The ZIMBABWE Situation
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Torture bases resurface

Political bases, which were used as torture centres by Zanu (PF) supporters
in the 2008 elections, are resurfacing in some constituencies, raising fears
of a recurrence of the violence that characterized the last plebiscite.

by Christopher Mahove

In its election update report for the period July to August, the Zimbabwe
Election Support Network said the bases were mainly in Mashonaland Central,
Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West and Masvingo provinces.

“Our observers have reported the resurrection of these bases in their
constituencies. These serve as a barrier to peaceful co-existence and
curtail the freedom of citizens as they are punished for their
constitutional right to freedom of expression, that is to say freedom to
hold opinions and to receive and impart information without interference,”
ZESN said in its report.

The election watchdog said, in most instances, the bases were disguised as
political party mobilization centres or education centres depending on the
area. Youth militia activities were also recorded in a number of provinces.
ZESN said although their observers reported a decline in cases of violence,
political intolerance among supporters of different parties remained a

“Of the 210 constituencies, 10 percent of the observers reported the
occurrence of violence. Political tolerance remains problematic with
observers reporting high levels of intolerance as shown by 46 percent of
observers who reported a lack of political tolerance”.

“ZESN applauds political players in 40 per cent of the constituencies who
reported that people are able to express themselves freely. However, there
is concern about 60 per cent of the constituencies where observers have
reported a lack of freedom of expression,” said the watchdog.

Early this year, a Zanu (PF) councillor from Matabeleland said the setting
up of torture bases was an instruction from the party’s top leadership. She
said political traditional leaders such as chiefs and headman were used to
identify suspected opposition supporters while war veterans and youths would
administer and mete out punishment.

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Police go berserk in Harare

Police details on Wednesday morning went berserk, indiscriminately beating
up commuter omnibus crews in retaliation for the reported assaulting of
their colleagues.

by Moses Chibaya

The truncheon-wielding details descended on public transport drop-off
points, targeting mostly kombi assistants who they insisted should divulge
the identities of those that assaulted two police officers last Thursday.

The Zimbabwean visited the Copacabana, Fourth Street and Harare Central
Police Station pick-up and drop-off points where its news crew witnessed the
police details beating up people.

Kombi drivers and some innocent civilians were also caught up in the mayhem.

Members of the terror group, Chipangano, which is aligned to Zanu (PF) and
is seeking to control rank fees at various bus termini, are believed to have
been the ones that beat up the two police officers.

Police mounted ad hoc roadblocks on roads leading into town where they
forced kombi assistants, also known as hwindis, to disembark before
assaulting them with truncheons.

The grim incidents were not without humor, though.

As one kombi approached one of the roadblocks, passengers advised the
assistant to join and pretend to be one of them.

In response, he remarked: “They will always identify me. I haven’t bathed
and I stink, as is typical of us hwindis.”

When contacted for comment, Harare Provincial Spokesperson, Chief Inspector
James Sabau initially requested The Zimbabwean to call later, but when
subsequent attempts were made, he was not responding.

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New wave of torture

Political violence is rearing its ugly head in the dormitory town of
Epworth, with suspected members of the Zanu (PF) youth militia, Chipangano,
unleashing a wave of terror against members of the MDC.

by Edgar Gweshe

Chipangano has declared some areas in the dormitory town no go areas for MDC
supporters and has also set up torture bases - a development reminiscent of
the bloody 2008 elections. Senior Zanu (PF) members with interests in
contesting in Epworth at the next elections are said to be behind the wave
of terror.

The Zimbabwean spoke to some of the victims of the violence who were
captured and tortured in August for being perceived opponents of President
Robert Mugabe.

They narrated their ordeal at the hands of the ruthless Chipangano militia
and said they were now living in fear as the Zanu (PF) youths had vowed to
exterminate them.

Two of the victims, Bolden Nhika, the MDC-T Vice Organizing Secretary for
Youths in Ward 2, and Petros Makaza claimed that a soldier with the
Presidential Guard, identified as William Makurumidze, was behind the

They claimed that Makurumidze confronted them at a nightclub in Munyuki
Shopping Centre and demanded that they remove the MDC-T regalia they were
wearing while enjoying their drinks.

“He also took our beer saying he was punishing us for supporting Morgan
Tsvangirai. We refused and he told us he would punish us. The next morning
he came to our home in the company of a police officer in uniform. They were
accompanied by seven other militia members wearing civilian clothes and
soldiers’ boots,” said Nhika. “They put us into a white B1600 vehicle and
told us they were taking us to Chipangano. Makurumidze even swore that we
were going to die in Mbare and boasted about the ruthlessness of the group.
In Mbare, we were taken to Zanu (PF)’s Mbare 3 offices where some Chipangano
youths were waiting for us,” added Nhika. He and Makaza said the youths
spread burning plastic over their bodies while beating them using iron rods,
fists and boots. The pair spent the day and night at the Zanu (PF) Mbare
offices and were handed over to the Mbare police station the next morning
where Makurumidze changed his statement and reported that the pair had
stolen from him.

“They were singing Nyama yekugocha (Meat for braai) as they beat us up and
took turns to assault us at their Mbare offices,” Said Makaza, adding that
the soldier lied to the police that they had been beaten up by an angry mob.

Makurumidze, who was the complainant in the matter, did not making any
follow-up with the police, resulting in the continued detention of the pair.
He eventually came after being called by the police and the matter was
referred to the courts on 15 August where they were given $30 bail each.

They continued to receive threats after their release. Another MDC activist,
Samson Muripo, revealed how he was severely tortured at a Zanu (PF) base in
Ward 2 Epworth after being kidnapped while driving his car in the area.

He was hijacked during the Heroes holiday and taken to the base, where he
was severely tortured with iron bars and logs. “They told me I was not
supposed to be walking in the area since it was reserved for Zanu (PF)
supporters only. Right now, I have a difficulty in walking as I was severely
assaulted on the leg with an iron bar. Since then, I have received numerous
threats on my life from the Zanu (PF) activists,” said Muripo. His right
foot is now gangrenous and he fears that it might be amputated.

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SA urged to explain Zim arms sale

By Alex Bell
12 September 2012

The South African government is being urged to explain a recent sale of
military equipment to Zimbabwe, amid concern about a possible repeat of
Zimbabwe’s violent 2008 election.

According to South Africa’s latest quarterly report of the National
Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC), the sale to Zimbabwe happened
some time between April and July this year. During the same period, the
South African government approved contracts to other countries worth R2.8

The NCACC report says contracts with 50 countries were signed, among them
India, Gabon, the US and China. The report says the items sold to Zimbabwe
fall mainly into the C category, consisting of “support” items such as radio
transceivers, radar, unmanned vehicles and tear gas.

The NCACC is now set to face questioning about its decision to trade on a
military level with Zimbabwe, amid concern that the decision paints Zimbabwe
as legitimate partner in arms trading. With the country heading towards an
election, there is real fear that the army is gearing itself up to ensure
another ZANU PF win.

South Africa’s Shadow Defence Minister, David Maynier, was quoted by the
Times newspaper as saying: “We should not be exporting conventional arms to
a repressive regime such as Zimbabwe” He said he would direct follow-up
parliamentary questions to the NCACC chief, Jeff Radebe to determine the
specific items that were sold.

“We are going to have to keep a careful watch that this deal does not open
the floodgates for more conventional arms sales to Zimbabwe,” Maynier said.

South African defence analyst Helmoed Heitman told SW Radio Africa on
Wednesday that there is nothing to be alarmed about yet, because so far the
equipment is “non lethal.” He said the low value of the sale indicates that
the purchase was more about maintenance of previous South African bought
support equipment, and not about arms.

