By Peta Thornycroft
11 September 2007
President Robert Mugabe's most outspoken and enduring critic, Pius Ncube,
has quit his post as archbishop so that he can stand trial on charges of
adultery as an individual and not as head of the Catholic Church in
Zimbabwe. Peta Thornycroft for VOA has more.
The Vatican announced Tuesday it had accepted the resignation of Archbishop
Pius Ncube, head of the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe's second city Bulawayo.
In July, a collection of grainy photographs apparently taken in the
archbishop's bedroom above the Catholic Cathedral in Bulawayo, were
published in the state media.
The pictures showed a naked man, allegedly Archbishop Pius Ncube, with
Rosemary Sibanda, member of a prominent Catholic Women's organization. Other
more explicit images were screened on state television over several nights
showing the two in bed together.
Bishop Ncube, as he will now be known, has been sued for adultery by the
woman's estranged husband, Onesimus Sibanda, who is claiming about $160,000
The case will be heard in the Bulawayo High Court.
In his statement, released to the media Tuesday, Bishop Ncube said he
believed he should face trial as Pius Ncube, an individual and not as the
leader of the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe.
He said he wrote to Pope Benedict days after what he says was a "state
driven, vicious attack not just on myself, but by proxy on the Catholic
Church in Zimbabwe." He said his resignation would spare fellow bishops and
the Catholic Church any further attacks.
Two weeks before publication of the pictures, Mr. Mugabe lashed out at
Catholic priests, telling cheering supporters that some priests had sworn to
be celibate but were having sexual relations.
The photographs were taken by Ernest Tekere, a private investigator in
Bulawayo who is well known as a former member of the Central Intelligence
Organization during state-sponsored massacres of Ndebele speaking opposition
supporters in the 1980s.
A close friend of Bishop Ncube's who asked not to be named tells VOA that
the church and wider community will see that he has acted honorably. The
friend said that unlike the government of Zimbabwe, Bishop Ncube has not
committed mass murder, tortured people, nor thrown hundreds of thousands out
of their homes.
Bishop Ncube said he will continue to criticize President Mugabe. He said he
has not been silenced by what he called the crude machinations of a wicked
regime. Bishop Ncube said his new mission will be to help the poor and needy
and that he will continue to call for international food aid and medical
help in Zimbabwe's ongoing national crisis.
Bishop Ncube was not available to the media Tuesday. He was on week-long
retreat of "prayer and reflection" with several Catholic clergymen from
September 11, 2007, 18:00
Diplomatic tension is rising over Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe's
attendance at the African Union/European Union (AU/EU) summit later this
year. Some EU members threatened to boycott the summit if Mugabe was allowed
But as President Thabo Mbeki received new foreign representatives into the
country today, he said it would best if the summit went ahead. It was a
changing of the guard in the Cypriot and German missions in South Africa.
The two EU members want to nurture the relationship between Europe and
With the long awaited AU/EU summit due to take place in few months in
Portugal, tension is mounting with Britain refusing to attend if Mugabe is
invited. But Germany is among the EU countries that do not agree with this
position. It is an issue that may be raised when German chancellor, Angela
Merkel, visits the country next month.
Germany and South Africa share common views on global poverty, trade and
climate change. They will undoubtedly adopt similar positions on these
issues at the UN in two weeks.
Tue 11 Sep 2007, 17:27 GMT
By Timothy Gardner
NEW YORK, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Having had some success dispelling the myth
that the blood of virgins cures AIDS, Zimbabwean Betty Makoni is now also
fighting what she calls a root cause of the disease -- poverty.
"Many girls don't have anything to eat or drink. Then a sugar daddy comes
and says, 'If you have sex with me I will give you money,' and they are
likely to take the money and get infected with HIV/AIDS," the founder of
non-profit anti-rape group the Girl Child Network said in an interview in
Zimbabwe's AIDS rate and poverty levels make Makoni's job no easy task. The
country has one of the weakest economies in the world. Fewer than one in
four citizens have jobs, and the inflation rate is the world's highest,
hitting 7,600 percent in July.
One in five adults has AIDS, according to the United Nations, a level that
has helped sink the country's average life expectancy into the 30s, from
nearly 60 in 1990. Girls and women are far more likely to have the disease
Makoni, who herself was raped at an early age, formed the GCN in 1998. A
former schoolteacher, she was moved when two thirds of her girl pupils had
left class by the end of the year because they got AIDS, were married away
to members of religious sects, or had to return to work in their homes.
"Betty inspires these girls to do work I haven't seen in any other country,"
said Paola Gianturco, author of a new book titled "Women Who Light the
Dark," published this month by powerHouse books, in which Makoni is
The GCN now operates in the majority of Zimbabwe's rural districts with 450
clubs serving 30,000 girls and is beginning to expand into nearby countries.
MYTHS AND WOUNDS
The network fights rape by empowering girls and keeping them in school.
Thousands of girls have been given underwear by GCN on which parts of
national sexual violence laws have been written, so they know when their
rights have been violated.
