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MDC-T to defy police ban on rallies in Matabeleland

By Tichaona Sibanda
28 October 2011

The MDC-T party said on Friday they will defy police attempts to ban rallies
scheduled to be addressed by party leader Morgan Tsvangirai over the

Tabitha Khumalo, the deputy party spokesperson, told SW Radio Africa that
they were disturbed by what was coming from the police, instructing them to
call off their rallies. Senior Assistant Commissioner Edmore Veterai, who
has a history on cracking down on MDC activities, issued the order to ban
the rallies.

‘The amendments to POSA are quite clear, in that we don’t need to apply to
hold rallies but merely notify them of our intentions. The police therefore
do not have the right to block us from having rallies,’ Khumalo said. She
added: ‘With or without their permission we are going ahead with the

Prime Minister Tsvangirai arrived in Bulawayo on Wednesda, after touring
developmental projects. He plans to cap off his visit with party rallies in
Matabeleland North and South.

But police in Matabeleland North province banned three rallies planned for
Victoria Falls, Binga and Lupane.

On Saturday, the MDC-T President will address a rally at Pelandaba stadium
in Gwanda, Matabeleland South. Khumalo said the attempts by the police to
disrupt their rallies shows that they get their orders from ZANU PF.

‘The hierarchy of the police is ZANU PF. That is why as MDC we have said
they must not hide behind police uniforms. They must remove those uniforms
if they want to be politicians and join us on the ground,’ Khumalo said.

The MDC has in the past strongly condemned the behaviour of the police which
they claim is aimed at cowing the party into submission. They also accuse
the police of campaigning for ZANU PF in their selective application of the

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MDC-T Youth Leader Arrested Ahead of Tsvangirai Banned Rallies

Bulawayo, October 28, 2011 - Victoria Falls police on Thursday night
arrested Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) youth district chairman,
Innocent Sibanda for putting up posters for a banned rally which the Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai faction had lined up in the area this weekend.

“They have arrested Sibanda accusing him of defying the police ban as he was
putting the Prime Minister's posters advertising one of our rallies
scheduled for Chinotimba Stadium in Victoria Falls on Sunday. They have
since locked him up at the resort town police station, but we have already
alerted our lawyers,” Sengezo Tshabangu the MDC-T Matebeleland North
provincial chairman told Radio VOP.

On Wednesday Matebeleland North police banned three MDC-T rallies  which
were supposed to be held in Victoria Falls, Binga and Lupane. Tsvangirai,
who is touring government projects in the province, was expected to address
the rallies to drum up support for his party in the forth coming election.
The MDC-T has vowed to go ahead with the rallies despite police ban.

The rallies are expected to kick start today Friday afternoon in Binga,
Lupane on Saturday and Victoria Falls on Sunday ahead of three by-elections
which are expected soon in Matabeleland.

Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe in Bulawayo on Thursday blasted,
Matebeleland North police chief, Edmore Veterai saying he has a grudge with

“There is this police officer called Veterai, I don’t know what his problem
is.  He has all along been fighting to derail our programmes in the
province. Recently in Nkayi he also fought hard in trying to stop our
rallies, but let he be warned that we are not going to take none of it,”
said an angry Khupe.

After the disruption of his Nkayi rally last Saturday Tsvangirai also warned
Veterai saying he is now politicising the force and was applying the law
selective by harassing and arresting political activists week in week out.

Police in Matabeleland North have been preventing Tsvangirai from
campaigning in the province since the run up to the June 27 2008
presidential run-off poll. His armoured BMW campaign car was seized by
police in the provincial capital, Lupane and has not been released.

According to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) Matabeleland North
is now the most hostile province in the country as police have so far
arrested or harass more than 40 politicians and human rights activists since

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War Veterans Terrorizing Matabeleland Villagers - MDC Activists

27 October 2011

Lwazi Sibanda, chairman for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC in
Tsholotsho North, said members of the Mbiriya Ward executive have sought
refuge at her home after being ordered out of the district

Gibbs Dube | Washington

Villagers in Tsholotsho District of Matabeleland North province said
Thursday they have fled their homes because armed war veterans headed by
Jabulani Sibanda are making threats to kill supporters of the Movement for
Democratic Change.

Lwazi Sibanda, Tsholotsho North constituency chairman for the MDC formation
led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, said Mbiriya Ward executive members
sought refuge at her home in Tsholotsho center after Sibanda ordered them
out of the district.

Lwazi Sibanda said Jabulani Sibanda, chairman of the Zimbabwe National
Liberation War Veterans Association, ordered MDC to destroy their party
cards and regalia.

She said scores of MDC supporters are fleeing their homes fearing that they
will be victimized by the war veteran firebrand, who was said to be
accompanied by two unidentified and armed members of the Central
Intelligence Organization.

Lwazi Sibanda said the situation is currently tense in Tsholotsho North
District. "Villagers are fleeing their homes in large numbers," she said.

Jabulani Sibanda denied the allegations, saying he is in the district to
repair boreholes and distribute maize seed. "It is not true that I am
intimidating villagers because my mission is to cater for the needs of our
people," said Sibanda, locally born.

Sibanda reportedly caused political havoc for months in Masvingo province on
the other side of Zimbabwe before moving back to Tsholotsho in recent weeks.

