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Police raid MDC suburban property

October 24, 2009

By Raymond Maingire

HARARE - Armed police on Friday night stormed a house belonging to the MDC
in Harare's suburb of Chisipite in search of 17 AK rifles said to have been
stolen on Thursday from KG6, the army headquarters.

The police, who are said to have numbered over 50, ransacked the property
and confiscated party documents which were in the custody of MDC deputy
organising secretary, Morgan Komishi.

Komishi was occupying some of the rooms in the property, which is used by
senior party officials from outside Harare when in the capital on business.

MDC secretary general and Finance Minister Tendai Biti told the media on
Saturday, the police, who were armed with what the MDC believed was a fake
search warrant, proceeded to beat up the caretaker, Moffat Sigauke, his wife
and the latter's younger sister, before they frog-marched Sigauke to some
parts of the yard where they forced him to dig in search of the weapons.

Biti denied any knowledge of the stolen weapons. He suggested that the raid
could be part of a plot to frame the MDC by elements within President Robert
Mugabe's Zanu-PF party who are opposed to the unity government.

"We consider this as a serious invasion of our privacy," Biti said. "We
consider this as a serious attack on our movement and our leadership
particularly as they know this is the residence of our leadership that is in

"We think this is gross provocation of our movement. But more importantly,
we regard this as further evidence of the lack of a paradigm ship on the
part of Zanu-PF in respecting us as an equal partner in the inclusive

"We regard this as the clearest evidence that a few in Zanu-PF, a few in the
securocrats are determined to see us depart the scene of government."

Biti said his party was well aware it was dealing with a "leopard which does
not change its spots" and will remain on guard.

He said Zanu-PF had in the past, accused Mugabe's opponents, Joshua Nkomo
and Ndabaningi Sithole, both late, of possessing weapons to oust the veteran

"We have no doubt that from now, we are going to see attempts to frame the
leadership of the MDC and the MDC itself, to frame it as a treasonous party
and to justify its exclusion or expulsion from the transitional government,"
Biti said. "These are old and tired tactics.

"It strengthens our resolve to make sure that we achieve the people's
aspirations, which is to achieve a democratic Zimbabwe through the medium of
a new people-driven constitution and of course a free and fair election.

"It also means that we must be on guard. We think that these acts of
insanity are going to increase in their velocity (sic) and we think that the
desperation is going to increase and we think that the firmness we have
maintained the principled positions we have taken."

The MDC last week announced its pull-out from cabinet and the council of
ministers to apply pressure on Zanu-PF to abide by the terms of Global
Political Agreement (GPA).

President Mugabe said Friday his party would not succumb to such pressure
into surrendering its authority through a boycott by the MDC.

Biti said no amount of intimidation would force his party out of the
inclusive government.

Biti said: "We will remain undeterred but we are alive to the fact that they
will keep on increasing the decibels of insanity. They will continue
planting arms, continue trying to kill some of us but we will look the
dictatorship in the eyes. We will not blink."

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Zimbabwe's Mugabe criticises Tsvangirai

Sat Oct 24, 6:14 am ET
HARARE (AFP) - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe accused Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai on Saturday of failing to act in the national interest
after withdrawing his support for the country's fragile unity government,
state media reported.

"You will always get people in any arrangement who are guided by little
emotional thoughts and act in accordance with them and who would want things
to go their way, and not the national way, and not the agreed way," Mugabe
was quoted as saying by the Herald newspaper.

Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change party said October 16 they would
no longer cooperate with Mugabe's ZANU-PF in protest at the renewed
detention on terror charges of the prime minister's aide, Roy Bennett.

While the former opposition leader has said he is not quitting the
government, he has vowed only to return to the power-sharing deal once
outstanding disputes are resolved including a row over key posts and a
continued crackdown against his supporters.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai, longtime political rivals, are set to hold talks on
Monday, the Herald reported.

The two men agreed to form a unity government in Feburary after a disputed
presidential election in March 2008, which saw Mugabe handed victory in a
one-man run-off.

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Mugabe refuses to budge over MDC cabinet boycott

Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:59am GMT

* Mugabe and Tsvangirai to meet on Monday

* President does not believe government faces collapse

* MDC says armed police raid party house

By Nelson Banya

HARARE, Oct 24 (Reuters) - President Robert Mugabe has shrugged off the
former opposition's boycott of Zimbabwe's unity government, saying he would
not yield to pressure to make concessions, state media reported on Saturday.

Mugabe and his former opposition foe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai,
formed a power-sharing government in February to end a political stalemate
that followed last year's elections.

A new crisis hit the government last week when Tsvangirai and his MDC party
said it would stop attending cabinet meetings in protest against the arrest
of a senior official and Mugabe's refusal to implement a political pact in

In his first public comments on the matter, Mugabe said his party had
fulfilled its part of the agreement and he would not to yield to MDC
pressure, according to the state-controlled Herald newspaper.

"The matters the people are complaining about in the MDC are that we should
now voluntarily...give away aspects of our authority. We will not do that,"
Mugabe was quoted as saying.

"They can go to any summit, any part of the world to appeal. That will not

Mugabe said he did not believe the unity government faced collapse.

"I do not read that they would want to leave the inclusive government. I
think they will come back to it soon."