“The amount that was paid doesn’t buy you a lot and Zimbabwe can’t afford to
trade with South African arms suppliers…and anyway they (Zimbabwe) can get
anything it wants far cheaper, from the Chinese,” Heitman said.

He said that military connections between South Africa and Zimbabwe had to
be maintained on a basic level, because the countries are part of the
regional SADC stand-by brigade, meaning both countries are committed to a
regional peace force.

“This means that should both countries be deployed together on a
peacekeeping mission, they would have to operate together,” Heitman
explained, saying equipment like radios has previously been sold to Zimbabwe
on this basis.

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Judge dismisses Locadia’s application to stop Tsvangirai wedding

By Tichaona Sibanda
12 September 2012

High Court Judge Antonia Guvava on Wednesday dismissed Locadia Karimatsenga
Tembo’s application to stop Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s wedding this

In her judgement Guvava said there was nothing urgent about the application
as the Prime Minister’s plans to wed had been in the public domain for

The judge also ruled that Karimatsenga and her team of lawyers had
approached the wrong court and that customary unions are not recognised as
legal marriages by law. The judge instead advised her to lodge any
objections with the marriage officer.

Immediately after the judge’s ruling Karimatsenga and her legal team rushed
to the magistrates’ court to file another case in an attempt to stop the
wedding. But legal aides to the Prime Minister told SW Radio Africa that
presiding officers with the lower courts in Zimbabwe do not have powers to
deal with such matters as an urgent case.

‘This is becoming a fishing expedition and the whole world can now see why
Tsvangirai doesn’t want anything to do with this woman,’ an aide said.

Political analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya told us the idea behind the application
was aimed at embarrassing Tsvangirai, claiming there are hidden forces
behind the plot.

‘At the same time Tsvangirai should draw lessons from this experience and
take stock and see what he has not done properly. He’s going to come out
wiser out of this situation, he hasn’t been damaged fundamentally but any
other future indiscretions will have a knock on on his political future,’
Ruhanya said.

Karimatsenga, who used to be Tsvangirai’s lover, filed a High court
injunction last week, arguing that she is his wife under the country’s
‘customary marriage’ law. Tsvangirai has always maintained that he just paid

Tsvangirai is due to marry Elizabeth Macheka in a lavish ceremony on
Saturday and his partners in the GPA, including Robert Mugabe and some
foreign leaders, are expected to attend.

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Love tussle tarnishes Zimbabwe PM Tsvangirai

Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:22pm GMT

By MacDonald Dzirutwe

HARARE (Reuters) - A legal bid by a former lover of Zimbabwean Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to stop his wedding on Saturday has laid bare a
messy private life and damaged the political reputation of the main rival to
long-serving leader Robert Mugabe.

Locardia Karimatsenga, 39, filed a High Court injunction to block
Tsvangirai's wedding to fiancée Elizabeth Macheka, arguing that she was his
wife under the former British colony's "customary marriage" law.

Judge Antonia Guvava ruled on Wednesday that the wedding should go ahead but
Karimatsenga's lawyer said he would appeal, meaning the saga could yet take
another twist.

The case has sparked a frenzy in Harare newspapers, which have plastered
their front pages with headlines such as "Tsvangirai wedding war", "Plot
against PM intensifies" and "D-Day for PM Wedding".

Having the nuptials blocked would be a major embarrassment for Tsvangirai,
who had been expected to invite Mugabe, his partner in a fractious coalition
formed after a disputed 2008 election, and some foreign leaders to the

While 88-year-old Mugabe has been criticised for turning what was once one
of Africa's strongest economies into a basket case, Tsvangirai is now being
publicly questioned over his relationships with women and money.

His personal troubles started after the death of his wife, Susan, in a 2009
car crash. They have handed Mugabe political ammunition as he seeks to
extend his three-decade rule in an election expected within a year.

Karimatsenga, a tall and sturdily built woman said by local newspapers to
have a taste for luxury, alleged she had suffered a miscarriage while
carrying Tsvangirai's child last year and that this had "mentally devastated

In June, the 60-year-old also confirmed newspaper reports that he had
fathered a love child with a 24-year-old woman in the second city of
Bulawayo and that he was looking after them both.

"It is embarrassing, plain and simple," a top official in Tsvangirai's
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) told Reuters. "It is an unwanted
distraction which we would rather not have."

The High Court has also received another application from Karimatsenga in
which she demands $15,000 (9,312 pounds) from Tsvangirai for her monthly
upkeep, including $1,700 for "hair and beauty therapy" and $1,200 for
telephone bills.

She is also seeking $3,000 for rent, $4,000 for groceries and $1,500 as a
clothing allowance - arguing that Tsvangirai has the money.

The sums compare to per capita GDP of $800 a year in Zimbabwe, where
government workers earn an average $300 a month. Making matters worse for
Tsvangirai is his recent move into a $3 million state residence.

Mugabe's ZANU-PF is certain to pounce on Tsvangirai's private life in any
election campaign, using it to paint him as an unreliable leader. Politburo
member Jonathan Moyo has derided Tsvangirai in newspapers for having an
"open zip and shut mind".

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WOZA leaders arrested during Bulawayo protests

By Tererai Karimakwenda
12 September 2012

The leaders of the pressure group Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) and eight
other WOZA activists were arrested during protests outside the offices of
the Chronicle newspaper in Bulawayo on Wednesday.

SW Radio Africa’s Bulawayo correspondent Lionel Saungweme was informed by
WOZA members that police later released the eight activists, but
coordinators Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu remain in police custody.

It is not clear if any charges have been preferred against them.

The arrests come just two days after WOZA members held protest
demonstrations in Bulawayo, to demand that the coalition government move
forward with the constitutional reform exercise.

Saungweme said Jenni and Magodonga had just arrived from Harare, where they
took part in other protests. Police immediately arrested them as they joined
other WOZA members demonstrating at the Chronicle building.
It is alleged the arrests were made on orders from police Chief Inspector
Rangwani, who has become notorious for harassing WOZA members.
We were unable to contact any WOZA members for more information.

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War as Chipangano meets match

By Richard Chidza, Staff Writer
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 12:55
HARARE - A bus terminus right at the doorstep of Zimbabwe’s biggest police
station has become the scene of lawlessness as violence between soldiers and
Chipangano, a Zanu PF-aligned militia, takes root.

Police, accused of turning a blind eye to the violence, finally moved
yesterday and arrested soldiers accused of assaulting Chipangano members.

Police spokesperson James Sabau said four soldiers have been arrested as the
violence reached fever pitch at the terminus, which is next to Harare
Central Police Station.

“We have three people who have reported cases of assault resulting from the
skirmishes and four soldiers have since been arrested,” he said.

“They are helping police with investigations. The three complainants are a
kombi driver, a tout and an ordinary person,” Sabau said.

However, army director of public relations Alphios Makotore professed
ignorance on the matter.

“We only saw that in the paper and I do not know anything about it. I am not
aware of the involvement of the military police because I do not know about
the incident,” Makotore, a lieutenant colonel, said.

Quizzed on whether any investigations were underway over last week’s attack
on two members of the elite One Commando Regiment by touts believed to be
linked to Zanu PF, Makotore again refused to shed any light.

“I do not know anything about that,” was all he could say.

Last weekend, Chipangano savagely assaulted two uniformed soldiers following
an altercation over the group’s demand for money from public transport
minibuses commonly known as kombis.

On Monday evening, members of the army, including those from the
yellow-bereted presidential guard brought business to a halt at Harare’s
Charge Office bus terminus in a revenge attack.

Witnesses said groups of soldiers were dropped off a bus at the Chitungwiza
flyover from where they proceeded to the terminus.

“Everyone was running. It was mayhem because anyone they suspected of being
a tout came under attack,” said an eye-witness.

"The attacking soldiers dispersed following the arrival of the red berets
but they are now trickling back,” a vendor at the terminus told the Daily
News late Monday.