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Border chaos as new computer system fails

By Lance Guma
28 October 2011
Haulage trucks and cargo carriers coming into Zimbabwe from South Africa are
stuck at the border after a newly installed computer system for clearing
goods failed to work properly. According to the local NewsDay newspaper the
botched systems change-over by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) has
seen all the country’s borders being affected by long winding queues.

The paper reports that all border posts were closed last Saturday at
midnight, to facilitate installation of the new Asycuda World software
purchased by ZIMRA. Asycuda is short for Automated System for Customs Data
software. The initial plan was that the new system would be up and running
on Monday but by Thursday the revenue collecting authority was still
struggling to make it work.
The busy Beitbridge Border Post appeared the hardest hit with haulage trucks
filling the two parking bays at Musina and almost blocking the main road.
Frustrated South African customs officials are complaining that the
inability of the Zimbabwean side of the border to clear traffic was also
affecting them. They warned that they might be forced to release the trucks
by Friday, NewsDay reported.

Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube is quoted as saying he had
received representations from people in the business community. But he said:
“As a ministry we were not aware of the changeover because we were not
notified or consulted. I am, however, taking this up with the Minister of
Finance and (Zimra) Commissioner-General Gershem Pasi to see if we can get a
way forward.”

Members of the business community are up in arms over the systems failure as
many of their businesses have been heavily affected. It’s not the first time
however that computer problems have affected people who bring goods into the
country. Regular car importers who spoke to SW Radio Africa said they have
in the past faced situations where they spent weeks at the border trying to
clear their vehicles.

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COPAC says constitutional report ready

by Tobias Manyuchi     Friday 28 October 2011

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s constitutional committee said on Thursday it has
finished compiling a report of views and ideas Zimbabweans want included in
a new constitution, but remained mum on when exactly it plans to begin
drafting the governance charter.

Under a political deal that gave birth to President Robert Mugabe and Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s power-sharing government the country must first
write a new constitution before holding new elections expected to take place
next year.

But the stop-start constitutional reforms are terribly behind schedule owing
to shortage of funds and squabbles within the multi-party Constitutional
Parliamentary Select Committee (COPAC) over how to interpret the opinions of
Zimbabweans on the new charter which have stalled progress.

COPAC spokeswoman Jessie Majome said completion of the national report paves
the way for the drafting of the new constitution that she said would
“commence soon”.

"The report is elaborate and gives detailed information on each of the
thematic areas," Majome told journalists in Harare.

She added: "The drafting phase is expected to commence soon and is expected
to take about 35 days from the day of commencement.

“Once the draft constitution is in place, Copac will ensure that the draft
is translated into all vernacular languages as well as Braille to cater for
the visually impaired."

The COPAC will use the views and ideas of Zimbabweans gathered during a
public outreach programme last year to draft the new constitution.

The draft constitution will be put before Zimbabweans in a referendum for
their final approval before it is formally adopted as the country’s
fundamental law.

Zimbabwe requires a new constitution to level the political field and act as
bulwark against political violence that has marked the country’s elections
since the 1999 emergency of the MDC as potent electoral threat to Mugabe and
his ZANU PF party. -- ZimOnline

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Commonwealth Wants Political Reforms Before Re-admitting Zimbabwe

Perth, October 28, 2011 - The United Kingdom Foreign Secretary, William
Hague, on Thursday said countries suspended from the Commonwealth grouping
should meet the high standards of respect for human rights before they can
be readmitted.

Zimbabwe was suspended in 2003 after holding a sham election and for wanton
disregard of human rights.

Hague said there should be no compromise in the observation of high
standards of human rights within the grouping.

Without singling out Zimbabwe, which together with Fiji are currently on
suspension, Hague said, “We expect high standards of human rights to be
maintained by member countries.”

The UK Foreign Affairs chief was speaking to journalists after officiating
at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth People’s Forum which brought
together civic society groups within the commonwealth countries.

Hague’s comments came as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
(CHOGM) was being opened Friday in Perth by Queen Elizabeth II.

The meeting is expected to discuss the appointment of a Human Rights
Commissioner who will look into re-admission issues of suspended countries.
But the idea of a Human Rights Commissioner suggested by the Commonwealth
Eminent Persons Group has so far been shot down by many countries which have
been expressing fears that such an appointment would interfere with the
political independence of member countries.

During the Foreign Ministers meeting on Wednesday, countries argued over the
title human rights commissioner whose office would be expected to deal with
human rights issues before they get out of hand.

Hague said all members of Commonwealth are expected to maintain the high
standards of human rights.

Zimbabwe and Fiji were not very much missed Commonwealth officials had their
hands full trying to deal with the issue of Sri Lanka which is accused of
committing heinous human rights against its citizens suspected of belonging
to ex-rebels Tamil Tigers.

Sri Lanka is the next CHOGM host. And with its battered human rights record
who would have needed Zimbabwe.
According to Commonwealth officials Zimbabwe and Fiji will not be discussed
at tomorrow’s meeting but some southern African country’s are expected to
raise the issue in meetings.

