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mediators called in over stalled power-sharing talks
Article published on the
2008-10-18 Latest update 2008-10-18 14:58 TU
parties, Zanu-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), have both
called for African mediation after the failure of four days
talks. South African President Thabo Mbeki says on Monday
he will travel
with party leaders to Swaziland, where three members of a
Development Coommunity (SADC) security body will try to
Zanu-PF's chief negotiator Patrick Chinamasa told the state-run
newspaper that the deadlock is over who will head the Home Affairs
which controls the police force.
MDC leader Morgan
Tsvingarai on Saturday called the talks "a monologue",
accusing Mugabe of
refusing to compromise.
After the talks broke up on Friday, Tsvangirai
claimed that there was "an
attempt to reduce the MDC to a meaningless
position in the coalition
He has insisted that his
movement needs to oversee at least some of the
security agencies so as to
reassure his supporters, who faced violence
during the hotly-contested
election campaign this year.
Chinamasa said that the MDC had been offered
the finance ministry, which
must tackle the world's highest inflation rate,
at 231 per cent.
The political wrangling is preventing the country's
leaders from addressing
the crisis, says Harare-based economist John
"There are a great many urgent issues that need attention and
these will get
no attention until we have a political settlement," he told
Tsvangirai says Mugabe intransigent as rivals seek
Sat Oct 18
BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe (AFP) - Zimbabwe's opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai
said on Saturday President Robert Mugabe had been
totally intransigent on
power-sharing proposals, after the two rivals asked
neighbouring nations to
help break their deadlock.
"The past four
days have been a dialogue of the deaf," Tsvangirai told
supporters in the second city of Bulawayo, referring to
with Mugabe this week mediated by former South African
"It was one-man monologue. Mugabe does not negotiate. He just says
was saying 'No' since Monday. We had to tell Mbeki it was no use
with negotiations with someone who does not want to
Both sides Friday asked the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) of
regional countries, which appointed Mbeki to mediate, to
intervene in the
"The reason we are going to SADC is we want
the deal to work. We are hopeful
that something positive will come from the
SADC meeting on Monday,"
Tsvangirai said Saturday.
Mbeki said he
would travel with the Zimbabwean leaders to Swaziland on
Monday, where a
three-member SADC security body will try to find a solution.
brokered the original pact signed a month ago, which calls for
Mugabe to remain as president while Tsvangirai takes the new
post of prime
minister, with cabinet posts being shared out.
Tsvangirai threatened to
pull out of the deal after Mugabe last week
unilaterally awarded the most
important ministries to his party, leaving him
firmly in charge of the
military and police.
Patrick Chinamasa, lead negotiator for Mugabe's
ZANU-PF party, said in state
media Saturday that the talks hinge on control
of the home affairs ministry.
This oversees the police force, which stands
accused of widespread human
He told the Herald
newspaper that ZANU-PF had agreed to give Tsvangirai's
Democratic Change (MDC) control of the finance ministry, a
portfolio in a country grappling with the world's highest rate of
at 231 million percent.
"One can say that the discussions, however,
largely centred on the issue of
Home Affairs. ZANU-PF was arguing that it
should get the ministry while
(Tsvangirai) was also arguing that they should
get the ministry," Chinamasa
Tsvangirai has insisted that his
party needs oversight of at least some
security agencies to reassure his
supporters, who were the target of deadly
political violence during election
campaigning earlier in the year.
"We are concerned there is an attempt to
reduce the MDC to a meaningless
position in the coalition government," he
said after the talks ended late
He added Saturday: "The
biggest problem we had was the issue of trust,"
saying that Mugabe had
denied having the ministerial appointments announced
in the official
"We don't want to raise the expectations of Zimbabweans. We will
you. We were trying to negotiate the implementation of the deal
failed with Mugabe refusing to shift," he told his
Experts said the two sides would come
"Eventually they will come to an agreement. Both parties are
remain in the deal," Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of the National
Constitutional Commission, told AFP.
"It's likely that SADC will push
Mugabe to give home affairs to the MDC," he
analyst Collin Mashava echoed him, saying: "Despite the
disagreement I still
think there is no way out for both parties. There will
be an agreement
Tsvangirai defeated Mugabe in a first round presidential
vote in March, when
the MDC also forced the ZANU-PF into the minority in
parliament for the
But the former union leader failed to
win enough votes to declare outright
victory and then pulled out of the
run-off in June, accusing the regime of
coordinating a brutal campaign of
violence that left more than 100 of his
political stalemate has dimmed hope for rescuing Zimbabwe from its
collapse from a model economy to a ruin of hunger and poverty.
of Africa's most prosperous nations, Zimbabwe now suffers critical
shortages, with nearly half its people needing UN aid and 80 percent of
population living in poverty.
The United States and the European Union
have threatened to toughen their
sanctions on the regime if the unity accord
Zimbabwe Opposition Leader Blames Lack of Trust for Breakdown
of Power-Sharing Deal
By VOA News
Zimbabwe main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai says a
lack of trust
between him and President Robert Mugabe has led to the
power-sharing talks between the two sides.
told a crowd of supporters Saturday in Bulawayo that the there
wrong with the deal signed last month between Zimbabwe's
ruling ZANU-PF parties.
He said they only ran into problems when it came
to implementation of the
After the fourth day of talks
failed once again Friday, Tsvangirai called on
the African Union and the
Southern African Development Community to help end
the deadlock on forming a
President Mugabe said Friday the discussions went in
the wrong direction.