Amid growing mistrust between the two security arms, conflicting statements

Earlier in the day Sabau rubbished reports that Chipangano members had
assaulted soldiers.

“There are lots of falsehoods in that story. It was a cooked-up job. The
writer is battling to give credence to that story,” Sabau told the Daily

This is despite Defence spokesperson Overson Mugwisi having been quoted as
condemning the attack and confirming investigations were underway.

Yesterday Mugwisi refused to comment on the latest violent skirmishes,
referring the Daily News to Makotore.

The Daily News witnessed some of the mayhem on Monday evening.

All hell broke loose as the soldiers went on a rampage, triggering a near
stampede as touts, also known as Mandimbandimba or Mahwindi in Shona
language, vendors and ordinary people were caught in the mayhem.

By 7pm, hordes of soldiers were menacingly scouring the terminus in search
of their colleagues’ assailants, while police in trucks circled the area
keeping a close watch.

Sources told the Daily News the touts have become untouchable because they
have political and police protection.

Reports say the touts are taking home a combined $30 000 a day from about 6
000 commuter minibuses plying the capital’s routes.

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Zim To Launch Controversial Media Council

Harare, September 12, 2012 - Zimbabwe Media Commission chief executive
officer, Tafataona Mahoso, announced Tuesday that the ZMC will launch a
media commission to monitor media conduct and ethics.
The move has been described by the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe
(VMCZ) as 'undemocratic.'

The media council is premised on the draconian statutory Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), which media houses and
journalists, have condemned in the past for suppressing freedom of the press
and allowing government to control the country's media.

Mahoso, who stands accused of closing independent media houses, said the
media council will be launched on Thursday.

"The Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) has completed the process of
identifying individuals to sit on the Zimbabwe Media Council in line with
the requirements of Section 42A of the Access to Information and Protection
of Privacy Act (AIPPA)," Mahoso said.

"According to the provisions of the Act, the ZMC is required to set up the
Zimbabwe Media Council which shall preside over the breaches of ethical and
professional standards by journalists and media houses. The Zimbabwe Media
Council is made up of individuals representing various stakeholder

"The Commission, in consultation with the Zimbabwe Media Council and
stakeholders, is required to develop a Code of Conduct and Ethics governing
the rules of conduct to be observed by media houses and media practitioners.
The Commission together with the Zimbabwe Media Council shall be responsible
for enforcing the Code of Conduct and Ethics," he added.

Mahoso said the media council shall consist of 13 members from various
interest groups with the chairperson going to be a member of the Zimbabwe
Media Commission. He did not specify who appoints the members of the media

The VMCZ has threatened to boycott the launch of the council, arguing the
move is undemocratic.

VMCZ programmes officer, Loughty Dube, said in a statement: "Regardless of
this unfortunate development, the VMCZ shall however continue its mandate as
governed by its constitution, membership and stakeholders.

"We will continue to receive media complaints from the public as well as
continue with the active promotion of impartial and professional media
ethics and media public accountability."

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Shamu threatens papers over Mugabe criticism

12/09/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

MEDIA and information minister Webster Shamu has threatened to cancel the
licences of privately-owned newspapers over criticism of President Robert
Mugabe and other government leaders.

Speaking Wednesday at the burial of former war veterans vice chairman,
Christopher Pasipamire, at Warren Hills in Harare, Shamu said newspapers
would be shut down if they continued to denigrate the Zanu PF leader.

"Government has warned them twice and this is the last warning,” he said.

“There is no need of attacking the President or the leadership for no
reason. This is an abuse of the freedom that has been given to them, the
freedom brought by the likes of Pasipamire.

“We will work together with the Zimbabwe Media Commission to revoke those
licences because we cannot watch while the country’s leadership is

Shamu vowed a media clampdown in May after being angered by frenzied
speculation over Mugabe’s health when the 88-year-old veteran leader
travelled to Singapore sparking reports he may have been seriously ill.

"If the clearly anti-African and anti-Zimbabwe frenzy we have experienced
through some media outlets and platforms in this country continues … the
gloves may soon be off here as well," Shamu said then.

But the Zanu PF minister has also faced allegations ignoring biased
political coverage in the state-controlled media.

The MDC-T claims Shamu have ignored calls to stop the regular denigration
its leader and Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, by state-owned media
entities such as the ZBC and the Zimpapers group.

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High court hears fresh bail application for Glen View 29

By Tichaona Sibanda
12 September 2012

A High Court Judge on Wednesday heard fresh oral submissions from defence
lawyers, seeking to have 29 MDC-T activists held in remand prison released
on bail.

The ‘Glen View’ 29, some of whom have been in custody for over a year now,
are being held for allegedly murdering police inspector Petros Mutedza in
Harare last year.

The hearing was before Justice Chinembiri Bhunu who on Monday granted the
defence lawyers’ request to make a fresh bail application based on changed

Lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa told SW Radio Africa that they made oral submissions
on Wednesday and will continue on Thursday before the Judge decides on their
fresh application.

Some of the people who attended Wednesday’s court session included MDC-T
Minister Nelson Chamisa, Lucia Mativenga and Pauline Gwanyanya Mupariwa.
Scores of other party activists and relatives thronged the High Court to
stand in solidarity with the group of 29.

Their trial was postponed in July after one of them, Gapara Nyamadzawo, fell
ill and had to be admitted to a private clinic for urgent medical attention.
Nyamadzawo was released from hospital recently and is back in remand prison.

A number of other activists have fallen ill in custody and the defence
lawyers want to argue that their clients’ basic human rights were being
denied by the length of time it has taken to conclude the case.

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Son of murdered MDC-T Magura arrested in Mudzi North

By Tererai Karimakwenda
12 September 2012

Police in Mudzi North arrested the son of murdered MDC-T ward chairman
Cephas Magura Wednesday morning, after he fought back during an attack by
ZANU PF thugs suspected of killing his father.

SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme said Mike Magura is in police
detention, while the ZANU PF thugs known as Kambambaira and Bhobho have not
been arrested. All three were taken to the police station but the ZANU PF
thugs were later released without charge.

Saungweme said the two were part of a group of nine ZANU PF members who were
arrested after Mike’s father Cephas was murdered at Chimukoko Business
Centre in May. The others are still in detention but Kambambaira and Bhobho
were later released.

Sekuru Cephas died after a ZANU PF mob attacked MDC-T supporters who had
gathered for a rally at the Chimukoko. He fell after being hit by a rock and
was further assaulted as he lay helpless on the ground. He was later found
dead by the roadside where he had been dumped.

Saungweme said: “Kambambaira and Bhobho are apparently lackeys of Mudzi
North MP Newton Kachepa, who is known to have ferried ZANU PF supporters to
disrupt the MDC-T meeting at Chimukoko, the day Magura died.”

Villagers told our correspondent that Kambambaira and Bhobho were given jobs
at a parking bay owned by the city after the incident at Chimukoko. They
were working there Wednesday when they spotted Mike Magura and began
taunting him about his father’s death and about the MDC-T.

Mike Magura is due to appear in court at Kotwa in Mudzi District on

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Purchase of arms signals increased State repression

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The MDC is highly alarmed and slams the pointless purchase of arms of war by
the Ministry of Defence between April and July this year.

The purchased equipment that costed the country millions of dollars are;
armoured vehicles, combat vehicles, military radios and teargas. The MDC
suspects that the arms were purchased from diamond revenue being illegally
diverted from Marange fields. The money should have been channelled through
Treasury to help improve civil servants salaries as well as buying essential
drugs and improving the country’s infrastructure.

It is ironic that the Ministry of Defence takes delivery of the arms at a
time when Hon. Tendai Biti, the Finance Minister is currently visiting
Australia and Angola with a begging bowl to access salaries for civil

It is of great concern that public funds are being used to fund a Zanu PF
war chest instead of improving the people’s welfare.

