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SADC summit on Zimbabwe still an option: S.Africa

Wed Sep 9, 2009 4:08pm GMT

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Southern Africa's regional body SADC may still convene
an extraordinary summit on Zimbabwe if disagreements over a power-sharing
deal continue to hamper recovery, South Africa's deputy president said on

Southern African heads of state concluded a meeting on Tuesday in Kinshasa
where they echoed a long-standing call for sanctions to be lifted against

However, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) suggested an
extraordinary summit would not be necessary to review a power-sharing deal
meant to attract up to $10 billion in investment to fix a battered economy.

But on Wednesday, South Africa's deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe told
parliament a special summit could happen to help ensure accountability among
Zimbabwe's political protagonists.

"SADC leadership ... has decided that the SADC secretariat should on an
ongoing basis ... monitor resolution to all these outstanding issues and
that if that does not produce the desired results an extraordinary summit
will be convened focussing specifically on ensuring that more fillip is
added to the processes of moving Zimbabwe forward," Motlanthe said.

SADC, currently chaired by the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been at the
forefront of brokering the power-sharing agreement between Zimbabwe's
President Robert Mugabe and long-time adversary Prime Minister Morgan

Mugabe and Tsvangirai signed the deal in February to end a political crisis
following disputed 2008 elections, but the accord is beset with problems.

Tsvangirai alleges ongoing intimidation and torture of Mugabe's political
opponents, as well as deadlock over key appointments in the central bank.

"There is really no advantage to be gained by maintaining the status quo and
Zimbabweans do understand that, that in fact there will be no second chance,
this is their last chance to pull themselves out of the morass they find
themselves in," Motlanthe said.

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SADC want 'sanctions' against Mugabe and cronies lifted

By Tichaona Sibanda
9 September 2009

SADC leaders meeting in Kinshasa, the DRC, resolved at the end of their
two-day summit on Tuesday to call for 'sanctions' against Robert Mugabe and
his cronies to be lifted.

While the state media in the country was quick to celebrate the decision by
SADC as a diplomatic triumph for Mugabe, analysts said the plea by the
regional bloc represented a false dawn for ZANU PF, as none of the Western
countries were going to lift these targeted sanctions anytime soon.
'The summit noted the progress made in the implementation of the global
political agreement and called on the international community to remove all
forms of sanctions against Zimbabwe,' SADC said in its final communiqué.
This communiqué showed that SADC is fully behind Mugabe's misrepresentation
of the so-called sanctions on Zimbabwe, which are in fact targeted on the
ruling elite.
New SADC chair, President Joseph Kabila, told journalists that considering
the progress that had been made in Zimbabwe it was now time that sanctions
were lifted. Kabila, who took over as chairperson of SADC during the summit,
said if sanctions were not lifted, they would become an impediment to
putting the political agreement into practice.
Mugabe reportedly impressed on his fellow leaders that Tsvangirai and the
MDC have not done enough to have the restrictions lifted. But MDC-T senator
for Harare East, Obert Gutu, said that no right-thinking person could assume
that Tsvangirai would be able to just pick up the phone and instruct the
international community to lift the travel restrictions and restrictive
measures on the ruling elite.
'The MDC is raising genuine and legitimate transgressions of the GPA. Both
Gono and Tomana were unilaterally appointed by Mugabe in late 2008, long
after the GPA had been solemnised on 15th September 2008,' Gutu said.

'For anyone to therefore argue that Gono and Tomana are not outstanding
issues of the GPA is to completely miss the point. This type of sterile
argument is completely lacking in both factual and legal support. This
argument ought to be dismissed with the contempt that it deserves,' Gutu
Former SADC chair Jacob Zuma kicked off the meeting on Monday by asking
Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara to end a row over the power-sharing
pact, that is holding up vital foreign aid to repair Zimbabwe's battered
Reports initially suggested that SADC would hold a special summit on
Zimbabwe, so that the situation could be discussed in depth. But SADC made a
U-turn saying it would ask the bloc's Troika on Politics, Defence and
Security (a much less influential organ) to review the cooperation between
Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
Speaking to SW Radio Africa from Kinshasa on Wednesday, human rights lawyer
Dewa Mavhinga said without fundamental reforms by Mugabe, there will be no
reason for the international community to unlock aid or lift the targeted

'It's a hollow victory for Mugabe. As for SADC it is an embarrassment for
the regional body because it all calls into question the credibility of the
leaders in the face of the international community. The leaders have failed
the Zimbabwean people once again by failing to take a very strong stance
against something that human rights defenders call a rape of democracy in
Zimbabwe,' Mavhinga said.
Kenneth Meshoe, the leader of the African Christian Democratic Party in
South Africa, criticized SADC and his country for supporting Mugabe at the
just ended summit.
Addressing the South African parliament in Cape Town on Wednesday, Meshoe
said SADC as a regional bloc had failed the people of Zimbabwe by focusing
on protecting and defending Mugabe. He said the bloc should have demanded
that Mugabe respects the rule of law, justice, democracy and human rights in
his country.
The call by the SADC leaders comes amid deadlocked negotiations between
Mugabe and Tsvangirai on key political appointments and ongoing concerns
over human rights abuses.

The parties remain deadlocked over the appointment of the Central Bank
chief, blamed for presiding over the collapse of the local currency, and the
attorney general who continues to prosecute MDC supporters despite
guarantees of political freedoms in the unity accord.

In a press statement on Tuesday Tsvangirai urged SADC leaders to closely
monitor the progress of his power-sharing deal with Mugabe. He said he hoped
all outstanding issues would be dealt with as a matter of urgency by the
Troika, which will be chaired by the Mozambican President Armando Guebuza.

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MDC: SADC reluctant to approach Zim issue head-on

By Violet Gonda
9 September 2009

The MDC were dealt a huge blow Tuesday when the SADC Heads of State summit
in Kinshasa, ended with nothing but calls from the regional bloc for the
removal of 'sanctions against Zimbabwe', without any pre-conditions. SADC
did not approve the MDC's call for a special summit on Zimbabwe, even though
the political parties remain deadlocked on a number of issues and the Global
Political Agreement has yet to be fully implemented. Instead the block
recommended a meeting of the less influential Troika on Politics, Defence
and Security.
Reacting to the outcome of the Kinshasa summit, MDC spokesperson Nelson
Chamisa said: "There is still an inconclusive structure of government,
governors are not yet appointed, the Gono and Tomana issue are still not
concluded but there is reluctance by SADC to approach things head-on."
"There is burying of the head in the sand and the decisions and choices
(being made) look at one side and listen to one side without looking at this
matter objectively. We have outstanding issues as a country. They are not
MDC issues, they are national issues that are supposed to be dealt with for
purposes of injecting confidence in the nation and also to the entire
international community."
Chamisa added; 'It is disheartening, discouraging and disappointing that we
have an ostrich mentality of burying the head in the sand,' and that 'kid
gloving' is fast becoming the conduct of leaders in Africa.
The MDC had appealed to SADC to put pressure on Robert Mugabe to implement
all the provisions of the GPA, including the swearing in of their Deputy
Agricultural Minister, Roy Bennett.
But the state controlled Herald newspaper revealed on Wednesday that soon
after the Kinshasa summit Mugabe said Bennett's appointment could not be
considered a "make or break issue" for the inclusive Government and insisted
he is not prepared to swear him in. He said the MDC would be better off
finding another candidate for the position. Bennett is facing terrorism and
sabotage charges, which he says are part of a long term campaign by ZANU PF
to victimise him.

According to the Herald, Mugabe said he was not prepared 'as a matter of
principle to swear into office someone who was facing criminal charges.'
They went on to quote Mugabe as saying he was 'baffled by the fascination
MDC-T had with the appointment of this particular white man with the kind of
history he has into government as if they are short of manpower'."
Chamisa said this issue is not about personalities but about principles, as
each political party is supposed to submit officials of their own choice.
"The MDC is very blind on skin colour, blind on tribe, blind on issues of
gender and this is why we find it very difficult to even respond to such
racist remarks."
He also castigated the Herald for becoming a 'big herald' of lies and
printing racist propaganda, in violation of the GPA.
Meanwhile, observers say the latest utterances by Mugabe and the general
approach by SADC shows the danger of forming an inclusive government with
ZANU PF, before resolving the outstanding issues.
If anyone was hoping that SADC would, one day soon, hold a special summit on
Zimbabwe, Mugabe's spokesperson George Charamba made it very clear that is
never going to happen.
Also quoted in the Herald he said: "SADC is not an inter-party body, it is
an inter-governmental organisation. An extraordinary summit is only convened
by member states to deal with an urgent and threatening issue. The
remarkable progress registered by the inclusive Government is far from being
a menace and is in fact a happy occurrence in which SADC leaders are
celebrating and will not call an extraordinary summit for."

