The ZIMBABWE Situation
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200 Epworth homes bulldozed as Harare announces “a blitz”

By Tererai Karimakwenda
16 October, 2012

A government owned company on Sunday demolished the homes of over 200
Epworth families, after giving them only 48-hours notice to vacate the

The development comes as the city of Harare embarks on what the Health
Director has called a blitz to “regularize” shops and “restore sanity”.
There are already concerns that the capital will face another mass
demolition similar to “Operation Murambatsvina”.

The Epworth families were asleep when the bulldozers arrived early Sunday
morning, from a development company called Sunway City. The company had
acquired a High Court order, claiming the structures were illegal and built
on land reserved for light industrial development.

Many of the families, after organizing and building homes under the
Chinamano Cooperative, lost everything and had nowhere to go. Christopher
Kembo, head of the Cooperative, reportedly said the notice did not give them
enough time to make other arrangements for the victims.

According to the state run Herald newspaper, Kembo said they had appealed to
the authorities at Sunway City for a grace period “to make decent
arrangements to shelter the affected families”, but the plea fell on deaf

Sunway City is a subsidiary of the government owned Industrial Development
Corporation of Zimbabwe Limited (IDC).

Precious Shumba, Coordinator at the Harare Residents Trust (HRT), expressed
deep concern at the development, saying there is a lot of corruption
involving councillors and other city officials in Harare.

“There is a lot of corruption in the housing cooperatives, involving the
Department of Urban Planning and officials at the Department of Housing and
Community Services. Many people, including councillors, have formed their
own cooperatives and are being conniving,” Shumba explained.

He added that many of the councillors have forgotten where they came from
and now represent the interests of the city management officials, instead of
the residents that elected them.

According to Shumba the council allocates land, which includes commercial
stands, to the cooperatives. They then charge the cooperative for servicing
the commercial stands. The charges include water and sewage reticulation,
mandatory gravel roads, and new charges that are known as “intrinsic

Meanwhile the Director of Health in the Harare City Council is alleged to
have recently announced that the city will undertake a blitz and close all
illegal shops, in order to regularise business structures.

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Asiagate: 13 life bans, 80 suspended

16/10/2012 00:00:00
by Sports Reporter

THIRTEEN players and officials have been banned for life from football and
80 others have been suspended after being found guilty of match fixing, the
Zimbabwe Football Association said Tuesday.

No names were released, but ZIFA confirmed that eight players had been
exonerated by a committee led by retired High Court judge Ahmed Ibrahim
which investigated allegations national team players and officials took cash
payments from Asian betting syndicates between 2007 and 2009 to lose

In a statement after he handed over his findings to the ZIFA board, Justice
Ibrahim said: “My committee has just completed a task which it embarked on
about 11 months ago. It has been a tortuous, stressful period in our lives
and we have been operating with virtually no resources.

“We have been maligned and some of our members have been libelled and
received virtually no co-operation in securing documentation to effectively
carry out our task.”

Justice Ibrahim said his committee – which had already cleared 40 players
before Tuesday – had recommended life bans on 13 individuals, believed to
include Henrietta Rushwaya, the former ZIFA CEO fingered in a previous
internal investigation as the local lynchpin of the corruption.

Seven individuals will be banned from football for 10 years; 37 were handed
five-year bans; 25 players and officials will be banned for two years; two
received suspended two-year bans; six will be sidelined for a year and one
player is to receive a six month ban.

FIFA has said it will work with ZIFA to effect the sanctions globally –
meaning the affected players and officials would be banned from football
activities worldwide.

"Today will go down as a sad, depressing day in the annals of history of the
game in Zimbabwe," said Justice Ibrahim.

He said what the investigation has revealed "may well only be the proverbial
tip of the iceberg".

ZIFA president Cuthbert Dube also believes that there is more work to be
"We will not step down until we clean up football," he said. "There is
match-fixing in the premier league and in Division One, and we are not
pleased with the standard of our referees.”

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Zimbabwe rights probe to ignore pre-2009 abuses

By Reagan Mashavave (AFP) – 2 hours ago

HARARE — Zimbabwe's human rights commission will not investigate abuses
committed before a power-sharing government was formed in 2009, according to
the text of a law obtained by AFP on Tuesday.
According to the law, which has already come into effect, the probe will not
cover abuses committed during controversial land clearances or in the run-up
to violence-plagued elections in 2008.
The commission will look into any abuses providing the investigation "shall
not relate to an action or omission that occurred earlier than the February
13, 2009".
That was the date at which the power-sharing cabinet was sworn in, with
President Robert Mugabe's political archfoe Morgan Tsvangirai becoming prime
The creation of the human rights commission is part of a package of reforms
agreed to by the unity government.
According to the act, the panel will provide redress for violations of human
rights and for injustices.
It will be able to "conduct investigations on its own initiative or on
receipt of complaints".
But critics said the panel's scope is so narrow as to be close to
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights called on the government to "urgently
establish an independent and credible mechanism to deal with issues relating
to past human rights violations and atrocities".
"This independent mechanism must be mandated to deal with all past human
rights violations."
The organisation said such an inquiry should investigate crimes committed
during the colonial period as well as post-independence ethnic violence and
the Mugabe government's "Operation Murambatsvina".
The operation, which in the Shona language means "clean out the rubbish",
was a series of forced slum evictions which began in 2005 and resulted in
700,000 people losing their homes and affected 2.4 million people according
to a UN report.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said the panel should also investigate
violence ahead of the 2008 vote.
Human rights groups reported that the vote was marred by numerous instances
of political assassination, state-sponsored torture and beatings.
Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change party which has said over 300 of
its supporters were murdered in political violence in 2008 welcomed the
rights law but said they hope a new constitution will allow for a probe of
past rights abuses.
"This is a positive step. The human rights commission has been paralysed
because of lack of enabling legislation," Douglas Mwonzora, MDC
spokesperson, told AFP.
"The MDC has always been opposed to the cut-off date on the basis it could
shield human rights perpetrators before February 2009."
"In the draft constitution there is the peace and reconciliation commission
which deals with historical abuses. So if the constitution is passed there
will be a law which will deal with past human rights abuses," he said.
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, said the MDC had agreed to the panel's
terms of reference.
"The problem with the MDC is that they continue to shift positions, they
agreed to the human rights act," Chinamasa said.
Charles Mangongera, an independent political analyst, pointed out that the
new human rights law does not empower the commission to prosecute.
"This country has a history of human rights violations. If we are to move
forward we need to look in our ugly past," Mangongera told AFP.
"As long as we are trying to sweep some issues under the carpet there is a
"Certainly the Zimbabweans that I know from every part of the country would
want a genuine process of healing, restoration and reconciliation," he said.
He said the new law shows the problems that come with a compromise
government born out of negotiations.

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Malema: whites must give back land, minerals

October 16 2012 at 02:18pm

Peta Thornycroft

Independent Foreign Service

EXPELLED ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema has called on South African
whites to surrender land and minerals resources because “when they came from
Europe they did not carry any land into South Africa”.

“Actually they killed people to get that land and those minerals.

“We are not going to give them money when we take the land back because it
will be like we are thanking them with money for killing our people.

“We will never do that. Little did they know that we are not scared of
blood. We are scared of defeat.