Zanu PF and the Ministry of Defence have decided to be anti-people through
the purchasing arms to repress Zimbabweans as the country prepares for a
watershed election.

Only this morning, city workers, shoppers and school children had to scurry
for cover in central Harare as rowdy soldiers and police went on a rampage
and indiscriminately assaulted people. It is important to note that the
military overtly took over and became the arbiter of Zimbabwe’s fate after
Zanu PF and its leader were defeated in the 2008 March elections by the MDC.

In an attempt by the military to reverse Mugabe’s defeat by President
Tsvangirai in the 2008 presidential run-off, the military effectively
overthrew the electoral process and unleashed violence. The military emerged
has become an appendage of Zanu PF’s militia and terror gang.

The MDC calls on the Ministry of Defence to justify the need for such arms
as well as the source of funding at a time when Zimbabwe is struggling with
revenue collection.

The people of Zimbabwe need food, jobs, peace and security other than
military weapons.

MDC @ 13 - The last mile: Towards Real Transformation!!!

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Proposed diamond trade changes under fire from ZANU PF

By Alex Bell
12 September 2012

Proposed changes to the mandate of the international diamond trade monitor,
the Kimberley Process (KP), are under fire from ZANU PF ahead of a key
session of the KP’s future in November.

The KP will be meeting in Washington where the group’s current Chair,
Ambassador Gillian Milovanovic’s proposed amended definition of “conflict
diamonds” will be put up for discussion and a vote. The proposed text has
followed months of consultation and discussions and it is expected that a
majority of KP member countries, diamond industry players and international
NGO groups will support the changes.

But resistance is already being felt, particularly from Zimbabwe, where the
diamond industry remains under a cloud of suspicion. There are ongoing
reports of abuses at the Chiadzwa diamond fields, where it has been
established that Zimbabwe’s army has significant control. There are also
concerns that the proceeds of the diamonds sales from there are being used
illicitly, with the country’s Finance Minister revealing that the money is
not reaching the treasury.

The proposed changes to the KP mandate could potentially clamp down on this
behaviour, much to the chagrin of ZANU PF. The party aligned Sunday Mail has
now called the potential changes a ‘plot’ by the US, quoting Zim Mines
Minister Obert Mpofu as urging resistance to the amendments.

The newspaper quoted a report by Israeli based diamond analyst Chaim-Even
Zohar, in an article that said the analyst was ‘alarmed’ and ‘astonished’ by
the KP changes. Of particular concern to the Sunday Mail are the proposals
that give the KP the power to make key decisions based on human rights
conditions in member countries.

The actual report by Zohar is less fear-mongering and carefully details the
proposed changes and the possible implications. He also says the KP “needs
an overhaul and a majority of member countries want to update the ‘conflict
diamond’ definition.”

“This is going to happen – we have passed the point of no return. Whether
the current draft will ultimately be adopted – maybe with some variations –
is yet to be seen…By and large, and that is often forgotten, making changes
to meet the circumstances of the day is also in the best interest of the
diamond industry,” Zohar said in his report.

(Read the report: )

Presently, the KP does not have a human rights mandate, meaning its
definition of a ‘conflict diamond’ is limited only to armed conflicts and
not to situations like Zimbabwe, where diamonds are tainted by human rights

Political analyst Clifford Mashiri said ZANU PF will be directly affected by
changes to the KP and will use whatever opportunity it can to resist
amendments. He said that, unlike the insistence that the changes are a US
‘plot’, the KP “has to change, or risk fading away.”

“The KP has to react to the current situation and change. A human rights
mandate is vital to ensure transparency and stop the trade in all forms of
conflict diamonds,” Mashiri said.

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Transparency International – Zimbabwe press statement

Click above address to read the Transparency International – Zimbabwe press

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Goche in land scam?

The Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development, Nicholas Goche has
waded into a land ownership scam in which he is being accused of having
grabbed a farm from the Bindura Town Council using his political muscle.

by Christopher Mahove

Goche, a Zanu (PF) senior member and former State Security Minister,
allegedly seized Artherstone Farm from the Council and is reportedly
subdividing it into plots for sale.

A source in Bindura told The Zimbabwean that the farm used to belong to
Goche before he sold it to the municipality. At the time of the sale, Goche
is said to have moved to nearby Ceres Farm that he was allocated under the
fast track land “redistribution” programme.

The source said council paid Goche for the farm in 2008, and went on to
start a poultry project on it. Goche, however, is said to have connived with
then Bindura mayor, Martin Dinha, who is now the Provincial Governor and
Resident Minister, to repossess the farm without paying anything to council.

“He has now sub-divided the farm and is selling stands of between 400 and
2,000 square metres. This is despite the fact that council was not
compensated for the developments it had done on the farm, nor was it
reimbursed the money he accepted,” the source said. This has prejudiced
council of hundreds of thousands of dollars which it had invested in the
chicken project at the farm. The source said council officials who tried to
question the deal were victimised, including Town Clerk, Pison Mugogo, who
was fired.

“This is what led to the expulsion of Mugogo. Several court orders have been
issued to have him reinstated but the Minister of Local Government (Ignatius
Chombo) has been ignoring them,” he said.

However, Goche denied he had grabbed the council farm, insisting the
property had always been his.

“The farm is there and it has always been my farm. I have the title deeds o
that farm. I bought it back in 1988,” he claimed. Goche said he had at one
point “donated” a portion of the farm for the construction of
Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle houses after the 2005 Operation Murambatsvina that
destroyed hundreds of homes and displaced poor home-seekers.

He said he repossessed the farm after realizing that the authority was not
carrying out any meaningful development on it. He sold part of the farm to
government where Chiwaridzo Township was built, well before the dispute
started. The minister also dismissed allegations that he owns two other
farms as a beneficiary of the land reform programme.

Former Bindura Mayor, Tinashe Madamombe, said Artherstone Farm remained
council property and there was no resolution to dispose of it. He said
council was still to do an audit of its farms when Goche repossessed
Artherstone. “I think he connived with council officers to get the land back
for free,” he said. Madamombe was fired by Chombo on allegations of
corruption and abuse of office. Although the Bindura magistrates’ court
cleared him of the charges, Chombo refused to reinstate him.

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Bulawayo Residents Struggling For Survival

Mzenzi Tshabangu

The constant shutting down of Bulawayo industries, retrenchment of thousands
of workers and the general downturn of the Zimbabwe economy have forced most
residents to live from hand to mouth.

Thousands of people are now surviving on selling cheap Chinese goods,
sweets, used women’s underwear and mobile phone airtime, among many other

As a result, moving around the streets of Bulawayo is now a nightmare as
vendors jostle for public attention to sell their wares which also include
gray soil dug from some parts of the city believed to be containing iron
compounds benefiting pregnant women.

A large number of university graduates have been forced by massive
unemployment to invade the streets in order to make a living. It is no
longer surprising to find someone in the city wearing a suit and selling
various wares in public.

This has become part of life here as thousands of people have been left
jobless by the massive de-industrialization of Bulawayo.
Reason Ngwenya, chairman of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) -
western region - says the current unemployment rate in Bulawayo, estimated
at more than 90 percent, is unprecedented in the history of Zimbabwe’s
second largest city.

Ngwenya says government has done nothing to alleviate the situation as it is
failing to save industries that are constantly shutting down due to lack of

He says the situation is worsened by lack of initiatives cushioning local
entrepreneurs from the rising costs of local services including water and

Thabiso nyoni, who once worked for Merlin (Pvt) Limited and lost her job
when the company shut down, says she is suffering due to lack of formal

Nyoni, a widow, says she is now failing to make ends meet and send her
children to school.