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Damning report released in Kinshasa

September 9, 2009

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - Zimbabwe's largest non-governmental organisation has released a
damning report which accuses the Zimbabwe National Army of maintaining troop
deployments in rural areas, six months after the formation of the inclusive

In the report which was released as regional leaders gathered in Kinshasa in
the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to receive a report from SADC
chairman Jacob Zuma on progress in Zimbabwe, the NGOs said the army had
maintained structures of violence in the countryside, causing unnecessary
panic and a state of siege.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, pooling over 350 civil society organisations,
said it had information that over 70 top military officers remained in the
provinces where they were deployed after President Mugabe and Zanu-PF
suffered a devastating electoral loss just after the March 29 poll last

The NGO called on the six-month old inclusive government to immediately get
the army out of the countryside and recall them to barracks.

About 200 senior serving army officers, deployed countrywide on April 8
after President Mugabe had suffered historic defeat, are widely believed to
have orchestrated the massive wave of political violence that engulfed the
country, with some of them being fingered directly in several instances
where gross rights violations happened. The list containing the names of all
the officers involved was published by The Zimbabwe Times in April after it
was leaked by disgruntled officers.

The officers commanded troops, comprising war veterans and Zanu-PF
militants, including the ruthless so-called Green Bombers. The operation was
allegedly spearheaded by Zimbabwe Air Force Commander, Perrence Shiri with
the assistance of Maj. Gen. Nick Dube.

Defence Forces commander General Constantine Chiwenga was the overall
commander of the operation. He was assisted by Maj. Gen. Last Mugova and
Col. S. Mudambo.

In the report, titled; "Can apples be reaped from a thorn tree?" the NGO
says military officers committed gross human rights abuses with impunity
while acting as political commissars for Zanu-PF.

"The media environment, legislative environment, the militarization of the
villages, State and its critical institutions created during the sham
election seem to remain intact, seven months after the formation of the
inclusive government of Zimbabwe," reads part of the 67-page report launched
last Friday by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition chairperson Irene Petras in

"There is no clear evidence that the soldiers who were deployed to different
communities during the violent poll have returned to the barracks. The
historic vigilisation of the military had catastrophic consequences on human
rights in the country."

The coalition said there were reports of other bases being set up in some
areas and further deployment of the so-called "youth officers" from the
Ministry of Youth.

"The inclusive government authorities - especially the Ministries of Defence
and Home Affairs- are challenged to prove that the military have moved out
of the villages and communities where they stand accused of committing human
rights abuses with impunity while they acted as political commissars of the
then ruling Zanu-PF party, outside the provisions of the Zimbabwe Defence
Act and the Constitution of Zimbabwe," the report says.

The report comes amid reports of the murder of another Movement for
Democratic Change activist, bludgeoned to death by soldiers based at Mufiri
Business Centre in Shurugwi in the Midlands Province on August 30. The
deceased was accused of playing an MDC song in a bar.

The soldiers also rounded up his drinking mates and accused them of fanning
hatred in the community. Godknows Dzoro Mtshakazi died after he was tortured
by the soldiers who burnt him with plastic.

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EU team to meet with Mugabe in attempt to end Zimbabwe's isolation

Swedish-led mission is most senior to visit Harare since sanctions were
imposed on regime seven years ago

Ian Traynor in Brussels, Wednesday 9 September 2009 18.34 BST

A European Union team of government ministers and senior officials is to
travel to Zimbabwe this weekend to meet President Robert Mugabe and to
explore the prospects for the country's gradual international rehabilitation
after years of isolation, sanctions and blacklists.

The Swedish and Spanish development ministers and the European Commission's
top aid official, Karel De Gucht, are to push Mugabe to come good on his
pledges to Morgan Tsvangirai, prime minister and former opposition leader,
under the power-sharing national unity pact struck last February.

The sensitive EU mission, which Sweden, the current EU president, sought to
keep under wraps, is the most senior to go to Harare since sanctions were
slapped on the Mugabe regime seven years ago. It follows demands on Tuesday
from southern African leaders for all international sanctions on Zimbabwe to
be lifted.

EU officials stressed that it was too early to talk of lifting penalties.
The British government, the harshest EU critic of Mugabe, is believed to
support the Swedish-led attempt to gauge the scope for better relations, but
would not yet back a relaxation of the sanctions.

"There is an urgent need for all parties to fulfil their obligations. By
doing this, the EU can once again fully re-engage with Zimbabwe and help the
country in its return to normality and prosperity," said De Gucht. "This is
a critical time for Zimbabwe and the weight of responsibility falls squarely
on the country's leaders to deliver urgent political, economic and social

The EU is the biggest donor to Zimbabwe, supplying around ¤90m a year, a
figure that could rise steeply if the country's human rights and rule of law
records were improved, as intended by the February pact that put Mugabe's
Zanu-PF in a power-sharing administration with Tsvangirai's Movement for
Democratic Change.

European governments believe there has been some improvement on the economic
front in Zimbabwe, but progress in the political and human rights spheres is

In 2002, in a policy pushed by Britain, the EU put Mugabe and many of his
associates on a blacklist, proscribing travel to Europe. When the Portuguese
invited Mugabe to an EU-Africa summit in Lisbon in 2007, Gordon Brown
boycotted it.

More than 200 Mugabe associates and 40 companies linked with his regime are
on the blacklist or subject to financial, trading and bank account

The European officials are to meet Mugabe on Saturday in Harare after seeing
Tsvangirai in Bulawayo. Zimbabwe's prime minister visited Brussels in June
in an attempt to restart relations with Europe.

Sweden's prime minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, is to hold a Europe-South Africa
summit in Cape Town on Friday where President Jacob Zuma is expected to
press for an end to European sanctions on Zimbabwe.

European diplomats stressed that it was too early to speak of "big offers"
to Harare. A summit of southern African leaders in Kinshasa on Tuesday
demanded that "the international community remove all forms of sanctions
against Zimbabwe".But a European diplomat in Brussels said: "We're not going
there offering concessions at this stage."

The southern African leaders argue that the power-sharing deal in Zimbabwe
will not be properly implemented until sanctions are lifted while the
Europeans say they cannot be lifted until the pact is properly observed.

Feuding between the rival sides in Zimbabwe is imperilling the February pact
and holding up chronically needed foreign aid in a country whose economy was
driven to complete collapse by the Mugabe regime.

In a further sign of an end to isolation, however, the International
Monetary Fund last week released more than half a billion dollars for
Zimbabwe, the first such funds in a decade.

The Tsvangirai camp is worried that the money could be purloined by the
Mugabe side, particularly since the head of the central bank, Gideon Gono,
is a close Mugabe aide identified with the economic meltdown. Among other
demands on Mugabe, the Europeans are to demand that Gono be replaced along
with the country's attorney-general.

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Zimbabwe crisis key as EU meets new SA govt

September 9, 2009

South Africa's new government will hold its first meeting with the European
Union Friday as regional pressure mounts for the bloc to lift sanctions
against troubled neighbour Zimbabwe.

The meeting, expected to forge ties between the new leadership and the EU,
comes amid ongoing discord in Zimbabwe's fragile unity government with
President Robert Mugabe blaming Western sanctions for impeding progress.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC), tasked with mediating
Zimbabwe's political crisis, concluded a summit this week by calling on the
international community "to remove all forms of sanctions against Zimbabwe."

EU ambassador in Pretoria Lodewijk Briet said the process of evaluating the
situation in Zimbabwe was underway and targeted sanctions against certain
government officials and companies would be lifted "when it is opportune."

It was also mulling funding requirements by the cash-strapped nation.