“We don’t want to be defeated but seeing blood is not what we are scared of
as long as that blood delivers what belongs to us we are prepared to go to
that extent.”

Malema was speaking at a posh Harare wedding reception held in one of the
most expensive suburbs in Harare.

He told guests that Zimbabwe’s “achievements” were an “inspiration to
Africa” at a time when Zimbabwe is begging SA and Angola for loans of
nearly R1 billion as the treasury in Harare is empty.

“We want to be remembered as a generation of economic freedom fighters,”
Malema said.

His wedding speech was reported in the pro Zanu-PF daily, The Herald, but he
was not available to confirm if it quoted him accurately.

“We are coming here to Zimbabwe not because we are running away from
problems, but to gain strength because what you have achieved is an
inspiration to Africa,” the Herald reported Malema as saying.

“Don’t listen to imperialist newspapers. You have achieved a lot.

“You are running your own country, you have been managing your own affairs
and you are not controlled by foreigners.

“We are not a generation of mini-skirts. We are a generation that continues
with the struggle of President [Robert] Mugabe, of President [Nelson]

At a time when there are at least 40 political prisoners in appalling
conditions in Zimbabwe’s filthy maximum security prison, Malema praised
Mugabe for delivering “political freedom and democracy”.

He made a long speech, which the Herald said made many of the well-heeled
guests laugh.

Malema said he was in Harare to attend a “beautiful wedding so we left our
political vocabulary at home…

“We want to dance and enjoy Zimbabwe and we want to see what Harare will
offer us.”

Malema said he and his colleagues had been to Zimbabwe many times and were
hosted by indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukawere, who he referred to by
his nickname, Tyson.

“When I was coming to this wedding, they said in South Africa that I was
running away from problems and I was coming to seek asylum here in Zimbabwe.

“Little did they know that I will never run away from South Africa. I will
never run away from problems because problems are my life.’

He handed over a gift of about R50 000 to the bride Tendai Wenyika and her
new husband, Mike Gava.

Malema told the couple: “You must never be ashamed of having many kids; you
must be ashamed of having many wives”, in an evident reference to polygamous
President Jacob Zuma, his arch-enemy.

“Many wives are not an alternative. They spread diseases because that is
multisexual relationship and they are not protected.”

Malema was not available for comment but had a message for callers on his
cellphone yesterday: “At the end of everything else we will not remember the
words uttered by the enemy… we will remember the silence of our friends
during this difficult time. Never surrender. Never retreat. Victory is

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Mugabe and Tsvangirai considering COPAC takeover

By Tererai Karimakwenda
16 October, 2012

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe are reported to be
considering changes to the constitutional reform exercise, which would give
them the final word in a process that is supposed to be run by parliament.

According to The Standard newspaper the two principals issued a directive to
the Minister for Parliamentary and Constitutional Affairs, Eric Matinenga,
to “take over the administration of COPAC” ahead of the second
all-stakeholders conference. Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa was
reportedly present.

But Matinenga categorically refused, insisting that the process, as defined
by the Global Political Agreement (GPA), is to be managed by a committee of
parliament (COPAC). Matinenga is reported to have advised Mugabe and
Tsvangirai not to interfere with that process by making executive decisions.

Matinenga confirmed to SW Radio Africa that he spoke to The Standard
newspaper and said he stands by his conviction that constitutional reform
should run its course as dictated by Article 6 of the GPA, under COPAC
management. But he would not be drawn into discussing the meeting with the

Phillip Pasirayi, spokesperson for the Crisis Coalition, told SW Radio
Africa that he was surprised and shocked at the Prime Minister for taking
part in such a meeting and for allowing ZANU PF to drag him into their
political games.

“We would have expected the PM to resist. I am surprised he is being roped
in by ZANU PF into this illegal game that is against the GPA. We all know
ZANU PF has never been interested in genuine constitutional reform. Look at
the road that the process has taken, with ZANU PF using thugs to resist,”
Pasirayi said.

The activist said civil society has always pointed to the fact that there is
no separation of powers in Zimbabwe and the Executive is vested with
“imperial powers”. By working with Mugabe to take over the constitutional
process, Tsvangirai would have joined the ZANU PF ranks and ignored the

Pasirayi also commended Minister Matinenga for standing by his convictions
on the issue. He said as a lawyer Matinenga knows the takeover of COPAC
would be illegal and against the GPA.
The entire constitutional reform exercise has been strongly criticized by a
number of civil society groups and observers, who say the COPAC draft does
not represent the views of the people and that the process was hijacked by
the three political parties.

The outreach programme was marred by intimidation and assaults on
participants who were described as “sellouts” by ZANU PF supporters, who
came with pre-written contributions. Critics say the people were silenced
from the beginning.

In rural areas many did not understand what should be in a constitution and
were unable to make contributions that were meaningful.

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Mudede accredited as ZANU PF delegate for Stakeholders Conference

By Tichaona Sibanda
16 October 2012

Register-General Tobaiwa Mudede was on Tuesday accredited to attend the 2nd
All-Stakeholders Conference as a ZANU PF delegate. The 68 year-old Mudede
has been in charge of all elections held in the country since 1985. His
critics have charged him with manipulating the elections in favor of Robert
Mugabe and ZANU PF, a charge he has always denied.

The COPAC gathering on the draft governance charter is set to begin on
Sunday in Harare and ends on Tuesday. The three day conference will be
attended by at least 1 101 delegates, among them 246 political party
representatives, 284 MPs and 571 civil society groups representatives.

Local and foreign observers, including journalists, will be accredited on
Friday. Every diplomatic Embassy in Harare has also been invited to send
officials to observe the proceedings. The exercise has reportedly been
declared a success following the smooth accreditation of delegates at 10
centres designated throughout the country.

Only in Mutare were there minor problems when the printing machine for the
ID cards broke down. It was quickly fixed and the accreditation exercise was
completed without further hitches.

Our correspondent Simon Muchemwa told us reports that Mudede will attend the
conference as a ZANU PF delegate did not surprise the MDC formations.

He said Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC-T spokesman and COPAC co-chairman, told
him they were happy Mudede had finally come out of the closet to declare his
allegiance to the former ruling party.

Recently Mudede claimed the much criticized voters roll was perfect, despite
numerous checks proving otherwise. For example as of 1st October 2012 there
were 366,550 new voters who had not appeared on any previous roll. 16,033 of
these voters were over the age of 70 while 1,488 of them were over 100. Over
200 of the new registered voters were small children and dozens more were
listed from the same house, bearing the same date of birth.

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EU chief warns of relapse

By Guthrie Munyuki, Senior Assistant Editor
Tuesday, 16 October 2012 10:17

HARARE - The European Union ambassador to Zimbabwe regrets the recent arrest
of a Cabinet minister and journalists by police in moves he says are a form
of political intimidation.

Aldo Dell’Ariccia told the Daily News in an interview that the timing of
Energy minister Elton Mangoma’s arrest, in particular, was questionable.

Mangoma was arrested in the capital last week for his alleged Mugabe must go
jibe during a political address to MDC supporters in Bindura five months

“We respect the law of the country and we acknowledge that it is unlawful in
Zimbabwe to insult the President. Now the fact is that the arrest of Mangoma
about five months after the alleged insult and barely 10 days before the
All-Stakeholders Conference is regrettable.

