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Tsvangirai circumvents court order, marries under customary law
Morgan Tsvangirai has circumvented an order brought forward by his ex-lover canceling his marriage licence by marrying under customary law.

The wedding of Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was due to proceed Saturday under customary laws, a day after a court cancelled his marriage licence.

"The prime minister will have a customary union wedding which is different from the one that was denied by the courts," a senior officer from Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party told AFP.

Tsvangirai (60) dressed in a black suit and his bride Elizabeth Macheka (35) in a white wedding gown, arrived minutes apart at a plush outdoor wedding venue in the capital Harare where hundreds of guests gathered.

The prime minister had originally planned his marriage under monogamous laws. That was before his ex-lover Locardia Karimatsenga Tembo stormed the courts seeking to stop it, claiming she was still married to him under customary laws.

A magistrate court granted her the order.

But Tsvangirai decided to circumvent the order by staging the wedding under the country's customary law which allows a man to have as many wives as he wants.

Tsvangirai's earlier urgent appeal to the high court to overturn the magistrate's ruling was dismissed early Saturday.

He ended his union with Tembo last year, saying the relationship had been "irretrievably damaged" to the point where marriage had become "inconceivable".

The magistrate court on Thursday dismissed a similar case by a South African woman who claimed the premier promised to marry her.

Macheka is the daughter of a senior member of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party.

Tsvangirai's first wife of 31 years, Susan, was killed in a car accident in March 2009, just weeks after he went into a unity government with his long-time rival Mugabe following failed elections in 2008. – Sapa

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China helped foil Western invasion: Mugabe

15/09/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has said Zimbabwe turned to China to beef up its
military after threats of an invasion from Western countries at the height
of the country’s economic crisis between 2008 and 2009.”

Speaking at the opening of a Chinese-built military training academy in
Harare Friday, Mugabe said “hate-filled tactics” by the West have acted as a
“wake-up call” for the country to strengthen its defense.

“We in Zimbabwe have received first-hand experience of the West’s
hate-filled tactics, dating back to the year 2000,” he said.

“At the height of the economic crisis in 2008-2009, Zimbabweans tem­porarily
adopted an alien culture of drawing knives against each other as unusual
fights between brothers, sisters, uncles, nieces, husbands and wives became
a common phenome­non.

“This explosion of negative forces and the generous sponsorship they
received sought to effect regime change through civil disobedience. Indeed,
the neo-colonial adventur­ism went to the extent of seeking a mili­tary
invasion of Zimbabwe.

“Thus a strategic decision was taken by the government to estab­lish an
institution to conduct training on the formulation of a comprehen­sive
national security strategy under the ambit of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
It is this strategic decision that culmi­nated in the establishment of the
National Defence College.”

Zimbabwe received a $98 million loan from China to build the sprawling
complex. China wants the loan repaid over 13 years from diamonds being mined
by Chinese companies in eastern Zimbabwe.

Mugabe said the new National Defence College would act as a “think tank” on
security matters under threat from Western enemies.

Construction of the college began in 2010 and officials the facility would
be turned into a fully-fledged university by 2015.

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Zimbabwe targets 10,00MW power grid

15/09/2012 00:00:00
by Mining Weekly

ZIMBABWE is continuing to invest in new power generation capacity to close
its supply gap, officials from the energy regulatory authority and national
power supplier told delegates at the yearly Mining Indaba in Harare on

Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) chairperson Canada Malunga said
the government had launched its National Energy Policy (NEP) last week,
outlining the strategies and measures for increasing electricity capacity.

Zimbabwe has set a target of 10 000 MW of installed capacity by 2040 to
support a vision of growing the economy to $100-billion.

The NEP called for a capacity expansion of 800 MW at the Batoka Gorge
hydropower power station by 2020, 300 MW at the Kariba South hydroelectric
power station by 2016, as well as other smaller hydropower plants.

Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) MD Noah Gwariro said the national electricity
supplier’s immediate goals were to invest $900-million in existing plants to
increase dependable capacity, as stipulated by the NEP. ZPC would extend the
Hwange power station’s capacity by 600 MW.

The ZPC would also invest $2-billion in new generation projects, including
the construction of a 30 MW Gairezi hydropower plant, the development of the
Lupane gasfields for a 350 MW plant and a $500-million transmission
integration project.

Gwariro said the development projects were at an advanced stage and would
add 900 MW to Zimbabwe’s power mix by 2016.

Hwange and Kariba South were currently between 80% and 90% complete, with
Lupane standing at about 10%.