"But we cannot whitewash the human rights violations. We did not do it in SA
(during apartheid) and we will not do it in Zimbabwe. It will not happen if
there is no movement on the other side, it takes two to dance a tango,"
Briët told AFP.

A spokesman for South African President Jacob Zuma said discussions on
Zimbabwe would cover progress made in the country since his predecessor
Thabo Mbeki negotiated the unity government formed in February.

"I will therefore imagine that if and when the Zimbabwe issue does come up
the President will raise the issue of sanctions ... with a particular focus
to get EU countries to consider their position on the lifting of sanctions,"
Vincent Magwenya told AFP.

South Africa on Wednesday defended the regional call for sanctions to be
dropped with Zuma's deputy Kgalema Motlanthe telling parliament that it was
a "a very responsible approach".

"This call for the lifting of sanctions is not aimed at protecting and
defending President Robert Mugabe as an individual. It is meant to attract
necessary investments into Zimbabwe so that their economic recovery plan can
take effect," he said.

The 85-year-old Mugabe and his close allies are the subject of travel bans
and asset freezes imposed by Western states.

Zuma took office in April and this will be the first time he hosts the
summit with the EU.

"This is going to be the first Zuma presidency meeting at summit level so it
is about introducing the new ministers to the EU delegation," EU-Africa
expert Romy Chevallier of the South African Institute of International
Affairs said.

"This is is literally a symbolic meeting showing the importance of the

The EU remains South Africa's most important partner for trade and
development, making up for 35 percent of the country's trade.

With environmentally concerned Sweden as the current EU president, climate
change was high on the agenda and the impacts of the economic crisis would
also take center stage.

"There is a lot more emphasis on non-traditional areas of co-operation,"
Chevallier said, whereas trade and development had always been the
cornerstone of relations between the partners.

South Africa's continuing concerns over the EU's Economic Partnership
Agreements (EPAs) with other countries in the region will also be discussed.
Pretoria says they interfere with the regional customs union.

"We are not far from agreeing (but) there are issues of principles" dear to
South Africa, said Briet.

Motlanthe told parliament Wednesday the regional customs union would meet
"to make sure we interact with the EU as a region rather than just as weak
and individual countries."

Namibia has also refused to sign the agreements already inked by Botswana,
Zambia, Lesotho and Swaziland.

Zuma will meet Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Thursday ahead of
the summit. - AFP

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Farmers outraged as SADC remains silent on Zim snub of Tribunal

By Alex Bell
09 September 2009

Zimbabwe's beleaguered farming community have been left outraged this week
by the total silence from leaders of the Southern African Development
Community (SADC), over the government's snub of the region's human rights

SADC leaders, gathered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo this week,
have made absolutely no mention of the latest move by the government, which
flies in the face of the rules and standards of the regional bloc. It was
revealed last week that the government has decided to pull out of the SADC
Tribunal, after Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa declared the Tribunal
'unlawful'. Chinamasa said the Government would not be bound to any
decisions already made, or any future rulings by the regional court, in a
move that could close off all possible legal avenues for Zimbabwe's
beleaguered commercial farmers to seek redress.

"As we are unaware of any other basis upon which the Tribunal can exercise
jurisdiction over Zimbabwe, we hereby advise that, henceforth, we will not
appear before the Tribunal and neither will we respond to any action or suit
instituted or be pending against the Republic of Zimbabwe before the
Tribunal," Chinamasa reportedly wrote in a letter sent to the registrar of
the Tribunal last month.

The move has been described as a last-ditch attempt to avoid possible
sanction by SADC, with analysts arguing that Zimbabwe would effectively be
withdrawing from SADC if it refuses to adhere to the court's rulings. As a
SADC member and signatory to the SADC protocol, Zimbabwe is bound by law to
respect the rulings, and as such it was expected that the 'pull-out' would
see the government facing some form of criticism by SADC leaders.
But no such criticism or even mention of the move has been forthcoming, with
SADC once again proving its long-standing loyalty to Robert Mugabe.

Chegutu farmer Ben Freeth, whose home was burnt down last week in what was
widely believed to be an arson attack by land invaders, told SW Radio Africa
on Wednesday that he is appalled that there has been no mention of the move,
which he said further threatens the future of agriculture in Zimbabwe.

"We have yet another disaster season on the horizon," Freeth said. "Unless
the government or SADC does something, things will continue to spiral. The
government can no longer pretend that nothing is wrong in the country."

Freeth is one of more than 70 farmers who took their case against the
government to the SADC Tribunal. Led by Freeth's father-in-law, Mike
Campbell, the farmers walked away victorious last year after a landmark
ruling declared the land 'reform' programme illegal and discriminatory. The
government was ordered to protect the farmer's right to their land, in a
move that was meant to offer the farmers legal protection from future land

But the government ignored the ruling, with Mugabe earlier this year going
as far as to call the Tribunal's orders 'null and void'. The dictator went
on to condone the renewed and ongoing offensive against the remaining
commercial farmers, which has seen more than 80 farms forcibly seized, this
year alone. As a result, the farmers returned to the Tribunal to seek an
implementation order on the government. The court ruled the Zimbabwe
government in contempt and referred the matter to this week's summit in
Kinshasa. But it was not addressed at the summit.

The farmers' lawyers have dismissed the move to 'pull out' of the Tribunal,
but Freeth on Wednesday argued that, regardless, SADC is duty bound to take
some kind of action. He said he is 'puzzled' by the prevailing silence by
SADC leaders on a matter that threatens the regional bloc's own reputation.

"In any other part of the world this situation would be dealt with as a
matter of priority, but SADC just won't deal with it and it is very
 strange," Freeth said.

Freeth was speaking on the eve of a meeting in Johannesburg Thursday
evening, set to deliberate of the future of agriculture in Zimbabwe and the
role of SADC in taking the region forward. The meeting, at which Freeth is
the key note speaker, aims to provoke a "different kind of thinking on how
to rethink the Zimbabwean situation; other SADC member states in conflict at
the moment and what we as a people can do to get Governments to respect the
Rule of Law and deliberate on what we can do as a people to make our states
and institutions work. Our value system as a people has to be redefined and
our way of life has to improve but that can only happen when our regional
bodies and our states begin to work and work for the people."

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Lack of funds stalls Zim land audit

by Lizwe Sebatha Wednesday 09 September 2009

BULAWAYO - Zimbabwe's power-sharing government is unable to audit President
Robert Mugabe's chaotic and often violent land reforms because it does not
have cash to pay for the exercise, Lands Minister Herbert Murerwa told
ZimOnline on Tuesday.

"Lack of funding is militating against the land audit. The ministry has not
received the funds, about US$31million, to conduct the land audit that is
expected to take six to nine months," Murerwa said.

Mugabe's programme to seize white-owned farmland for redistribution to
landless blacks is blamed for plunging once self-sufficient Zimbabwe into
food shortages after Harare failed to support black villagers resettled on
former white farms with inputs to maintain production.

The coalition government was supposed to have this month begun auditing the
controversial land reforms to weed out top allies of Mugabe who grabbed most
of the best farms seized from whites with some ending up with as many as six
farms each against the government's stated one-man-one-farm policy.

It was hoped that the audit that is part of several unfulfilled provisions
from last year's power-sharing agreement between Mugabe, Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Premier Arthur Mutambara would lay the
groundwork for a more orderly and equitable land redistribution programme.

But Murerwa said an application to Treasury last month for funds for the
audit yielded nothing and it was unclear when the government might be able
to raise cash for the exercise.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti was not immediately available for comment on
the matter. But Biti, from Tsvangirai's MDC party, has in the past said the
unity government is broke and virtually unable to fund anything else other
than salaries and wages for its workers.

Murerwa's disclosure of the coalition government's failure to kick-start the
land audit comes as an exercise to write a new constitution for Zimbabwe
that is the cornerstone of reforms the administration must implement during
its two-year lifespan has ground to a halt because of a lack of resources
and also because of political squabbling.

A special parliamentary committee tasked to lead the constitutional reform
process said this week that it was unable to carry out its work because the
government has not given it money and other resources.