Mediator of the talks, former South African
President Thabo Mbeki, has said
negotiations will continue Monday in
Last week, Mr. Mugabe unilaterally gave his ZANU-PF party
Cabinet positions that oversee the military, police and foreign
This prompted the opposition to threaten to pull out of the
The original deal, reached in September, was
meant to end the crisis
stemming from Zimbabwe's disputed presidential
It calls for ZANU-PF to control 15 ministries, with the two
factions of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change getting 16. Mr.
remain as president, with Tsvangirai becoming prime
The sides are under pressure to reach a final deal so Zimbabwe
can start to
recover from its deep economic crisis. The country has 80
unemployment and an inflation rate officially estimated at 231
Some information for this report was
provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
slams Mbeki for supporting Mugabe
October 18, 2008
HARARE - The MDC has expressed misgivings at the handling
of the controversy
over key cabinet posts by mediator and former South
African president Thabo
Mbeki, accusing him of bias towards President Robert
The negotiating parties failed to reach an agreement after five
to the call for intervention of SADC and the African Union (AU)
who are the
guarantors of the power-sharing agreement signed between Zanu-PF
and the MDC
factions on September 15.
Leaders from the SADC troika
will now meet in Mbabane, Swaziland on Monday
to discuss the power-sharing
deadlock in an emergency meeting with the
The MDC sounded dissatisfied with Mbeki's handling of the dispute
latest round of talks.
MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told The
Zimbabwe Times in an exclusive
interview Saturday that the former South
African president had shown clear
bias towards Mugabe and his Zanu-PF
"Mr Mbeki looks at the problem through Zanu-PF spectacles,"
came and used that gazetted list as a starting point. We told
him that 'Mr
Mbeki, you are reading from the wrong chapters and
Chamisa was referring to Mugabe's allocation to Zanu-PF of all
posts and control of the security forces through a government
last week Friday.
Mugabe made a typically defiant
gesture by gazetting the 14 key ministries -
including home affairs, local
government, information and foreign affairs -
as having been allocated to
Zanu-PF. He suggested that the ministry of
finance was the only portfolio
still in dispute.
Chamisa said Mbeki was frantically trying to get the
MDC to sign the deal
without consideration of the skewed nature of the
"We can't be stampeded into committing a political
hari-kari," Chamisa said.
"We are not cut for selling out."
told The Zimbabwe Times that Mbeki had drafted a document which he
to the principals which he was due to present to the troika
The document reportedly insinuates that the MDC was making
demands and that the deal on the table was equitable and
"Mr Mbeki is using Zanu-PF notes to compile his own scripts,"
He said the MDC was hopeful that there was enough wisdom in
the SADC and the
African Union to resolve the deadlock.
"SADC are the
guarantors to the AU," Chamisa said. "In the event that this
fails, SADC and AU įre the insurance mechanism. They insulate us
risk and danger. I am sure there is sufficient wisdom to deal with
challenges on the continent."
Chamisa added: "It's power to the
people not politicians. We are more
interested in people power not in
driving Mercedes Benz cars. We will not go
into government where we will not
be able to make significant changes. That
will be an act of
Leaders from Tanzania, Angola and Swaziland are expected to
meeting as international pressure mounts on Mugabe to share power
with the MDC.
The former South African president has been
negotiating between Mugabe and
Zimbabwe's opposition MDC leaders Morgan
Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara of
the breakaway faction of the opposition
since last year.
Even before the latest round of talks, Mbeki had been
widely criticised for
being pro-Mugabe. Chamisa said the MDC had, however,
faith in him as the mediator out of respect.
it now appears the MDC has become frustrated to the point of discarding
erstwhile diplomatic approach.
The Zimbabwe Times heard that Monday's
meeting, set to be attended by Jakaya
Kikwete of Tanzania, Eduardo dos
Santos of Angola and King Mswati III of
Swaziland, would discuss how the
SADC as guarantors of the power-sharing
deal and its troika organ on
politics, defence and security could help
Zimbabwe to get out of its current
Chamisa said that there were ten key cabinet ministries that
dispute - Defence, Home Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Local
Media, Information and Communication; Justice, Agriculture,
Youth and Women;
Chamisa said Zanu-PF wanted control of
all these ministries. But the MDC had
proposed that it assumes control of at
least four of these ministries - a
position staunchly rejected by Mugabe -
leading to yesterday's collapse of
The MDC spokesman said
the MDC had declared that Home Affairs and Finance
should be non-negotiable.
Zanu-PF had only agreed to surrender finance,
Chamisa said. The MDC was
prepared to make compromises on two other
ministries, Local Government and
Media, Information and Communication.
Chamisa said: "Mugabe could not
understand that logic. So we asked him
'which part of power-sharing don't
you understand?' We can't have
responsibility without authority."
added: "The biggest losers would be the people. We don't want to mortgage
the people to Zanu-PF."
Chamisa said that Mugabe had also rejected
outright suggestions to share
equally ten gubernatorial posts. All ten
provincial governors are members of
Zanu-PF, appointed in late August by
Mugabe in a move that breached Clause 9
of the Memorandum of Understanding
signed in Harare on July 21.
"Mugabe refused to even put that (division
of governors' posts) on the
agenda. He said it's a non-starter," Chamisa
He said the MDC had a covenant with the people and could not betray
masses by agreeing to a flawed power-sharing structure.
"Mugabe has killed Zim's next generation": Professor
18 October 2008 09:58
MUGABE has "killed" the next generation of Zimbabweans,
scientist at the University of Zimbabwe, Professor John
Makumbe has said.
In an exclusive interview, Prof. Makumbe, said the
consequences of the
collapse of Zimbabwe's formerly acclaimed education
sector would return to
haunt the country in years to come.