She counts the village of Rusape as one of her successes. In 2000 there were
200 rapes reported there; now there are none, she said. The myth that the
blood of virgins mixed with herbs kills AIDS has been wiped out in Rusape,
But in other regions of the country, particularly near the Mozambique
border, the myth remains strong. Men either collect the blood after breaking
girls' hymens or after cutting their breasts -- wounds that often end up
killing the victim -- and use it themselves or sell it to men who have AIDS.
Time has taught Makoni to fight AIDS from all sides. "At the beginning we
were not trying to fight poverty; we thought there was a problem with
attitudes, beliefs and practices, but poverty can worsen AIDS," she said.
She helps give girls school basics because without education a girl is
nothing, she said. She said empowerment from education can help girls resist
male attacks, early marriage and religious sects that perform illegal
virginity testing. GCN supplies girls with food, drink, a school uniform,
pens and paper. "You can't empower yourself on an empty stomach," she said.
The network also directs some donations into buying the girls sanitary
pads -- which are rare in the country. Many Zimbabwean girls are not allowed
to go to school for up to five days a month when they menstruate, and
difficulties from the lost days can make them drop out. Makoni said sewing
machines can help them make sanitary pads out of cloth and keep girls in
The girls' clubs also raise money for education by growing vegetables, which
they can also eat, or holding dances.
SW Radio Africa (London)
11 September 2007
Posted to the web 11 September 2007
Over 80 percent of teachers under the 12 000 strong Progressive Teachers
Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) have heeded a call to down tools this week to press
demands for a 500 percent salary hike.
According to the union's Harare Province Chairperson Jacob Rukweza, teachers
in Hatcliffe, Chitungwiza, Dzivarasekwa, Mabvuku, Epworth and all the other
western suburbs like Warren Park, are clocking in at work but refusing to
teach. But the PTUZ say state security agents under the Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO) are moving around schools using government vehicles and
trying to intimidate them.
The visits are being disguised as assessment trips meant to gauge the impact
of the strike. Rukweza however says by interviewing leaders from both the
PTUZ and the bigger ZIMTA union, the agents are in fact trying to intimidate
their officials. Asked how the strike was proceeding countrywide, Rukweza
says the response has been huge. In Bulawayo the PTUZ coordinator Enock
Paradzai says teachers in the city actually stopped teaching last week when
the others were still on a go-slow. In the Midlands, coordinator Wilbert
Muringani also reports a significant response. By late Tuesday he was said
to be headed to Gokwe, where they have a large membership, to assess the
response to the strike.
Other cities where the strike is ongoing include Mutare and Masvingo. The
PTUZ called on its representatives to ignore the CIO's who are moving around
interviewing them adding they were just as poor and struggling to make ends
meet as the teachers. This week the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU)
added pressure on government by calling for a general strike on the 19th and
20th September. They are protesting a wage freeze imposed by Mugabe at the
end of August. The teacher's strike will run until the 17th of the month 2
days before the ZCTU strike, officials said.
Tuesday 11 September 2007
By Regerai Marwezu
MASVINGO - Zimbabwean teachers have threatened to embark on a sit-in
beginning today and gave the government until 17 September to respond to
their demands for better wages or face a full-scale strike.
The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) yesterday announced the
nationwide sit-in and warned that its members would "down tools" completely
if the government fails to increase their salaries.
PTUZ president Takafireyi Zhou said teachers had been on a "go-slow" since
the beginning of the school term last Tuesday and that the industrial action
was now moving to the next stage of a sit-in.
The teachers would continue reporting for work but would refuse to conduct
"If by September 17 we fail to get any positive results from the employer,
we will stay away from work," Zhou told ZimOnline.
The teachers and other civil servants petitioned the government at the end
of July, demanding 400 percent salary increments to cushion them from
mounting poverty and the biting cost of living.
They threatened at the time to abandon classrooms if the government did not
increase their salaries to $15 million a month with effect from September
from about $2.9 million currently.
The teachers also demanded a review of their housing allowance, introduction
of a $3 million retention allowance and exemption from paying school fees
for their children.
"These demands have to be met with immediate effect because we tabled them
before our employer long back," said Zhou.
The demands were submitted to the Public Service Commission and the Ministry
of Education, Sports and Culture through the APEX council that represents
all civil servants.
Education Minister Aeneas Chigwedere yesterday said he was not aware of the
"I am yet to be given that report from the provinces. May be by the end of
the day I will have an answer," Chigwedere said when contacted for comment.
In the southern Masvingo province, some teachers confirmed they had not
conducted lessons since schools opened last week.
"We are just reporting for work and sit without conducting lessons. This
time the strike will be successful because every teacher is not happy with
his or her salary," said a teacher at Don Bosco Primary School in Masvingo
who refused to be named fearing victimisation.
He said about 50 percent of the teachers at the school had so far not
reported for duty since schools opened on 4 September.
This was confirmed by education officials here who said the teachers are
using the excuse that they could not afford bus fare to get to work.
