The ZIMBABWE Situation
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Dry pumps keep Zimbabwe coup plot accused behind bars

Yahoo News

Mon Oct 29, 8:40 AM ET

HARARE (AFP) - Six men accused of trying to topple Zimbabwe's veteran
President Robert Mugabe failed to appear in court on Monday when fuel
shortages forced the cancellation of their bus journey from prison.

The group had been hoping to have their applications for bail heard by a
magistrate in Harare but their lawyer Charles Warara said it was now not
known when their case would be heard.
"The court could not hear our application for refusal of further remand
because my clients did not turn up at the court as they were not transported
because there was no fuel," Warara told AFP.

"There was nothing I could do in their absence."

Since Thursday last week, remand prisoners have not been appearing at the
magistrates court because of the problems in finding petrol.

Zimbabwe has faced serious fuel shortages since 1999, a situation which has
seen some garages going for weeks without supplies.

The six men were arrested in June over an alleged attempt to topple
83-year-old Mugabe and replace him with Rural Housing Minister Emmerson
Mnangagwa who is seen as a possible successor to the president.

They have denied the charges through their lawyers, saying they were
discussing the formation of a new political party when security agents
barged into their meeting in the capital and arrested them.

In June, a high court judge denied the suspects bail, saying there were
fears they could flee.

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Fuel-starved Zimbabwe buys part of pipeline: Report

Monsters and Critics

Oct 29, 2007, 10:19 GMT

Harare - Fuel-starved Zimbabwe has purchased a 21-kilometre stretch of an
oil pipeline running through Mozambique to the eastern border city of Mutare
as the authorities try to ensure a minimum supply of fuel, reports said

The purchase of part of the 287-kilometre long pipeline that links Mutare to
the coastal port of Beira, was made under an agreement that will allow
Zimbabwe to continue using the line for the next 25 years, said the official
Herald daily.

It was not clear how much the Zimbabwe government paid to buy the portion.
The pipeline was formerly under the control of Mozambiques state-run
Companhia-do Pipeline Mozambique-Zimbabwe (CPMZ), the report said.

The CPMZ will now have to rent Zimbabwes stretch of the line for an
undisclosed fee, it noted.

Zimbabwe has been singing the fuel blues since 2000, when the southern
African countr's once-flourishing economy began to tip into crisis following
the launch of a controversial programme of white land seizures.

Almost all fuel stations are empty now following an order in July that
petrol be sold at 60,000 Zimbabwe dollars, worth around 7 US cents at
prevailing parallel market rates, a litre.

Only a handful of stations sell fuel for coupons paid for in foreign
currency by account holders outside the country.

On the black market fuel sells at up to one million Zimbabwe dollars a
litre, or 16 times the officially-ordered price.

The pipeline was built in the 1960s. At full capacity, it can transport 1.2
billion litres of fuel per day.

© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur

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Centre launches media defence programme for region

Zim Online

Tuesday 30 October 2007

      Own Correspondent

      JOHANNESBURG – The Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC) on Monday
launched a new media defence programme to help defend freedom of expression
in a region where governments have frequently persecuted the media and
clamped hard on dissension.

      The SALC also announced the establishment of an HIV/AIDS programme
which it said would help support local and regional lawyers, community
groups and other civil society members in bringing key legal cases on
HIV/Aids related issues such as discrimination, access to treatment, and
mandatory testing to the courts.

      Founded in 2005, the SALC operates in Angola, Botswana, the Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland,
Zambia, and Zimbabwe where it primarily focuses on promoting human rights
and the rule of law.

      Head of the SALC media defence programme Lloyd Kuveya said the
establishment of the programme was in recognition of widespread violations
of freedom of expression and media freedom in the region.

      "There are few places where freedom of expression is more in peril
than this region. Independent media is routinely persecuted, tactics range
from outright attacks on journalists to prohibitive operating regulations,"
Kuveya said.

      The governments of Zimbabwe, Angola, DRC and Swaziland have tough
restrictions on free speech with the Harare government of President Robert
probably the worst offender.

      For example, the Harare administration has over the past four years
banned four newspapers and arrested scores of journalists for violating its
harsh media laws.

      Mugabe’s government also regularly deploys armed police and soldiers
on the streets to crush protests against its controversial rule and
worsening economic conditions in the once prosperous country.

      The SALC said it launched the HIV/AIDS programme because it recognised
the importance of a human rights approach in combating the spread of the
deadly disease that claims thousands of lives every week in southern Africa.

      Although southern Africa is at the epicentre of the global HIV/AIDS
pandemic, there has been very little work done to develop and further the
legal and human rights of people living with the disease.

      "The law is a powerful advocacy tool for vindicating the rights of
those infected and affected by HIV/Aids,” said Priti Patel, director of SALC’s
programme on HIV/AIDS. - ZimOnline

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Parliamentary committee backs airline's bid to charge fares in forex

Zim Online

Tuesday 30 October 2007

By Thulani Munda

HARARE - Cash-strapped Air Zimbabwe won important backing from Parliament's
portfolio committee on transport to charge passengers in foreign currency
for specific routes in a bid to raise hard cash for the almost bankruptcy
national flag carrier.

The parliamentary committee on Monday said it backed a request by Air
Zimbabwe board chairman Mike Bimha to demand payment in foreign currency to
help shore up the struggling airline that has also suffered because of an
acute fuel crisis gripping Zimbabwe over the past eight years.

"The committee met and resolved that they will support Air Zimbabwe's bid
(to charge fares in forex)," said committee chairman Leo Mugabe.

Air Zimbabwe, which according to Bimha pays 70 percent of costs in foreign
currency while only 10 percent of revenue was in hard currency, will still
require approval from exchange control authorities in order to be able to
charge passengers in hard currency.

Air Zimbabwe fares are the lowest in the region. It charges Z$87 650 000 for
a return ticket to Johannesburg. South African Airways charges R2 120
inclusive of airport taxes.

Zimbabwe's national carrier has since the country's economic crisis started
in 2000 lost its position as one of the best airlines in Africa due to
mismanagement and interference from the parent Ministry of Transport and

Starved of cash to re-equip, Air Zimbabwe uses mostly obsolete technology
and equipment while nearly all its planes are between 16 and 20 years old.

The Zimbabwean airline could be banned from European skies if it fails an
audit and evaluation of its operational management and control systems
carried out by the International Air Transport Association last
week. -ZimOnline

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Masvingo governor grabs farm for daughter

Zim Online

Tuesday 30 October 2007

By Regerai Marwezu

MASVINGO - Masvingo provincial governor, Willard Chiwewe, at the weekend
evicted a white commercial farmer in Chiredzi district in southern Masvingo
province as fresh farm invasions sweep across the country.

Chiwewe, who chairs a government land allocation committee in the province,
stormed Senuko Farm last Friday in the company of armed soldiers and
forcibly evicted John Alfford from his 40 hectare piece of land.

The resident minister also seized farm equipment at the property that used
to produce over 1 500 litres of milk per month in addition to fresh fruit,
vegetable seeds and sugar cane.

A former farm worker at the property on Monday told ZimOnline that Chiwewe
had also threatened to have the Alffords arrested if they defied the order
to vacate the property.

"We were surprised to see a group of armed soldiers invading the farm," said
Onias Chimba, a former worker at the farm.

"We were given just hours to leave the property by the soldiers and we had
to comply since the governor also threatened to have us arrested."

Chiwewe confirmed taking over the farm adding that the Masvingo provincial
land committee had since allocated the property to his daughter whose name
and age could not be immediately verified.

"We had to seek the assistance of soldiers because some of these white
commercial farmers have become dangerous," said Chiwewe without elaborating.

"We gave the Alffords enough time to leave but they did not listen hence we
had to behave in the manner that we did. My daughter has since taken over
after the land allocation committee gave her the property," said Chiwewe.

President Robert Mugabe's government has since the beginning of this month
intensified a drive to expel white farmers following the expiry of a 30
September deadline to do so.

At least 10 white farmers have already been dragged to the courts while
several others have been threatened with arrest for defying the directive to
vacate their properties.

Zimbabwe has grappled with severe food shortages over the past seven years
after President Robert Mugabe began seizing white land for redistribution to
landless blacks seven years ago.

The farm occupations slashed food production by 60 percent resulting in most
Zimbabweans requiring food handouts from international relief agencies.

