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Ben Freeth and journalists arrested in Chegutu

By Alex Bell
14 September 2009

Chegutu farmer Ben Freeth, whose Mount Carmel farm has been under siege by
land invaders for several months, was arrested on Monday morning, along with
a group of international journalists.

Freeth and the crew from news service Al Jazeera were eventually released
after being hauled into custody by police now stationed on the farm. The
journalists were accompanying Freeth while he went to assess the damage of a
recent fire that destroyed the homestead belonging to his father-in-law Mike
Campbell, who he co-owns Mount Carmel with. The fire earlier this month came
in the wake of a separate devastating fire that destroyed Freeth's home, the
houses of some of his workers and an on-site linen factory.

But when Freeth arrived at the remains of Campbell's homestead, he and the
journalists with him were immediately set upon by a group of policemen and
apparent army officials wielding assault rifles. Freeth explained to SW
Radio Africa shortly after being released from custody, that he is now no
longer allowed on the Campbell's side of the farm, because of an
'investigation,' that police have said is 'private and confidential'.

The 'investigation' follows two explosions on the property last week, which
have been widely speculated to be part of an attempt to charge Freeth and
Campbell for weapons stockpiling. Freeth explained on Monday that he has
witnesses who saw army personnel transporting explosives to the farm the day
of the explosions. He said the whole situation is a deliberate attempt to
get him and his family 'out of the way.'

The recent events on Mount Carmel occur as yet another farm has come under
attack by a senior ZANU PF official. At Friedawil farm near Chinhoyi, Edward
Mashiringwani, a deputy governor of the Reserve Bank, has moved onto the
farm with about 15 guards who last week beat up one of the resident guards.

"They arrived mid morning Friday and began targeting our senior staff,
issuing threats and chasing them away," said Louis Fick, who is struggling
to maintain farming operations due to continuous harassment.

Mashiringwani's employees have also locked the gates leading to the onsite
pig-sties and crocodile enclosures, and are refusing to allow food and water
to be taken to the animals.

"We have about 1 000 pigs at this stage and ten sows are in maternity.
There are also about 100 piglets, some just a few days old the rest under
three weeks. It's essential for them to get food and water," Fick said.
"Pigs in maternity need about 40 litres of water a day."

The situation is almost identical to April 2008 when Mashiringwani attempted
to take over the farm, forcing Fick's workers to leave and refusing to allow
his livestock to be fed and watered. At that point Fick had more than 4 000
pigs, 15 000 crocodiles and several hundred beef cattle. In desperation he
called in the Zimbabwe National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals, who were inundated with distress calls, but when they tried to
enter the farm, they were prevented from doing so by Mashiringwani's men. As
a result 30 sows died due to dehydration and some became so crazed they ate
their own piglets.

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Tsvangirai in veiled threat to quit unity government

By Lance Guma
14 September 2009

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai used an MDC rally in Bulawayo on Sunday to
launch an attack on ZANU PF for continuously violating the power sharing
agreement that gave birth to the current unity government. Addressing an
estimated 30 000 people at Bulawayo's White City stadium on the 10th
anniversary of his party, Tsvangirai hinted the MDC might pull out of the
coalition if the violations persisted.
The state run Chronicle newspaper ran a headline 'MDC-T threatens inclusive
government' and quoted Tsvangirai as saying "I'm not threatening anyone, but
a time will come when we say enough is enough. If as a wife you are being
abused and beaten by your husband don't say I will remain in the marriage
because I have children. Get out of the marriage."
Tsvangirai also said he was a very tolerant person and would not have sat on
the same table with Mugabe. "Even after winning the elections I compromised
and joined the Government. But please don't misjudge me. You can misjudge me
at your own peril. I'm not going to standby while ZANU PF violates the GPA
(Global Political Agreement)" he said.
Tsvangirai also told supporters that although a coalition government
required 'certain compromise on policy,' the MDC could never 'compromise on
issues of principle.' He said his party had shown respect, conciliation and
an understanding of ZANU PF, but had received nothing in return.
"I am not going to stand by while ZANU PF continues to violate the law,
persecute our members of parliament, spreads the language of hate, invades
our productive farms (and) ignores our international treaties." He said the
MDC wanted partners who were sincere and committed to good governance and
did not want to 'have partners of looters.'
Our correspondent Lionel Saungweme was at the rally and reports that the MDC
leader said the ultimate decision on whether to pull out or not rested with
the people. An MDC statement issued on Monday reiterated the same point that
'the party will soon go back to the people to hear their views on the MDC's
participation in the inclusive government.'

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SA family chased off Zim farm

2009-09-14 09:33

Fanie van Rooyen

Pretoria - A South African man and his family, who've been farming in
Zimbabwe for over ten years, were removed from the farm for the umpteenth
time on Friday evening by a large group of war veterans.

Louis Fick, 43, of Friedawil farm outside Chinhoyi said on Sunday that he
was at his wits' end. He had been unable to feed the roughly 4 000 pigs on
his farm since Friday.

Some of his workers were assaulted on Friday night, family members were
threatened with violence, and some of his pigs were slaughtered.

"We are so disheartened because there seems to be no-one who can help us,"
said Fick.

War vets paid to chase off family

"The South African embassy is powerless and everyone simply shrugs their
shoulders. It can't go on like this."

Fick, his wife Lizelle, 42, his son Louis, 17, and his daughter Thea, 14,
were living in a rented house in Harare for the time being.

Theo de Jager, deputy president of Agri SA and a family member of Fick, said
on Sunday he had learnt that a high-level official of the Zimbabwean Reserve
Bank had paid these war veterans to remove the Fick family from their farm.

The Reserve Bank could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

According to Fick, a group of about ten war veterans had been living on his
farm since April last year. "The idea is that we work and farm together on
the land, but it doesn't work that way," said Fick.

Control access to farm

"They took over the largest part of the farm (about 400 hectares) last year,
and they control access to the farm."

"If I order feed for the animals, it can't be driven in through the farm
gate. It is dropped there and then my workers and I must get it onto the
farm ourselves.

"They try to make everything as difficult as possible for me."

Every now and then, an even larger group of veterans arrived to invade more
of the farm.

De Jager said Fick had been locked in prison several times for days on end,
apparently because he refused to hand over control of his farm to the

Assaulted workers

On Friday, there were between 50 and 60 war veterans at the farm.

"They let my cattle out to trample all over my garden, they assaulted my
workers, and one worker's eardrum burst as a result of the beating."

"Several of my workers, who had been living on the farm for years, had to
flee for their lives."

This time the veterans supposedly wanted to "share" Fick's pigs and pig pens
with him.

"We just hope someone can apply enough pressure to force them to allow us
back on the farm, but in Zimbabwe you can't simply pick up the phone to get
someone to come and help," added Fick.

De Jager said farmers' organisations in Zimbabwe were increasingly informing
him of farmers being forced off their land.

- Beeld

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Safari operators enraged as Zanu-PF rewards the faithful with stolen share of lucrative trade

By Gift Phiri in Save Valley, zimbabwe

Monday, 14 September 2009

Senior officials in Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party are forcing safari
operators to give up the profits from lucrative ranches in a ruthless
takeover of Zimbabwe's foreign-owned properties reminiscent of the regime's
previous seizure of white farmers' land.

The officials include a provincial governor, Titus Maluleke, and the
Environment Minister and UN appointee, Francis Nhema. They have compelled
safari operators in the Save Valley Conservancy, a thriving wildlife
reserve, to cede shareholdings from 50 to 80 per cent to allies in the
police and military, as well as party apparatchiks. One investor described
the confiscation as a "mafia-style takeover". Mr Mugabe is thought to have
been told of the matter last week, when it was also discussed in a cabinet

The moves are a further example of the Mugabe regime's continued primacy in
Zimbabwe, and underline the difficulties Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for
Democratic Change has faced in its attempts at reform. The country's
wildlife lobby has warned that the property grab could render futile the
attempts by the government of national unity to revive tourism, an ailing
industry that Zimbabwe desperately needs to encourage as part of its attempt
at economic revival.

The investors include Italian, American, Dutch and South African nationals.
Mr Nhema convened a meeting with safari operators last week and warned them
against resisting the move.

The news first came to light in an investigation by The Zimbabwean, a
UK-based newspaper for Zimbabweans in exile. One foreign safari operator who
had been forced to cede his shareholding told the newspaper: "If you attack
wildlife, you are attacking your national herd, you are attacking your
national heritage. When you attack the properties of foreigners, you are
endangering the recovery of the country as a whole."

Among many examples is that of Governor Maluleke, who pulled up at Humani
Safari Ranch and told the owner that his new partners were now demanding
their share. Major General Engelbert Rugeje, the Chief of Staff of the
Zimbabwe National Army, and Ailess Baloyi, a Zanu-PF MP, have since taken
over a 50 per cent shareholding without any compensation. One of the
operators who has been forced to share his company said: "This is obviously
payoff for the [Zanu-PF] guys that have been faithful, all the guys who
think they can muscle their way in."

The moves have been defended by Mr Nhema, who is also chairman of the UN
Commission on Sustainable Development, as redistribution of property to its
rightful owners. But while the operators acknowledge that their businesses
are profitable, they point to the heavy investments they have had to make.
One of the operators has pumped US$8m into his conservancy.

Another safari operator described the moment when Mr Nhema bluntly told him
that he was going to have to give up a share of his business. "He just gets
you into a room and says, 'Meet your partners'," he said. "You say, 'What do
you mean? I don't need partners.' And they say 'I told you, you are going to
get new partners. You sort it out yourself.'"

There has been particular incredulity among the victims - who are reluctant
to be named for fear of drawing reprisals - at the role played by Mr Nhema,
given his position with the UN. "You would think he would be the one
policing this," one said.

Mr Nhema insisted that the actions were not aimed at rewarding allies. "We
have always maintained that blacks have been sidelined from the lucrative
business of running conservancies," he said. Asked to comment on the
beneficiaries, the Environment Minister said they were the only people on
the waiting list.

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Unbowed Zanu (PF) heralds uncertainty

      DIANNA GAMES  Published: 2009/09/14 06:54:22 AM

MEDIA reform has been slow in coming to the "new" Zimbabwe. Daily newspaper
The Herald, which has acted as President Robert Mugabe's propaganda
mouthpiece over the years, has shown scant sign of support for the unity
government and it is sowing the seeds of dissent.