The Herald said Mugabe and Tsvangirai would resume their weekly meetings on
Monday to try to end the impasse.

Tsvangirai, who has been on a regional tour to seek help from leaders who
brokered the power-sharing deal, told reporters in Angola on Friday his
dispute with Mugabe was a temporary setback that would not lead to the
collapse of the pact.

On Saturday, MDC secretary general Tendai Biti told reporters that armed
police had raided a party house in one of Harare's affluent suburbs on the
pretext that they were looking for weapons.

"We consider this a serious invasion of our privacy and a serious attack on
our party. This is gross provocation...but we will look the dictatorship in
the eye." (Reporting by Nelson Banya, editing by Angus MacSwan)

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Zanu PF Die Hards Destabilising Unity Government - Biti

Harare, October 24, 2009 -  Friday's raid by police of the Movement
for Democratic Challenge (MDC) house  in Harare's plush suburb of Chisipite
is the work of Zanu PF die-hards who are bent on destabilising the inclusive
government, said the party's secretary general and Zimbabwe's Finance
Minister on Saturday.

"We are aware of the long history of Zanu PF and its capacity to plant
weapons in people's gardens," said Biti , who is the owner of the house
which is used to accommodate party officials resident outside Harare.

Armed police numbering up to 50 stormed the house on Friday night in
search of 17 AK rifles said to have been stolen at at the army headquarters.

"They did this in the case of Joshua Nkomo and (PF) Zapu in 1981, they
did this in the case of Ndabaningi Sithole and Zanu Ndonga in the late 90s,"
said Biti to reporters. "So we have no doubt that...we are going to see
attempts to frame the leadership of the MDC and the MDC itself as a
treasonous party and to justify its exclusion or expulsion from the
transitional government. These are old and tired tactics."

Biti, who has also been accused of treason in the past, vowed that no
amount of retribution by Zanu PF will deter the MDC from its resolve to
restore democracy in crisis ridden Zimbabwe.

"What we are seeing is evidence of Zanu PF shifting another gear in
order to create evidence that justifies the total collapse of this inclusive
government," he said. "We know Zanu PF, we know those few individuals and we
know that a leopard does not change its spots. On our part this is nothing
new. What it simply does is to make us strengthen our resolve on the part of
democratic change in Zimbabwe."

President Mugabe said Friday the MDC's pullout from cabinet was a

During the raid, Biti said, police ransacked every room and
confiscated a bunch of party documents which were in possession of MDC
deputy organising secretary, Morgan Komishi, who is currently occupying some
of the rooms.

They proceeded to beat up the caretaker, one Moffat Sigauke, his wife
and sister-in-law to try and force them to admit knowledge of the weapons.
They went on to force Sigauke to dig parts of the two and a half acre
property in search of said weapons, which they failed to find.

Biti said he feared they may have planted the weapons during the

The MDC recently announced a partial pullout from the inclusive
government in protest over Zanu PF's failure to adhere to the terms of the
Global Political Agreement (GPA). Party President Morgan Tsvangirai is
currently on tour of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to
meet leaders to convince them to broker talks to solve the political crisis
of Zimbabwe's unity agreement and to brief them on his party's decision to
disengage from Zanu PF.

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Zimbabwean group threatens Nestle with takeover for refusing Mugabe's milk

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) The saga involving Nestle's cancellation of a
controversial contract to buy milk from President Robert Mugabe's wife has
taken a new twist as a Zimbabwean black economic empowerment group launches
a campaign to force the Swiss-based food giant Nestle to dispose of its
local subsidiary to local businesspersons, APA learns here Saturday.

The pro-Mugabe Affirmative Action Group (AAG) described as "unacceptable"
Nestle's decision last month to cancel a contract under which it was the
preferred buyer of milk from a farm owned by Zimbabwe's First Lady Grace

The Swiss food giant was forced to stop buying milk from Mugabe's Gushungo
Dairy Estate in September following an international outcry and threats for
a worldwide boycott of its products for allegedly supporting the Zimbabwean
leader who is accused of human rights abuses against his people.

AAG secretary general Tafadzwa Musarara said Nestle should reverse its
decision to cancel the Mugabe contract or face the risk of having its local
subsidiary taken over by black business people.

"We are demanding that with immediate effect Nestle must be indigenised,"
said the AAG spokesman who also accused the Swiss-based company of
complicity in a Western scheme to illegally remove Mugabe from power.

The AAG statement came just a week after a group of youths from Mugabe's
ZANU PF party allegedly drove a tanker laden with milk from Gushungo farm to
Nestle's Harare subsidiary where they threatened officials to buy the milk.

  JN/daj/APA 2009-10-24

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Mugabe's Government Killed Jongwe - Biti

Harare, October 24, 2009 - The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) on
Saturday accused the government of Zimbabwe of killing its late hero,
Learnmore Jongwe, who died in Zimbabwe's prison in 2002 under mysterious
circumstances while awaiting to answer charges of murdering his wife,
Rutendo Muusha.

Speaking at the launch of a trust fund in honour of Jongwe, secretary
general and Finance Minister Tendai Biti, accused the previous Zanu PF
government of killing the late eloquent and outspoken Kuwadzana legislator.

