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Cabinet Meetings To Go Ahead Without MDC

Harare, October 18, 2009 - Government will go ahead with cabinet
meetings without the Movement of Democratic Change (MDC) which last week
announced its decision to disengage with Zanu PF on all matters pertaining
to the power sharing deal, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Media,
Information and Publicity, Cde George Charamba told the state-owned Sunday
Mail weekly paper.

Charamba was quoted describing the MDC move to  "disengage" from "the
inclusive Government as a non-event".
He said: "The MDC-T has disengaged from nothing. It's sound and fury
signifying nothing. The MDC-T president knows that. It's a poor protest. "As
you will certainly see on Tuesday, Cabinet will be held. The agenda for the
meeting has been circulated and decisions that are binding will be taken.
Remember, Cabinet does not function through a quorum."
Charamba said the MDC-T was wasting time talking about elections
because, "elections would be held following a decision by President Mugabe
who is empowered by the Constitution to do so. There is no amount of monkey
business that will change things on the ground."
Asked about the President's reaction to the MDC-T decision, he said:
"We were busy with the selection of students that are set to go to Fort Hare
University. And remember, we also had Cosafa here. It was important to give
our boys a resounding good luck like what the President did on Friday. As
for this needless excitement from the MDC-T, I suppose the President will
find time when the right time comes."
A Zanu PF spokesman Ephraim Masawi also said on Saturday the MDC's
move was racist as it was done to appease a "white man"
Morgan Tsvangira's MDC took the decision to boycott the new
government, until all outstanding issues of the power sharing deal have been
attend to. This followed the indictment of the party's treasurer general and
deputy minister of Agriculture designate, Roy Bennett to appear in the High
Court this week on terrorism charges.
The MDC beleives Bennett is being persecuted because he is "white" and
he is "MDC". It also believes that many of its legislators are being
persecuted on trumped up charges.
MDC has since appealed to the Southern African Development Community
(SADC), which brokered a peace deal that came into effect in February, to
help resolve outstanding issues that include the swearing in of Bennett as
deputy minister and the appointment of Gideon Gono as Reserve Bank Governor
and Johannes Tomana as Attorney General.
President Mugabe has refused to swear in Bennett, saying he needs to
be cleared of all court charges.

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Zimbabwe's Mugabe too busy to address unity crisis

By CHENGETAI ZVAUYA (AP) - 9 hours ago

HARARE, Zimbabwe - President Robert Mugabe is too busy with students and
soccer to address the crisis in his unity government, his spokesman was
quoted as saying Sunday.

The comments in a state-run newspaper reflect the contemptuous indifference
with which Mugabe's party has reacted to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's
announcement Friday that he was withdrawing from the coalition until several
disputes could be worked out, chief among them the trial of a top aide.

Getting the two sides to work together is crucial - and difficult given the
hardening attitudes.

Mugabe spokesman George Charamba told The Sunday Mail that Mugabe was
spending time arranging scholarships for students and welcoming soccer
players in Zimbabwe for a regional tournament.

"As for this needless excitement from (Tsvangirai's party), I suppose the
president will find time when the right time comes," Charamba said.

Tsvangirai told reporters that members of his Movement for Democratic Change
party would not attend Cabinet meetings or engage in other executive work
with Mugabe's party, but Tsvangirai said he remained committed to the unity
agreement. ZANU-PF spokesman Ephraim Masawi said Friday the work of
government would go ahead, and that "we don't have a problem with"
Tsvangirai's disengagement.

Charamba told The Sunday Mail that a Cabinet meeting would go ahead Tuesday
as scheduled.

The unity government was formed at the urging of Zimbabwe's neighbors after
two violence-plagued elections left the country at a political standstill
and in economic ruin. South Africa, the main regional power, has expressed
concern for the future of the coalition.

South Africa Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane called Saturday for
"the speedy resolution of challenges in Zimbabwe." U.S. State Department
spokesman Ian Kelly said Friday that Washington understood "the frustration"
of Tsvangirai's party, and called on Mugabe to make the power-sharing
agreement work.

In announcing the boycott, Tsvangirai cited the "persecution" of a top aide,
Roy Bennett, who faces trial on weapons violations charges. Bennett denies
the charges, which are linked to long-discredited allegations that
Tsvangirai's party plotted Mugabe's violent overthrow.

In addition to the Bennett case, Tsvangirai has condemned continuing human
rights violations and unilateral moves by Mugabe to fill government posts.
Mugabe has demanded that Tsvangirai do more to get international sanctions
lifted and foreign aid and investment restored.

The coalition is Mugabe's only hope for taking Zimbabwe out of international
isolation, and it has brought Tsvangirai closer to power than any election.

Foreign governments and multilateral donors have expressed support for
Tsvangirai, warmly welcoming him on a recent international tour. But
concerns persist about propping up Mugabe, accused of trampling on democracy
and ruining a once prosperous economy. Even with Tsvangirai in the
government, donors prefer not to give money directly to Zimbabwe's treasury,
instead working through independent aid groups.

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Violence at Foothills Farm

Pinsi Tauro, Gladys Guvheya and Tariro Benhura were heavily assaulted with an iron bar by a ZANU PF self confessed war veteran Jacob Chiripanyanga yesterday around 0700 hours in the morning at Foothills farm in Bindura. Tauro, who is battling for his life sustained serious head injuries, lost a lot of blood, collapsed and was unconscious for one and half hours before he was admitted at a local hospital in Bindura where he’s yet to receive treatment.

Jacob Chiripanyanga uprooted plants from Tauro’s garden before striking him several times with an iron rod in a deliberate move aimed at violent ouster for all the farm workers deemed supporters of the Movement for Democratic change (MDC).The warfare has now been directed towards destruction of the only source of livelihood for the farm workers who survive on small scale gardening.

It is unfortunate that no action has been taken by the police to bring the culprit Jacob Chiripanyanga to book despite the fact that the incident was reported at Bindura police station yesterday.

Residents of Foothills farm have been locked in a fierce legal battle with Jacob Chiripanyanga who is seeking their ouster after he occupied the farm under the ongoing violent land grab by ZANU Pf supporters.

Chiripanyanga is taking matters into his own hands despite the fact that he has filed an application at the Bindura magistrate courts under case number C232/9 due to be heard on the 19th of October. Inhabitants of Foothills farm are exposed to the worst human rights violations in the hands of marauding ZANU Pf supporters who have become law unto themselves, unleashing a reign of anarchy in Mashonaland West province.