A UK- based think tank early this month released a paper encouraging the
grouping to marginally remove “sanctions” imposed against President Robert
Mugabe and his inner circle as a way of helping the reform process in

However the Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said the grouping of
former British colonies must find new tools to deal with recalcitrant states
such as Zimbabwe and Fiji. He said it is not enough for the grouping to just
suspend a member country as that leaves it in danger of being seen as a weak

“Once a military coup occurs, then the one blunt instrument available to the
commonwealth is one of suspension or expulsion,” Rudd said in an interview
with the West Australian newspaper, “On the pre-emptive diplomacy side there
may be other means that we can deploy.”

Meanwhile a report of the Eminent Person Group has recommended action on
suspended countries but emphasised that when a country’s political leaders
are suspended citizens of their countries must be allowed to continue
participating in Commonwealth festivities.

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ZANU PF thugs defy eviction and assault police

By Tererai Karimakwenda
28 October, 2011

A group of ZANU PF youths this week reportedly broke into a building they
had once illegally occupied in Bulawayo, then assaulted the police officer
who tried to intervene. It’s believed the thugs want to re-occupy the
offices in order to monitor activities at the MDC-T office further down the

SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme said Elons Court at the
corner of main Street and Third Avenue was invaded by thugs who lived there
illegally for over a year, claiming this was part of ZANU PF’s “indigenous

Saungweme said a property management firm responsible for the building took
these illegal tenants to court, and the police were ordered to lock the gate
until the case was finalized. But on Thursday a notorious ZANU PF thug named
Butho Gatsi and his gang allegedly broke the lock and went inside.

“I spoke to witnesses who said a policeman on guard at the time arrested one
of them. The youth called for re-enforcements who arrived in a truck and
forced the police to release him,” Saungweme explained, adding: “The truck
had the word ZANU-PF written on the side.”

A traffic cop in uniform, who happened to be passing by, went over to
investigate when he noticed the commotion. “According to witnesses,
Butho Gatsi slapped the policeman and the other ZANU PF youths laughed at
him,” our correspondent said.

Butho Gatsi was also allegedly involved in the assault of ZAPU-FP leader
Sikhumbuzo Dube, outside Bulawayo City Hall last Friday. Saungweme said the
thug is well known in Bulawayo and he functions with impunity.

The Home Affairs co-Minister Theresa Makone has admitted that ZANU PF thugs
have more power than the police and she cannot control them, even in her own
constituency. There is no hope that credible elections can be held in
Zimbabwe until this ZANU PF sponsored violence is dealt with.

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President Tsvangirai addresses thousands of party supporters in Binga

Friday, 28 October 2011

Thousands of MDC supporters braved the soaring temperatures this afternoon to attend an MDC rally at Pashu Business Centre in Binga South, Matebeleland North where President Tsvangirai was the main speaker.

The rally went ahead despite desperate attempts by the police to disrupt it.  After an urgent court application by the MDC against the police’s attempts to ban the rally, a Binga magistrate granted that the rally should be held.

In his address President Tsvangirai urged the people of Binga to remain resolute in their fight for real change.  He thanked them for their continued support of the MDC since 2000.  Since 2000, the MDC has been the only party that has been voted into Parliament, Senate and local government council in Binga.

The President also briefed the supporters on the state and health of the party and in the inclusive government.  He said the MDC was ready for free and fair elections but said the elections will only be held after the SADC roadmap to holding free and fair elections in Zimbabwe had been completed and adopted.

He also urged the people to prepare to vote in the referendum for a new people-driven Constitution and said the party would inform them on its position once the draft Constitution had been finalised.

Tomorrow, Saturday, President Tsvangirai is scheduled to address another rally at St Pauls Grounds in Lupane before proceeding to Victoria Falls on Sunday for another rally at Chinotimba Stadium.

He is accompanied by several senior party officials, ministers, MPs, councillors and the MDC Matebeleland North leadership.

Together, united, winning, ready for ready real change!!!
MDC Information & Publicity Department

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Mudede judgment postponed

By Staff Writer
Friday, 28 October 2011 14:40

HARARE - Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede will have to wait another day to
find out if he has escaped jail for refusing to renew a passport for a
Canadian-based Zimbabwean as ordered by the High Court in March.

Justice Chinembiri Bhunu yesterday reserved judgment in a case in which
Sebastian Piroro is seeking to have Mudede locked up for 90 days for
contempt of court.

Piroro, an accountant, is stranded in Canada because Mudede is refusing to
renew the passport, despite being ordered to do so by Justice Susan
Mavangira on March 31 this year.

Bryant Elliot of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights is representing Piroro,
who is deemed by Mudede to be an alien despite being born in Zimbabwe.

Piroro argues that Mudede deserves a three-month prison stint because he has
“wilfully and persistently” failed to abide by Justice Mavangira’s order.

“This wilful and persistent failure has caused me severe prejudice in that I
am still not recognised as a citizen of Zimbabwe and I am still without a
Zimbabwe Passport, despite the fact that I live and work at the present time
in Canada,” says Piroro in his affidavit.

“Accordingly, it is respectfully submitted that the Second Respondent is in
contempt of this Honourable Court,” says Piroro, who was born and educated
in Zimbabwe.

He had tried to renew his passport at the Zimbabwean embassy in Ottawa after
the document expired last year but got a raw deal from Mudede’s office.

Mudede refused to renew the passport alleging that Piroro was a dual citizen
because his father was born in Mozambique hence Piroro should first renounce
his purported Mozambican citizenship.