This is the
view of not only socio-political commentator Prof Makumba, but
The Makumbe blamed the current regime saying it had "killed"
youngsters dropping out of schools in droves, teachers fleeing
and scores of schools closing in recent years.
the current generation that had been denied proper education
themselves unemployable in future when the country pulled itself
out of its
current political and economic quagmire, and perhaps engage in
"Zimbabwe will have a high price to pay for the school dropouts.
of schooling to these youngsters is a destruction of an entire
he said citing the example of South Africa when schools were
from 1976 at the height of apartheid.
South Africa's current
crime woes have a root in the 1976 uprising by
students. Most of the
then-youngsters did not return to school and now find
Zimbabwe is currently experiencing a collapse of major sectors
education, which has been eroded by a combination of
Youngsters have dropped out of schools in numbers, some fleeing to
neighbouring countries Most of these youngsters have resurfaced in South
Africa raising concern among analysts."It is quite unfortunate," said
analyst Collin Ncube.
On the other hand teachers, whose meagre salaries
are ever eroded by
inflation, have also fled in numbers to neighbouring
Makumbe summed up the drawback. "Imagine, I am a professor at the
of Zimbabwe but I earn no more than R100. At that salary, I am
highest paid professionals in the higher education sector."
face of all these developments, many schools have been forced to shut
as they cannot attract sufficient teachers and students. The fact that
unemployment was ever on the increase had compounded the situation, Ncube
Zimbabwe has one of the highest unemployment figures in the world,
than 80 percent, a development that has been fuelled by the collapse
formerly vibrant economy.
"Going to school has virtually become
useless. The graduates that schools
and universities churn out every year
join the ranks of the unemployed.
Sending a child to school now appears to
be a waste of hard-to-find money,"
The collapse of Zimbabwe's
education sector has been nothing short of
the country's education sector was among the most acclaimed
in the Third
World, churning out highly-skilled graduates who weregreatly
Most of these have fled their country and developing foreign
As the political and economic woes worsen by the day,
education has been
greatly affected, with uncertainty surrounding the
writing of O' Level and
Mugabe to be charged of murder
by Fainos Moyo, October 18, 2008
Most people do not seem to realize that
thousands of children illegally
crossing the Limpopo River into South
Africa, whilst abandoning schools will
be a big problem to the
Myself I am currently in Pretoria where crime rate is high in SA
majority of the children did not go to school. As a result, they are
finding any employment, instead, they are robbing other African
therefore propose that Mugabe be charged of murder or crime
before it is too late
"Mugabe has killed Zim's next
written by Jack Stamps, October 18, 2008
Its a shame the
so called liberators have thrown people of Zimbabwe back
into the dark
To Hell with Mugabe!
You will only take this to be real if you
written by mugabe uchamama chete .., October 18, 2008
think Robert Mugabe gives any worry on you you are the jokers of
the last 30
years to him if he never worried about Zapu or even the people
he killed at
that time how can he worry about you if we as Zimbabweans don't
ACT now i
tell you you are all history let us arise as the children of the
Zimbabwe and start fighting back we have lost our brothers sisters
aunties and mothers and fathers we have to as well start finding a
getting rid of the families out here in the USA UK and EU countries
them feel the way we are they have done this in they own and willing
hurt and kill at the expense of the loving people of Zimbabwe we
Zimbabwe and not them they have taken it to be their own and now
Tongogara and Lookout Mafela Masuku in cold and if you Morgan T thinks
can just hitch a ride on a GNU you joking you will have too do more
to zanu pf to be a ruler or even take over you have to be more brutal
where are all the ZANU kids?
written by Nhando, October 18, 2008
tell you where they are. They are enjoying the fruits of a great
education paid for by the loot stolen from our country. I have even
of these well-spoken kids returning home on flights from the UK,
and it is
incredible how they find nothing wrong with the situation.
accuse the West of being responsible for everything that is
wrong with the
country, yet you are the first to send your kids to their
universities. At the same time they ensure that n*body at home
is able to
get a decent education. Mugabe and his gang do not want educated
kumusha because they will be able to understand the evil that is
perpetrated against our people. They know that if you keep the people
ignorant, then they will believe any old crap that you write in the
newspaper. Some people in Zimbabwe actually do believe that the West is the
cause of all the trouble, THAT is how stupid people have become. If my
father was one of those ministers or chefs in the government, I would be
ashamed of him. I only hope that the education that these ZANU kids are
getting will also give them a conscience.
written by jim,
October 18, 2008
these mongers ZPF are a shame to our real war vets.The
one who left his home
to bring about change for the zimbabweans,died and not
even buried with
dignity.Shame on you bob.I am in the mental health sector
and found out that
all those kids who were sons of b***hes are f**ked up.I
dont blame mugabe
but BONA is the benifactor,it's in his DNA
written by Dare Devil, October 18, 2008
raingozvifambira muChishawasha. Bvunzai ini.
of whistle-blowing ZEC official found
October 18, 2008
The body of a Zimbabwe Election Commission official who disappeared
17 after he attempted to stop postal ballot rigging ahead of the
June 27 run
off vote turned up at a hospital mortuary here on Friday.
The body of
Ignatius Mushangwe, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission's director
and development, who was kidnapped by unknown gunmen two weeks
tense June run off election, was found murdered with his
body dumped in the bush.
Police found the semi-decomposed body of
Mushangwe Thursday in Norton and
took it to the morgue. Mushangwe is said to
most likely been kidnapped by
State security agents. The police in Norton
say they are pursuing several
leads. They referred further questions to
national police spokesman Wayne
Bvudzijena, who was not immediately
available for comment.
But a preliminary autopsy report revealed that
Mushangwe had been strangled
before his body was set on fire, a family
member told The Zimbabwe Times.