That generates a situation that might lead to an interpretation of this
arrest as political intimidation,” the EU chief told the Daily News.

Dell’Ariccia said the MDC deputy treasurer’s arrest at a time the three
political parties in the power sharing Global Political Agreement (GPA) were
preparing for the Second All-Stakeholders Constitutional Conference, was

The Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference gives political party
representatives and the civic society organisations an opportunity to
discuss the draft from the Constitution Select Committee (Copac) after an
outreach programme in which people’s views were gathered.

It is not a drafting conference.

“With all due respect to the course of justice in the country, intimidation
would be regrettable in a moment like this when the country is preparing to
take a crucial step in the completion of the constitution, an exercise in
which minister Mangoma himself has a crucial role to play.

“We have seen in the past cases of political harassment and intimidation in
the run-ups to previous elections in Zimbabwe and even at that time it has
been a matter of concern that we have expressed to the authorities,” said
the EU head of mission.

“We hope the arrest of Mangoma and other arrests or harassments of political
activists are not an indication that we are back to that negative trend
because if this were the case, this could undermine the credibility of the
whole process.

“And in particular, it would be in contradiction with President Robert
Mugabe’s calls for a non-violent atmosphere and peaceful environment for the
elections,” he said.

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Mugabe holding Zimbabwe back: Ibrahim

Sapa-AFP | 16 October, 2012 07:06

Zimbabwe should be a powerhouse in Africa but its stagnant political
leadership under President Robert Mugabe is holding it back, good governance
advocate Mo Ibrahim says.

The founder of the Ibrahim Index of African Governance told AFP that
Zimbabweans needed to "get their act together" if the country headed by
88-year-old Mugabe was to end its political impasse and move forward.

And African leaders should be brutally honest in criticising heads of
government who drag their countries down, the Sudan-born telecoms tycoon

He was speaking after his foundation announced that for the third time in
four years it would not award its Prize for Achievement in African
Leadership -- the world's biggest individual prize -- as no suitable
candidates were found.

Ibrahim said: "Zimbabwe should have been a success story. It is a wonderful
country with wonderful resources but unfortunately is at a political
impasse. That is really a problem.

"We really hope the Zimbabwean people will somehow come together to resolve
this impasse and enable the country to move forward.

"It's unfortunate to have this kind of stagnation in the political scene
which is affecting the performance of the country.

"The Zimbabwean people are among some of the best-educated Africans and very
enterprising. So let's hope that they get their act together and somehow we
see Zimbabwe rising again."

A shaky power-sharing government was formed in 2009 following violent polls.
Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai struck a deal to avoid a tip
into a full-fledged conflict.

"The past generation, most African leaders came from freedom-fighting,
liberation movements. A good fighter is not necessarily a good governor. It
takes different skills to run a country," Ibrahim said.

Zimbabwe ranked 47th out of 52 African countries in the 2012 Ibrahim Index
unveiled Monday, with a score of 34 out of 100 -- making it the
worst-performing country in the otherwise high-ranking southern Africa.

Ibrahim said there was a "collegiate atmosphere" among African leaders where
they do not criticise one another publicly.

"We hope this is changing. We need to have the courage to stand up and say
look, this is wrong," he said.

"If you look in a mirror and see an ugly face, maybe you are really ugly.
It's not the fault of the mirror. We need to be a little bit more brutal in
order to move forward. We need more honesty to say the tough things.

"We should be free to really say the truth wherever it is needed."

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Iran, Zimbabwe call for expansion of ties

Political Desk

On Line: 16 October 2012 17:07

TEHRAN – Iranian First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi met with
Zimbabwean Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi in Tehran on Tuesday.

During the meeting, Rahimi commented on relations between the two countries
and said that efforts should be made to enhance bilateral cooperation.

He also said that Iran is ready to share its experiences in various areas
with Zimbabwe.

In addition, the Iranian official stated that new avenues should be explored
to eliminate poverty in Africa.

The Zimbabwean foreign minister stated that the two countries have friendly
ties and share common views on many international issues.

He also called for the expansion of relations between Tehran and Harare.

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Farmers Not Accessing Agricultural Inputs

Gibbs Dube

The forthcoming agricultural season looks disastrous as some farmers are
failing to access agricultural inputs while the Grain Marketing Board (GMB)
appears to have scaled down its free seed and fertilizer scheme owing to the
massive abuse of the program last year by some politicians and farmers
aligned to Zanu PF.

While the government insists that agricultural inputs will be readily
available this year, observers said communal farmers are set to struggle to
get maize seed, fertilizer and loans as they owe the banking sector over $90

On the other hand, indications are that the GMB is failing to raise over $22
million for rolling out its perennial seed and fertilizer input scheme.

Deputy Agriculture Minister Seiso Moyo told VOA Studio 7 despite these
drawbacks preparations for the forthcoming crop season are in full swing.

“We hope that farmers will access the required inputs though there are some
challenges in some areas,” said Moyo.

Commercial farmer Themba Dlodlo of Mbangazitha Farm in Matabeleland South
Province said poor planning will have a devastating effect on the next crop

Politicians linked to President Robert Mugabe's party, who abused the
state-sponsored GMB agricultural inputs last season, have not yet been

Zimbabwe ran out of fertilizer and seed at the onset of the rain season when
the politicians descended on the GMB and grabbed all the inputs for resale.

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Zimbabwe military accused of campaigning for Mugabe

Staff Reporter 5 hours 52 minutes ago

There are growing concerns among Zimbabwean political parties and civic
organisations that President Robert Mugabe – in power since independence
from Britain in 1980 – is using the military to lay the groundwork for the
88 year old leader's campaign for re-election in elections expected next
The military is believed to be pivotal in Mugabe’s continued stay in power,
with army generals previously indicating that they would not salute anyone
other than Mugabe. Inconclusive and bloody elections in 2008 lead to the
current coalition government structure.

But the government of national unity has not been cohesive, with Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T calling for security sector reforms and
at one time saying army generals should retire from the military if they are
interested in active politics. Mugabe’s Zanu-PF is opposed to crucial
security sector reforms.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC and the other smaller MDC lead by
Professor Welshman Ncube have complained of the deployment of soldiers
across the country where soldiers are effectively urging people to vote for

Although it could not be immediately ascertained how many army personnel had
been deployed for alleged campaigning purposes, defenceWeb has been told
that the military has deployed personnel to some areas in two of Zimbabwe’s
large provinces, Manicaland – in eastern Zimbabwe – and Masvingo, along the
road to the Beit Bridge border post with South Africa.

“There is a heavy presence of military people in Manicaland and Masvingo and
people are afraid that the presence of soldiers is meant to force them to
vote for Zanu-PF and President Mugabe in the forthcoming elections,” a civic
society leader said over the weekend.

Traditional leaders in Masvingo are being summoned to attend meetings at the
4 Brigade headquarters. Reports say senior military officers are using the
meetings with traditional leaders to map strategies aimed at swaying the
vote in favour of Mugabe, who has enhanced military ties and cooperation
with China.

Soldiers have also been allegedly disrupting political rallies of some
parties, with Ncube’s MDC being the most affected after soldiers stormed his
party’s rally in Mutoko.