Political violence against farm workers continues unchecked across the country as law enforcement agents are reluctant to act in political cases involving Mugabe’s loyalists.

Restoration of Human Rights Zimbabwe (ROHR) is calling for the government to address the plight of farm workers around the country who are exposed to rampant gross human rights violations in the absence of the law. We encourage Giles Mutsekwa the co-minister to ministry of home affairs to provide the much needed balance and put an end to the ZANU Pf cancerous culture of impunity.

Meanwhile the vice president of ROHR Zimbabwe Sten Zvorwadza is set to appear in court on Monday 19 October 0800 hours at Rotten Row magistrate courts on trumped up charges following a peaceful protest that was held last year in January in which more than 200 members of ROHR Zimbabwe were calling for the investigation of the murder of Fibeon Mafukidze who was beaten to death by army officials from Eastdale military base in Gutu under the instruction of Selina Mumbengegwi wife to the then minister of finance Samuel Mumbengegwi.

26 people were heavily assaulted and brutalized by the ZRP police for taking part in the peaceful demonstration.

One year after the formation of the coalition government between ZANU Pf and the two MDC formations, it is regrettable that the attorney general’s office continues to harass and persecute outspoken human rights activist through the systematic abuse of the rule of law when people who committed documented bloody crimes with impunity during the March- June 2008 harmonized election violence are still walking free.

Renowned human rights lawyer Alec Muchadehama has also fallen victim to the attorney general’s misconduct and intimidation campaign that is targeted at human rights defenders.

(Information via ROHR Zimbabwe)

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Zanu-PF thugs on rampage in Mutoko

Published on: 18th October, 2009

MUTOKO - An MDC Mutoko councillor, Chamunorwa Mundete, has fled his home in
Nyamuzizi after more than 10 armed Zanu PF supporters besieged his home in
the middle of the night and threatened to kill him.

Mundete, who is the councillor for Ward 28, had to sneak out through his
bedroom window after armed Zanu PF thugs stormed his home and said they were
going to kill him if he continued to support the MDC.

"I was saved by the darkness as it was around 3 A.M when the thugs came. I
left with only the clothes that I am wearing and I am staying with some
relatives here in Harare," said Mundete.

Mundete said because of the darkness, he could not identify the intruders
but his wife had since made a report to Mutoko police.

"I am scared to go back home as I don't know the next step these men are
going to take. My family and the community that I represent in council are
also failing to come to terms with what has happened to me," he said.

He said the threat on his life had also affected his family business and
farming activities as his wife was also living in fear these thugs.

The MDC has 6 councillors out of 23 in the Mutoko Rural Council.

There has been an increase in the number of MDC supporters and officials who
have been persecuted by Zanu PF supporters across the country but the police
are not taking any action

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SA 'very concerned' about Zimbabwe

Harare's unity government in tatters as Tsvangirai pulls out of joint
Oct 17, 2009 10:22 PM | By PADDY HARPER and AFP

President Jacob Zuma is expected to urge Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe to resume talks on issues threatening
that country's fragile unity government.
Zuma, who played a key role in getting the two rival parties in Zimbabwe to
talk, is likely to urge them to resolve the issues cited by Tsvangirai when
he announced on Friday that the Movement for Democratic Change would
disengage from the cabinet and other executive structures.
Officials within the SA Presidency told the Sunday Times that although Zuma
would be firm, a public repudiation of Zanu-PF was unlikely.

The Department of International Co-operation's spokesman, Nomfanelo Kota,
said that, as a member of the Southern African Development Community, the
South African government was "very concerned" about the latest developments
in Zimbabwe.

"We are aware that the SADC (peace and security) organ troika remains seized
with the matter, and obviously from our side we urge the parties to recommit
themselves to the letter and spirit of the GPA (Global Political Agreement)
and move towards resolving outstanding issues," Kota said.

In Harare, a judge yesterday granted lawyers for MDC member Roy Bennett -
whose arrest prompted Tsvangirai to temporarily abandon shared rule with
Mugabe - more time to prepare for trial on weapons charges related to a
discredited claim that the MDC was plotting a coup.

Bennett was freed late on Friday from jail in Mutare, 270km east of Harare.

He told AP Television News that the power-sharing arrangement that Mugabe
and Tsvangirai entered into in February was unreliable.

The unity government was formed after two violence-plagued elections left
the country at a political standstill and in economic ruin.

Tsvangirai told reporters his party members would not attend cabinet
meetings or engage in other executive work with Mugabe's party.

"Roy Bennett is not being prosecuted, he is being persecuted," Tsvangirai
said of his nominee for deputy agriculture minister.

Bennett was arrested the day the unity cabinet was sworn in in February. He
had been free on bail since March, but that was revoked earlier this week.

Bennett denies the charges against him.

"Until confidence has been restored we can't continue to pretend that
everything is well," Tsvangirai said, referring to Bennett's trial and other
disputes with Mugabe.

However, Tsvangirai told a news conference in Harare that his move did not
spell the collapse of the government.

"We are not really pulling out officially," he said, noting that the MDC
would continue with parliamentary activities.

US State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said on Friday that Washington
understood "the frustration" of Tsvangirai's party, and called on Mugabe to
make the power-sharing agreement work.

"This is an agreement that Mr Mugabe himself signed, and he hasn't taken the
concrete steps to show a commitment to democratic reform and opening up his
political system," Kelly said.

The indifferent reaction from Mugabe's Zanu-PF party underlined tensions
within the coalition.

"If MDC wants to disengage ... we don't have a problem with that," said
Ephraim Masawi, a Zanu-PF spokesman.

"We were having problems with MDC, working together. We have been trying,
but it was not easy."