Articles in the past fortnight have lambasted the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) for trying to get Zimbabwe onto the agenda of last week's
Southern African Development Community (Sadc) summit in the Democratic
Republic of Congo. It then praised Mugabe's "diplomatic victory" in keeping
the issue off the agenda. It also thanked SADC leaders for "standing by"
Zimbabwe - but failed to mention how not raising issues affecting Zimbabwe's
reconstruction would help the country.

Articles have also praised Mugabe appointee, central bank governor Gideon
Gono, for getting 500m from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - despite
the fact it is part of a general disbursement to countries in the wake of
the global crisis. It denounced Finance Minister Tendai Biti, from the MDC,
for being reluctant to spend the money because Zimbabwe cannot repay even
its current debt, on which the release of some of the money is dependent.

It is easy to dismiss this rag but it is the only daily newspaper allowed to
print in Zimbabwe. Also, The Herald is the best place to find out what Zanu
(PF) is thinking. And the extent of the disunity in the unity government is
plain for all to see on its pages.

The IMF money is the latest issue to pit the parties against each other.
There are differences in opinion on how this , and other, money could be
best spent. Zanu (PF), despite being largely responsible for the decline of
the parastatals - the biggest revenue drain in the past decade - wants
funding to revitalise them. The MDC is focused on the public sector salary
bill while business wants funding to activate economic drivers and
regularise the operating environment.

The reaction to the IMF funds raises the question of whether large financial
inflows would further divide the fragile government or unite it. Zimbabwe is
relying heavily on tax collection as an income stream and despite some
success the informalisation of the economy has severely undermined this
revenue base.

Capacity utilisation in the private sector has risen to about 60%, up from
last year's 10% to 20%, and regional trade is picking up. But a lack of
affordable finance, limited recapitalisation opportunities, power problems
and high operating costs are still constraining economic revival.

Political uncertainty is having an effect on the economy - reflected in the
slump in the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in July and August.

The performance at the Sadc summit is not likely to have allayed fears of
increased political risk. The old-style rhetoric of Zanu (PF) is not helping
either. Justice Minister and Zanu (PF) hardliner Patrick Chinamasa,
commenting on Zimbabwe's reluctance to sign the SA-Zimbabwe investment
agreement, said the country would not sign anything that "impinged on the
sanctity of land reform" . Another concern for investors is legislation
providing for all new investments to have a local majority shareholding.

Sadc is focused on the lifting of sanctions as the answer to Zimbabwe's
problems despite the fact this is unlikely to unlock significant funding.
Donors are not lending to Zimbabwe because the parties have failed to live
up to the Global Political Agreement, not because of sanctions. In fact most
countries are not opening the purse strings. Sadc members themselves,
barring SA, have failed to make good on the promise to assist Zimbabwe with
a financial package.

With SA handing the chairmanship of Sadc to Joseph Kabila, a longstanding
Mugabe supporter, Zanu (PF)'s hand in its standoff with the MDC has
undoubtedly been strengthened.

It is a real shame then that President Jacob Zuma could not have done more
while SA was still leading Sadc. It is a missed opportunity.

Games is CE of Africa @ Work, a research and consulting company.

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What the ZBC is saying

Zim fighting asymmetric war with West

Posted: Mon, 14 Sep 2009 19:03:27 +0200

Commander of the Zimbabwe National Army, Lieutenant-General Phillip Valerio
Sibanda says it is imperative for army officers to be on guard and equip
themselves with knowledge of different types of warfare that can be waged
against a country by its enemies.

Lieut-Gen Sibanda said this addressing army officers attending a five day
seminar on low intensity operations and asymmetric warfare at 2 Infantry
Brigade Headquarters in Cranborne Barracks in Harare.

The ZNA commander said there are different types of wars being fought which
hinder the growth of countries in many aspects.

He said Zimbabwe is currently involved in an asymmetric warfare as western
countries are fighting the country politically, economically using
disinformation through pirate radio stations such as studio 7 and Short Wave
Radio Africa.

"Asymmetric warfare is a war that is not clearly defined, anyone can fight
this war. Currently Zimbabwe is involved in an asymmetric warfare because of
western countries," said the ZNA commander.

Two Infantry Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Douglas Nyikayaramba said
the seminar is important in that army officers will get a chance to share
experiences and exchange information which will help them in protecting and
guarding the country.

"There are so many instruments which are used in asymmetric warfare and we
as the two brigade were tasked to equip our army officers with knowledge
that they do not only protect the country with guns," explained Brig-Gen

The five day workshop will see army officers in attendance receiving
presentations from intelligence and senior army officers who have more
experience having participated in the liberation struggle.

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Zimbabwean minister denounces EU
Monday, 14 September 2009 11:52 UK
Patrick Chinamasa, file image
Patrick Chinamasa seemed to contradict Mr Mugabe

An ally of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has accused EU officials who visited the country recently of seeking to undermine the unity government.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the EU delegation had sided with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Mr Chinamasa said the EU had fallen "line, hook and sinker" for everything Mr Tsvangirai had told them.

The EU refused to lift sanctions on Mr Mugabe and his top aides, citing a lack of progress over human rights.

Long-time rivals Mr Tsvangirai and Mr Mugabe signed a power-sharing agreement a year ago, after a disputed election.

But Mr Tsvangirai accuses Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF party of continuing to persecute members of his former opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Mugabe's early optimism

After the EU delegation completed two days of talks with both leaders over the weekend, Mr Chinamasa denounced the officials.

"They seem to want to undermine the inclusive government," he was quoted as saying in the state-run Zimbabwe Herald newspaper.

President Robert Mugabe
EU: 2002 to present
Assets freeze and travel ban on some Mugabe allies, arms-sale ban
US: 2003 to present
Trade ban against 250 Zimbabwean individuals and 17 companies
Other countries
Canada, Australia and UK among nations to have imposed their own targeted sanctions
Sources: EU, Reuters, US treasury, UK Foreign Office

"They speak as much as MDC-T. They just swallow line, hook and sinker what the MDC-T says."

The EU talks were the first in seven years with Mr Mugabe.

The delegation said more needed to be done to stabilise the year-old power-sharing deal, as the leaders disagreed on its terms.

Mr Mugabe had earlier said the talks had gone well and that he had established a "good rapport" with the delegates.

He defended his record in putting together the unity government with Mr Tsvangirai, and again called for international sanctions to be lifted.

He blames sanctions imposed after a disputed presidential election in 2002 for ruining the country's economy.

The EU says the measures - which ban Mr Mugabe and several of his aides from travelling to the EU, and ban the sale of weapons to Zimbabwe - are aimed at ending repression and abuses in the country.

The US and other countries also have targeted sanctions against Zanu-PF officials.

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Zimbabwe's children receive vital education support

HARARE, 14 September 2009 - The Government of Zimbabwe, UNICEF and the
international donor community today unveiled a $70 million partnership
through the Educational Transition Fund (ETF) and the revitalisation of the
Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) to ensure access and quality
education for the country's children.

"The programmes we launch today are momentous. BEAM will ensure that over
700 000 of Zimbabwe's vulnerable children are in school, creating a huge
demand for education," said UNICEF representative in Zimbabwe, Dr Peter
Salama.  "On the other hand the ETF will boost the supply side, ensuring
that every child has a text book in all of the country's 5,300 primary
schools, within 12 months."

Recent assessments have revealed serious shortages of learning materials,
textbooks and supplies in schools. One assessment showed a ratio of 10
pupils per every text book, across Zimbabwe. Another assessment showed that
a staggering 20% of primary schools had no textbooks at all for English,
Mathematics or an African Language. The impact of the deteriorating quality
in education is stark. Grade 7 examination pass rates declined from 53% in
1999 to 33% in 2007. In addition, statistics showed that almost 50 % of
Zimbabwe's children graduating from primary school were not proceeding to
secondary school.

The support- one of the largest social sector initiatives in the last five
years in Zimbabwe- will see school fees paid for a large number of the
country's orphaned and vulnerable children. Importantly, the funds will
provide text books, stationary and improve capacity for the education

Commenting on the support, Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture,
Senator David Coltart said; "The education sector still faces numerous
challenges, but the transition fund we launch today is a positive step
towards the revival of the sector. Indeed it is extremely gratifying to see
donors, government and the UN come together to ensure quality education for
Zimbabwe's children. As a government we are grateful and encouraged."

Zimbabwe's education sector, once a model in Africa, continues to be riddled
with challenges.  Public financing of the sector declined significantly over
the last decade leaving most schools with no funds to purchase, even the
most basic teaching materials such as text books and stationary.

With support from the governments of Australia, Denmark, Germany,
Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom and the European
Commission, the Education Transition Fund is a stop gap funding measure
aimed at reinvigorating the educational system, while BEAM, a programme of
the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, provides a crucial safety net for
vulnerable children. "Support from these donors represents a bold and
visionary recommitment to Zimbabwe's children," said Dr Salama."

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Speech made by  Ambassador Xavier Marchal

The following is a speech made by  Ambassador Xavier Marchal during the launch of the
Education Transition Fund (ETF)  on Monday 14th September in at Primary school in Highfield. It was officially launched by The Minister of Education, Sport and Culture, Senator David Coltart

Education Transition Fund (ETF) Launch

14 September 2009

Xavier Marchal, Ambassador, Head of Delegation, European Commission



It is a great pleasure for me to say a few words on the occasion of this very important event. I do this on the direct behalf of my Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid Karel De Gucht, who was in Zimbabwe yesterday and the day before as part of the first EU ministerial visit to Zimbabwe since 2002.


During this highly political visit, the way for EU-Zimbabwe re engagement was discussed with the three Principals of the Global Political Agreement. Commissioner de Gucht emphasised what the European Commission has done, is doing, and will do to support the Zimbabwean population, which is not strictly limited to emergency assistance. It is in this context that I am here today.


The education sector in Zimbabwe was once one of the best in Africa. We have seen it suffer severely from overall economic and political downturn of the last years. This trend culminated last year when a whole school year was lost for many children in Zimbabwe.


But it is good to see that there have been indications of limited recovery this year, mainly due to the payment of real salaries to teachers. However we have to remain alert as the situation remains very serious.