Less than 600 white commercial farmers remain in Zimbabwe after the
government began seizing land from white farmers, then numbering about 4
000, for redistribution to landless blacks seven years ago. - ZimOnline

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Electricity Company Shifts Generators To Maintain Even Energy Flow In Zimbabwe


      By Blessing Zulu
      29 October 2007

In a bid to minimize the damage caused by the rising energy crisis in the
country, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority or ZESA, has now started
shifting the few remaining transformers from one area to another, to ensure
a steady supply of power.

ZESA insiders told VOA that they have failed to fix damaged transformers,
including the one at the Hwange Thermal Power Plant, due to lack of foreign
currency. Regional electricity supply companies have drastically cut power
supply to Zimbabwe, because of ZESA’s inability to pay off it arrears.

Economic experts said the constant power cuts, coupled with water and
foreign currency shortages, have brought the economy close to a grinding

Only a few mining companies including Impala and rival Aquarius Platinum,
have managed to import electricity directly from regional suppliers, to keep
their operations running.

President Marah Hativagone of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce told
reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe, that there is need to
bring in foreign players to revive the sector.

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Droughts, food shortages and pensioners

Blogger News Network

October 29th, 2007 by Peter Davies
I lived in Rhodesia (now called Zimbabwe) for over 30 years, and we had
droughts quite regularly every three or four years – some went on for
several years at a time.

But even during the worst of the drought years, we were still the
“Breadbasket of Africa”, and exported food to neighbouring countries every
year regardless of drought, because scarce water resources were carefully
managed and conserved.

Reservoirs, pipelines and irrigation systems need regular maintenance and
renewal.  Since Mugabe’s seizure of commercial farms, there’s been precious
little of either – so the frequent droughts that we used to cope with are
now catastrophic.  Sadly, this is a problem not confined to Zimbabwe – it
seems to happen everywhere in Africa.

One wonders why Mugabe (in 2003) took control (see Telegraph Report) over
publication of Zimbabwe’s weather forecasting and records.  I suspect that
move had something to do with Mugabe trying to fool the world into believing
that Zimbabwe’s growing and ongoing food shortage is not caused by the land
grab, but by never-ending droughts.

Cathy Buckle’s latest weekly letter reports that “The first real rain of the
new season fell this week…”  She follows with an excellent description of
this storm, the likes of which I remember to this day – thunder, lightening,
hail… and 2 inches of rain in the first hour.  This year’s “rainy season”
has started early.  In my days out there, the first rains didn’t usually
fall until November – sometimes on Guy Fawkes night (November 5), to spoil
the fireworks and outdoor celebrations.  Except that we never minded getting
soaked, because the first rains of the season were themselves a cause for
celebration.  Will this be a good rainy season (plenty of rainfall) or a bad
(dry) one?  The season usually ends in February or March, with December and
January being the wettest (and best for growing crops) months.

This year the quality of the rainy season will (I hope), make a positive
difference to subsistence farmers in rural areas.  And good rains may allow
some lucky urban dwellers, who have enough space to grow a few crops, to
help feed themselves.  But sadly, no matter how good the rains are, the
commercial farmers have gone, and the country will still need foreign food
aid.  Furthermore, many subsistence farmers have used all their seed stock
for food and will have none to plant – so no crop will grow.

Meanwhile the people I care most about are the old age pensioners.  Imagine
retiring five, ten, fifteen years ago, on what then seemed a perfectly
adequate pension.  With inflation last reported at nearly 8,000 percent, a
pensioner with an income of ZW$50,000 a month (good money just a few years
ago), now has to find ZW$77,000 for 500ml (just over a pint), of milk.  Life
is tough out there for young people, trying to make inadequate wages pay
rapidly inflating food prices, but what about pensioners on fixed incomes?
And pensioners can’t easily leave the country where they have worked, and
saved all their lives…
I am trying to get details of charities that provide food, and other basic
necessities, to pensioners.  I hope to have details that I can publish next

Meanwhile, according to London’s TimesOnline, the last international airline
to fly to/from Zimbabwe (British Airways) has ended its 62 year service
between Harare and London.  I can’t even suggest that the last person to
leave Zimbabwe should turn out the lights – electricity blackouts are daily
occurrences already.


Peter Davies was a soldier in Rhodesia from 1963 to 1975, where he took part
in the capture and interrogation of terrorists.  Davies’ novel, Scatterlings
of Africa, is based on his own experience during Rhodesia’s war on terror,
and personal observations of how terrorist activities impacted Rhodesia (now
Zimbabwe) and its people.

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Zimbabwean singer packs protest punch

Mail and Guardian

Lachlan Carmichael | London, United Kingdom

29 October 2007 07:58

      Viomak's velvety voice drifts through the air like a lullaby on
a gentle breeze. But her protest songs pack a punch which could mean jail
for anyone caught listening to them in her native Zimbabwe.

      The tunes bluntly demand an end to President Robert Mugabe's
rule and belong to Zimbabwe's tradition of protest music that her fans say
give hope and comfort to the country's suffering masses.

      "Voices are saying 'Mugabe it is time to leave office'. Everyone
is calling: 'leave now, the time is up'," 41-year-old Viomak and a chorus of
young Zimbabwean women sang at a recent protest outside Zimbabwe's embassy
in London.

      But Viomak -- who declines to give her real name, for fear of
reprisals against her family in Zimbabwe -- said her message must be
delivered gently. "I'll be asking God to come in and intervene in our
situation in Zimbabwe. ... That's why it's sort of quiet or soft," she adds.

      A former teacher in Zimbabwe who has gained political asylum in
Britain, Viomak is among a handful of Zimbabwean protest musicians like
Thomas Mapfumo, Raymond Majongwe, Leonard Zhakata, Hosiah Chipanga, and Paul

      "She is my favourite," said Bridget Tapuwa, a Belgium-based
Zimbabwean activist and writer who promotes and distributes Viomak's work.

      Tapuwa said that Viomak knows how to reach Zimbabweans, most of
whom are devout Christians, by articulating a political message with
biblical undertones.

      "They really feel God is with her. They feel hope," Tapuwa said
when contacted by telephone in Brussels.

      Itai Mushekwe of the Zimbabwe Independent weekly newspaper, who
is staying in Germany as he fears reprisals back home, said Viomak and
Mapfumo are probably Zimbabwe's leading protest artists. Mapfumo lives in
the United States.

      "Protest music is increasingly becoming the only weapon to
confront the Mugabe regime's abuse of power following the fragmentation of
the opposition in Zimbabwe, believed to have been engineered by the
country's intelligence service," the arts and political journalist said in
an email.

      Ephraim Tapa, chairperson of the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) in the United Kingdom, the umbrella opposition force, said protest
music is as important now as it was during the struggle against white rule
in the 1970s.

      "To those who were in the bush, fighting for the liberation of
the country, it motivated them, it energised them," Tapa said in London.

      "Music in Zimbabwe is part and parcel of the social fabric."

      Tapa said musicians like Viomak -- a pseudonym forged from her
first name Violah and part of her surname -- should be "saluted" for their
courage in challenging the Mugabe regime.

      Viomak has indeed skirted danger.

       After spending five years in Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada, she
and her husband sneaked back into Zimbabwe from Botswana in August 2006 by
bribing Zimbabwean security guards and a bus conductor.

      For four months she lived on the outskirts of Harare and
travelled clandestinely into the capital to record two of her albums at a
studio before finally fleeing permanently to England.

      "I would travel by day and put on sunglasses and put on a hat,"
Viomak recalled.

      Viomak said her husband, who joined her with their two sons in
May in the central English city of Birmingham, sold 7 000 CDs from the
albums Happy 82nd Birthday President RG Mugabe and Happy 83rd President RG

      She also distributed her work through the offices of the
sympathetic MDC in Zimbabwe, but does not know how many were sold. "I didn't
even bother to check because I was risking my life," she said.

      Her experience highlights the enormous odds in selling her music
to Zimbabweans at home or even in exile, particularly the many in South
Africa and Botswana. Half of the proceeds go to charity.

      Zimbabweans can only listen to her music furtively as they all
fear the omnipresent agents of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

      The air waves are state-run, radio stations in exile are jammed,
internet cafés are monitored, shops are banned from selling her music and
borders are so tight it is hard to smuggle in large numbers of compact
discs, they say.

      "The CIOs are also in fact now scattered over in all countries
especially in South Africa and they wear sheep's clothing, making it very
difficult for anyone to easily recognise them," Tapuwa added.

      George Murevesi, an opposition writer who is seeking asylum in
Britain, believes the best strategy is to vastly increase her listeners
among exiles in South Africa who could then smuggle in her music one by one.