"The situation has reached critical levels and we hope by next week we will
have a clear picture," said a senior Ministry of Education official who
spoke on condition of anonymity.
Teachers in Zimbabwean public schools have during the past seven years
clashed with their employer over poor remuneration in a country grappling
with world record inflation of over 7 600 percent.
The government has responded by deploying state security agents to schools
to intimidate the teachers but Zhou said that tactic would not work this
"We are aware that the government will deploy its state agents to intimidate
those who will join the industrial action but we will soldier on despite
these threats," he said.
A recent survey by PTUZ revealed that 7 200 teachers had left the country
since January this year in frustration over low pay and working conditions.
This is 44 percent more than the 5 000 teachers who left the country in the
whole of last year.
The bulk of the teachers left to seek employment in Botswana, South Africa,
Namibia and Swaziland.
The worst affected would be peri-urban and rural schools because teachers
would not afford high transport costs.
Zimbabwe is grappling with a severe brain drain as professionals continue
leaving the country to regional and overseas destinations in search of
better paying jobs.
It is estimated that there are 10 000 Zimbabwean teachers in South Africa,
some of them doing menial jobs.
The South African government recently said it wanted to recruit foreign
teachers to teach science and mathematics and that it preferred the
"well-trained" teachers from its troubled northern neighbour. - ZimOnline
Tuesday 11 September 2007
By Sebastian Nyamhangambiri
HARARE - Zimbabwe's government on Monday angrily reacted to calls by
labour leaders for fresh protests by workers, threatening to deal with union
officials it accused of seeking to plunge the country into chaos.
Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi said he and other security
officials would most likely discuss today a Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions (ZCTU)-led work stoppage planned for September 19 and 20.
The government, which has in the past arrested ZCTU leaders and sent
armed police and soldiers onto the streets to crush worker protests, said it
was not going to "sit and watch" the union cripple Zimbabwe with job
strikes, according to Mohadi.
"We are likely to discuss the issue tomorrow with the security
ministry," said Mohadi, who is in charge of the police.
"The government will deal with the ZCTU leaders if they want to cause
chaos to this country. We cannot sit and watch them while they do what they
want," he said.
Zimbabwe's labour movement at the weekend said it was calling the job
stayaway to pressure the government to lift a ban on salary increases
announced by President Robert Mugabe last week that union officials have
described as "satanic' and meant to reduce workers to paupers.
Mugabe used powers granted him under the Presidential Powers
(Temporary Measures) Act to order a freeze price and salary increases, which
he said was necessary to halt galloping inflation.
Inflation, labelled Zimbabwe's number one enemy by Mugabe, is more
than 7 600 percent and the highest in the world.
The ZCTU, which before the salary and price freeze had called on the
government and business to link salaries to inflation, says the freeze is
illegal because it violates the rights of worker's to negotiate and bargain
for better remuneration.
ZCTU president Lovemore Matombo was not immediately available to
respond to threats by the government to thwart protests by workers.
Inflation is the most visible sign of Zimbabwe's deep recession that
has left more than 80 percent of workers without jobs while those lucky to
still hold a formal job are unable to feed their families because of
The Harare administration last June ordered business to reduce prices
of all goods by 50 percent, in a desperate attempt to halt inflation that
has however had damaging consequences with most basic goods no longer
available in shops because factories cannot produce at a loss. - ZimOnline
SW Radio Africa (London)
11 September 2007
Posted to the web 11 September 2007
Residents in Zimbabwe's two biggest cities, Harare and Bulawayo, discussed
or took action Tuesday against water and electricity service providers,
following the long-running crises, affecting both services.
In the capital, residents from Mbare and Sunningdale high-density suburbs
stormed the offices of Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) and
Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) demanding an audience with the
bosses. The residents delivered a petition calling for the two authorities
to explain the current power and water cuts. Their efforts however proved
futile as ZESA and ZINWA leaders snubbed meeting the residents.
Sunningdale and Mbare residents, led by Combined Harare Residents
Association (CHRA) chairpersons and coordinators representing five wards,
threatened to "protest soon" against ZINWA and ZESA.
CHRA advocacy officer Jabulani Shumba said the residents were particularly
bitter about the cold response they received from the two authorities.
Shumba said: "The people were unhappy with the way they were snubbed by the
ZINWA and ZESA bosses especially given that they pay their taxes and
charges, hence are justified to seek an audience. Because ZINWA and ZESA
wouldn't respond, the residents feel forced to resort to one form of
protest: a demonstration. The government has been told over and over again
about the need to increase the capacity of both ZINWA and ZESA but has not
Shumba added that there was no improvement in the provision of water despite
the recent allocation of some funds to ZINWA in government's supplementary
budget last week.
In Bulawayo, city elders and representatives of the residents' association
were locked in an all-day meeting to map out action to force government into
resolving the crisis.
Bulawayo residents have also called on the government and the donor
community to drill more boreholes across the country's second largest city
and avert a looming catastrophe.
