October 30, 2008
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - Hardliners in President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party are allegedly girding up for fresh hostilities with fresh violence erupting in Epworth, hardly two days after the collapse of talks to share Cabinet posts with the MDC.
A man has been critically injured after being hacked by a machete in a slum district and police fired tear gas to disperse MDC and Zanu-PF supporters fighting each other in Epworth, a shanty town in the outskirts of Harare.
At least 20 MDC supporters were wounded in the crowded slum as police battled fresh clashes between the MDC and Zanu-PF over accusations that both sides were playing hard ball at the talks.
Police fired tear gas canisters three times to disperse the slum residents, who responded by throwing stones and barricading roads to protest the Zanu-PF crackdown that ended in the middle of the night.
As former South Africa President Thabo Mbeki struggles to reach a deal between President Mugabe and opposition MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, there are fears that fresh violence was fomenting.
The Zimbabwe Times heard that Zanu-PF supporters in Epworth, allegedly instigated by Harare province chairman Amos Midzi, swung into action moments after the SADC troika failed to break a deadlock over the sharing up of Cabinet posts, attacking and assaulting rival MDC activists in the Epworth slums.
Zanu-PF’s shock troops are alleged to have erected two torture bases in Epworth on Tuesday, a day after the collapse of Cabinet talks, rolling out their terror campaign starting Wednesday afternoon targeted at MDC supporters.
The Zimbabwe Times understands the bases are located in Ward 4 at Rueben Shopping Centre and at Maulani.
The Zanu-PF goon squad is reportedly led by youth chairman for Epworth, only named as Zimbwe, together with his lieutenants whose names were only given as Garakara, Chikandiwa and Makangira.
MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said among the casualties of Zanu-PF’s alleged violence was MDC ward 4 councillor, Didmus Bande. He said at least one MDC activists’ whereabouts remain unknown.
The regional body SADC, which has called a special full extraordinary summit to handle the stalemate, and other international bodies have pushed for conclusion of the Cabinet talks but Mugabe is insisting on retaining control of every important ministry.
Mbeki is leading the SADC-sponsored mediation efforts after MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai accused President Mugabe of claiming victory in a sham run off
election boycotted by the MDC leader.
More than 100 people have been killed and 200,000 displaced in unrest prior to the bloody run off vote.
On Wednesday, war veterans of the 70s liberation struggle against minority rule, vowed fresh protests if the MDC continued making “unreasonable demands and holding the nation to ransom.”
Civic society leaders and other special interest groups are also getting edgy over the deadlock. Attempts by women and youths to protest on Monday against the hold up in the conclusion of talks ended in a vicious police crackdown, which drew howls of condemnation from the rights groups.
Dozens were rounded up and taken into custody as police used rubber truncheons and tear gas to break up the protests.
The MDC warned Thursday that hardliners from Zanu-PF were preparing fresh hostilities and urged robust action by SADC to head off further violence.
“The behaviour of these Zanu-PF thugs is a violation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), which recognises the basic freedoms of people such as association, assembly, speech and movement,” Chamisa said.
“The latest violence and thuggery once again exposes Zanu-PF’s sincerity deficit in this political deal.”
The deadlock in the power-sharing deal has tapped into simmering resentment over mounting poverty and the continued dominance of Zanu-PF in Zimbabwean politics despite losing elections.
Friday, October 31, 2008
BILL CORCORAN in Johannesburg
AT LEAST 180 people have been murdered and more than 9,000 tortured in
Zimbabwe since the general election last March by people loyal to the ruling
regime, according to a new Amnesty International report.
Many of the people subjected to violence in the months leading up to the
June 27th presidential election run-off between opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai and President Mugabe were taken to torture camps by the army and
police to be brutalised by people they often knew, the report reveals.
"The bulk of the victims reported being attacked because they were accused
by security forces, war veterans [a Mugabe militia] and Zanu-PF [ruling
party] supporters of having voted 'wrongly' in the March election.
"Although it was difficult to quantify the number of internally displaced
people, an estimated 28,000 people fled their homes as a result of the
violence. The majority fled to urban areas to seek medical attention and
refuge," states the report.
State-sponsored violence erupted in Zimbabwe following the March election
once it became apparent the ruling regime had lost its parliamentary
majority and Mr Mugabe was forced into an election run-off for the
As well as physical beatings, the report claims many men and women accused
of supporting the opposition party were also subjected to sexual violence,
including rape, and their property and possessions were uniformly destroyed
Released today, the Amnesty report is likely to cause further friction
between the rival parties in the new unity government because it calls for
the perpetrators of the violence to be brought to justice as a matter of
Tensions between the Movement for Democratic Change and Zanu-PF are already
high because the parties have been unable to agree on how key ministries
should be divided since a power-sharing deal was signed nearly seven weeks
"In extensive interviews in Zimbabwe, Amnesty International has found an
overwhelming desire on the part of the victims of human rights violations
that perpetrators should be brought to justice.