While failure by Mugabe's ZANU PF party to submit names of people to head
some of the sub-committees of the constitutional committee means the
constitution-making exercise cannot get started even if funds were made

Lack of resources mainly because major Western governments have refused to
provide direct financial support to the Harare government because of the
slow pace of political reforms could cripple the administration that is also
threatened by endless squabbles between ZANU PF and the MDC - its two main

A summit of southern African leaders that ended in the Democratic Republic
of the Congo yesterday urged Zimbabwe's political parties to work to remove
obstacles standing in the way of the unity government. - ZimOnline

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World Bank helping pay PM's office workers: Aide

by Clifford Nyathi Wednesday 09 September 2009

BULAWAYO - The World Bank is helping pay salaries for some workers in
Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's office, a top aide has said
but denied charges that the Premier had set up parallel structures to a
unity government with President Robert Mugabe.

Minister of State in Tsvangirai's office, Gorden Moyo said the staff being
paid with money from the World Bank were doing work that was benefiting the
entire government, adding that the salaries support should be seen as
technical support from the Bretton Woods institution.

Moyo, who was responding to questions from reporters on Monday whether it
was true that some staff under Tsvangirai's office were being paid by the
World Bank, said: "It is a scheme of government . . . we are getting (human)
resources through a scheme of (provision of) technical assistants through
the World Bank. These people are being paid through the World Bank."

Writing in the state-controlled Sunday Mail newspaper, independent
parliamentarian Jonathan Moyo accused Tsvangirai of setting up parallel
government structures that he said were manned by staff paid by foreign
governments and organisations.

But Minister Moyo said the offices set up under the Premier's department
were working to support the unity government and not to compete against
it. - ZimOnline

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Released Zimbabwe inmates relate prison horror

Published on: 8th September, 2009

HARARE - The spotlight was on Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison on the
outskirts of Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, as 1500 prisoners were freed
on a presidential amnesty decree.

The released prisoners said they were confined in overcrowded cells,
measuring 9m by 4m. Typically speaking there are 25 men per cell.

Each day the men are confined to their squalid cells between the hours of
3:30pm and 7:00am. Four to five times a week they are also locked up for the
guards lunch break, between the hours of 11:30am and 1:00pm.

zim NET radio was told there were no beds and so the prisoners have to sleep
on mats spread out over the crowded cell floor.

Some inmates refuse to wash, which results in blankets becoming lice
infested. There is a predominance of HIV positive, practising homosexuals
within this rat and lice infested prison.

The cells are shared with people in the terminal stages of AIDS,
Tuberculosis, Herpes and other highly infectious diseases, as well as some
prisoners who are mentally ill. This was apparent on prisoners freed
Tuesday. Most of them were sick to the point of death.

Many of the infected prisoners were unable to control their bodily
functions. They described scenes of prison floors and blankets being
contaminated with body fluids; pus, phlegm, blood, urine, faeces.

Human rights groups said this was in contravention of Article 24 of the
International Bill of Human Rights, which covers the state providing a safe

The sanitary conditions they were forced to live under are a terrible threat
to their well being. Each month they receives [ends here]

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Mugabe fans hail 'anti-Zimbabwe flop'

Moses Mudzwiti Published:Sep 09, 2009

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's supporters in Zimbabwe, led by the state media,
were yesterday celebrating the failure of the Southern African Development
Community to discuss the country's problems.

"Anti-Zim lobby flops" screamed the headline of the state-owned Herald.

State radio also made a big song and dance about how Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai had left the DR Congo summit after "he realised Zimbabwe was not
going to be discussed".

The only mention Zimbabwe received at the summit was during Monday's speech
by the outgoing SADC chairman, President Jacob Zuma, who said the "SADC ...
remains committed to working to encourage further progress".

All the hype about how the SADC would get tough with Mugabe amounted to
nothing when Zimbabwe was dropped from the agenda.

Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, had apparently
lobbied SADC member states to hear his complaints.

He had hoped that the SADC - as the sponsors and guarantors of the unity
government - would force Mugabe to accept real change.

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Zimbabweans Rubbish SADC's Sanctions Call

Ignatius Banda

BULAWAYO, Sept. 09 (IPS) - Southern African leaders have once again failed
the people of Zimbabwe by making a show of support for the country's
long-serving dictator.

The unresolved issues plaguing Zimbabwe's coalition government is set to
drag on after southern African leaders once again failed to call President
Robert Mugabe to book for reneging on his coalition promises.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders instead supported
Mugabe's Zanu PF party and called for the lifting of sanctions which the
regional bloc says were imposed on the country by the international
community. Analysts say this show of support for the dictator is likely to
harden Mugabe as he digs in his heels refusing to bow to pressure from Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to honour
his part of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) that led to the formation
of the coalition.

Mugabe continues to stall the swearing in of Roy Bennet, MDC's Deputy
Agriculture Minister designate, insisting Bennet has a pending criminal case
before the courts which must first be decided before Bennet is sworn into
cabinet. Mugabe has also stalled the appointments of both a new attorney
general and a central bank governor.

He instead insists the MDC must pressure "its Western allies" and call for
the lifting of sanctions. Mugabe has accused the MDC of calling on the West
to impose the sanctions on the country as part of what he has called an
"illegal regime change agenda".

Many Zimbabweans have looked up to the SADC leaders to reign in Mugabe to
honour his collation government promises.

But they have been disappointed by the show of support for Mugabe at a SADC
meeting currently being held in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

"We are of course disappointed because it has become obvious that SADC will
not solve our problems for us," said Tinashe Zulu, a primary school teacher
who is one of many who downed their chalks last week pressing for salary

"We have always said it - African leaders fear Mugabe for some reason, and
for anyone to expect anything from them is wishful thinking. We just give
our fate to the gods," Zulu complained.

Zulu was echoing the frustrations of many in a country where humanitarian
agencies say hundreds of thousands of people are crossing the boarders into
neighbouring countries in search of work.

In a communiqué at the end of the Kinshasa meeting where DRC president
Joseph Kabila - a close ally of Mugabe - assumed the rotating SADC chair,
the leaders of the regional group said they noted "the progress made in the
implementation of the global political agreement and called on the
international community to remove all forms of sanctions against Zimbabwe".

This, however, was in stark contrast to calls by the MDC that little
progress was being done by the coalition towards fully implementing the GPA.
Hardliners in Mugabe's camp have been accused of stalling for time as they
look ahead for the next polls whenever they are called at the expiration of
the coalition's term.

"This is the nature of these nationalist parties," said Effie Ncube of the
Matebeleland Constitutional Reform Agenda.

"They rally behind fellow leaders against the West and go on about
imperialism and nothing is mentioned about bettering the lives of people
back home. They claim sanctions are harming the so-called ordinary man but
forgetting that all attempts by the ordinary man to choose a government of
his own has been met with violent suppressions. All that does not matter to
them," Ncube told IPS.

Zimbabwe's long time rivals Mugabe and Tsvangirai formed a coalition in
February this year, but for Mugabe's Zanu PF party, the condition has been
that the MDC must call for the lifting of what it calls "illegal" sanctions
on Zimbabwe.

This is despite recent signs that international money lending institutions
were easing their tough stance on assisting the government toward economic

Last week the International Monetary Fund, which suspended funding in 1999
after Zimbabwe failed to service its loans, injected a half billion dollar
loan as part of the country's economic recovery efforts.

There is already jostling between MDC secretary general and Finance Minister
Tendai Biti and Zanu PF appointee Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono over who
will control the funds.

But the sentiment on the streets has always been that there are no sanctions
imposed on the country but rather they have been imposed on Mugabe and more
than 100 of his party loyalists. They have been banned from travelling to
Europe and America by respective governments which accuse them of, among
other things, presiding over gross human rights abuses and electoral fraud.

"I have never believed the country is under sanctions," said James Chuma, a
vendor in the city's central business district who is among many who play
cat and mouse with the police (street vending is illegal in Zimbabwe) in a
country where labour unions claim there is over 90 percent unemployment.

"They closed down productive farms and factories and in my rural home where
our parents worked peacefully with white farmers, the people are suffering
and for me this has nothing to do with sanctions even though I'm not
educated I know enough not to believe everything the government says," Chuma
told IPS.

"It is tough here and it is these people who want to rule forever who blame
their failure on someone else," said an emotional Chuma.

