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Larger 'bribes' for Zimbabweans to return home

Failed asylum seekers from Zimbabwe are being offered £2,000 cash "bribes"
to return home voluntarily despite the Home Office threatening to resume
enforced removals.

By Tom Whitehead, Home Affairs Editor
Published: 6:30PM GMT 29 Oct 2009

The money is part of a resettlement package worth up to £6,000 in "in kind"
assistance for any Zimbabwean who is prepared to return home of their own
free will.

It is far greater than the £4,000 resettlement package, which includes £500
cash, that is offered for failed asylum seekers from other countries.

The Government stopped returning people to Zimbabwe by force three years ago
because it was not considered safe to do so but Phil Woolas, the immigration
minister, has announced he is considering "normalising" returns because of
improvements since President Robert Mugabe agreed to power-sharing
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

More than 6,500 Zimbabweans have applied for political asylum over the last
three years.

Around 925 were granted refugee status, while around 4,500 had their
applications for asylum rejected.

Damian Green, the shadow immigration minister, said: "The Government will
need to be more careful than it has in the past that those who take money
under the voluntary return scheme do not subsequently head back to this

"The principle of voluntary return is fine, but in the past it has proved a
route to wasting taxpayer's money."

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch, added: "It is hard to think of
a better way to encourage the flow of Zimbabweans to Britain.

"This is using taxpayers' money to make the removals numbers look better,
irrespective of its long term impact."

In a written statement to Parliament, Mr Woolas said the situation in
Zimbabwe had got better in the last six months.

He said: "The British Government takes its international responsibilities
seriously and we will continue to grant protection to those Zimbabweans that
need it.

"The situation in Zimbabwe is improving under the Inclusive Government and
we will be looking to normalise our returns policy progressively as the
political situation develops.

"We will continue to provide assistance to those who choose to return
voluntarily - enabling people to support themselves and rebuild Zimbabwe,
which hundreds of Zimbabweans who have already safely returned voluntarily
are doing."

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Protests greet plan to resume forced returns to Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe.

Home Office ministers have issued statements claiming Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe is safe enough to forcibly return failed asylum seekers from UK. Photograph: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

Refugee welfare groups reacted angrily today to statements by Home Office ministers that Zimbabwe isnow safe enough to resume the forcible return of thousands of failed asylum seekers.

The announcement by the immigration minister, Phil Woolas, came as the UN's monitor on torture was forcibly expelled from Harare and Amnesty International warned that the country was "on the brink of sliding back into violence".

Woolas told MPs that he was encouraging Zimbabweans whose asylum application in Britain had been rejected to return home by including a £2,000 cash payment in a total repatriation package of up to £6,000. But he also said the UK Border Agency was resuming work on a programme of enforced returns to Zimbabwe.

"We have always expected those not to be in need of protection to return home. We prefer these individuals to return voluntarily, and the enhancements to the assisted voluntary return scheme will support this," he said. "But where they choose not to do so, we are bound to take steps over time to enforce the law."

Forcible returns to Zimbabwe have been suspended since September 2006, when high court judges ruled that those who could not demonstrate their loyalty to Robert Mugabe's regime would face persecution on their return. It is thought there are more than 10,000 failed asylum seekers from Zimbabwe in Britain. More than 2,000 fled to the UK during Zimbabwe's elections in 2008.

The Home Office statement said there had been "positive changes" in Zimbabwe in the past six months, including an abatement of indiscriminate violence, an availability of basic commodities and improvements in the economy and schools since the formation of the unity government, with Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), as prime minister under President Mugabe.

Refugee groups say only 89 people went back to Zimbabwe under the British government's voluntary returns programme between January and August.

The London-based Refugee Council said the Home Office's judgment on life in Zimbabwe was ludicrous. "In the past few days allegations of arrest, intimidation and harassment of supporters of the MDC and of human rights defenders have been widely reported," said the council's chief executive, Donna Covey. "Our government is showing a cavalier attitude to the safety of refugees who have stood up for democracy and human rights.

"After the farcical attempts to return Iraqis and Afghans in recent weeks against UN advice, it is of great concern that the government are now considering returns to Zimbabwe."

Sandy Buchan, of Refugee Action, also said the move was premature: "We still see more Zimbabweans asking for help and advice than any other single nationality, and many are terrified of returning to their country."

"It is very premature of them to think of forced removals," said Patson Muzuwa, of the Zimbabwe Association, adding that Woolas's statement was intended to pave the way for a programme of forcible removals last attempted in 2004 and 2005

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SADC Troika begins mission in Zimbabwe

By Tichaona Sibanda
29 October 2009

The SADC Troika on Defence, Security and Politics began its fact finding
mission in Harare on Thursday in an effort to narrow the differences between
Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe.

The ministerial mission is being led by Oldemiro Baloi, the Mozambican
Foreign Affairs Minister, Zambia deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Fashion
Phiri and Lutho Dhlamini from Swaziland.

Two South African facilitators to the Global Political Agreement dialogue
have been included in the mission, Frank Chikane and Monjaku Gumbi.

SADC's Executive Secretary, Dr Tomaz Salamao, is also in Zimbabwe and our
Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa said he briefed journalists in the
morning and outlined how the Troika team was going to undertake its mission.

'The team first met Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara before having
another meeting with ambassadors from the SADC region. Salamao said the
Troika will meet with the other two principals in the inclusive government
later in the day,' Muchemwa said.

SADC chairman Joseph Kabila, the President of the Democratic Republic of the
Congo, is expected to fly to Harare from his visit to South Africa, either
on Thursday or Friday. Concerns continue to be raised by observers because
of the fact that Kabila is a very close associate of Mugabe.