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ZTA boss threatens journalist

Friday, 16 October 2009 07:58
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority boss Karikoga Kaseke (pictured) last week
threatened a journalist with unspecified action after the reporter asked him
what the authority was doing to woo back visitors from Britain which remains
one of the biggest source markets for the local tourism industry.
The journalist John Chimunhu had to leave the press conference early
in fear of Kaseke, who is known to have a fiery temper.  "I begin to
question your level of education for asking that question, you cannot win ..
if you start a war with me you will not win it for I will be the winner,"
said the fuming Kaseke, who also branded Chimunhu a British journalist.
Chimhunu apparently angered Kaseke when he asked the ZTA boss why
Britain, which contributes 48.5 percent of tourist arrivals, was allocated
only 27 of the 155 free tickets to the Shanyai tourism showcase. Chimunhu
also queried the criteria used to select candidates for the free visits. The
specially invited buyers are expected to bring direct business to the
country through bookings for the Christmas season while they are in
Zimbabwe. "I am quite shocked by the massive threats, condemnations and
insinuations that come from Kaseke as a person who holds such a high
position to sink so low," said Chimunhu.
While political relations between Zimbabwe and Western nations
especially former colonial ruler, Britain, have soured over the past decade,
the local tourism industry has continued to benefit from its traditional
ties with the European market even though arrivals dropped.

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Zanu PF Youth Force Nestle To Buy Milk

Harare, October 18, 2009 - A marauding group of Zanu PF youths on
Friday tried to force Nestle-Zimbabwe to buy milk from the Gushungo Dairy
Estate but the bid failed after authorities maintained that the company no
longer buys milk from Zimbabwe's first family.

"There was a heated debate at the company premises and the youths were
saying if Nestle still wants to operate from Zimbabwe they should just buy
the milk. They said the company should not get political otherwise they were
going to lose it," said the source.

A Zimbabwean lawyer Selby Hwacha who is representing Nestle confirmed
the development on Saturday saying a tanker full of milk from the dairy had
to be turned away on Friday despite a protest from a group of youths from
Zanu PF.

"Its true there was a tanker from Gushungo Dairy estate that was
turned away. The company has made it clear that it will no longer by milk
from the said suppliers," said Hwacha without elaborating.

The group of Zanu PF youths led by Youth Minister and Zanu PF
politburo member Savior Kasukuwere's young brother Tongai, tried in vain
tried to force Nestle Zimbabwe employees to offload 22 000 litres of milk
from President Robert Mugabe's farm.

The tanker carrying the milk, which has been dubbed "blood milk" by
activists against Mugabe's continued grip on power, failed to offload after
more than four hours of intense negotiations.

Sources from the Nestle's Southerton depot in Harare said the Zanu PF
youth threatened the management with company seizures if they continued with
their stance.

Contacted for a comment Kasukuwere junior declined to comment about
Friday's protest.

Nestle-Zimbabwe stopped buying milk from Gushongo Dairy Estates, a
farm owned by President Robert Mugabe's wife Grace, which was seized under
his controversial land reforms following and international campaign calling
on a boycott of all Nestle products.

Nestle said in light of the recent controversy surrounding our
relationship with the Gushungo Dairy Estate, "we believe that
thisannouncement reflects our long-term commitment to Zimbabwe while
acknowledging the specific circumstances around these events."

Meanwhile a pioneering indigenous commercial farmer has been evicted
from his farm in defiance of a Southern African Development Community (SADC)
Tribunal ruling barring his eviction.

The SADC Tribunal ruled recently that the repossession and sale of the
farm by Agribank in order to recoup an outstanding loan was "illegal and
void."  The regional court also ordered the government to take all the
necessary measures through its agents from evicting Tembani (72) or his
family from the property and to stop interfering with his use and occupation
of the property.

But Mutare Deputy Sheriff identified as Dzobo evicted Tembani from his
farm known as the Remainder of Minverwag of Clare Estate Ranch, which he has
occupied since 1983 to make way for Takawira Zembe who claims to have bought
the farm from the local financial institution.

Tembani became one of Zimbabwe's first black commercial farmers
shortly after independence in 1980.

Zimbabwe claims it has withdrawn from the SADC tribunal so its
decisions are not legal binding. However legal experts have said the
tribunal judgements are legal binding as Zimbabwe is a full member of SADC.

Mugabe's seizure of white commercial farms for blacks has drawn heavy
criticism from Western countries, who say their aid won't flow to help
Zimbabwe's economic recovery until the land grabs stop and political and
economic reforms are implemented.

Mugabe, who has formed a power-sharing government with rival Morgan
Tsvangirai, has accused his Western foes of sabotaging Zimbabwe's economy
through sanctions in retaliation for his land reforms, which critics say
ruined the agriculture sector. He claimed the policy was meant to address
historical land ownership imbalances.

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Demand for Zimbabwe land audit

Written by Simpiwe Piliso
Sunday, 18 October 2009 06:26
EC offers to fund probe into farm ownership.

The European Commission has offered to fund Zimbabwe's audit of land
ownership - a process that the country's commercial farmers union believes
will reveal President Robert Mugabe's multi-million dollar farm empire.

The embattled Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe (CFUZ), which
represents scores of white farmers who have lost their farms as a result of
Mugabe's controversial land reform programme, has been protesting for the
government to proceed with the audit, which was recently shelved..

The Mugabe family's personal agricultural enterprise is believed to
comprise more than 12 large commercial farms.

"We want a land audit done as soon as possible. Our concern though is
that the audit will not be done by a truly independent team according to
international standards," said Deon Theron, president of CFUZ.

The Zimbabwean government recently announced that it was seeking to
establish an independent land committee - an inter-ministerial body to be
made up of permanent secretaries and other senior government officials - to
drive the land audit.

The audit, which was proposed to ensure the government's
"one-man-one-farm" policy, was called for in the 2008 Global Political
Agreement for power sharing, and is one of the major targets set by
Zimbabwe's inclusive government during a ministerial retreat at Victoria
Falls in August.

It was a key element of the power-sharing agreement in September last
year that resulted in the formation of a unity government between Mugabe and
the opposition Movement of Democratic Change, headed by Morgan Tsvangirai.

The audit, scheduled to have started last month, was shelved after
lands minister Herbert Murerwa told Zimbabwean media that the government did
not have the estimated US$31-million to conduct a process that is expected
to take nine months.

The government has not commented on the European Commission's offer
this week to fund the entire audit. But the commission, which is the
executive body of the European Union, has stated that it would only fund an
inclusive, transparent and comprehensive land audit.

On Friday, Xavier Marchal, the head of the commission in Zimbabwe said
the commission had has expressed its availability to support "a meaningful"
land audit.

"We need now to discuss its content. What the European Commission
would like to support is a land audit that resolves the land issue," Marchal
said. "We are aware that government said they need US$30-million for the
land audit. But we have not received any concrete request with concrete
explanations of what is needed. We remain ready, of course, to discuss this
at any time."