Churches in Zimbabwe's second largest city, are launching emergency
distributions of water and warning of 'disastrous' water shortages that
could lead to diseases like cholera. The churches report that three of the
five dams supplying the city's population of 700,000 have run out of water,
with the fourth due to run dry later this month.
Bulawayo town councillor Charles Mpofu said stopgap measures to the water
crisis were needed as a "matter of urgency".
Mpofu said: "Of the 77 boreholes we had drilled across the city earlier this
year, only 8 remain functional now. To make matters worse, the government is
not doing anything to repair them, let alone provide an alternative option
to the crisis. This situation calls for a sensitive and credible government,
not the one we have. We are instead focusing our priorities and attention on
donor organisations requesting aid. As it is the people are very bitter and
the situation may spark an implosion if it persists."
Already, the British aid agency Tearfund which works through local churches,
is preparing to supply twenty 5000-litre water tanks to be placed in
communities where the need is greatest in Bulawayo.
Churches say the catastrophic decline in water supplies is due to
unregulated farm resettlements putting pressure on supplies, plus a dispute
between national and local government over the city's water supply,
vandalism and drought.
September 11 2007 at 08:40PM
Harare - Zimbabwe's main opposition party Tuesday accused President
Robert Mugabe's government of bribing traditional chiefs by giving them
brand new vehicles ahead of elections due next year.
Thirty-eight chiefs were given the open-backed vans on Monday at a
ceremony in the capital.
The handouts are part of a programme to equip the country's 266 chiefs
with vehicles before year-end, the official Herald newspaper reported. The
programme began four years ago, the paper said.
But the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) described the gesture as
bribery meant to coerce the traditional leaders into doing the ruling
ZANU-PF's bidding ahead of joint presidential and parliamentary elections
due in March.
It is by no coincidence that the vehicles are being handed over now,
the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC party said in a statement.
Chiefs hold massive sway over the rural electorate, and are seen as
key ruling party allies in its political strongholds in the countryside.
Earlier this year the chiefs reportedly endorsed Mugabe, who will be
seeking his fourth term in office at the age of 84, as their candidate of
choice in the 2008 polls.
But the MDC Tuesday accused Mugabes party of abusing a respected
No government should abuse civic institutions and our respected elders
for selfish political ends that are inimical to their traditional roles, the
According to the report in the Herald some of the chiefs were
delighted with their new vehicles.
My people are footsore. There are no buses in my area. This vehicle
would be the ambulance and public transporter, Chief Sogwala from central
Zimbabwe was quoted as saying. - Sapa-DPA
Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:30AM BST
HARARE, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Mozambique has doubled daily electricity
supplies to Zimbabwe, helping to ease an acute power shortage in the
southern African country amid a severe economic crisis, state media reported
Zimbabwe has suffered chronic electricity shortages that have hit industries
and mines, adding to an economic crisis and rising political tension over
President Robert Mugabe's 27-year rule.
Mozambique will now meet almost half of Zimbabwe demand of 650 megawatts a
day, Zimbabwe's power utility said.
State-owned ZESA chief executive Ben Rafemoyo told the official Herald
newspaper that Mozambique's Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB) had, since
last week, increased supplies to Zimbabwe from 150 megawatts to 300
megawatts a day.
Zimbabwe also receives electricity from South Africa, Zambia and the
Democratic Republic of Congo, but foreign currency shortages have made
payments erratic, angering suppliers.
HCB had cut power exports to its neighbour during the southern hemisphere
2007 winter after Zimbabwe failed to pay, but Rafemoyo said the Mozambican
utility had agreed to increase supplies despite arrears amounting to $20
"We negotiated with them...and they understood our plight. So, they really
responded positively and decided to add 150 megawatts from what we have been
getting," Rafemoyo said.
"We have very huge foreign obligations to HCB. We are yet to pay our bills
for July and August and in total we have outstanding obligations of four
months' supply, which is around $20 million, but they have maintained
supplies to us."
Apart from erratic power supplies, Zimbabweans have to cope with persistent
food, fuel and foreign currency shortages.
Critics blame Zimbabwe's economic crisis -- highlighted by the highest
inflation rate in the world above 7,600 percent -- on Mugabe's controversial
policies, such as the seizure of white-owned commercial farms to resettle
Mugabe, however, denies mismanaging the economy and blames Western
The Herald (Harare) Published by the government of Zimbabwe
11 September 2007
Posted to the web 11 September 2007
GOVERNMENT will spend up to $32,9 billion on monitoring and stabilising
prices until year-end, while $36 billion has been earmarked for use by the
National Incomes and Pricing Commission.
Finance Minister Dr Samuel Mumbengegwi said last Thursday $17,5 billion will
be utilised on capital expenditure by the National Incomes and Pricing
The commission will spend an additional $18,5 billion on recurrent
These are the first grants from Treasury targeted at ensuring pricing sanity
in a market rendered volatile by rampant distortions caused by speculation.
Mr Elliot Manyika, chairman of the Cabinet Taskforce on Price Monitoring and
Stabilisation, was not immediately available to comment. His office said he
was in meetings the whole day.