In an argument thrown out by Justice Mavangira, Mudede said Piroro was a
“Mozambican citizen by descent” who should have renounced his purported
citizenship between 6 July 2001 and 6 January 2002 under the provisions of
section 9 (7) of the Citizenship of Zimbabwe Act.

Mudede argued that although Piroro was born in Zimbabwe and spent most of
his life in the country, he had lost his Zimbabwean citizenship and was now
regarded as an “alien”.

Piroro’s father, Saidon, was born in Mozambique. He migrated to Zimbabwe
around 1955 and never returned to Mozambique. He became a citizen of
Zimbabwe by registration and had a Zimbabwean identity number. Piroro’s
mother, born in Marondera, was a citizen of Zimbabwe by birth.

Justice Mavangira ruled that Piroro was a citizen of Zimbabwe by birth in
terms of Section 5 of the Constitution of

The High Court Judge declared that: “the provisions of Section 9 (7) of the
Citizenship of Zimbabwe Act (Chapter 4:01) in so far as it relates to
citizenship by birth are ultra vires the powers vested in the Parliament of
Zimbabwe in terms of Section 9 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and are in
consequence of no force or effect.”

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Mercenaries offering to take Gaddafi's son to Zimbabwe - ICC

AP and Reuters 5 hours 48 minutes ago

THE International Criminal Court is in indirect contact with slain Libyan
leader Muammar Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam about the possibility of
surrendering for trial, the chief prosecutor says.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo said talks are being held through intermediaries whom he
did not identify.

He also said he did not know exactly where Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is.

The prosecutor said he believes unidentified mercenaries also are offering
to find refuge for Gaddafi in an African country that does not cooperate
with the court.

He mentioned Zimbabwe as a likely possibility, and said the court was in
contact with other countries to prevent his escape by denying overflight
permission to any plane carrying him.

The 39-year-old son of Muammar Gaddafi was indicted in June for inciting
crowds to murder during the early stages of the Libyan revolution.

"We are having informal conversations with Saif Gaddafi in order to see if
he can be surrendered to the court," Moreno-Ocampo said in a telephone call
from The Hague.

"We know he has a different option because apparently there is a group of
mercenaries willing to move him to a country, probably Zimbabwe," the
prosecutor said.

Some of the mercenaries may be from South Africa, he said.

Gaddafi was pressing for clarifications about his fate should he be
acquitted, and Moreno-Ocampo said he has made it clear to the fugitive that
he could ask the judges to send him to a country other than Libya.

"He says he is innocent and he will prove his innocence," the prosecutor

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, fearing for his life if captured in Libya, has tried
to arrange for an aircraft to fly him out of his desert refuge and into the
custody of The Hague war crimes court, a senior Libyan official said on

Details were sketchy but a picture has built up since his father's killing
while in the hands of ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) fighters a
week ago that suggests Muammar Gaddafi's 39-year-old heir-apparent has taken
refuge among Sahara nomads and is seeking a safe haven abroad.

The senior NTC official said Saif al-Islam had crossed the border into Niger
but had not yet found a way to hand himself in to the International Criminal
Court at The Hague.

"There is a contact with Mali and with South Africa and with another
neighbouring country to organise his exit ... He hasn't got confirmation
yet, he's still waiting," said the official, who declined to be named.

Even if he can still draw on some of the vast fortune the Gaddafi clan built
up abroad during 42 years in control of North Africa's main oilfields, his
indictment by the ICC over his part in trying to crush the revolt limits his

That may explain an apparent willingness, in communications monitored by
intelligence services and shared with Libya's interim rulers, to discuss a
surrender to the ICC, whereas his mother and surviving siblings simply fled
to Algeria and Niger.


The ICC, which relies on signatory states to hand over suspects, said it was
trying to confirm the whereabouts and intentions of Saif al-Islam and former
intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, the third man indicted along with
Muammar Gaddafi.

A source with the NTC, which drove the Gaddafis from power in Tripoli in
August, told Reuters the two surviving indictees were together, protected by
Tuareg nomads.

"Saif is concerned about his safety," the source said. "He believes handing
himself over is the best option for him."

Saif al-Islam, once seen as a potential liberal reformer but who adopted a
belligerent, win-or-die persona at his father's side this year, was looking
for help from abroad to fly out and take his chances at The Hague, where
there is no death penalty.

"He wants to be sent an aircraft. He wants assurances," the NTC source said
by telephone from Libya.

Some observers question the accuracy of NTC information, given frequent
lapses in intelligence recently.

Rhissa Ag Boula, a former Tuareg rebel leader who is now a presidential
adviser in Niger, told Reuters: "I confirm that Abdullah al-Senussi is now
in northern Mali. He crossed Niger north of Arlit escorted by Malian Tuareg
as well as some from Niger. They were well protected, which is to say armed.

"As for Saif, he is hesitant and is indeed in Niger. He is trying to decide
whether to continue to Mali or stay in Niger. Being in Niger worries him
because he could be turned over to the ICC if he is in the territory. But I
think he will eventually head to Mali."

A member of the Malian parliament who has been in charge of relations with
Libya's NTC discounted some reports that Gaddafi and Senussi had crossed
Algeria or Niger into Mali.


Some observers suggest surrendering to the ICC may be only one option for
Saif al-Islam, who may hope for a welcome in one of the African states on
which his father lavished gifts.