"Victims also want to be able to access effective remedies including
reparations for the human rights violations they have suffered," states the
report, Zimbabwe: Time for Accountability.
Zimbabwe's recent power-sharing deal contains no clause relating to amnesty
for the perpetrators of political violence, which means, in theory, their
prosecution would be possible.
However, such a move in the short term could further jeopardise the already
fragile power- sharing arrangement as senior members of the military and
police loyal to Mr Mugabe, who could have prominent positions in the new
government, are said to have orchestrated the violence.
Despite this, Amnesty International says the power-sharing deal has created
a rare moment of opportunity for the Zimbabwean authorities to tackle the
long- standing legacy of impunity for human rights violations and build a
culture of accountability.
The NGO recommended the establishment of an independent commission of
inquiry to look into all aspects of human rights violations that have
occurred since 2000.
by By Lizwe Sebatha Friday 31 October 2008
BULAWAYO - One of the two biggest public hospitals in Zimbabwe's second
largest city of Bulawayo has closed its theatre unit after running out of
critical drugs necessary for all life-saving operations.
Sources told ZimOnline on Thursday that the United Bulawayo Hospitals
(UBH) - which is one of the two main public referral hospitals in the south
of the country - suspended surgical operations last week after running out
of anesthetics and other essential tools, in yet another sign of collapse of
the public health sector.
"We suspended all surgical operations last week after the last stocks of
anesthetics and surgical thread ran out. The critical theatre medical unit
has since been closed," a doctor at the institution speaking on condition of
ZimOnline reporters who visited the UBH on Thursday found the theatre unit
at the hospital closed with staff saying they were referring patients to
expensive private hospitals such as the Catholic-run Mater Dei hospital for
Another state-run hospital in the city Mpilo General was not taking extra
patients from UBH apparently because it was also running low on anesthetics.
"Mpilo also faces shortages of anesthetic drugs. The situation is very
critical as it means hospitals in Bulawayo, which are supposed to cater for
four provinces, are not equipped to deal with disasters such as road
accidents," another doctor added.
Deputy Health Minister Edwin Muguti blamed sanctions for the suspension of
surgical operations at Bulawayo's state hospitals.
"These are the effects of the illegal western sanctions against Zimbabwe,"
said Muguti in a telephone interview on Thursday. "We have a serious
challenge as far as the shortages of consumables and critical drugs for
surgery are concerned. UBH has suspended surgical operations as a result."
Last week the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR)
blamed an outbreak of cholera in Zimbabwe on broken down public
infrastructure, the result of years of an unprecedented economic decline and
political turmoil in the country.
Zimbabwe's recession marked by the world's highest inflation of 231 million
percent, has hastened the deterioration of key infrastructure needed for
economic activity and public health such as adequate power and water
The public health sector - once one of the best in Africa - has been hardest
hit by the economic crisis with the government short of cash to import
essential medicines and equipment, while the country has suffered the worst
brain drain of doctors, nurses and other professionals seeking better
opportunities abroad. - ZimOnline
by Own Correspondent Friday 31 October 2008
HARARE - Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party
said on Thursday that President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF party was in
denial about food shortages in the country and was delaying formation of a
unity government to tackle worsening hunger.
The Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC's spokesman Nelson Chamisa said ZANU PF was
burying its head in the sand instead of declaring a national disaster to
pave way for more food aid to come into the country.
"ZANU PF is burying its head in the sand rather than declaring the situation
a national disaster and forming an inclusive government," Chamisa said in a
International food agencies - that have only resumed operations in some
parts of Zimbabwe after Mugabe's government lifted a ban on the relief
groups - say Zimbabweans are fast running out of food with many families now
surviving on just one meal a day.
Several families in some of the worst affected districts were surviving on
wild roots and fruits because they have nothing else to eat, according to
The UN World Food Programme (WFP) about three weeks ago called on
international donors to make available US$140 million in emergency food
supplies in order to prevent Zimbabwe's food shortages from deteriorating
into a disaster.
The WFP expects hunger to worsen around January 2009 when an estimated 5.1
million Zimbabweans or about 45 percent of the country's 12 million
population will require food aid to avoid starvation.