Biti, told the gathering: "The state has tried to propagate the theory
that Jongwe committed suicide but it is impossible to smuggle anything
inside prison. Even assuming for one crazy moment that he swallowed the
malaria drugs the fact of the matter is that they would have allowed him.
But since we are not making that assumption the only safe assumption is that
the state killed Learnmore Jongwe. That assumption is correct until

Spokesperson of the friends of Jongwe, Pedzisayi Ruhanya, told Radio
VOP, that the idea was motivated by the need to extol the late politician's

"A group of friends who went to school with Jongwe and those who
worked with him in the human rights and political fields thought of coming
together to promote what he stood for before he passed on," said Ruhanya.
"There are two immediate fundamental issues that led to this idea such as
the one relating to the welfare of his daughter Tawanashe. We went to assist
the grandparents in sending her to school and we are also preparing for the
unveiling of a tombstone for Jongwe. We have talked to the family and if all
goes well we are supposed to unveil it on November 1 in Zhombe."

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President dos Santos concerned about Zimbabwe crisis

10/23/09 4:08 PM

Luanda - The Angolan Head of State, José Eduardo dos Santos, Friday in
Luanda reiterated to the visiting Zimbabwean Premier, Morgan Tsvangirai,
that he will continue exerting efforts in order to consolidate the
understandings reached in Zimbabwe.

"I think that together with other leaders of the Southern African
Development Community (SADC), the President of the Republic of Angola will
use his influence to see how they can help us", the Zimbabwean official told
journalists at the end of one-hour long meeting.

Morgan Tsvangirai who came to Angola as part of his tour of some SADC member
States aiming at mobilising supports in order to solve the current political
crisis in his country, referred "the experience of the Angolan president is
very useful for the advancement of the process ".

He recalled that José Eduardo dos Santos and other SADC leaders "were
crucial in the building up of the current Zimbabwean inclusive government''.

"He assured me that the continuous dialogue and the identification of the
causes of the conflict will always be supported by others", he said.

About the meeting with the Angolan leader, the Zimbabwean premier said that
it was positive and focused mainly on the current situation.

"We do not want that the current process relating to the consolidation of
the national unity relapse", guaranteed Morgan Tsvangirai.

"We did not withdraw from the government", asseverated the politician,
reiterating that "we have withdrawn ourselves temporarily of the party that
we formed the government due to lack of trust in the appointment of some
provincial governors, among other officials", he said.

He referred that the objective is to go forward along with the regional
partners, so that the process does not fail.

The accord signed last February by the ZANU-Patriotic Front and the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), led by organ Tsvangirai, is on the brink of
rupture due to the divergences in the appointment of some personalities to
the government posts.

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Murambatsvina victims still homeless: Minister

by Own correspondent Saturday 24 October 2009

HARARE - Victims of Operation Murambatsvina or Operation Restore Order whose
houses were destroyed by President Robert Mugabe's government in 2005 are
still living in shacks and slums four years after their houses were
demolished, a government minister said on Friday.

National Housing and Amenities Minister, Fidelis Mhashu told a news
conference ahead of a national housing convention to be held in the resort
town of Victoria Falls next week that the government was still working on a
plan to build houses for the victims of Murambatsvina.

"There are some people are still leaving in shacks, slums and plastics.  The
assessment done came up with 7 487 houses required in-order to accommodate
victims of Murambatsvina. Of those units only 4 205 have been contracted. So
we have a shortfall of over 3000," Mhashu said.

"There is no way Murambatsvina can be forgotten. Murambatsvina will be the
focal point at the housing convention but we are not focusing only on it but
it will be one of the components of the convention. We believe that this
convention is going to come up with a consolidated housing policy."

At least 700 000 people were left homeless in 2005 after their houses and
sources of livelihood were destroyed by police in an operation that was
roundly condemned by the international community.

A special United Nations envoy, Anna Tibaijuka, sent to probe the home
demolitions issued a damning report saying the campaign violated the rights
of poor people in breach of international law.

Tibaijuka contested Mugabe's claims that Murambatsvina was merely a slum
clearing operation saying in her report that the campaign appeared aimed at
breaking and punishing political opposition support and resentment that will
have resulted in a revolution over the failing economy.

The ministry of national housing will hold a four day national housing
convention which will be officially opened by Mugabe and closed by Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. An official representative from the United
Nations office on Habitation will address the convention.

Zimbabwe's urban areas have huge housing backlogs, which run into millions,
Mhashu said adding that his ministry is assessing the current housing
shortfalls to provide the exact number of families requiring houses. -- 

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Renewed Violence Against Rural Teachers Amid Zimbabwe Political Crisis - Union

By Sandra Nyaira
23 October 2009

With political tension currently running high in Zimbabwe, intimidation and
violence are rising in the country's rural schools, the Progressive Teachers
Union of Zimbabwe said Friday.

The union said the resurgence of violence targeting teachers could scuttle
the forthcoming round of national exams arranged with great difficulty by
the government.

The PTUZ says youth militia associated with the ZANU-PF party of President
Robert Mugabe have gone on the offensive against rural teachers in the wake
of the disengagement by the Movement for Democratic Change formation of
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai from its ZANU-PF partner in the unity
government over alleged power-sharing violations.