The farmers' union welcomed the EC's offer, but was critical of
government's involvement in the process, saying that it was "ridiculous"
that the government would be involved in conducting and steering it.

"As an interested party they cannot be involved in auditing
themselves. The final results of such a audit would be very questionable,"
Theron added. "We want a land audit as soon as possible, but then it needs
to be done by an international, independent body with no vested interest,"
he said.

According to the union, an independent audit would not only reveal
multiple farm ownership, but would also show "how corrupt the
identification, allocation and evictions have been".

Since 2000, when Mugabe began encouraging the invasion of the
country's white-owned commercial farms, food production in Zimbabwe has
withered, hunger has afflicted millions of people and the national economy
has collapsed.

The land grabs set off a scramble for the best farms among the
country's ruling elite, who often had little knowledge or interest in
farming and simply used the seized farms for holiday getaways.

Mugabe's relatives, as well as generals, judges, ministers and members
of parliament, have been beneficiaries.

Today many farms lie fallow or are poorly managed and yield a fraction
of their potential output.

Last month, the UK newspaper Sunday Telegraph reported that Mugabe's
wife Grace owned properties totalling about 4856 hectares.

The most important of these is Gushungo Dairy Estate, which until
recently supplied milk to Nestlé Zimbabwe, the local subsidiary of the Swiss
company. The farm, which was reportedly selling up to one million litres of
milk a year to Nestlé, is managed by Russell Goreraza, Grace Mugabe's son
from her first marriage.

Last month Nestlé SA's Zimbabwean unit announced that it was no longer
sourcing milk from the Mugabe farm.

Mugabe's wife, who has assumed control of at least six of Zimbabwe's
most valuable white-owned farms since 2002, seized Gushungo Dairy Estate
following a campaign of violence in the area over several months in 2003.

Sunday Times (SA)

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Zimbabwe in race against time to prevent new cholera outbreak

 Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Date: 18 Oct 2009

by Griffin Shea

HARARE, Oct 18, 2009 (AFP) - Workers trudge through foul-smelling mud in a
trench seeping with clean drinking water and raw sewage in one of the Harare
neighbourhoods hardest hit by last year's cholera epidemic.

The repair work is a race against time to patch the city's sewage system
before the rainy season begins in November, when health workers fear the
water-borne disease could erupt again.

The three-metre (10-foot) deep trench cuts through Usuf Austin's driveway
and runs the length of his block, forcing his family to leap across the hole
to get into their house.

But he's happy for the crew to replace the leaky pipes blamed for fueling
the epidemic that killed more than 4,200 people and sickened nearly 100,000.

"The sewage was coming out day in and day out, 24 hours a day" when cholera
first struck in August 2008, he said.

"This sewage water mixes with the rain water during the rainy season," he

The epidemic erupted last year as post-election violence swept Zimbabwe,
already crippled by a decade of economic decline blamed on controversial
reforms by autocratic President Robert Mugabe.

The country's collapsing public infrastructure added to chronically
overburdened sewer systems and water shortages. This in turn gave free rein
to the diarrhoeal disease, which is easily preventable with clean water and
proper sewage but thrives in places without proper sanitation.

The crew on Austin's road is one of dozens tearing up streets around the
Zimbabwe capital, including much of the city centre, in a donor-funded drive
to fix the worst of the sewer problems.

Raw sewage still trickles along street sides in working class neighbourhoods
like this one, but the onset of rains could easily turn it into streams.

The work is gruelling under Zimbabwe's tropical sun, as the crew use pick
axes and shovels to dig the trenches by hand, without protective gloves or

"We have to go to the houses to ask for gloves, even shovels," said Titus
Sibanda, 35, the crew's foreman. "All the people on these streets, they help

Zimbabwe declared an end to the cholera epidemic at the end of July, and
only five cases have been reported since then, in a rural district where
periodic outbreaks are common.

What distinguished last year was its epicentre in Harare, which accounted
for most of the victims.

-- 'Harare is going to come back' --

Residents of the capital had been used to reliable, clean drinking water and
had never had to take cholera precautions.

But leaky pipes left raw sewage seeping into the water supply. Mounds of
rubbish, accumulating by the day, have also become a common landmark on the
outskirts of most poor suburbs as authorities lack fuel or spares to keep
dump trucks on the road.

Zimbabwe's economic meltdown last year left hospitals and clinics without
money for basic medicines and supplies, while doctors and nurses went on
strike to demand their wages.

The result was the worst cholera epidemic anywhere in the world in more than
a decade.

Most of the response was led by aid agencies, who shipped in water treatment
tablets and medicines, and set up emergency cholera clinics.

The UN Children's Fund has warned that a new outbreak is "almost inevitable"
when the rainy season begins in November, as an estimated six million people
have little or no access to safe water and sanitation, the main driver of

"Unfortunately we do believe that cholera has become endemic within
Zimbabwe," UNICEF's chief of health Mickey Chopra said recently.

"There's not been enough time to repair that infrastructure, so we are
preparing for a cholera outbreak in the rainy season."

But Health Minister Henry Madzorera said Zimbabwe is better prepared this
year. Doctors and nurses are back on the job, so clinics are running again.
Education campaigns have highlighted the importance of boiling water,
washing hands and other prevention measures.

"You'll notice in Harare there is a lot of excavation happening. The water
supply is going to improve," he told AFP.

"We encourage people to take hygiene measures," he said. "But the rainy
season is coming, we may have a few problems."

All the pipes that need replacing will never be fixed before the rains, the
crew foreman in Highfields said it's important for the public to see efforts
are being made.

"People need to see things working day to day," Sibanda said. "Harare is
going to come back."

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Lawmakers raise alarm over return of Mugabe

Fanny W. Y. Fung
Oct 18, 2009

Lawmakers have warned that China and Hong Kong's international image could
take a beating for allowing Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe to return to
the city, seven months after she was granted diplomatic immunity to escape
assault charges for attacking a photographer.
The wife of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe arrived on Friday from

The visit was her first since she allegedly punched Richard Jones, a British
photographer and Hong Kong resident, while he was taking photos of her
shopping in Tsim Sha Tsui on January 15. Two months later, the Department of
Justice said it would not prosecute her because she was entitled to
diplomatic immunity.

The Democratic Party's James To Kun-sun, who sits on the Legislative
Council's justice and legal services panel, questioned why China should
welcome her.

"If it does, this is recognising her assault was right," To said. "Unless
she is coming here to apologise, there is no reason to let her in."