During all these last years the European Commission has been one of few donors to remain committed to supporting the education sector, in line with EU restrictive policy towards Zimbabwe and in direct support of the population. I am now happy to see much needed support to the sector now scaling up also by other donors.


Given the serious situation in the education sector it is a great pleasure to be able today to announce the European Commission's support to the Education Transition Fund with a new contribution of 7.5 million euros (10.5 USD). This is done on behalf of the European Union. The Education Transition Fund will be the channel for this contribution. In my view, this tool will prove crucial to significantly improve the learning environment in primary schools.


With the creation of the ETF we support the supply side of the education sector which had so far been largely neglected. At the same time we, and many other donors, have been active already on the demand side through our support of the Programme of Support for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC).  I am equally pleased that through this programme, the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) programme can be reinvigorated to enable access of vulnerable children to schools.


The EC's new allocation to the education sector has to be seen in the context of a Short Term Strategy developed in agreement with the Government of Zimbabwe following a Ministerial EU Troika Meeting with the inclusive Government of Zimbabwe ( led from Zimbabwe side by the Prime Minister), on 18/19 June in Brussels.


The Short Term Strategy addresses urgent needs of the Zimbabwean population and supports the implementation of the GPA in a transitory period. It was defined to include both humanitarian interventions and tailored interventions to support both reforms and the Zimbabwean population, based on a refined list of priorities as described in the Government's Short Term Economic Recovery Programme (STERP).


Only a few months after the Brussels meeting, and one day after the visit of the EU ministerial Troika to Zimbabwe, I am very happy to see a first concrete and very practical outcome of this process by launching our contribution to the education sector today.


I am also happy to increase our cooperation with UNICEF, a partner with whom we have worked significantly in the last years.


I hope and trust it will soon lead to a visible improvement of the learning environment of Zimbabwean children.


Thank you






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MDC Bikita East MP acquitted of fraud charges

By Violet Gonda
14 September 2009

Another MDC legislator who had been facing charges of abusing farming inputs
has been acquitted. MDC MP for Gutu East Ransome Makamure, who was facing
trumped-up charges of corruption, was acquitted at the end of July, and
Edmore Marima the MDC-T MP for Bikita East was acquitted on Monday.

It is reported Marima was accused of misrepresenting to officials of the
National Food Security Programme that he required one tonne of maize seed
and 20 tonnes of fertiliser. It was alleged the MP only used 100kg of maize
and 500kg of fertiliser and misappropriated the remainder. However defence
lawyer Douglas Mwonzora successfully argued in court that the MP was given
the farming inputs in order to trap him and other MDC MPs. Magistrate
Kudakwashe Jarabini ruled the legislator had not committed an offence.

An MDC statement quotes the Magistrate saying: "There was no offence
committed.  Information that was meant for the recipients was purposely kept
away from MDC MPs in order to trap them."

The MDC-T says several of their legislators are appearing in court facing
false allegations that they abused the inputs scheme, established for MPs
last year, and one MP, Ernest Mudavanhu of Zaka North, was convicted and
sentenced to 12 months in prison

The party believes there is a systematic crackdown on MDC-T MPs and
supporters despite joining the inclusive government. The MDC accuses ZANU PF
and some government officials of trying to decimate its majority in
parliament and its structures.

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EU officials say Robert Mugabe is obstacle to Zimbabwe aid deal

European Union officials have condemned President Robert Mugabe as an
obstacle to an aid deal worth hundreds of millions of pounds to Zimbabwe.

By Sebastien Berger in Johannesburg
Published: 11:50PM BST 13 Sep 2009

Karel De Gucht, the EU's development and humanitarian aid commissioner, and
Gunilla Carlsson, the development co-operation minister of Sweden, which
currently holds the rotating EU presidency, undertook the highest level
visit to Harare for seven years but were unable to take confidence from a
meeting with Mr Mugabe.

The establishment of a unity government between Mr Mugabe and rivals from
the Movement for Democratic Change has not reversed the flaws of the
Zimbabwean president's misrule.

Miss Carlsson declared on Sunday that "much more needs to be done" to fully
implement the global political agreement, as the coalition deal between the
parties is known, including the appointment of the reserve bank governor and
attorney general. "We have evaluated a little bit the spirit of the
signatories to see if they are in line," she said. "It's a mixed picture.
This is the start of a long journey.

"We had a long talk with him, a thorough talk with him. It looks like we
have very different views when it comes to human rights violations."

Mr De Gucht said Mr Mugabe lectured the delegation: "He brought up his
vision of the history of his country for quite some time."

The EU's aid budget for Zimbabwe is limited to 90 million euros this year
and no increase has been budgeted for next year.

Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC prime minister told a rally in Bulawayo that Mr
Mugabe had violated the terms of the pact. "I am not going to stand by while
Zanu-PF continues to violate the law, persecutes our members of parliament,
spreads the language of hate, invades our productive farms, ignores our
international treaties," he said.

"I am not going to stand by and let this happen. We want partners that are
sincere. We want partners who are going to commit themselves to good
governance principles. We cannot have partners of looters."

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Zimbabwe's Diamond Production Draws Scrutiny
SEPTEMBER 14, 2009

A U.N.-backed international body charged with policing the diamond trade has ratcheted up scrutiny of alleged human-rights violations by Zimbabwe's army and police in connection with diamond production.

Zimbabwean diamonds make up a small percentage -- about 0.4% -- of the global diamond trade, according to an industry group, the World Diamond Council. So far this year, Zimbabwe has earned $20 million from the sale of diamonds, a fraction of the estimated $8.5 billion of diamonds produced each year by African countries, which account for more than half the global trade.

Suspension of Zimbabwe's diamond sales wouldn't have much impact on the global supply, but could threaten one of the country's few sources of hard currency.

An investigative team for the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, a United Nations-backed body charged with policing conflict diamonds -- stones mined amid violence, sold to fund conflict, or both -- drafted a scathing report after a visit to Zimbabwe early this summer.

The team found evidence of killings and forced labor at diamond fields in the east of the country, among other human-rights violations, according to a copy of the final report reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and confirmed by a Kimberley Process member. It recommended that Zimbabwe suspend itself from the Kimberley Process, or that the certification group vote to suspend the country's membership until the government addresses the problem. The report has been submitted to the Zimbabwean government, which has 30 days to respond.


Diamond miners in Marange, eastern Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe miners

Zimbabwe Home Affairs Minister Giles Mutsekwa, whose ministry is in charge of the police and law and order, said in a recent interview that reports of human-rights violations in the area were "disturbing," and that Zimbabwe was working "extra hard to meet the Kimberley Process recommendations." Mr. Mutsekwa's office couldn't be reached to comment on the final report.

The new allegations have raised concerns about whether even a small amount of conflict or "blood" diamonds are being exported as Kimberley-certified. The World Diamond Council has said it is "appalled and dismayed" by the reports of human-rights abuses in eastern Zimbabwe's Marange fields. The council said recently that it would back the suspension of Zimbabwe from the Kimberley Process if it failed to quickly address the issues.

De Beers Group SA, a major diamond vendor, sells only from its own mines in Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Canada, all of which are members of the Kimberley Process. The company has voiced "deep concern" over the reports from Marange, said spokesman David Prager, and "De Beers has notified all of its clients not to buy these diamonds."

So far, Zimbabwe has maintained its coveted Kimberley Process certification. Fulfilling the requirements allows member countries to certify their rough diamonds are "conflict-free."

The suspension of Zimbabwe from the Kimberley Process could make it more difficult for the country to export rough stones, endangering a major source of foreign exchange at a time when its leaders are attempting to woo foreign investors, and the economy is struggling amid political turmoil.


Zimbabwe's army and police used violence to control mining in the Marange fields, shown above, according to a U.N.-backed group.

Miners photo

The Kimberley Process's final report found that the Zimbabwe police and army used violence to remove illegal diamond panners and control the Marange fields area in the eastern part of the country. "The team heard accounts of beatings of men and women by the security forces, and saw wounds and scars from dog-bites and batons," the report said. "The victims included women who reported that, while under the custody of the security forces, they were raped repeatedly by military officers."

The new scrutiny could help derail recent efforts by Zimbabwe to push Western capitals to ease sanctions and boost economic aid. The country has been racked by allegations of human-rights violations under President Robert Mugabe, who won contested elections in 2008, but finally gave in to diplomatic pressure and joined a unity government with the opposition.

Mr. Mugabe's rivals have struggled to make him cede power in accordance with the agreement. Washington and European capitals are reluctant to ease sanctions while he remains in power. A European Union delegation visited Zimbabwe over the weekend for talks, but the EU said Sunday that it won't remove sanctions targeting Mr. Mugabe, or resume development aid until more is done to implement the power-sharing deal, according to the Associated Press.

In July, Kimberley Process investigators flew to Zimbabwe, following up on allegations of forced mining in the Marange diamond fields. After the visit, the team drafted an interim report, saying it had confirmed reports of civilian deaths at the hands of the Zimbabwe army and police. The final report affirms those allegations. "Clearly, the current state of affairs in terms of the level of compliance with the KPCS, cannot be allowed to continue," the final report said.

Human-rights activists have criticized the Kimberley Process for moving slowly to take action. Bernard Esau, the Kimberley Process chairman, said he was "concerned about the speed of the process," but that the group had to follow established procedures.

In the report, Kimberley Process members said that Zimbabwe cooperated fully with the probe.

Panners, or individual miners, began drifting into the Marange fields in 2006. By October last year, the mining population had swollen, with an estimated 30,000 people digging, mostly unregulated, for diamonds, according to the government.

That month, Zimbabwe soldiers moved to disperse the miners. Human Rights Watch alleged that an estimated 200 people were killed in the operation. Government officials told the Kimberley Process team that security services didn't use violence during the operation, according to the final report.

A recent Human Rights Watch report said government officials and senior members of Zimbabwe's military now control mining at the fields, taking the bulk of the profits from miners they have allowed to remain.

"The Review Team has judged that certain entities within the Government of Zimbabwe are directly involved with the removal of rough diamonds from the Marange area," the final Kimberley Process report alleges.

"Sometimes they take all [the stones] and leave you with bus fare only," one miner, who asked to be identified only by his first name, Eric, said of the government soldiers in an interview. "We can't even protest, because they have their guns pointing."