The union reported incidents in Chiweshe, Mashonaland Central province,
Buhera, Manicaland province, and Murehwa, Mashonaland East.

PTUZ General Secretary Raymond Majongwe said his union is receiving reports
every day of increasing violence against rural teachers targeted in 2008
post-election violence because they were regarded as opposition loyalists in
traditional ZANU-PF strongholds.

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Hopes for Zimbabwe Crisis Resolution Dimmed as Region Seen Diluting Intervention

By Blessing Zulu
23 October 2009

Efforts by Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his Movement for
Democratic Change to engage regional heads of state to resolve the political
crisis in Harare have been set back with word that a meeting of the SADC
troika on security and defense next week will bring together member state
ministers, not heads of state or government.

Observers said sending ministers instead of heads of state in effect
downgraded the troika session and reduced its chances of resolving the
crisis in Harare.

Mr. Tsvangirai spent much of the past week intensively lobbying SADC leaders
with stops in Mozambique, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo and

Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara meanwhile called a crisis meeting
Monday in hopes of bringing Mr. Tsvangirai face to face with President
Robert Mugabe before the troika meets.

Sources in Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF party said it will insist on the lifting of
Western sanctions, pointing to progress resolving outstanding issues, in
particular the announcement that five MDC ambassadors will shortly be
dispatched abroad after months of delay.

SADC Executive Secretary Tomaz Salomao told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's
Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the ministerial-level delegates to the troika
meeting on Thursday will assess the situation and decide whether a meeting
of heads of state is warranted.

Information Minister Ronnie Shikapwasha of Zambia, which holds the vice
chairmanship of the troika, confirmed a Zambian minister will attend.

But Tsvangirai MDC Secretary General Tendai Biti, Zimbabwean minister of
finance, said Salomao gave an assurance that the heads of state will make
the trek to Harare.

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MDC-nominated envoys ready to be posted

October 24, 2009

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - The first five ambassadors nominated from the Movement Democratic
Change (MDC)'s two camps to represent Zimbabwe abroad have been assigned
diplomatic mission stations and will be deployed there in December.

Ambassadors Hebson Makuvise, Hilda Suka-Mafudze, Jacqueline Nomhla Zwambila,
Mabed Khumbulani from the mainstream MDC and Gertrude Stevenson-Dickey of
the Arthur Mutambara faction of the same party completed two months
diplomatic training in Harare early this month

A senior official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday told the
state controlled Herald newspaper on Friday: "They have been assigned and
are likely to be posted to their respective countries in December this

Makuvise has been assigned to Germany, while Zwambila will be posted in
Australia, Mafudze in Sudan, Khumbulani in Nigeria and Stevenson to Senegal.

One of the new ambassadors said almost everything was now in place for their

"At the moment we are visiting all the ministries to appraise ourselves on
their operations. I cannot wait to represent my country," the new diplomat

On Wednesday, the ambassadors visited the Ministry of Tourism and
Hospitality where they were briefed on its operations by Minister Walter

The three principals to the global political agreement that gave birth to
the inclusive Government agreed that the MDC parties should nominate five

Recently, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi challenged the
diplomats to be prepared to promote and defend Zimbabwe's strategic
interests, image and influence.

He reminded the diplomats to be guided by the Global Political Agreement and
the Short-Term Emergency Recovery Programme in carrying out their duties.

Minister Mumbengegwi said they should fight for the removal of illegal
sanctions imposed on the country by the West.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai arrived in Angola on Friday for a
meeting with Angolan President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos.

Tsvangirai left Harare earlier this week on a diplomatic mission to appeal
for regional mediation in the stand-off with ruling partner President Robert

Angola's state radio said Tsvangirai would discuss the crisis in his country's
government with Dos Santos.

Tsvangirai arrived in Angola after meetings with other Southern African
leaders, from whom he is seeking support after cutting ties with Mugabe's

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African Bishops Urge Catholic Politicians to 'Repent' or Step Down

Published: October 23, 2009
ROME - Declaring that Africa needed more "saints" in public life, African
bishops issued a strong statement on Friday calling on corrupt Catholic
politicians on that continent to "repent" or leave office.

They did not name names, but two of Africa's most prominent Catholic leaders
are President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, whose repressive policies and
ruling elite are seen to have led his country to economic ruin, and
President José Eduardo dos Santos of Angola, whose government is perceived
as one of the most corrupt in the world.

"Many Catholics in high office have fallen woefully short in their
performance in office," the bishops wrote in an unusually direct document
wrapping up a month-long synod, or meeting, at the Vatican on the issues
facing the church in Africa. "The Synod calls on such people to repent, or
quit the public arena and stop causing havoc to the people and giving the
Catholic Church a bad name."

With its large Catholic population, estimated at 158 million, Africa in many
ways represents the future of the Catholic Church. By 2025, one-sixth of the
world's Catholics, or about 230 million, are expected to be African, and
Africa produces a large percentage of the world's priests. Pope Benedict
XVI, who visited Cameroon and Angola in March, has often spoken out against
the poverty, disease, corruption and violence that threaten African
countries, and has said he sees the church as a force for democracy and
social justice.