But as the impasse on the so-called outstanding issues of the GPA continues
with SADC leaders once again failing to push Mugabe to comply with the
spirit of the GPA, there are concerns that Zanu PF will continue using the
sanctions card to blame the failure of the government of national unity on

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Call for urgent release of Marange report

September 9, 2009

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - The executive committee of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses
(WFDB) has called upon the Kimberley Process to release its much-anticipated
report and recommendations about the Zimbabwe diamond mining sector as soon
as possible.

The WFDB executive committee met at the London Diamond Bourse on Monday,
September 7, 2009.

A Kimberley Process review team visited Zimbabwe in August. The team met
with senior government and mining officials, and visited the Marange diamond
fields, where there have been reports of human rights violations and illegal
diamond mining and trading activities.

In a statement on Tuesday WFDB president Avi Paz said: "We have been
following the situation in Zimbabwe with considerable concern and we
discussed the situation in the country at length.

"We fully support the efforts of the Kimberley Process to arrive at the
situation that first and foremost defends the safety and well being of
Zimbabwe citizens living in those areas where diamonds are located, and at
the same time abides by the principle that their long-term economic and
social welfare will be best served by the proper and ethical use of Zimbabwe's
diamond resources.

"Given the uncertainty that currently exists regarding the situation in
Zimbabwe, we call upon the Kimberley Process to expedite the release of its
report and recommendations. The WFDB will do all that it can to support the
efforts of the Kimberley Process to bring about a successful resolution of
the situation,"

Cash-strapped Zimbabwe lost US$400 million worth of potential revenue
through the smuggling of gems from the diamond fields of Marange in eastern
Zimbabwe, the Reserve bank governor, Gideon Gono, has said

Gono said massive losses had been incurred over the past nine months when
thousands of Zimbabweans flocked to Marange in a frenzied search for wealth.
It is the first time the government has quantified the total estimated loss
to the nation incurred by the diamond rush.

"We are our own worst enemies," said Gono.

"There is no other area where implementation inertia is as glaring as that
of the area of diamond mining."

Last year the government allowed villagers in the impoverished and arid
Marange area to start mining diamonds despite the area being under a claim
by an international mining organisation.

As a result thousands of fortune seekers from all over Zimbabwe and
neighbouring countries flocked to Marange to plunder the diamond fields.

The police and army are reported to have since sealed off the area, but Gono
said the place was still luring people, including senior officials from

Gono said: "Some people now find it more profitable to go and herd cattle in
Marange because you can just collect a few pieces of diamond as you herd the

"People are making lots of money."

International buyers from various countries are reported to have descended
on Marange to buy the precious stones from miners.

This is in breach of Zimbabwe's mining laws that require all precious
minerals to be sold to the state-run Minerals Marketing Corporation.

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Kimberley Process to Decide on Zimbabwe Membership in November

By Fred Katerere

Sept. 8 (Bloomberg) -- The Kimberly Process, a global body created to curb
the trade in gems to fund conflict, will decide in November on whether it
will remove Zimbabwe from the accord, A Kpandel Fayia, Liberia's deputy
planning and development minister, said.

The organization will base its decision on a report of its review mission
that visited the southern African country in May, when it investigated
claims of diamond smuggling and related violence, Fayia, who led the
mission, said today in an interview in the Mozambican capital, Maputo.

On Aug. 5, Zimbabwe's Minister of Mines Obert Mpofu said his country is
committed to adhering to the process's rules on diamond trading. The World
Diamond Council said on Aug. 26 that it will call for the removal of
Zimbabwe from the Kimberley Process unless it controls the supply of
diamonds from its Marange field.

Marange was taken from African Consolidated Resources Plc and handed to the
state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corp. in December 2006. At the time
as many as 20,000 illegal miners had swarmed onto the property in eastern
Zimbabwe and the country's central bank said smuggling of gems was costing
the nation $40 million a week.

On June 26, Human Rights Watch accused Zimbabwe's security forces of having
killed more than 200 people when the government drove illegal workers off
the Marange field last year.

Zimbabwe produced about 695,000 carats of diamonds worth $31 million in
2007, according to the most-recent data from the Kimberley Process.

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Court withdraws rape charges against MP

September 9, 2009

By Our Correspondent

MUTARE - Trevor Saruwaka, the Member of Parliament for Mutasa South, walked
out of the Mutare Magistrates' Courts a free man on Monday after rape
charges against levelled against him were withdrawn by the regional

Magistrate Livingstone Chipadze withdrew the case after the State failed to
submit substantive evidence against the legislator. The case had already
beem dismissed by the Movement for Democratic Change as trumped-up. Saruwaka
was elected to Parliament on a ticket of the mainstream MDC led by Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

He was arrested after his election victory last year and spent more than a
month in remand prison.

He became one of the several MDC MPs, officials and supporters who have been
arrested and slapped with charges viewed by their party as mostly trumped-up
and politically motivated in a bid by President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF
party to whittle down the MDC's majority in Parliament.

The MDC alleges that the Attorney-General's office has connived with Zanu-PF
in the campaign to undermine the party through vexatious prosecution of its

The MP for Gutu East, Ransome Makamure, was recently acquitted on corruption
charges after a Harare Magistrate threw out the evidence submitted by a
State witness.

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Zimbabwe Attorneys Honored for Human Rights Work

American Bar Association recognizes efforts to uphold rule of law (596)

The following article was produced and originally published by the American Bar Association's Rule of Law Initiative. Additional information on the initiative's programs is available on (

August 2009

ABA ROLI Honors Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights with its 2009 Rule of Law Award

On August 1, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) awarded Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) its 2009 Rule of Law Award. Representing her organization, ZLHR Executive Director Irene Petras attended the Rule of Law Luncheon and Award Ceremony in Chicago and received the award from ABA President H. Thomas Wells, Jr. The award recognizes the ZLHR's efforts to uphold the rule of law and to fight for the human rights of Zimbabwean citizens.

In his introductory remarks, William Taft, IV, ABA ROLI board chair, said that each year the ABA ROLI looks throughout the world "to identify a person, a group of people or an organization that embodies our values and that has acted valiantly in pursuing them to receive our Rule of Law Award." He said the efforts of ZLHR were worth celebrating.

Founded in 1996, ZLHR is a non-profit human rights organization that aims, through the observance of the rule of law, to encourage and foster a robust human rights culture at all levels of Zimbabwean society. It has 14 full-time lawyers and a membership of 170, composed of 130 professional lawyers and 40 law students from the University of Zimbabwe.

In her keynote remarks, Petras said, "Human rights lawyers in Zimbabwe have contributed-and continue to contribute-immensely to the struggle for democratization and observance of the rule of law in our country." She said that the lawyers decided to fight for the rule of law though they could "have left the country for greener pastures at the first signs of trouble".

Petras explained the challenges the lawyers have to face and the risks they take in pursuing their mission. "Some have been subjected to character assassination in the state-controlled media, or assaulted by police in peaceful protests against the harassment of the profession. Others have been abducted by youth militias from their offices, beaten and tortured in bases, only to reappear bruised and battered after several days of incommunicado detention," she said. "Lawyers have had to deal with threats to their own lives and safety, as well as that of their families and colleagues."

Though there were hopes for the situation in Zimbabwe to improve following the formation of an inclusive government in February of this year, Irene said, "Democratization continues to prove a challenge." No repressive laws have been repealed or amended, while the ordeals of human rights defenders have not subsided.

With the road ahead "long and difficult," the ZLHR is continuing its efforts for a comprehensive legislative reform. Petras said, "We will remain as tenacious as we have been thus far in our history so as to ensure that the people of Zimbabwe remain at the center of all transitional and nation-building processes and are their true beneficiaries."

Petras thanked the ABA and ABA ROLI for acknowledging the efforts of the ZLHR. She said, "It encourages us to see that our efforts do not go in vain, and that people are watching, and our peers in the profession are standing with us during these testing times for the legal profession in Zimbabwe."

More than 350 people, including ABA and ABA ROLI leadership, special guests and rule of law supporters, attended the luncheon.

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:

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Harare Water’s inconsistent billing: A cause for concern





145 Robert Mugabe Way, Exploration House, Third Floor; Website:

Contacts: Mobile: 0912 653 074, 0913 042 981, 011862012 or email,,


09 September 2009


The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) has noted with concern the continued and deliberate inconsistent billing system of the City of Harare’s department of water as more residents are receiving unjustified and exorbitant bills. The Association has received numerous reports from residents who are disgruntled by the inflated water bills that they are getting from the Council.