However, the government rejects relief agencies' assessment of hunger in
Zimbabwe as exaggerated in a bid to tarnish Mugabe and ZANU PF.
State media quoted Agriculture Minister Rugare Gumbo on Thursday as having
said that some relief groups were hoarding grain meant for food aid in
warehouses so that they could portray a dire situation in Zimbabwe.
But Chamisa said Gumbo's claims only helped to show how the governing party
was out of touch with the unfolding humanitarian disaster in the country.
"The statement made by Rugare Gumbo . . . shows that ZANU PF is still in
denial that the food situation in the country has reached very critical
levels," said Chamisa.
The MDC spokesman said a new government would have to make the provision of
food its top priority.
Analysts see a government of national unity proposed under last month's
power-sharing agreement as the first step to ending decade-long food
shortages and economic crisis in Zimbabwe.
However Mugabe and Tsvangirai cannot agree on who should control the most
powerful ministries in the unity government - a deadlock that is now
threatening to derail the September 15 power-sharing accord.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has said it would soon
call an emergency summit to try to end Zimbabwe's power-sharing impasse
after the regional bloc's special security organ failed to resolve the
matter during a marathon meeting with Mugabe, Tsvangirai and another
opposition leader Arthur Mutambara in Harare earlier this week. - ZimOnline
October 30, 2008
By Owen Chikari
MASVINGO- Sharp differences among war veterans in Masvingo have split the
provincial association with the former freedom fighters adopting opposing
positions on the power-sharing deal between Zanu-PF and MDC.
President Robert Mugabe and the two MDC formations this week failed to come
up with a solution over the allocation of key ministries resulting in the
case being referred to the SADC extra-ordinary meeting to be held within two
weeks a thing which has riled some war veterans .
Two distinct groups have emerged within the former liberation war fighters
in Masvingo with one faction calling for Mugabe to give the MDC some of the
key ministries while the other wants him not to compromise.
Two splinter provincial executives are scuffling to take control of the
affairs of the war veterans leaving scores of the former freedom fighters in
a state of confusion over which leadership to report to.
The old executive, led by Isaiah Muzenda, wants Mugabe to maintain a
hardline while the other faction, led by Tranos Huruva, wants the
84-year-old leader to hand over some of the key ministries to the MDC
At a meeting held this week, the Huruva faction denounced the old executive
led by Muzenda and established a new one.
Sources within the association said the old executive has since written a
letter to Mugabe for them to expel the "rebels".
"We want those who formed a new executive to be expelled and we have since
written a letter to President Mugabe who is our patron," said the source.
Muzenda yesterday confirmed that there were sharp differences within the
association, saying he would deal with the rebels.
"The thing is we want our party Zanu-PF and President Mugabe not to
compromise but it appears there are sell-outs amongst us," said Muzenda.
"Those who say President Mugabe must give the opposition key ministry as
part of the power -sharing deal are members of the MDC and not genuine war
veterans, We are going to take all the necessary measures to ensure that the
rebels are dealt with once and for all."
However, a member of the Huruva faction, who requested anonymity, yesterday
said they had taken control of the affairs of the war veterans in Masvingo.
"What I want to tell members of the old executive is that they are now
history", said the member. "Zimbabweans are tired and what we want is proper
"If Mugabe took the ministry of defence then it will not make sense for him
to cling on the Home affairs ministry".
The deadlock between the MDC formations and Zanu-PF has sparked division
within Zanu-PF with some party supporters feeling that Mugabe, who has been
power since 1980, must pave way for the formation of an all-inclusive
government so that Zimbabweans focus on development.
31 October 2008
HARARE - More than 3500 disgruntled junior officers and police are said to
have abandoned Zimbabwe's security forces over the past two months in
protest at poor working conditions and low pay.
Junior officers were unhappy with their low salaries and poor working and
living conditions, as their superiors remained loyal to Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe's government, said sources in the Zimbabwe National Army and
Zimbabwe Republic Police, who preferred anonymity.
A police spokesman, Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena,
yesterday dismissed the claim as baseless and unsubstantiated, and said law
enforcement agencies were recruiting new blood to beef up the security
The security chiefs have, since the formation of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) in 2000, maintained partisan support for Mugabe,
even declaring that they would not allow MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai to
rule if he won the elections.
The home affairs ministry, under which the police fall , is at the centre of
a power- sharing wrangle between Mugabe and the MDC that has delayed the
formation of a unity government.