In their document on Friday, the bishops singled out crises in Northern
Uganda, South Sudan and Darfur and said that "those who control the affairs
of those nations must take full responsibility for their woeful

They added: "Whatever may be the responsibility of foreign interests, there
is always the shameful and tragic collusion of the local leaders:
politicians who betray and sell out their nations, dirty businesspeople who
collude with rapacious multinationals, African arms dealers and traffickers
who thrive on small arms that cause great havoc on human lives."

Echoing a theme in Benedict's latest encyclical "Caritas in Veritate," about
morality and global economics, albeit in more provocative language, the
approximately 300 bishops who attended the meeting also called on
multinational corporations to stop their "criminal devastation of the
environment in their greedy exploitation of natural resources."

Calling women "the backbone" of the Church in Africa, the bishops urged them
"to be fully involved" in women's programs, but said they should "make sure
that the good ideas are not hijacked by the peddlers of foreign and morally
poisonous ideologies about gender and human sexuality."

The bishops did not veer from Vatican policy opposing the use of condoms to
prevent the spread of H.I.V. and AIDS. "The problem cannot be overcome by
the distribution of prophylactics," they wrote. Instead, they urged
abstinence among the unmarried and fidelity among the married. "Such a
course of action not only offers the best protection against the spread of
this disease but is also in harmony with Christian morality," they wrote.

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'Zim political disorder puts citizens at risk'

by Norest Musvaba Saturday 24 October 2009

JOHANNESBURG - International humanitarian organisations on Friday said lack
of political order and respect of citizens by Zimbabwe's leaders was putting
the country's vulnerable population at risk as hunger and disease threaten
to sweep the country again.

In a joint statement following last week's fallout between Zimbabwe's
coalition partners - President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai - the organisations, who included UK-based Oxfam, Medecins Sans
Frontieres (MSN), UN's Roll Back Malaria Partnership and United Nations
Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Zimbabwe needs coordinated "robust leadership"
to prevent a recurrence of the cholera epidemic and widespread hunger it
faced last year.

"We are obviously concerned that the government of national unity continues
to work," head of Oxfam-UK's operations in southern Africa Charles Abani

UNICEF's Peter Salama called on Zimbabwe's leaders to overcome their
political differences and "rally around the issues facing Zimbabwe's
children today, and that is access to basic services" like schools and
clinics, which have been devastated by the country's 10-year economic

Salama said it would be "tragic" if the current political impasse between
Mugabe and Tsvangirai leads the international community to decide that the
country is too risky to continue to invest in.

Tsvangirai and his MDC party last week boycotted all cooperation with Mugabe
and his ZANU PF party, blaming the veteran leader's failure to fully
implement last year's Global Political Agreement (GPA) that gave birth to
the unity government.

Despite the unity government managing to restore some semblance of stability
in the economy by bringing down inflation, opening schools and hospitals aid
organisations still play a big role with some helping out even in prisons.

In recent months, international health agency MSN has been providing food,
clean water and medical care to inmates in 15 prisons, said Wim Fransen who
heads the organisation's mission in Zimbabwe.

"What is important to know is that the crisis is still here and there is
still a need for donors to fund organisations," Fransen said.

What is known as the hungry season - when food from the year's harvest
begins to run out - is expected to hit the country between December and

Last year, more than five million people needed food aid but Oxfam's Abani
said it was likely to be less than three million this year - still
significant in a population of about 12 million.

Reports of cholera have already emerged this year in Zimbabwe. Rains
expected in the coming months will overflow sewers, worsening the risk of
the waterborne disease spreading bringing back memories of a cholera
outbreak that started in August 2008 and took months to bring under control
killing some 4 000 people.

The rainy season is also the breeding season for the mosquitoes that carry
malaria. Roll Back Malaria warned in January of a possible surge in malaria
cases and deaths in Zimbabwe. Since then, said spokesman Herve Verhoosel, it
has been able to work with the new government to ensure insecticide was
distributed before the rains.

The next step, Verhoosel said, will be getting a new generation of malaria
medication into hospitals and clinics across Zimbabwe before the rains. But
the new medication is more expensive and Verhoosel said Roll Back Malaria is
concerned that donations to buy the drugs could drop.

"Such a political crisis," Verhoosel said, "could have an implication on the

The European Union (EU) on Wednesday asked Zimbabwe's neighbours to help
resolve the country's political problems and expressed concern over
"continued politically motivated harassment of" members of Tsvangirai's
party. The EU has said it would not resume development aid until Harare
fully implements the power-sharing agreement and restore human rights. -

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JAG - farms situations communique - Dated 23 October 2009

Email: :

JAG Hotlines: +263 (011) 610 073, +263 (04) 799410.  If you are in
trouble or need advice, please don't hesitate to contact us - we're here
to help!


1.  Dennis Lapham - Report 1


3.  Dennis Lapham - Devonia


1.  Dennis Lapham - Report 1

Dear Jag

I was called to Juru police to receive a summons on Fri 16th to appear in
court Tues 20th!

Charge laid on 11/10/09 by Shumbamhini Criminal act Sect 45  INTIMIDATION

Chikunga said we did not appear in court on the 7th!  I said we did. He
said Prove it ? !

This was the date Mamvura (Scallen & Holderness ) & I drove to Murewa
court to wait 2 hours and as they were too busy ( only one prosecutor )
He got the charges from the prosecutor and left him his phone to arrange
a trial date.