At times, she says, her children are forced to bed in the streets in order
to raise money for a meal and school fees.

Retrenchee Zibusiso Nkomo says unemployed residents are finding it difficult
to pay various bills.

Percy Mcijo, Matabeleland regional officer of the ZCTU, says most industries
have been left as empty shells which have been converted to churches.

More than 100 companies have shut down in the city since the formation of
the unity government in 2009 and the future looks bleak for local residents,
who have over the years depended on industries to make a living.

State efforts to rescue the collapsing industries using a $40 million rescue
package - the Distressed and Marginalized Areas Fund launched last year -
have failed due to political bickering among the parties in the coalition

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Severe fertilizer shortages loom

A severe shortage of fertilizer is looming, amid revelations that producers
have been incapacitated by financial constraints owing to failure by
government and other creditors to settle their bills.

by Owen Muchena

Producers, including Chemplex, Windmill and Zimbabwe Fertilizer Company, are
owed a collective $40m by customers who borrowed fertilizer in previous
farming seasons, but have failed to honour their obligation to service their

Misheck Kachere, the chief executive of Chemplex Corporation and
spokesperson for the industry, told The Zimbabwean in an interview that the
company had hardly any money to start producing for the 2012-13 season.

Government, under its various state-sponsored inputs schemes, is one of the
major creditors. It also owes seed houses huge amounts of money.

“Some customers have not paid for fertilizer supplied last season. We are
still owed in the region of $40m. If defaulting customers do not pay up, we
will be severely crippled in our endeavors to meet this season’s demand,”
said Kachere. Preparations for the next farming season are already underway,
with rains expected to start in a matter of weeks. Climate change, however,
seems to have generally pushed the onset of the rains later in the year.

Kachere said production of Ammonium Nitrate, the top dressing fertilizer,
was particularly endangered. “Even if we were to get the money today, Sable
Chemicals, the sole producer of AN, cannot produce 150,000 tonnes required
for the summer season. We are currently producing about 10,000 tonnes per
month due to a number of operational challenges,” he said.

“We only have about 25,000 tonnes of AN in stock, so we just pray that if we
get the money now, we can start importing from overseas to close the gap,”
he added. Demand for compounds might be met as there was still capacity to
produce 30,000 tonnes per month, depending on the availability of money to
meet operational costs. The country needs an average of 300,000 tonnes of
both compounds and AN for the summer farming season.

Tendai Biti, the Finance Minister, said government was making plans to avail
money to settle its debt to the industry. He said government was working to
mobilise $150m for the agricultural sector, $60m of which would go towards
paying the fertilizer companies.

It is not clear how the money is going to be raised.

The looming shortage is expected to push input prices up and further cripple
farmers, many of whom have still not been paid for crops delivered to the
Grain Marketing Board.

Economist Eric Bloch said government had no choice but to borrow from inputs
producers because it did not have ready cash, but in doing so had
jeopardized the agricultural industry. “If government does not borrow, there
would be more starvation, but through that borrowing, we are being pushed
further into the emergency mode,” added Bloch.

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Econet Launches Solar Powered Kiosks For Vendors

Irwin Chifera

Zimbabwe’s largest mobile telecommunications company, Econet Eireless,
Tuesday launched a solar-powered green kiosk that will provide a clean and
safe working environment for vendors in towns and rural areas.

Econet chief executive Douglas Mboweni told guests at the launch of the
kiosks that his company is concerned about vendors’ illegal, insecure and
unsafe working conditions and hopes that this initiative will transform
their operations.

Mboweni said apart from selling airtime, cellphones and other gadgets such
as solar lanterns, the kiosks will also offer free cellphone charging

He said 100 units have already been rolled out in Harare and expects more
than 5,000 to be distributed country-wide by the end of next year.

Mboweni urged local authorities to assist in providing sites for the kiosks
as well as licensing the vendors expected to use the units.

Harare mayor Muchadei Masunda, who was the guest of honour, commended Econet
Wireless Zimbabwe for partnering the Harare City Council in trying to
restore the capital to its sunshine status.

Jesca Kokerai, one of the beneficiaries, said her sales have gone up sharply
since she started operating the kiosk in February this year.

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Econet targeting 100 percent coverage by 2015

12/09/2012 00:00:00
by Business Reporter

ECONET Wireless says dollarisation of the economy as well as a return to
political stability has helped its penetration rates increase over sixty
percent with the company targeting 100 percent coverage of the whole country
by 2015.

Launched in 1998, Econet is one of the biggest companies on the Zimbabwe
Stock Exchange and dominates the country’s telecoms sector with more than 6
million subscribers after investing more than a billion dollars in network

Chief executive Douglas Mboweni, told a China Daily that penetration rates
had increased from 13 percent to about 74 percent over the last three years
alone on the back of a more stable operating environment.

"The shift to a multicurrency economy by the minister of finance, and the
creation of the national unity government opened up a world of new
opportunities for Zimbabwe, and certainly for the ICT sector,” Mboweni said.

“We had new resources, thanks to the dollar, coupled with access to
equipment coming from China, Europe and so forth. To best illustrate the
impact of these moves, our penetration rates in terms of telephony were 13
percent, but after three years have risen to 74 percent.

"I compliment the government because they came up with new policies that
pushed the ICT sector; they understood how ICT could benefit Zimbabwe. I was
tremendously encouraged by that kind of development."

Econet now dominates 70 percent of the country’s mobile phone market despite
winning its operating licence well after its two rivals. Mboweni attributed
the company’s success to constant innovation.

"When we first launched Econet, our services were immediately
oversubscribed. We were the third entrant into the market, but six months'
later became the market leader,” he said.

“The main reason was the introduction of prepaid services and immediately we
knew that the Zimbabwean market was right in terms of having an appetite for
technological services.”

"Innovation is what differentiates us from our competitors. Behind every
innovative idea or product there is a person. We consider people our biggest
asset and our team is driven by passion and a desire to achieve the

"However, the true test of a company is its ability to live beyond its
people, the institutional capability is absolutely fundamental. We are
working on building a reliable system in order to create a culture of
excellence so we will continue to offer the very best services and products
to our customers.”

The Econet chief said he was confident the company would achieve 100 percent
coverage of the country adding good bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and
China had also helped in the acquisition of key network development

"I do believe we'll achieve that goal before the deadline because of
Zimbabwe's high literacy rate. More than 90 percent of the population over
the age of 15 can read and write in English, which means that even in remote
villages, people can understand the products. The government's education
policy is paying dividends and we are seeing excellent results,” he said.

“Through cordial relations, everything is easier: we work very well with
companies like Huawei and ZTE and there are lots of ties being fostered with
other companies.

“Most of our equipment now comes from China; the infrastructure that we have
built for connecting our major cities comes from China, and our major
contractor is Huawei.

"I would like to remind readers that we are coming out of a situation where
it was very difficult to establish a business relationship with Zimbabwe,
but now I am very confident about our future."

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More deceased voters

Further to the news that Ian Smith is still on the voters’ roll, I have been sent information that
Smith's Minister of Law and Order Desmond Lardner-Burke is on the voters roll - he died in 1984 according to Wikipedia:
So is Smith's Minister of Tourism and Information, who died 2 February 2000
harare_east.txt(667): HOWMAN JOHN HARTLEY M 11/08/1918 63-010358T00 18 CECIL RHODES DR HIGHLANDS HARARE

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No further negotiations on COPAC draft

It is heartening to note that the MDC-T has finally made up its mind with
regard to the endless talks and negotiations in relation to the
constitution-making process. The launching of the Vote Yes campaign by the
President of that party last Saturday effectively put paid to any further
negotiations on the content of the Copac draft.

by John Makumbe

Indeed, Copac should now proceed to get the draft translated into all the
major languages spoken in this country so that everybody can read it for
themselves before they participate in the forthcoming referendum. Zimbabwe
has a high literacy rate, and most people will want to know in advance what
they will be committing themselves to in relation to the governance charter.