The commission is, however, expected to assume a leading role in coming up
with strategies that stabilise prices and incomes.
It was set up against a background of speculative pricing and shrinking
Inflation, which climbed to 7 364 percent year-on-year in July, presents one
of the most difficult obstacles for the commission.
Keeping tabs on the rate at which prices and incomes rise would go a long
way in stifling inflation growth, say analysts.
Already, Government has tried to stop inflation-indexed pay rises, as a way
of controlling the scourge.
On June 25, Government imposed a blanket freeze on all prices at the June 18
levels, but has been gradually reviewing the prices over the last month.
The controls were meant to restore sanity to the market place, which had
seen most basic commodities rising beyond the reach of the average worker.
Other factors such as reducing money supply growth and cutting of the budget
deficit remain critical to bringing down inflation, once described by
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Dr Gideon Gono as the country's number one
The Herald (Harare) Published by the government of Zimbabwe
11 September 2007
Posted to the web 11 September 2007
HARARE City Council has launched a four-month blitz to rid the central
business district of illegal vendors, vagrants, street children and touts,
officials said yesterday.
Chamber secretary Mrs Josephine Ncube said municipal police would be
deployed from 6am to 10pm in the CBD and the Avenues area until yearend to
remove such elements from the streets.
"The project runs until the end of December. We hope to have spruced the
image of the city centre by then."
So far, Mrs Ncube said, 879 people had been arrested while 1,1 tonnes of
perishables had been confiscated.
Peace and order prevailed in Harare yesterday following the launch of the
Vendors could be seen milling around their selling points with no wares on
display, as they played hide-and-seek with the municipal police.
Operations to rid the city of illegal traders have yielded little success in
the past as the street people often resurface at the end of the blitz.
Mrs Ncube said street children and vagrants presented challenges to the city
because there was no permanent place to put them.
"We are waiting for the Government to identify a place where we can take
these people. This would be very soon," she said.
She said those arrested were being taken to the Zimbabwe Republic Police's
licensing unit where they would be released after paying admission of guilt
fines and have their goods confiscated.
From NewZimbabwe, 11 September
By Staff Reporter
Five of eight Zimbabwean asylum seekers held at a British immigration
removal centre for women went on hunger strike on Monday, pressing for their
release. The eight - detained at Yarls Wood Immigration Removal Centre in
Bedford - have been told they face deportation to Malawi and South Africa
after UK authorities refused to accept they were Zimbabweans who travelled
on foreign passports to beat a new visa regime introduced in Harare. Britain
has stopped deportations to Zimbabwe pending the outcome of a country
guidance case known as HS Zimbabwe. Judgment in the case was reserved after
a week-long hearing last month. Human rights groups say Zimbabweans face an
automatic risk of torture if deported back to the southern African country
where President Robert Mugabe is accused of human rights abuses. Maud
Kadango Lennard, a spokesperson for the striking detainees, told New
Zimbabwe.com that they would not call off the hunger strike until they were
released. "We are determined to resist deportation to countries whose
geography and systems are alien to us," said the 36-year-old who came to
England in January 2004 on a Malawian passport. "The Home Office, against
all the evidence, has refused to accept that we are Zimbabwean and we are
saying that is wrong. It's convenient for them, but potentially hazardous
for us." Hundreds of Zimbabweans who bought travel documents in neighbouring
countries in order to avoid visa restrictions imposed on the country have
been told they will not be considered for UK asylum.
Lawyers and human rights groups say the UK is endangering Zimbabwean asylum
seekers who are detained and interrogated on arrival in Malawi and South
Africa, and face criminal prosecution for using fake travel documents. The
deportees are then handed to Zimbabwean authorities, with no system in place
to check their wellbeing. Lennard said she was detained after overstaying in
the UK, while other Zimbabwean detainees were arrested after being found
working. She has been told she will be deported to Malawi on September 19. A
letter from the Home Office, seen by New Zimbabwe.com, states that she left
Zimbabwe on a valid Malawian passport on January 27, 2004, and transited via
Egypt, arriving in the UK a day later. She was refused leave to enter the UK
on arrival, but granted a temporary admission on condition that she would
catch a flight back to Zimbabwe on January 30, 2004, but she absconded. She
was detained after turning up at Heathrow Terminal 3 to claim asylum on
August 8 last month. The Home Office wrote to her: "You disputed the fact
that you would be returned to Malawi as you claim to be from Zimbabwe.
However, you hold a valid Malawian (sic) and are therefore removable to
Malawi." Lennard's appeal was dismissed on August 30 - a judge ruling that
she was not in danger of being persecuted if deported to Malawi, "and
accepted the fact that she was entitled to a Malawian passport".
Campaigners said there were many similar cases of the Home Office deporting
Zimbabweans to foreign countries after refusing to accept several forms of
identification disproving their assumed identities on the false travel
documents. Sarah Harland of the campaigning Zimbabwe Association said they
had tried to make representations to the Home Office to no avail. And New
Zimbabwe.com's legal columnist, Lloyd Msipa, said: "The tragedy of this
situation is that once these Zimbabweans are deported, they are forgotten.