Meanwhile, Malunga said the NEP also outlined the role of independent power
producers (IPPs), public-private partnerships and joint ventures in the
expansion of electricity capacity.

The NEP further acknowledged the role of renewable-energy technologies and
Malunga said Zera was working on an IPP policy framework to be considered by
government and assisting in the development of a renewable energy policy
framework and drafting the feed-in tariff framework for renewable energy

The regulator has licensed various large electricity generation projects,
investing in 11 new projects with a combined capacity of 5 400 MW and value
of $10.1-billion.

Malunga pointed out that all the new projects were looking at trading in the
Southern African Power Pool (SAPP). “Zera works closely with SAPP in
coordination of regional power generation projects for optimisation of
available resources in the region,” he noted.

Malunga said that sufficient power supply was important to ensuring growth
in Zimbabwe’s mining sector, which had been identified by the country’s
Medium Term Plan as one of the main pillars in its recovery process. “Mining
operations are energy intensive and consume 14% of electricity in Zimbabwe.”

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Bulawayo fights to reclaim power station

Saturday, 15 September 2012 13:44
BULAWAYO - Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has intensified efforts to regain
control of the city’s thermal power station.

The Bulawayo power plant was arbitrarily expropriated by the Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) more than two decades ago after the
amalgamation of all the Local Authority Electricity Undertakings.

Amen Mpofu, Bulawayo deputy mayor, told residents who had questioned him why
the BCC was not taking over the power station so as to improve the power
supply situation in the city while also generating essential revenue from it
that council was “seriously looking” into the issue to ensure Zesa “renders
Caesar what belongs to Caesar”.

“The delay in taking over power station is political, but let me assure you
that we are fighting hard to make sure that the power station is brought
back to city council management,” said Mpofu said during budget breakfast
consultative meeting in the city.

“As a city we want our power station which was arbitrarily expropriated from
us back. It may take a little of time to get it back but I am sure we are
going to win that battle as we are seriously looking at the issue,” the
deputy mayor said.

According to the latest council minutes, the local authority has also
ordered an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the take over of
the power station.

BCC also wants to know why Zesa had stopped paying annual royalties to the
council and why it did not compensate council for the takeover of the power

“The financial director explained that Zesa did not compensate council for
the takeover of Bulawayo power station, but records show that at one point
council was receiving royalties from Zesa. Zesa had unilaterally
discontinued this, the matter is now being investigated,” reads part of the

BCC has also accused Zesa of failing to manage and maintain the station,
which often breaks down and fails to provide power to industry.

Early this year, Zesa disconnected electricity at Tower Block and the city
council over a $20 million plus debt.

The power cut incensed council and ratepayers alike, prompting the
reclamation measures.

Mpofu said the issue of reclaiming power stations from Zesa by local
authorities was not peculiar to Bulawayo.

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Fresh assault on Zim media

Saturday, 15 September 2012 13:22
HARARE - It is truly tragic that the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) has now
launched its Media Council.

Indeed, there can only be one outcome of this Zanu PF-driven and managed
political project — a fresh and savage assault on the country’s fledgling
independent media, at the same primitive level as was witnessed when the
Daily News was maliciously and unjustly shut down in September 2003.

What this also means is that the well-known lunatic fringe in President
Robert Mugabe’s former ruling party, with their scotched earth approach to
politics, are now firmly in charge of Zanu PF again.

This in turn means that Zimbabweans ought to be very afraid again, for the
signs are all too ominous, all round. To decode things further, this fresh
assault, as was the case a decade ago, is ultimately aimed at ordinary
Zimbabweans — rather than the independent media per se.

The question to ask is what is next after they decapitate the private media
as they intend to do?

A decade ago it was literally the beginning of a traumatic ride to hell that
culminated in the likes of Murambatsvina, rapes and murders in 2008 and the
worst economic disaster that the world has ever witnessed!

Beleaguered Information minister Webster Shamu set the ball rolling on this
fresh tilt at anarchy earlier this week when he bluntly and unashamedly
promised to shut down the private media if they continue shining their
bright torches in the dark corners of Mugabe’s and Zanu PF’s kleptocratic

We say beleaguered of Shamu because we believe that he is acting under
pressure from his party’s hardliners, and that deep down he does not believe
in this barbarism. Indeed, why would he sanction this insanity now and not

And was it not under his overall sympathetic watch that Zimbabwe’s leading
media brand the Daily News was able to come back?