The army has denied that its members are disrupting political rallies, with
army spokesperson, Alphios Makotore insisting that the military was not
involved in such incidents. There was no immediate comment from Zanu-PF on
concerns that it is using the military to lay the groundwork for Mugabe’s
re-election campaign.

However, Kurauone Chihwayi, a spokesperson in Ncube’s MDC said soldiers in
two trucks stormed the MDC rally in Mutoko earlier this month and
“assaulted” supporters “viciously”.

Elections are now more likely next year although the MDC parties are
opposing Mugabe’s March 2013 election date, saying the coalition government
must complete crucial reforms for the security sector, the media and the
electoral framework.

Human rights and civic organisations have called for the Zimbabwean military
to be non-partisan and to respect the constitution.

“The military has no place in politics; they should stay in their barracks
and desist from attacking those they see as opposing Zanu PF and Mugabe. We
are afraid that the fresh elections that are being called for March next
year could be too early as security sector reforms need to be put in place
to reign in the military ahead of the elections,” said a civic society

In November last year the Southern Africa Report, which focuses on political
and economic intelligence issues in Africa, said that the Zimbabwe Defence
Force had taken delivery of “the first of several consignments of Chinese
small arms and equipment,” including 20 000 AK-47 assault rifles, uniforms,
a dozen trucks and 21 000 pairs of handcuffs.

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MDC Condemns Harassment of Civil Servants

The MDC is appalled by the victimisation of Ms Vannesa Ivy Muranda, a
teacher at Magunje High School in Karoi by the Acting Headmaster, Gedion
Manaona who is evicting her from a school house on perceived allegations for
supporting a party of her choice.

It is alleged that the Mr Manaona, a known Zanu PF supporter is forcing the
teacher to vacate the school house and seek alternative accommodation
outside the school premises accusing her of wearing MDC party T-shirts
within the school premises.

Ms Muranda denies the charge and has said this is political victimisation
for supporting a party of her choice ahead of Zanu PF which Mr Manaona is a
member of.

The MDC condemns the continued attack and victimisation in the strongest
terms of civil servants across the country.

The party reiterates its position that political victimisation in public
schools has no place in a new Zimbabwe.The MDC stands firm as it has always
done for its supporters, during times of persecution by Zanu PF and the
party assures all Zimbabweans that the time for real change in Zimbabwe is

The folly of the Acting Headmaster at Magunje High can only be attributed to
the wide and confirmed history of Zanu PF - the history of violence,
evictions, abductions, murder; harassment - the list is endless.

The transformation of this country rests on each and every man and woman in
their spheres to guard against Zanu PF's violent nature and condemn it into
the abyss through the ballot paper come 2013.

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Two MDC members abducted

Two MDC members Emanuel Kambarami and Andrew Vera were abducted by five
heavily armed secret State security agents at their homes in Mpopoma,
Bulawayo on Wednesday night.

by MDC Information & Publicity Department

Kambarami is the chairperson for ward 9 Mpopoma constituency while Vera is
the Youth Assembly ward chairperson.

After the night raid, the two activists were taken to Magnet House, which is
the Central Intelligence Organisation provincial head office where they were
heavily assaulted during interrogation which lasted into the early hours of
the next day. The notorious Magnet House, which is used as a torture base by
the CIO operatives, is owned by Obert Mpofu, a Zanu PF Politburo member.

According to the two MDC members, the merchants of torture claimed that they
wanted to know which perceived “faction” the two belonged to and who had
written an MDC slogan, which read; “MDC Kwese Kwese” at Sikanyiso Ndlovu’s
house at Block 59 in Mpopoma.

Ndlovu is a Zanu PF Politburo member.

The State security agents also took photographs of the two victims and
threatened them not to go to the press as they would abduct them again and
make them disappear for good. However, the two said they would not be
intimidated by the acts of the CIO operatives who were working on the orders
of disgruntled Zanu PF politicians who are facing defeat in the next
elections in 2013.

Since their release, they have been receiving anonymous calls and being
visited by strange people driving unmarked vehicles.

Kambarami and Vera are currently receiving treatment for injuries sustained
during the assault.

Meanwhile, police in Mberengwa have concluded that a faulty refrigerator
thermostat sparked the fire that gutted down the shop of Charles Ndovisai, a
war veteran whose shop Gumbo, the Zanu PF spokesperson claimed was torched
by MDC youths.

The police said there were two 20 litre containers full of petrol and a
generator, which vaporised due to the heat resulting in a spark from the
thermostat igniting the fire. The police have since ruled out foul play.

The police said Zanu PF’s Rugare Gumbo was forcing them to arrest MDC youths
in connection with the inferno although police investigations have shown
that the incident was purely a faulty refrigerator rather than a politically
motivated incident.

“We are being told to make arrests, but who do we arrest? The fire was
started by a faulty fridge, which sparked and started the fire. What do we
do?” asked a petrified police officer who refused to be named.

Gumbo is the Zanu PF national spokesperson and a losing parliamentary
candidate in the Midlands South province in the 2008 elections.

Gumbo was on ZBC TV last week alleging that MDC supporters had burnt the
shop in Mberengwa East, belonging to a war veteran Ndovisai.

In the early hours of last week Sunday at Nhenga Dam Business Centre, a shop
belonging to a war veteran and Zanu PF member, Charles Ndovisai, caught fire
destroying property and goods worth thousands of dollars.

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Police Block MDC, Mavambo Rallies

Violet Gonda, Ntungamili Nkomo

Police in Lupane East on Monday blocked a rally organized by the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) wing led by Industry Minister Welshman Ncube
saying all their manpower was in Victoria Falls for President Robert Mugabe’s

The party condemned the move charging that law enforcement agents were being
used by Zanu PF to slow down its momentum.

The Ncube MDC has held rallies in different parts of the country in recent
months making its case to the electorate ahead of elections scheduled for
next year.

In a statement, the party said: “This is a calculated move to frustrate our
campaign for a just and fair Zimbabwe. We are aware that as our party is
growing rapidly, those that are opposed to democracy will make an effort to
overturn our revolutionary train.”

Police were not immediately available for comment but Ncube MDC spokesman
Nhlanhla Dube said his party was outraged, adding that the ban had no

“The excuse given by the police is really a method to restrict our growth,
to limit our political activities and probably to try and assist others to
gain political space which we had taken,” Dube said.
Interview with Nhlanhla Dube

In a related development, the Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn political party led by
former Finance Minister Simba Makoni, said it was also blocked by the police
from holding a rally in Karoi, Mashonaland west province, over the weekend.

The party’s secretary for mobilization Phillip Chapfunga said despite having
booked the venue a few days earlier than the former ruling party, the police
officers told them they were under instructions to give Zanu PF first
preference over any other political party.

“We opted for an open space but they said there were no sanitary facilities
despite the fact that the consitution select committee once held their
outreach programs there," he said.

Chapfunga said: “We thought we were equal partners in this political field
but unfortunately there are people who are more equal than others.”

Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Select Committee (COPAC) responsible for
writing the country’s new constitution said the registration of delegates to
the Second All Stakeholders Conference was now expected to start Tuesday.