Mushangwe's devastated family members
arrived at the mortuary at 3.30pm
yesterday to identify the body. The five
people left about 30 minutes later.
Norton here was reeling from shock
after the discovery of the
partially-charred body which was dumped at a
public place. Residents reacted
in horror at the extent of injuries on
The Zimbabwe Times heard that Mushangwe disappeared after he
was taken to
task by police spokesman Supt Oliver Mandipaka during a meeting
political parties liaison committee on elections on the issue of
ballot papers for the security forces. Efforts to obtain comment from
Mandipaka were futile.
ZEC has also staunchly refused to comment on
the brutal murder of Mushangwe.
Officials privy to the murder of Mushangwe
said he was known to have angered
people in high places by refusing to
manipulate the postal ballot system.
"He had stood his ground in saying
that ballot papers should only be issued
to police details on duty and not
to all and sundry," Morgan Komichi, who
represented the MDC at the liaison
committee meeting said. "That was the
last time we saw and heard of the
Mushangwe's murder was linked to accusations that he blew the
the government had printed surplus ballot papers. He is also
alleged to have
leaked documents showing nine million papers had been
ordered for the
country's 5.9 million voters.
The head of the
electoral commission, Judge George Chiweshe rejected back
suggestions that the extra papers might be misused. It is also
Mushangwe lifted the lid on information that ZEC ordered 600
ballots for a few thousand police and soldiers.
kill soldier over diamond
October 18, 2008
MUTARE - A soldier with the rank of sergeant was murdered
by villagers at
Nenhowe near Nyanyadzi south of Mutare, following a dispute
police have confirmed.
Michael Jimu, who was based at
Three Brigade in Chikanga, Mutare, died as a
result of assault by close to
100 villagers and illegal diamond miners.
Inspector Brian Makomeke, the
police spokesman in Mutare, told the media the
soldier was attacked with
stones after a dispute over diamonds had gone out
said the soldier was part of a team assigned to recover a diamond
Joseph Hamusa of Nenhowe Village.
He was accompanied by Lovemore
Musapingura and Denis Mangudya.
The police said Jimu and his team
searched Hamusa's home and took $80
million resulting in a fight breaking
"A fight erupted between the two parties resulting in Mangudya
Hamusa's mother on the arm," the police spokesman said. "Other
joined in the fight resulting in the assault on Jimu."
police spokesman said the soldier was taken to Birchenough Bridge
where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
His colleagues were arrested and
are being charged with robbery and assault.
The deceased soldier has
since been buried in Mutare. The funeral parade was
held at the Three
Since the discovery of diamonds at Chiadzwa in Marange several
been murdered following disputes over the precious
Powerful cartels, which appear immune to arrest and prosecution,
emerged amid concerns this may fuel high-profile crime.
police have launched countless operations to stop the illegal mining and
dealing in diamonds but the exercise appears to be failing to yield any
So far only small time miners and dealers have been arrested
Big time dealers continue to make forays into the fields to
buy the diamonds
Mugabe forces Zimbabwe aid agencies into cash crisis
Aid agencies have
accused Robert Mugabe of cutting their lifeline to
millions of starving
Zimbabweans after he imposed sweeping new bank
restrictions which have made
it impossible for them to finance their
Thornycroft in Harare
Last Updated: 6:40PM BST 18 Oct 2008
bid to stop speculators profiteering on the wide gulf between the
and black market exchange rates, the Zimbabwean reserve bank has
the inter-bank money transfer system used by businesses and aid
move cash around.
With daily cash withdrawals limited to Z$50,000 a day -
worth just £1.20
given Zimbabwe's current soaring inflation rate - it has
for relief workers to make the large payments necessary to
distribute food or pay staff wages.
The banking restriction
came despite a warning last week by the United
Nations that nearly one third
of Zimbabwean under-fives were now
malnourished, and that nearly half the
population would depend on emergency
food aid by next year.
cannot get money from the banks to pay people to distribute the food, it
as simple as that," said the operations manager of one of the top three
distributing agencies, which has been working in Zimbabwe for the last 16
"We can't pay our staff hotel bills, or buy food for our field
even advertise for people we need to hire to distribute food,"
"We have enough food in the warehouse to ensure no one starves,
and we have
enough money in the bank to finance our operations, but the
Reserve Bank (of
Zimbabwe) will not give us access to it."
agencies spoke out as power sharing talks between Mr Mugabe's ruling
party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, led by
Tsvangirai, appeared to be on the verge of collapse.
Mr Tsvangirai is
refusing to give way to Mr Mugabe's insistence that Zanu-PF
should remain in
control of the home affairs ministry, which controls the
widely blamed for intimidating and killing MDC supporters
elections earlier this year.
"The (powersharing) agreement is rubbish,"
one Western diplomat told The
Sunday Telegraph. "It is a pathetic agreement
and it was only a question of
time before it collapsed, as Zanu PF has no
intention of abiding by any of
Both sides have now
asked the Southern African Development Community to
intervene in the talks
mediated by former South African president Thabo
Mbeki, and will meet in
Mr Mugabe banned all non-governmental organisations
(NGOs) from working in
rural areas after he lost the first round of the
presidential elections to
He claimed NGOs had been
handing out food to supporters of Mr Tsvangerai,
and only allowed them to
resume their work in August.
The Zimbabwean central bank cancelled inter
bank transactions - known as the
Real Time Gross Settlement system - on the
orders of its governor, Gideon
Gono, who is viewed as the president's
personal banker and widely regarded
as the most powerful man in the country
after Mr Mugabe.