We then visited Juru to see the CID const Chikunga and spoke to him about
the case. He also to demand they do a RRB for the Smashing of the Locks
on the Pump houses which they actioned.

Went to my lawyer Mamvura in Harare on Friday 16th, Scallen & Holderness.

He said I was to take a letter to the prosecutor on Tues. 20th to state
he cannot make this Tuesday. We need more time and on Nov 3rd he will
represent me.

On Monday 12th Meanie made an appointment at 10 am to see me to discuss
the way forward

He failed to arrive so I went to Harare at 12.  I went to the Lands
Office to see Planner Mugabe (to get the boundary he drew in writing) who
was out. I then saw Lester Muradzi who was off to a meeting so asked me
to see him next week.

On exiting the building onto the street I met Meanie who stopped me to
talk about loaning him 100 Irig pipes. The pipe to "his" side had burst
and as he had no money, ...? we were to fix it

We have now repaired 5 pipes that broke!

Lovemore Kudenge phoned to see me and I directed him to come to talk to
Meanie which he did

The story that he was told was so full of lies I was nearly speechless!

Like I gave him my house, and we did not own the farm.

He only has 75ha arable! I count 117ha arable He has paid for the ZESA

Not worth repeating any more.

I await Lovemore asking me for my side of the equation.




Dear John

Well Meanie was there today in Murewa and the prosecutor Mr T Bvuma
accepted the need for more time.  He proposed early January 2010

There was another case brought by Meanie! about his guard stopping the
Tractor coming up to our house on 17th Aug.  From what I can gather the
guard is putting a case AGAINST the driver of the tractor.  I really
despair at the legal system

We have a Police reservist watch who refuses to vacate the house he
occupied during his guarding of the Seed Maize! Long time ago the
Messenger of the court gave him an Eviction Notice 3 months ago ( at a
cost of $120 ) But he is still there so I visited him In Murewa  today
and had to pay $130 plus other sundry fees to get the case actioned for
his removal.

Meanie is milling commercially for all & sundry around the area at $1 per

What is the legal position as I feel it is not correct with our ZESA.

Dennis Lapham

3.  Dennis Lapham - Devonia

Have just heard that three men from Min of Lands been on the farm at
Lunch time

They are reported to be dividing the farm that Meanie has into three 100
ha subdivisions

There seems to be no future at all in trying to do things legally...

Dennis Lapham

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Mugabe will never swear Bennett in

October 24, 2009

By Chenjerai Hove

ZIMBABWEANS must be wondering why President Robert Mugabe will never
swear-in beleaguered mainstream MDC treasurer-general, Roy Bennett, as
deputy Minister of Agriculture.

While the reasons are quite clear to some, they remain rather obscure to
others. But what everyone seems to know, including Bennett himself, is that
he will never occupy his designated office.

In the complex network of reasons, some are obvious while others are
obscured by Zanu-PF and its propaganda machinery. I have a clear picture of
the scenario both from experience, simple observation and also from

Bennett had a scuffle with Justice Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, in which he
shoved the Minister down onto the carpeted floors of Parliament. Bennett
went to jail for it, undergoing harsh prison conditions in far away Mutoko
where it was intended to isolate him from his family.

Normally when a prisoner has served his sentence, the case is closed. But
Bennett's case has been different. Chinamasa and those who dismally tried to
intervene and rescue him from the parliamentary humiliation are still angry.
Had they succeeded in their bid to punch Bennett and floor him, perhaps the
former Chipinge farmer would have been forgiven by now.

It is an open secret that Bennett was a strong supporter and a funder of
Zanu-PF at some point. It is alleged that he became frustrated by how
Zanu-PF chiefs squandered his donations to the party at the expense of the
projects he wanted to fund for his area. He became a popular politician in
the area due to his community involvement in projects which he funded to
benefit his workers and the surrounding community.

Zanu-PF did not take kindly to Bennett's defection to the new MDC party and
waited for the opportunity to punish him.

Bennett's farm was illegally seized and his property vandalized in broad
daylight. I wonder what has become of the farm now.

Mugabe knows that Bennett is a grieving farmer, and if sworn-in, he would
have the right to go round the country inspecting farming activities on the
stolen farms, including his own. Some new farmers such as Joseph Chinotimba,
have confessed to 'farming people' instead of crops on those disused farms
where lavish bush now abounds. Somebody would have to explain what 'farming
people' means as the phrase seems loaded with imagery too ghastly to

As it is, the Ministry of Agriculture is one of the most abused of all in
Zimbabwe. The current Minister of Agriculture, Joseph Made, has no proven
record of successful farming. As former head of the Agricultural and  Rural
Development Authority(ARDA), Made made a big mess of the parastatal over
many years.

Many of the state-owned company's estates now lie in ruins due to the
incompetence of senior staff in the Authority, but also due to the
traditional nepotistic practices of the ARDA administration. It is a
well-known fact that ARDA is one parastatal run as a monopoly by one ethnic
group. At one time, nearly all staff in ARDA head office, from director down
to floor cleaners, was allegedly of Manyika origin.

One director even used a small ARDA aircraft to fly his father close to the
village. Not to be outdone Dr Made once inspected the national maize crop
while flying over the farms. He immediately declared a forthcoming 'bumper
harvest.' The starvation that followed his misguided declaration was not
enough to cause his instant dismissal, however!