COPAC co-chairman Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana of Zanu PF said the registration
was postponed from last weekend to allow his committee time to finalize the

COPAC met Monday with civic leaders to discuss a rejected move calling on
independent groups to submit names of participants through political

Mangwana told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri accreditation teams have already
left Harare for various centres around the country.

National Association of Non-Governmental Organizations Chief Executive
Officer Cephas Zinhumwe said civic groups were now busy preparing a list of
their delegates for the conference.

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Defence lawyer Mtetwa sheds tears in court

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Beatrice Mtetwa, the defence lawyer representing the 29 MDC members today
shed tears in the High Court after the State prosecutor; Edmore Nyazamba
requested the court to adjourn after only 26 minutes in session.

Nyazamba had indicated that he could not avail another State witness to
testify because the witness had been hospitalised.

Mtetwa said Nyazamba was abdicating his duties, lacked seriousness and was
interested in the prolonged incarceration of the accused. Emotions were
further evoked after a State witness Stephen Manjoro revealed that Cynthia
Manjoro, one of the 29 MDC members accused in the alleged murder of
Inspector Petros Mutedza was only being held as bait until the arrest of
Darlington Madzonga, who is said to have been using her car on the day the
alleged offence was committed.

Stephen is the brother to Cynthia.

Stephen said Cynthia had only returned from church with her two year old
child and spent the better part of the day at home before she was arrested.

Mtetwa shed tears as she quizzed the judge on what kind of justice it was
that would keep a mother of a two year old in prison when there is
overwhelming evidence that she had not committed a crime.

“A police officer by the name of Makedenge indicated that Cynthia Manjoro
will only be released after Darlington Madzonga handed himself over to the
police,” Stephen said.

Testifying before the same court earlier today was Constable Victor
Mafavhuke from Glen View police station who arrested some of the accused MDC
members. Mafavhuke admitted that he had not seen the MDC members committing
the crime but only acted on information he had gathered from an informer.

Asked to reveal the informers, Mafavhuke said he would not, under whatever
circumstance reveal the source. Mafavhuke further gave conflicting evidence
during cross examination on whether he had seen the accused prior to the
arrest by saying he had seen the accused at Glen View 4 shops.

In his sworn statement taken a day after the incident by the police,
Mafavhuke indicated that he had not seen the accused but was informed that
the accused were amongst the people who had killed Mutedza.

Constable Mafavhuke indicated that he had not recorded anything in police
records but in his notebook which he swore could be brought to court. He
further said no identification parades were taken after the arrest of the
suspects and he had not given identification particulars of the accused to
the investigating officer a Mr Ntini.

The defence also proved to the court that Constable Mafavhuke arrested the
accused after they had been apprehended by Zanu PF youths for wearing MDC

Evidence given earlier in court by other police officers indicated that
Constable Mafavhuke was involved in the parade that was later carried out at
Harare Central Police Station but he denied this saying he had not
participated in such a parade to authenticate identities of the arrested

Constable Mafavhuke admitted in Court that he had no knowledge on whether
the accused had indeed participated in the alleged crime.

The trial of the 29 MDC members continues tomorrow at the High Court.

The last mile: Towards Real Transformation!!!

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Zim journos want Malema apology

October 16 2012 at 08:31pm

Firebrand Julius Malema should apologise to two Zimbabwean reporters who
were allegedly harassed by his bodyguards, journalists from that country
said on Tuesday.

“The behaviour by Malema's aides is not only appalling but unfitting of
visiting foreign nationals,” the Zimbabwe Chapter of the Media Institute of
Southern Africa (Misa-Zimbabwe) said in a statement.

It said it was surprised at the guards' behaviour.

Zimbabwe Daily News reporters Bethule Nkiwane and Tendai Kamhungira were
allegedly manhandled by the expelled ANC Youth League leader's guards in
Harare on Sunday.

The journalists were seeking to interview Malema about his alleged links to
Zimbabwe's Zanu-PF party, and about money laundering charges he was facing.

The newspaper's editor Stanley Gama said the reporters were told Malema had
agreed to an interview beforehand.

“He appeared interested in talking to my colleagues. But after that his
goons pushed him aside and told our reporters to go to hell,” Gama said. -

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Tsvangirai Fires Right Hand Man Makone For Financing Karimatsenga in Court Battle

Harare, October 16, 2012 - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was Tuesday
reported to have fired his right hand man Ian Makone from his office after
the former was found to have been bankrolling his former lover Lorcadia
Karimatsenga during her fierce court battle with the embattled premier.
MDC-T sources told RadioVop Tuesday Tsvangirai replaced Makone with Kent Law
University senior lecturer Alex Magaisa to the position of Chief of Staff in
the Prime Minister’s Office.

“Tsvangirai fired Makone after he had discovered he was advising Locardia
Karimatsenga in her court case with him and was also financing her
throughout the process,” said the source on condition of anonymity.

Tsvangirai suffered a setback in his bid to wed his new wife Elizabeth
Macheka under the civil marriage last month after the courts ruled that he
was still customarily married to Karimatsenga.

The MDC-T leader is said to have proceeded to fire from his office, former
DJ James Maridadi who was director of protocol, Pastor Lazarus Muriritirwa
who was principal director for policy implementation.

Tsvangirai also reassigned to Harvest House, his former personal assistant
Ghandi Mudzingwa.

It was not clear why Maridadi and Muriritirwa were fired although Maridadi
is thought to be related to the Makones.

Pastor Muriritirwa found himself in the papers last month when a South
African woman who claimed to have been promised marriage by Tsvangirai
fingered Muriritirwa as having converted his house into a love nest for her
and the premier.

It was said Theresa Makone, co-Home Affairs Minister and wife to Makone was
also in the line of fire.

The Makones are said to have been having too much influence on Tsvangirai to
a point of finding girlfriends for the MDC-T leader, who lost his wife of
three decades in a tragic car crash 2009.

Reached for comment, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka suggested
there have indeed been changes within the Prime Minister’s Office but denied
the foursome was fired.

“The Prime Minister reserves the right to make changes to his office but to
say that anyone has been fired is to mislead and to speculate. If indeed
there are any changes, then a statement would be made,” said Tamborinyoka

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Zanu (PF) officials fail to pays workers

Prominent Bulawayo businessman and senior Zanu (PF) official Ernest Marima,
is failing to pay employees working at his business empires dotted around

by Zwanai Sithole

Workers at Royal Hotel owned by Zanu (PF) official Ernest Marima have not
been paid since July this year.
Marima, who is one of the Zanu (PF) committee members who fundraises for
President Robert Mugabe's 21st February Movement national celebrations owns
several hotels, supermarkets, farms, bakeries and a couple of buildings in
the city.

Marima's workers who spoke to the Zimbabwean this week complained that they
last received their full salaries in May this year while others said they
have been getting part of their pay since then.

"We have not received our salaries since May this year. We have tried to
engage Marima over the issue but it seems he is not interested in the
workers' welfare. All he is interested in is donating to Zanu (PF) while his
workers are suffering "said a worker employed at one of the Hotels who
refused to be named for fear of victimization. Another worker who also
refused to be named said following numerous complaints of starvation by the
workers and their families, the workers were recently asked by the
management to take groceries on account at one of the businessman's

"This facility has even made things worse for us. Some workers have received
shocking bills for groceries which they did not take. They are simply told
that the money will be deducted from our salaries" said the worker.