At a panel meeting in March, Secretary for Justice Wong Yan-lung told
legislators that the Hong Kong government had raised concerns with Beijing
over the assault case. Mugabe's return must have meant that the effort had
been useless, To said.

While noting that the Hong Kong government may not lead in diplomatic
matters, Civic Party leader Audrey Eu Yuet-mee said the government could
still urge Beijing to classify Mugabe as persona non grata.

Another panel member Ip Wai-ming, of the Beijing-friendly Federation of
Trade Unions, warned of the damage to Hong Kong's image. "If she challenges
the law here again, the Hong Kong government and the Foreign Ministry should
consider the matter seriously. If someone abuses [diplomatic immunity], this
is not good for the reputation of the local government," Ip said.

Jones, who is a freelancer who has worked with the London-based Sunday
Times, said he was not surprised by Mugabe's return. "It's a slap in the
face to press freedom in Hong Kong. It's also a slap in the face to the
general public here. It gives people the impression that China pulls the

In another incident in February, two bodyguards of Mugabe's daughter Bona
were accused of attacking two other photographers from the same newspaper.
The police said they were investigating whether the guards had been working
illegally on tourist visas, and the Department of Justice said it was still
studying whether it would press charges.

Michael Vidler, the lawyer for the two journalists, described the first
lady's return as unbelievable. "I think not only my clients, but the people
of Hong Kong also deserve an explanation as to why she is allowed to get in
again," he said. "If people breach the law, they should be prosecuted."

The Immigration Department said it handled all entry applications in
accordance with the law and immigration policy and having due regard to
individual circumstances. A spokesman said it would not comment on
individual cases.

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Zimbabwe courts foreign teams for 2010

Written by Fungi Kwaramba
Friday, 16 October 2009 12:51
HARARE - Zimbabwe's tourism body is trying to woo international soccer
teams that qualify for the 2010 World Cup to be hosted in South Africa to
consider setting their training camps in the country come June next year.

Speaking at a media briefing last week Zimbabwe Tourism Authority
(ZTA) boss Karikoga Kaseke said even though there were strong indications
that European soccer giants England are inclined to be based in Zimbabwe,
the Fabio Capello-coached team is yet to confirm whether it will stay in the
"England have already indicated that Zimbabwe is their first
preference while Ireland and South Korea have both made strong indications
that they are interested in coming to the country," said Kaseke.
Kaseke also added that the Polish soccer team has already indicated
that they will be based in Zimbabwe.
However it is the English soccer team - the Three Lions - who are
expected to be followed by over 35 000 supporters that the country aims to
entice into coming to Zimbabwe.
"We need the British more than we need any other team and we have
talked to the vice president of the English Football Association over the
matter," Kaseke said.
Despite political differences between Harare and its former colonial
power Britain over the past decade, England continues to provide the highest
number of tourists to the southern African country which is slowly on the
mend thanks to the formation of a coalition government last February.
According to Kaseke, South American soccer giants Brazil are also
interested in coming to Zimbabwe whose facilities are second to World Cup
hosts South Africa in the southern African region.

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Masakadza leads Zimbabwe to crushing victory

(AFP) - 3 hours ago

HARARE - Hamilton Masakadza smashed the 11th highest score in ODI history on
Sunday when his career-best, unbeaten 178, led Zimbabwe to a 142-run win
over Kenya.

The home side piled up 329-3 off 50 overs, their second 300-plus total of
the series which they claimed 4-1.

Masakadza and fellow opener Forster Mutizwa put on on 127 by the 25th over
for the first wicket before off-spinner Jimmy Kamande provided the
breakthrough, having Mutizwa stumped for 55.

Brendan Taylor joined Masakadza and the two then put on 102 for the second
wicket with Taylor hitting three fours and three sixes.

Masakadza reached his century and his 167-ball effort yielded 17 fours and
five sixes.

Kenya then slumped to 85 for 5 with Chris Mpofu claiming three wickets.

Jimmy Kamande top-scored with 37 as Kenya were all out for 187 in 39.3

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 17th October 2009

Prompted by the vindictive persecution of Roy Bennett – who was one of the people who first suggested the Vigil – we have launched a new petition calling for a more robust approach to Mugabe. It reads: “Petition to the Zimbabwean Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai. We urge you to refuse to co-operate with President Mugabe until he respects the rule of law and complies fully with the agreement under which the Zimbabwean coalition government was formed in February.”


We know Tsvangirai has already adopted this attitude but unfortunately he has a record of flip-flopping and we have worded the petition this way in case he changes his mind next week. sBut we were pleased that he has at last taken the gloves off. People who discussed the matter at the Vigil thought that Tsvangirai has nothing to lose. Donor countries have clearly not bought his previous line that things were going well with the inclusive government and he was rapidly losing credibility. So we were relieved when Morgan stood his ground and challenged Mugabe over the jailing of Bennett. Mugabe blinked first and Bennett was released. The Vigil believes that Mugabe must be confronted on every front with the prospect of the interim government collapsing if he does not meet the MDC’s legitimate expectations.


Vigil supporters were encouraged by Botswana President Ian Khama’s comment that he would not recognise Mugabe as President if Zanu-PF was left to rule alone. He said Mugabe was not elected President. We believe that if the interim government collapses it would present SADC and the AU with a problem they could no longer duck. 


It was another boisterous Vigil as we embarked on our 8th year. An Australian came by and signed our petitions and said he was an adviser to the Australian Prime Minister and would tell him about our demands.


Last week’s Mugabe shopping expedition at Harrods was widely followed on the internet. There were three times the normal amount of hits on our photo website – which means people all over the world found the shopping expedition entertaining. Or it might just be the CIO . . . .


Going through the register we see that lots of people came down from Liverpool last week. We are pleased to announce that RORH Liverpool are to have regular fortnightly demonstrations there. The first one is next Saturday, 24th October.  Please check ‘Events and Notices’ for time and venue.


For latest Vigil pictures check:


FOR THE RECORD:  188 signed the register.



·    ROHR Liverpool Branch First Demonstration. Saturday 24th October from 2 – 4 pm.  Venue: Liverpool City Centre outside Primark.  Demonstrations will be held fortnightly.