The African Union, and powerful members like South Africa, grumble about the
nine-year-old ICC's focus so far on Africans and some of them may prove

Even if arrested on charges relating to his role in attacks on protesters in
February and March, Saif al-Islam could make defence arguments that might
limit any sentence, lawyers said.

NTC forces, which overran Gaddafi's last bastions of Bani Walid and Sirte
this month, lack the resources to hunt and capture fugitives deep in the
desert, the NTC source said.

NATO, whose air power turned the civil war in the rebels' favour, could
help, he said.

But NATO, which will end its Libya operations at the end of the month,
stresses its mission is to protect civilians, not target individuals -
though it was a NATO air strike that halted Muammar Gaddafi's flight last

A captured pro-Gaddafi fighter at Bani Walid told Reuters that the
London-educated Saif al-Islam had been in that town, south of Tripoli until
it fell earlier this month.

The man, one of Saif al-Islam's bodyguards, said the younger Gaddafi was
"confused" and in fear for his life when he escaped Bani Walid. If he has
seen the gruesome video footage of his father's capture, he knows how he may
be treated if he remains in Libya.

Asked what the NTC was doing to cooperate with the ICC, the vice chairman of
the Council, Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, said Libyans still hoped to try the suspects

"There aren't any special arrangements by the NTC. If Abdullah al-Senussi
and Saif al-Islam are arrested inside Libya they will be tried and judged
based on Libyan law," said Ghoga.

Earlier this week, a NTC official said Saif al-Islam had acquired a passport
in a false name and was lying low south of Ghat, a border crossing with
Algeria through which his mother, sister and two of his surviving brothers
fled in August.

Algeria is not a signatory to the Rome treaty which set up the ICC, but
might face strong diplomatic pressure to hand over indicted suspects. The
NTC has also been pressing Algiers to hand over the other Gaddafi relatives.

Niger, an impoverished former French colony, has said it would honour its
commitments to the ICC. The mayor of the northern Niger town of Agadez, a
transit point for other fleeing Gaddafi allies, told Reuters Saif al-Islam
would be extradited to The Hague if he showed up.

Tunisia, to where other Gaddafi loyalists have fled, is also a signatory to
the ICC's conventions.

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Zimbabwe to 'sue EU' over travel ban

AFP – 5 hrs ago

Zimbabwe's attorney general plans to file a lawsuit against the European
Union over sanctions imposed on President Robert Mugabe and his top
associates, state media reported on Friday.

"What I can tell you is that we are done with the paper work and what is
left is to get the necessary travel documents to enable us to travel to
Europe," Johannes Tomana told The Herald newspaper.

"We do not know how long will this take, but within a week we expect to have
received our invitations and visas to enable us to travel to Europe."

"After arriving in Europe, we will brief the EU Council after which we will
file our court papers," he said.

Tomana would not give the exact details contained in the lawsuit, saying
that it is not yet a public document, The Herald said.

Mugabe and his close associates were slapped with travel bans to European
Union member countries after 2002 disputed presidential poll, which western
observers said were rigged to hand Mugabe victory.

Last week Switzerland denied Mugabe's wife, Grace and five government
officials visas to travel with the veteran leader to the European country to
attend a United Nations telecommunications conference.

Five other top Zimbabwe officials who were denied visas include the foreign
minister, the communications minister, the director general in the
presidency, Mugabe's personal bodyguard, and Mugabe's spokesperson.

Although Switzerland is not an EU member, it recognises the ban. Normally
the ban is waived for UN events.

State media reported that government has lodged a complaint with the United
Nations and Swiss authorities over the issue.

The Swiss embassy in Harare refused to comment on the matter.

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Zim 'women rapists' released on bail

2011-10-28 12:38

Harare - Three Zimbabwean women facing indecent assault charges for sex
attacks on male hitchhikers to collect semen for ritual purposes were
released on bail, state media said Friday.

"Three women accused of sexually abusing male hitchhikers in search of semen
were yesterday [Thursday] granted $300 bail apiece," The Herald newspaper
reported on Friday.

Sisters Sophie and Netsai Nhokwara, 26 and 24, and Rosemary Chakwizira, 28,
were arrested early this month and charged with committing a string of
sexual attacks on men. Thulani Ngwenya, 24, a boyfriend to one of the women,
was also charged.

The four were ordered to surrender their passports and report to the police
twice a week as part of their bail conditions, The Herald said.

Among the charges the women are facing is that in March this year they
allegedly sprayed an anaesthetic substance on a 19-year-old man, after
giving him a lift, the prosecution said.

On August 22, they gave a soldier a lift and forced him to have unprotected
sex with them after threatening to shoot him, the court heard.

In another case, the trio are said to have stopped next to a police
constable, dragged him into their car after pretending to ask for directions
and forced him to have sex with them.

The women allegedly used different cars to pick up 14 other men and forced
themselves on them. They were arrested when they were involved in a car
accident and police found 31 used condoms in the boot of their car.


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Mugabe is in Singapore - sources

October 28 2011 at 12:56am

Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has flown secretly to Singapore
for medical treatment for the eighth time this year, government sources
said, heightening concern over the health of the 87-year-old leader.

As he approaches his 32nd year in power, observers say political factions
within his Zanu-PF party are jockeying increasingly openly to succeed him as
party leader, amid increasing expectations of political instability in the
southern African country.