Residents have complained that the Harare Water officials have not been conducting any meter readings; a situation that has seen residents getting bills that indicate exaggerated water consumption units. These revelations come after CHRA embarked on an awareness campaign encouraging residents to read their water meters so as to avoid cases of being overcharged by the City of Harare. A Belvedere resident who requested anonymity approached CHRA on the 3rd of September 2009 raising concerns over the exorbitant water bills that he had been receiving from Harare Water. This man in particular read his water meter on a monthly basis and   discovered that the water consumption units indicated on his bill and the actual meter readings had a variance of more than 750 units. This revealed that the Harare Water had for the past few months overcharged him water that was worth 17 months. As a result of reading his water meter these months were credited into his account and he will therefore not be paying any water bills till the 17 months have lapsed.


This case is one among many where the Harare Water has been overcharging residents. One wonders whether the Council is deliberately conning residents of their hard earned money while purchasing expensive luxury vehicles or this is a serious case of negligence. Such carelessness and recklessness cannot be tolerated, especially considering the fact that the Council has chosen not to sympathize with default ratepayers regardless of the fact that municipal services have been next to non-existent for the past few years.


Meanwhile, Harare is facing threats of a resurge of the 2008 cholera outbreak that killed over 3000 people as the rainy season is approaching. Instead of dealing with the underlying causes of the disease such as refuse collection and the refurbishing of the sewer systems in the wards, the Council has embarked on a water disconnection spree despite a Cabinet standing order and World Health Organization (WHO) water guidelines that condemn water disconnections as a means to induce bill payments. It is also disappointing to note that the Council seems to be oblivious of the fact that the cholera outbreak was a result of acute water shortages; a situation that Council is deliberately aggravating.


Residents demand order at Harare Water. The water department must conduct meter readings and stop giving residents bills that are based on estimates. The Association urges residents to read their water and electricity meters as well as to keep a record of any bills that they receive to use as reference points when conducting meter readings. CHRA remains committed to advocating for good, transparent and accountable local governance as well as lobbying for quality and affordable municipal services.


CHRA Information, making the implicit, explicit

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The goal in 2010 is food security

Photo: Obinna Anyadike/IRIN
Hoping for an end to food dependency
HARARE, 8 September 2009 (IRIN) - The government, NGOs and donor countries in Zimbabwe are rushing to distribute agricultural inputs ahead of the summer rains, but ending donor dependency and returning to food security in 2010 will still be a close-run thing, analysts told IRIN.

In the first quarter of 2009 nearly seven million Zimbabweans relied on emergency food aid; initial forecasts by aid agencies are that about 2.8 million people will require food assistance in the last few months leading up to the April 2010 harvest.

The unavailability of agricultural inputs like seed and fertilizer during Zimbabwe's economic implosion, as well as unseasonal dry spells, made the country - once known as the breadbasket of southern Africa - dependent on food aid to stave off starvation for several years.

Renson Gasela, agriculture secretary in the break-away faction of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Arthur Mutumbara, told IRIN there was a marked change from previous years in helping farmers access inputs, but warned that the effort may have been left to late. October is the main planting season.

"We are hearing discussions about providing inputs to farmers at a much earlier stage than in previous years, but one feels that this should have happened two or three months ago in order to ensure that farmers are adequately prepared for the oncoming farming season," Gasela said.

The unity government of President Robert Mugabe, leader of ZANU-PF, and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the MDC, recently launched a US$210 million scheme targeting both small- and large-scale farmers with subsidized inputs for the 2009/10 season, to be distributed through the 80 depots of the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), a parastatal monopoly.

Vice-President Joyce Mujuru told residents of Murewa district in Mashonaland East Province that the government placed great importance on ensuring food security at "household level", and was working with NGOs to "make sure that all intended beneficiaries get the inputs ... without favour on political or any other grounds".

''Corruption is so endemic in Zimbabwe, and there are no reasons to assume that it will go away this time around. There is a likelihood that those in influential positions, as has happened in the past, will benefit at the expense of needy and vulnerable farmers''
She said the government scheme would be complemented by other projects that would make inputs available to about a million communal farmers, who produce around 70 percent of the country's cereals.

On 8 August 2009 the state-run broadcaster announced that fertilizer from South Africa was being transported to GMB depots for distribution. The European Commission (EC) to Zimbabwe is to provide free seed and 25 percent of the required fertilizer for about 180,000 rural farming households.

A report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in July 2009 noted that "About 600,000 households will be receiving agricultural input support from non-governmental organizations and other humanitarian organizations." More than 10 NGOs pledged US$60 million to provide inputs to cover two hectares for each family.

Gasela said the US$210 million the government had set aside for inputs "sounds small to me, considering that we have around 220,000 resettled and needy farmers", but "it is bound to go a long way in addressing the problem of inputs shortages, considering that farmers will also get free inputs from other ... [sources]".


Gasela also had other concerns. "Corruption is so endemic in Zimbabwe, and there are no reasons to assume that it will go away this time around. There is a likelihood that those in influential positions, as has happened in the past, will benefit at the expense of needy and vulnerable farmers."

Thomas Sakarombe, 56, a farmer in Mazowe district, about 40km east of the capital, Harare, told IRIN he intended to put 60 hectares of his plot under maize and sorghum, but was struggling to raise a loan to buy government-subsidised inputs.
''It is a good thing that the government has decided to sell inputs to us at half the price, but it looks like the majority of farmers will have problems raising the money to buy the fertilizer and seed that we need''

He was recipient of the fast-track land reform programme that began in 2000 and redistributed more than 4,000 white commercial farms to landless blacks.

"It is a good thing that the government has decided to sell inputs to us at half the price, but it looks like the majority of farmers will have problems raising the money to buy the fertilizer and seed that we need.

"Our farmers' unions have told us that we can raise the money for the loan from banks, but when I visited my bank I was referred from one branch to another ... The sticking point seems to be collateral, as the bank is unwilling to accept the offer letter that I have," Sakarombe said.

The government issued letters to beneficiaries of the land reform programme, conferring proof of formal occupation on the new farmers; however, the land is on a 99-year government lease and banks are reluctant to accept the land as collateral for loans.

NGOs struggle to support farmers

Fambayi Ngirande, head of communications at the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO), an umbrella body for local NGOs, told IRIN that NGOs assisting farmers with inputs were encountering financial obstacles, as food security was not the only consideration.

"The NGO sector is finding it a bit difficult because of low funding levels and overwhelming demands ... There is preoccupation with meeting needs in such areas as school fees, feeding schemes for vulnerable people and the fight against cholera, especially as the rains are about to come," Ngirande said.

A cholera epidemic that lasted from August 2008 until July 2009 claimed more than 4,000 lives and afflicted nearly 100,000 other people. Humanitarian workers expect the waterborne disease to return with the rains. 


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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Action Still Needed In Zimbabwe

The Following is an Editorial Reflecting the Views of the US Government

      06 September 2009

September fifteenth marks the first anniversary of Zimbabwe's Global
Political Agreement, or GPA, the hard-won accord aimed at ending the
campaign of state-sponsored violence surrounding last year's presidential
election and paving the way for a transitional government. While some
progress has been made since the opposition party joined the government,
alongside the ruling ZANU-PF, more reforms are still needed for the occasion
to be worth celebrating.

Despite the agreement, tensions amongst the parties are rising as the
government parties confront issues of power-sharing and control of key
ministries. Meanwhile, police, prosecutors and court officials loyal to
ZANU-PF continue politically motivated prosecutions of opposition lawmakers
and civil society members, while turning a blind eye to human rights abuses
by ruling party supporters.

The harsh treatment that President Robert Mugabe and his loyalists meet out
to their political opponents has caused many in the international community,
in previous years, to cut some forms of development aid and apply targeted
sanctions to Mugabe and his inner circle.

While some argue that these targeted measures are preventing Zimbabwe from
rebuilding its demoralized government and shattered economy, in actuality
they serve to motivate change on the part of those who have hindered
democracy and abused human rights in Zimbabwe. To see those targeted
measures modified or eased, those affected must show by their actions that
they truly embrace democracy and reform.