      The more Viomak CDs in the country the more difficult it will be
to crack down on everyone, he said from the Scottish city of Glasgow.

      Now collaborating with Viomak to release a new album on February
21 2008, for Mugabe's 84th birthday, Murevesi suggests that Viomak inject an
urban beat into some of her songs to attract a younger audience.

      He is thrilled to work with her.

      "She is a pioneer in the protest movement in Zimbabwe. Before
her, or even at this date, there is no other musician who is so critical of
the status quo on the ground in Zimbabwe," Murevesi said.

      "We do have some male counterparts who are doing the same but
they're not as blunt as she is," he said. – Sapa-AFP

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Zimbabwe needs SA’s help now, not just talk

The Times, SA

Published:Oct 29, 2007

Having just returned from Zimbabwe, we are shocked at the disparity between
the news reports and the real situation on the ground.

The government has succeeded in transforming a 20th century country into an
18th century country.

Both Harare and Bulawayo have not had running tap water for months. Power
failures are a daily occurrence. Telephones, both land lines and cells,
hardly work.

Shops’ shelves are 95percent empty. Within the last week, that situation has
deteriorated because local producers who were still in business have stopped
production. This is due to the government’s price intervention and

The streets are lined with police in full riot gear. We witnessed armed
soldiers with fixed bayonets in the street.

Daily life for the majority starts with trying to find food and water for
the day. Levels of desperation are very high.

We travelled from Harare to Kariba by road . During the 450km journey, we
saw one farm with crops and reasonable cattle. The rest, including houses
and tobacco barns, were burnt to the ground. Small villages exist with small
patches of maize and vegetables.

Pubs, hotels and restaurants had no drinks . In Kariba, we managed to buy
five cold drinks, the entire stock, from a black-market supplier.

The people are desperate and dying but cannot rise up because of the police
and military presence in the streets. The situation is terrible.

Sanctions will not help because they import nothing anyway.

If we, as a country, stand for human rights, as our constitution dictates,
then we must act and act now. Lives are being lost every day that we sit and
talk, as happened in Rwanda. — Anon, by e-mail

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Diaspora Resistance – Phase One

See attached information

"Money is the mother's milk of politics."

Our collective repatriation funds support our families with basic commodities and services which should be provided for by the government of Zimbabwe. Diaspora capital now replenishes the fiscus. By demanding our right to vote we determine our destiny.

Operation NADA DINERO is a coherent patriotic undertaking which confronts tyranny and lays the foundation for future economic recovery and the stability of our nation. Together we can permanently determine the political discourse and deliver tangible improvement to the living conditions of all Zimbabweans.

My vote, my voice.

Asesabi Lutho – Hapana Chatinotya – We Fear Nothing

Phil Matibe –

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Water Price to Go Up - Minister

The Herald (Harare)  Published by the government of Zimbabwe

27 October 2007
Posted to the web 29 October 2007


THE Minister of Water and Infrastructure Development Engineer Munacho Mutezo
has said the price of water in Harare will go up significantly following the
500 percent increase in the price of aluminium sulphate.

The rate of increase would, however, be below the 500 percent effected by
Zimphos on its aluminium sulphate. Zinwa uses up to eight water treatment
chemicals in Harare because of the high level of water pollution.

At the moment an average family in the high density suburbs pays up to $582
800 for the use of 20 cubic metres of water while those in low density
suburbs pay on average $2 561 300 for the same amount of water.

The amounts would automatically change when Zinwa effects new prices in
response to the increase in the price of aluminium sulphate.

Eng Mutezo told journalists yesterday during a Press briefing in Marimba
that Zinwa had no choice but to adjust the price of water in order to
continue providing the service.

"Zimphos has increased the price of aluminium sulphate by 500 percent. This
means we have to readjust our water prices to enable us to continue
supplying the water. We are going to look at the water prices again," he

Eng Mutezo, his deputy Cde Walter Mzembi and senior Zinwa and ministry
officials visited Marimba to assess progress on the laying of the Lochnivar
to Marimba pipeline.

The bigger pipe is expected to boost water deliveries to the Marimba
reservoirs, which feed Budiriro and Glen View, the perennial water shortage

Eng Mutezo apologised to residents for the huge bills that they received
last month, which he attributed to errors and failure by consumers to repair
leaking taps.

He said residents with abnormal bills running into millions should visit
Zinwa offices for investigations.

Eng Mutezo said high-density households without functional water meters
would be charged for the use of 40 cubic metres that is around $1,7 million.

"Zinwa also wishes to advise residents that it is currently going through a
transitional period where it is still integrating some of the systems that
it inherited from local authorities hence hiccups are bound to occur during
such processes," he said.

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Conflicting reports over MDC women’s meeting

By Lance Guma
29 October 2007

The long running saga over the dissolution of the MDC Women’s Assembly,
formerly led by trade unionist Lucia Matibenga, is far from over despite the
election of a new executive at the weekend. There were claims that Matibenga
mobilized over a thousand party youths to try and disrupt the congress in
Bulawayo after all 12 party provinces allegedly shunned nominating her for
re-election. Reports that there were ugly scenes of violence have been
dismissed as untrue with the new women’s chair, Theresa Makone, saying the
pro-Matibenga youths were only chanting slogans outside but never engaged in
any violence.

Delegates are said to have asked the police to move the rowdy demonstrators
away, but the police declined to get involved. Makone said this forced them
to change venue and hold the congress at the party headquarters in Bulawayo.
Evelyn Masaiti who was reported to be at the centre of most personal clashes
with Matibenga during their reign, managed to retain her position as
Secretary General of the assembly. In an interview with Newsreel on Monday
Makone dismissed reports she was elected by only 60 delegates during a
‘kangaroo congress’ at Vice President Thokozani Khupe’s restaurant in the

Makone insisted there were more than 200 women who attended and that reports
that Matibenga was barred from the meeting were untrue. She claims Matibenga
refused to attend the meeting after realizing she did not have a single
nomination from any of the provinces. Makone said the delegates had lunch at
Khupe’s restaurant soon after the meeting. Tearing into Matibenga’s claims
that she was elected by over 3000 people and yet was being removed by about
231 delegates, Makone claimed this was not true. She said in the 2000
elections that voted Matibenga into power only the provincial and district
structures took part and the same people had voted her out.

Matibenga’s camp meanwhile has a different version of events and says there
were no elections at the weekend. They claim vote buying prior to the
meeting culminated in only a select group of delegates meeting at Khupe’s
restaurant to appoint each other to positions in the women’s executive. No
elections took place as there were no candidates contesting, it is claimed.
The High Court on Friday ordered the women’s congress to decide Matibenga’s
fate and her campaigners argue the provincial and district structures that
met did not constitute the ‘women’s congress’.

In an interview with the Zimbabwe Times Matibenga insisted her executive was
still intact and reports that she had been deposed were mischievous. ‘The
women’s assembly has not been disbanded, in fact, we are doing what I can
call gap-filling to occupy positions that were previously held by people
such as Masaiti, who have deserted the women’s assembly. Where have you seen
a congress attended by 60 people? That was a kangaroo congress,’ Matibenga
fumed. She told the website her assembly still had the support of youths and
various other key stakeholders.

A source close to events has said Matibenga was offered a position as Deputy
National Chairperson of the party, but she declined the post. Since the
death of National Chairman Isaac Matongo, Matobo Member of Parliament
Lovemore Moyo has been Acting Chairman. The MDC is in the process of making
that appointment substantive. The source said that in an effort to keep a
lid on the internal feud MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai sent emissaries to
sound out Matibenga on being Moyo’s deputy. Matibenga is however said to be
determined to defend her stance that she was unlawfully removed.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Is Zimbabwe ready for the earthly departure of its “father”?

African Path


October 29, 2007 11:16 AM

By Mufaro Stig Hove (Rev.):


Like I wrote in my latest submission “Why The SADC/Mbeki Initiatitive
cannot and will not solve Zimbabwe’s problems”(14 October, 2007), the real
tragedy is the very acute suffering of the humble, lovely people of Zimbabwe
.Don’t ask the State President of South Africa ! Don’t ask the illegitimate
Executive President of Zimbabwe! Talk to the common person on the ground
inside or outside Zimbabwe and you will hear of the unbelievable abuse of
the people of Zim! My focus this time is what we have slowly become because
of the humanitarian disaster occurring between the Limpopo and the Zambezi .