Shamu’s shocking rantings were on Thursday followed by the launch of the
Zimbabwe Media Council itself, to the further trauma of all right-thinking

Among its supposedly impartial members who will run this august body are
Justin Mutasa, the CEO of Zimpapers, and Happison Muchechetere, the CEO of
the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation. Whoa! Really?

Is Mutasa not the same gentleman whose company publishes the rabid Zanu PF
propaganda missiles that include The Herald, The Sunday Mail and The

And is Muchechetere not the head of the monopoly television outfit that is
headquartered at Pockets Hill and that beams nothing but hate speech against
political opponents of Mugabe and Zanu PF?

Indeed, are state newspapers and broadcast stations not guilty of the worst
editorial excesses imaginable in this country? Do they not day-in and
day-out weave disgusting Zanu PF spin and incite violence against those
perceived to be critical of the establishment?

Given all these incontrovertible truths, we ask with tears in our eyes how
this media council is supposed to work with any semblance of legitimacy with
the likes of these two gentlemen as part of the team in charge? To what

We want to state unequivocally here, that any nation that seeks to regulate
the media this way is truly a banana republic, no matter how much this
statement will upset these anarchy mongers.

After all, we already have the Voluntary Media Council which is working

Just watch the carnage as it unfolds from here onwards, for you can’t
entrust the chicken run to hyenas.

It is that bad.

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Mnangagwa parallel structures in Zanu PF

Staff Reporter 19 hours 17 minutes ago

HARARE - Zanu-PF will discipline ex-district co-ordinating committee members
who are assigning themselves roles in their areas without national
leadership’s consent, the party’s beleaguered national chairman Simon Khaya
Moyo said yesterday amid reports of parallel run by Defence Minister
Emmerson "Ngwena" Mnangagwa's faction.
He said members were reportedly forming “mobilisation taskforces”, insisting
they were still in charge of the districts.
Addressing Zanu-PF political commissars during in Harare yesterday, Khaya
Moyo said the members’ actions were unconstitutional.
A group reportedly linked to Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa is pushing
for the dissolution of the Zanu PF politburo, it has emerged.
Mujuru is the Vice President in the current coalition government while
Mnangagwa is Defence minister and despite strenuous denials by both, they
are known to lead factions in the former ruling party. Both are said to be
involved in deep-rooted infighting as they battle to succeed Mugabe.
Mnangagwa, viewed as one of the front runners to succeed Mugabe and said to
be leading a faction that has its dominance in Midlands
Last week Khaya Moyo called for the expulsion of members of his party who
belong to factions.
He was addressing scores of Zanu PF members at the annual environmental fair
which was held at Tongogara High School in Shurugwi.
Moyo also took a swipe at some senior party members whom he said were using
money to sway views in the party.
He said his party will decisively deal wit such corrupt senior leaders.
The emegerncy meeting, was called to discuss party's rebel activities and
programmes in all the 10 provinces amid reports of parallel structures
reporting to the faction led by Mr Mnangagwa.
The development comes as a group of hardliners, fronted by Jonathan Moyo, is
also fighting the adoption of a constitutional draft which could put a lid
to President Robert Mugabe’s succession war.
Mnangagwa and his supporters are fighting disbandenment of district
grassroots structures which are key in shaping the succession battle and
insiders say Mnangagwa’s camp had taken control of most of the DCCs, making
him frontrunner at an electoral congress.
“Your meeting is coming against a backdrop of the disbanding of the DCCs and
we are hearing some of you are transforming what was destroyed into
mobilisation taskforces." Moyo said.
“Note that the disbandment was done by the central committee, a body that
acts on behalf of the congress. But some of you are acting as if they are
not aware of the party constitution. We are going to act accordingly because
no one should co-ordinate anything in the districts,” he said.
Khaya Moyo said members should wait to be absorbed into the party
“You are going to be accommodated when the time comes. The party has got
structures and no one should turn Zanu-PF into a tuckshop and own people.
“I am instructing national political commissar Webster Shamu to ensure that
there is no such act in the provinces,” he said.
He said the forthcoming Second All Stakeholders’ Conference would show
Zimbabweans that views gathered during the outreach programme were tampered
“We have got the Copac draft amended by Zanu-PF, which we are going to take
together with the national report and it will be time for people to see who
is fooling who.
“If your views are not in their report, which we have already seen, then it
means it is not a people-driven Constitution. The constitution-making
process has taken too long and it has to be concluded,” he said.
Party members, Khaya Moyo said, should be ready for general elections.
He said the party would not allow the imposition of candidates.
“Elections are imminent because the current Parliament cannot exceed its
lifespan. Let us not repeat what we did in 2008 where we lost seats because
of the imposition of candidates. People should choose their leaders freely
and vices like imposition of candidates should not be given a chance,” he
He urged party members to register as voters. “An election is a game of
numbers and it is also your duty, commissars, to ensure that people are
Let us remain disciplined and focused as we get rid of this dysfunctional
unity Government,” he said.
The event was also attended by some politburo members who included Olivia
Muchena and Oppah Muchinguri.
Apart from Mujuru and Mnangagwa factions, Zanu PF is believed to have split
into five factions; the ‘Generation 40’ which is believed to be led by
Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere, the army aligned group and those
still loyal to Mugabe.