It's like putting people on a conveyer belt to nowhere. Nobody wants to
touch these cases with a long stick because legal aid is no longer available
to most of them, and the cases are notoriously difficult to win. I have seen
people who have produced birth and death certificates of their parents,
letters from headmen and many other forms of identification to invalidate
their false passports, but they all suffer the same fate." Rights groups
have been pushing the UK government to follow-up on people who have been
deported to guarantee their safety - one of the key elements of the argument
in the HS Zimbabwe case. Although Air Zimbabwe and British Airways have both
refused to fly deportees, some airlines like Kenyan Airways and Air Malawi
continue to accept deportees. They have previously been targeted by
campaigners. Flight captains are handed the passports of any deportees on
their planes, which they hand over to immigration officers on arrival at
their destination - a process which rights groups say invariably leads to
lengthy questioning for the asylum seekers and harassment. Hunger strikes
have been tried by asylum seekers in the past, including other
nationalities, with very little success. No comment was immediately
available from the Home Office last night.
11 September 2007
Posted to the web 11 September 2007
Police arrested over 1200 people in Limpopo over the weekend for helping to
smuggle illegal Zimbabwean immigrants into the country and Zimbabwean
A total of 92 police stations in the province worked together as part of
Operation Vulindela (meaning make way), which kicked off on Friday and ended
Cigarettes worth over R200 000 were seized and 1 212 people were arrested by
Monday morning on charges related to smuggling illegal foreigners into the
country, murder, attempted murder, robbery, assault, possession of
unlicensed firearms, dagga and stolen property.
Provincial police spokesperson Superintendent Mohale Ramatseba said on
Tuesday: "There was also zero tolerance approach to people who urinated and
drank in public, drove recklessly and carried dangerous weapons."
He said 120 people had already paid admission of guilt fines.
Operation Vulindela will continue through out the week as police set up
roadblocks and conduct raids and patrols, said Ramatseba.
He warned people not to drink in public, or to sell liquor without a license
or to allow minors to buy alcohol.
"We will also make sure that the person who sent the child to a liquor
outlet gets prosecuted," he said.
In April the Limpopo provincial police task team in Limpopo had a major
success when they managed to arrest a suspected robber while the alleged
suspect posed as a victim of crime and tried to open a case at the Polokwane
The suspect claimed that his VW Kombi - which was used in an attempted
cash-in-transit heist earlier Monday - was hijacked from him.
The kombi was found abandoned at Ga-Maja village after a failed attempted
robbery following quick intervention by members of the police's crime
intelligence gathering unit from the head office.
It is alleged that the armed robbers attacked a cash-in-transit vehicle and
fired several shots at the security guards but the driver managed to drive
away towards Sebediela until the robbers returned.
After realising that the cash-in-transit vehicle managed to flee the scene,
the robbers then returned towards Polokwane.
A Toyota Camry and a VW Kombi, which were used in the attempted robbery,
were later found abandoned in different places.
The owner of the VW Kombi, who is alleged to have been part of the robbers,
went to the police, claiming that his vehicle had been hijacked and was
arrested upon further interrogation by the police.
Another suspect was arrested in the Polokwane taxi rank while in possession
of an AK-47 rifle.
He was shot on the thigh while trying to open fire at the police.
By Blessing Zulu
10 September 2007
South African President Thabo Mbeki's influence in Zimbabwean politics faces
a test this week as the politiburo and central committee of the country's
ruling party meet to discuss proposals emerging from the crisis resolution
talks he is mediating.
Sources in the ZANU-PF ruling party and the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change said a consensus has been reached by the two parties to
the talks as to the shape of a constitutional amendment awaiting action by
the parliament. The amendment would make sweeping changes in the electoral
It remains to be seen if ZANU-PF hard-liners will accept the compromise
deal. Sources said negotiators agreed the lower house would expand from 150
to 210 seats, none of which would be presidentially appointed. On the senate
side the president will name 35 out of 93 senators - the upper chamber
currently has 66 seats.
The negotiators who met in Pretoria recently also agreed to hold local
elections as well as presidential, general and senate elections at the same
time in March of next year - as matter stand, the local elections were to be
held in January.
The Pretoria compromise tightens the rules for redistricting from what the
ruling party had proposed in its draft amendment, allowing only a 20%
variance in the population of redrawn districts, as opposed to the 25%
variance ZANU-PF had proposed.
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, lead negotiator for ZANU-PF, was
expected to table the amendment legislation in parliament on Tuesday, Sept.
Some found encouragement in the compromises in Pretoria - but Senior
Researcher Chris Maroleng of the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria
told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that piecemeal
changes to the constitution cannot ensure that next year's Zimbabwe
elections will be free and fair.