The workers said their plight was also worsened by the fact that they do not
have a workers committee to represent them.

The workers said they have now resorted to other means of raising money for
transport, school fees and food.

When reached for comment, Marima said his businesses are facing liquidity

"It's true that a number of our workers are yet to receive their salaries.

Like all other businesses, we are facing challenges. It is also not true
that workers are being victimized," said Marima.

Marima, along other Zanu (PF) activists was in 2008 appointed a special
councilor for the city of Bulawayo by Ignatius Chombo, the Minister of Local
government .The MDC-T dominated Bulawayo city council however fiercely
resisted the appointees, insisting that the councilors were not representing
any special interest. Marima has donated at various Zanu (PF) functions in
the province. One of his Hotels, Royal Hotel is used by Zanu (PF) to hold
meetings free of charge.

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Marondera Residents Snub Budget Consultation Meeting

Irwin Chifera, Taurai Shava, Gibbs Dube

The parliamentary budget committee Monday started the 2013 budget
consultation meetings with a low turnout in Marondera as residents in the
Mashonaland East capital complained that they were not given enough time to
attend the public sessions.

Less than 30 people attended the meeting but team leader and Makoni West
legislator, Webber Chinyadza said they captured inputs from war veterans,
farmers and others.

Chinyadza said the residents were worried about lack of government support
in agricultural activities designed to boost the sector.

On the low turnout, he said it was unfortunate that many people did not seem
to understand the role of parliament in the budget formulation process and
opt to make submissions to treasury.

Treasury is expected to commence its own nationwide budget consultations
Wednesday in Marondera.
Meanwhile, about 50 people attended the budget meeting in Chinhoyi,
Mashonaland West.

Residents told the committee that the executive should minimize foreign
trips as the economy cannot sustain such travels.

Abigail Sauti of Chikonohono high density suburb told the committee that the
president’s motorcade should be drastically reduced.

Most people agreed that more money should be channeled towards reviving
industries and the mining sector in order to create employment for youths.

Some participants said treasury should allocate more resources to local
authorities in order to improve service delivery. Most cities are facing
acute shortages of water.

Parliamentary budget committee chairman Paddington Zhanda says budget
consultation meetings are not all about the size of participants but quality
contributions by members of the public and other stakeholders.

Roderick Fayayo, director of the Progressive Residents Association said the
budget consultation meetings are a waste of time for some local people.

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‘Zimbabwe Spending Too Much on Defence and Military’ - Report

Staff Reporter 1 hour ago

The Zimbabwean government is spending too much on defence and the military
at the expense of other development sectors such as education, says a senior
official in the splinter Movement Democratic Change (MDC), lead by Professor
Welshman Ncube.
Earlier this month Zimbabwe opened its $98 million National Defence College.

Zimbabwe is currently being run by a joint administration, bringing together
the three major political parties in the country – Ncube’s MDC, Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T and President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF

Tsvangirai has criticised African leaders for “investing in arms and the
military”. David Coltart, Zimbabwe’s Education Minister, has castigated
Zimbabwe’s excessive spending on the military and defence for a country that
is not at war. He said Zimbabwe’s "defence has been allocated $35 million"
in the first half of the current year while education has received only $5
million, about 6% of the money budgeted for education.

"We are spending so much on defence and only a pitiful amount on education.
If we don't address these issues then the education of an entire generation
will be lost."

However, the views of Tsvangirai and Coltart are in sharp contrast with
those of Mugabe, whose ZANU-PF party has seconded army personnel to senior
positions in state parastatals and other government organisations. Retired
Major-General Mike Nyambuya was appointed to head the National
Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board two weeks ago in the latest
move to militarise key institutions. Key parastatals and strategic public
institutions in which ex-military personnel are heavily involved include the
National Railways of Zimbabwe, Grain Marketing Board, Minerals Marketing
Corporation of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings, Broadcasting
Authority of Zimbabwe and Zimpapers.

Last month, Mugabe officially opened the National Defence College just
outside Harare which was built with assistance from China, with whom
Zimbabwe is said to enjoy stronger military ties. In his address, he said
there was need to enhance the security systems and intelligence systems of

He said China and Pakistan would avail expert military training for
Zimbabwean army personnel at the defence college. Those to be trained there
include military personnel from the ranks of colonel and others ranked above
the colonels.

The defence college, built on a total area of 40,000 square meters, was
constructed at a cost of $98 million (loaned by China) and took two years to

China is Zimbabwe’s leading arms supplier, providing at least $66 million
worth of small arms during Zimbabwe’s involvement in the civil war in the
DRC (1998-2002). Since 2004 China has sold to Zimbabwe 139 military vehicles
and 24 combat aircraft. Last year it was reported that Zimbabwe had taken
delivery of 20 000 AK-47 assault rifles from China, together with other
military and civil security equipment.

However, Zimbabwe sometimes struggles to take delivery of weapons due to
sanctions. In 2008 South Africa prevented delivery of six containers of
small arms and equipment when they stopped the China Ocean Shipping Company’s
vessel An Yue Jiang from unloading in Durban. The weapons on board were
shipped by Poly Technologies Incorporated of China.

According to the International Peace Information Service (IPIS), a Belgian
research hub, in August 2008, 53 tons of ammunition were allegedly flown
from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Harare. The ammunition was flown by
Enterprise World Airways, aboard a Boeing 707-3B4C aircraft registered as

The first shipment on August 21 contained 32 tons of 7.62mmx54 cartridges.
Two days later a second shipment arrived, containing 20 tons of 7.62mmx39
cartridges, which are used in AK-47s. The ammunition arrived in Zimbabwe
four months after the arms shipment was turned away at Durban, only to be
flown into the country later from Angola, the report claimed.

Despite denials from Luanda and Beijing, an employee of the state-owned
Zimbabwe Defence Industry (ZDI) in Harare told IPIS that the shipment, which
contained mortar bombs, rockets and ammunition, had arrived in the country.

“The most prominent supplier of arms to Zimbabwe has been China, which
supplied more than one-third of the volume of Zimbabwe’s major weapons
between 1980 and 2009,” the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
(SIPRI) has said.

The Institute said that China supplied 100 Dongfeng military vehicles to
Zimbabwe via the Mozambican port of Beira in early 2005.

David Maynier, the Democratic Alliance’s defence spokesman said South Africa
“should not be exporting conventional arms to a repressive regime such as
Zimbabwe" after it emerged that South Africa had sold military equipment
worth R2.2 million to Zimbabwe.

"The fact is there has been a de facto arms embargo on exporting
conventional arms to Zimbabwe for nearly a decade,” he said.

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Mugabe looks east at a questionable cost

Oct 17, 2012

By Gavin du Venage

China's roots have sunk deep in Africa, and nowhere has it found soil more
welcoming than in Zimbabwe. Seven years since China declared its "Look East"
policy, it's not clear whether Chinese investment is delivering the returns
that Zimbabwe's leaders are claiming.

President Robert Mugabe's Maoist economics have beggared a country that 10
years ago was second only to South Africa in economic output in the region.
The 88-year-old president has clung to power since the end of minority white
rule in 1980, using a combination of force against opponents and relying on
the patronage of key supporters.