The Troika intervention comes in response to MDC-T's disengagement from
government two weeks ago. So far Tsvangirai has boycotted two consecutive
cabinet meetings and has cut all contact with Mugabe and his ZANU PF party,
and says he will maintain that position until all outstanding issues in the
GPA are resolved. However the two did meet on Monday, under the mediation of
Mutambara but that meeting ended in complete deadlock. They are reportedly
still 'worlds apart' over key appointments to government.

Mugabe has also been using his usual strong arm tactics to force the MDC to
either submit to his will or leave government altogether, with renewed
violent attacks on the MDC.

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SADC Commitee Ignores Tsvangirai

      Harare, October 29, 2009 - The visiting Southern African Development
Community (SADC) ministerial committee has amended its programme to
accommodate Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and representatives of
influential civic society organisations after protests.

      The troika, comprising  Foreign Affairs ministers from Zambia, Angola
and Mozambique amended their programme Thursday morning after protests
byTsvangirai and representatives of civic society.

      The troika, which is on a five-day visit in Zimbabwe, had only paid a
courtesy call on ZANU PF leader President Robert Mugabe and had also
excluded meeting representatives of influential civic society organisations
during their consultations in Zimbabwe.

      They also met deputy Prime Minister and a smaller faction MDC leader
Arthur Mutambara.

      The troika is expected to meet the three principals to the Global
Political Agreement (GPA), which led to the formation of the fragile
transitional coalition government on Friday. At the end of their mission the
ministerial team will pay a courtesy call on both Tsvangirai and Mugabe
before leaving the country on Saturday.

      SADC executive secretary Tomaz Salamao told journalists on Thursday
after meeting Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara in Harare that the
mission would look into the current problems bedeviling the unity

      "We have had a meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister Arthur
Mutambara, and we shall meet SADC Diplomats, a meeting with MDC-T and the
ZANU PF representatives. The mission is to review the implementation of the
Global Political Agreement," said Salamao.

      Asked whether the mission had anything to do with the current impasse,
Salamao said: "Obviously, you have to take into consideration what is going
on. You cannot run a review without taking into consideration what is going

      Tsvangirai partially withdrew his MDC party from the eight-month old
administration citing lack of implementation of certain sections of the GPA.

      Mugabe has refused to swear in deputy agriculture minister designate
Roy Bennett and swearing governors from Tsvangirai's party. He has said that
all that ZANU PF was required to do has been fulfilled. He has refused to
terminate Reserve bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono and Attorney General
Johannes Tomana saying their appointments last year were constitutional.

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Deportation of top UN official sparks major diplomatic incident

By Tichaona Sibanda
29 October 2009

United Nations human rights expert, Manfred Nowak, was prevented from
entering Zimbabwe on Wednesday and was deported, after spending the night at
the airport, on the orders of ZANU PF.

Nowak had originally been invited by the government, but at the last minute,
while he was in Johannesburg on his way to Harare, the invitation was
withdrawn, because everyone was 'too busy with the arrival of the SADC team'.
But Prime Minister Tsvangirai sent a personal invitation.

Clarifying the fact that Mr. Tsvangirai has no power in the government at
all, this invitation was completely ignored by authorities. On arrival at
Harare airport Nowak was detained by security officials and told he had no
clearance to enter the country. While he was being detained, Foreign Affairs
Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi was actually at the airport receiving
members of the SADC Troika ministerial team, but neither he, nor the SADC
officials, did anything.

Officials from the Prime Minister's office who rushed to the airport to try
to help were also refused permission to see him. Eventually he was sent back
to Johannesburg. Speaking to journalists in Johannesburg on Thursday, Nowak
said he had never been treated by any government in such a rude manner. He
also called on the UN to take tough action again Zimbabwe.

'That is the end of my mission to Zimbabwe. The mission has been a failure
and I will not be coming back. This was the chance the government had to
talk to the UN,' said Nowak, who had planned a week-long fact-finding
mission to the country.

He added; 'I'm still concerned by serious and credible allegations of
torture, ill-treatment and inhumane prison conditions in the country.

'I was going to speak to all sides in government and NGO's to assist the
government to improve the situation with international donors,' he said.

Speaking to the BBC Nowak said: 'This is a major incident because you can't
on the one hand invite a special rapporteur to meet the prime minister and
on the other hand somebody gives an order to the immigration police not to
let me in.'

Tiseke Kasambala, a Human Rights Watch senior researcher for the
organization's African division told us Nowak's deportation highlighted the
flaws in the GPA. She said the move indicated a slide back into anarchy in
the country.

'It shows us the MDC is not on an equal footing with ZANU PF. Mugabe still
controls the security and all powerful state organs that undermine
Tsvangirai all the way,' Kasambala said.

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“Each hour is critical,” warns UN Special Rapporteur on Torture after being denied entry to Zimbabwe

JOHANNESBURG (29 October 2009) - The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak, remains very concerned about serious and credible allegations of torture, ill-treatment and inhuman prison conditions in Zimbabwe, twenty-four hours after being denied access to the country, contrary to its invitation of 1 October.

"I deeply regret that the Government has deprived me of the possibility to objectively assess the situation of torture and ill-treatment through gathering on the spot evidence from all available sources, including governmental and non-governmental sources, victims and witnesses, as well as visits to various places of detention," said the UN expert. "Each hour is critical."

Mr. Nowak was invited by the Minister of Justice of Zimbabwe, Mr. Chinamasa, to conduct a fact-finding mission to the country from 28 October to 4 November 2009. While in transit in Johannesburg on 27 October, he was informed that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mumbengegwi, had decided on 26 October to postpone the mission.