·    ROHR Leicester relaunch meeting. Saturday 24th October. Venue: Bishop Street Methodist Church,10 Bishop Street, Leicester, LE 1 6AF. NB. No parking at the venue; please use NCP / Dover / Haymarket / City Council parking spaces. ROHR President and UK Executive present. Speakers to include: Rev Jill Marsh (Methodist Church), Celia Fisher ( Leicester Aids Support Services). Contact: Dennis Sibanda 07901742649, Dr N Masamvi 07825525834, L Maposa 07837788807, F Mzemba 07932449899, G Mutimukulu 07508029001, N Maziso 07732545514, A Mutambira 07768610423 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070

·    Southern Africa: Democracy and Development. Saturday 31st October at 2 pm.  Venue: Unite, 128 Theobald’s Road, London WC1X 8TN. Will Zimbabwe's unity government collapse? When will the world wake up to the situation in Swaziland?  ACTSA's Annual Conference will feature leading southern African trade unionists who will discuss key issues from the region, especially on democracy and development in Zimbabwe and Swaziland. Confirmed speakers include: Vimbai Mushongera, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, and Vincent Dlamini, Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions. A British Government minister has also been invited.  For more information please visit:

·    ROHR West Bromwich general meeting. Saturday 31st October from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Road, West Bromwich B70 0HF. ROHR Executive and a well known lawyer present. Contact Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Diana Mtendereki 07768682961, Peter Nkomo 07817096594 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 0793221607

·    ROHR Liverpool general meeting. Saturday 7th November from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: 80 Aspen Grove, Toxteth, Liverpool, L7 0ST. T-shirts available for only £10.00. NEW MEMBERS ARE VERY WELCOME. Contact: Desire Chimuka 07917733711, Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Patrick Kushonga 07900857605, Trywell Migeri 07956083758.

·    ROHR North London launch meeting. Saturday 7th November from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: Tottenham Chances, 399 High Road, Tottenham, London N17 6QN, Nearest Tube Station: Seven Sisters, then buses towards Tottenham, 3rd Bus Stop from 7 Sisters Station. Routes: 123, 149, 259,279, 349, 476, 341 243. Contact: Gladys Mapanda 07877670522, Collin Chitekwe  07957712691,  Valerie Chengaose 07956586377, Bekithemba Nyahwa 07534905348, P Mapfumo 07915926323 or Phyllis Chibanguza 07908406069

·    Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury Park. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355 (open Tuesdays and Thursdays).

·    Strategic Internship for Zimbabweans organised by Citizens for Sanctuary which is trying to secure work placements for qualified Zimbabweans with refugee status or asylum seekers. For information: or contact:

·    Vote for Betty Makoni of Girl Child Network as one of CNN’s top ten heroes of 2009 via this link:


Vigil Co-ordinators


The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe.



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The GNU Boycott and the Pull-Out Method

In cases where family planning is used to limit the size of a family unit
and modern contraceptives are unavailable, or because of certain religious
beliefs, Coitus Interruptus is often practised. This is a method of birth
control in which coitus is initiated but withdrawal is deliberate prior to
ejaculation. However, this technique is not recommended for overzealous
teenagers engaged in casual, premarital recreational sex, or men with
hereditary premature ejaculation problems.

The GNU is equivalent to a gullible youthful man reluctantly married to an
ageing lady of loose virtues (geza tidye); one is not supposed to
impregnate-let alone marry. If the young eager male partner suggests the
pull-out method, this will certainly result in an abortion, or a first born
child aptly named "Mistake", or the last born "Zvakwana" -enough is enough.

It is time that all non-ZANU (PF) actors completely pull out of the GNU;
leaving it half-way in still results in an unwanted pregnancy.

"Indecision is like a stepchild: if he does not wash his hands, he is called
dirty, if he does, he is wasting water." ZANU (PF) is disingenuous,
manipulative and an outright deceiver that treats its Global Political
Agreement (GPA) partners like "mubvandiripo", a stepson to the chief's
family-an unwanted stepchild-who is always neglected. Mugabe has used his
GPA partners to buttress his waning political fortunes and to regroup his
war machinery for another brutal election campaign in 2011.

Draconian laws have not yet been repealed. Gono, the Reserve Bank Governor,
and Tomana, the Attorney General, are still occupying offices they should
have vacated. Farm invasions and business property misappropriations are
ongoing, encouraged by Mugabe himself. National healing has failed to occur
and the continued blatant raiding of state coffers remains unchecked.
Perpetrators of violence and violators of international humanitarian law are
still roaming free. Furthermore, specifications, arbitrary arrests, torture,
and the murder of innocent civilians is prevalent. The conspicuous absence
of the rule of law is a fundamental failure of the GNU. The Joint Operations
Command (JOC)-the defacto sovereign authority in Zimbabwe-is still in charge
and functioning outside of the provisions of the constitution.

Mugabe lost the presidential election and yet insists on being addressed as:
His Excellency, Comrade Robert Mugabe, the Head of State and Government,
Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President and First
Secretary of ZANU (PF), Life President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.

The GNU was born out of a secretive political compromise by persons who
prematurely penned a surreptitious agreement for political expediency, and
to appease an unpopular SADC leader, Thabo Mbeki. Two principals to the GPA,
Mutambara and Mugabe, are unelected and unpopular.

Karl W.Deutsch noted in 1953: ".totalitarian regimes require more power for
dealing with their subjects than do other types of government, such regimes
stand in greater need of widespread and dependable compliance habits among
their people."

Morgan Tsvangirai is being used to legitimise tyranny and to extricate ZANU
(PF) from its pariah status. His function in the GNU is to ensure the
removal of travel restrictions and the asset freezes imposed on perpetrators
of human rights violations. Without Morgan Tsvangirai, ZANU (PF) has no hope
of receiving any financial support from multi-lateral institutions.
Zimbabweans seeking real change need to suffocate the regime with a
chokehold on its air supply-the oxygen that makes it breathe-money.

Mugabe acquiesced to the Ministry of Finance being run by the MDC hoping for
a financial windfall. Tsvangirai and Biti were expeditiously dispatched to
Western capitals, holding Mugabe's begging bowls, but returned with less
than the US $8 billion Mugabe required for righting his mismanagement. ZANU
(PF) is technically insolvent; Zimbabwe is fiscally bankrupt, only foreign
aid is propping up our country's decimated economy. Without political
stability brought about by the immediate cessation of wanton violence, a
lean government, a new constitution, accountability and an adherence to a
stringent ethos of fiscal discipline, the GNU is nothing more than an
expensive experiment..