It was his turning loose of informal militia's against white minority
farmers, who underpinned the economy, in 2000 that signaled a

sea change in the country's fortunes. By replacing skilled agriculturalists
with untrained black farmers, Zimbabwe slid into a lost decade marked by
bouts of hunger, mass poverty and an exodus of its professional middle

Mugabe's increasingly acrimonious relationship with the West, especially
former colonial power Britain, eventually led to targeted sanctions against
Mugabe and his inner circle in 2005. It was this that prompted Mugabe to
announce a new policy, with his customary eloquence, at a public rally: "We
have turned east where the sun rises, and given our backs to the West where
the sun sets."

It's a relationship that has deepened ever since although it's not always
clear who benefits, and at what cost. As a gesture of friendship Beijing
helped sponsor the building of a rambling retirement home for Mugabe in the
leafy suburb of Borrowdale Brook in the capital, Harare.

He and his wife, Grace, who would drop up to US$50,000 a time at Harrods in
London, are now banned from the European Union and the United States.
Instead, they regularly jet off to Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, where
Grace can be spotted loading up on designer brands at boutique stores.

Their daughter, Bona, graduated from City University in Hong Kong last year,
and the family reportedly have a $7 million house here. A few years ago a
British journalist was beaten up by Mugabe bodyguards when he tried to
photograph the Mugabe's Hong Kong residence.

In Zimbabwe itself, signs of the blooming relationship are everywhere.
Arrivals at the international airport - built by a Chinese firm - will be
greeted by large signs in English and Putonghua - but nothing in the local
Shona languages.

Even the five-star Rainbow Towers hotel, a stone's throw from the ruling
ZanuPF's headquarters, has signs in Putonghua welcoming Chinese visitors.
The state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation runs a dedicated
Chinese-language channel that screens soaps and news provided by China
Central Television.

The Zimbabwean government itself is doing everything possible to sell the
benefits of Chinese investment to its skeptical population. On the face of
it, Zimbabwe would be an excellent investment destination. It has the
world's second-largest platinum reserves, abundant deposits of gold,
diamonds, chrome and other strategic minerals. It also has fertile farmland
and a population that enjoys the best literacy rate in Africa.

In the past month alone announcements linking Chinese companies to
billion-dollar investments have been made. The Guangdong Bureau of Coal
Geology plans to invest $3.5 billion to build a 1,200 megawatt thermal power
plant in Zimbabwe, according to reports in the Herald newspaper, a
government mouthpiece. Another announcement claims China will spend $1.2
billion upgrading water supplies in the south east of the country.

In the same week, published reports by state media said China Railway was to
build a high speed train between the capital and the industrial city of
Bulawayo, 600 kilometers to the south east.

But, apart from this steady stream of announcements from Zimbabwean
government sources, there appears to be little else to give substance to
these deals. The high speed rail link, for instance, was announced in the
Herald newspaper; but a senior China Railway official, who spoke to Asia
Times Online in Harare, said he was unaware of the project until he saw it
mentioned in the local media.

Instead he said, speaking on condition of anonymity, China Railway was, like
many potential investors in the resource-rich country, waiting for political
stability before committing itself to projects.

"We come, we look, we wait. We want to invest here but the time is not now.
It is not yet stable enough."

There are suggestions that the ruling party is punting deals where none
exist as it gears up to go once more to the polls in March next year. ZanuPF
has been locked in an uncomfortable unity government with opposition
movements since 2008, following a deal brokered by regional leaders
desperate to end the economic fallout of Zimbabwe's implosion on their

Real power has remained with Mugabe and his inner circle however. With polls
looming, it is quite likely that China is once again being trotted out as
Zimbabwe's rescuer.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Investment World Investment
Report 2011 shows that Zimbabwe recorded foreign direct investment (FDI) of
$105 million, compared to another southern African country, Angola's $9
billion for the same period. According to information from China's ministry
of commerce, annual FDI from China to Zimbabwe was between $35 million and
$45 million annually between 2008 and 2010.

Chinese companies that have already made active investments are beginning to
find that ventures come with a hefty price tag. They are being pushed into
financing projects that make little economic sense, in addition they are
encouraged to top up ZanuPF's election war chest.

Among the companies operating in the country are Anjin - involved in a
diamond venture with entities linked to Zimbabwe's military - as well as a
company affiliated with Anjin, the Anhui Foreign Economic Construction

Anjin operates in the controversial but fabulously productive Marange
diamond field. The quantity of stones and value of their sale is not
disclosed, but British watchdog NGO Global Witness released a report
recently that says the Marange diamonds are laundered through a network of
tax havens, front companies and nominee shareholder, with very little
proceeds finding their way to official tax receipts.

Zimbabwe's finance minister Tendai Biti - a member of the official
opposition who has little actual authority - said recently that the Marange
operations were producing an estimated $600 million a year in earnings, but
that only $30 million had been received in tax contributions.

Instead, proceeds end up in the pockets of a handful of connected officials,
mostly military officers, and of course with Anjin, say Global Witness. But
as election season approaches, the ruling ZanuPF needs to demonstrate to
voters that it is indeed delivering benefits from its joint-venture with
Anjin. This is where Anhui, the construction company affiliated with Anjin
comes in.

Anhui recently completed a multi-million dollar Zimbabwe Defense College,
which opened last month, and is building a hotel and shopping mall worth
over $200 million in Harare.

"It is a massive project indeed, I had no idea what size it would be, even
what shape it would take but I was aware that our Chinese friends were
building this mall and will build a hotel later," Mugabe told reporters at
the site during a tour of the complex recently.

Given the parlous state of Zimbabwe's economy, hotels and malls are likely
to stand empty for years to come. They do however provide Mugabe with
much-needed photo opportunities and flagship projects to show off to a
battered electorate.

Anhui was also mentioned in a bizarre project to turn Harare's prisons into
shopping malls, and build new jails for its 4,000 or so inmates, which it
will then run on behalf of the Zimbabwean government.

The funding for Anhui's projects is unclear, but it is widely believed to
come from the Chinese cut of Anjin's diamond venture, and that Mugabe's
party is pressuring its partners to produce investment projects - like malls
and dams - to bolster its support ahead of the upcoming elections.

In the run-up to the previous elections in 2008, Anjin was a major donor to
ZanuPF's election campaign, giving $100 million according to some reports.

Ultimately projects being announced on a weekly basis will be entirely
dependent on Chinese companies footing the bill. Zimbabwe's "Look East"
policy will therefore continue to feature in the headlines of the country's

Gavin du Venage is a business writer in South Africa, specializing in
commodity and investment analysis.

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Nurses step up to initiate HIV treatment
Photo: Obinna Anyadike/IRIN
Doctors in short supply
HARARE, 16 October 2012 (PlusNews) - Faced with the ambitious target of reaching 85 percent of people in need of HIV treatment by the end of 2012, the Zimbabwean government has announced that nurses will be trained to prescribe and manage antiretroviral (ARV) drug treatment.

Experts welcomed the move but warned that nurses would have to be adequately prepared and supported to take on the additional duties. Previously, nurses were allowed only to administer the drugs after a doctor had prescribed them. Now, changes made in the job descriptions of nurses by the Nurses’ Council of Zimbabwe will see them prescribing the medication.