Waiting in Johannesburg, the Special Rapporteur was informed by letter dated 27 October, that the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, wished to meet him in his office in Harare on 29 October at 10:00 a.m. He was also informed that he would be picked up at Harare Airport by an official of the Protocol Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Consequently, the Special Rapporteur flew to Harare in the evening of 28 October 2009, to meet the Prime Minister and to discuss with different members of the Government how best to conduct the mission under the changed circumstances.

Upon arrival at Harare Airport at 9:20 p.m. on 28 October, the Special Rapporteur and his team were not met by a Protocol Officer, but by the Head of Airport Immigration, Mr. Nabika. Although the Special Rapporteur and his assistants had valid visas, Mr. Nowak was told that his entry was not cleared by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and that, in the absence of such clearance, he would have to fly back to Johannesburg the next morning. He spent the night at the airport and was sent back on the first flight to Johannesburg on 29 October at 7:20 a.m. All efforts by the United Nations, the Prime Minister, his Secretary, and both Co-Ministers of Home Affairs to facilitate Mr. Nowak's entry proved unsuccessful. A high level delegation sent by the Prime Minister to go to the airport was even denied access and told that the Special Rapporteur was no longer held at the airport.

The Special Rapporteur strongly protests against such treatment by the various authorities of the Government of Zimbabwe. He urges the Government to fully investigate this incident and to clarify who bears responsibility for the denial of his access to the country. He will report about these experiences to the Human Rights Council.

Manfred Nowak, appointed Special Rapporteur on 1 December 2004 by the UN Commission on Human Rights, is independent from any government and serves in his individual capacity. He has previously served as member of the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances, the UN expert on missing persons in the former Yugoslavia, the UN expert on legal questions on enforced disappearances, and as a judge at the Human Rights Chamber for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Nowak is Professor of Constitutional Law and Human Rights at the University of Vienna, and Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights.

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Zimbabwe accuses UN representative of sowing division

Africa News
Oct 29, 2009, 16:34 GMT

Harare - The Zimbabwean minister who invited United Nations rapporteur on
torture Manfred Nowak to the country has accused the UN official of trying
to sow division in the country's shaky unity government.

Patrick Chinamasa, a senior member of President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF
party, said he took the last-minute decision to cancel Nowak's visit and
that Nowak's insistence on pressing ahead with the trip was creating 'a very
bad spirit' between Harare and the UN.

'At the last minute, I conveyed through the ministry of foreign affairs that
we were not able to host him at this stage because I have a SADC troika team
in the country and I was going to be busy since I am negotiator,' Chinamasa
told the German Press Agency dpa.

Chinamasa was referring to the three foreign ministers from the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) that are in the country to try to
reconcile Zanu-PF and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), the two partners in the government.

Nowak flew into Harare anyway Wednesday evening on an invitation from
Tsvangirai, but was refused entry at the airport and put on a plane back to

'He (Nowak) should not have come,' Chinamasa said.

'He wants to come on the invitation of the prime minister who has announced
a partial pull-out from the government,' Chinamasa stated. 'What is he
trying to achieve? Cause divisions?'

Nowak's insistence on coming at Tsvangirai's invitation, when 'I am the
minister responsible for human rights in this country, was 'introducing a
very bad spirit into our relationship (Zimbabwe government and the UN).

At the same time, he hoped Nowak, who has declared the mission to have
failed and said he will not return under any circumstance, would 'come in
the near future.'

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Zimbabwe: 'On brink of sliding back into violence' warning - Amnesty International

      Posted: 28 October 2009

      Amnesty International is warning that Zimbabwe is on the brink of
sliding back into the post-election violence that marred the country last
year, risking undermining the stability brought about by the creation of the
unity government in February.

      Amnesty is calling on Southern African Development Community (SADC)
foreign ministers, visiting Zimbabwe on Thursday to assess the eight
month-old unity government, not to ignore the worsening human rights

      In recent weeks, there have been several arrests of civil society
leaders and reports of harassment and intimidation of political opponents by
ZANU-PF supporters in rural areas. In particular, Amnesty has received
reports of increased threats of violence in Mashonaland East and Central
provinces against known supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

      On 25 October, Cephas Zinhumwe, Executive Director of the National
Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO), and Dadirai
Chikwengo, NANGO board chairperson, were both arrested by police in Victoria
Falls after NANGO convened a workshop for NGO directors.

      Amnesty International Africa Programme Director Erwin van der Borght

      'Dozens of human rights and MDC activists are on trial for simply
exercising their internationally recognised rights, including the rights to
freedom of association, peaceful assembly and expression. Some of these
people were victims of enforced disappearance in 2008.'

      Amnesty has urged the SADC ministers to rethink the role of the Joint
Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC), created under the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) establishing the unity government, to ensure the
implementation of the agreement, including its human rights aspects.

      Erwin van der Borght said:

      'JOMIC is ineffective and has fallen victim to political polarisation.
It is very weak and is solely dependent on the good will of the feuding
parties - a recipe for disaster.'

      Amnesty has also challenged the SADC and the African Union to tackle
human rights violations by government bodies under the control of ZANU-PF.
Erwin van der Borght added:

      'Some elements in the unity government continue to persecute perceived
political opponents through unlawful arrests and malicious prosecutions.
This is fuelling tension in the unity government and increasing fear amongst
the people.

      'SADC needs to recognise this recent deterioration in the human rights
situation and tackle it immediately - before it degenerates further.'

      Amnesty said that central to addressing the crisis in Zimbabwe was the
need to rein in the country's security agencies and end the culture of
impunity for human rights violations. Amnesty is calling on the Zimbabwean
government to implement institutional reforms, including reforming the
country's security agencies to ensure that they respect and protect human
rights of all people in Zimbabwe.

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Zimbabwe Election Support Network officers arrested

29 October 2009
By Violet Gonda

Two more members of civil society were arrested this week as the crackdown
on perceived 'opponents' of the State continues.