Sources said junior soldiers and police, whose basic monthly salaries of
about R30 were among the lowest paid in the public service, continued to
trickle out of their respective organisations, unable to support themselves
in Zimbabwe's gruelling economic climate. "The biggest number came from the
army, where more than 1500 officers quit. From the police, more than 1000
officers deserted, while the prisons service and the CIO (Central
Intelligence Organisation) contributed the rest," said a senior member of
the security forces who did not want to be named.
"The officers who quit either go to neighbouring SA and Botswana, where they
do menial jobs, or just join the informal sector locally."
Another source, from King George army barracks in Harare, told a similar
story: "The junior officers are not happy that they continue to earn peanuts
from the government, yet they are the ones that do all the dirty work. Right
now, they can hardly afford to provide basics for their families, yet the
bosses drive around in expensive motor vehicles and earn various perks."
A senior policeman based at the police general headquarters in Harare said
2000 junior officers had left since August.
"We are set to lose even more noncommissioned officers before the end of the
year, as more than 1000 more have submitted their resignation letters, to be
effected on December 31."
He said a recruitment drive had failed to net the 50000 officers targeted
for 2010. Most of those leaving were young men and women aged under 30. He
said that besides low salaries, the junior officers were struggling to find
accommodation in police camps.
"The young officers are now being forced to live out of camps, which means
an extra cost in rentals, now charged in foreign currency, while transport
also becomes another expense. Those living in camps are crammed in small
rooms where you find seven officers sharing a single room meant for one
person," he said.
MASVINGO, October 31 2008 - Chaos and confusion marred the Grade Seven
exams which ended Thursday - under the invigilation of the police.
The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) said some students
failed to sit for the exams, while other schools failed to get the exam
At some schools like Mvundusi, Mazorodze and Dombo primary school in
Chivi district, there was a low student turnout for the exams, while the
police outnumbered the teachers, Chauke said.
"It is a disaster, more than 20 students did not turn up for exams at
Mvundisi primary school, while at Mwenezi district's Chingano primary
school, the Shona paper two was delayed as they had not received the exams,"
He added that the exams were only written later as they had to get the
paper from another school where students had already sat for the exams.
"They had to borrow the exam from another satellite school, Mateke,
after the pupils there had already written the exams. The explanation given
was that the exams had not been collected from ZIMSEC, which only delivered
the exams a day before the commencement of the exams last Sunday
Meanwhile, teachers who spoke to Radio VOP said they had not gone back
to work to conduct the exams despite the pledge by Reserve Bank governor
Gideon Gono to give them allowances amounting to $1 million a day for
invigilating. Another amount was also promised to be deposited in the
teachers' accounts at pay day.
"Gono is trying to treat the symptoms, instead of the cause of the
disease. The teachers are disgruntled, their salaries fall below the poverty
datum line, and to promise us the allowances without an assurance would be a
lie. We have been fooled before," said a teacher RadioVOP caught up with at
a bank queue in the city.
No comment could be obtained from ZIMSEC, or the Minister of
Education, Sports and Culture, by the time of going to print.
Friday, 31 October 2008 02:00 Trymore Magomana
The death toll from an outbreak of cholera in Zimbabwe's capital Harare has
increased to four, up by one from yesterday. The latest three victims were a
husband and wife and an unrelated child in Budiriro.
The deaths brings to 124 the number to have died of the disease this year
across the country, according to the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for
Human Rights (ZADHR)'s figures.
Harare city healthy officials have traced the recent outbreak of cholera in
Budiriro to a contaminated well where some of the residents of Budiriro had
been fetching their domestic water supplies.
All across the city of Harare, residents are being forced to fetch water
from vulnerable sources owing to the non-supply of clean water by the
ZANU-PF government's appointed ZINWA. Since ZINWA took over the distribution
of water supplies from the city, residents have endured constant water cuts,
some lasting as long as as three months.
"We are worried by the way is spreading around the country, but we are
putting in measures to eradicate it," Health minister Dr David Parirenyatwa,
who led ZANU-PF units out in Murehwa during the ZANU-PF campaign of violence
prior to the June 27 election, said.
In addition to the fatal cases, another 40 people have been infected by the
malady and 26 of those are being treated at nearby Beatrice Infectious
The latest cholera outbreak in Budiriro comes after ZINWA failed to supply
the township with clean water for the past two months.
Long has the ZANU-PF government been told to take the distribution of water
seriously, but the government, instead of supplying ZINWA with foreign
currency so it could improve the water reticulation, chose to buy cars and
gifts for judges and other civil servants.
Medical sources say the problem of the cholera is far more widespread than
Robert Mugabe's authorities admit.
Since September, 16 people have died in the dormitory township of
Chitungwiza on Harare's southern outskirts.