The United States welcomes recent statements by South African President
Jacob Zuma urging the parties to the GPA to resolve outstanding issues and
fully implement the agreement for the good of the Zimbabwean people. Indeed,
the U.S. wants to work with South Africa to advance democratic reform and
ease the suffering of all Zimbabweans.

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PM Tsvangirai is not running a parallel government

The Constitution of Zimbabwe,as amended by the Constitution of Zimbabwe
Amendment No.19, provides for the creation of the office of Prime
Minister.Clause 20.1.1 of Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment No.19 clearly
and unequivocally states that executive authority of the inclusive
government shall vest in,and be shared among the President,the Prime
Minister and the Cabinet.The Prime Minister is thus,constitutionally
empowered to exercise executive authority as well as to oversee the
formulation of Government policies by the Cabinet.Put simply,therefore,the
Prime Minister is the chief executive officer of the Cabinet.He occupies a
crucial and critical executive post that is tasked with ensuring that
policies that are formulated by the Cabinet are implemented by the entirety
of government.Zimbabwe is a constitutional republic whose affairs are to be
governed in accordance with the provisions of its written constitution;
which constitution has been amended a record nineteen (19) times since
independence in 1980.

In one of his usual acerbic aricles that are posted on various websites and
also in The Herald newspaper, Jonathan Moyo makes the scandalous remark that
'' the MDC-T is illegally running a parallel government in Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai's Office in which civil servants who,like their peers in
other Government offices are remunerated a paltry monthly allowance that is
no more than US$170  are also paid salaries from foreign governments,some of
which are as high as US$7000 a month.'' Whilst this wild allegation is as
false as it is manifestly scandalous and patently preposterous and
mischievous; there is need to further interrogate Jonathan Moyo's article
and to ultimately locate the exact reasons why Moyo is characteristically
bitter and malicious.For the benefit of the readership,let me categorically
state that the Prime Minister's Office has got a small professional
bureaucracy that earns the same salary as every civil servant.Contrast this
fact with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIO) bureaucracy in the
President's Office whose exact  staffing levels are unquantified.Add to this
the more than 13000 ghost workers who are on the government's pay roll
courtesy of ZANU (PF). It is apparent that Jonathan Moyo is a very bitter
man.For some strange reason,he initially expected the MDC led by Prime
Minister Tsvangirai to offer him a safe political comfort zone that he will
then use to selfishly advance his chameleonic and Machiavellian
proclivities.In essence, Moyo wanted to misuse and abuse the good name and
popularity of the  MDC brand to advance his own political ambitions; hoping
that somehow he will find himself appointed a Cabinet Minister.Perhaps,this
was fortified by the apparently unwise move by the MDC-T not to field a
candidate to contest the Tsholotsho North House of Assembly seat during the
March 29,2008 harmonised elections.The MDC-T thus,inadvertently contributed
to the virtual political resurrection of Jonathan Moyo.Had the MDC-T fielded
a candidate to contest the Tsholotsho North seat,this man would have been
political history by now; he would have been nowhere near the House of
Parliament.After dismally failing to further his political ambitions through
a loose alliance with the MDC-T, Jonathan Moyo then became  extremely bitter
and angry with the MDC leadership; particularly with Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai and Finance Minister Tendai Biti; the undoubted top dogs in the
party.This is what esssentially informs Jonathan Moyo's recent vernom and
anger against the MDC in general and Morgan Tsvangirai and Tendai Biti in
particular.Moyo's venomous attacks against these two high-flying politicians
is just but a manifestation of personal anger,frustration,bitterness and a
general deeply entrenched malignancy.

In typical turncoat  fashion, Jonathan Moyo is now courting ZANU (PF).He has
gone out of his way to assume the position of the unofficial ZANU (PF)
spokesperso. Of late,he is defending ZANU (PF) with his usual effervescence
and  delirium.They can have him.Only time will tell how dangerous it is to
court this kind of character's '' comradeship''.Whilst the MDC under the
able leadership of Morgan Tsvangirai, has tried to follow the letter and
spirit of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), ZANU (PF) has engaged combat
mode.The State-controlled media such as Zimpapers and the ZBC have,of late,
gone into overdrive demonising and generally trashing Prime Minister
Tsvangirai and the MDC.The issue of so-called '' illegal'' sanctions has all
of a sudden regained centre stage.ZANU (PF) is refusing to agree to the
swearing in of Roy Bennett and the governors; allegedly because the MDC has
not done enough to have the so-called '' illegal'' sanctions lifted.Lifted
by whom and for whose benefit? The MDC is  just a political party.It is
fallacious for any right-thinking person to assume that Morgan Tsvangirai
can just pick up the phone and '' instruct'' the European Union and the USA
to lift travel restrictions and other targeted restrictive measures against
some individuals in ZANU (PF).By refusing to fully democratise the country
in accordance  with the basic tenets of the GPA, it is ZANU (PF)  and not
the MDC, which is  running a parallel government in Zimbabwe.The MDC is not
making '' noise'' over Gideon Gono and Johannes Tomana.The MDC is raising
genuine and legitimate transgressions of the GPA.Both Gono and Tomana were
unilaterally appointed by Mr.Robert Mugabe in late 2008,long after the GPA
had been solemnised on September 15,2008.For anyone to,therefore, argue that
Gono and Tomana are not outstanding issues of the GPA is to completely miss
the point.This type of sterile argument is completely lacking in both
factual and legal support.This argument ought to be dismissed with the
contempt that it deserves.

On a different note,the State-controlled media has been,of late, celebrating
Gideon Gono's '' achievement'' in arranging for the advancement of the IMF
loan in the sum of US$510 million.If the truth be said this money is a
poisoned chalice.In previous articles,I have written extensively on how the
Bretton Woods institutions have pauperised and continue to pauperise
developing countries by confining them to a debt trap.Zimbabwe's domestic
and external debt is currently in excess of US$5 billion and we are
struggling to repay this debt; even the interest on the debt.IMF money,
coming as a loan, is very expensive money which Zimbabwe can ill-afford to
use.There is always a catch with these IMF loans.Chapter and verse, the
nation must be told of the exact details of the loan repayment
conditions.How can an honest and caring creditor demand that you repay
outstanding interest on his old loan by using money that he is advancing to
you by way of a fresh loan? This is a debt trap and Zimbabwe should
immediately stop being excited about this money from the IMF.Jonathan Moyo
has trashed Finance Minister Biti on this particular issue.Moyo alleges that
'' Minister Biti has shown his mala fides, to the point of seeking to block
the unconditional funds due to Zimbabwe from the IMF." I am unable to agree
that Minister Biti has acted irresponsibly.If anything,he is an erudite and
results-oriented Finance Minister who is honestly seeking to manage and
administer the State's coffers.For here we have a man with a razor-sharp
intellect who is working his socks off to ensure that Zimbabwe is not
unnecessarily further burdened by incurring huge and unsustainable loans
from the Bretton Woods institutions.At this critical juncture in it's
reconstruction efforts,the inclusive government in Zimbabwe can ill-afford
expensive loans from loan sharks such as the IMF.

The inclusive government has tremendous scope to improve on its performance
if all the contracting parties are motivated by utmost good faith and
genuine patriotism.By trivialising the Office of the Prime Minister and
generally seeking to demean both his person and the office that he holds,the
State-controlled media,aided and abetted by the likes of Jonathan Moyo; is
doing a major disservice to nation-building.Morgan Tsvangirai is a brand;
like him or hate him.The MDC, being the largest and most popular political
party in Zimbabwe today, is here to stay.The MDC entered the inclusive
government in order to save the people of Zimbabwe from the gloom and
despondency that had characterised Zimbabwe for the past decade.The MDC
never called for the imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe.By it's
renegade,repressive and corrupt style of governance, ZANU(PF) ostracised
Zimbabwe from the comity of nations and placed into the family of pariah
states.It is not too late for ZANU (PF) and its propagandists to mend their

By Senator Obert Gutu

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Why fight for a 'superfluous' job?