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network staff members, Thulani Ndhlovu and
Ndodhana Ndhlovu, were arrested on Wednesday evening in Hwange's Dete area,
for conducting a public outreach workshop allegedly without police
clearance. ZESN Board Chairman Tinoziva Bere denied they had conducted an
illegal meeting, saying the group had received permission from the local
traditional leadership and the district administrator's office. He said
Ndodhana was subsequently released but Thulani is still in police custody
and is being charged with contravening a section of the Public Order and
Security Act (POSA).

Bere told SW Radio Africa that a sad pattern is forming in Zimbabwe and
warned that the crackdown which had been 'reluctantly suspended, as a result
of the formation of the inclusive government, was now being resumed.

He said: "It is a tragedy because the path that the GNU was walking was
difficult, unpleasant and frustrating, but at least they were moving in a
positive direction and one would have expected that they would have overcome
their challenges - instead of beginning to reverse the clock and starting to
crackdown on free voices."

Several MDC employees have been under attack since the party announced its
disengagement from ZANU PF on October 16th. The latest incident is the
abduction of  Pascal Gwezere, the MDC's Transport Manager. The MDC said he
was abducted from his home in Harare on Tuesday night by six armed men.
Media reports say Gwezere was on Wednesday dumped at his home, badly beaten
and traumatised.

Two civic leaders from the National Association of Non Governmental
Organisation  (NANGO) were arrested and charged last weekend, ostensibly
under POSA, for holding a "political meeting" in the form of the NGO
Directors' Summer School.  NANGO says this was in spite of the fact that the
internal Directors' Summer School is a meeting it convenes annually to give
NGO leaders the space to generate and share ideas and collective courses of

Bere, who is also a human rights lawyer, said POSA is an unjust law. He
asked: "Why should the police require to give permission to people to hold a
meeting in a country which is liberated and free, and the meeting is for
peaceful processes?"

Meanwhile, on Wednesday a United Nations investigator was detained and
deported by state security agents, even though he had been personally
invited by the Prime Minister.  The deportation took place as the SADC
troika was also arriving in the country for crisis talks with the political

The MDC has called for fresh elections if SADC fails to break the political
deadlock in the country. But the Zimbabwe Election Support Network believes
that the conditions on the ground right now are far from suitable for the
holding of free and fair elections. The ZESN chairman said there is still no
free media, no major reforms and the violence is continuing.

"I don't think Zimbabwe is ready and the partisan nature in which police act
say to us it can only get worse and there will not be a free and fair
election under the current conditions. We needed more reforms, we needed
more restoration of institutions so that they are more independent," said

He said it's shameful that any party could sign to an agreement and one year
on, fails to deliver. "It's a shame that Zimbabweans are led by people who
are so dishonest," blasted the ZESN chairman.

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IMF warns Zimbabwe of increased external deficit

afrol News, 29 October - The International Monetary Fund has commended
Zimbabwe's recovery progress, but has however warned on the large external
current account deficit and increased credit as well as liquidity risks in
the banking system.

During its recent visit to the country, the IMF mission stated that
Zimbabwe's economy has begun to recover in 2009, albeit from a low base.

The mission further noted that since early 2009, the government has broadly
adhered to cash budgeting, achieved a significant improvement in budget
revenue, established a multi-currency system, and largely liberalised prices
and the exchange system, saying as a result of these improved policies, real
GDP is projected to grow by about 3 percent.

The IMF also noted that the credit expansion, led by post-hyperinflation
remonetisation and capital inflows, is supporting economic activity.

"The key challenge going forward is to build the necessary support for
policies that would ensure sustainability of the nascent economic recovery
and improvements in living conditions for Zimbabweans," the mission which
recently its visit to Harare said.

The IMF's Vitaliy Kramarenko, said in a statement that specifically for
Zimbabwe to maintain the progress, political consensus needs to be forged
for continuing cash budgeting, exercising wage restraint while reorienting
expenditures to developmental needs and priority social programmes.

The fund also noted that resolving the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governance
problems and restructuring its balance sheet would be key, while also the
government should enforce the property rights, and maintain the rule of law.

"In light of Zimbabwe's debt overhang and low-income status, the mission
advises the authorities to seek sustained concessional donor financing in
support of their medium-term growth and poverty reduction objectives rather
than relying on non-concessional SDR-related funds," the mission said in a
statement, further adding that the SDR allocation only provided an important
one-off boost to Zimbabwe's depleted international reserves, and should be

The IMF staff has been on regular visits to Zimbabwe as part of the Fund's
agreement for a continued provision of policy advice and targeted technical
assistance. The Fund has also said access by Zimbabwe to IMF lending
facilities would require a sustained track record of sound policies and
donor support for the clearance of arrears to official creditors.

By staff writer

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Aid Agencies Launch Program to Help Zimbabwe Schools


      By Lisa Schlein
      29 October 2009

The International Organization for Migration says nearly 25,000 displaced
children in Zimbabwe will benefit from a new program to improve conditions
in dozens of marginalized and neglected schools. The program is targeting 40
schools in the capital, Harare, and in the districts of Hwange, Makoni,
Mutare and Chpinge.

The International Organization for Migration says the educational system in
Zimbabwe has suffered from years of neglect. The IOM, Save the Children
U.K., and the International Rescue Committee have targeted 40 schools in
need of emergency assistance.

IOM spokeswoman Jemini Pandya tells VOA the program aims to tackle some of
the most pressing issues faced by displaced children in Zimbabwe.