The sources, who asked not to be named, said Mugabe and his wife, Grace,
flew from Harare on Monday to Johannesburg where they caught a Singapore
Airlines flight to Singapore. They said he was expected to return on Sunday.

His spokesmen have declined to comment. Western diplomatic sources who have
recently seen Mugabe say he appears increasingly fail.

While the official version is that Mugabe has been to Singapore for a
cataract operation and subsequent check-ups, there are rumours that he has
prostate cancer that has spread.

The government sources also reported that Mugabe had been shaken by the
killing last week of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Mugabe has repeatedly
condemned Nato support for anti-Gaddafi forces.

Political analysts say Zanu-PF faces an uncertain future as the coalition
government works slowly towards a new constitution and elections within the
next two years.

Opinion surveys rate Zanu-PF way behind the party led by Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai, Mugabe's main political rival, with whom he had been
forced into a power-sharing deal. - Sapa-dpa

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Ncube accused of playing central role in ‘engineered’ MDC split

By Alex Bell
28 October 2011

A leading political analyst has accused the leader of the smaller MDC
faction, Welshman Ncube, of being at the centre of the party’s split in
2005, while backing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai claims that the split
was engineered.

In his recently launched biography titled At the Deep End, Tsvangirai said
former South African President Thabo Mbeki engineered the party’s split. He
also accuses Ncube, the party’s founding Secretary General, plus the late
MDC vice-president Gibson Sibanda, of “betrayal”.

Tsvangirai says Ncube held secret meetings with a ZANU PF faction led by
Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa allegedly to “secure Ndebele interests”
in an alliance.

“I knew that Mbeki was in favour of a party split,” Tsvangirai says in the
book. “He (Mbeki) wanted the splinter group to join a ZANU PF faction in the
hope that their combined force would weaken and eventually destroy the
remaining MDC. Mbeki would then pronounce to the world that he had resolved
the Zimbabwean crisis.”

He also says: “They thought I would do anything to prevent a split. I hung
on to my thoughts until the situation became so serious that a split had to
be faced.”

Political analyst Professor John Makumbe told SW Radio Africa on Friday that
there was substance to Tsvangirai’s claims and that many people suspected
that Mbeki was firmly in ZANU PF’s corner.

Mbeki has faced intense criticism for his failure to resolve the Zimbabwe
political crisis, and his ‘quiet diplomacy’ has been widely condemned as
being nothing more than a display of allegiance to Robert Mugabe.

Makumbe went on to explain that there were rumours months before the split
in 2005 that South Africa wanted Ncube as the party’s leader, rather than
Tsvangirai. He also said that Ncube himself had voiced interest in working
with ZANU PF.

“I had spoken to Welshman before and he had an idea of working with ZANU PF.
I told him ‘you’d be committing political suicide’,” Makumbe said.

Makumbe also revealed that Ncube had told him that ZANU PF had offered him a
political post with that party, which Makumbe advised him not to take.

“I told him it would be the end of his career,” Makumbe said.

He added: “I am convinced that it was Ncube at the centre of that split in
the MDC.”

Ncube meanwhile has dismissed Tsvangirai’s claims as false, telling News Day
on Thursday that “just about every fundamental fact in that book is a lie.”

“At no time did Mbeki support the split, the MDC financially or materially
and the congress in 2006. This is complete fabrication,” Ncube is quoted as

He also said that “there were two powerful forces that sponsored the MDC
split in 2005,” but refused to name them.

Ncube was not available for an interview on Friday. But he is expected to
speak to SW Radio Africa next week.

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Radio license hearings poorly attended

By Tererai Karimakwenda
28 October, 2011

The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) on Thursday held the last of
four public hearings for the two commercial radio licenses on offer, ending
a series of hearings that were hardly attended by ordinary Zimbabweans.

The process lost more credibility this week after sources said that
Zimpapers, publishers of the state run Herald and Sunday Mail newspapers,
had already started recruiting staff in Matabeleland.

Four applicants were shortlisted by BAZ in order for the public to ask
questions before final selections are made. A total of 14 applications were
received but there has been no explanation as to why the others were
SW Radio Africa correspondent Simon Muchemwa attended the hearing Thursday
of Voice of the People Communication Trust (VOP), who currently operate
Radio VOP, headed by David Masunda.
Muchemwa said few people were at the venue on Thursday, owing to a lack of
publicity ahead of the hearings. “It was mostly industry experts, diplomats
and representatives from civic organizations,” Muchemwa said, adding:
“People did not know when or where the proceedings were taking place and
there was no sign anywhere in town.”
But the attention has now shifted to revelations that Zimpapers is already
recruiting. According to Muchemwa, the BAZ commissioners announced on
Thursday that they needed more time to decide who gets the licenses.

Questions are now being raised as to why Zimpapers would recruit staff
without any assurances that they will get a license, fuelling suspicion that
a decision on the licenses had already been made when BAZ announced the

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Africom bosses arrested

By Nkululeko Sibanda, Senior Writer
Friday, 28 October 2011 14:34

HARARE - Africom chief executive officer Simba Mangwende and business
associate Farai Rwodzi were yesterday arrested on allegations of violating
the Telecommunications Act, the Daily News has been told.

Police spokespersons, Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena and
Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka were not readily available yesterday to
confirm the arrest.