What are the psychological effects of having a single, arrogant
foreigner presiding with an iron fist over the affairs affecting 14 million
“immobilised” citizens? What will it be like when the Creator suddenly
removes this unique dictator? How He will remove him is not the subject of
this particular submission.

A brave body-guard may I “take him out” the Laurent Kabila way!

Or the heart that has been faithful for the past 84 years may suddenly
“call it a day”. No-one will be shocked if either happens. Suffice to say
Robert Gabriel Mugabe (Matibili) will be officially confirmed as having
joined those of his age (and younger) who had “gone before him”.

I was taught at the United College of Education in Bulawayo in 1976
that “Learning is a change of behaviour that results from experiences that
one goes through.” If there is a change in behaviour because of specific
experiences, then we say learning has taken place. I read in a book on
Education that a certain Scholar by the name of Pavlov experimented with a
group of dogs (or is it a pack of dogs?)

Over a length of time he would ring a bell whenever he gave the dogs
food. This went for so long that the dogs would salivate whenever they heard
the sound of the bell. He sustained this practice until he was sure all the
dogs salivated profusely as mentioned.

Then he radically changed the procedures!

He would give the dogs food without ringing the bell and would ring
the bell at odd times and not give the dogs anything to eat. He observed
that for some time the dogs would still salivate when the bell was rung but
one by one the dogs stopped salivating. This, Pavlov observed, showed
something very important.

This clearly showed that animals (including humans) can be made to
associate various sounds, objects etc with certain outcomes and then re-act
sub-consciously in certain predictable manners. This he called
“Conditioning.” So the dogs were conditioned to associate the bell with food
hence the salivating.

To the dogs, the bell meant food!

To re-enforce the expectations, Pavlov did not disappoint the dogs
when the bell was rung. Conditioning resulted from the dependability of the
“signal”. The bell signalled the “arrival” of food and for sure this was
made completely reliable. There was no doubt in the minds of the dogs that
the bell was just “ONE AND THE SAME THING” with delicious food.

Then the dogs’ mindsets were completely “distabilized!”

Food came without the “fun-fare” and the bell could sound and no food
appeared! So slowly but surely the animals learnt that apparently the sound
of the bell and the appearance of food were not related in any way! What
happened here is called “de-conditioning!” The animals reverted to the
previous state where the bell and food had nothing in common at all! Another
interesting form of conditioning is manifested when a cat flees whenever the
maid knocks at the door and then enters the house.

Certain listeners phoned the “Radio Station 702” and asked whether
their cats were “racist”. Why did they immediately flee to hide as far as
possible when the black maid appeared? I was relieved when another caller
gave this very convincing reason!

Whenever the maid came, she would at some time use the “hoover” and
this loud-sounding device would scare the poor cat and she would flee like
crazy! Incidentally it is known that a cat hears sounds 40 times more than a
human being. What this means is that the sound of the “hoover” is picked by
the cat 40 times louder than what we humans hear! I’m not the one who proved
that: experts say so!

So the cat flees as soon as the maid appears and returns when the maid
is gone! Fantastic! Nothing to do with racism! Pure conditioning! If the
maid came numerous times and did not use the ‘hoover” it can be safely
assumed that the cat would cautiously return while the maid is still around
or better still, not flee at all at her arrival! A researcher would be
needed to verify this but it seems logical!


There is no doubt in anybody’s mind that Robert Gabriel Mugabe is at
the very centre of the Zim story (whether you call it a tragedy, a crisis or

He is at the centre because he is the one who addresses the Central
Committee and the Congresses of the so-called “Ruling Party” (ZANU-PF) and
he is the one who gives Policy and Direction and both ZANU-PF and Government
follow what he will have given as “guidance.”(You may have noticed that I
never refer to Robert Mugabe as President, neither do I believe that ZANU-PF
is the legitimate RULING PARTY!

ZANU-PF is in reality an Opposition Party which uses various
“arm-twisting tactics” to remain power illegitimately! Morgan Tsvangirai is
the true President of Zimbabwe and his original MDC is the true ruling

This however is only academic but must nevertheless bravely noted!
Lets return to the story of Robert Mugabe being at the centre of the Zim
story: I would need to do a separate submission to relate how Mr. Mugabe has
developed into the influential person that he is! Suffice to say that Mr
Mugabe is to ZANU-PF what an Oasis is to one stranded in a desert! Robert
Mugabe (as someone observed) is the glue that keeps ZANU-PF together.

I have a book with many of the speeches he gave at various Central
Committee meetings especially from after the 2000 Referendum (where ZANU-PF
clearly lost to the NCA/MDC) and he, more often than not, started by saying
that he was aware of the “apathy” etc that was creeping into “The Party” and
he had brought words of Encouragement etc. In one speech he reminded the
delegates that they had to find “comfort” in the fact the whole range of
Security Forces were “on their side.”

He specifically said he was disappointed that the Mayors of the major
cities and towns were in the hands of what he called “enemies. “Something
has to be done about it,” he specifically said. The unceremonious removal of
the MDC Mayor of Harare (Engineer Elias Mudzuri) was a specific directive
from none other than Mugabe himself.

The unceremonious removal of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority
Chief Executive (the youthful world-respected Engineer Simbarashe
Mangwengwende) was straight from the same Robert Mugabe.

The truth, therefore, is that the running of the country appears to
the simple as de-centralized but in reality is in the hands of one man and
his dangerous Central Intelligence Organisation (the CIO.) Many, including
Eng Mangwengwende, relate how they received visits from certain young men
who advised them to “change” and behave in a certain ways or risk losing
their livelihoods. Engineer Mangwengwende did personally pay a visit to Cde
Mugabe at State House where he thought he had convinced him on the lack of
wisdom in selling the Hwange Power Stations to an outsider.

He returned to Electricity House (ZESA HEADQUARTERS) confident that
Cde Mugabe would communicate with the then Non-Executive Board Chairman
Sidney Gata so they would inform the Malasyian Company that the “deal” was
no longer going ahead as planned. Hadn’t he, as the Custodian of the Company
Affairs and Properties not spoken to the very Executive President of the
country and all was, therefore, clear after all! Lo and behold, surprise,
surprise: two young men came to his 10th floor office and asked him why he
was not co-operating with the Government-appointed Board Chairman Sidney
Gata on the supposed sale of ZESA Power Stations to the Malaysian Company

Was he not aware that Mr. Solomon Tavengwa had been removed from the
Chairmanship of the ZESA Board because of this very issue? Was he prepared
to risk “following in his foot-steps”? Eng Mangwengwende said to me that he
confidently replied them that they were “behind news”. He had already spoken
to “His Excellency” and all was understood. The young men in “dark glasses”
informed him that they were aware of his meeting with “The Chef” but they
were still insisting that he be aware of the consequences of “fighting” Dr

The young men left and what happened to Eng Simbarashe Mangwengwende
is sad history that would require the “deposed” Chief Executive himself to
narrate. Also ask Engineer Elias Mudzuri how he was removed by heavily armed
men from Harare Town House. Eng Mudzuri used to work even in the middle of
the night seeing the City workmen repairing roads, filling pot-holes, etc.
To tell the whole world the truth, there was absolutely no reason for
Engineer Mudzuri’s removal from the Executive Mayorship of the Capital City
of Zimbabwe!

Mugabe was too embarrassed to be “a tenant” under an MDC Mayor!

Five years after Mudzuri’s illegal removal, Cde Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki
had the guts to hypocritically and mischievously announce to the world (only
this year) that ZANU-PF believed they were a Democratic Party which
respected the wishes of the people and the evidence was that MDC Mayors were
happily and efficiently running the affairs of Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare,
Gweru, Kwekwe, Masvingo, Chitungwiza etc. What the dangerous South African
“sweet-talker” omitted to mention was that the same “democratic ZANU-PF” had
through the ruthless, cold, adulterous Ignatious Chombo “deposed” the Harare
, Mutare and Chitungwiza City Fathers.“The long and the short” of it is that
ZANU-PF has been effectively supervised closely by Mr. Robert Gabriel Mugabe
and the extremely huge “Politburo” and Cabinet are just window-dressing
tactics to make it appear as if there some semblance of Democracy in both
ZANU-PF and by extension, in Zimbabwe!

Ask Dr Simba Makoni, ask Mr July Moyo…the list is endless!