"The situation of the national educational system is quite dire," Pandya
said. "It is characterized by a lot of resignations, absenteeism, and low
morale among the teachers. There is very significant numbers of school
dropouts and violence against the children is considerably bad. But, much
worse, we feel amongst children who are from mobile and vulnerable

A rapid assessment of six urban schools by Save the Children UK in 2008
shows a nearly 55-percent drop in school enrollment and a nearly 70-percent
drop in teacher presence.

Pandya says the study also shows a consistent pattern of school-based
violence and an alarming degradation in school infrastructure. She says the
water and sanitation facilities are so bad they are having a serious impact
on the education and health of the children.

Pandya notes the huge cholera outbreak last year caused the collapse of the
country's economic and social structures. And, this has had a serious impact
on the educational system.

"And, these facilities or lack of them had a huge role to play in the health
and safety of the children," Pandya said. "So, it is critical that we
actually do something to make sure that the schools, and particularly in
places that we know there are large numbers of mobile, displaced and
vulnerable populations, that they are in a much better state. That, they are
better equipped so we can do something to make sure that already vulnerable
people are not made even more vulnerable by simply just going to school."

Pandya says the aid organizations will work to improve the physical,
protective and social environment at school.

She says they will refurbish and re-equip school facilities. She says
children will be taught so-called life skills. That is they will learn how
to deal with the risk of HIV and AIDS and sexual and gender-based violence.

She says teachers will be supported in their work through training on a
range of issues including protection of children in emergency situations and
prevention of family separation.

The program is being funded by a grant of $750,000 from the U.N. Emergency

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Zimbabwe Teachers Forced To Bankroll Zanu PF December Congress

      Masvingo, October 29, 2009 - There is an outcry here as teachers in
various rural schools are reportedly being forced to pay money to the Zanu
PF local leadership under unclear circumstances, Progressive Teachers Union
of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Takavafira Zhou has said.

      He told Radio VOP on Thursday that hundreds of his members had
reported to his office that headmasters had been instructed by the Zanu PF
leadership to demand US$ 1 or R10 from each teacher. The teachers were told
that the money will be used to help Zanu PF members who want to go to the
party's national congress in Harare in December.

      "We are very worried because teachers are being abused by Zanu PF
hooligans again. Teachers are always victims of political instability. A lot
of our members have come to our provincial offices to complain, they have no
option besides to look for that money and donate in protest but it is really
painful and worrying," he said.

      Zhou said he had received reports from areas such as Gutu, Zaka,
Mwenezi, Bikita, Mberengwa and Zvishavane.

      "We are strongly against such behaviour. We want teachers to be
respected in their societies; we want teachers to have a normal and stable
life. We urge Zanu PF to stop victimising teachers, " he said. Any party
which  wants to govern this country must not harass teachers at all,."

        A top Zanu PF provincial executive disclosed that there were some
overzealous individuals who were abusing their  powers through victimising
innocent teachers.

      "This is the problem of lawlessness in the country. As Zanu PF, there
is no agreement or policy to  victimise teachers or to demand anything from
them," said the source.

      However, Masvingo provincial party chairman Lovemore Matuke said
teachers who have been victimised must report the cases to the police.

      "If what you are saying is true, why do they fail to report the case
to the police? I do not know what you are saying; we do not victimise our
teachers. There are some wayward teachers who have a tendency of telling
lies and blowing everything out of proportion," said Matuke.

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Warrant Of Arrest For Disgraced Prosecutor

      Harare, October 29, 2009 - Disgraced prosecutor Andrew Kumire, who was
slapped with a five day jail sentence for contempt of court,  is now on the
police wanted list.

      A warrant of arrest for Kumire was signed on Wednesday by Harare
Magistrate Chioniso Mutongi so that he can serve his five days in prison.

      "It is now in the hands of the police to go and arrest him. The
warrant of arrest was prepared at the High Court on Tuesday and sent to the
Harare magistrates' court for signing. I am confident that the warrant of
arrest is ready," said a source at the High Court.

      Contacted for a comment on the latest developments Attorney General
Johannes Tomana said he was not aware of the warrant of arrest but confirmed
that Kumire was challenging the magistrate's ruling.

      "What I know is that he is challenging that decision but why don't you
talk to him. It will be wrong for me to talk on his behalf," said Tomana
before switching off his mobile phone.

      Kumire was not immediately available for comment.

      The High Court on Monday upheld the conviction and sentencing of
Kumire by a Harare magistrate for contempt of court during the trial of
prominent human rights lawyer Alec Muchadehama, but it was not immediately
clear whether the state had complied with the order to send Kumire to

      After the sentencing by Mutongi last week, Kumire appeared unnerved by
the ruling and simply walked out of the courtroom only to appeal against the
ruling some hours later at the High Court.

      But High Court judge Tedias Karwi's confirmation of the sentence is
likely to send a powerful message to the state counsel who was out on a
US$30 bail.

      Justice Karwi, after reviewing the matter said the magistrate had
handled it well and the proceedings at the magistrate's court were in
accordance with substantial justice.

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Campaigners call for urgent action on Zim blood diamonds

By Alex Bell
29 October 2009

A coalition of civil society groups on Thursday called for urgent action on
Zimbabwe from the international diamond trade monitor, the Kimberley Process
(KP), saying inaction will compromise the group's efforts to eradicate the
global trade in conflict diamonds.

The Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition, whose members include Global
Witness, Partnership Africa Canada and the Liberian based Green Advocates,
said KP members must act on what it called the 'overwhelming evidence' of
Zimbabwe's failure to comply with the minimum requirements of the rough
diamond certification scheme. They warned that failure to make a decision
about Zimbabwe's status is compromising the scheme's credibility and
undermining chances for the successful eradication of the trade in conflict

"What is going on in Zimbabwe is against both the spirit and the law of the
Kimberley Process. At the meeting next week, member governments must agree
to suspend Zimbabwe from importing and exporting rough diamonds," said Annie
Dunnebacke from Global Witness.