The fact that Zanu (PF) has written its own version of a draft constitution
should not bother this nation nor delay the next stages in the process. To
all intents and purposes, Zanu (PF) has every right to author its own
constitution, but it cannot foist such a document on the people of this
country in violation of the Global political Agreement (GPA). Article VI of
the GPA states clearly the various steps to be followed in the
constitution-making process, and there is no mention whatsoever of the need
to consider or negotiate on some strange version.

To ask the Principals to negotiate on the Zanu (PF) draft is to ask them to
undertake a task that is contrary to the provisions of the GPA. As envisaged
in Article VI, the process is a parliamentary responsibility. The executive
arm of the state does not have any specific role to play in this regard. The
principle of the separation of powers should not be violated so easily and

The launching of the Vote Yes campaign essentially means that from now on,
all our political leaders have the responsibility to inform the people to
vote yes for the Copac draft constitution. This also entails informing the
people of the highlights of the content of the proposed governance charter.

This requires that thousands of copies of the Copac draft need to be made
available to all our political leaders as soon as possible. It also means
that strenuous efforts need to be made to train and equip the political
leaders so that they become knowledgeable on the content of the draft. This
can be done through regional workshops.

The training materials should be standardised and consistent with the key
provisions of the draft constitution. It is obvious that Zanu (PF)
supporters will boycott these training sessions since their party is
insisting on its own draft constitution. But this need not distract us from
moving ahead with the constitution and making process. Zanu (PF) must not be
allowed to hold this nation to ransom for its own ends.

It is critical that both the MDC formations should resist and reject any
further talks with Zanu (PF) on the draft constitution. If push comes to the
shove the SADC mediator, President Jacob Zuma, will need to be asked to step
into the ring and mediate the best he can. Both MDC formations have already
indicated to him that there is now a deadlock regarding the Copac draft. The
onus is now on him and his team to come in and facilitate the next move. -

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Mugabe's legacy of plunder

Vince Musewe
11 September 2012

Vince Musewe says that have benefitted must face the law for crimes against

I am more pained than angry at what my country has become. It was only last
week, when I sat down with a distraught single mother of two, who has been
trying to do all she can to make a difference. She opened a crèche to look
after disabled township children. Her thinking was that, it is better for
these kids to spend the day being supervised and stimulated, than sitting at
home doing nothing because the parents cannot afford any care or school fees
for them.

She offered this service free to township residents, and managed to convince
some NGO's to provide for the daily needs of the children that she was
looking after. After a while, she was approached by local ZANU (PF) youths,
who questioned and harassed her, wanting to know who was funding her crèche.
They would come each day and forcefully take all the groceries provided for
the kids by the NGO and leave her with very little. She gave up.

This is but one of many stories that I have heard. As I write to you, the
minister of finance, Tendai Biti, is off to Australia, South Africa and
Angola to beg for funds to pay for civil servants salaries. This is mainly
because there are no revenues coming from our diamonds. ZANU(PF) cronies
continue to live large while we have to borrow taxpayer funds from other
countries to pay our bills.

It was only yesterday that I read on the Save Conservancy corruption, where
a not so honourable ZANU (PF) old bag was boasting of how much money she is
making from hunting licenses. She boasted that she doesn't have to do much
except sit back and get paid. That is the culture we are fighting against. A
culture of patronage and laziness.

I have been watching election campaigning in the USA, from there you can see
how backward our democracy has become. It is no longer about delivery or
economics but about plunder and fear. If there is one good thing the British
did, it was to educate Zimbabweans and instil value systems where it paid to
work hard and to be honest.

All this I am afraid, has been wiped out over the last ten years or so. It
is no longer fashionable to be hard working and to postpone gratification.
It is no longer fashionable for our politicians to spend their time and
energy in serving the public. Politics has become a means to wealth and if
necessary expropriation from those who have invested their time and effort
in building their assets.

Each day we hear of how the resources of our country are pillaged by a
select few in the name of indigenization. We hear how ZANU (PF) ministers
shower accolades on Mugabe as they pretend to go to work but have produced
nothing of value for us. Their mandate is merely to frustrate and delay any
possible change and progress so that they may continue to literally sleep on
the job.

For me Mugabe's legacy will certainly be that of patronage and pillage. A
legacy of rewarding the incompetent, the foolish, the praise singers and the
lazy. This will foreshadow all the good that he might have done. It will be
a legacy that we must quickly obliterate.

I anticipate that on the MDC coming into power, it will be necessary for us
to perform a complete audit of all national assets and dispossess those who
have plundered our assets. We will need a high level team of forensic
auditors to unravel how ZANU (PF) has plundered Zimbabwe. Those that have
benefitted must face the law for crimes against Zimbabweans.

Vince Musewe is an independent economist and you can contact him on

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Analysis: Zimbabwe - crisis over?

Photo: Obinna Anyadike/IRIN
Donors moving away from humanitarian aid
EU scales down humanitarian aid
Zimbabwe on the road to recovery and development
Paradigm shift in EU’s relations with Zimbabwe
But political situation remains a concern
JOHANNESBURG/HARARE, 12 September 2012 (IRIN) - At the height of Zimbabwe’s humanitarian crisis in 2002, seven million people were in need of food aid. A decade later, the number of people in need has declined to a million, though it could go up by another 600,000 in 2013.

Still, two of the country's biggest donors, the European Union and the US, and their implementing partner, the UN, say Zimbabwe is on its way to recovery and development. The EU has announced that it is scaling down its humanitarian assistance.

The decision should come as no surprise, reckoned the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO). The department “has progressively decreased” the funds allocated to Zimbabwe, from about US$18.9 million in 2010 to around $12.6 million in 2011, then to approximately $6.3 million in 2012, said David Sharrock, the European Commission’s spokesperson on International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.

Needs remain

Yet the decision comes amid a drought that the World Food Programme (WFP) says will leave one in every five rural households in need of food assistance next year.

NGOs also warn that a tense stand-off between government coalition partners ZANU-PF and factions of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) on a new constitution - critical for holding free and fair elections - could lead to violence.

Meanwhile, the coalition government, formed in 2009, is cash-strapped. Newspapers reported last week that the government had turned to South Africa and Angola for help with a $400 million shortfall in its
budget. Finance Minister Tendai Biti was quoted saying the country needed the money to fund the 2012-2013 agricultural season, annual bonuses and a possible referendum on the new constitution.

“Unexpected events will continue to require intermittent and targeted humanitarian assistance until the country’s economy more fully recovers,” Hillary Renner, a US government spokesperson told IRIN. But the US government is “optimistic that the large-scale ‘humanitarian emergency phase’ of Zimbabwe’s history has passed”.

Donors switching tracks

The latest data from the UN Financial Tracking Service (FTS) shows that the December 2011 consolidated appeal for more than $268 million for Zimbabwe has received little more than half that amount.

Donors, cash-strapped themselves, have begun to examine the effectiveness of continuous, large-scale aid interventions, said an aid worker. “With the incessant crises [like the Horn of Africa last year and Sahel this year], they have to now look at interventions relatively. Then Zimbabwe does not seem like such a major crisis.”

An early warning official pointed out that even the food crisis in Zimbabwe is “not really that serious” compared to the several millions in need in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa.

Sharrock explained that the EU’s funding has gradually evolved from large-scale emergency response to “smaller and more targeted assistance focusing on the most vulnerable groups and aiming at improving the population’s resilience.” Or as one aid worker put it, seeing “how much value you can get for a stretched dollar.”

The EU has moved from funding only emergency food aid to funding nutrition, health, water and sanitation, and protection programmes. FTS data show that the health and education sectors are better funded than last year, but agriculture programmes are worse off.