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Mugabe to Ask Investors to Dig Mines, Forget Farms

By Brian Latham and Carli Lourens

Sept. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe will this week
ask investors to plow their money into platinum, chrome and gold projects to
help the country recover from a decade-long recession.

They'll need to put aside concerns over a farm seizure program that
destroyed Zimbabwe's biggest export industry, recurrent threats of
nationalization and a proposed law to force miners to sell 51 percent of
their assets to Zimbabweans that the government now says is being

In what's being billed as Zimbabwe's biggest ever mining conference Mugabe
will present a united front with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, the
former opposition leader with whom he formed a coalition government. They
are seeking investors to help them exploit the world's second-biggest
platinum and chrome reserves and companies to reopen idled gold mines and
dig coal pits.

"There's a number of issues that need resolution," David Brown, the chief
executive officer of Johannesburg-based Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd., the
biggest investor in Zimbabwean mining, said in an interview. If the
government makes the legal changes it promised "we'll be in a much more
positive frame of mind in terms of investment."

Impala, which owns platinum mines in the country, has held back on
investment plans worth about $750 million as it awaits clarity on mining

Zimbabwe's platinum reserves lag behind only South Africa. Along with Russia
the three countries are the only nations with significant reserves of the
metal used to curb car pollution.

'Better Laws'

"Zimbabwe could attract billions of dollars in mining exploration and
development, provided the laws to make mining attractive are passed," Tendai
Biti, the country's finance minister and an ally of Tsvangirai, said in an
interview from Harare. Better mining laws "are expected before parliament

Companies including Lonmin Plc, Anglo American Plc and Rio Tinto Group have
disposed of assets over the last 10 years. Production of gold, nickel,
ferrochrome and coal has slumped.

Mugabe's program of seizing commercial farms for redistribution to
subsistence farmers deprived of land during white rule caused shortages of
the foreign currency needed to buy equipment for mining and created concerns
over the security of foreign owned assets.

Investors have also been deterred by threats to take over mines. In 2000
Mugabe said mines could be targeted after farm seizures were completed and
in 2007 he said diamond mining would be reserved for the government after
the state took back a concession following the discovery of the Marange
diamond field by African Consolidated Resources Plc.


Mugabe, Tsvangirai and a number of other government officials will speak at
the Sept. 16 and 17 conference in the capital, Harare. The coalition
government was formed after mediation by Zimbabwe's neighbors following
disputed elections last year.

Tsvangirai and Biti have since sought investment from Europe to China to
revive the economy, including a gold industry that was once the third
biggest in Africa after those of South Africa and Ghana. While
constitutional talks are yet to be completed, and there are disputes over
government positions, politicians are trying to convince investors that the
worst is over for the economy.

Some gold mines have reopened since February after the government abolished
its currency, the Zimbabwe dollar, and switched to currencies including the
U.S. dollar and the South African rand to tame the world's highest inflation

The conference will focus on reviving the mining industry and putting
Zimbabwe back on the map as an "attractive mining destination," the country's
Mines Minister, Obert Mpofu, said in an interview. There has "never been a
better time" to invest, he added, referring to planned legal changes and an
expected economic recovery.

Mugabe's Control

The conference, hosted by the mines ministry, is expected to have over 500
delegates, according to the organizers, Johannesburg's Utho Capital.

In addition to Impala, Aquarius Platinum Ltd. holds a stake in a mine in the
country and Anglo Platinum Ltd., the world's biggest producer of the metal,
plans to dig one. Mvelaphanda Resources Ltd. and African Rainbow Minerals
Ltd., both based in Johannesburg, are considering investing in Zimbabwe.

The country has the potential to produce ten times as much platinum as the
200,000 ounces it mines annually now, said Joel Mungoshi, a Mvelaphanda
official who will speak at the conference.

Still, for now investors are more likely to have concerns about the country's
political stability than its metals and mineral reserves, said Mike Davies,
an Africa analyst at Eurasia Group in London, in an interview.

Those worries include the "high level of control that's left in Mugabe's
hands," Davies said.

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MDC condemns disruption of ZCTU march by police

By Violet Gonda
14 September 2009

Police in Harare reportedly blocked a peaceful demonstration organised by
the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions at Machipisa Shopping Centre in
Highfield on Saturday. The ZCTU said the demonstration was to commemorate
protests held on September 13, 2006, which led to the beatings and arrests
of several ZCTU members, but this was blocked from starting by the police
this weekend.

Dr Lovemore Madhuku, the spokesperson of the National Constitutional
Assembly told SW Radio Africa that he had gone to participate in the demo
but when he got there, the area was surrounded by police who blocked the
entrance to the venue to prevent the event from taking place.

The response by the police was roundly condemned by the MDC who said: "It
deplored strongly the actions of the armed police who used unnecessary and
illegal force to disrupt the ZCTU gathering and urged the inclusive
government, particularly the co-Ministers of Home Affairs, to investigate
this matter and to make a public denunciation of the actions of the police."

A statement issued on Monday read: "The MDC, a party that was mainly born
out of the sweat, toil and blood of the labour movement, is greatly
disturbed that seven months after the formation of the inclusive government,
the rights of the people of Zimbabwe continue to be violated in clear
contradiction of the Constitution of Zimbabwe."

"The MDC treasures and values the rights of the workers and the people in
general and we take great exception when basic human rights are trampled

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Zimbabwe sees benefit of Tsvangirai changes

By Richard Lapper in Harare

Published: September 14 2009 17:33 | Last updated: September 14 2009 17:33

Dee Joseph, a 35 year-old supporter of Morgan Tsvangirai, has a lot of
sympathy with Zimbabwe's embattled prime minister. "He is carrying heavy,"
she says, reflecting on the largely unsuccessful political battles Mr
Tsvangirai has fought with Robert Mugabe, the president, since the two men
agreed - a year ago on Tuesday - to form a coalition government. "If he says
he is pulling out, then I agree with him."

Yet, as a hard-up mother with three children Ms Joseph desperately hopes Mr
Tsvangirai opts to stay. Since Mr Tsvangirai eventually took over as prime
minister in February, Ms Joseph - like most other Zimbabweans - has noticed
an improvement in living standards. "We didn't have food in the cupboard and
my kids didn't have anything to eat," she says. "Now they can even take
bread to school."

The contrast between the coalition's political problems and the country's
slow economic advance has led to a dilemma for Mr Tsvangirai and his party,
the Movement for Democratic Change. Mr Tsvangirai's decision to join forces
with the man he defeated in last March's legislative elections has paid off.
His economic stewardship has helped stabilise the country and break its
descent into humanitarian crisis. But by allowing Mr Mugabe to retain
control of the army, police and important government positions, he has given
the 85-year-old autocrat something of a new lease of political life.
Economic stability has been underpinned by the disappearance of the
Zimbabwean dollar, rendered worthless by hyperinflation. Mr Tsvangirai's
decision in February to pay teachers, nurses, policemen, soldiers and other
public sector workers in foreign currency has paid off, ­hastening a drift
towards "dollarisation" - a situation where the US dollar, South African
rand or some regional currencies have become standard tender. With suppliers
able to plan more effectively, the food supply has increased and prices have
fallen, in some cases sharply.

In Bulawayo, researchers report the price of a 10kg bag of maize meal - a
Zimbabwean staple - has fallen in the past few months from $12 to $3.
"Things are cheaper," says Norman Makule, a 32-year-old factory worker and
like Ms Joseph one of several thousand people welcoming Mr Tsvangirai at a
rally in the country's second city of Bulawayo. "If you get your salary you
can go and get anything you want."

Mr Tsvangirai's relations with international donors have helped, too. North
American and European governments and multilateral agencies are still
reluctant to grant or lend the large amounts Zimbabwe wants, but government
coffers have benefited from a steady flow of humanitarian support - some of
it channelled by ministries that the MDC controls.

But Mr Tsvangirai has struggled to impose himself politically within the
coalition government. He has been unable to halt what on Sunday he described
as the "persecution" of his members of parliament. No fewer than 16 MDC MPs
have been arrested on what the party says are trumped up charges,
potentially threatening its majority.

Mr Mugabe's supporters have persisted with their offensive against
white-owned commercial farms. Bizarrely, six months after his designation,
Roy Bennett, the white farmer who is the MDC's deputy minister of
agriculture, has still to be sworn in.

And the president has refused to back down over his decision in February to
unilaterally appoint a central bank governor and attorney-general, which Mr
Tsvangirai argues breaches the terms of the so-called "global political
agreement" signed last year.

In a damning conclusion to a recent report, Human Rights Watch observes Mr
Mugabe's Zanu PF party has "shown at best negligible commitment and
willingness to implement the far-reaching reforms envisioned in the GPA. At
worst, Zanu PF's conduct has deliberately undermined efforts to restore the
rule of law".

As Theresa Makone, the MDC-appointed minister of public works, said at the
weekend: "We have a hindrance among us. We will not have democracy and
freedom as long as Zanu PF is still in control of the security forces."

Worse still, Mr Mugabe said recently he would like to reintroduce the
Zimbabwean dollar, a step which would - critics believe - plunge the economy
back into chaos.

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SA and the EU may have worked out compromise to lift targeted sanctions

Comment from The Cape Times (SA), 14 September

Peter Fabricius

The South African government is rather chuffed at its recent admission to
the rather exclusive club of the European Union's "strategic partners",
which includes such big names as the US, Russia, China, Brazil, India and
Mexico. But it is also worried that this might make it look like a stooge of
the West. And so it has always stressed that it only joined the club as a
kind of de facto representative of Africa, conveying its concerns to the
world's biggest economy and Africa's biggest trading partner. Whereas,
conversely, the EU evidently chose SA as a strategic partner, as an
appropriate vehicle, given SA's ostensible values, of conveying what are
also the EU's own values of democracy and human rights to places in Africa
like Zimbabwe. Becoming strategic partners raised relations to summit level
and the second summit was held in Kleinmond on Friday, co-chaired by
President Zuma and Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, current
chairman of the EU Presidency.