Dunnebacke continued that Zimbabwe's suspension alone will not address the
challenges at Chiadzwa. She explained that KP members must also engage
closely with Zimbabwe to ensure that promises of reform at the diamond
fields and in their trading standards becomes a reality. A further reform of
the KP itself is also urgent, Dunneback explained, saying, critically, there
must be provisions made by KP members for the protection of human rights in
diamond trading, as well as a reform of the KP decision making process, to
allow for swift action in non-compliant countries.

The call by the Coalition comes as a final KP report on Zimbabwe was finally
published this week, months after a KP delegation completed their
eye-opening tour of the Chiadzwa diamond fields in June. The final report
has recommended that Zimbabwe be banned from the world diamond market,
because of the mass human rights violations at Chiadzwa, and other diamond
trade irregularities. The delegation that toured the diamond fields in June
had originally called for a temporary ban of six months or more to allow
Zimbabwe time to comply with KP standards. The team's interim report also
said that should Zimbabwe opt to 'self-suspend' the KP "should undertake
necessary processes to implement the self-suspension," because the
Zimbabwean government could not be trusted to implement recommendations
without supervision.

The team had also urged the government to demilitarise the diamond fields,
but no such action was taken, and the ongoing militarisation in Chiadzwa has
seen the human rights abuses there escalate. The final report is
impressively more hard hitting, accusing authorities of knowingly allowing
illicit diamond trading. The report also accuses the government of
attempting to mislead the KP probe team, in an effort to hide its
involvement in violence and smuggling.

The final report is expected to be tabled at the KP annual meeting scheduled
to begin next week in Namibia.

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Presentation: The Zimbabwe Economy – October 2009

October 29th, 2009

Slideshow created by Zimbabwean economist John Robertson. (Click on ‘Full’ on the bottom left corner of the slideshow to view the slides in full screen size)

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SADC has key role in survival of unity government, says Mtetwa

by Laura Angela Bagnetto

Article published on the 2009-10-29 Latest update 2009-10-29 18:20 TU

Beatrice Mtetwa, Zimbabwe human rights lawyer and recipient of the Ludovic-Trarieux Prize 2009(Photo: Ludovic-Trarieux Prize)

Beatrice Mtetwa, Zimbabwe human rights lawyer and recipient of the Ludovic-Trarieux Prize 2009
(Photo: Ludovic-Trarieux Prize)

The Southern African Development Community (Sadc) needs to play its role in order for the unity government to survive, and until now the regional group has not played the role of an "honest broker", Zimbabwe human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa told RFI in an exclusive interview in Paris on Thursday.

"It is incredible that a person who lost an election ends up being the leader of the government," says Mtetwa, referring to Zimbabwe's President and Zanu-PF party leader Robert Mugabe.

Mtetwa is in Paris this week to accept the 2009 Ludovic-Trarieux prize awarded to lawyers for outstanding work in human rights. She has defended a number of journalists and politicians, especially those in the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party who have been continually harassed by the Mugabe government.

The unity government, formed in February and brokered by Sadc with Zanu-PF and the MDC party, has "regressed considerably" in the past few weeks, says Mtetwa.

"As the power-sharing government started to deteriorate, things started going back to exactly where they were a year ago," she adds.

"Sadc has not seriously dealt with the problems in Zimbabwe. They have been very, very soft on Zanu-PF and until they see that the problem is Zanu-PF itself, Zimbabwe is going to continue being a problem."

Although she is in Paris, she says that she is still working on a number of MDC cases, including that of deputy Agriculture Minister-elect Roy Bennett.

Bennett is also the MDC treasurer, and was accused of possessing arms for purposes of terrorism, banditry, and to incite acts of insurgency. He had been free on bail since March

She says that in his case, the state witness went to court, testified and was acquitted of the charges, while Bennett is being prosecuted.

"They say the person who will give evidence is the person who went to court and said the exact opposite," she says.

There are a lot of cases in the courts against MDC members, especially after politically-motivated violence broke out in the aftermath of the 29 March 2008 elections.

"We know who tortured who, but none of them have been arrested. But do you know the number of  MPs in the MDC who have been arrested? All of them have been taken to court with absolute speed," she says.

"There can be no question that this has been pure harassment of members of MDC," she adds.

Mtetwa says that she has forgotten how dangerous her job is. She has been detained, harassed, was the victim of a car-jacking and has been assaulted on numerous occasions since becoming a human rights lawyer. But defending people is what she does and what she will continue to do, she says.

"If you arrest somebody and they need a lawyer, it is my job to be there, so I forget about the danger until something happens. If I started looking over my shoulder, I wouldn't be able to do their job," she says.

"Yes, there are dangers, but there is a job to be done out there."

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IOM Statement

Please note that the Additional Humanitarian Assistance for Returnees to Zimbabwesee attached information - will now offer greater flexibility to returnees who can receive £1000 of their £3000 business set up assistance in either cash or in-kind payments.


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ZAPU's calls for Gukurahudi investigations may have contributed to blocking of Nowak visit to Zimbabwe

ZAPU leader Dr. Dumiso Dabengwa's calls and the ZAPU Europe chapter's request asking Prof Manfred Nowak to add as part of his human rights and torture terms of reference, the Gukurahundi atrocities may have hugely contributed to the blocking of his visit by the Zimbabwean government.
Click here to read a request that was sent to Prof Nowak's office by the ZAPU Europe last week.
On Thursday 28th of October, Prof  Manfred Nowak was refused entry into Zimbabwe and was returned to South Africa.
Zenzo Ncube
T:44(0)788 1648 982
Zimbabwe African Peoples Union
Restoring Zimbabwe for a Better Future for All

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Will they really walk alone?