Is Robert Mugabe sure when he says Dr Simba Makoni has been a
 “failure” in every assignment that he was given? Mr Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki
must be ashamed to be used to convey such stinking trash to the world!Did Dr
Simba Makoni fail as Executive Secretary of the former SADCC (now SADC) when
he was based in Gaberone , Botswana ?

Then if Dr Simba Makoni was a failure as Minister of Finance, how is
Dr Gideon Gono not a failure as Central Bank Governor when he is trying the
same policies that Dr Simba Makoni was suggesting? But the failure of those
policies (if Dr Gono has failed), have absolutely nothing to do with the
policies themselves.

Who can be successful when operating under an accomplished wizard like
Robert Mugabe? Robert Mugabe tells President Thabo Mbeki about an expected
outcry if Dr Sidney Sekeramayi was declared his successor! What a load of
stinking human waste! So Mugabe will be periodically advising “his” people
after he is dead on when to express “outrage” and when to accept whatever is
before them!

Cde Thabo Mbeki should be completely ashamed to convey such filthy

Cde Thabo Mbeki please don’t be used so sheepishly by this Malawian
Wizard, Robert Matibili!

Then the Malawian Wizard goes further to say that Emmerson Munangagwa
cannot be President because he lost to the MDC twice!

Well and fine!

Question number one: Why continue appointing him to Ministerial posts
when the man is such a loser?

Question number two: Why are you Robert Matibili avoiding a legal
challenge to your dubious 2002 Electoral Victory? The reason is because you
are a worse loser than your rival Emerson Munangagwa.

Please give us a break!

(By the way I believe Zimbabwe would be much worse off under Emmerson
Munangagwa than under Robert Matibili!

Ask the now severely crippled Godfrey Majonga presently writhing in
perpetual pain at Danhiko Centre!)IN CONCLUSION:We have had Mr Robert
Gabriel Mugabe (correctly known as Matibili) for the past 40 years.

He has led us before Independence and after Independence!

What have we learnt from our associating with him? Like Pavlov’s dogs,
what will happen to us when the name Robert Mugabe is mentioned?

Do you feel confident and assured or do you shiver with trepidation
lest someone behind you see you spit and vomit at the mention of his name?
Are we aware that one day he will be in a Casket at some Funeral Home like
everyone else? Has he prepared us for a day when the day will be shining on
his “Golden Tomb”?

Why can he not learn from Cde Nelson Mandela who left the Presidency
while the masses still cried for him to continue?

What kind of a father has Robert Mugabe/Matibili been to us the
millions he has claimed to Mr. Tony Blair as “belonging” to him?

In short, yes, we have been “conditioned” for the past four decades to
various emotions, fears, attitude postures etc?






Respectfully Submitted,
Rev Mufaro Stig Hove.

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African Surgeons Provides Relief to Cataract Patients


By Derek Moyo
29 October 2007

The current political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe has severely affected
hospitals and other public service providers..  Essential drugs such as
painkillers are in short supply and many medical personnel have left the
country in search of money, status and safety. Despite the demand for
Zimbabwean doctors and nurses overseas, some have remained home to assist
their fellow countryman. From Harare,  reporter Derek Moyo takes a look at
one medical professional who’s bringing relief to thousands who never
thought they’d see another day.

The 22-year-old woman had not seen her mother in years, and had never seen
her own baby.  Her life changed the moment Dr. Solomon Guramatunhu traveled
to her village in Ndola, Zambia, and removed her cataracts.

He recounts the experience..

"You can imagine,he said, "this is somebody who is now totally blind, has
given birth and [she] had not seen their child and had not seen her mother
for 3 years. When we operated on her, she opened her eyes. She could see her
child for the very first time and could see her mother again. I can never
forget her face. She just could not believe it and then she smiled and she
started crying and everybody around started crying."

The young woman is just one of thousands who’ve had their futures brought
back into focus by Dr. Guramatunhu and fellow colleagues of the Eyes for
Africa program.

Cataracts occur when any part of the primary focusing mechanism, the
crystalline lens behind the iris,  becomes cloudy, opaque or yellow. This
result is the failure of the lens to let in light, and vision is reduced or

For paying clients,  the 30-minute operation would cost about 55 million
Zimbabwe dollars For the continent’s poor, the service is free.


Dr Guramatunhu estimates that one percent of all Zimbabweans is blind – and
an overwhelming majority of the cases are due to cataracts.

Many of those affected are elderly people with children who have died of
AIDS.  As surviving grandparents, they are expected to look after the
children.  But because of their own blindness, it’s sometimes the other way

"In the rural areas today," he said, "we talk of a double tragedy because we
have elderly people, grandmothers, grandfathers who have lost off spring due
to hiv/aids, so they become the custodians of the orphans. The grandparents
then go blind because of cataracts, which means they can not look after
those orphans. [So] you end up with these little children looking after
their grandparents, and most of them then opt out of school to be able to
look after [them]."


So far, over 10, 000 people, including the elderly, have been helped.

They include between 100 and 120 people over the three-day periods Dr
Guramatunhu allots for travel to rural areas.

He says logistical problems prevent the doctors from reaching more people.

" A lot of these people cannot afford the bus fare to come to the hospital."
he said. "….The ordinary person, if you have a grandmother or grandfather
has cataracts or is blind, we do expect you to do your bit maybe provide
them transport to come to the clinic."


Most of those helped are the disadvantaged.

In contrast, the well-known ophthalmologist has led a life of relative
privilege, with a costly education in Scotland cushioned by scholarships.

He said, "If you speak to a lot of people who today are privileged,
somewhere along the line they would have obtained assistance from somebody
else.  So I think, privilege comes with responsibility.  One can help in
various ways and I think everybody is in a position to help somebody else
regardless of their status."

Today, Dr Guramatunhu is an honorary lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe
and has his own private eye surgery in Harare.

During a stint in government, he helped convince medical aid societies to
purchase eye equipment so that local people no longer had to travel to South
Africa for cataract surgery and laser treatment.


Dr. Guramatunhu’s own future means expanding the number of operations, and
the number of countries, Eyes for Africa can cover.

The group conducts up to 5,000 operations per year, but the Zimbabwean
ophthalmologist would like to see that number doubled, or even tripled.

For this, the soft-spoken doctor has a new hat – as aggressive fund-raiser.

His group has been raising money in various countries to ensure that more
people have their sight restored.  Dr Guramatunhu said this year several
golf tournaments have raised millions of Zimbabwean dollars.  Rotary clubs
in Zimbabwe and South Africa have offered generous support to the program.

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Institute for War & Peace Reporting

ZANU-PF Leadership Divisions Mount
Growing evidence of split in ruling party over its candidate for
presidential election next year.

By Jacob Nhlanhla in Bulawayo (AR No. 140, 25-Oct-07)

With ZANU-PF stalwarts distancing themselves from the intensive campaign by
war veterans to ensure President Robert Mugabe holds onto power, all is
clearly not well in the ruling party, say analysts.

These signs of division within the party over who will govern Zimbabwe come
just two months before ZANU-PF meets to choose its presidential candidate
for what many here see as a watershed poll next year.

The veteran leader turns 84 next February and has already shown his
willingness to stand for another term despite being in power since 1980 and
having presided over the collapse of the country’s once-model economy. He is
one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders.

The war veterans, erstwhile heroes of Zimbabwe’s 1970s war of liberation,
are already planning what they have termed the “million men march” to
support Mugabe’s stay in power. Since 2000, when the expropriation of
white-owned commercial farms intensified, the war veterans have been Mugabe’s
most vocal and violent supporters. Their support has become even more vocal
in the wake of public spats within ruling party ranks over who will take the
party to the next generation.

The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, ZINLWA - a
belligerent force that has since been incorporated by the authorities into
an official reserve army - began staging marches across the country two
months ago, campaigning for Mugabe as the only ZANU-PF candidate.

Leader of the war veterans Jabulani Sibanda was suspended from the party
after his alleged participation in an attempted 2004 palace coup to oust
Mugabe. However, he claims that Mugabe orchestrated his return to the party
fold “through the back door”.

But when the veterans this month took their march to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s
second largest city, deep cracks within the ruling party emerged.

Situated in the heart of Matabeleland, Bulawayo is home to former members of
ZAPU, Zimbabwe African People’s Union, who, after being crushed during the
Gukurahundi confrontation of the 1980s and swallowed up in the 1987 Unity
Accord, became loyalists of the ruling ZANU-PF.