Read more
Divisions over a new constitution
Typhoid and cholera return
A lean season ahead
Sharrock hastened to add that the EU was not aware of the emerging food crisis when the funding allocation was made last year. “However, the situation is linked to chronic food insecurity and is not likely to result in a severe food emergency characterized by high acute malnutrition rates and above-average mortality rates,” he said, adding that the EU is assessing the possibility of providing assistance.

NGOs like World Vision say it is difficult to categorize the situation in Zimbabwe. “In a complex context like Zimbabwe, it is not either ‘emergency’ or ‘development,’” wrote Edward Brown, World Vision’s national director in Zimbabwe, in an email to IRIN. “In fact, it can be both at the same time. Disasters can be highly localized, and economic growth may only happen in specific areas.” The NGO is focusing on both short and long-term solutions.

Brian Raftopoulos, a Zimbabwean academic at the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa, echoed this idea, saying, “You cannot say that Zimbabwe is in an emergency or development phase - it is not one or the other.”

Aid in Zimbabwe is about maintaining a balance between “continuing to scale-up service delivery, particularly in the social sectors, while enhancing national systems in these sectors”, said Alain Noudehou, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Zimbabwe. The focus is on “sustainable recovery”, while the “general humanitarian situation in the country had remained stable”.

Political developments

Although the EU is reducing its humanitarian aid to Zimbabwe, its development aid policies to the country are being reconsidered as long-imposed sanctions are suspended.

European governments placed targeted sanctions on the leadership of ZANU-PF, then Zimbabwe’s ruling party, after flawed presidential elections in 2002. Two kinds of sanctions were used, "restrictive measures" and "appropriate measures", said Piers Pigiou, the project director of Southern Africa for the International Crisis Group. Restrictive measures included a travel ban and asset freeze on President Robert Mugabe and over 100 senior party officials, while appropriate measures suspended EU aid to the Zimbabwe government under
Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement.

Since 2009, the EU and its member states have provided Zimbabwe with $1 billion in development assistance, though none directly to the government.

But since the beginning of this year, "there has been a paradigm shift" in the EU’s relationship with Zimbabwe and ZANU-PF, said Pigou. In July, the EU suspended the appropriate measures, sending the message, "let's try and breathe some life" into this stand-off, as the sanctions had not been effective in making ZANU-PF reform, Pigou explained. Rather, they had been used as "propaganda" by the ZANU-PF, which portrayed the sanctions as an effort to cripple the country. "[The EU] can no longer allow ZANU-PF to win this propaganda war."

The EU was also responding to repeated calls from the Southern African Development Community - which has been trying to normalize relations between ZANU-PF and the opposition - to remove all sanctions. "With the suspension of the appropriate measures, the EU is also now telling SADC, ‘We trust you with the process.’ So the ball is now in SADC's court," Pigou said. In July, the EU also indicated it was willing to remove most sanctions targeting ZANU-PF members and allies should they hold a credible referendum on the constitution.

Still, the EU has not yet reinstated development aid to the government, taking a wait-and-see approach to the recent developments.

Pigou pointed out, "Should the country slip back into a crisis, in the absence of a free and fair elections, [with] violence next year, the EU can easily revoke the suspension."

Catherine Ray, the EU’s development spokesperson, said the EU suspended the appropriate measures after being "encouraged by the steps taken by the Inclusive Government to improve the freedom and prosperity of the Zimbabwean people."

Photo: Paul Garwood/WHO
Thousands of people died in a cholera outbreak in 2009
The move will hopefully “add to the positive momentum and encourage further reforms in the preparations for credible and peaceful elections,” she added.

Although the coalition government does seem to be making progress, many fear that the ZANU-PF has not really reformed. The US government has begun to laud the recent progress, but it has not revoked its own sanctions on direct support to the government or travel restrictions on ZANU-PF officials.

In its World Report 2012, Human Rights Watch acknowledged that Zimbabwe had made “significant progress in improving the country’s economic situation and reversing the decline of the past decade”, but also said human rights activists and journalists continue to be intimidated and that laws are being used selectively to restrict and harass them.

Reactions in Zimbabwe

The political situation - combined with the scale-down in humanitarian aid - has caused concerns.

Should humanitarian aid actors withdraw, food aid could be used as a “political weapon” by ZANU-PF, especially during elections, which will likely be held next year, Abel Chikomo, executive director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, said.

The same concern was reiterated by Japhet Moyo, secretary general of the labour federation Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions. He said that with no support systems in place, the elderly, unemployed and others could fall victim to the use of food as a political weapon.

“The government is bankrupt as it cannot support the welfare system, which is why we find the decision [by the EU] very puzzling indeed," said Moyo.

Meanwhile, the food crisis in Zimbabwe is deepening. Last week, the country’s National Early Warning office said parts of the country could be affected by yet another dry spell during the coming planting season, and urged farmers to sow varieties of maize that take longer to mature.

Alfred George Bango, a retired civil servant from Sontala Village in Matabeleland South Province, reported, “There are no pastures for our livestock to graze. We are receiving a 50kg bag of maize from government once every four months, which is not adequate, but other villagers are surviving by borrowing food from neighbours. A large number of people eat only one meal a day.”

EU’s Sharrock said the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe, “though still fragile, has stabilized considerably since the political crisis and socio-economic breakdown of 2008-2009 - which resulted in widespread violence, a major food crisis and a large-scale uncontrolled cholera outbreak with many deaths.”

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

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Mugabe's CIO: Is it a criminal enterprse, gang or syndicate?

By Clifford Chitupa Mashiri 11th September 2012

Amid reports that Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Tendai Biti has gone abroad to look for foreign loans to pay civil service bonuses because of the non-remittance of proceeds from Marange diamonds, it is worth discussing some of the ways in which a “parallel regime” could be operating in or outside Zimbabwe.

Concerns have been expressed over the alleged role of the CIO in its joint ownership of Sino-Zim Development especially the unclear US$8 billion deal despite Zimbabwe being on its knees economically.

CIO documents seen by Global Witness reveal that Sam Pa has been buying high quality diamonds sourced from Marange diamond mines from 2008 until at least summer 2011.[1]

The CIO documents allegedly refer to a two-year contract with Sam Pa to buy diamonds in exchange of funding the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the CIO.

Fears have also been expressed over a R185-million (US$22.62 million) mansion-buying spree in South Africa by Robert Mugabe’s trusted ally and shadowy multi-millionaire Robert Mhlanga, Chairman of Mbada Diamonds.[2]

He is believed to have been content to pay even up to six times the going rates for prime real estate on the Durban north coast and Sandton in Johannesburg.

This comes in the wake of Mbada Diamonds declaring a US$600 million turnover from its diamonds business over the past three years. While we are not suggesting any wrong doing, it is only right and proper to discuss the people’s worst fears.

Alternative Remittance

David Rees (2010) argues that in addition to ordinary banking, money and other forms of value can be transferred through the use of so-called ‘remittance services.’[3]

Traceable to southeast Asia and India where it is known as hawala, hundi, fei-ch’ien, hui and phoe-kuan (Passas 2005 in Rees, 2010), funds can be moved quickly, cheaply and securely between locations through the use of agents.

Rees explains that because such systems operate outside conventional banking systems, they are known as ‘alternative remittance’, ’underground’ or ‘parallel banking’ systems.

Money Laundering

The relevant literature observes that every criminal act anywhere that involves obtaining money illegally produces funds which need to be laundered.[4]

Dennis Cox (2010) says the IMF estimates that 2-5% of global GDP (US$590 bn and US$1.5 trillion is laundered every year.

Methods used by organised criminals for converting their “dirty’ money into ‘clean’ assets encourage corruption in the sense that the money’s illegal origin should be concealed from detection.