Cape Town-based political analyst Glen Mpani agreed, saying Harare needs to
scrap draconian laws including in particular Public Order and Security Act
and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, which
respectively have been used by Harare to stifle political dissent and press
In other parliamentary business, sources said the government will amend its
so-called indigenization legislation to provide that companies obliged to
cede a 51% controlling stake in their enterprise will also be obliged to
fund such indigenous investments.
The government would impose a levy on publicly traded or privately held
firms to fund what it describes as an economic empowerment fund. Harare had
proposed to fund the takeovers itself, but finance ministry sources say this
would be too expensive.
They noted that projected public revenues will only fund about Z$37 trillion
of the Z$255 trillion supplementary budget presented to parliament last
Harare economist John Robertson called the latest proposal "a wicked act."
Dennis Mandudzo, a U.S.-based doctoral candidate in finance, said the
proposed modification to the indigenization legislation will further spur
Tuesday 11 September 2007
Your Excellency President Silva
RE: Revocation of President Robert Mugabe's invitation to the African,
Caribbean, and Pacific-European Union (ACP-EU) Summit
We have learned with profound regret your intentions to invite Robert
Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, to attend the ACP-EU summit
to be held in Lisbon, Portugal in December, 2007.
As Zimbabweans, we humbly prevail upon you to reconsider and rescind this
invitation as a protest against the flagrant human rights violations and
unrestrained vile abuses blatantly committed by Mugabe and his associates
upon Zimbabwe's civil society.
Zimbabwe is now an oligarchy with the highest inflation rate in the world
due to mismanagement, racist agrarian reform policies, corruption, looting
of state coffers and the gross incompetence of its government.
This has precipitated the collapse of industry, commerce, health delivery
system, education and all essential services.
State sanctioned violence through torture, arbitrary arrests and detention,
coupled with extra judicial killings are now the preferred governance tools
of the Mugabe dictatorship.
Purveyor of tyranny, Robert Mugabe has no place on the high table of world
It is psychological torture for ordinary Zimbabweans, victims of his brutal
repression, to watch him wine and dine with respected democratic leaders at
such an esteemed meeting while we wallow in abject poverty and perpetual
Mugabe no longer has the trust, mandate, or authority over the people of
Zimbabwe except for his militias and sycophantic party functionaries.
Zimbabwe is a signatory to the Cotonou Agreement which is unambiguous in its
principles and ethics on fundamental issues of good governance, human rights
Part 3.1 of the ACP-EU Cotonou Agreement reads: Respect for human rights,
democratic principles and the rule of law are essential elements of the
Mugabe is a divisive dictator who has egotistically become the torchbearer
for kleptocracy and his invitation to the ACP-Summit is converse to
democratic principles and international humanitarian law.
We anticipate and collectively hope and pray that your timely, humble,
steadfast posture shall be consistent with European Union charters, values
and norms, thus rendering a mortal blow to tyranny and usher a new era for
peace, democracy, freedom and justice to Zimbabwe in particular and Africa
Zimbabweans eagerly await your intrepid actions and anxiously look forward
to your historic rejoinder.
Tuesday 11 September 2007
By Nigel Hangarume
HARARE - Tourism Minister Francis Nhema is confident a FIFA delegation
expected in Zimbabwe tomorrow will give the country a thumbs-up to host
visitors to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
The four-day visit had initially been scheduled to start on Monday, but
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive Karikoga Kaseke said the
itinerary would now start tomorrow.
He did not give reasons for the postponement.
The FIFA officials want to assess accommodation and other facilities in
Zimbabwe, which is taking advantage of its proximity to South Africa to reap
benefits from the football tournament.
Nhema admitted Zimbabwe had challenges but has confidence in the country's
"We have some of the best hotels and tourist attractions like the Victoria
Falls which I believe every tourist coming to southern Africa would want to
visit," he said.
The FIFA inspectors visit at a time Zimbabwe is failing to reverse an
economic recession dramatised by the world's highest inflation of over 7 500
percent as well as serious shortages of food, fuel and electricity.
Despite the challenges, which also include crumbling infrastructure, Nhema
still thinks Zimbabwe will be an ideal tourist destination.
"The problems we have in the case of food and shortages of basic goods is
just about pricing systems and I believe it's something that will be sorted
out soon as government and business continue to negotiate," Nhema said.
"Otherwise we have all that a tourist might want - above all peace and
tranquility - and I don't see the FIFA officials giving us a thumbs-down."
Nhema said renovations of hotels and other tourist facilities had already
Zimbabwe is also renovating the National Sports Stadium and Rufaro Stadium
in Harare, where FIFA is funding the installation of an artificial turf.
It could not be established yesterday who will make up the FIFA
delegation. - ZimOnline
Tuesday 11 September 2007
JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe has used up the bulk of a South African Reserve Bank
loan facility amid revelations Harare was behind on payments of medical
expenses for military veterans now resident in South Africa.
Although details of the loan facility remained sketchy last night, South
Africa's Finance Minister Trevor Manuel told the country's parliament
yesterday that the 75 million rand facility to President Robert Mugabe's
government was secured against South African Land Bank bills worth more than
81 million rands.