Bvudzijena said he was away while Mandipaka’s phone was unreachable
Mangwende was reportedly arrested on Wednesday while Rwodzi was picked up

Innocent Chagonda of Atherstone and Cook Legal Practitioners, who is
representing Rwodzi, told the Daily News yesterday his client had been
arrested for allegedly erecting a satellite dish receiver at the Africom
offices without the authority of the Post and Telecommunications Regulatory
Authority of Zimbabwe (Portraz).

“The police have said they are likely to press charges of erecting a
satellite receiver at the Africom offices without the authority of Portraz.
He has been arrested alongside engineers at the company,” said Chagonda.

He also said they were worried why police would arrest his client, who is a
non-executive director at Africom, for the alleged offence.

“Rwodzi is a non-executive director. We also wonder whether it is proper for
the police to arrest him for something that involves Africom as a company in
its entirety,” Chagonda added.

Chagonda also said his team was worried by the fact that the police had
decided to pick on his client alone when in actual fact the company had a
host of directors and non-executive directors under its name.

“Rwodzi is a non-executive director like many other non-executive directors.
It is not clear why the police decided that he is the only answerable person
in the matter at hand,” he added.

“My client believes that there is more than meets the eye. He is of the view
that this arrest has been torched off by a forensic report compiled by the
former chief executive of the company who claimed there were monies that had
been stolen from Africom,” said Chagonda.

Mangwende’s lawyer, Nikita Madya, refused to comment on circumstances that
led to his client’s arrest, claiming he was yet to take instructions from
his client.

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Zimbabwe Revenue Authority Moves to Tax Teacher Incentives

27 October 2011

Zimbabwe Teachers Association Chief Executive Officer Sifiso Ndlovu said
ZIMRA has introduced a presumptive tax - i.e. based on estimated receipts -
leading some teachers to press parents for incentive pay

Tatenda Gumbo & Jonga Kandemiiri | Washington

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority is said to have begun to tax teacher
incentives, which teachers and their unions say should not be considered
taxable income.

School headmasters are said to be working with ZIMRA to identify those
receiving cash incentives paid by parents to compensate for low teacher
salaries. Workers in urban schools receive at least US$150 a month in
incentives, and some receive more.

Zimbabwe Revenue Authority Chief Coporate Communicator Taungana Ndoro said
the fiscal authority is still compiling a report on incentive taxation.

Education Minister David Coltart has stated that incentives are a
non-taxable token of appreciation by parents, a position shared by unions
representing teachers.

Zimbabwe Teachers Association Chief Executive Officer Sifiso Ndlovu said
ZIMRA has introduced a presumptive tax on incentives - i.e. based on
estimated receipts - leading some teachers to press parents for payments on
which they expect to be taxed.

Union leaders said the move will create discord between parents and

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe Secretary General Raymond Majongwe
told VOA reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that his condemns the taxation of teacher

But lawyer Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of the National Constitutional
Assembly, said Zimra under Zimbabwean tax law has a mandate to tax teachers
and their incentives as income. He says the income tax code does not
stipulate the types of income workers receive, but considers any monies
received to be a form of income.

Madhuku said teachers must lobby for a tax exception for incentives.

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Zimbabwe: keeping up with evolving humanitarian needs
28-10-2011 Interview

The outgoing head of the ICRC regional delegation in Harare, Thomas Merkelbach started his assignment at a time when violence plagued Zimbabwe following the March 2008 elections, the economy was overwhelmed by hyperinflation and access to essential services was difficult. Three years on, he assesses the results achieved in Zimbabwe and the region and the challenges ahead.

What was the humanitarian situation when you arrived in Zimbabwe?

Due to the violence following the elections in March 2008, people were displaced and had their homes and possessions destroyed. The situation was so difficult for them that we had to deliver food and basic items such as blankets to over 5,000 people across the country.

When the violence stopped, families gradually returned home. In late 2008 and early 2009, we supported 13,000 farmers including their families and their communities in four districts in Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland East provinces of Zimbabwe by providing them with training on conservation agriculture techniques, seeds, fertilizers and agricultural tools so that they could rebuild their lives. Although there were significant needs in many districts, we chose to focus on these areas because the regions that had faced regular problems of food security in the past were hit by the violence in a particularly harsh way.

The persistence of hyperinflation that made health services unobtainable for many and the emergence of the cholera epidemic in 2008 led us to increase our support to a total of 25 clinics in urban and rural areas, in charge of delivering medical care for over 1.2 million people.

Has the situation changed since then?

The environment in Zimbabwe is more stable, especially now that the economy has picked up. This generally allows people to live better, whilst service providers have more means to plan and invest to improve the availability of essential public services. As a result, we have handed over our support to rural health clinics and the rural water board (District Development Fund) to the authorities. However, huge expectations from the public for things to improve quickly are perhaps the biggest challenge, demonstrating a level of hope and resilience that is very encouraging and humbling.

What were ICRC's major achievements over the last few years?

The Government of Zimbabwe gave us access to Ministry of Justice-run prisons in 2009. For two years now, we have been able to visit inmates and support food security in detention places. Today, technical and financial resources provided by the Government to Zimbabwe Prison Services (ZPS) have increased.

