were never used for farming and instead sold on
the black market for short term gain. This, and not imagined sanctions,
caused Zimbabwe's economic meltdown.

The very freedom fighters that had fought gallantly to redress the land
imbalance rewarded themselves first with compensation for physical and
psychological injuries purportedly suffered during the war of liberation.
Secondly, they further recompensed themselves with gratuities that
bankrupted the country, which was mired in an adventurous colonial style war
in the DRC. Thirdly, the government created a housing and car scheme for the
same war veterans, which was looted and benefited the same circle of war

The straw that broke the camel's back for the already battered Zimbabwean
economy was the violent invasion and takeover of productive business units
that merely happened to be domiciled on contentious land, which itself was
the precursor to the war of liberation.

On these farms were skilled workers, tobacco curing facilities, floriculture
units, seed maize grading machinery, cattle breeding units, pedigree cattle
bloodlines, housing for farm staff, transportation, tillage equipment and of
course, real estate-farm houses.

The tractors that were forcibly taken are now obsolete, the irrigation
equipment, if it survived the smelting into aluminium ingots, is unusable,
the cattle were eaten -"gandanga haridye derere", and the skilled workers
have dispersed.

Farming and agriculture require a commitment to the land that one is born
with. It is impossible to conveniently convert to farming as a last resort
when all other business endeavours falter.

Zimbabwe is endowed with generations of professional farmers, both black and
white, who should be in the front of the queue for agrarian reform and farm
allocations. The most competent of these indigenous farmers earned the
Master Farmer badge "hurudza", and bought farms in the previously designated
African Purchase areas before Independence. It is an easier transition to
allocate commercial farms to this group than to create new farmers from
opportunistic absentee city dwellers.

The second group is the farm managers; every white farmer employed a black
manager, although they were referred to as supervisors, foremen or
"bossboys". They were competent, capable, and with a little state
assistance, will once again be productive on farms they previously worked

Banks have a pivotal role in agriculture and should be permitted to set the
conditions for lending seasonal finance to "new farmers".

Security of tenure-title deeds and legal leases-are a prerequisite for any
financial institution lending money to a farmer in the absence of any other
form of collateral. The farmer's track record should be measured by
experience, previous crop yields, and the ability to repay past short-term
seasonal loans when factoring the lending equation.

Zimbabwe has five agro-ecological regions and each region has unique
agronomic characteristics which govern the type of farming and yields to be
expected due to the topography and rainfall patterns.

An offer letter penned on a defunct Ministry of State for National Security,
Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement in the President's Office's letterhead,
signed by a minister who still believes in clairvoyants, and delivered by
the local ZANU (PF) warlord, must never be the basis upon which our banking
system should advance shareholders funds to an incompetent land occupier
devoid of a tangible agricultural track record.

All non-performing "farmers" must as a prudent economic measure be
permanently jettisoned from agriculture through a vigorous weaning exercise.
The time has come to "throw the baby out with the bath water". Starve the
unproductive farmers of free subsidies and let the vagaries of the free
market economy determine who should be farming. Once Zimbabwe reverts to the
rule law and conducts a comprehensive land audit coupled with real agrarian
reform, she can painlessly feed herself within twelve months.

Phil Matibe -

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