Thursday, October 29, 2009 12:00 AM
Alex T. Magaisa

            "I pray all the time but obviously the man upstairs is busy at
the moment. He's got bigger issues to deal with than our problems."

            These were the words of a football manager in England this week.
Needless to say, his team are languishing at the wrong end of the football
league table. When you watch and listen to the news of severely dire
situations across the world - the famine in Ethiopia, the daily bombings in
places like Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, etc it is easy to understand why
'the man upstairs' may, indeed, be too busy to attend to the woes of a
football team.

            There is also our Zimbabwe, for close to a decade now, a vessel
sailing in very rough and violent waters.

            I have been invited to countless prayer meetings. I have seen
many gather in their hundreds, all petitioning the highest authority for
divine intervention. For a while, since the signing of the power sharing
agreement in September 2008, Zimbabweans probably thought they had been
afforded a reprieve. But just a year later, things look confused and dire.

            The main political parties -- the MDC and Zanu PF -- that struck
a deal a year ago after a violent but ultimately fruitless election are
presently estranged. The MDC issued a statement on October 16, 2009, that it
was disengaging from its relationship with Zanu PF.

            It remains unclear whether the unity government, itself having
been constructed on very shaky ground, will survive to fulfil its intended
purpose. To my mind however, it looks likely that these parties will
eventually walk hand in hand again. I attempt to suggest why this will be

            First, it is important to get a full appreciation of the meaning
and implications of 'disengagement' as announced by the MDC. There are two
ways of looking at it: formal and informal withdrawal.

            The MDC could have issued a formal withdrawal by writing
formally to the relevant authorities indicating that it no longer wished to
be a party to the GNU. They could have resigned and walked away. They have
not done that. Instead, the party has stated that it is disengaging from
relations with Zanu PF.

            Yet when you look at it closely, the reality is that the MDC has
never had a formal relationship with Zanu PF beyond the GPA. In fact, the
MDC was at pains to explain to its supporters that by joining the GNU it was
not making the same error that was made by PF-Zapu in 1987.

            In the aftermath of the hideous atrocities in Matabeleland in
the 1980s, PF-Zapu had, under duress induced by circumstances, entered into
a formal union with Zanu to create a single party - Zanu PF.

            So if the MDC was not in union with Zanu PF, how then can it be
said to have disengaged? From what if not the GPA, which is the formal
engagement forum? For, that is the only relationship that they have. And is
it possible to disengage from the GPA without disengaging from the unity

            What is being said is tantamount to having your cake and eating
it at the same time, which is not supposed to be possible. The MDC could
have left the GNU altogether by formally withdrawing from the GPA and that
they have not done so indicates that they still have belief in the GPA and
they are not as yet, ready to walk alone. So what then is this all about?

            To my mind, the MDC is seeking to regain ground lost during the
time that it tried so hard, plainly against the odds, to molly-coddle Zanu
PF and hope that some day the old party would experience a St Paul moment
and change course. They have effectively gone on strike. Varikuramwa basa in
much the same way that ordinary employees of a company resort to strike
action as a method of protest.

            An employee can of course resign, but rarely will an employee do
that unless he is persuaded that he is culpable in some way and it is in his
best interests to do so. The MDC could have taken the equivalent of
resigning, that is, formally withdrawing, but they have not done that.

            Whilst at first sight the target of this strike action is Zanu
PF, to my mind it's directed at SADC generally, but more specifically at
South Africa. It is South Africa more than any country in the region which
would want the Zimbabwean drama to subside. They have the football World Cup
finals in June next year and they would like the dirty little secret across
the Limpopo to be kept under wraps.

            The Global Political Agreement (power sharing pact) has provided
that veil, so far. The MDC knows that it is being used to keep this under
cover. But by this informal withdrawal, they are saying tinoirega ikaputika
makatarisa (we will leave and let it blow up in your face).

            It's quite likely that this threat of withdrawal will become
more and more potent towards June next year and will place South Africa
under some real pressure to get more involved in resolving the trouble
across the Limpopo.

            So in essence, the MDC's conduct is no more than a threat of
what might happen if the terms and spirit of the GPA are not upheld and if
SADC does not play its part as the guarantor. It's easy for SADC to take a
lackadaisical approach to the issue, to be complacent and pretend that all
is well in Zimbabwe when plainly arrogance and selfishness continue to stand
in the way of progress.

            Some might argue: 'why the reliance on SADC?' - well, the
regional body placed itself in that role so either they execute their role
faithfully or they disengage and leave Zimbabwe to its own devices.
Therefore, for as long as SADC pretends to be a guarantor to the GPA, it has
a duty to fulfil its mandate and to so faithfully.

            There is a saying in Ndebele, okulempondo akufihlwa emgodleni
which I am told has the Shona equivalent in rine manyanga hariputirwe
(however much you try, that which has horns cannot be concealed). Unless,
SADC takes a more robust approach, confronting the real problems impeding
the full implementation of the GPA, the horns will appear at a very
embarrassing moment.

            Yet also the MDC knows it is not easy to take the decision to
formally withdraw from the GNU. They have in mind the bigger picture and
they recognise the little steps that have been taken economically. They knew
what they were getting into when they entered this marriage with Zanu PF.
Like the person who shares a bed with a dog, they knew they ran the risk of
being stung by fleas.

            It's very easy for observers to chide Tsvangirai and the MDC for
being inconsistent - for example, citing the positive statements that they
have made in respect of President Mugabe and Zanu PF despite evidence to the
contrary. These observers may be right but they also exhibit a partial
understanding of the politics involved here.