Critics accuse him of diverting public money to support
Mr Mugabe's ruling
Zanu PF party and of fuelling the current inflation
crisis by printing
When he cancelled inter bank transfers,
he made no exception for
humanitarian agencies. Now, like the rest of the
population, they are
struggling to operate in a country where cash devalues
so fast that every
supplier demands instant cash payment.
workers stuck in hotels which have no food because they have no
cash to buy
food," said a worker with one agency. "Every bit of foreign
money we bring
in to the country has to go through the Reserve Bank.
"You would think
the government or the welfare ministry would ease our way,
be happy we were
feeding the people, but instead they make it impossible for
The chaos caused by the government's latest inept efforts to rein
hyperinflation can be seen outside any bank or building society, where
queues to withdraw money last from dawn to dusk, and where grown men often
weep if they are turned away as darkness falls.
A senior civil
servant, who queues nearly every day to withdraw his
government salary in
amounts equivalent to £2.20 each time, said: "We come
here at six in the
morning. We eat nothing before we leave, we eat nothing
during the day, we
have no water to drink - and then sometimes we go home
without money because
the bank has run out of cash."
Last week the United Nations in Zimbabwe
took the issue up with the Reserve
Bank, but to no effect so far.
don't want to believe that this is deliberate," said the chief executive
one of the largest donor organisations in Zimbabwe.
Eric Matinenga, an
MDC MP for a rural constituency 150 miles south of
Harare, said: "My
constituency is in a desperate state and people are in a
very bad way. I was
not aware of this. We have to go to parliament about
Coltart, an MDC MP from the country's second city, Bulawayo, said he
a harrowing week in his urban constituency. "The food shortage is
catastrophic," he said.
"There are HIV Aids patients on
anti-retrovirals who have not had adequate
food supplies for two months and
some of them are at death's door. There are
probably 25,000 others in my
constituency alone also at death's door.
"One tall woman who weighed 75kg
in January is now down to 43kg. I see this
every day. About two million
people need food now, and it will be five
million by January. The situation
is absolutely critical."
Hunger and Bureaucracy - a Fatal Combination
WE NEED FOOD NOT
Zimbabwe is in the headlines now for
some time, sadly in most cases for the
wrong reasons. Over the past weeks we
read one statement after another about
the millions who are facing
starvation here in the country. We read how the
UN/WFP more or less know the
numbers of people who are hungry and in many
cases on the verge of
starvation, we are informed about the amount of money
that has so far been
collected, the food available and how much more is
needed until the next
harvest. Great that all this information is available.
some of us in the communities all of this information is only a
frustration. One of our mission hospitals - a large hospital with
one of the
largest HIV and AIDS outreach programme in the country applied to
were told that food is only being supplied to "vulnerable people" at
time and not to institutions. At this particular hospital the staff
threatened to go on strike because all of them and their families are all
hungry, and they are supposed to look after hungry people. The large orphan
population of over 4000 that the hospital is caring for is also hungry, some
malnourished, some admitted to hospital with kwashiorkor and yet these are
not "vulnerable people" - where are the institutions supposed to get the
food if not through such organizations as WFP and Christian
Personally I have a problem with the selection by WFP and their
Christian Care here in Zimbabwe, in how the criteria of "vulnerable
are decided on. Yes, there must be accountability, there must be
transparency, under no circumstances must any particular group - either
political or religious be favored in the distribution of
Here in Harare at the moment we have many people who are on
(anti-retroviral therapy) to treat their HIV infection. Over one
of these are getting medication from a large reputable clinic which
detailed record of the history of each person attending the clinic.
past months they have observed a very clear deterioration in the
many of the people, almost all complaining of hunger. In order to
whether these people fall into the "vulnerable category" or not
they have to
be interviewed (by a NON medical, non nursing person) who
person on the "Wealth Ranking Criteria" form and then on the
Scoring Guide" another form. Individuals are meant to declare
how many are
in their households, how may are disabled, how many are
etc - If I am on the point of starvation I will give you the
answers that I
think might give me access to food and this will not
necessarily be the
truth. This is only the registration procedure, when
will the food come
even I am lucky enough to be considered "vulnerable". Why
time wasting exercise when thousand of starving people are
already on the
records of clinics and various church
Yesterday we were told of scores of teenagers from three
of the local high
density areas who have discontinued taking their ARVs
because it makes them
hungry and they have no food to eat- what is the
future of these young
people? Treatment interruptions will inevitably lead
to a resistant HIV
virus for which we have almost no treatment options and
when available this
medication is 10 times the price of the first line
How does the head of a child-headed household in a
high density area get
into contact with the people who have the
questionnaires? - in most cases
they have no chance. This past week we have
visited on a daily basis the
high density areas where most of the unemployed
people live. We have had
people in their hundreds coming to our doors
pleading for food. These are
not beggars they are very hungry people on the
point of starvation. If they
had a choice they would not be begging but
would be providing food for
themselves and their families. Please whoever is
responsible for all the
bureaucracy we plead with you to start getting the
food out of the
warehouses to the people who are hungry, please do not wait
until we have
mass starvation - a situation that is rapidly developing. We
have to find
US$80 to pay for a hardboard coffin (the cheapest on the
market) when people
die - let us stop buying the coffins and distribute the
food. Let's stop
cutting down the trees for the paper for the questionnaires
coffins - let's use the firewood to cook the food and stop the
For the past 35 years I have worked as a nurse here in
Zimbabwe, many of
those years spent in rural areas where we experienced
severe droughts but
until now I have not experienced the degree of
hunger/starvation that I am
seeing today. Please get the food out from
behind the locked doors now.
Every day spent asking questions as to whether
I am hungry or not is a day
when we will loose hundreds of vulnerable people
because of hunger.