Such occasions generally look largely symbolic. In diplomacy, as in life,
the meeting itself often seems to be most of the message. As in real life
too, the partners often exchange gifts to demonstrate their affection for
one another. On Friday the EU brought SA E120 million for job creation. It
was not divulged how SA reciprocated. One might have thought the EU was
hoping for something substantial. Perhaps a revelation from Zuma that he had
persuaded his peers from the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
to privately tell Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to stick to his
commitments under the global political agreement (GPA) which governs the
unity government. At last week's SADC summit in Kinshasa the SADC leaders
publicly only addressed Mugabe's own grievance, by calling for Western
governments to lift their targeted sanctions unconditionally.

Whereas the EU has always insisted that it will only lift these "targeted
restrictions" as it prefers to call them, once Mugabe has implemented his
GPA commitments. That includes reversing his unilateral appointments of Zanu
PF cronies into top government jobs. Asked about the evident differences
between the EU and SADC over when to lift the targeted sanctions against
Zimbabwe, the new EU development and humanitarian aid commissioner Karel de
Gucht, chose his words quite carefully, it seemed. "We are of the opinion
that the lifting of restrictive measures should be the result of a process
which leads to the overall implementation of the global political
agreement," he said. That was not quite an explicit statement that sanctions
would only go after the GPA had been fully implemented but rather only after
a "process" which led to the GPA implementation.

De Gucht has said earlier that during a two-day mission to Zimbabwe this
past weekend to assess progress for themselves, the EU would bring a
positive message to Zimbabwe. But it would not be just a "free for all," and
would also depend on movement towards implementation of the GPA. And after
he and Swedish aid minister Gunilla Carlsson returned from Zimbabwe
yesterday, they said that relations with Zimbabwe had entered a "new phase"
but that " full co-operation and re-engagement" depended upon the full
implementation of the GPA. Does all of this suggest that SA and the EU have
worked some compromise deal to lift sanctions and pump in aid in graduated
steps, each one depending on reciprocation by Mugabe? Negotiations often
begin with mutually-exclusive demands that "if you do this, I will do that".
And mediators often resolve the deadlocks by fudging the sequence. Maybe we
are seeing that now in Zimbabwe.

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Address by Morgan Tsvangirai, at the MDC’s 10th anniversary rally, Bulawayo

MDC 10th anniversary rally - 2009

Via Press release:

Vice-President Khupe, Members of the Standing Committee, National Executive and National Council; Invited guests, members of the Diplomatic Corp;

My Fellow Zimbabweans,

It gives me great pleasure to be here today to celebrate with you the 10th Anniversary of the Movement for Democratic Change.

To celebrate a decade of courage, conviction and commitment to the democratic founding principles of the MDC.

Each one of you here today, and every member of the party throughout the country, have made the MDC a party of excellence. Each one of you can feel proud of your contribution to the struggle to free our nation. Proud of our determined adherence to peaceful, democratic change and proud of our resolve to continue the struggle in the name of freedom.

MDC 10th anniversary rally - 2009

Most of all, we can be proud of the many sons and daughters who stood beside us and who paid the ultimate price in this struggle to build the Zimbabwe that our war of liberation was fought for and that we all demand and deserve.

I am also proud that we are holding this celebration today in Matabeleland whose peoples have witnessed so much suffering and bloodshed displayed such commitment and resolve. Thank you for hosting us today.

I would also like to acknowledge and thank those brave Zimbabweans who stood by us when we formed the party and who join us today, even though they are no longer members of the MDC. Your presence here today is a tribute to the principles of dignity, freedom and democracy that run deeper than mere party politics. I welcome you.

MDC 10th anniversaryu rally - 2009

In addition, I wish to thank our African brothers and sisters, and the members of the international community, who have respected and supported the right of all Zimbabweans to determine our own future. Our victory will be your victory, our peace and prosperity will compliment those of your own nations.

My fellow Zimbabweans, when the MDC was formed in September 1999, we made a promise to the people of this great nation that we would deliver change, that we would deliver democracy, freedom and prosperity - and we stand by that promise today.

We stand by our promise that we will be together to the end, marching to a New Zimbabwe.

My fellow Zimbabweans, I salute the courage and conviction you have displayed over the past ten years in the face of brutal oppression and I thank you for your continued support, loyalty and dedication to a New Zimbabwe.

MDC 10th anniversary rally - 2009

Your belief in what is right, your belief in your right to freedom and prosperity and your belief in the MDC has seen the party grow to become the largest political organization in Zimbabwe and the winner of the March 2009 elections.

Your cry for change was heard across Zimbabwe, from Matabeleland to Manicaland and Masvingo, in the streets of Harare and Bulawayo and the towns and cities throughout the land.

We have faced enormous challenges over the past decade. We have stood up to, defied and denounced a political regime that was intent on impoverishing the entire nation to retain its brutal grip on power.

We have overcome enormous challenges with the minimum amount of resources and maximum amount of courage and conviction.

We have seen comrades fall in the struggle and others walk away wearied or disheartened.MDC 10th anniversary rally - 2009

We have seen political greed reduce our beautiful, bountiful nation to the status of a beggar no longer able to feed its own children.

Through all this, we have remained united by the principles of democracy, by the principles of peaceful change and by the pride in our Zimbabwe and its peoples.

The process of change that began in 1999 is irreversible. The past decade has proven that, and the coming years will provide the ultimate proof. That is why we must renew our efforts as the majority party that represents the hopes and aspirations of all Zimbabweans.

My fellow Zimbabweans, coalition Governments require certain compromise on policy. However, I am here to tell you today that the MDC has never, and will never, compromise on issues of principle.

For the past seven months we in the MDC have shown respect, conciliation and understanding to Zanu PF and what have we got in return? Nothing.

They continue to act with arrogance, forgetting that it was they who lost the March election and that they are only in this agreement as we formed this Government for the wellbeing of the people of Zimbabwe.

They continue to violate the law, persecute our people, spread the language of hate, invade productive farms, ignore our international treaties and continue to loot of our national resources.

This must stop now. The MDC wants partners in this Government but ultimately our mandate is to deliver good governance to the people - and for this all we need is the trust and support of the people.

Too many Zimbabweans, both during the liberation from colonialism, and over the past decade, have sacrificed for their belief in democracy and freedom and we will neither forget nor forsake their sacrifice.

Too many Zimbabweans rely on us now to restore our country, its freedoms and its economy, for us to compromise on our ideals. Our ideals, are the ideals of all Zimbabweans and their belief in us drives us forward and keeps us true to the principles of our righteous struggle.

Therefore my message is very clear. The MDC will continue the struggle to deliver Real Change to the people.

  • To deliver dignity to the people.
  • To deliver security to the people.
  • To deliver democracy and freedom to the people.
  • To deliver prosperity to the people.
  • And to deliver hope to the people.

Only when we have done this will we have delivered Real Change to the people.

Over the past three days, I have asked each member of the Standing Committee, the National Executive Committee and the National council to join me in recommitting ourselves to delivering Real Change to the people of Zimbabwe.

This is not a slogan. This is a statement of the values by which we must conduct our lives, our work and our struggle, whether in Government or in the party, whether a member of the leadership or of the structures.

Every morning, each one of us has a duty to ask, “how will I fight for Zimbabweans today”.

If as leaders, our actions do not represent Real Change, then we cannot hope to deliver Real Change to the people. When we met in January and decided to form this inclusive Government, it was because we believed it offered the best opportunity to deliver Real Change to the people of Zimbabwe.

The current political dispensation represents another milestone on the journey that we embarked on a decade ago. While the past seven months has seen progress on a number of fronts, the Zimbabwe that so many millions of our people have struggled for, believed in and voted for has not yet been achieved.

The Global Political Agreement presents a clear framework for the achievement of a better Zimbabwe. Only through the full and complete implementation of all its articles can we progress as a nation. I encourage you to familiarize yourselves with its commitments and to work at all levels to ensure they are adhered to.

Both the GPA and the Constitution of Zimbabwe clearly define the role and duties of our brothers and sisters in the police and defence forces. I urge to resist those who would have act against the best interests of our people to achieve short-term political gains. The rewards to be gained through the building of a new prosperous, peaceful nation will bring greater dividends to all of us and our children.

As leaders of the MDC we will renew our efforts to ensure that the constitution-making process is driven by the people and delivers the framework for free and fair elections. We will strive to ensure that the process of National Healing allows for justice, reparations and the closure of wounds left open and untended for too long.

AIPPA and POSA continue to hang over the heads of the people and blatant violations of the rule of law show that we have not yet made real change in these areas. As the MDC in Government, we will ensure that legislation that promotes freedoms is sent to parliament for approval by the people’s representatives. It is not enough for us to just make a difference in Government; we must make a positive difference.

To make a positive difference, we must acknowledge that the cancer of corruption poses a definite threat to our nation’s progress. Political patronage has caused this cancer and is up to all of us to eradicate it from our society. My party and my Government will not tolerate corruption in any form or shape.

It is time for all the parties in this Government to acknowledge that the people demand and deserve change and they must adapt their behaviour accordingly if they want to remain relevant within our Government.

The GPA is not there to be negotiated, it is there to be implemented. There can be no excuse for continued delays or distractions to the full and complete implementation of every outstanding issue.

My fellow Zimbabweans, the real change that we undertook to deliver still awaits the people and we shall not loose sight of their dreams and desires and nor will we stop the struggle until every Zimbabwe can live in peace, prosperity and freedom. The MDC remains committed to ensuring access to food, jobs, quality education and professional health care for you and your children.

My fellow Zimbabweans, March 29th 2008, proved to the region and the world that the MDC has the support of the overwhelming majority of Zimbabweans. Despite intimidation, threats and widespread rigging we were victorious at the polls. It was a victory of right over wrong, of freedom over oppression, of democracy over dictatorship.

It proved to all of us that the ultimate victory of the people of Zimbabwe can and will be achieved.

We must continue the march to a New Zimbabwe. We must be emboldened by the victories of the past decade, undaunted by the challenges that lie ahead and strong in our resolve that we have the support of the people and that our struggle for truth and freedom cannot be defeated.

This quest for peace to overcome tyranny, for the ballot to overcome the bullet is a process for which no template exists in Africa. As we navigate this difficult path we ask our African brothers and sisters and the international community to stand by the people of Zimbabwe and to be partners in our determination to democracy.

In turn, I ask you, brave Zimbabweans, will you;

  • Stand with me in the struggle to deliver dignity?
  • Stand with me in the struggle to deliver security?
  • Stand with me in the struggle to deliver democracy and freedom?
  • Stand with me in the struggle to deliver prosperity?
  • Stand with me in the struggle to deliver hope?