ZADHR said the repeated outbreaks of the disease "indicates the absence of
capacity and ability of the government to manage public health."
Government officials have been on their toes trying to contain the spread of
the disease. In addition to quarantining people in Budiriro, the government
is now supplying the residents of the township with clean water and has
launched a campaign to shutdown contaminated wells.
Water supplies to the crowded townships that house most of the capital's
poor like Mabvuku, Tafara, Glenview, and Zengeza have dried up, resulting in
burst pipes and drains that send rivers of raw effluent running through the
streets, filtering into the unprotected wells that people are forced to dig
to for water.
Without an urgent operation to restore water supplies, the onset of the
rainy season "could result in cholera becoming endemic," ZADHR said.
Medical officials said that the latest cholera outbreak will likely claim
more lives before it can be brought under control. The conditions for the
epidemic to spread are still in place and it was unlikely that it would
stop, they warned the ZANU-PF government.
Zimbabwe's health care system, once one of the best in Africa, has all but
The continued march of the cholera epidemic across the city, unchecked, is
but one exhibit of how far the health system has collapsed.
Harare, Zimbabwe - A group of South African government officials have
arrived in Zimbabwe for talks on a 300-million Rand agricultural financing
aid package which Pretoria has pledged for its troubled northern neighbour.
South Africa, concerned about the likely negative impact Zimbabwe's economic
crisis could have on food production in the next farming season starting
next month, last week unveiled a R300 million agricultural input financing
package for the country.
It is meant to finance procurement of inputs such as fertilizers, chemicals,
seeds and fuel which are critically in short supply.
Zimbabwean officials said the South African team was in the country to work
out modalities for the delivery of the aid package, likely to be in the form
of inputs and not cash.
They said the team was due to meet officials from several government
departments and agencies, following that of another delegation from the
Department of Agriculture.
"The officials came to discuss the modalities of implementing the pledge,"
Christian Katsande, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Industry and
International Trade, said.
There are widespread fears Zimbabwe, already facing food shortages, could be
plunged into a deeper crisis next year due to lack of farming inputs.
The country is currently importing food from neighbouring countries,
including South Africa.
Harare - 30/10/2008
By Carole Gombakomba
30 October 2008
The spreading dollarization of the Zimbabwean economy with more and more
stores demanding hard currency for even the most basic goods and services
has enormously complicated the struggle for survival for many people.
Ten kilograms of maize meal, a Zimbabwean staple food, went for US$7 while a
bottle of cooking oil fetched US$5 this week - if shoppers could produce
Even if stores would accept Zimbabwe dollars, those prices when converted
into the local currency at prevailing rates amount to hundreds of thousands
of dollars, this at a time when even those with incomes can only withdraw
Z$50,000 a day from the bank.
Economists say dollarization has taken hold because retailers and other
businesses want to preserve the value of their receipts in the face of
hyperinflation that was last measured by Zimbabwean authorities at some 231
The Reserve Bank has licensed about 1,000 stores to price their goods in
U.S. dollars, South African rand or other hard currencies, but the central
bank was only legalizing a practice that was widespread. Rents are also
widely set in hard currency.
Economist Nyasha Muchichwa of the Labor and Economic Development Research
Institute of Zimbabwe told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for
Zimbabwe that the dollarization trend is aggravating the food security
crisis gripping the nation.
By Blessing Zulu
30 October 2008
Zimbabwe's mounting food crisis became intertwined with the country's
troubled power-sharing process Thursday as President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF
traded barbs with the Movement for Democratic Change of prime
minister-designate Morgan Tsvangirai.
Responding to MDC charges that the stalemate in power-sharing over the
allocation of cabinet posts is proving fatal to malnourished Zimbabweans,
Agriculture Minister Rugare Gumbo alleged in an interview with the state-run
Herald newspaper that the culprits were non-governmental organizations which
he said were hoarding food.
The Mugabe government in June imposed a ban on NGO food distribution,
accusing such organizations of supporting the MDC, and only lifted the ban
completely in August.
Government officials have accused Tsvangirai of stubbornly holding out for
concessions in the power-sharing talks and delaying the expansion of
humanitarian assistance. The MDC for its part has accused ZANU-PF of
neglecting the needs of the people.
United Nations food agencies have estimated that 5.1 million Zimbabweans
will face hunger and need food assistance by early next year. Meanwhile
agricultural experts are writing off the 2008-2009 crop season for lack of
seed and fertilizer.
Gumbo told the Herald that Zimbabweans have resorted to eating wild fruits,
but said this is not unusual as rural dwellers have always augmented their
diet this way.