When Sibanda took his campaign to Bulawayo, an opposition Movement of
Democratic Change, MDC, stronghold, where local ruling party heavyweights
would have been expected to rally behind him, former ZAPU stalwarts ignored
him. Vice-president Joseph Msika has distanced himself from the marches and
is one of several politicians to have criticised Sibanda’s involvement in
Mugabe’s campaign, although he still insists he is behind Mugabe.

"Sibanda was expelled from the party a long time ago. He has no mandate to
campaign for the party or its president. He has to stop," said Msika early
this month after Sibanda led the Bulawayo march in support of Mugabe, adding
that he would not join the maverick war veterans’ leader in his marches in
support of Mugabe’s 2008 candidacy.

Msika is said to be a former confidant of the late Joshua Nkomo, leader of
ZAPU who forged the Unity Accord with Mugabe in 1987 and became Zimbabwe’s
vice-president under Mugabe until his death in 1999.

Mugabe increasingly seems to be sidelining these former ZAPU stalwarts who
he sees as a stumbling block to his unbridled ambition to be the country’s
life president. In the ongoing war veterans’ campaign, they have been
declared enemies of the president. This has not gone down well with these
senior politicians who have also voiced their opposition to the former
fighters’ leader, Sibanda.

In another sign that Sibanda has only succeeded in estranging Mugabe from
his erstwhile comrades from ZAPU, these Matebeleland politicians have
reportedly sought an audience with Mugabe “to remind him of the Unity

Though the officials have tried to play down these reports, Sibanda seems to
have confirmed his place in the party’s internal squabbles with questions
being asked by some Bulawayo-based war veterans how somebody who was
expelled from the party could lead the so-called solidarity marches in
support of Mugabe, according to some media reports here.

These differences have arisen against the background of the Southern African
Development Community, SADC, efforts to broker the troubled nation’s crisis.
Analysts insist war veterans are throwing spanners in the works because one
of the sticking points of the negotiations between ZANU-PF and the
opposition MDC is Mugabe’s exit.

“We are in for a long wait in the solving of the crisis with the war
veterans throwing their weight behind Mugabe when everybody else seems to
see the future of the country without him,” a Bulawayo-based political
commentator told IWPR.

“The divisions rocking ZANU-PF do not point to any reforms as long as the
war veterans march across the country supporting Mugabe, without…letting the
party congress decide the party’s [presidential] candidate.”

It is generally believed that the former ZAPU leadership is fed up with
Mugabe and would rather have another leader come December. Indications are
that they support the faction led by retired army commander General Solomon
Mujuru in the internal ZANU-PF power struggle.

Mugabe says he will stand because he does not want the party to be divided
over who will take over from him, yet the nationwide marches seeking to
impose him as the party’s candidate for next year’s polls appear to be doing
just that.

“This is just what the country does not need,” said a Jesuit priest who has
lived in Zimbabwe for over thirty years and a close Mugabe watcher.

“If only people were left to choose their leaders, the marches [by war
veterans] would not have any relevance. But then Zimbabwe offers many bad
examples of how war veterans have been empowered by politicians who seek to
pursue power for power’s sake.”

Zimbabwe’s war veterans have in the past been accused of fomenting political
violence ahead of elections, and their endorsement of Mugabe before the
ruling party’s congress in December points to the possibility of another
election marred by violence.

Already, human rights organisations here say they have recorded an
escalation of politically-motivated violence in recent months. One faction
of the divided MDC has already indicated it could be pulling out of the
South Africa-mediated talks with ZANU-PF if state-sponsored violence is not

Observers say that if war veterans can browbeat party officials as they did
in Bulawayo, ordinary voters remain at their mercy as they seek Mugabe’s

Jacob Nhlanhla is the pseudonym of an IWPR journalist in Zimbabwe.

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ZimConservation September/October Newsletter

Dear ZimConservation subscriber,

Firstly we would like to thank
IdeaWild for a generous grant to help us with some computer facilities and keep ZimConservation running. As requested by one subscriber, this month we will be linking all headlines directly back to the ZimConservation site. Last week we had nearly 1000 unique visitors to the site, and 3000 page views, indicating that people are finding the site a useful resource, thanks for all your support. The forum section was not very popular, so we have re-purposed it as link section pointing out to environmental grants, prizes, news, sites of interest and tour operations. If you have a web connection I urge you to have a look at the site and a new video up on the homepage about Zimbabwe's wildlife tragedy. 

2 November - Calling All Environmental Journalists!... Deadline: 2 November 2007 Environment Africa and the Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG) invite you to submit published articles/broadcast programmes for consideration for the Environmental Reporter of the 3rd Quarter of 2007.

27 October - Thanks a million Mr. Mugabe: Zimbabwe on the brink of economic meltdown... After bribery, deception and a perilous journey, Maurice Gerard became that rarest of things: a foreign correspondent in Zimbabwe. He describes a world of 7,600 per cent inflation and a nation of millionaires who can afford nothing. [Ed: a refreshingly descriptive piece in the dialy mail about life in Zimbabwe, mentions wildlife problems cause by Zim Refugees in SA]

24 October - Zambezi Society appeals for international members to re-join. Click here to find out more.

23 October - Wooden Carvings Confiscated... The Forestry Commission has intensified efforts to curb deforestation in Mashonaland East Province through the confiscation of artefacts made from indigenous trees.

22 October - Forestry Company to Assume New Name.... The Forestry Company of Zimbabwe has rebranded in an exercise that will see it changing its name to Allied Timber Holdings of Zimbabwe.

14 October - 'Come to Zimbabwe for a holiday ... please'... The shops are empty, petrol is only available on the black market, and the country's once abundant wildlife is under threat from hungry poachers — so come to Zimbabwe for a holiday. Exhibitors at a four-day tourism fair in Harare made no bones about the difficulties they face selling the country as a destination. "Zimbabwe is treated with strong suspicion, as if it's another part of the world in the mould of Darfur," said one, who has taken part in government-sponsored promotions abroad.

13 October - Bees could help protect elephants... Hives of angry bees could provide a low-tech way of protecting endangered African elephants, scientists said. Researchers found many elephants fled immediately on hearing the sound of the buzz of bees but ignored a control recording of natural white-noise.

12 October - Suspected Zambian Poacher Shot Dead in Country... A poacher, suspected to be Zambian, has been shot dead in Zimbabwe, while his three accomplices who fled the wildlife scouts' dragnet have been arrested and detained by Livingstone police.11

October - Authority Gets 35 Vehicles for Combating Poaching... Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has acquired 35 Land Cruisers worth US$862 000 for combating poaching.

1 October - Tobacco Stains:The global footprint of a deadly crop... The past decade has seen a remarkable shift in the way Americans view cigarette smoking. Since the massive tobacco litigation settlements began in 1997, the federal government has phased out support for tobacco farming, states and cities have enacted public smoking restrictions, and the number of smokers has steadily declined.

1 October - Authority Investigates Crocodile, Fish Deaths... The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority is investigating the death of two crocodiles and hundreds of fish at Sondelani Ranch in West Nicholson, an official said yesterday. [Ed: If air-breathing crocodiles and sharptooth catfish died too this was poisoning, not de-oxygenated water... the workers should have been stopped from eating the dead animals].

Download the October/November copy of Birdlife Zimbabwe's Babbler Newsletter.

29 September - Wildlife decimated as govt policy kills beef industry... Zimbabwe Conservation Taskforce chairperson Johnny Rodriques said poaching had increased dramatically because of a shortage of beef, spawned by a government directive in June to slash prices and the subsequent withdrawal of licences from private abattoirs. This has seen a spike in sales of game meat, the bulk of which is obtained illegally through a network of well-connected poachers.

29 September - Chinese disappear from Byo pipeline project... A Chinese company contracted by the government to lay a pipeline linking Mtshabezi and Mzingwane dams has disappeared from the scene, despite claims by the state that it was working flat out to solve a crippling water crisis in Bulawayo.

29 September - Meet the new UN Commission on Sust. Dev. chairman.... Not so many months ago, we joined progressive environmental interest groups and individuals in agonizing over the appointment of Zimbabwe, and in particular environment and Tourism Minister to chair the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development.

28 September - African women conservation leaders... The Africa Section of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) presents a novel initiative aimed at highlighting the leadership abilities of African women in environmental conservation. This is based on the goal of the SCB Africa Section's Young Women Conservation Biologists' (YWCB) group, which is to advance career opportunities for young African women in conservation biology

27 September - Foreign banks can go: Mangwana... A cabinet minister this week said financial institutions unwilling to comply with a proposed indigenisation law could leave the country, charging that government would not back down from its plans to force foreign-owned companies to cede control to locals.