When money gained through crime (dirty) is made to look as if it has been obtained legitimately (clean) – the process is called money laundering.[5]

According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, money laundering can be simply through gambling at casinos or some complicated financial transactions.

Other authorities say money laundering is a three-stage process comprising – placement, layering and integration.[6]

Also called immersion, placement entails the releasing of small amounts into the formal market at a time such as through cash purchases to avoid suspicion; while layering or ‘heavy soaping’ disguises the trail to foil pursuit through false paper trails.

Integration or ‘spin dry’ involves making proceeds of crime into clean taxable income through for instance real estate transactions, sham loans, foreign bank complicity (by not being vigilant), and false import and export transactions.

Laundering helps distance the criminals and the proceeds from the underlying crime, reducing the chances of prosecution or seizure.[7]

Steven Mark Levy (2004) says what makes money laundering a concern is not the transaction itself, but the illicit origin of the funds and the improper motives of the money launderer.

He argues that money laundering itself is simply a tool to help make the crime succeed, much like a gun in a murder or a printing press in a counterfeit operation.

Forms of money laundering

Money laundering takes many forms, [8] Salinger (2005,78) outlines bank methods which include various exchange transactions in which cash is converted by treasury trading, exchange for treasury bills, bank drafts, letters of credit, traveller’s cheques, cashiers’ cheques, bank wire transfers, or other non cash financial instrument which can be used in deposit or spending transactions.

Laundering may include: structuring (‘smurfing’ as discussed above); bulk cash smuggling (e.g. offshore banking); cash-intensive businesses (e.g. casinos, car parking buildings); under or over-valuing invoices); shell companies and trusts which disguise the true owner of the money.

Round-tripping (e.g. off-shore or Tax Haven banking) is also used, so are other methods like: Bank capture (money launderers buy a controlling interest in a bank, usually with weak controls); casinos (as in cash intensive business); real estate (properties bought with illegal proceeds); black salaries (cash salaries given to unregistered ‘ghost’ workers; and fictional loans.[9]

Lawrence M. Salinger (2005, 72) cites the 1982 white collar crime case of Banco Ambrosiano, Italy’s largest private bank which collapsed with estimated debts of US$1.3 billion.

This followed the conviction of the bank’s president, Roberto Calvi of illegally exporting billions of lire and was sentenced to four years imprisonment.

In our next instalment, we will look at possible political implications of money laundering apart from those we already know and what could be done about it.

After reading the latest Global Witness, Financing a Parallel Government? people wonder if Mugabe’s CIO is a ‘criminal enterprise, gang or syndicate.’

©Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London,

[1] The Independent, “Sino-Zim: ‘CIO, Sam Pa joint venture’,” 24/08/12. To the extent that 20% of SINO-Zim Diamond Ltd (Hong Kong) is co-owned by a person using Chester House for his business address, it is fair to argue that the spy organisation partially owns SINO-Zim.

[2] Gagare, O.& Faull, L. “Mugabe ally splashes out on posh mansions,” The Independent, 02/08/12.

[3] Rees, D. “Alternative remittance systems in Australia: Perceptions of users and providers,” Trends & Issues in crime and criminal justice, No.393, April 2010.

[4] Cox, D. (2010) An Introduction to Money Laundering Deterrence, John Wiley &Sons,

[5] Australian Institute of Criminology, “Crime Types - Money Laundering,”


[7] Levy, S.M (2004 ) Federal Money Laundering Regulation: Banking, Corporate, and Securities, 2004 Supplement 104A pp.1-8.

[8] Salinger, M.S. Encyclopaedia of White –collar & corporate crime: A-I, Volume 1, 2005, p.78.


The love scandals that rocked Zanu PF: Part 3

By Lance Guma

Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones, but obviously someone forgot to tell the folks inside Zanu PF. In this expose, we look at the love scandals that have dominated Mugabe’s party since independence in 1980.

This article does not seek to exonerate Prime Minister Tsvangirai from his current personal problems with Locardia Karimatsenga Tembo but aims to simply point out the hypocrisy and double standards exhibited by his political opponents in Zanu PF who have pounced to extract political capital.

Canaan Banana (Ceremonial President)

The country’s first ceremonial President after independence, Canaan Banana, was arrested in 1997 on charges of sodomy following revelations made in the murder trial of former bodyguard, Jefta Dube.

Dube had shot dead a fellow police constable who taunted him as “Banana’s wife’.

Prime Minister Robert Mugabe and President, Reverend Canaan Banana dance with their wives during celebrations commemorating Zimbabwe independence. (Picture by Alain Keler)

Prime Minister Robert Mugabe and President, Reverend Canaan Banana dance with their wives during celebrations commemorating Zimbabwe independence. (Picture by Alain Keler)

The trial exposed how Banana coerced numerous men in his service as President, ranging from domestic staff to security guards, into accepting sexual advances. His preferred method of seduction was to dance to Dolly Parton records, while wearing a belt of bullets across his chest.

Banana even targeted members of some of the sports teams for whom he had acted as referee during matches. When Dube complained to the deputy police commissioner, he was told that nothing could be done. When he asked Banana to stop, Banana refused, telling him: “I am the final court of appeal.”

The case also embarrassed President Robert Mugabe because it became clear he knew about the sodomy allegations but did nothing about them. Banana dismissed all the allegations against him as “a mortuary of pathological lies and a malicious vendetta of vilification and character assassination.”

There was to be however an army of accusers including dozens of former University of Zimbabwe students, members of the State House football team, assorted policemen and air force officers. There was even testimony of sex with cooks, gardeners and several aides, a jobseeker and a hitch-hiker.

After seeking help from many people in the Zanu PF government, Dube finally found help from the now late Vice President Simon Muzenda. According to reports “Muzenda arranged for Dube’s transfer out of the State House, after asking Dube to write up his allegations against Banana.”

Banana was eventually found guilty of eleven charges of sodomy, attempted sodomy and indecent assault in 1998.

Although Banana fled to South Africa while still on bail he eventually returned to Zimbabwe in December 1998 after being convinced by the then South African President Nelson Mandela to go back and face the ruling. Banana was sentenced to ten years in jail, nine years suspended.

In November 2003, Banana died of cancer.

Edson Shirihuru (Late CIO Deputy Director)

An incident that has highlighted the impunity of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) in Zimbabwe is the May 1990 disappearance of Rashiwe Guzha. It was widely reported that the then CIO Deputy Director Edson Shirihuru was the man responsible for her disappearance.

Guzha, a young typist within the CIO had just broken off an affair with Shirihuru. Although an enquiry was set up by the Zimbabwean government the results were never made public. Because her remains were never found many believe Guzha was killed and her body dissolved in acid.

As Shirihuru awaited trial for the abduction and disappearance of Guzha, it’s suggested that he “whispered just that little bit too loudly to friends saying that if he were convicted “I will not go alone”. He intended to squeal. Not so long after making the threat, Shirihuru was a dead man in August 1993.

At Shirihuru’s funeral, President Robert Mugabe claimed the case was closed. This was despite strong evidence implicating Shirihuru, Collen Chingura Ndangariro and Cleopus Budiyo Gwinyai in Guzha’s disappearance. Additionally the police had a reported 53 witnesses.

Collen Chingura, one of those implicated, is now a lecturer in commercial law at a technical college in Gweru and last year claimed Shirihuru framed him. He claimed Shirihuru went into a jealous rage and murdered Guzha after discovering she was two-timing him with a cabinet minister.

In a report run by The Zimbabwean newspaper last year “Chingura claims he only drove Guzha, as he usually did on Shirihuru’s instructions, to a hotel used as a love nest on the day when she was last seen alive.”

Join me tomorrow (Thursday) for Part 4 of this series. You can also follow me on twitter @LanceGuma

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