Let us stand united, proud of what we have achieved, humbled by the trust and support we have in each other and determined to deliver Real Change.

And with God as my witness, let those who stand in the way of this progress know that we will not suffer another 10 years in this wilderness of despair – it is time for those who stand in the way of progress to realize the time has finally come for hope and a new beginning for our great country.

On this 10th Anniversary, I know that as we lift our hands and hearts toward God, we thank Him together for bringing us this far in the struggle and pledge, that with His help, we will deliver REAL CHANGE – TO THE PEOPLE OF ZIMBABWE!

I thank you.

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Bob: I'm still the best for Zim

Sep 14, 2009 12:18 AM | By Moses Mudzwiti

ZIMBABWE's ageing President Robert Mugabe has lashed out at his countrymen,
saying they were easy to bribe and without him would easily be waylaid by
the British.
Mugabe, 85, said the reason his Zanu-PF party fared badly in last year's
election was because Zimbabweans were "divided". He also accused politicians
of buying votes.

The octogenarian made his remarks the end of the three-day Zanu-PF Youth
Congress, which has endorsed his eternal leadership.

Described as an a man of "advanced age" by SA deputy president Kgalema
Motlanthe, Mugabe gave no hint of retiring. Instead he berated Zimbabweans
for being partisan.

Mugabe went on to claim that if he had lost the presidential elections
Zimbabweans would have been worse off than they are today.

Mugabe blamed everybody else except himself for his country's unprecedented
state of economic decline. He said the biggest threat to the unity
government were "sanctions".

However, a visiting EU delegation told Mugabe at the weekend that sanctions
would remain until equitably power sharing with Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai was achieved.

For now Mugabe, dogged by rumours of failing health, insists he is the only
person who has the right credentials to lead the country. All the other
candidates were, in his opinion, susceptible to the "machinations of the

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MDC gets tough

We are just back from a rally to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the
MDC - we formed the Party ten years ago today! The rally was the biggest we
have had in Bulawayo since we formed the Party and the entire leadership was

The rally was preceded by meetings of the National Executive and Council and
in those meetings it was decided that the MDC would have to toughen its
stance in the transitional government.

The President, Morgan Tsvangirai, will now meet Mr. Mugabe on Monday and
tell him that the National Leadership has resolved to give their Zanu PF
counterparts one week to begin to implement the full demands of the Global
Political Agreement.
In addition, the structures of the Party have been instructed to go back to
the rank and file and ask them if it was not time to reconsider our
participation in the Transitional Government.

This tougher stance was triggered by several events in the past week or so.
First, at the SADC Heads of State summit in the Congo, Mr. Mugabe made a
five hour speech in which he stated that the parties to the GPA were working
well together and there were no serious problems.

Secondly, we felt that our willingness to compromise to try and make this
deal work was being misconstrued as compliance and that this impression had
to be corrected.

But perhaps the most important challenge came from the ordinary members of
the Party who felt that the failure to get Zanu PF to play its part in the
Transitional Government was stalling recovery and normalisation.

It was felt that after the early progress brought about largely by MDC
reforms and their presence in the government, that the economy was still in
deep trouble and that social service recovery was a long way off.

Zanu PF procrastination was impeding progress on all fronts; in the
constitutional reform process the attitude of Zanu PF leadership was holding
up progress and their demands that we short circuit the process and accept
the Kariba Draft, was totally unacceptable.

The failure to consult on all major decisions and to unilaterally appoint
people to posts in violation of the GPA had now gone too far and was not

Then there are the issues of the failure to effect agreed reforms to
repressive legislation and to open up the media.

The failure to halt the issuance of hate speech and the public denigration
of the MDC and its leadership and the one sided application of the law to
MDC legislators where 29 MP's and Senators are now either in court or
already convicted on fabricated grounds.

The statement on Saturday when Mr. Mugabe met the high level delegation from
the EU in Harare that "we have implemented the GPA and therefore that
sanctions should be withdrawn" met with little acceptance.

His case was not helped by an irresponsible and unlawful statement the
previous day at the Zanu PF Youth Congress to the effect that the "bloody
whites" had no place in Zimbabwean affairs and that remaining white farmers
had to leave their farms or face eviction by force by the Police.

Such rhetoric has no place in a modern society. Zanu PF racism has gone too
far this time. In the past Mr. Mugabe has always been careful to maintain
some dignity in his public utterances and then done just what he wants
behind closed doors.

The continuing attacks on white farmers are now blatantly racist and
illegal, even in terms of the present law in Zimbabwe.

MDC responded by abandoning its previous stance that the so called land
reform exercise was "irreversible". The National Executive now states that
the Zanu PF "fast track land reform programme" has been unacceptable and
will require a comprehensive review and change.

The reality is that if the rule of law is restored in Zimbabwe, the new
Courts will rule in favour of the farmers and holders of private property
rights. Then what do we do? Anyway the present attacks on remaining farms
are irresponsible in the face of a situation where we are being forced to
import 80 per cent of our food.

Zanu PF has to ask itself now, "what happens if the Transitional Government"
collapses?". Make no mistake; it will not be back to normal business and
looting for the Zanu PF thugs.

SADC would have no alternative but to become engaged and this time there
would be no Mbeki to protect Zanu PF interests. MDC's position would be
quite simple - let's go back to the people and settle this once and for all.

For Zanu PF that is the very last thing they want - they and Mutambara want
the present Transitional arrangements to last for five years in the hope
that MDC will screw up and they can benefit from the gradual recovery that
is under way.

They also hope that by the end of the five year term new leadership might be
in place in Zanu PF and they might be able to reenergise the Party. There is
no hope for Mutambara unless the present arrangement persists.

So on Monday the other two partners in the Transitional Government face a
"High Noon, Main Street" moment. Morgan Tsvangirai will confront clever Dick
and the Botox man with the demand that they live up to the deal they signed
a year ago in Harare.

They know what that entails and although they might shrink back from such a
demand, the alternative is worse; it's a stay of execution for at least a

Sitting in the crowd and watching the rally run its course, I felt so proud
of the thousands of ordinary people who have fought for the past decade for
freedom, democracy, security and safety and a better standard of life and
have done so without violence.

What an example they are to the world in which we live where so often such
disputes and conflicts are resolved by violence and murder.

Morgan summed it all up when he said "before God I pledge that I will not
rest or retire until we have brought our promise of a future we can all
believe in to fruition in Zimbabwe".

When he asked the crowd if they would join him in that struggle, there was a
roar of assent. I could feel the apprehension in Shake Shake building in

Eddie Cross
Bulawayo, 14th September 2009

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One year on and still treading water

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe
HARARE, 14 September 2009 (IRIN) - It was in many ways a shotgun marriage, except that both the parties in Zimbabwe's unity government were equally unwilling.

On 15 September 2008 President Robert Mugabe, leader of ZANU-PF, and Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), and Arthur Mutambara, leader of a breakaway MDC faction, signed the Global Political Agreement (GPA), paving the way for the unity government to be established in February 2009.

For Mugabe it meant the dilution of nearly three decades of rule, while Tsvangirai agreed to accept the junior position of prime minister, even though his party had won a parliamentary majority and he had convincingly beaten Mugabe in the presidential ballot, but had withdrawn from the presidential run-off in protest over sometimes deadly political violence against his supporters.

The GPA was brokered by then South African president Thabo Mbeki - appointed as negotiator by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) - and was envisaged as the mechanism to begin healing the political rifts that had plunged once prosperous Zimbabwe into penury, disease and food insecurity.

A year later the GPA's track record is getting mixed reviews. Sokwanele, an NGO monitoring adherence to the agreement, cites Mugabe's ZANU-PF as being responsible for nearly 88.5 percent of all violations until the end of August 2009, the remainder being shared by Tsvangirai's and Mutambara's MDCs.

"ZANU-PF's favourite political tool - violence - still plagues Zimbabwe's populace to the extent that it is almost accepted as a norm by the majority," Sokwanele noted in a report published on 7 September 2009.
''ZANU-PF's favourite political tool - violence - still plagues Zimbabwe's populace to the extent that it is almost accepted as a norm by the majority''

A senior official in Mutambara's MDC, Renson Gasela, told IRIN: "There are a lot of positives that have been registered following the signing of the GPA - we now have goods in our shops, which was not the case before the GNU [Government of National Unity]. If the power-sharing deal is fully implemented, I think life will even be better for most Zimbabweans."

Tendai Musemburi, a political commentator based in the capital, Harare, told IRIN: "There are very obvious areas of improvement, especially in the area of availability in terms of food and basic commodities in the shops, which was not the case before the signing of the GPA ... The downside to that is that the US dollars needed to make purchases are not easily available."

The Zimbabwean dollar was discontinued and replaced by multiple foreign currencies to end hyperinflation measured in trillions of percent.

However, the GPA has failed to fulfil expectations that life would be better. "The disappointment emanates from the fact that many thought there would be more jobs, and that income levels would improve, but that has not really happened ... more needs to be done on the economic front to solve bread-and-butter issues," Musemburi said.

Degrees of peace

In a statement marking the anniversary Tsvangirai said: "A degree of peace and stability has begun to take root, and basic foods and services have returned to the country."

Nevertheless, he tempered the achievements of the GPA by commenting that ZANU-PF continued to "frustrate" full implementation of the agreement. "To make matters worse, the selective application of the rule of law, including the persecution and prosecution of MDC MPs, continues to inflame political tensions," he said in the statement.

"Equally problematic is the deliberately slow pace of progress on the implementation of key issues connected to human rights and the rule of law. This includes the self-evident deliberate stalemate on the constitutional reform process, as well as the slow pace of media reform."

Political analyst Godfrey Kanyenze said the GPA's first anniversary marked "a very clear stalemate. The MDC says there needs to be implementation of outstanding issues, while ZANU-PF says all issues have been implemented and that only sanctions are outstanding."

ZANU-PF believes the MDC has not campaigned enough for the removal of US and European Union sanctions targeting Mugabe and his associates for human rights abuses.

"The MDC, which urged its international supporters to impose the illegal sanctions, has the sole responsibility to ensure that its international supporters remove the sanctions forthwith," ZANU-PF said.