25 September - 'Embrace Land Reform'... Operators in the lucrative wildlife conservancy industry -- which has been dominated by whites since independence -- have been urged to embrace Government's land reform and resettlement programme if they are to continue to safely operate in the sector.

24 September - $11bn Raised for Rebuilding of Nursing Training School... Nearly $11,5 billion in cash and pledges was raised in Masvingo at the weekend during a fund-raising function for the reconstruction of the destroyed Chikombedzi Hospital Nursing Training School in Chiredzi. Some of the money was raised from an auction of wildlife donated by operators in the province.

24 September - Giraffe saved from hungry crowd in Zimbabwe... Hungry Zimbabweans threatened to kill and eat a giraffe after it wandered towards the outskirts of the capital Harare, it has emerged. Scores of people rushed to the scene after the adult giraffe entered Seke district from surrounding farmland. Police said several wanted to butcher the animal "for the pot", according to the state-owned Herald newspaper.

24 September - Chipangali - hope for Zimbabwe's wildlife.... The extent some wildlife conservationists in this world care for or have passion in nature is really amazing.

24 September - Chiefs Urged to Help Preserve Environment... [Ed: a pretty dull article, but just for old-times sake it has a nice use of that very Zimbabwean word "conscientise"...]

21 September - Zim instability halts peace park project... Responding to public questions at the National Geographic Society yesterday the president of Botswana, Festus Mogae, said that implementation of Peace Parks between Zimbabwe and Botswana were 'on ice' primarily due to concerns about uncontrolled poaching and foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks in Zimbabwe

21 September - Nhema Bankrolls Gospel Compilation... Enviroment and Tourism Minister Cde Francis Nhema has bankrolled musical groups in Shurugwi to the tune of $1 billion to record a gospel compilation album entitled Rwendo Rwekutenda. [Ed: assuming this is Nhema's 'personal' money I had no idea that environment ministers in Zimbabwe earned so much that they have billions of dollars in disposable income to give to entertainers... I smell a rat]

21 September - Intervene, Thwart Poaching, Police Urged.... Hurungwe Rural District Council has called on the police to swiftly intervene and thwart poaching that claimed two elephants early this month.

20 September - Government Withholds Water to Bulawayo... The Zimbabwe government has been accused of holding back water supplies from Bulawayo, after revelations that a nearby dam would have enough reserves to serve the city for 18 months, if plans were made to access the water.

19 September - Individual Convicted for Carrying Printed E-Mail Message Critical of President And Vice-President... [Ed: this doesn't have much to do with conservation, but it appears that it is a crime to even read things that the president might find offensive - SO IF YOU LIVE IN ZIMBABWE DON"T PRINT THIS PAGE]

19 September - Border Timbers Employees Abscond for Gold And Diamonds... Labour shortages have dealt a hammer blow to Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed Border Timbers Limited (BTL), as employees abscond its timber plantations in favour of the lucrative gold panning and diamond mining.

19 September - Parks Eye Restaurant Chain... The Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (PWMA) yesterday unveiled plans to develop its restaurants around the country's national parks and bring them under a new brand called Water Buck.

13 September - Stakeholders Begin Putting Out Dumpsite Fire... The City of Harare together with Environment Africa and other stakeholders yesterday started extinguishing fire at the Pomona dumpsite that is producing a lot of toxic fumes into the atmosphere.

12 September - National Parks Starts Dehorning Rhinos in Hwange... The National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority of Zimbabwe said yesterday it had started dehorning rhinos in Hwange National Park in an effort to deter poaching of one of the world's endangered species.

6 September - Open Fire Ban Long Overdue... The banning of open fires for the next three months by Government this week should send strong signals to those who play with fire and destroy our environment that their time is up.

4 September - FIFA to inspect Zimbabwe's host capacity ahead of 2010 World Cup... A delegation of FIFA officials will arrive here Monday to assess the country's capacity to host visitors for the 2010 World Cup to be hosted in South Africa. "The FIFA officials will assess the capacity of Zimbabwe to host visitors for 2010," Karikoga Kaseke, chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), said in a statement.

3 September - Parks Spending US$25 000 Monthly On Water for Jumbos... THE Parks and Wildlife Management Authority is spending about US$25 000 per month on water game supply for elephants alone at the Hwange National Park as the species' population increases, it has been learnt. Hwange National Park, which is the third biggest in Africa, is the only park in the region providing artificial water supplies. According to experts, neighbouring Botswana does not provide water points at all. In an interview on Friday, Parks director general Dr Morris Mtsambiwa confirmed the situation. [Ed: When reading the article I wouldn't take the $25,000 number very seriously as it is probably the official exchange rate wich is just stupid. In fact most references to currency in Zimbabwe right now are pretty meaningless. In Zimbabwe's barter economy we'd honestly be better of talking about the cost inbags of maize or litres of fuel]

1 September - Hunger takes horrific toll on Harare animals.... The widespread slaughter of wildlife, domestic pets being eaten and donkey meat passed off as beef - these are some of the effects of the chronic food shortages in Zimbabwe.

Download September Birdlife Zimbabwe Babbler Newsletter (pdf)

ALSO -  For those with internet access, check out the new ZimConservation Facebook group and get your friends to join.


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Move the UN to Botswana

 October 29, 2007

Jack Ward

The world yawned as the anniversary of the United Nations (U.N.) came and
went. The reason is simple. The League of Nations and now the U.N. were both
based on the flawed premise that all humans are basically good. There is
ample empirical historical evidence to the contrary. Hitler, Stalin, and Pol
Pot are just a few examples that prove that evil does exist.

The dream of global peace is probably as old as humans. In the aftermath of
World War I, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson worked to create an organization
that recognized political independence and territorial integrity. Wilson’s
dream was The League of Nations. But, World War II reminded us that flowery
speeches and empty rhetoric can not assure either political independence or
territorial integrity. The League of Nations met its predictable fate in
1946 but the utopian dream of world peace prompted the creation of the
United Nations in 1948. The U.N. continued the dream by pledging to promote
peace, security, development and human rights around the world.

The U.N.’s first major attempt to thwart the expansionist goals of an
oppressive government occurred in the 1950’s when Communists in northern
Korea invaded their neighbors in southern Korea. After a couple years of
open warfare, peace negotiations began. A line was drawn along the 38th
parallel and North and South Korea were created. And for over fifty years of
diplomatic gum flapping there are still open hostilities. Yes this is the
same North Korea that threatens to ‘nuke’ LA. This should put to rest
questions of the effectiveness of the U.N. to promote peace around the

The U.N. successes are miniscule and it failures are numerous. So why
continue an organization that fails to meet it prime objective, costs
billions a year, and elevates tyrants and dictators to the level of
civilized people? The U.N. members have seen fit to elected members of U.N.
Commission on Human Rights that have horrible records on human rights. You
might ask, what U.N. members have been selected to be protectors of human
rights? None other than Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, North Korea, and Zimbabwe
were selected to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.

Most of the 191 nations that make up the U.N. are dysfunctional
dictatorships. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez, Robert Mugabe, Kim Jong-il,
and Fidel Castro are all poster boys for dysfunctional governments. Three
dozen of the countries in the U.N. have populations less than a million and
over a dozen have populations under 100,000. Tiny Palau only has about
16,000 people. We have neighborhoods with populations over 16,000, yet these
tiny countries have the same vote as any of the major countries in the U.N.
General Assembly. With 49,000 employees, the U.N. actually employs more
people than many of the nations it represents.

The current 38-story glass walled U.N. Secretariat building is over 50 years
old and is in violation of building, health and safety codes. If the U.N.
building was the headquarters for a U.S. business it would have been
condemned years ago for code violations. The Empire State Building is older
and is still in good shape. The difference is the Empire State building is
privately owned and the U.N. building belongs to a dysfunctional global
governmental entity. The U.N. wanted $1.3 billion to tear down the existing
building and build a new headquarters. What’s worse they wanted to stick the
U.S. taxpayers with a non-collectable loan. Now the UN wants to renovate the
building. A better suggestion would be to sell the U.N. building to Donald
Trump. He would turn it into moneymaking operation in no time.