According to Manuel, the Harare authorities had by the end of July used 73.2
million rand of the facility expected to expire on 31 December 2007.
"The facility is secured by a pledge of South African Land Bank bills to the
value of 81.8 million rand," Manuel said.
He did not say when the facility was agreed or what the loan was for.
News of the loan facility comes exactly two years after the internationally
isolated Mugabe approached South Africa for a US$500 million loan to help
stop the collapse of the Zimbabwean economy.
The loan talks collapsed when Mugabe refused to accept the terms attached to
the loan, which included economic and political reforms.
Manuel also announced yesterday that the Zimbabwean government had reneged
on payments to the South African government for the medical expenses of
Zimbabwe military veterans staying in South Africa.
"Since 2000, the Zimbabwean government has not refunded these payments as
specified in the agreement. As at 31 July 2007, the amount overdue was 2.2
million rand," Manuel said. - ZimOnline
Tuesday 11 September 2007
By Tafirei Shumba
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe has gone pop featuring in a fresh
propaganda piece of music that is receiving massive airplay on
state-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) radio.
Mugabe was never known to have a knack for pop music until this week when
the new release titled Beitbridge hit the airwaves.
ZimOnline could not immediately establish the producers of the song but
understands Mugabe's information ministry was responsible.
The president's gravelly voice booms in his trademark raucous style in the
piece done by songbird Nonsi, a popular supporter of government propaganda.
Nonsi comes in with the lead vocals beckoning listeners: "Come to Zimbabwe
and see the city of Beitbridge . . . our beautiful city . . . a symbol of a
lovely country . . . the future of our children lies in our hands..."
Mugabe does not waste time corroborating Nonsi's lyrics with a chorus heavy
with his unmistakable intonation: "Pamberi neBeitbridge (forward with
Beitbridge) . . . nekuvaka Beitbridge (forward with developing Beitbridge) .
. . kudya kuBeitbridge (food to the people of Beitbridge)... Dhorobha redu
iri hatidi kuti murambe muri shure richisekwa, aiwa. Takazvipira kuti
Beitbridge tiisimudzire isvike pamusoro (we don't want Beitbridge to lag in
development. We are committed to the development of Beitbridge)."
Mugabe did not necessarily have to go to the studio for the recording.
What the producers did was to lift sections of a speech by Mugabe sometime
ago while on a visit to Beitbridge, on the border with South Africa,
blending parts of the speech into Nonsi's vocals, interchangeably, to
produce the song, desperate propaganda in a futile bid to endear the
unpopular ruler with Zimbabwe's opposition southern regions.
The song, arranged in Zimbabwean pop style, borders on the traditional jiti
fusion and is played with nauseating frequency on all stations.
An announcer at ZBC, who cannot be named, told ZimOnline yesterday: "That
one (Beitbridge) is being treated by bosses here (ZBC) as second only to the
national anthem. They are so crazy about the recording and we play it at
least twice in every hour.
"And that's an order by the way, it's not by choice because no sane
presenter would play that kind of stuff that talks about giving food to the
people of Beitbridge when everyone knows there is no food to give. It's
being spiteful, it's sick, immoral, insensitive and ill-timed."
The song is a bad reminder of the days of former information minister
Jonathan Moyo whose office bombarded listeners with disgusting praise songs
and jingles some of which Moyo himself wrote and were recorded by PaxAfro, a
young outfit of cheerleaders that vanished with Moyo's sacking from
Zimbabwe's information ministry operates a strong budget for propaganda
purposes and runs numerous musical galas countrywide hosting a staggering 20
bands or more in a single show.
Broadcast live on television for 12 straight hours - 6pm to 6am - the galas
are a record, in their own right, for the longest uninterrupted live
televised musical shows that are merely a ZANU PF propaganda tool where
ministers and party heavies get together to drink and dance the night away
with the crowds.
One such gala is on in Beitbridge next week to commemorate the late Simon
Muzenda who together with Joshua Nkomo, also late, were Mugabe's deputies at
the formation of the government of national unity when the warring ZANU PF
and PF ZAPU merged in 1987.
The broadcaster is not paid for the transmission of the galas and is
expected to offer free service in the name of national service.
But financial technocrats at the station's Pockets Hill headquarters say
government was taking ZBC for a ride hoodwinking the docile broadcaster to
prop up support for the ruling party.
With the release of Mugabe's Beitbridge, ZANU PF and cabinet can now boast
of "pop" celebrities in their ranks.
Elliot Manyika, the party's national commissar, recorded the "smash hit"
revolutionary Nora. Chen Chimutengwende former information minister and now
recycled back into government is known for his kwasa-kwasa artistry while
Mugabe's late deputy Simon Muzenda was popular for his traditional
ngororombe dance which he always performed in public in between writing and
As of now it would probably be too early to say if Mugabe would feature in a
video version of Beitbridge should the producers decide to shoot one.
If that happens viewers might just be lucky to enjoy the rare opportunity of
seeing, in motion picture, how good or bad at waltzing their 83-year-old
leader is. - ZimOnline.