But the MDC issued a statement accusing Gumbo of hit playing games when
people are suffering, saying, "The self-styled minister denies that
Zimbabweans are eating wild fruits, adding that the people have been doing
this since 'time immemorial.'"
The statement added: "Gumbo should tell the nation when he last had his
supper of wild fruits and where ZANU-PF members are enjoying their wild
Spokesman Nelson Chamisa of the MDC formation headed by Tsvangirai said the
leader met Thursday with civic groups to brief them on the talks, and
rebutted the statement from Gumbo, saying ZANU-PF intransigence is delaying
Despite the growing humanitarian emergency there was little evidence of
urgency on the part of the Southern African Development Community, whose
committee on politics, security and defense unsuccessfully tried to break
the Harare deadlock this week.
South African Foreign Affairs Director General Ayanda Ntsaluba told
reporters in Pretoria Thursday that no firm date has been set for a SADC
summit to consider the deadlock and propose a solution. Ntsaluba said SADC
foreign ministers would meet in Maputo, Mozambique, next week to determine
the summit's date and venue.
From Harare, Director Forbes Matonga of Christian Care, one of the United
Nations World Food Program's main implementing partners in the country,
rejected Gumbo's accusation that NGOs are hoarding food, saying that the
process of establishing equitable mechanisms for the distribution of food is
a complex process.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of State said it "regrets that six-weeks
impasse over the implementation of the September 15 power-sharing agreement
for Zimbabwe was not resolved" in the SADC mini-summit held in Harare on
The statement said the American government "condemned the Mugabe regime's
refusal to implement a genuine and equitable power-sharing agreement and its
continued use of violence against peaceful demonstrators." Police fired tear
gas and dispersed students and women who demonstrated in Harare on Monday to
demand that the parties to the power-sharing come to an agreement and form a
national unity government.
Washington said it shares the concern of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
about "the negative effect the impasse is having on the people of Zimbabwe,
who continue to suffer terribly." Ban issued a statement on Wednesday urging
Southern African leaders to take more "decisive" action and for Mr. Mugabe
to meet international expectations.
By Tendai Maphosa
30 October 2008
Zimbabwe's political and economic crisis has forced many to leave the
country to seek refuge or better opportunities elsewhere. But, as Tendai
Maphosa reports, there are also those who could leave but choose to stay in
Unsubstantiated estimates put the number of Zimbabweans in neighboring South
Africa at three million. More are scattered across the Southern African
Britain has also attracted thousands while Australia, New Zealand and the
United States are other popular overseas destinations.
For the unskilled, the options are limited. Most of those in South Africa
are there illegally. They end up working as laborers or doing other menial
work for very little pay. They run the risk of being arrested and deported
For the highly-skilled, especially in areas such as medicine and information
technology, opportunities are available in many countries.
But some choose to stay in Zimbabwe and deal with the hardships. Dr. Douglas
Gwatidzo falls into this category.
VOA asked him why he has not considered taking his practice someplace where
life would be easier. He says he has actually considered leaving, but has
decided his services are of more value here at home.
"Despite all these problems, the little contribution that I am making goes a
long way towards alleviating somebody's suffering so whatever little that I
am achieving for the few people, I think I am doing my bit," said Gwatidzo.
In addition to the serious challenges facing medical professionals in
Zimbabwe, Dr. Gwatidzo is also the chairman of the Zimbabwean Association of
doctors for Human Rights. This means he deals with and exposes cases of
torture and physical abuse by government officials, not a very safe job
considering the current situation in Zimbabwe.
Walter Wanyanya has also decided his future lies here. At 29 he is a
computer technician who has worked for one of the world's biggest computer
companies. He could easily get employment outside Zimbabwe, but he has also
decided to stick it out here.
"I believe in Zimbabwe and what Zimbabwe has got to offer and there is so
much that we can still do. I think our infrastructure is still very much
intact as much as everything else around us is negative," said Wanyanya. "If
I am going to leave, I am going to leave to get more education and come back
and build Zimbabwe because at the end of the day this is home."
While Wanyanya and Dr. Gwatidzo are examples of those who have decided to
stay, there are those who leave and return to Zimbabwe.
Kudzai and Trevor Davis fall into this category.
Trevor has lived in Zimbabwe since 1984 and considers himself a Zimbabwean.
In 2005, the couple decided to go to Davis's native Wales to further their
education and look around for opportunities. But once they were done with
their studies and worked a bit, Trevor says, they felt an overwhelming
desire to come home.