Dominican Missionary Sisters
AirZim's MA60 Cant Withstand Heat
HARARE, October 18 2008 - AirZimbabwe
passengers travelling from
Harare to Victoria Falls were delayed by more
than seven hours Thursday,
after it emerged that the airline's Modern Ark 60
(MA60s) planes can not
safely land under immense heat.
The Boeing 737 that they were initially booked on developed some
problems, forcing AirZimbabwe to use the much discredited MA60
The more than 50 passengers, who were supposed to
have left Harare at
9am, had to be taken to the Rainbow Towers for
One of the disappointed passengers, David Zvavanhu, said
he had missed
his 11am appointment in Victoria Falls and had been greatly
"Initially they told us that we would to leave at
11am but later they
told us that we would only leave Harare around 4am
because their planes can
not land in immense heat. If i had travelled by
road I think I would have
covered a lot of distance by now," said
Another passenger who declined to be named, said he
was very unlucky
with AirZimbabwe as it was not the first time he had had
"I always run into problems whenever i use this
airline. The last time
when I was travelling to London, i was delayed for
two nights in Harare
because the plane we were supposed to use developed
some problems while
coming from China," said the passenger.
AirZimbabwe Public Relations manager, Pride Khumbula, on Thursday
the delay, but said everything was now under control as the
passengers were about to leave.
Zimbabwe bought two Chinese
MA60s in 2005 and received a third one in
2006 as a gift from the Chinese
AirZimbabwe defends its MA60, which was first
tested in 1993 and
received its airworthiness certificate from the Civil
Administration of China in 1998.
The aircraft is
powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada engines, the
instrumentation is by
Rockwell Collins, which is a brand very well
associated with the Boeing and
Airbus and many other aircraft manufacturers.
The MA60 produces
a lot of noise and vibrations.
Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF playing Russian Roulette
worth his salt will tell you that when you have a man in a
make sure that you leave him with a back door from which he
can escape. If
you fail to provide that you leave him only one option ie to
for you with all guns blazing.
In terms of the Zimbabwean negotiations
Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC as well as
the splinter group afforded Robert Mugabe
and the Zanu-PF a back door and a
get out of jail free card all rolled into
one. Yet somehow they seem
reluctant to grab it, make their escape and
regroup for another day. Instead
we are seeing the same old posturing and
intransigence that had a home in
days gone by, when Zanu-PF still had a few
trumps left in their hand, but
which now will result in their total
Just to recap their position:
Despite using every trick in
the book they still lost the election. In other
words a free and fair
election would result in the splinter party getting
more seats in parliament
In terms of the presidential election the prognosis was so bad
that wholesale murder became the only tool left in the box
derailing a run off.
The ballot being out of the question
how does the bullet look?
The SADC and South Africa in particular are no
longer going to allow this
impasse to continue indefinitely. The stakes are
too high financially for
the SADC and the humanitarian crisis too pronounced
for even the AU or UN to
keep ignoring it.
In addition the cost of
fighting a full scale civil war with the
international community assisting
the "rebels" is something that the Zanu-PF
is incapable of sustaining for
any length of period.
The economic position is untenable and is something
that not even the
Zanu-PF and all the intimidation in the world can conceal
So if they can't go to the ballot and they certainly can't
shooting match what next?
What if they stand
This is already imploding their entire infrastructure from
banking. Their police and army unpaid will leave them open to
bullets they bought to use on the population. The final
In essence the Zanu-PF is playing Russian Roulette on their own
of the six chambers have bullets.
Sooner or later their
only asset ie the peaceful transition being afforded
by the deal, will be
considered too high a price to pay for Zimbabwe. If
that happens we'll be
looking at Nurumberg revisited and the demise of the
the birth of the MDC monocracy as well.
The power sharing deal was
structured to afford the MDC day to day control
of the economy. The
international community needs that to be implemented.
This means Home
Affairs and Finance go to the MDC. It really is that simple.
step back from the abyss before it is too late.
This entry was posted on
Saturday, October 18th, 2008 at 11:26 am
Underground, Leading a March for Democracy
Joao Silva for The New York
JENNI WILLIAMS, Zimbabwe’s hell-raising practitioner
of nonviolent civil disobedience, was hauled from a Bulawayo jail cell during
one of the first of her 33 arrests for leading street protests for social
justice during the past five years of President Robert Mugabe’s
In a tiny office, she accused the baton-wielding
police of assaulting her. When officers tauntingly told her she was a liar, she
turned around, dropped her pants and showed them the bruises on her backside,
recalled her lawyer, Perpetua Dube, who was watching.
“You can’t bare your bottom to me!” one of the
officers shouted, threatening to charge her with indecent exposure.
Mrs. Williams, a spitfire rebel with an appreciation
of the absurd, subsequently described herself in an e-mail message to friends as
sitting on the softest cushions she could find and “giggling in between wincing
As of Thursday, she was back in a Bulawayo jail cell
— this time for leading a sit-in on the grounds of government offices to demand
food for the starving and the immediate formation of a power-sharing government
with the opposition.
During years when millions of her compatriots fled
abroad to escape hardship and repression — among them her mother, husband and
three children, now in their 20s — Mrs. Williams, 46, a stocky high school
dropout with a gift for grassroots organizing, has lived underground in
Zimbabwe, moving from safe house to safe house as she and her colleagues have
built a formidable protest movement among the church women of Harare and
Bulawayo, the two largest cities.
“Zimbabwe is my home, so why should I go?” she asked.
“We have made a pact as a family. I am supposed to prepare Zimbabwe so everyone
can come home.”
Dozens of times, she has led seamstresses and maids,
vegetable sellers and hairdressers onto the streets in Zimbabwe’s struggle for
democracy. They sing gospel songs, carry brooms to figuratively sweep the
government clean and bang on pots empty of food.