9th Sep 2009 14:15 GMT

By Chenjerai Chitsaru

IN one country, the Vice-President is nicknamed 'Superfluous Excellency'. In
other countries, it is reckoned to be the most "useless" and "thankless" job
in the government. There are perks galore. But the glamour must be a little
difficult to enjoy: that tag of "uselessness" can leave the nastiest taste
in the mouth.

What DOES the Vice-President do? Act as president in the president's
absence? That cannot be often enough to keep the vice-president busy.

A wise president, particularly an African president, cannot afford to be
absent from the country for too long at a time.

There can be no guarantee that when he returns, his job would be there for
him. In Zimbabwe, there are two vice-presidents, something of a distinction.
One vice-president seems enough for one country. Two is uniquely Zimbabwean,
like using other countries' currencies as your own.

One vice-president stands for Zanu PF and another for PF-Zapu. That is the
truth: After the Unity Accord of 1987, PF-Zapu was accommodated in the Zanu
PF government. Joshua Nkomo, the president of PF-Zapu, became the second
vice-president, both of the party, Zanu PF, and the republic.

The first vice-president was Simon Muzenda, one of the most faithful Mugabe
allies in recent history.

Those who complained that such fancy appointments were a drain on the
national coffers were told to shut up - or else.

The price of unity had to be paid. Nkomo, for a while, earned the
disaffection of most of his PF Zapu supporters. They said he had sold out,
as the job was cosmetic - superfluous. But Nkomo must have thought of the 20
000 souls lost during Gukurahundi. The least he could do in their memory was
to make the Accord work.

Until now, all has been smooth sailing: after Nkomo's death, Joseph Msika
stepped into his shoes, which fitted him snugly. There was no big fuss. In
fact, there was a bigger fuss when Muzenda died. Joice Mujuru did eventually
step into his shoes, but she must have felt one of them pinching her toes,
rather painfully.

There were contenders on the sidelines. There were not necessarily driven by
male chauvinism - Zanu PF has many, many male chauvinists. These were just
very, very power-hungry men.

After Msika's death, no-one could accurately predict how smooth the
transition would be - because PF Zapu was no longer what it was during Nkomo's

Dumiso Dabengwa, a distinguished pillar of the party, had left the  flock.
He now heads a new Zapu. More seriously, he supported Simba Makoni's
presidential candidature. Even if the former Minister of Finance got
nowhere, Dabengwa's stock among opposition supporters rose.

But in that case, how was he touted as a successor to Msika as
vice-president? They might have been luring him into a political cul de sac.
As vice-president of Zanu PF and the republic, he would effectively be
emasculated as any factor in the opposition ranks.

That should have left the field clear for John Nkomo, who is chairman of
Zanu PF for a start. Surely, he would be a shoo-in for the vice-presidency,
wouldn't he? Then the plot thickened: There was an amazing story of John
Nkomo "doing a Banana".  A man claimed he had lured him into a gay liaison
with Nkomo in a Bulawayo hotel.

But his supporters said the critics had got it wrong: the man had mistaken
Nkomo for Canaan Banana, a convicted sodomist, and former ceremonial
president. It was all a bit hard to take at once. The stakes were high -
that was for sure. There was a readiness to throw in the kitchen sink. If
things got any messier than they were. The police were said to be involved.
After a while, all was quiet on that front. There were high stakes -
political and otherwise.

For a country in the midst of its greatest economic crisis since
independence, these politicians were playing what some would call really
"dirty pool". But this is par for the course in Zimbabwe. The politicians
rarely take off their brass knuckles to tackle ordinary people's problems.
What they have is a lot of time to engage in vicious slugfests - on their
personal behalf.

Where will it all end?

Meanwhile, have we or have we not been bailed out by the IMF? Who is the
Knight in shining armour  who convinced that champion of capitalism to give
us US$500 million? Gideon Gono or Tendai Biti? Gono must have done it all on
the telephone or on the Internet. Is he free to go to New York any time he
wishes? Biti can go there any day. But Gono is a wily one. But Biti is no
slouch either, when it comes to sealing the thunder on the international
front from the governor.

The men have been engaged in this hammer-and-tongs duel for quite a while.
It's a duel primarily for the control of the country's economic destiny. At
some point, perhaps even by chance, the duel touches on the well-being of
the people. But most of the time, it revolves around who can score more
points than the other. In a way, it's almost a replica of the duel between
President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

All four men, in essence, should be driven by the task of pulling the
country out of its mess. But as politicians they probably cannot help
glancing, once in a while at the popularity charts. Are they leading or are
they slipping? In a crude sort of way, we are, the people, are the hostages:
whoever presents us with a chance to escape the quagmire will win our
support.  He will be on the top of the charts. In an even cruder
.interpretation we are the cannon fodder.

But it's dangerous to go there. Our cynicism would lead us to abandon all
hope and to concentrate only on how we can overcome our problems, in spite
of the efforts to solve them, collectively. That would lead to the end of
our active participation in politics. We could end up on the sidelines, on
the outside looking in and not being involved.

For instance, how many of us really care who becomes the vice-president?
What material difference would it make to our plight who lands the job -
John Nkomo, Dumiso Dabengwa, Nicholas Ncube or Obert Mpofu?  There is no
active debate on the subject on the commuter omnibuses or in the pubs and
bars or at t the women's club meetings. We are all, it seems, past caring.
It's dangerous, in the end.

We do care, fortunately, who will, in the end, trust with our destiny after
all the dust has settled. In nearly 30 years of independence, most people
must have an idea of a period when things were really thriving, when
independence was "sweet". It probably differs from person to person and from
region to region. But it definitely could have had nothing to do with who
was vice-president at the time.

There are people we all remember as having featured in government for so
long, we cannot think of a time when they were on the sidelines, uninvolved.
They were in the thick of it: their faces are familiar, even their voices
are familiar. In some cases, what they said at a particular time can still
be remembered clearly.

They may not have been vice-presidents. But their positions were not
superfluous. Their actions had a definite bearing on our lives. It's
important to remember, when the time comes, why we should not have them at
the top of the decision-making pile. That's what real politics is about.

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The fat-cats are busy building before things go bust

Borrowdale Road - Harare

It appears that Harare is entering a building boom; one wonders where all the money is coming from?

This question gains in exponential significance when you hear who is behind the potential projects. I was with friends the other evening who told me that they had gone to the bank to investigate the low interest loans made available through external sources for development in Zimbabwe. Apparently the bank official laughed and said all the funds had already been grabbed by Zanu sychophants. No surprises there.

On the Borrowdale Road, Targon Construction is busy bulldozing and clearing virgin land to build there. In normal circumstances a billboard would be erected outlining the project, the partners and giving the council details, but no such board is in place.

This land is meant to be designated green belt, but that has never worried the fat cat chefs in our country.

Indeed, this particular bit of green belt is the catchment area for the Mazoe River - development should never be allowed so as to protect this fragile environment, especially considering the dire water conditions in Harare. When the City council valuator was called about the project, he emphatically stated that no permission has been given for it. He claimed that his department had sent a letter denying permission to the developers.

The council has inspected the site but the urban planning department is yet to take action.

But I somehow doubt anything will be done to stop the project. Targon is owned by the infamous Supa Mandiwanzira and he is apparently backed by the delightful entrepreneur Philip Chiyangwa. Chiyangwa appeared on ZTV last week looking bizarrely banana like in a yellow suit, talking about his drive to develop Harare. There is strong talk that Chiyangwa is a very busy man, taking over premises all over the capital.

The Borrowdale Rd is set to be a hive of activity. OK bazaars are apparently looking to build a shopping mall there in the near future. They will be in direct competition with shopping professional Grace Mugabe, who has apparently blocked a project submitted by a school to build on council land in the Borrowdale Rd vicinity, as she is apparently intending to build a shopping centre on that land! I wonder if she is intending to invite the big name labels to open in her mall so she does not have to travel far to satisfy her retail therapy needs.

Now go to the city centre and you hear stories from residents around Park St that they have been told that they have no choice but to sell their commercial properties to NSSA. This organisation is particularly odious as they have for years demanded payment from our impoverished work force and rarely pay out benefits to their victims. Now the rumour is they are going to build a shopping mall opposite their offices.

Apparently this new shopping centre project is being carried out with city council collusion under the directive from our illustrious Minister, Ignatius Chombo.

Really, how many shops are needed in Harare?

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