Kudzai says she found Wales and the Welsh people very nice, but it still was
"It is that much harder. You have got so little space, the child care
demands are so much more, my children were very small at that time and it
just felt really quite overwhelming and at the same time it is not a cheap
place to live," said Kudzai. "The United Kingdom is actually very expensive
and whatever little money you make or whatever much money you make, there is
lots of demand on you to spend it quickly."
Trevor added that despite things such as schooling for their children and
health care being more certain in Britain they are prepared to give it their
best shot here.
"One of the biggest worries now is education for our eldest daughter," he
added. "I think it says something that there is immense competition for
first grade places for school kids. It just shows you that there are a lot
of people still here who never went away and a lot of people coming back now
and trying to look to the future with their families. Wherever you go, I
believe there's problems."
All those who VOA spoke to do not blame those who leave. They all expressed
the hope that those who have left will bring much-needed skills and
experience back home when political change enables them to return.
October 31, 2008 | By Simba Dzvairo
Embattled Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono says he will step
down at the end of his next month term and will not seek to be re-appointed.
"I know one thing for certain, this governor shall not serve one day longer
than he is allowed by his principals,"Gono told delegates to the just-ended
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) congress.
MDC secretary general Tendai Biti who is highly tipped to take over as
Minister of Finance in the new all inclusive government early this year
blamed Gono for Zimbabwe's economic woes.
"Gono is the number one enemy of this country, not inflation,"
Biti,MDC-Harare East said. "He has been stoking the fires of inflation
through quasi-fiscal activities.
Banker and senior MDC official Elton Mangoma who could be appointed Minister
of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion is a vocal critic of the
central bank chief and called Gono's recent monetary policy statement,
inconsequential "tinkering" with the symptoms of the problem.
Sources speculated that Gono will likely be replaced by deputy governor,
Edward Mashiringwani as acting governor until a suitable replacement is
The theme for this year's CZI congress was "Economic Policy,
Industrialisation, Agriculture, Economic Policies and Infrastructure
"CZI believes in the free enterprise system and with strong, well focused
policies, as the only way of restoring viability and the return to the
economic growth path, hence the objective is to use this congress to come up
with strategies and concrete policy proposals on industrialisation,
agriculture, economic policies and infrastructure development," the CZI said
in a statement announcing the congress dates last week.
Published: October 31, 2008
President Robert Mugabe is responsible for much of Zimbabwe's terrible
suffering. But so long as Africa's leaders allow Mr. Mugabe and his henchmen
to bully them into silence - with phony claims of anti-colonialism and
national sovereignty - they are fully complicit.
Earlier this week, leaders from South Africa, Angola, Mozambique and
Swaziland said they had failed to find a way to implement a power-sharing
agreement between Mr. Mugabe and the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
They handed the problem over to a summit of the 15-member Southern African
Development Community. The group must come together quickly and be ready to
bring whatever pressure is necessary to force Mr. Mugabe to finally cede
While Mr. Mugabe wrangles and delays, most of his countrymen are going
without adequate food, medicine or fuel. Inflation is running at an
incomprehensible annual rate of 231 million percent.
Mr. Tsvangirai won the first round of Zimbabwe's presidential election but
was forced to withdraw from the runoff by Mr. Mugabe's army-backed thugs.
After considerable international pressure, Mr. Mugabe grudgingly agreed to
accept a power-sharing deal. Then he announced that his loyalists would run
the major ministries, including those that control the army and the police.
Mr. Tsvangirai is insisting that Mr. Mugabe cannot keep control of the Home
Affairs Ministry, which runs the police. Mr. Tsvangirai painfully knows why
that is so important: He has been repeatedly arrested and harassed by the
police and was beaten and tortured to within an inch of his life in March
In a statement earlier this week, the participating southern African leaders
"noted with concern disagreements in the allocation" of the Home Affairs
Ministry and spoke of the need "to further review the current political
situation in Zimbabwe as a matter of urgency."
We hope that behind the diplomatic patter there is a true sense of urgency
and disgust that will finally galvanize all of southern Africa's leaders to
quick and effective action. Until then, the rest of the world must keep up
the pressure: denying visas to Mr. Mugabe's cronies; freezing their bank
accounts and other assets; and looking for other ways to make clear that the
looting and terrorizing of Zimbabwe will no longer be tolerated.
30th October 08
The darkness that is at the heart of this desperate situation, centered in
one man, the man Mugabe, is about a choice, between choosing corruption,
greed and self interest over choosing compassion for the dying sons and
daughters of Zimbabwe. It takes more than just one man to bring this
darkness, and those who are amongst their number today have this choice.