On May 28, Mrs. Williams and 13 other marchers were
arrested in the capital, Harare, as they demanded an end to political violence.
Mr. Mugabe’s enforcers were then engaged in systematically beating thousands of
the opposition’s supporters before a June presidential runoff that pitted him
against the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
The police said Mrs. Williams and her fellow
protesters promoted violence by handing out fliers that accused Mr. Mugabe of
“unleashing violence on voters.”
AND Mrs. Williams, listed as accused No. 1, faces an
additional charge of causing disaffection among security forces, punishable by
up to 25 years in prison. In a newsletter, the organization she leads — Women of
Zimbabwe Arise!, known as Woza — said it told soldiers and police officers to
refrain from beating people, a statement the police charged was “likely to
induce the members to withhold their services or to commit breaches” of
“Hear us loud and clear — your leaders may get
generous retirement packages, but you will be left to face the justice of the
law and the anger of the people,” the newsletter warned.
Mrs. Williams and her fellow leader, Magodonga
Mahlangu, 35, were held at the Chikurubi prison in Harare for 37 days and
released only after the now-discredited runoff was over. In court papers, the
police singled out Mrs. Williams as a leader of great influence.
“She has got many sympathizers all over the country,”
the police said in arguing against bail. “If accused is released, she is likely
to go into hiding.”
And that, of course, is exactly what she did.
“If we force Mugabe out, it will be the women who are
his undoing,” said John Worswick, a ruddy-faced farmer driven from his land in
the country’s chaotic land reform program who now leads Justice for Agriculture,
an alliance of displaced commercial farmers and farm workers. They are the ones
with the mettle for this, he said. “Jenni’s rattled Mugabe more than anyone
Mrs. Williams’s troublemaking lineage stretches back
to her grandfather, an Irish Republican Army man.
He left County Armagh and wound up a gold prospector in the British colony of
southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. He took as his common-law wife an Ndebele
woman, Bahlezi Moyo, who became the family matriarch and bore him three
children, among them Margaret, Jenni’s mother.
Margaret Daunt’s husband, a mechanic, was an absent
father, so she raised her own family of seven on what she earned working in
hospitals and hotels. Now 74 and living in London, she recalls that when she was
at work, Jenni was “a little mother cat” to her siblings and quit convent school
to help pay their school fees.
“A cheeky little devil, she was,” Mrs. Daunt said.
“When she was younger, if anyone crossed her path, like her sisters or brothers,
she had a ferocious Irish temper. I don’t know how the police have arrested her
without her lashing back. She’s vowed this nonviolence thing.”
Mrs. Williams, a small-time businesswoman married to
an electrician, fell into politics with the onset of Zimbabwe’s political crisis
in 2000. After a referendum to give Mr. Mugabe greater executive powers was
defeated with financial support from white farmers, he encouraged veterans of
Zimbabwe’s liberation war to invade large white-owned farms, setting off a
collapse of the country’s agricultural economy. Mr. Mugabe has been in office
Mrs. Williams, doing public relations for the
Commercial Farmers Union, began speaking out about the human rights abuses, as
well as the fact that many of the choice farms were being given to Mr. Mugabe’s
In 2002, a year in which Mr. Mugabe defeated Mr.
Tsvangirai in an election many independent observers believe was stolen, Mrs.
Williams helped found Woza. The movement was nurtured in the sanctuary of
churches — Catholic, Anglican, Baptist, Methodist and Apostolic.
“The men had failed us,” said Ms. Mahlangu. “The
solutions discussed weren’t bread-and-butter issues, just power.”
In the years since, Woza’s leaders have followed a
cardinal rule: they put their own bodies on the line, a risk Mrs. Williams says
the leaders of Zimbabwe’s political opposition have too often failed to
“We will not tell someone to do what we are not
willing to do ourselves,” she said.
Raymond Majongwe, a teachers union leader, recalled
being in a Harare jail for five days as Mrs. Williams and other Woza women sang
rowdily in their cells.
“It was electric, it was exciting to have Jenni in
the cells,” he said. “If you are arrested with Jenni Williams, you will have a
very good time. She will not back down.”
EACH time she marches, Mrs. Williams said, she
subdues her fear, and the jackhammer pounding of her heart, with deep
So far, about 2,500 of Woza’s 60,000 members have
braved the country’s fetid, overcrowded jails, but Mrs. Williams said many more
must join them. “Removing a dictator from power is a numbers game,” she said.
The brutal political season that just passed has chilled many.
At a recent underground meeting of 200 Woza members
in a Harare church, women, many nursing babies, confessed to their raw fear. One
by one, they rose to narrate the May protest that landed Mrs. Williams, whom
they call Ma Moyo, in jail.
“We saw the riot police in their cars.”
“I heard the policeman saying, ‘Beat them,’ and I
“When I saw Ma Moyo getting in the police car, I
thought about when I was beaten before and I turned and ran.”
Some leaders who spent weeks in the Chikurubi prison
rose to scold the women who had escaped rather than face arrest.
Mrs. Williams, dressed in a bright red T-shirt and
floppy hat, spoke last and jauntily, trying to build their courage.
“We came out of Chikurubi and we still had our arms
and we still had our. ...” and she slapped her own broad rump to gales of
Mugabe: Zimbabwe's false democratic project
By Mthulisi Mathuthu
MTHULISI'S PREVIOUS ARTICLES)
Posted to the web: 18/10/2008 13:11:08
THE curtain slowly comes down on one of the vilest regimes of our time,
seems easy to cast President Robert Mugabe as a failed politician who
sure thing - veering off from being a gentleman of international
into a petty tyrant.