In New York, U.N. diplomats and aides are notorious for not paying their
parking tickets, stiffing restaurants, and snubbing their noses at local
laws. In my past life I flew into Washington’s National Airport (now Reagan
National Airport) numerous times. Traffic around the airport was always
chaotic. Diplomatic vehicles would park in no parking zones, double and
triple park at loading zones and abandon vehicles in the middle of the road
in order to pick up some potentate. To the diplomatic elite, vehicle laws,
common sense, and common courtesy are nonexistent.

Since the U.N. was created, the U.S. has pored billions of dollars into this
global sinkhole and has received nothing but scorn in return. So it is time
for the U.N. to move to some other country. After selling the existing
property (as mentioned above) the U.N. should be able to build a
headquarters in Botswana or some other third world county. The benefits are
obvious. The chosen third world country would receive a huge financial
boost. The cost to build and maintain would be a fraction of the cost in
Manhattan and the U.S. would no longer be required to cater to these global

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Zimbabwe petition which mentions Malawi forwarded to CHOGM

Nyasa Times, Malawi

Thom Chiumia on 29 October, 2007 02:32:00
Zimbabweans who held a prayer vigil in London and presented a petition
calling on EU governments to suspend government to government aid to Sadc
countries, notably Malawi, until they honour their human rights commitments
to Zimbabwe, have forwarded the same for the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads
of State and Government (CHOGM) summit.

The petition signed by thousands of southern African people was received in
London by Kate Hoey, MP, who passed it on to Prime Minister Gordon Brown who
will be sending copies to all EU and SADC governments.

On suspension of aid, the petition says: "We are not talking here about
humanitarian or food aid but the money, for instance, which paid for the
Robert Mugabe Highway in Malawi. We want this SADC money diverted instead to
feed the starving in Zimbabwe."

Commonwealth heads of government led by the Queen of Great Britain are
expected to discuss good governance when they assemble in Kampala, Uganda,
for a summit in November.
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Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika will attend the summit and is expected
to be shamed with the reception of the petition on behalf of his political
comrade, dictator Robert Mugabe.

The tentative agenda for the summit shows the leaders will focus on
promotion of principles of good governance including democracy, human
rights, freedom of the press and separation of powers among organs of

The summit is also expected to elect a new secretary general, discuss the
criteria of admission of new members and networking among the Commonwealth
for development through information technology.

The discussions would centre on the theme of CHOGM 2007, "Transforming
Commonwealth societies to achieve political, economic and human

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Mention of Chissano's Prize Banned in Beira

Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique (Maputo)

29 October 2007
Posted to the web 29 October 2007


In the elected municipal assembly in Mozambique's second city, Beira,
mention of the country's former President, Joaquim Chissano, seems

While the rest of the country was congratulating Chissano for winning the Mo
Ibrahim prize for Excellence in African Leadership, the chairperson of the
Beira Assembly, Borges Cassucussa, interrupted a municipal deputy and
ordered him to sir down as soon as he had started to praise Chissano.

Beira is one of the few municipalities in Mozambique that is governed by the
former rebel movement Renamo and, although Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama
welcomed the prize, his followers in the Beira assembly preferred to ignore
the event, according to a report in Monday's issue of the newsheet "Diario
de Noticias".

The incident happened when the Assembly was discussing the Beira municipal
budget for 2008. A Frelimo deputy decided to start his speech by mentioning
the Mo Ibrahim prize.

But he got no further than the first couple of sentences before Cassucussa
cut him off, declaring "you have violated the law of our standing orders by
starting your speech with praise for Joaquim Chissano, a matter which has
nothing to do with the theme under debate. Sit down and stop speaking".

This hostile attitude contrasts sharply with the practice in the country's
parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, where deputies frequently start
speeches by alluding to matters which are not connected to the theme under

The municipal budget proposed by the Renamo benches for 2008 was for 149
million meticais (about 5,8 million US dollars) - 7.4 per cent more than
this year. The Frelimo deputies abstained on this budget, arguing that the
Renamo majority had paid no attention to any of Frelimo's objections.

They accused the mayor of Beira, Davis Simango, of doing all in his power
"to please his bosses and his party" since his election in 2003.

Simango defended the budget, saying "it's with this budget that we're going
to improve various infrastructures of our city, such as the rehabilitation
of the roads. The plan for 2008 is not just to fill in potholes, but to
rehabilitate the roads from scratch".

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Civic Groups Press Zimbabwe To Soften Electoral Laws To Allow Voter Drive


      By Carole Gombakomba
      29 October 2007

As Zimbabwe braces itself for presidential, parliamentary and local
elections scheduled for March 2008, some civic groups says they are
restricted by the country's electoral laws to efficiently conduct voter
education programs.

Under the Zimbabwe Electoral Act, civic groups are prohibited from sourcing
foreign funding to carry out their various voter education drives.

Civic groups said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission gave them only two weeks
to carry out voter education programs, throughout the country, before the
2005 parliamentary elections.  Many complained that the time was too short
to effectively educate citizens about the voting process.

National Director Wellington Mbofana of the Civic Education Network Trust
told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe, that time is
fast running out for voter education campaigns to prepare citizens for the
March elections.

Despite the restrictive electoral laws, some civic groups are pressing on
with their voter education drives.

On Saturday, the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition sponsored a "Rock the Vote
Concert," in an effort to mobilize the youth to vote, seen to be oblivious
to the significance of participating in the electoral process.

The organization said its inaugural Alternative Civic and Voter Education
Campaign, aimed to create a peaceful political coexistence, by urging the
youths, often used by  politicians to carry out political violence, to vote
for a worthy cause and become catalysts for positive change.

National Coordinator Jacob Mafume of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition said
his organization started its voter education campaign despite the
prohibitive laws, because they believe  it is vital for potential voters.

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Election of Women's Assembly Exposes Cracks In Zimbabwe Opposition Faction


      By Netsai Mlilo and Jonga Kandemiiri
      Bulawayo and Washington
      29 October 2007

A faction of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change drew
public criticism Monday, from its members and supporters, over the manner it
conducted an extraordinary congress in Bulawayo, to elect a new women's

As of Monday evening, it was still unclear whether or not a new women's
assembly had been established to replace the one led by chairwoman Lucia
Matibenga, dissolved earlier this month.

Many accused the opposition group led by founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai,
of frustrating the election process by withholding information of the venue
for the congress until the last minute, and then changing it without notice.

On Sunday, several hundreds had gathered at the Emakhandeni Hall, initially
named as the venue for the congress, when they discovered that other
delegates were gathered to vote at a restaurant in the city center owned by
the faction's Vice President Thokozani Khupe.  However, police blocked many
from entering the premises on the grounds that it was not the designated
meeting place.

As a result, voting took place at both venues, with delegates at Emakhandeni
Hall voting to reinstate Matibenga and some of her executives, while those
the restaurant reportedly voted Theresa Makone as the new leader.

Correspondent Netsai Mlilo of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe, reported from
Bulawayo that the confusion surrounding the congress had created tension
among members, and anger at the leadership.

Senior Programs Officer Pedzisayi Ruhanya of the Crisis in Zimbabwe
Coalition, told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri, that the situation facing the
women’s assembly at a party level, was a test case for Tsvangirai to show
how he would handle crises at a national level.

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A Cozy Abode


 To which African tyrant does this cozy cottage belong?  There are several who come to mind.  But, alas, this display of gold and tinsel belongs to Robert Mugabe, whose people are suffering from 10,000% inflation for even basic goods that are not available in the market.  Mugabe is, of course, a Marxist.  Hence the healthy state of Zimbabwe's economy.  And also a racist: hence also the healthy state of Zimbabwe's economy.  And, on his side as protector to the south, is the once exhilarating new South Africa now led by Thabo Mbeki, indifferent to democracy both in his own country and in others.

The cinema screen in the last photo is for Mugabe to watch home movies.



Attachment: ATT000801.jpg
Posted: Monday, October 29, 2007 4:49 PM with 2 comment(s)
  luispc said:

Well at least in what concerns taste, the man gets what he deserves.

What's the name of that woman from Sunset Boulevard? Anyway, she will feel at home there. I'm already imagining them both on that bathtub, reading Marx and making sure it doesn't get wet.

October 29, 2007 5:19 PM
  teplukhin2you said:

Empire and Louis Quatorze together? Very tacky.

Idea for a website: Homes of the billionaire bandits and kleptocrats enabled by our dependence on foreign oil-- Russian bandityis' villas in London and the Cote d'Azur, Saudi villas in Marbella, Nigerian monstrosities, Chavez's lovenest wherever that is (can't wait to see the design choices in that one)...

October 29, 2007 6:07 PM

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