"Those nurses that have received training on the management of patients living with HIV and drug administering will be allowed to take up this responsibility. The government, with the support of its partners, began this training many years ago, and the training is actually still ongoing. I need to point out that it's not enough that a professional council allow nurses to administer drugs; this should be followed up with measures to capacitate nurses to do this work correctly," stressed Owen Mugurungi, head of HIV/AIDS and TB in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare.

Expanding reach

With doctors in short supply, many people living with HIV are forced to wait long periods before they can start taking ARVs. This is particularly problematic for those living in rural areas, where doctors often serve more than one health facility, and are likely to visit each facility only once or twice a month.

“It is cost-effective and can deliver effective community-based care to people living with HIV by expediting treatment roll-out and increasing access to treatment, as nurses have more daily contact with patients than doctors,” said Itai Rusike, executive director of the Community Working Group on Health.

In 2010, a South African
study divided HIV patients into two groups - one received ARV therapy from doctors, the other from nurses. Both the nurses and doctors had been inexperienced in ARV management and received similar training from clinicians, who were on call for the duration of the study to answer questions. After 120 weeks, the patients managed by nurses were no more likely to have been lost to follow-up, to have failed treatment or to have died than those under a doctor’s care.


However, Rusike noted that adding to nurses’ responsibilities comes with its own challenges, including possible work overload and burnout and the need to increase payment for staff and training.

The government, facing inadequate resources and already struggling to pay civil servants’ salaries, recently froze the recruitment of nurses. Although the training of nurses will continue, this freeze has greatly affected service delivery at public health facilities.

Activists have also raised concerns about the supply of ARVs. “Our biggest challenge in Zimbabwe has been the erratic availability of ARVs or drug stock-out,” said Rusike. “This may also increase nurses’ frustrations, especially at the primary-care level, where there is poor drug distribution thereby affecting continuity for patients initiated on ART [antiretroviral therapy]. The resulting consequence can be drug resistance.”

“We have heard numerous stories of drug stock-outs in some provinces, of people on treatment sharing drugs as a result, and of even drugs expiring while some people are dying from lack of access to treatment. This is very disturbing, and it must be addressed,” warned Stanley Takaona of the Zimbabwe HIV/AIDS Activist Union.

An audit released in May by the comptroller and auditor-general's department revealed that ARV drugs had expired on the shelves of public health facilities.

But with a US$84 million grant by the
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the country will put in place a six-month ARV buffer stock to prevent treatment interruptions for the 480,000 patients currently receiving the medication. The funding will also cover the cost of ARVs for an additional 10,000 new patients to help Zimbabwe reach its 85 percent coverage goal by the end of the year.

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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Democracy in Zimbabwe won't necessarily result in prosperity

Vince Musewe
15 October 2012

Vince Musewe says development of institutional managerial capacity is

Democracy in Zimbabwe will not necessarily lead to economic prosperity: We
need revolutionary ideas and people to take Zimbabwe to the next level

If there is anything we must be taught from South Africa, it is the fact
that democracy will not necessarily result in economic prosperity and the
amelioration of life conditions of the masses. Despite a good
infrastructure, a sophisticated financial sector, a diverse industrial base
and the largest GDP in Africa, 70% of black South Africans remain poor while
60% of youth remain unemployed. South Africa's democracy is failing to deal
with the economic imperative of black empowerment and the eradication of
mass poverty. It is clear therefore that, democracy and economic prosperity
are in fact mutually exclusive.

We in Zimbabwe must be circumspect, and realize that the best constitutional
framework needs to be supported by the creation of appropriate political and
socio economic structures designed to deliver economic value to all
Zimbabweans; otherwise we will be the architects of our own future problems
and most probably fail to move the country forward.

Our new economic program must be inclusive in nature and must reject racism
and partisan politics that have decimated Zimbabwean pride and potential.
Our politics have deliberately marginalized a significant part of the
country's productive population and as a result, we have failed to reap the
education dividend that the country invested so much in immediately after
political independence.

If there is anything the last 32 years has achieved, it is the obliteration
of both our human capital and national assets especially in agriculture and,
to a large extent, in mining. Zimbabwe has the potential to rise again, but
only if we create space for new thinking and new leadership. The results of
the last 32 years of negligence must be clinically reversed as we move into
a new era of democracy underpinned by national pride and economic

For me, the development of institutional managerial capacity is more urgent
if we are going to see any economic development and prosperity. We are very
educated in Zimbabwe, with a large number of doctors and professors in
almost every field of endeavour and yet, we cannot even supply clean water
to our people.

Our state enterprises are a joke and almost all the large developmental
projects on hand, are mired in political interference, resource
misallocation, corruption and incompetence. For example, it has taken us
almost 16 years to construct a 40 km stretch of road to the airport. Our
Harare water works were built 56 years ago to cater for 300,000 people and
are clearly inadequate to cater for a population in excess of 2 million.
This means that for the last 56 years nothing has been done to expand them.
Unfortunately this is a common trend in almost everything we have touched;
democracy is not necessarily going to change that.

It is also quite evident to all that the GNU has dismally failed to begin
turn around a hopeless economic condition. What it has achieved, in my
opinion, is to somewhat stabilize the fall and provide a soft landing to
what would have been a catastrophic economic crash. It has acted as a band
aid to a festering wound that now needs our urgent attention.

One fundamental challenge we shall face is the successful planning and
implementation of developmental projects. Our institutional managerial
capacity as a country has hit rock bottom, and in my opinion, no amount of
funding will correct that. As a country, we cannot even organize to collect
our own waste and yet, we must undertake the mammoth projects of rebuilding
our infrastructure.

I am of the opinion that our focus must be first, to create appropriate
social management structures including a restructured government. We
desperately require a "new age government" that includes transparency,
delivery and the effective use of technology. We also to note that Zimbabwe
has an unlimited skills base which we desperately need. We need them back
now and we also need revolutionary ideas to take our country to the next

In my opinion, after elections, we must not blindly adopt the old system of
government which has created a silo mentality, where ministers act in their
silos as if what they do has no impact and is unrelated to the others. This
has tended to promote narrow thinking and a partisan mentality while it has
been ineffective in providing sustainable solutions. The separation of
responsibility around ministerial boundaries based on the traditional
economic sectors has contributed to ineffective government system and
promoted rampant corruption. South Africa shows us a clear example of how
this structure is not delivering on social progress.

Every system is designed to give you're the results that you get. Change the
system and you achieve different results.

My point here is that: a new democracy in Zimbabwe must radically change the
way we have done things in the past, it must change the structure of
government, must make full use of the diverse pool of talent and the
national assets that we have and finally, it must remove all vestiges of the
ZANU (PF) legacy of entitlement, managerial incompetence and corruption.

It is only when we have done the above, that we are likely to achieve
economic progress and thus create better conditions of life for all
Zimbabweans. My anxiety continues to be enlarged as we see the incessant
focus on the attainment of political power and position without the
necessary open debate on how that power ought to be used to our best
advantage. Several hundreds of ministers, deputy ministers, senators,
governors, chiefs, councilors and their hangers on as contemplated in the
new constitution will not add an iota of value to our economic progress and

I fear the worst.

Vince Musewe is an independent economist currently in Harare. You can
contact him on

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