They can continue to take the money, turn a blind eye, and ignore the
suffering of the people, or they can say no, enough is enough, while there
is still time.
At Zimfest 2008 here in the UK, I witnessed the mixture of sadness and joy
of Zimbabweans, both black and white, coming together, so sad to be away
from their country, but so joyful, for a short time, to be together. Maybe
through the pain of these seemingly wasted years, the new free Zimbabwe that
IS coming will own the words of Martin Luther, when he dreamed that men one
day would be judged "not by the colour of their skin, but by the content of
I am nobody in particular, but God did show me the pain he feels for
Zimbabwe, and since that day (a few weeks before the June Elections this
year) my burden and passion has been to pray, and support in any way I can
the hope of a better Zimbabwe; he also showed me a vision of me meeting a
great man of Zimbabwe in a free Zimbabwe under an amazingly blue sky. This
is no dream though. IT WILL HAPPEN, ZIMBABWE WLL BE FREE! You are not
alone, God is with you, and people all over the world are praying for you.
However, I repeat my simple message for those whom Mugabe buys in the army,
the police, in the civil service etc - REPENT! The money you are paid is
soaked in the blood of children, women and young men of your wonderful
country; can you continue to turn a blind eye and be made rich while your
children die? Men of the Police, how can you beat up old women, the mothers
of your nation, and your courageous young men just because they dare to say
enough is enough? Turn around and stand with the people! Do not believe you
will escape the judgment of God if you don't for the evil you are doing; the
whole World knows the truth, your names, how much more the God of all the
To those who regard themselves as the liberators of Zimbabwe, did you
liberate your people so mothers have to feed their children cow dung?
Sanctions responsible? No, you know that's a lie which only Magube believes,
no, its totally Greed & corruption. Today's heroes of Zimbabwe are women
like Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu, and men like Osborne Kachuru
from Mbare & Ignatius Mushangwe, the ZEC director, these and others are the
Zimbabweans who today deserve to be honoured!
Praise you Father, that you are a God of Love, Rightness & Power and you
hear the cry of your people, you hear the cry of Zimbabwe.
Prayer for Zimbabwe
Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to
email@example.com with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.
To subscribe/unsubscribe to the JAG mailing list, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
with subject line "subscribe" or "unsubscribe".
1. R Robertson
To Andrew Field,
Please carry on writing. What you had to say was very interesting, and
extremely well written.
Don't be put off by a few people. As we all know, "Minority groups always
shout the loudest".
May your God also go with you.
2. Deeply Hurt
Here is my view of the current events in Zimbabwe in the last few weeks.
It was a big surprise for me to hear that Mugabe has agreed on one thing
with Tsvangirai considering Mugabe's deep rooted hatred for Tsvangirai. Well
it was good they agreed. It turns out now that Mugabe was never for sharing
power. The debate about who has control of Finance Ministry was a ploy by
Zanu to take attention away from Home Affairs which they wanted so much.
They never wanted Finance, its very clear that they want to dump the
responsibility to revamp the economy on Tsvangirai's desk just because they
say he is the one who campaigned for sanctions to be imposed on the country.
After having a mock battle with the MDC over the Finance Ministry, when the
real battle over Home Affairs came Zanu would then say 'but we disagreed
over Finance and we conceded to you". Tsvangirai be wise and stamp your foot
over Home Affairs lest no independence will be realised for the Zimbabwean
people. How many people were attacked by the militia since 2000? How many
people were jailed for these attacks? If Zanu can answer these questions
without flickering then they might get Home affairs. The proportions of
attacks to arrests relating to politically motivated violence with Zanu in
the lead are alarming and we can't entrust Zanu with the responsibility of
safeguarding the defenceless masses. Aluta continua contra forma
3. Mawira K Solomon Stabinage
My message to you all is that you should pray and not only praying but in
God's own way. First of all find the way. A lot of people are praying in the
wrong way and their prayers are just like dust. It does not have the
required weight. The second thing is that to have the power of God you
should be righteous and blameless. If you are committing a lot of sins then
you will never ever have the power of God. Your prayers are just like noise
to the Almighty God. You are just wasting time and a lot of people are just
wasting their precious time praying yet they are committing sins.
I think I will end here but for those who want to know the way I am talking
about please go and read the following verses: 1 Enock 77: 1,2 , 1 Enock 90:
28-37 , Pslams 18: 9-11 , Revelations 22::9Daniel 7:13 ,
These readings they will show you the way. Then if do not understand why I
gave you these readings you are free to contact me on my e-mail address:
Mawira K.Solomon Stabinage
All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions of
the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice for