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Zim factions resume cabinet talks


    October 05 2008 at 02:31PM

By Angus Shaw

Harare, Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe's political factions were back in talks,
both sides said on Sunday, but so far can't even agree on how far they've
progressed, a measure of the difficulty of turning their pledges of
co-operation into action.

President Robert Mugabe and his main rivals signed a power-sharing
agreement in September brokered by former South African President Thabo

Since then, though, they have made no progress on deciding who would
hold which posts in their Cabinet. That has meant they have yet to turn
their attention to their nation's economic and humanitarian crisis.

Mbeki has agreed to resume mediating. But the two sides met without
him on Saturday. Nelson Chamisa, spokesperson for main opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai, said on Sunday that negotiators were going back to the
table to find what he called "a domestic remedy" before deciding whether it
was necessary to call back mediators.

George Charamba, Mugabe's spokesperson, said talks on Saturday between
Mugabe, Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change and Arthur
Mutambara, leader of a smaller opposition group, failed to allocate control
of just the home affairs ministry, in charge of police, and the finance
ministry, the official on Sunday Mail newspaper reported.

Charamba said the leaders met for two hours at Mugabe's State House
offices in Harare and decided to hand back discussion on the two ministries
to negotiators for the parties who drew up the power sharing deal signed
Sept. 15.

But Chamisa, Tsvangirai's spokesman, said Sunday that disputes
remained over the allocation of "the whole set" of 31 government ministries
laid out in the deal, 16 going to the combined opposition and 15 to Mugabe's
Zanu-PF party.

"Zanu-PF is trying to extract maximum gains for themselves. To say
that two ministries are holding things up is absolutely incorrect. It is
totally fictional," he said.

Under the power sharing agreement, Mugabe remains president and head
of the Cabinet and Tsvangirai heads a council of ministers responsible for
implementing government policy.

Talks on the sharing of ministries have already stalled twice over
which party receives control of key ministries such as defence, justice,
finance, foreign affairs, home affairs, information and local government.

The opposition accuses the home affairs ministry of condoning
political violence by police and state agents against Movement for
Democratic Change supporters.

Several top Mugabe loyalists would lose powerful government jobs and
diplomatic posts if the unity government agreement comes into affect. Mugabe
has led Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980.

The government has been virtually paralysed since disputed elections
in March in which the opposition won control of the Parliament. Many
Zimbabweans fear no one is in charge now amid chronic shortages of hard
currency, cash, food and all basic goods and medicines.

Aid agencies have forecast that at least 5-million people, about half
the population, will need food handouts by January.

Tsvangirai, 56, boycotted a presidential runoff vote in June, citing
political violence and intimidation against his supporters. He beat Mugabe
in the first round of presidential polling in March but not by the margin
needed to avoid a runoff.

Mugabe, 84, blames the economic meltdown on Western sanctions.

Critics point to the often-violent seizures of thousands of
white-owned commercial farms that began in 2000, disrupting the agriculture
based economy in the former regional breadbasket. - Sapa-AP

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Zimbabwean leaders make minor progress on formation of new cabinet

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) Zimbabwe's political rivals have made minor
progress towards breaking the deadlock over the appointment of a new cabinet
but still remain worlds apart over control of the key ministries of Finance
and Home Affairs, APA learns here Sunday.

Presidential spokesman George Charamba said in a statement issued in
Harare that President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai
narrowed to two the number of disputed ministerial positions following a
meeting held on Saturday.

The ministries still to be allocated between Mugabe's ZANU PF and the
Movement for Democratic Change of Tsvangirai are those of Finance and Home
Affairs, Charamba said.

He said the leaders resolved to refer the issue of the contentious
ministries to teams of negotiators from their parties.

The MDC had earlier told reporters that the talks between the two and
the leader of a splinter MDC faction Arthur Mutambara had collapsed and
accused Mugabe of refusing to share power.

Under a September 15 power-sharing agreement brokered by former South
African president, Thabo Mbeki, Tsvangirai would become Prime Minister in
charge of the day-to-run operations of the proposed unity government.

He would be deputized by Mutambara and Thokozani Khupe, vice president
of the Tsvangirai-led MDC.


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A nation afflicted with acute “gonosis”

October 5, 2008

Depositors waiting to withdraw money from the bank in Harare. (Picture by Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi.)

By Sibangani Sibanda

ZIMBABWE has a way of knocking one down when least expected. I started this week feeling very positive, not because anything positive had happened in my life, but because it suddenly occurred to me that another one of my wife’s favorite sayings – “Real life is what passes you by while you wait for ideal conditions to prevail” (or words to that effect) may have some wisdom in it.

Thus I decided that starting Monday this week, I was going to be positive. I was going to forget about all the “challenges” that we face as Zimbabweans and look for opportunities – or rather see opportunities instead of challenges.

This “high” lasted all of two days. It lasted until I visited my bank on Wednesday morning. Zimbabwe, as far as I know, is the only country in the world where the monetary authorities can decide how much of one’s money one can withdraw from the bank each day. Most of us therefore have to go to the bank every day because each day’s withdrawal is just enough to see to the needs of that particular day. Late last week, the monetary authorities decided to increase our daily limit from Z$1 000.00 to Z$ 20 000.00 for individuals and Z$ 10 000.00 for companies. It may come as a surprise to many that individuals are allowed to draw more cash per day than whole corporations, but readers of this column will remember another one of my wife’s favorite sayings.

It has something to do with a form of madness displayed by people who keep doing the same thing (or should it be the same wrong thing) but expect different results. You will remember that we decided that, by this definition of madness, our Reserve Bank governor is beyond redemption and thus nothing that he does should surprise us. However, as he has authority from higher offices to keep repeating himself, we have to put up with his eccentricities in the same manner that the relatives of an awkward but rich brat will grudgingly indulge him with fawning smiles. Meanwhile, what they really want to do is kick his butt!

So, it was not anything that emanated from the Reserve Bank that changed my mood. Rather it was the realization that our Reserve Bank governor’s condition is contagious and that our commercial banks, perhaps because they spend so much time meeting with our governor have become the first victims.

On the fateful day, I arrived at the bank to find many people milling around the banking hall in desperation. The bank had, overnight, decided to levy “service charges” on all current accounts. These amounted to Z$ 500 000.00 for each company current account, and Z$ 100 000.00 for personal current accounts! Many of those who had come to withdraw their daily allocation suddenly found themselves in overdraft. And many had spent their last cash from the previous days’ withdrawal on bus fare to get to the bank! They had no bus fare to get back home, let alone buy food for the family for that day!

I would have expected the bank to have at least given us some sort of warning. But, then again, that would have to be a bank that has not been affected by what we shall call “The governor-of-the-Reserve-Bank-of-Zimbabwe syndrome” until a scientific name for it is found. I was thinking of something like “gonosis”, such as in, “My bank manager is afflicted with acute gonosis.”

But, warning or no warning, the charges themselves, given the level of Mr. And Mrs. Average Zimbabwean’s incomes, are outrageous. One of the bank workers confided in me that her monthly salary was Z$ 300 000.00 (I forgot to ask whether this was before or after tax). If she banks with her employer, therefore, one third of her salary will go towards “service charges”. There are many, with current accounts that earn significantly less than her, and the Reserve Bank now insists that employees should open bank accounts so that their employers do not have the problem of finding cash to pay them.

Imagine how many days it would take a company to withdraw enough money to pay, say, 100 workers at a withdrawal rate of Z$ 10 000.00 per day. I am assuming here that the reader understands that 10 000.00 Zimbabwe dollars is not a lot of money. At current prices, it will buy two loaves of bread.

Up to this point, I was still, perhaps because of the shock of it all, feeling quite up beat about life. I would only need to beg for a few pounds from my relatives in other countries in order to cover my unexpected overdraft, and then everything would be fine. Unfortunately, the man in front of me inquired about a cheque book….

When I came to, they confirmed that a 100 leaf cheque book would now cost me eleven million four hundred thousand Zimbabwe Dollars. Each leaf would cost me one hundred and fourteen thousand dollars, and every day, my company would have to fill one of these in so that the bank can give us ten thousand dollars in return! It was so fortunate that I had a personal account as well. That sixty leaf item would only cost me four million – a mere sixty-seven thousand per leaf, and I can withdraw twenty thousand dollars with each leaf!

And, when someone else told me that they had come that morning to apply for a bank cheque (most suppliers now insist on bank cheques) for one hundred thousand Zimbabwe dollars and were told that it would cost them seven hundred thousand Zimbabwe dollars for the privilege, I could feel myself succumbing to acute gonosis.

I left the bank whistling. I think they call it delirium.

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From the streets of Harare


Published: Monday 06 October 2008

ZIMBABWE - I was shocked when the lady behind the counter in the Gutsai
Supermarket confirmed that indeed the twist bread was costing Z$430 000

I looked at her, felt the pervasive urge to say something to her, protest,
shout. For the very first time in my life I imagined calling some funny
outfit called the National Incomes and Pricing Commission.

The price of the twist bread as of that day, Saturday October 4 2008 was
more than US$10 even going by the highest exchange rates available on that

One needed to withdraw cash from their account more than 20 times, which
means for 20 days to be able to buy the twist, going by the daily withdrawal
limit of Z$20 000.

This is just one of the symptoms of the serious crisis Zimbabweans are
grappling with, worsening by the day. But it doesn't mean nothing is being
done by the country's leaders in the face of this suffering.

The political leaders are busy, talking, negotiating and so forth. They have
been busy throughout this year, campaigning initially, talking, negotiating
before striking a political settlement on September 15 but there has been an
impasse after that (which in some terms and by some standards could be
pronounced broken by the time you read this column).

Zanu (PF), of Robert Mugabe and the two MDC formations have been in deadlock
into the fourth week since the signing because of failure to agree on
sharing of ministries. We have is on good authority that Robert Mugabe, who
has been in power since independence 28 years ago and presided over the
parlous state of the country's economy, has been digging in his heels
insisting he should retain virtually all the key ministries.

This is not only ridiculous, but also saddening. The same man and his
entourage of praise singers and bootlickers that have been backing his
destruction policies and agendas are stubbornly demanding  the key

To do what really? What new or different things does this gang believe or
hope to do which they didn't do with the ministry of Finance where looting
of the national coffers has been rampaging like a veldfire, or the ministry
of Home Affairs where, despite using them like whips and guns against the
opposition and the masses, members of the police force are a pathetic lot,
paid peanuts and condemned to destitution dressed in the uniform that is
meant to reflect national honour and authority.

I recently saw a constable's pay slip and he earned for the last month about
Z$12 000. He needs to save his whole salary for five months to be able to
buy the twist bread.

These scenarios and analogies present far-reaching implications on Mugabe
and his closest allies who stand on podiums to claim they are men (and
women) of the people, participated in elections this year-lost them but
killed people, begged for dialogue with MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai who had
clearly demonstrated to be the people's choice but now here we are-deadlock.

This not normal at all, this is insane on the part of Mugabe and his allies.
I am sure Robert Mugabe is totally insane and the majority of those closest
to him are either stupid, hypocrites or possessed by demons. The insanity of
Mugabe and some of his allies is caused by evil forces that possess, control
and influence their minds, souls and spirits.

If Mugabe was normal he would be the first to embrace the hand of peace and
love he is offered daily by Zimbabweans despite them still nursing the
wounds of his murder and mayhem. He would have at least done a tenth of what
former President  Thabo Mbeki of South Africa did when he humbled himself
and appeared before the nation to allow for someone else to take over.

That takes me to my major point in this article, and which I dwelt on in an
article published last week. Whatever some people call it, I am of the firm
belief that the battle Zimbabweans have been and are still fighting has a
spiritual dimension.

In fact, it is primarily and basically a spiritual battle only manifesting
in the natural and the physical through Mugabe, his followers, Morgan
Tsvangirai, his party, Arthur Mutambara, his party and the rest of Zimbabwe,
including our economy and other sectors.

Only some force, of evil would have supported Mugabe in the horrendous
things he has inflicted upon the beautiful nation of Zimbabwe since 1980.

That force can never be Jehova Jireh God Almighty who says in Deuteronomy he
has plans only to prosper his people, to provide them food, accommodation,
shelter, wealth and also peace. This same God, of Abraham, Jacob and John,
as well as the children of Zimbabwe, does not accept the hypocrisy of Mugabe
and his gang.

This God has heard the crying and supplication by Zimbabweans yearning to be
delivered from the evil Mugabe regime and that is why he has proved to
Mugabe that he and the evil forces that use him will not prosper Zimbabwe,
will not provide food, will not get a harvest.

God defeated the evil and Mugabe begged for talks with MDC. His hopes for an
opportunity to swallow or silence the forces of change and cries for a
better Zimbabwe are ending in vain.

It is through the powerful stand and faith in God by the army of the
Almighty in Zimbabwe that finally, yes finally, in his whole history Mugabe
has found a nemesis in Tsvangirai, who will not fall for anything to waver
from principle and commitment towards what is good for this country.

If Tsvangirai gives in and accepts the nonsense of some silly so-called
power sharing arrangement, he would be fooling himself and wasting his time
because God's plan for this country is something else.

It is that he has defeated the evil forces that have been using Mugabe and
Zanu (PF) to oppress this nation and that because the prayers of Zimbabweans
have gone to the Almighty as a memorial.  This God will not countenance the
hypocrisy and sinister agendas behind Mugabe's desire to cling onto key
ministries which he has been with for 28 years of failure.

Therefore, dance they may, issue threats, buy more arms from China, train
more green bombers and even prepare more offices for Tsvangirai, there is no
way Mugabe and his evil dictatorship can reverse their defeat already
confirmed spiritually and also manifesting in the natural as they lose
elections, as their economy melts to unprecedented levels, their money
becomes the most valueless thing around them and what more, even their kids
ridicule and find shame in them.

They have no way they will escape the end, and the day is fast approaching
and there will be more clear indications when you read this column next

Keep watching this space.

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Statement on ROHR ZImbabwe, RBZ court case regarding review of Bank withdrawal Limits limits

Sunday, 05 October 2008 09:12

SEPTEMBER 25, 2008

THE Restoration of Human Rights Zimbabwe (ROHR Zimbabwe) has, today,
taken the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (R.B.Z) to court over the central bank's
failure to review bank withdrawal limits in line with the economic situation
prevailing in Zimbabwe.

The court action is in line with the organization's mission seeking to
promote a culture of human rights in Zimbabwe through community mobilization
and capacity building and active responses to human rights.

It is prudent to highlight that the untenable situation obtaining in
Zimbabwe where people have since last year, struggled to access their cash
from banks, is a serious infringement on the rights of the people of

While the situation was dire last year, it has become even more risky
this time around as people have resorted to spending nights in queues to
withdraw paltry amounts that are insignificant to meet their daily demands.

The development has seen Zimbabweans, to a great extent, being reduced
to mere beggars who have no idea, whatsoever, as to how this cash logjam
would be unlocked and when.

Having to spend time in queues has also exposed citizens of this once
great nation to a cocktail of ailments and diseases- a situation we believe
as a human rights defence organization could be addressed by the authorities
and powers-that-be.

It ceases to amaze us all how these people, forced into this kind of
inhumane situation, answer to the call of nature given that in these banks
where they queue, they have no access to ablution facilities.

What we believe is the only option, given the situation, is for these
bank clients to relieve themselves in open spaces and allays, which in the
broader analysis, creates another problem, that of a possibility of a
disease outbreak.

We shudder to think what is likely to happen given that there is an
outbreak of Cholera, which according to statistics in The Herald newspaper
today has claimed 16 lives. Surely, this situation should be a cause for

We believe that the central bank, through its governor's office,
should be a bit serious when setting these bank limits and do the reviews
while taking into account the inflationary environment Zimbabweans are
currently living in.

It (the Reserve Bank) should also take into cognizance the fact that
prices of basic commodities continue to rise on a daily basis, thereby
eroding the amount of money that it has allowed depositors to withdraw from
the banks.

While it might be the central bank's defence that banks have not met
its requirements in terms of bonds, treasury bills, and excess cash after a
day's disbursements, we believe this is a bureaucratic challenge that can be
dealt with if there is will power, political will power for that matter, to
address the situation and save Zimbabweans the shame and embarrassment of
sleeping outside banks in search of their hard-earned cash.

It is light of the above that ROHR Zimbabwe has decided to take it
upon itself, pushed by the plight of Zimbabweans, to challenge the central
bank, through its governor, to lift the bar on the bank withdrawal limits.

We are sure that the High Court, despite the various goodies and
niceties that the central bank chief, Gideon Gono has splashed on members of
the judiciary, will remain objective and give a ruling that saves
Zimbabweans from further agony of queuing for what rightfully belongs to
them-the unlimited access to their cash.

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SADC clarifes position on Zim power-sharing


THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) region has clarified its
position on former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, whom it says would
continue mediating in the power-sharing process in Zimbabwe despite being
removed from office by his African National Congress (ANC) ruling party, a
senior SADC official told CAJ News over the phone on Saturday.

According to the SADC Secretary-General, Dr. Tomaz Salomaoa, Mbeki was
tasked to mediate in the Zimbabwe crisis by virtue of being head of state of
South Africa, but he was quick to defend that it was imperative to assign an
individual whom the regional grouping feels would deliver the intended
results towards searching for a lasting peaceful solution to the
power-sharing deal in Zimbabwe.
Dr. Salomaoa also emphasized that the 14-member regional grouping also took
into consideration that changing of mediators would otherwise jeopardise the
otherwise smoothly moving talks in Zimbabwe hence retaining former South
African president Mbeki.
After the power-sharing deal has been put on pen to paper on September 15,
2008, fresh disagreements over cabinet sharing-posts emerged with the two
main political rival parties of the ruling Zanu PF and opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) emerged and sharply differed over allocation of
the four key cabinet posts that includes the ministries of Home Affairs,
Finance, Foreign Affairs, Lands and Agriculture respectively.
Dr. Salomaoa, said SADC had been in contact with both the ANC leadership and
its chief mediator to ensure that the achievements made so far by Mr. Mbeki
would not be put to waste as the region continues to seek for a lasting
solution in Zimbabwe.
"Though Mr. Mbeki is no longer head of state, as SADC region, we have faith
in him, and strongly believe he is the right man to continue searching for
some long lasting solutions to the Zimbabwe challenges.
 "The search for power-sharing solution to Zimbabwe is a difficult position
that needs articulation from both ANC and the SADC region, of which the two
parties (ANC and SADC) have agreed to continue supporting the initiative to
the Zimbabwe crisis," said Dr. Salomaoa.

Echoing same sentiments was Mbeki's spokesperson, Mukoni Ratshitanga, who
told CAJ News over the phone on Saturday that the former South Africa head
of state would resume his mediation process shortly.
"Yes, Mr. Mbeki would resume his mediation process to the power-sharing deal
any moment.  But I have a problem with some journalists (people), who always
put much emphasis over the issue of going to Harare or Pretoria for
mediation, yet Mr. Mbeki could safely pick up the phone and talk to both
President Mugabe and Mr. Tsvangirai Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

"The process of facilitation does not only involve traveling either to
Harare, or, Pretoria, but it also requires instituting communication between
the parties involved in the power-sharing talks by telephone," said
The Zimbabwe power-sharing deal went on deadlock on Tuesday when President
Mugabe's Zanu PF and Tsvangirai's MDC failed to agree on the ruling party
grabbing all important cabinet posts arguing that the latest development was
going against the idea of a 50-50 percent power-sharing.

To date, Zimbabwe is experiencing acute food shortages, the worst ever
inflation in the world reaching 11 200 000 percent coupled with chronic
diseases and severe shortage of foreign currency.

-CAJ News.

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary - 4th October 2008


Blustery weather saw out the 6th year of our Vigil outside the Zimbabwe
Embassy.  But mercifully the threatened downpour held off. Many passers-by
were puzzled about what is going on following the power-sharing agreement.
We were unable to give them good news.  But we are happy to say that Glenys
Kinnock MEP will join us next week to mark our anniversary.  Mrs Kinnock has
taken the Zimbabwe cause to her heart and will pass on our petition to the
European Union calling for action to alleviate the suffering of Zimbabweans.
(See press release below.)

As we ended our 6th year, we were pleased to hear from Roy Bennett,
Treasurer-General of MDC, with encouraging words for the Vigil.  The Vigil
was started at Roy's suggestion at an MDC Central London forum in 2002. When
he visited us in August 2005 he described the Vigil as "A fire in Mugabe's
bum".  His latest message: "Thanks for the tremendous work you guys have
done around the Vigil. It is the most positive, united and constructive
effort that has come out of the UK. Well done you Vigil guys and thanks
again for all your commitment and work to free Zim. God bless."

For latest Vigil pictures check:  .

FOR THE RECORD: 105 signed the register.

·   Central London Zimbabwe Forum. Monday, 6th October, at 7.30 pm.
Panel discussion on the power-sharing deadlock. Panel members Jameson
Mashakada Vice Chair of MDC UK and Sten Zvorwadza of Restoration of Human
Rights will explore the deadlock from civil society's and MDC 's
perspective. Venue: Downstairs at the Bell and Compass, 9-11 Villiers
Street, London, WC2N 6NA, next to Charing Cross Station at the corner of
Villiers Street and John Adam Street.
·   Next Glasgow Vigil. Saturday 11th October 2008, 2 - 6 pm. Venue:
Argyle Street Precinct. For more information contact: Patrick Dzimba, 07990
724 137.
·   "Yours Abundantly, from Zimbabwe" - a play by Gillian Plowman.
Until 18th October at the Oval House Theatre, 52 - 54 Kennington Oval,
London SE11.  On 7th October there will be a panel discussion on Britain and
Zimbabwe after the show.  For more information:, 020 7582
·   Zimbabwe Association's Women's Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays
10.30 am - 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton
Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury
Park. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355
(open Tuesdays and Thursdays).

5th October 2008 - Press Release

Zimbabweans in UK tell EU: "Stop bankrolling Mugabe's friends."

European Union countries have been urged to suspend government-to-government
aid to members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) because
of their failure to help the desperate people of Zimbabwe.

On Saturday, 11th October, Glenys Kinnock MEP will attend the Zimbabwe Vigil
outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London to accept a petition signed by
thousands of people who have passed by the Vigil in the Strand.  Mrs Kinnock
is Co-President of the African, Caribbean and Pacific / EU Joint
Parliamentary Assembly and has taken a close interest in the situation in

The event marks the 6th anniversary of the Vigil, which has been held
outside the Embassy every Saturday since 12th October 20002 in protest
against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. It has been described by the
Observer as the largest regular demonstration in London.

The petitions reads: "A Petition to European Union Governments. We record
our dismay at the failure of the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) to help the desperate people of Zimbabwe at their time of trial.  We
urge the UK government and the European Union in general to suspend
government-to-government aid to all 14 (now 15) SADC countries until they
abide by their joint commitment to uphold human rights in the region. We
suggest that the money should instead be used to feed the starving in

The Vigil condemns SADC for recognising Mugabe as President when SADC's own
election observers criticised the polls this year as deeply flawed. Mugabe
consequently feels free to disregard a power-sharing deal signed last month
despite the deepening humanitarian crisis. The UN says that about half the
population will need food aid by early next year.

The Vigil wants the money saved by our proposal - and it amounts to many
hundreds of millions of pounds a year - to be used to finance refugee camps
in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique to which Zimbabweans can
flee for their lives without fear of prompting more xenophobic violence. The
money would fund shelter, medicine and education no longer available in

Vigil Co-ordinator Rose Benton said: "We do not see why the British
taxpayer, should, for instance, give more than £60 million this year to
Malawi, whose President struts around on a stolen farm in Zimbabwe and who
has named a new highway after his hero Robert Mugabe."

Mrs Benton explained: "We're not of course, calling for a halt to
humanitarian aid to the region, medicine etc. What we are talking
about is balance of payments support which often goes astray.  We believe
SADC has failed to live up to its basic responsibilities and must share the
pain of Zimbabwe as it becomes the country of the dead, the dying and Mugabe's
Zanu-PF Party. We are grateful that Botswana and Zambia have recently begun
to protest about what is happening but our proposal will benefit them in
relieving their refugee burden."

Event:                                         Zimbabwe Vigil's 6th
Venue:                                        Outside the Zimbabwe
Embassy, 429 Strand, London WC2
Date / time:                                2 pm - 6 pm, Saturday,
11th October 2008
                                                      Mrs Kinnock will
arrive at around 3.30 pm.  The petition will be presented at around 4 pm.
Further information:             Contact Rose Benton (07970 996 003,
07932 193 467), Dumi Tutani (07960 039 775), Ephraim Tapa (07940 793 090)

Vigil co-ordinators
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place
every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of
human rights by the current regime in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in
October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair
elections are held in Zimbabwe.

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Bill Watch 39 of 4th October 2008 [Senate to resume; Taxation of Forex Incomes]

BILL WATCH 39/2008
[4th October 2008]
Parliament Due to Resume
The Senate will sit on Tuesday 7th October and the House of Assembly on 14th October
The only item on the order paper [agenda] for the Senate is the debate on the President's Speech at the opening of Parliament in which he outlined Parliamentary business for this session of Parliament. 
There are no new Bills ready to be presented - not even the Constitutional  Amendment Bill No 19.  [Note: Bills other than "Money bills" can be introduced in either House.] 
The early business of a new Parliament must include setting up the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders, which in turn appoints the Parliamentary Legal Committee and the Parliamentary Portfolio Committees.  This cannot be finalised until the House of Assembly resumes its sitting.
[See end of Bulletin for latest SIs, including SI on taxation of forex incomes]
New Government
There is no Constitutional obstacle to the formation of the new Inclusive Government.  The hiatus is solely due to lack of agreement between the parties, an indication that not enough was spelt out in the Power-Sharing Agreement and too much left to "good will" which has been clearly lacking in the party called upon to relinquish some of the de facto power it retained despite the flawed election process.  It has now been over six months since the harmonised elections of 29th March.  It is shocking for the country that there has been this long drawn out process to achieve legitimacy and the international assistance so desperately needed.  Who has benefited by this delay?  Certainly not the ordinary people of Zimbabwe.
Appointment of Prime Minister: This still has not been done, although the Power-Sharing Agreement says that the President "shall Š appoint the Prime Minister pending the enactment of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment No. 19".  Note: the usual legal meaning of "shall" is "must", and there is no reason to give it any other meaning in this case .  
Two Vice-Presidents: not yet announced.
Two deputy Prime Ministers: not yet announced.
Ministers and Deputy Ministers:  not yet announced.
Cabinet:  not yet announced.
Content of Ministerial Portfolios
Under our Constitution the assignment of responsibilities and functions to Ministers is a matter for the President alone, and where the Agreement outlines the powers of the President it merely states that in allocating Ministerial portfolios the President must consult the Vice-Presidents, the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Ministers [none of whom have yet been appointed].  In law a duty to "consult" means the President can follow or reject the views of those consulted, as long as those views are considered.  Also, in theory he could at a later stage make unilateral changes in the assignment of Ministerial functions and responsibilities.
If the functions and responsibilities of the Ministerial portfolios are not clearly agreed on now as part of the negotiations, but are left within the President's discretion, this would be totally contrary to the spirit of the Agreement. 
Some media reports have assumed that if the MDC gets the Ministry of Home Affairs, ZANU-PF control of the Police will come to an end.  But that will not necessarily follow - because the President appoints the Commissioner-General of Police [under the Constitution] and has the power [under the Police Act] to set policy and to give general directions for the ZRP which will override any conflicting policy and directions given by the Minister.  Even the Minister's power to make regulations for Police matters is limited by being subject to the approval of the Commissioner-General who reports directly to the President.  The Minister is, however, responsible for formulating the Police budget and defending it in Parliament.
There must also be clarity about the functions and responsibilities of the Ministry of Finance, particularly as regards the delineation of the roles of the Ministry and the Reserve Bank and its Governor.  The Governor is appointed by the President, who is obliged to consult the Minister but does not have to follow the Minister's advice [see above].  Over recent years the Reserve Bank has in practice taken over many of the traditional functions and responsibilities of the Ministry of Finance, enabling the Government to by-pass constitutional requirements for Parliamentary control of public moneys.
Provincial Governors
A recent press report stated that the ZANU-PF Central Committee has resolved that none of the provincial governorships should be surrendered to the MDC.  All 10 provincial governors are ZANU-PF members, appointed in late August in a move that breached clause 9 of the inter-party MoU signed 21st July: "The Parties shall not, during the subsistence of the Dialogue, take any decisions or measures that have a bearing on the agenda of the Dialogue, save by consensus.  Such decisions or measures include, but are not limited to the convening of Parliament or the formation of a new government."  As the provincial governors are ex officio members of the Senate, with full voting rights, they contribute significantly to ZANU-PF's majority in the Senate [and in any joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament] [See analysis in Bill Watch 37].  The Power-Sharing Agreement does not mention provincial governors at all - but the spirit of the Agreement surely calls for sharing of the governorships.
Case Challenging Election of Speaker
In Bill Watch 38 we noted the lodging of a High Court application by Professor Moyo and three other legislators challenging the election of Mr Lovemore Moyo as Speaker of the House of Assembly on the basis that the election was not conducted by secret ballot.  Opposing papers have now been filed on behalf of Mr Moyo.
Statutory Instruments
Government Gazettes Extraordinary dated  29th and 30th September
SIs 135A and 135B/2008 - authorises the issue of the new $10 000 and $20 000 banknotes; and increases the daily cash withdrawal limits from financial institutions to $20 000 [individuals] and $10 000 [companies]
Government Gazette Extraordinary dated 1st October
SI 135C/2008 - specifies the rate of exchange applicable to foreign exchange transactions, backdated to 1st May 2008.  For official transactions [i.e. transactions between Government Ministries or between Government Ministries and parastatals] the conversion rate remains at US$1 to ZWD30 000 [old currency, because of the backdating].  For other transactions - including the conversion of US dollars to Zimbabwe dollars for payment of income tax and duty, the conversion rate is the interbank rate of exchange.  This is a significant change - and its backdating to 1st May 2008 is legally questionable, particularly as it applies to payments of tax and duty already made. Taxpayers potentially affected by this change should take legal advice.
Government Gazette dated 3rd October
SI 136/2008 - new minimum equity capital requirements for insurers under the Insurance Act
SIs 137, 138, 139/2008 - regulations under the Factories and Works Act amending registration and inspection fees
SI 140/2008 - new fees for High Court civil cases
SI 141/2008 - new fees for Supreme Court civil cases
SI 142/2008 - increases the monetary limits for civil cases that can be dealt with in magistrates courts
SI 143/2008 - new fees and allowances for witnesses in criminal cases
SI 144/2008 - new fees for the Master's Office under the Administration of Estates Act.
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.

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The SADC, the African Union and the United Nations still play games with the Zimbabwean crisis

October 5, 2008 | By Reginald Thabani Gola |
It sounds impossible and unacceptable, and yet possible and acceptable to
former South African president, Thabo Mbeki, the SADC, the African Union and
the United Nations, that on losing an election, tyrants can imprison all
those who dare oppose them, torture them, rape the defenceless defiant
women, kill them in horrible ways, burn their bodies and dump them in
shallow graves . Intimidate their way back to power .

And Thabo Mbeki, the SADC, the African Union and the United Nations would,
very nicely, ask the offending tyrant to accommodate his democratically
winning opponents in a government of national unity . Keep control of the
same terror ministries formerly charged with the implementation of
genocide . The SADC, the African Union and the United Nations have
successfully made nausea-inflicting political history over the Zimbabwean

This marks the inevitable and irrepairable moral decay of the three
principal custodians of good governance. Selective justice has remained
excessively at play with Zimbabwe's strong man, Robert Mugabe. A man who has
shamelessly achieved political dust-bin legacy by running a lone-man brutal
electoral race, self-anointing, and celebrating victory respectively, right
below the nose of the policeman organisations. A tyrant who has bull-dozed
his way into the African Union and the SADC summits successfully. Mugabe was
quoted addressing his supporters soon after "winning" his violence-ridden
lone-man race election and self anointment as saying ". I am going to the
African Union summit in Egypt!. I want to see he who is clean who will lift
a finger against me." And, indeed, he went and was embraced as a legitimate
head of state by all, other than Botswana, Liberia, Nigeria, Zambia,
Tanzania and Raila Odinga.

But, generally, his will prevailed. Gabonese president Omar Bongo, another
confirmed dictator, was very pleased with the continued swelling of the
ranks of tyrants within the African Union so much that he congratulated
Mugabe and told journalists that "Mugabe was a hero and president because he
had taken the oath of office".

The SADC, the African Union and the United Nations have, either by design or
default, institutionalized a bad precedent. The SADC, the African Union and
the United Nations are reigned by window dressing committees without
commitments. The supposedly big and bold have successfully nurtured to
fruition political dust-bin stuff form of legacy by sinking so low as to
allow dictatorships to bloom in Zimbabwe and Kenya. In Kenya electoral fraud
left over a thousand law-abiding citizens dead.

In South Africa, Thabo Mbeki massacred multitudes of citizens with his
vodooistic HIV/AIDS doctrines. African National Congress loyalists who had
voted the party for good health, poverty alleviation, food security and
employment. And over Mugabe's ungodly twenty eight years of iron-fist rule,
three times of election rigging, three terms of presidential illegitimacy,
one would need a multi-digit scientific calculator to get the correct totals
for a non-stop atrocity exercise.

By forming The Movement for Democratic Change {Mutambara} Mugabe had
targeted a plus or minus fifty percent split of the MDC which would have
been a civilized way of legitimizing the illegitimate. But it did not work!
The Movement for Democratic Change {Mutambara} has no chance to see light
beyond the March 29 elections. It is a Mugabe Central Intelligence
Organisation {CIO} formed and driven party that now comprises of its
president Arthur Guseni Oliver Mutambara {AGOM}, Welshman Ncube {WN}, Gibson
Sibanda {GS}, Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga, {PMM} Siyabonga Ncube, {SN}
Moses Mzila Ndlovu {MMN}, Patrick Dube, {PD}, Gabriel Chaibva {GC}, among
the various other political rejects. The decision by the MDC {Mutambara}
faction Members of Parliament to vote with the main MDC {Tsvangirai} faction
for the parliamentary speaker's position tells it all.

The losing MDC {Mutambara} faction candidate, Paul Themba Nyathi, an astute
man of ministerial caliber, was voted for by ZANU PF. Mugabe's ZANU PF had
not fielded a candidate in respect of its "party-within-a-party" arrangement
with the MDC {Mutambara} faction. {A party within Mugabe's ZANU PF} Former
Gutu South former Member of Parliament, Shuvai Mahofa's Zimbabwe Ndeye Ropa
{Zimbabwe is for blood} lyrics and kongonya {violent waist shifting shona
liberation war dance} could not play the trick. Zimbabweans had nothing to
do with ropa {blood} any more. They wanted good health, poverty alleviation,
food security, and good governance as top-most priority, and Morgan
Tsvangirai was there to deliver, and he must deliver.

These organizations have failed to rise above ordinary tea parties at a
grave hour of need. Yet so express in bargaining for Mugabe's amnesty for
crimes against humanity despite the fact that he still wielded a machete and
the bayonate, and still had fresh human blood dripping from his fingers. The
three principal custodians of good governance have calculatingly exercised
great caution about signaling Mugabe to the international Court of Justice
{ICJ} in the Hague where he rightfully belongs. These organizations are
here-by challenged to either introspect, self-evaluate, and put on their
teeth and bite to enforce compliance from all the offending parties, or
else, face the dust-bin irretrievably, rather than continue to take the
world for a free and false security ride.

These organizations have, inevitably, gone on a fast lane of moral decay
into "dictators galores" where mafia type of dictator gangsterism prevails
against democracy in the name of good governance, there-by over-shadowing
the lone voices from Botswana, Tanzania, Zambia, Nigeria, Jacob Zuma,
Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Raila Odinga and the entire west. China,
Russia, Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa {under Thabo Mbeki} and the
Democratic Republic of Congo, among others, have honoured Mugabe for his
twenty eight years of brutish, nasty and self-serving rule in various ways.
The late Zambian political icon, Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, fought a losing
battle. The all mighty God cheated the people of Zimbabwe by untimely
calling that political saint whose life would have determined a great
difference for the Zimbabwean citizenry. With Ian Khama alone, the SADC
remains fully in the doldrums.

The two leaders actively complimented each other, especially, on the
Zimbabwean crisis. But the late Mwanawasa and Khama's endeavours have been
failed by the SADC, the African Union and the United Nations who have
remained too cosmetic. They all seem to be very much unclear of their
mandate. What in Rwanda, Somalia, Sierra Leone and Liberia they called
genocide, in Zimbabwe they opted for many names ranging from "sovereignty,
crisis, no crisis, bloodshed, some opting for a splendid silence, and later
an African victory". In the true sense the Zimbabwean saga is a pure
"African Electoral Fraud" and Mugabe has taken full advantage of it. It has
remained an unholy scenario where electoral rejects lawfully prevail over
the winners.

Dictators have undergone a rigorous free course on how to lawfully continue
to hinge on to power after democratic rejection by the electorate. This is
political evolution that trivialises the electoral process and robs the
electorate of its will.

Reginald Thabani Gola is a Zimbabwean political analyst, civil society and
human rights activist Cell. 00267 75040090 E-mail:

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Individual Payments to Teachers Prejudicial

HARARE, October 5 2008 - The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe
has slammed the buying of groceries for teachers by parents, describing it
as dehumanising.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, (PTUZ) Midlands chairman
Christopher Mbwetu, said the organisation is opposed to having teachers
being paid by parents, to ensure that their children's studies are not

Mbwetu, who read a statement by PTUZ president Takavafira Zhou on Word
Teachers Day commemorations held in Gweru, stressed that teachers'
remuneration is government's responsibility.

He said individual payments to teachers prejudice the majority of
parents who are unable to afford the payments.

"We are looking at a situation where some parents can afford to pay,
but what about those who can't afford, who are poor? What will happen? Our
aim as teachers is to see students go through the process, getting almost
the same quality of education. Government should not run away from its
responsibilities. We feel government should pay teachers adequately," Mbwetu

Mbwetu also said because of the lengthy industrial action by teachers,
PTUZ was of the opinion that all national examinations should be suspended
and the candidates be made to sit for the examinations next year as they did
not receive adequate education this year. He said next year's intake of
Grade 1, Forms 1 and 5 should be suspended.

"This labour dispute has been long running and we know these children
have been affected. They will sit for exams but we know they will not
perform well as their teachers. So we think that by postponing the exams at
least it will allow for more contact time between the teacher and the
student. But at the moment it is that contact time that is not there," he

PTUZ women empowerment secretary, Nokuthula Hlabangana, who also
addressed the gathering, said she was surprised that some teachers continue
to go to work, adding that if teachers do not fight to get better salaries
and conditions of service on their own, no one would do it for them.

In his statement, Zhou said teachers who are HIV-positive are
succumbing to the disease quickly owing to poor remuneration and conditions
of service. The PTUZ leader urged the government to avail anti-retroviral
drugs to teachers.

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Can SA Afford to Bailout Zim?

JOHANNESBURG, October 5 2008 - As the current global financial turmoil
deepens, Zimbabwe's chances of garnering a much-needed financial aid
injection for its shattered economy hangs in the balance.

With major world economic powers - the US and the EU - bogged down in
a desperate effort to save their economies from slipping into a recession
or, even worse, a depression, the Zimbabwean economic quandary is the last
thing on their minds.

And what makes the situation even more gloomy for Zimbabwe, experts
say, is that SA - which brokered that country's fragile power-sharing deal -
is too tiny to conjure up the multibillion-dollar aid assistance needed by

Pan African Advisory Services chief executive Iraj Abedian says the
ongoing wrangle over the cabinet posts by Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF and
Morgan Tsvangirai's opposition Movement for Democratic Change is not helping
the Zimbabwean cause at a time when global financial markets are in a

"These guys are busy arguing over cabinet positions while Rome is
burning. I don't think they realise how big their problem is. Unless the big
financiers come to the party, SA is not in a position to afford the
financial aid needed by Zimbabwe. At this stage there are very few countries
that can help," said Abedian.

Abedian believes that Zimbabwe requires at least a seven-year
multi-billion-dollar balance of payments support package underwritten by the
world's richest economies. The money could help it bolster its depleted
foreign currency reserves that have contributed to the meltdown of the
Zimbabwean economy.

Without the foreign exchange the country cannot import fuel, food
supplies, seed crop, fertilisers, capital equipment and spare parts for its
industrial sector.

While the Zimbabweans are haggling over who should control influential
government ministries, US President George Bush is having difficulties
convincing politicians in Washington to vote for a $700bn (R5.9-trillion)
bailout package to save the US banking sector from a collapse that could
lead to a scenario similar to the Great Depression of the 1930s.

In Europe there was a rumour this week that the EU was planning a
$420bn plan to bail out its banks from the subprime losses -related to the
US mortgage crisis.

Already the British government has nationalised mortgage lenders
Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley in a bid to rescue them from sinking.
Across Europe, banks in Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland and Germany are being
saved by governments to prevent them from falling victim to the mortgage

While huge piles of dollars are being brandished about in Washington
and capitals in Western Europe, Zimbabwe will have to wait longer before its
plight is back on the Western agenda, provided it concludes its peace
settlement peacefully and implements economic reforms.

It is estimated that the Zimbabwean economy has lost more than 40% of
its value over the past decade as the worth of its gross domestic product
plummeted to $6.2bn at the end of last year. Chronic hyper-inflation
accompanied by a shortage of basic foods and unemployment of above 80% have
forced many citizens to flee to neighbouring countries, mainly SA.

"Unfortunately there is not much that can be done for Zimbabwe. The
country will have to suffer longer because its politicians took longer to
come to their senses," says Abedian.

Industrial Development Corporation chief economist Lumkile Mondi says
SA has a duty to help its northern neighbour as the countries' futures are

"Where is Zimbabwe going to get the money in the middle of a global
financial crisis. It is very difficult for triple A-rated companies to get
credit in this current economic climate.

"No one is going to give Zimbabwe money. SA will have to help Zimbabwe
until it is ready to go to the International Monetary Fund and the World
Bank to ask for credit," he said.

He said the national treasury could afford to lend Zimbabwe at least
$2bn to help the country stabilise its economy.

"It is important that we support Zimbabwe with a financial package
because it was once the breadbasket of southern Africa and SA's main trading
partner in Africa. I am confident that Zimbabwe can be turned around quickly
if necessary reforms are carried out.

"Zimbabwe is rich in mineral resources like chrome, platinum, coal,
gold and uranium and it has fertile agricultural land to feed the whole of
southern Africa. The private sector will put money in Zimbabwe as soon as
the economy is stabilised."

Elias Masilela, a former deputy director-general at the national
treasury, says financial aid and investment will flow into Zimbabwe once it
has reformed.

"Zimbabwe knows exactly what to do. We do not need to tell Zimbabwe
what to do. In my mind, money is not an issue in Zimbabwe. The issue there
is structural. Once there is structural change and certainty the private
sector is going to invest in Zimbabwe," said Masilela, who is now a senior
executive at savings group Sanlam.

As for a loan bailout by SA to Zimbabwe, Masilela says SA first has to
ensure that its neighbour is capable of repaying the loan before it can be

He says SA will also have to establish what the money is going to be
used for before granting it.

"Otherwise the money will end up being abused if there are no proper
structures. It will just disappear," warned Masilela. City Press

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