Bennett knows about this and would probably fight to reverse that tradition
in the dismally failed ARDA. As a serious practicing farmer, Bennett knows
clearly the mission of ARDA as a parastatal established by government for
the sole purpose of producing food in abundance and not to involve itself in
political games far removed from food production.

Most ARDA estates now lie idle. Little production takes place there. The man
responsible for the decay was none other than Made who was nevertheless
rewarded with appointment to the post of Minister of Agriculture.

If Bennett is sworn-in President Mugabe would have to deal with a situation
in which the not-so-successful minister is deputized by a highly competent
and successful farmer.

In the turmoil of the chaotic land grab, ARDA has been completely
privatized. Farms are grabbed as ARDA estates and then ARDA workers and
machinery are brought in to work the land which in fact belongs to some
minister. The President himself has never denied stories that his own farms
have benefited from ARDA inputs and management by none other than Made
himself. So we now have ARDA Gushungo Dairy Estates, as it were. There are
similar reports of a number of ARDA Mutasa estates in Manicaland.

ARDA employees will no doubt one day narrate the full story to a nation
anxious to know where else ARDA has been plundered and by whom.

But I have a strong feeling that the purpose of using ARDA as a source of
personal wealth is based on a simple strategy which assumes Zimbabweans are
so stupid they cannot unravel hidden agendas. The ARDA strategy is like
this -  should the political game change, the land grabbers can always
protest: "This is not my farm. It is an ARDA farm. I was only renting it
from ARDA. I am not a multiple farm owner."

Having worked on farms all his life, Bennett knows how ARDA should operate
and would not tolerate the abuse of the state enterprises for personal gain
as is happening now. Bennett would probably be uncomfortable with the idea
of the Minister of Agriculture being reduced to being President Mugabe's
farm manager.

Pictures of Dr Made wearing overalls, while on duty on one of President
Mugabe's farms have been published.

There are reports that prisoners as well as soldiers and other state
employees are forced to work on the farms of the Zanu-PF bigwigs. Mugabe
knows Bennett will obviously seek to put a stop to that.

The Ministry of Agriculture has become the epicentre of Zimbabwe's national

Using the patronage system perfected by Mugabe, the ministry no longer
serves the national interest. Those in the field say that even the director
of veterinary services has become President Mugabe's personal vet who visits
and tends to his livestock.

It is likely that the state-of-the-art dairy equipment at Gushungo Dairy
Estates was imported through funds made available by Gideon Gono at the
central bank under the guise of the farm mechanization programme whose
hidden agenda was clearly to distribute sophisticated equipment to the farms
of Zanu-PF leaders.

Meanwhile peasant farmers received donkey carts and ox-drawn ploughs.

President Mugabe's appointees are usually carefully selected solely on the
basis of their loyalty as well as being totally ignorant of the business of
their ministries. That way he can easily manipulate them.

The last Zanu-PF Finance Minister seemingly had no idea what a national
budget was all about. Poor man, he was so intimidated by Gideon Gono he
could not stop him from usurping the functions of the Ministry of Finance as
well as those of the Ministry of Agriculture.

The late Witness Mangwende (May his soul rest in eternal peace) once woke up
one day to be told he was now Minister of Agriculture. Journalists joked
that the only logical reason why he was allocated that particular ministry
was that he was the only one without a farm.

While it can be argued that the Ministries of Defence and Mines have been
transformed into other centres of corruption and looting, the Ministry of
Agriculture remains the one where it is easiest to amass illegal wealth
withouttoo much sweat or risk. All that the Zanu-PF politicians need to do
is hire a few thugs to sell someone else's tobacco, maize, oranges or

In these circumstances Bennett will obviously continue to be locked up,
released, tried and locked up again in a plan well orchestrated and executed
by the Attorney-General whose interests and priorities are well-known.

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True Colours

Dear Family and Friends,

ZBC have been having a field day this week. Its almost like it was
before the 2008 elections: elections in which the MDC won a
parliamentary majority and the MDC leader won the first round of the
Presidential ballot. Every day ZBC have produced another commentator
or analyst who has been given air time to condemn, criticise or
denigrate the MDC and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangrai. ZBC's very
thin veil of impartiality has blown away in the slightest of summer

All week, however, we waited for comment from Mr Mugabe and it came
on Friday night - a week after Prime Minister Tsvangirai's
announcement of disengagement with Zanu PF. Just back from an AU
meeting and waiting to get into the Presidential limousine, Mr Mugabe
said that he would not give in to pressure. He said that Zanu PF had
done everything that was required of them in the Global Political
Agreement while the MDC had, in his words: "done nothing about
sanctions," or about silencing radio stations who were continuing to
broadcast anti Zimbabwe reports every day.

Mr Mugabe did not mention that SADC were concerned enough to be
sending a fact finding mission to Zimbabwe in the next few days. Nor
did he say anything about Roy Bennett whose arrest was the straw that
broke the camel's back and brought this whole mess to a head. As to
the other outstanding issues of Governors, Ambassadors, the Attorney
General and the Reserve bank head, these, Mr Mugabe said, would be
dealt with by him, as was his prerogative. Mr Mugabe did not say when
he would deal with these matters - now outstanding for nine months.

For most Zimbabweans it's going to be very hard to follow what
happens during the SADC visit because we are again being plunged into
15 hour a day electricity cuts. Apparently this is due to maintenance
at the Kariba power turbines. We do wonder, however, just what it is
that SADC fact finders will see.

Will they see the supermarkets overflowing with food that just nine
months ago were full of empty, rusty shelves.

Will they see the now empty banks that nine months ago were crammed
with thousands of people trying to withdraw the daily limit of their
own money; a days maximum withdrawal which was enough to buy half a
bar of soap on the black market.

Will SADC fact finders see the mayhem still occurring on Zimbabwe's
farms despite their very own SADC tribunal rulings which have been
ignored. Will they see MDC Deputy Minister of Agriculture Roy Bennett
sworn in and working or still being hounded?

Will they get to read the Auditor Generals report on Ministerial
accounts which has just been released? A report which says in part
that: " US$21 738 for the Agricultural Revolving Fund was used for
minister (Joseph Made)'s business cards, Internet router, head office
provisions and hotel bill. " The Auditor General went on to state
that: "Accordingly, the minister should consider making arrangements
to refund to the fund the monies thus spent."

Being one of millions who went hungry and malnourished last year, and
the year before, and the year before that, I think that asking the
Minister to 'consider' refunding the money is being far, far too
nice. How many people was it died of hunger these past few years?

Will SADC Ministers see ZBC TV news reports in the time they are
finding facts in Zimbabwe or, more likely, will ZBC have picked up
their disguise again and hidden their true colours once more?

Until next week, thanks for reading, love cathy 24th October 2009.
Copyright cathy buckle

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Satan's little helper still sitting pretty

October 25, 2009

THE devil looks after his own. Or so it would seem in the case of Robert
Mugabe, the de facto dictator of Zimbabwe. Under Zimbabwe's unity Government
established last year, President Mugabe, who took Africa's garden and
trashed it, has retained enough power to reverse the optimistic direction
the country is taking. He and his Zanu-PF party still control the
discredited central bank; the military; the police; the Central Intelligence
Organisation, which is Zimbabwe's version of the KGB; and the Ministry of

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who, until the formation of the unity
Government was Mugabe's great enemy and rival, has control of the Finance
Ministry. Finance Minister Tendai Biki, Tsvangirai's ally, has done the
impossible: he has brought the worst inflation the world has ever known to a

The remedy was simple, though extreme. Biki substituted the US dollar for
the worthless Zimbabwe dollar. How worthless was it? Would you believe a
currency that once had rough parity with the US dollar was trading - if you
could find a buyer - for 1 billion Zimbabwe dollars to $US1? Incredibly, the
Mugabe faction of the Government and Zanu-PF party members want to bring
back the Zim dollar, as it was known.

Under the new set-up, the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange has reopened and is
prospering. And again, shops have goods on the shelves for those who can
afford them. While US dollars have circulated illegally in Zimbabwe for some
time, it is unclear where they are now coming from, and what is the plight
of those who have no access to them and no employment, which is much of the

In fact, many Zimbabweans live in a barter economy without cash. Rural
people lead a desperate subsistence life, relying on perhaps a few chickens,
sometimes a goat or, if relatively well off, some cattle.

Most depend on growing enough corn to feed their families and on the
generosity of relief agencies, although these are often the targets of
Mugabe's thugs.

Food is power and Mugabe has used his troops, police and secret operatives
to control it, starving the opposition and feeding only his political

In the face of Zimbabwe's tenuous recovery, there are many questions about
Mugabe and his acolytes, and about Tsvangirai and his Movement for
Democratic Change. Will Mugabe use his control of the military and the
courts to destroy Tsvangirai's reforms?

Mugabe likes to be the top man, even the reviled top man. His unhinging can
be traced back to Nelson Mandela's release from long imprisonment in South
Africa and the deserved global acclaim he was welcomed with. Until then,
Mugabe had been the golden African leader. Also he and Mandela were courting
Graca, the widow of former Mozambiquan leader Samora Machel. Mugabe lost out
and Mandela married her.

Too much praise for the reformers in Zimbabwe might set Mugabe off on
another spree of destruction. His favourite charge - if he bothers with
charges as opposed to random beatings - is treason, which is a hanging
offence in Zimbabwe.

There are also questions about Tsvangirai: some of his early supporters are
very critical of his conduct as Prime Minister. One critic, who does not
want to be identified but who played a big role in establishing the unity
Government, told me: ''He has become Mugabe's bagman. That's about it.''

This was a reference to Tsvangirai's recent world fund-raising trip. He did
secure minor commitments from doubting donor nations, but most want to see
what happens. The money that was raised will go to humanitarian efforts, not
the Zimbabwe Government.

The success or failure of financial reforms may rest on the diamond fields
of eastern Zimbabwe. These were only discovered in 2006 and should have been
a valuable source of hard currency for the nation. But Mugabe had another
idea: he allowed the military to massacre itinerant miners and seize the
mines for its own profit. This has solved a pay problem among soldiers and
kept the military faithful to Mugabe. Another gift from the devil for his
protege, Robert Mugabe.


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