Western donors have adopted a wait-and-see approach, holding back billions of dollars in aid since the signing of the GPA in 2008 and the formation of the unity government in February 2009. Zimbabwe needs around US$8 billion to kick-start its ailing economy.

The MDC accuse Mugabe of bad faith in not swearing in its deputy agricultural minister, Roy Bennett, a former white farmer, and not resolving the outstanding issues of the appointment of the central bank governor and the attorney general without consulting the unity government partners, while also stalling the appointment of ten provincial governors that reflect the MDC's majority in parliament.

Media hatred

The state media continue to view the partners in the unity government "through the historic perspective of hatred and acrimony, blatantly advancing the interests of a single party [ZANU-PF]," Tsvangirai said.
''The distortions of the political reality by the state media present a real and credible threat to this inclusive government''

"The distortions of the political reality by the state media present a real and credible threat to this inclusive government and its ability to impact positively on the lives of all Zimbabweans."

In a recent report - The political and humanitarian challenges facing Zimbabwe's GPA leadership and its ordinary citizens - Solidarity Peace Trust, an NGO campaigning for peace, democracy and human rights, sounded a note of caution.

"In the absence of sound alternatives to the current political arrangement, the slow international response to the needs of the new government could strengthen the hand of the more regressive elements of the ruling party in the military and security, while frustrating the democratic forces within the transitional state."


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

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Sholto Byrnes: Should Robert Mugabe be now forgiven his crimes?

Prosecuting one man can't remove the complicty of all the others

Monday, 14 September 2009

Robert Mugabe has not had such a good week since he managed to shake hands
with Prince Charles at the last pope's funeral in 2005. Days after regional
leaders at the South African Development Community summit called for the
removal of "all forms of sanctions against Zimbabwe", the one-time pariah
president received another present: the arrival of an EU delegation, the
first such visit to his country for seven years.

Some may find images of a cheery Mugabe welcoming the Swedish development
minister with "open arms" and brushing aside questions about stepping down -
at 85, he is "still young", he said - hard to stomach. This is a man, after
all, who has presided over economic ruin, torture, killing and starvation.
The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, has called for him to be tried in the
Hague for crimes against humanity. But far from demanding punishment, could
we - should we - bring ourselves to forgive him instead?

In June this year I sat down with a man who has responded in just such a
superhumanly charitable manner to the brutal actions of another dictator.
Mohamed Nasheed became the first democratically elected president of the
Maldives last November. Under the previous regime of Maumoon Gayoom, he had
been imprisoned 23 times, held in a tiny metal box under the tropical sun
for months, and tortured, including being forced to swallow broken glass.
But remarkably, he has not only forgiven his jailers and torturers but has
refused to take any action against them whatsoever.

"We shouldn't come out with this sweet revenge idea," he told me as we spoke
after he opened the new Iru Fushi Hilton, a sumptuous symbol of the only
Maldives that holidaymakers ever see. He has removed the chief of police,
but apart from him, "the rest of the top brass are my own interrogators," he
said. "There are so many allegations of corruption and human rights abuses.
No one has to tell me. I know it's true - I've been tortured twice."

But Nasheed, an English-educated journalist whose cause was championed by
Amnesty and PEN, is unwilling to prosecute members of the old regime. "In
the past, whenever there's been a change of government, the former ruler was
either mobbed or sent out from the country. We want to break that circle and
see if we can find amicable solutions."

Zimbabwe's neighbour, South Africa, provides another example of such heroic
magnanimity - of victims of injustice and brutality showing themselves to be
better than their oppressors.

Forgiveness appears to be in short supply in Britain at the moment, however.
A recent poll found that a majority of Scots not only opposed the release of
Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi but thought he should die in jail, an opinion
shared by David Cameron. But leave aside the question of Megrahi's failing
health and the problem is this: is it right to load such a weight of
vengeance on one man's shoulders?

For this is undoubtedly part of the reason why the uproar over his release
has been so great. No other individuals have been called to account for the
shooting of WPC Yvonne Fletcher, for Libya's long years as a state-sponsor
of terrorism, nor for its provision of semtex explosives to the IRA.

We hunger for a man, a name to which we can put a face, on whom justice is
seen to be done. It is an understandable appetite, and indulging it can be
both satisfying and convenient, as the French found when they placed the
burden of guilt for wartime collaboration on Marshal Petain, thus allowing
former Vichy fonctionnaires such as Francois Mitterrand off the hook. But it
does not make it right, nor necessarily just; for prosecuting one man,
whether dictator, terrorist or war criminal, does not remove the complicity
of all the others, often the thousands, who have supported or participated
in their crimes.

Further, baying for such punishment can end up having the effect of
prolonging the actions we wish to condemn. For all that governments pretend
they will never talk to terrorist groups, for instance, it is only when they
do, and combine that with ceasing threats of retribution, that those groups
can shed their violence and enter the political realm. Similarly, efforts to
bring Mugabe to the International Court of Justice will not increase the
likelihood of his voluntarily relinquishing power (and there is no imminent
prospect of his leaving in any other way).

If opposition figures and the Obama White House are willing to contemplate
dealing with the military as part of Burma's future, then the Zimbabwean
president, who, for all his misdeeds, does not have a record as appalling as
the Burmese generals, may have to be recognised as part of the solution in
his country, too.

Forgiveness - and refusing to seek legal vengeance for Robert Mugabe's
crimes may be seen as an expression of that - may be hard. But if one day it
helps an old dictator become an old ex-dictator, it may prove far sweeter
than revenge.

The author is Assistant Editor of the New Statesman

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Hanging on

Comment from The New York Times, 9 September

By Christopher Walker

New York - Among the heads of state expected to descend on New York City for
the United Nations General Assembly this autumn is an elite subset of their
ranks - leaders distinguished by unparalleled longevity in office and
general intolerance for dissent. Muammar el-Qaddafi will have the privilege
of speaking at the opening session. It was 40 years ago this month that
Qaddafi, then a young army captain, led a coup against King Idris of Libya.
Now 67, Qaddafi came to power during the first term of Richard Nixon. Later
that same afternoon, Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema
Mbasogo, in charge since the administration of Jimmy Carter (and two days
older than Qaddafi), will address the General Assembly. Obiang seized
control in 1979 after deposing and executing Francisco Macias Nguema.

The exceptional staying power of Qaddafi and Obiang is a political
curiosity, but comes at a steep price. Despite enormous windfalls from
abundant natural energy resources, both Libya and Equatorial Guinea remain
deeply impoverished. And after decades of erratic rule, key institutions —
to the extent that they operate at all — are largely incapable of meeting
ordinary people's needs. These two are hardly atypical: The leadership
longevity list includes some of the world's most ruthless and ossified
governments. In Cuba, the Castro brothers have held power for four decades,
and counting. In Venezuela, President Hugo Chávez has held power now for
"only" 10 years. This decade may just be a warm up: In February, Chávez
engineered a referendum victory to abolish term limits. The former Soviet
Union is well represented on the list, including the likes of Azerbaijan,
Belarus, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. In Africa, Libya and
Equatorial Guinea are part of a large group that also includes Egypt,
Angola, Cameroon and Sudan.

Although none of these countries are formally monarchies, some of them
feature dynasties in the making. Azerbaijan and Syria, for example, have
already undergone father-to-son transfers of power, and others, including
Egypt and Libya, are signaling similar successions. Despite differences in
political tradition, culture and history, all of these countries today share
at least two critical common features: heavy restrictions on political
expression and participation. The bottom line in these settings is political
influence, and the economic benefit that accompanies it remains within a
well defined circle. Those who challenge the status quo find themselves in
jail or worse. A particularly bleak picture emerges when leader-for-life
regimes are placed alongside their respective rankings for media freedom
(using data from Freedom House) and corruption (from Transparency
International's annual Corruption Perceptions Index).

Of 20 countries fitting the leader-for-life mold, all are designated as Not
Free in Freedom House's annual media freedom survey. Egypt, whose
81-year-old president, Hosni Mubarak, is serving his fifth six-year term,
looks the best of a group of dreadfully poor performers. It ranks 128th out
of 195 countries on media freedom. The story is similarly grim for
corruption, where virtually all of these countries are in the bottom quarter
of the 180 countries reviewed by Transparency International. While some
argue that the authoritarian leader-for-life model - with its tight control
over politics, economic life, and news and information - can deliver
stability, there is a significant cost. Scholars and policymakers have long
understood the relationship between free and independent news media and
reduced levels of corruption, greater governmental effectiveness, stronger
rule of law and generally better development results.

Early on in his rule, Robert Mugabe was considered by some as a case study
for "strong-handed" leadership that, the thinking went, could deliver
benefits for ordinary Zimbabweans. Three decades later, Mugabe has driven
Zimbabwe into abject poverty and misery. Similar strongman arguments are
made today in Russia's case, where Vladimir Putin has pursued a
"dictatorship of law" while putting in place the building blocks to remain
paramount leader indefinitely. Putin choreographed a handoff of the
presidency last year to Dmitry Medvedev, through which Putin, as prime
minister, continues to wield enormous influence. There is widespread
speculation that Putin may next return to the presidency. In the meantime,
Russia's governance leaves a great deal to be desired. The refusal of these
regimes to allow the emergence of authentic political alternatives and
independent watchdogs means that official mismanagement goes unchecked. At
the same time, competing ideas that could help improve government policies
and the lives of ordinary people are suppressed. Whatever stability exists
in these settings all too often entails grinding poverty for most citizens
and a dependence on the dubious management skills of aging autocrats.

Christopher Walker is director of studies at Freedom House

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AIDS Council under fire over levy

Photo: Glenna Gordon/IRIN
About 400 people die from AIDS-related illnesses every day in Zimbabwe
HARARE, 14 September 2009 (PlusNews) - Zimbabwe's National AIDS Council (NAC) has purchased US$890,000 worth of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs following allegations that it was abusing funds generated by a three-percent tax on income known as the AIDS levy.

The government body charged with coordinating anti-AIDS efforts had collected about US$1.7 million since February 2009, but spent only US$20,000 on ARVs, prompting HIV/AIDS activists to call for a financial audit.

The AIDS levy was introduced in 1999 to help finance HIV/AIDS programmes, particularly ARV purchases, but the NAC has consistently come under fire for failing to use the fund to improve the welfare of people living with HIV. Several recent reports in the local media have alleged that most of the money was being spent on salaries and perks.