Once a commercial sex worker is married to an honourable man, she becomes
respectable too, unless she reverts to her trade whilst married. Tsvangirai
should pull out now; the continued human rights violations occurring under
the GNU will be a shared responsibility.

"Simba rehove ririmumvura"-once separated completely, Tsvangirai should
immediately call for a referendum on the constitution, a fresh general and
presidential election under the auspices of the United Nations, and return
the perks of ZANU (PF)'s poison chalice. Aristotle warned long ago that ". .
. tyranny can also change into tyranny."

"ZANU ndeyeropa" - ZANU spills blood, the popular dogma that is at the core
of the ruling party's ideology. MDC was offered a quick ride on the back of
a man-eating lion and now the challenge is how to dismount.

With the support of the people who voted for the MDC in March of 2008,
pragmatic Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) members, visionary
African Union (AU) leaders, and the international community, democracy will
prevail. Democracy will be ZANU (PF) and Mugabe's, Achilles' heel.

Phil Matibe -

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MDC's decision to dis-engage from ZANU(PF) : a political masterstroke

The global political agreement (GPA) that was solemnised in Harare amidst
much pomp and ceremony on September 15, 2008 has been anything but a happy
marriage.Marriages of convenience are never known for their marital bliss
and harmony.For a young and vibrant political party such as the MDC led by
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to seek to enter into a marriage of
convenience with a tired and faction-ridden party  such as ZANU(PF) was
always going to be a tall order.The MDC and ZANU(PF) are fundamentally and
structurally dissimilar.Whilst the MDC is a movement that believes in a
genuine democratic dispensation where the leadership of the party is
accountable to its membership and is never allowed to degenerate into a
one -person band; ZANU(PF) has a tradition of being a commandeering and
top-down political party where the '' big man'' syndrome is deeply
entrenched.ZANU(PF) is an organisation where any form of alternative
thinking is ruthlessly clamped down and denounced as sell-out and/or
neo-imperialist machinations.Whilst the MDC is forward-looking in its
ideology and easily encourages robust debate amongst its membership,ZANU(PF)
is deeply stuck in history and rather than engage the future and move
forward,this party  spends precious energy and time '' celebrating'' its
past glory and eulogizing its former heroes; both living and dead regardless
of the apparent fact that some of these '' heroes'' have since mutated into
rabid tyrants who viciously clamp down upon any form of dissent; real or
imagined.Such is the tragedy of ZANU(PF) that only a miracle can save it
from inevitable disintegration and collapse.

The MDC's decision to dis-engage from ZANU(PF) and not from the inclusive
government is instructive.To some of us who have been carefully monitoring
events in the inclusive government as they happened,we were not at all
surprised by this bold and courageous decision.We had seen it
coming.Mindfull of the inherent mistrust typical of all forced marriages, we
appreciated that a battered and habitually abused spouse in any unhappy
forced marriage will,at some point in time,cry out foul and seek to assert
his/her rights vis-a-vis the abusive partner.Put alternatively,the MDC
tolerance threshold for continued abuse by ZANU(PF) was not going to last
forever.The mere fact that eight months after the signing of the GPA,the
contracting parties are still haggling over outstanding issues such as the
Gono and Tomana appointments and the sharing of gubernatorial posts was in
itself a symptom of a very unhappy and unstable political co-habitation.When
a husband promises to take his wife out for dinner at a trendy restaurant
and then ends up unilaterally and selfishly cancelling the dinner
appointment and replacing it with a parcel of rotten beef for dinner at home
then alarm bells should start to ring in that union.Something will be very
wrong in that marriage.Without mutual trust,love and affection in a
marriage,divorce attorneys should always be ready to file the necessary
papers at court.I must confess that personally I was very pleased with the
decision taken by the MDC to dis-engage from ZANU(PF) until such a time that
all the afore-mentioned outstanding issues have been conclusively
resolved.The MDC won the Parliamentary elections that were held on March 29,
2008.Morgan Tsvangirai beat Robert Mugabe hands down during the Presidential
elections that were held the same day.I will not dignify the electoral farce
that took place on June 27, 2008 by making a substantive comment on it
suffice to state that even the most die-hard  ZANU(PF) supporters would
agree that the June 27, 2008 run-off election '' result''  will not be
accepted as a genuine and free expression of the people's will even in
violence-ridden and lawless Somalia.

As expected,some latter-day opportunists and turncoat political ''
analysts'' have wasted no time in condemning the MDC decision to dis-engage
from ZANU(PF) in both the Cabinet and the Council of Ministers.What these
individuals seem not to appreciate is that the MDC has not walked out of the
inclusive government.The MDC has simply given notice to their hostile and
unco-operative  partner in the inclusive government,ZANU(PF), that unless
they start honouring their obligations honestly and honourably,divorce
summons will sure be issued sooner rather than later.In the practice of
law,what the MDC has done is tantamount to issuing a strongly worded letter
of demand.Any lawyer worth his/her salt will tell you that if a letter of
demand is flagrantly ignored by the person to whom it is sent,appropriate
legal action should ensue forthwith.Thus,ZANU(PF) will languish in a fool's
paradise if they think that the MDC is just playing mind games.For some
strange reason,all the twenty five (25) articles of the GPA do not
specifically provide for any dissolution mechanism of the agreement.But this
does not and should not be taken to mean that the GPA is cast in stone and
can,therefore,not be dissolved.It can.Upon good and sufficient cause being
shown and proved by any contracting party,any agreement( and this includes
the GPA) can be terminated.I am not by any stretch of the imagination
suggesting that the GPA should be terminated.All I am submitting is that the
GPA cannot be allowed to hang around the neck of the MDC like some kind of
the sword of Damocles.As a social democratic party,the MDC is busy
consulting its supporters and Zimbabweans in general to decide whether or
not this unhappy marriage called the inclusive government should be allowed
to continue subsisting.The consultative process is on-going.The people will
ultimately decide.This again shows the democratic and people-driven
credentials of the MDC.

Some misguided senior civil servants who are still nursing a hangover of the
expired ZANU(PF) political hegemony have gone ahead to mislead the nation by
announcing that it will be business as usual in the inclusive
government,even if the MDC has dis-engaged from ZANU(PF) in the Cabinet and
the Council of Ministers.It is this type of denialism that has been the
hallmark of ZANU(PF)' s descent into a deeply unpopular and  rag tag
organisation that is loosely held together by bitterly opposed and
largely,tribalistic factions.Without the MDC under the astute leadership of
Morgan Tsvangirai,Zimbabwe cannot be taken any  further on the
democratisation and socio-economic development fronts.ZANU(PF) is beyond
redemption and indeed,all right-thinking and genuinely patriotic Zimbabweans
locate the salvation of this great country in the MDC and not in
ZANU(PF).Constitutionally,executive authority in Zimbabwe shall vest in the
President,the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.How ZANU(PF) dreams of turning
around the fortunes of this country without the involvement of the MDC
simply boggles the mind.They can continue with this ostrich mentality as
they have done in the past.The consequences are there for everyone to
witness.However,the good news is that both SADC and the AU are not as naive
as some ZANU(PF) apologists would want the nation to believe.These two
organisations are acutely aware of the crisis that Zimbabwe has gone into
because of the MDC decision to dis-engage from ZANU(PF).And believe you me
these two bodies are already working frantically to ensure that the
inclusive government experiment in Zimbabwe is not aborted.

The MDC decision to dis-engage from ZANU(PF) in both the cabinet and the
council of ministers is a well thought-out political decision.This a
strategic game plan that ranks amongst some of the major masterstrokes in
contemporary world politics.It is an act of sheer political genius.And
behind the scenes,ZANU(PF) is panicking.

Written by:

Senator Obert Gutu

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A rod for Zanu (PF)'s back

Written by The Editor
Friday, 16 October 2009 12:40
By nature coalition governments are never a harmonious affair as
otherwise sworn political enemies brought together by the mere force of
circumstances beyond their control each, from time to time, seek to impose
their will on their partners in government.

So, it was to be expected that a political marriage between Zanu (PF)
and the MDC parties that hold diametrically opposed doctrines of how to
conduct politics would encounter its fair share of squabbles, broken
promises and downright betrayal.
But for President Robert Mugabe and Zanu (PF) - even with their
deplorable record of deceitfulness in such matters - to embark on a brazen
campaign to undermine the unity government as they are doing through their
persecution of Roy Bennett is dishonorable and a show of utter contempt of
The detention of Bennett last week is nothing but a deliberate and
clearly racist strategy by allies of Zanu (PF) in charge of the justice
system to victimise one individual in the hope of frustrating the MDC-T into
quitting the coalition government.
They want to overthrow the unity government because it restricts their
powers to do as they please with our country.
Forget all talk about legal technicalities that Bennett had to be put
in jail following the decision to refer his case to the High Court.
We will not let the devil run away with the Gospel. Since when have
Zanu (PF) and its operatives running the institutions of state lived by the
letter and spirit of the law? Are they not the same people who are
determined to withdraw Zimbabwe from the SADC Tribunal process rather than
abide by orders not to invade commercial farms?
The same people who would rather charge victims of political violence
instead of the perpetrators because they happen to belong to the same party
cannot now turn around and lecture us about the rule of law. God forbid!
The state had promised to begin Bennett's trial last Wednesday. They
chose to ambush him with the request for indictment to the High Court in
order to buy time because they know, as we all do, that they have no case
against the man.
But who are we to stop Zanu (PF) from making a rod for their own back.
For, in the same way that they drag Bennett to court even when they know he
is not guilty shall they - in the fullness of time - be brought to court to
answer for their many transgressions. And let no one among them say they
were never warned.

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Yet another example of the wilful disregard that Zanu PF has for the welfare of the country and its citizens

Written by Eddie Cross
Friday, 16 October 2009 13:46
The decision of the Magistrate in Mutare yesterday to imprison Roy
Bennett is yet another example of the wilful disregard that Zanu PF has for
the welfare of the country and its citizens. First the facts: (Pictured: Roy

Roy has been threatened, had to flee for his life and cross the border
illegally, lived as a refugee in South Africa and been imprisoned and
harassed. His farm (his only asset) along with his cattle and a thriving
coffee business has been confiscated and ransacked, the homestead burned and
a lodge on the property destroyed. His wife was beaten and lost the baby she
was carrying.
He is a born Zimbabwean and has fully integrated himself into the life
and cultures of the country. His investments were all authorised by the
Government after Independence in 1980 and paid for in cash.
The charges on which he has just been accused and set down for a High
Court trial in 2010 are so ridiculous that they are almost laughable. The
arms charges relate to the attempt, three years ago to charge and convict a
local arms dealer with the same charges, even though they detained this
individual for three years they could not build a case against him and in
the end the charges were dropped.
Now they accuse Roy of the same false and malicious crimes. They
originally accused him of a "plot" to assassinate the State President - by
pouring oil on the road to Mutare. Completely without basis and absurd they
seem to have dropped this charge in the latest Court hearing while retaining
the lesser charge of procuring arms of war.
They have made these false accusations for the past year and remanded
Roy on bail on a regular basis - then finally when they ran out of excuses
for not going to trial they set the date for the start of this trial -
Tuesday the 13th October and when Roy arrived with his team, he was
confronted with the ploy to rearrest him, detain him and take the case to
the High Court on the pretext that these are so serious as charges that the
Magistrate cannot deal with the case. The fact is that they still do not
have case against him even though they have been desperately searching for
people who will testify against him.
While they dragged their heels in setting a date for the case, they
lost no time in his arrest and detention and this morning I have heard that
he is being held in Prison in leg irons.
This is a step too far for the rogue elements in the Transitional
Government. This act comes after months of wrangling over unlawful
appointments, the failure to appoint Governors in regions where the
respective Parties won a majority, failure to consult on key appointments
and a refusal to convene the National Security Council and disband the Joint
Operations Command.
Violence has continued, trumped up charges against Members of
Parliament and other leaders of the MDC have gone on unabated and Zanu PF is
refusing to co-operate with its partners in the Government in the
constitutional, electoral and media reform programme. As a consequence
progress has been slow or non existent and the International Community
reticent about re-engagement even though this is a key to recovery.
So today, the MDC National Executive meets in Harare once again to
decide what to do in these circumstances. It had to come to this sooner or
later, but the Bennett issue will now be the catalyst for a change in
strategy for the MDC and a renewed crisis for the region.
I do not think we will pull out of the Transitional Government, but
believe me, it's not business as usual for this Government. Regional
consultations are inevitable and the much delayed meeting of the SADC Troika
is now probably going to take place. When it does meet it will be confronted
with many crucial decisions and responsibilities.

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