            I like to think that Tsvangirai and the MDC have tried,
unsuccessfully so far it has to be admitted, to paint a good picture because
they have been looking at the bigger picture. They could not, in the
formative stages of this relationship, continue to behave as if they were in

            They probably hoped that they could have influence in private
settings and the public posturing was designed to help achieve this end. But
it has not worked, hence the strike. It could be said that they were naïve
but I do not think they can be blamed for trying.

            For its part, Zanu PF's strategy has not changed one bit. That
is not surprising. The party almost lost power in last year's elections. The
presidential election was a confirmed farce which is why it took more than
six months before a government could be formed. They could have been
arrogant and chosen to bulldoze their way after the farcical presidential
election but they knew they would struggle to gain legitimacy. They needed
the MDC.

            The GPA provided the veil of legitimacy that they craved. They
needed acceptance. The GPA provided that cover. It still does. They know
fully well that the GPA still provides that veil and never mind the rhetoric
to the contrary, they know an MDC withdrawal would drag back Zimbabwe to
those darker days where legitimacy would be in contention.

            Consider for example, the threat that President Mugabe may
appoint acting ministers. These will likely be ministers from Zanu PF. The
key thing here is it is a threat. They are also trying to stand their ground
against the MDC's informal withdrawal, itself a threat against Zanu PF.

            It's like someone who approaches another and says, 'I want to
commit suicide'. Why? Anyone who really wants to commit suicide just goes
ahead and does it. Why, if he is serious and sure of his choice, should he
feel the need to tell someone? You just commit suicide and people bury you.
To tell someone shows that you are not sure; it shows that you need help -
you want to make people scared or even feel sorry for you.

            However, there is a risk of course that Zanu PF could go ahead
contrary to the letter and spirit of the GPA (Article 20 which is now
schedule 8 of the Constitution) and fill the positions. Unfortunately, this
will only serve to create more 'outstanding issues' on top of the already
existing 'outstanding issues'!

            It must be recalled that two of the 'outstanding issues' namely
the appointments of the central bank governor and the attorney general were
executed during a period when the two parties were engaged in disputes over
positions in the GNU. So Zimbabweans may have to brace for yet more
'outstanding issues'.

            So all in all, both parties are continuing with the same old
script of threats and counter-threats. Those who doubted the prospects of
the GNU may feel vindicated. But one hopes the leaders, including the SADC
leaders, will see sense and try to resolve the present dispute. They all
know that at this juncture it is necessary to ensure that the GNU fulfils
its temporary mission.

            I hear people talk of elections. Kunganwa chazuro nehope (people
forget too quickly). Ideally Zimbabwe needs an election to permanently deal
with the challenges. But is Zimbabwe really ready for an election? I am not
sure. None of the parties have pushed for by-elections to fill vacancies
because they are conscious of the effects of elections in the current

            My experience and observations are that there has been much
goodwill towards the GNU even from those who are often accused of trying to
take over Zimbabwe. People were starting to warm to it; to give it the
benefit of doubt. But all this will be undone if this creature, however
unsightly, meets an early death. It would be back to Ground Zero and I do
not think that is in the interests of the ordinary men, women and children
who continue to toil in the streets and fields of Zimbabwe.

            All that is needed is for common-sense to prevail. For now, I
doubt that either of the parties will walk alone. It's more likely they will
give it another go.

            Alex Magaisa is based at Kent Law School, the University of
Kent, and can be contacted at

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Comment from a correspondent

--- It appears morgan and company don't get it.They are doing the same thing
everytime expecting a different thing. They are dump!! How many times have
they tried to have sadc and au intervene? They have done nothing and will do
nothing.Mugabe knows that.More than ten times they have not been able to get
help from sadc or au.To hell with these organizations, they will never do
anything and yet morgan and company still think they get help.Before MDC
wakes up, they will be running around as they are doing now and nothing will
change.If you want change, you should change your strategy.

Quit this so called "unity nothing" and leave those morons to fall.Infact
when MDC joined these murderers, zanu was almost down and they were not
going to survive even for six months. But you jumped onto the bandwagon and
bailed them out of the hole.Did you not get this earlier on? Now they have
little that you actually looked for and want you out.They will come again
when they need you morgan and you will become so fascinated by this thug
that you tell people that you are in "good books"and there is stability in
the country.What really hurts me is that old people like you do not even
have the common sense to know exactly what is happening.Shame on you!

Again quit, you are not the people to turn around the lives of Zimbabweans,
you are becoming part of the problem and not part of the solution.Quit and
pick up anything that is harmful from stones, shovels, knives,
knobkerries,ANYTHING and pile in the house.People stop going to work, that
is if there is still any going to work.Stay home and be ready.Remember in
any revolution there are bound to be casualties.People will die for
sacrificing just like we did when got this country, it was not easy,a LOT of
people died and NOT for this BS that we are in right now.Remember the army
they they rely on, not all the soldiers are going to be against the people.
They are also people and are being affected, these will be on our side. So
we are not alone.The big day that this revolution starts, you will be
surprised by the outcome.Remember also that this army is not as strong as
you think, how can they be when they are hungry? Think of it.

So what I am saying is that now is the time to RISE and fight, there will
never be a time when you live in peace without any blood shed.Just watching
and hoping things will change for the better without a fight is a DREAM.If
the people in power do not want to go, who should take them out.YOU!!If you
rise up now, everyone sitting on their butts will rise.Rise up now and the
so called sadc,au and un will rise.After our revolution they will probably
WAKE up. Do nothing and they will do nothing those morons.

How can millions of people be controlled by a few who are in the process of
milking the country right in front of your face.They are amassing illegal
wealth right in front of your face.Why. Because they have guns.History has
shown that even a stronger man can be conquered by a small man. Remember
David and Golliath.

Food for thought!!


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