"For years this fund has been more controversial than beneficial to us people living with HIV," said Stanley Takaona, deputy president of the Zimbabwe HIV and AIDS Activist Union (ZHAU), which has been calling for reform of the NAC.

"We want the NAC to be removed from the administration of this fund so that it can focus on its other role of coordinating HIV/AIDS programmes in Zimbabwe - a more credible organization should take over the role of administrator. We also want a thorough audit of the AIDS levy over the years."

Médecins Sans Frontières, the international medical humanitarian organization, estimates that 400 of the more than 1.7 million people living with HIV in Zimbabwe die every day from AIDS-related illnesses; according to the health ministry, about 155,000 patients are getting ARVs from public health facilities - just under half the number thought to be in need of the drugs.

In July the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria replaced the NAC as the principal recipient of grants after the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) diverted more than US$7 million of Global Fund money.

The RBZ eventually returned the money, earmarked for scaling up the national ARV programme, but Global Fund grants are now channelled through the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

''For years this fund has been more controversial than beneficial to us people living with HIV''
"When the AIDS levy was set up, it was with the intention of taking care of those living with HIV, not to pay salaries and buy expensive cars for administrators of the fund - if we accept this [as the norm] then we have totally lost the plot," said Dr Douglas Gwatidzo, Chairman of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR).

"The money for the administration of the AIDS Levy must come from the fiscus, so that this fund remains solely for procurement of ARVs, care and support of those living with HIV," he told IRIN/PlusNews.

The NAC has refuted the allegations, insisting in a statement that no funds had been misused, and blaming the delay in procuring ARVs on "long tender procedures" and "the fact that it is not cost effective to procure ARVs using the AIDS levy on a monthly basis, as the cost of procurement will outstrip the intended supply."

Dr Gwatidzo said the NAC should not be allowed to "hold the lives of people living with HIV at ransom because of tender procedures ... I don't believe that tender procedures can take as much as eight months - we are talking about people's lives here, and they need to be serious about this."

In an interview with an official daily newspaper, The Herald, NAC executive director Dr Tapuwa Magure said the recent purchase of ARVs would provide treatment for at least 4,000 people for one year.

Most of the ARVs available in Zimbabwe's public health sector are provided by foreign donors, including the Global Fund, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the Clinton Foundation.


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

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Bill Watch 31 of 12th September 2009 [ConstitutionalOutreach Impact on Work of Parliament]

BILL WATCH 31/2009

[12th September 2009]

Parliament is adjourned until Tuesday 29th September

It is likely that the President will formally open the Second Session of the Seventh Parliament on 29th September. 

Constitutional Outreach Impact on Work of Parliament

Parliament are planning, subject to confirmation from the President, to resume in just over two weeks.   The Select Committee on the Constitution have issued statements that they will be starting their public consultation shortly thereafter.  If the Constitution outreach process does get under way, it will involve 258 members of both houses working full time, out of a total number of 296 MPs [there are 18 vacant seats out of a full complement of 314], so there will be fewer than 40 members left in both Houses.  The Clerk of Parliament has said that Parliament will have to adjourn during the Constitution outreach process, but if there is any urgent business MPs would be recalled for a week or two. This is what happened during the last Constitutional commission in 1999.  There are already Ministry of Finance Bills in the pipeline [see below] and towards the end of year there will be the usual budget Bills.  If these are dealt with, then the outreach time-frame will perforce be affected.   Conversely, while the Constitution outreach is under way, it is unlikely that much other Parliamentary business will get done, resulting in further delays on reform legislation.  The work of Parliamentary Committees would also be slowed down – which may cause further delays in the selection of Constitutional Commissions and scrutiny of the work of Ministries.

Delays in Appointment of Constitutional Commissions

Media Commission   There has been no announcement of appointments from the President’ s office.  It is well over a month since Parliament interviewed applicants for this Commission.  After a delay during which conflicting lists were “leaked” to the press and protests from one party claimed that its known supporters were missing from the list, a “compromise” list of 12 nominees was sent to the President from which the Constitution stipulates he must select the chairman and 8 other members of this Commission. 

The Three Other Constitutional Commissions [Electoral Commission, Human Rights Commission and Anti-Corruption Commission]   Although Parliament originally said it hoped to complete the selection process for all four Commissions by the end of June, the Parliamentary Committee on Standing Rules and Orders [CSRO] have decided to revisit how interviews are to be conducted, after the controversy over selection of candidates for the Media Commission.  The CSRO has not yet met to finalise the process and it will not meet again until after the 21st September.

SADC Summit

SADC Summit Communiqué issued at the end of the recent meeting in Kinshasa called on the international community to “’remove all forms of sanctions against Zimbabwe”.  There was no express mention of any of the outstanding issues between the parties to the inclusive government that had been raised earlier with President Zuma by Mr Tsvangirai and Mr Mutambara, nor of the delay in implementing legislative reform and dealing with human rights abuses that the GPA called for.  The outgoing chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, King Mswati III of Swaziland, noted that political and security challenges in a few parts of the region, especially the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar and Zimbabwe, are being effectively addressed.   [Full text of communiqué available on request]

President Zuma’s Opening Speech at the Summit on 7th September highlighted positive developments and socio-economic progress in the region, and on the political front, he urged the Member States to collectively tackle the challenges in Lesotho, Madagascar and Zimbabwe, stressing that “the quest for lasting peace, stability and democracy remains a priority for SADC”.  He mentioned the significant progress made in Zimbabwe under the auspices of the Inclusive Government and said that “Just as SADC has stood with the people of Zimbabwe in the search for a solution to the challenges facing the country, it remains committed to working to encourage further progress.  We urge all parties to remove any obstacles to the implementation of the agreement.[Full text available on request]

Answering a question in the South African Parliament on 9th September, Deputy President Motlanthe said that “South Africa is committed to assisting the Zimbabwean government to implement all the provisions of the Global Political Agreement including all outstanding matters in respect of which difficulties remain”[Full text of statement available on request]

Update on Inclusive Government

The recent SADC Summit’s failure to deal with the disagreements raised at the meeting with President Zuma the previous week led to the MDC pinning its hopes on a possible further extraordinary SADC Summit to discuss Zimbabwe.  Instead SADC referred the overseeing and monitoring of the implementation of outstanding issues on the power-sharing agreement to the SADC Troika of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security which will be meeting soon.  Mr Tsvangirai’s Press Statement in Kinshasa on 8th September included the following passage: Now that the SADC Troika is specifically vested with the matter of Zimbabwe it is my hope and belief that it will deal with all outstanding issues as a matter of urgency.  The legitimacy, credibility and indeed the existence of the Inclusive Government itself depends upon the expeditious resolution and enforcement of the agreement in full.  I have confidence that His Excellency President Guebuza of Mozambique, as the new head of the Organ Troika will be equal to the task.”  [Full text available on request]

Provincial Governors  The incumbent provincial governors [all ZANU-PF] were appointed just before the end of August 2008 for two-year terms.  In June it was reported that ZANU-PF negotiators had agreed that six provincial governors would step down after one year in office to make way for nominees of MDC-T [5] and MDC-M [1].  The end of that year has come and gone, with no sign of change in governorships. 

Senator Roy Bennett has not been sworn in as Deputy Minister of Agriculture. 

AG and Governor of Reserve Bank  President Mugabe continues adamant that these appointments will not be reversed.

Law Reform  No reform legislation has been enacted – or even presented to Parliament.  The President’s speech at the forthcoming opening of Parliament’s  Second Session is expected to set out the Government’s legislative agenda for the Session. 

The National Security Council [NSC] did not meet at the end of August as it was supposed to do.  The NSC has had only one meeting, on the 30th July, since the inception of the inclusive government in spite of the NSC Act stipulating that it should meet once a month.

National Economic Council has still not been set up.

Land Audit has not yet been started. 

Parliamentary Committees

Portfolio Committees and Thematic Committees did not meet this week.  They will not meet again until October. 

Committee on Standing Rules and Orders will not be meeting until a date still to be fixed in the week commencing 21st September .  This means that there can be no movement, until then, on the holding of interviews for appointments to the three remaining Constitutional Commissions, 

Select Committee on the New Constitution have had a series of meetings, culminating in announcements over the last few days of the Committee’s determination to continue with preparations for the outreach process and of the names of the chairpersons of its 17 thematic subcommittees.

Select Committee to Investigate AG's Conduct of Prosecutions  On 30th July the House of Assembly approved a motion for the appointment of a Select Committee to investigate the conduct of the Attorney-General in all politically-motivated prosecutions.  The Minister of Justice later wrote to the Speaker stating that the appointment of the Select Committee would be in breach of the Constitution.  [For details see Bill Watch 30.]  The Speaker is taking legal advice and his decision on the Minister’s objection is awaited. 

Legislation Update

Bills Passed but Not Gazetted as Acts

The Finance (No. 2) Bill and the Appropriation (Supplementary) Bill [both passed on 23rd July] have still not been gazetted as Acts.  They have no legal effect until they are gazetted, which makes this inordinate delay serious, bearing in mind the tax law changes involved.  Also awaiting gazetting as an Act is the Appropriation (Additional) (2008) Bill passed by Parliament in early April.  [The purpose of this Bill is to regularize the unbudgeted, but not necessarily unlawful, expenditure that occurred last year during the long cessation of normal Parliamentary activity occasioned by the dissolution of Parliament, the harmonized elections and the Presidential election re-run, and the ensuing period of negotiations leading to the formation of the Inclusive Government.] 

Bill gazetted and on the Parliamentary agenda 

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill [H.B. 7, 2009] – gazetted on 14th August.

Bills being printed

Parliament has sent three Ministry of Finance Bills to the Government Printer for printing and gazetting in preparation for their introduction into Parliament in the new Session – the Public Finance Management Bill, the Audit Office Bill and the Financial Adjustments Bill.   The page proofs of the Bills are presently with the legal drafters for checking.  We cannot offer copies of these Bills until they have been gazetted. 

Statutory Instruments

Statutory instruments gazetted on 11th September included SI 149/2009 – regulations, made by the Minister of Finance amending the Income Tax Act so as to increase the rates of carbon tax and the NOCZIM debt redemption levy.


 Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.


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