A joint ZPS-ICRC steering committee is closely monitoring the handover process of ICRC food assistance to ensure that the welfare of the inmates is not compromised. If necessary, the committee can make appropriate adjustments. However, capacity-building activities in the area of food production, but also rehabilitation of critical infrastructure and ICRC support for prison health services will continue in 2012.

What activities does the ICRC pursue in Malawi, Zambia and Namibia?

One of the roles of national societies is to take action in favour of the wounded during violent events. This is why Malawi Red Cross volunteers provided emergency first aid to people injured during violent protests in July 2011 and Zambia Red Cross volunteers responded to incidents of violence during the September 2011 general elections. To support its two partners, the ICRC provided them with first aid kits, vehicles, training and also of an ICRC team on the ground in Zambia.

Among our activities with the national societies the region, we also run a family visit program with the Namibia Red Cross Society. We facilitate the travel of families of inmates detained following the events in the Caprivi region in 1999 to the places of detention twice a year. This  has a great positive impact as some of the families live over 1000 km away from the prisons where their loved ones are being held and cannot regularly visit them.

We also work with all national Red Cross Societies in the region assisting people displaced by the conflicts to restore and maintain contact with their families. Those receiving assistance come from a variety of countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo or Somalia. This is done through Red Cross messages but increasingly through modern technology such as e-mail whenever possible.

What kind of relations does the ICRC have with the Southern African Development Community?

We have a long-standing collaboration with the Southern African Development Community (SADC), in particular through our partnership with the SADC Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre. We regularly address senior policymakers, police and military officials on the role of international humanitarian law and humanitarian principles in peace support operations.

What are the challenges ahead?

Throughout the region, there are a number of common humanitarian challenges – outbreaks of violence relating to elections or protests, displacement and migration due to conflicts from all over the African continent, recurrent major natural disasters and threats to economic security.

Where there are outbreaks of violence, we will continue to closely monitor developments and deploy our teams and resources to help people in need or support initiatives of the national Red Cross Societies in line with our mission. Together with our partners from the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, we are ready to step up in favour of the most vulnerable when needed.

The warm welcome and generosity I personally and the organization continue to receive throughout the region reflects the deep roots that the ICRC has established in southern Africa through over 50 years of humanitarian action. I hope that we can continue to make a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of people across the region.

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CHOGM - What Next For Zimbabwe?

October 27 & 28, 2011 [WHAT NEXT FOR ZIMBABWE?]

[27/28 October 2011, Perth – Presented by Moses Chamboko, ZIC (WA),
pro-democracy activist]
Commonwealth 2011 – Discussion Points

What next for Zimbabwe?
2009 in Trinidad, Chogm expressed the hope that the GPA would be
“implemented faithfully and effectively”. Unfortunately but rather
predictably, this has not been the case. Therefore, “What next for
 Zimbabwe?” remains as emotive and topical a question, as it has been in the
past decade. Allow me to focus on five primary aspects which represent the
dichotomy of our pre and post election aspirations as Zimbabweans.

a) Free & Fair Election
Humbled by the recent Zambian experience but saddened by the fact that
Zimbabwe remains the only country among its immediate neighbours to have
known one leader since independence, the question to ask is “Why us?” In
this context, progressive Zimbabweans implore the Commonwealth and its
affiliate members to do whatever it takes, directly or indirectly, to ensure
a free, fair and non-violent election for Zimbabwe. Disenfranchisement of
the Diaspora won’t be acceptable. That Zimbabwe is technically a non-member
of the Commonwealth can no longer be an excuse for inaction given that the
decision to withdraw from the club was not by national consensus but
unilateral decree.

b) Asylum-seekers
Of the 3 million or so Zimbabweans believed to be in the Diaspora, the
majority are living in Commonwealth countries. It is most disconcerting to
learn that Zimbabwean asylum seekers are being deported from the very same
Commonwealth countries which are all aware of the ongoing socio-political
crisis in Zimbabwe. Commonwealth should effect an immediate moratorium on
deportations until our political situation normalises.

c) Political prisoners & targeted sanctions
Commonwealth members must demand immediate and unconditional release of all
political prisoners including human rights campaigners. Progress in this
area could be reciprocated with progressive review of restrictive measures
which have been used by ZANU PF as a pretext for not opening up our
democratic space. Of course, we do not propose a carte blanche approach.
Radicals who deliberately frustrate progress must continue to grace the
international sanctions list.

d) Re-admission into the Commonwealth
Should there be an uncontested electoral outcome in Zimbabwe, we urge the
Commonwealth to expedite our re-admission without having to go through a
protracted bureaucratic process and restore full membership privileges such
as scholarships, bursaries, fellowships and democratic participation.

e) The Diaspora
Sadly, Commonwealth organisations often define the Zimbabwe Diaspora as
those who migrated to the UK and South Africa. The truth is that we are all
over the globe. These neglected migrants have diverse skills, sound
education and vast experience but lack financial capital. Commonwealth and
its organisations should seriously consider coordinating and assisting these
underutilised professionals so they actively participate in the
reconstruction of Zimbabwe. ZANU PF’s contentious indigenisation policies
which are extortionist in nature should be challenged by genuine economic
players such as the Diaspora. This will not be possible without financial
From this moment and beyond, may those who believe Commonwealth is a mere
talk shop or toothless dog be proven wrong?

Thank you,

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