Opposite this fallacy is the uncomfortable home
truth: Mugabe is a
successful and consistent politician who sought, got and
kept power by any
The magic behind this was a
calculated combination of hate, bloodletting and
deception which make it
possible that in the post-Mugabe era, he will remain
'the climate' for many
years to come.
So neat and tight has been this interplay that even his
erstwhile masters in
Whitehall and White House have had the embarrassment of
scooping the egg off
One of the most dangerous legacies
that Mugabe seems sure to leave behind
and will continue for many
generations to come is his ubiquitous quarrelsome
brand of politics
underlined largely by violence, hate, propaganda, obtuse
If what has been happening in Zimbabwe in the last eight
years is anything
to go by, it seems clear that even when the veteran
dictator finally goes or
dies and the walls of Jericho finally come
crumbling down, there won't be
any change at all and the Zimbabwe we seek
will remain a dream.
Instead, the new masters will just replace the
current ones and march into
the palace with their bootlickers,
praise-singers, shock-troops and the
other hangers-on in
Among them will be perfect matches for people like Tambaoga,
Charamba, Happyson Muchechetere, Webster Shamu, Vimbai Chivaura,
Mararike, Tafataona Mahoso, Munyaradzi Huni, Caesar Zvayi and other
bigots -- only that they will be singing for a different master.
cursory look into the Zimbabwean body-politic will reveal that there are
indeed traces of Mugabe's way of doing business. This is not surprising
since as recent as the late 1990's most of the opposition activists still
had the guts to purchase wholesale into Mugabe's politics despite all the
evidence of fascism.
Many people are so angry with Mugabe that they
will go to awkward lengths to
sound like democrats because they used to sing
praises to a malevolent
One of the most illustrative
developments of our time has been the split in
the MDC and the treatment
given to both camps by journalists, analysts,
activists and scholars (the
lines between these are so thin that you need
extra-powerful goggles to see
The varying treatment accorded to both Arthur Mutambara and Morgan
Tsvangirai camps has underlined how Mugabe has succeeded in planting and
germinating his brand of politics across the political architecture that
exists in Zimbabwe.
Once the schism occurred in the MDC in 2005, the
masters of spin came forth
to cast the Mutambara crew as Mugabe's stooges
and Tsvangirai as a democrat.
Personal political miscalculation on the
part of Welshman Ncube ceased to be
what it was and was diligently commuted
to treason. Mutambara is no longer a
politician who failed to outmanoeuvre
Tsvangirai but is a Mugabe stooge who
committed a sin so unforgivable and
unimaginable that he must deserve
everything bad and cruel.
rights activists, lawyers, journalists and scholars from Geneva to
Washington are all tumbling over one another in a scramble to be heard first
denouncing these upstarts who wanted to derail the freedom
Like their opposites in Zanu PF, these scholars have chipped in to
through all these insults and turned them into points of reference to
that Mutambara, Davie Coltart, Ncube and Paul Themba Nyathi sold out
Abel Muzorewa and Ndabaningi Sithole.
One way to affirm one's
commitment to the revolution is no longer to attack
Sithole but Mutambara
No evidence is required to substantiate the claim that Coltart
-- a well-up
lawyer who spent many years exposing human rights violations,
inviting Mugabe's ire -- has now joined the tyrant to derail the
At work here is the kind of scholarship which
turned Zanu PF propaganda from
Maputo into academic effort, while at the
same time concocting eulogies for
certain politicians under the pretext of
Through Mugabe's rule, we have come to learn that the most
dangerous laws in
Zimbabwe are unwritten and one of them is that war betides
he who tries to
oppose the hero of the time for he will soon be gone. A
tonne of bricks will
be hurled in his direction and those who think alike.
They shall all be
pulverised and there will be no trace of their
In this way of doing business, democracy means that the gates to
only be open to those who praise the hero of the times always
the villain of the times always; anything else is treasonous
and you will be
called all sorts of names ranging from CIO through tribalist
As is well known, under Mugabe there can never be debate.
The sum total of
all this is that Mugabe emerges as having succeeded in
fostering among us a
culture of bootlicking, labelling, denouncing and
A combination of failure to read through Mugabe's designs and
dishonesty on the part of the electorate and the international
ensured Mugabe's success from the attainment of power to the
It seems almost certain that Mugabe will not go
to Hague for the 1980's
atrocities in Matabeleland. A huge chunk of Africa
stands squarely behind
him (never mind Khama and Odinga). He has survived
everything that has been
thrown at him -- BBC, CNN, ITV and the entire Fleet
Street edifice as a
whole -- not because of anything but by playing the
victim and exploiting
the inconsistencies in international
The more the Western media (who shielded him during his 1980's
excoriated him, the more he beat the drums of victimhood to a
earned himself the ears of many from the developing
A man who should have occupied his place in the annals of history
malevolent tyrant is getting away with a claim to heroism. Yet his
was never to serve to Zimbabwe but instead Zimbabwe had to serve
him in his
totalitarian project, and he succeeded.
All those who
tried to outflank him are either dead or are in the political
will soon pay a heavy price.
Here is a man who shouldn't have been
anywhere nearer power but should have
been a professor of mass communication
teaching specifically English,
propaganda and public speaking now a few
steps from becoming one of the top
Africans! (Remember the New African
Add to that, his ways are commonplace within the Zimbabwean
the more his victims say they hate him, the more they mimic
There won't be any climate change in Zimbabwe after Mugabe - a
survivor who simply couldn't lead but could divide and proceed.
sure and undisputed candidate for Hague whistling past the gates
This, by any standards, is
Mthulisi Mathuthu is The New Zimbabwe news editor and can be