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Changes to draft constitution possible: MDC-T

15/09/2012 00:00:00
by Brian Paradza

THE MDC-T has said changes can still be made to the draft constitution at
the Second All-stakeholders Conference as the stand-off between the GPA
parties over the document appeared to ease during the week.

“By its very nature the Second All Stakeholders Conference can make far
reaching changes to the draft,” MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said

On Thursday Zanu PF gave in to demands by the MDCs for the draft to be taken
to the second stake-holders conference after initially demanding that
President Robert Mugabe, Premier Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube
discuss its amendments to the document.

“We have said as a party that we will go to the Second All Stakeholders’
Conference with the Copac draft, but the national report should be printed
before the stakeholders conference so that everyone can have a copy and
compare with the Copac draft,” Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said.

“We are saying the new Constitution should fully take into account the
issues that we raised. If the MDC formations endorse the draft as it is, we
will ask the people who will be present to compare with the national report.

“We will go to the All Stakeholders’ Conference with our amendments.”

National report

The MDC-T welcomed the development noting: “At the very long last the
faction-ridden Zanu PF Politburo has resolved to follow the provisions of
the Global Political Agreement and agreed to let the Copac draft to be taken
to the Second All Stakeholders Conference.

“It is disheartening that Zanu PF has delayed this important process due to
the dysfunctional factionalism in that party. Had this process not been
unreasonably delayed, the Second All Stakeholders Conference would have been
held before the end of August 2012.

“We hope that Zanu PF is genuine this time and that it is not just trying to
fool SADC that the process is mow on course so as to pre-empt a possible
SADC summit on Zimbabwe meant to discuss the constitutional impasse. We hope
this time around Zanu PF are not playing the usual political games with the
people of Zimbabwe.”

But Mwonzora rejected Zanu PF’s demand for the publication of Copac’s
national report on the constitutional reform process.

He said: “By definition a national report is a record of everything that
happens in a process. That means in the case of Copac the national report
must record among other things, what happened at the First Stakeholders
Conference, the public outreach, the drafting stage and
what will happen or be resolved at the Second All Stakeholders Conference.

“While the other processes have now taken place, the crucial Second All
Stakeholders Conference has not yet taken place. Any purported publication
of the national report at this stage means that from the report will result
in crucial information being omitted.


“The Second All Stakeholders Conference can make far reaching changes to the
draft. This then must never be left out in the national report. Pushing for
the production of the national report at this stage is pushing for the
publication of something incomplete.”

Zanu PF claims the draft ignored views expressed by members of the public
which were captured in the national report. The party insists that its
amendments are aimed at aligning the draft with the national report and
wants the document made public claiming this would back its claims.

Mwonzora however, said Zanu PF officials were misreading the national

“Most well-meaning people in Zanu PF have been misled into believing that
the figures appearing on the national statistical outreach report denote
what the majority and minority views were,” he said.

“In other words where they see 70% or 30% (they think) it means that that is
what 70% or 30% of the people said they wanted. Using that reasoning it
becomes easy to tell what the majority view was on an item.

“Unfortunately, this is not what the figures mean. The figures appearing in
the national statistical outreach report relate to frequencies. A frequency
is defined as the number of meetings at which an issue was raised.

“It does not matter whether such a thing was raised by 500 people or by one
person. Frequency therefore does not show to the number of people who said
or supported a particular idea. A superior frequency does not therefore show
that the majority of people supported the idea.

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Railway system can’t cope with coal growth

15/09/2012 00:00:00
by Mining Weekly

IN its current state, Zimbabwe’s railway network would not be able to
accommodate the anticipated growth in the country’s coal sector, Zimbabwe
Ministry of Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development
principal director Mufaro Gumbie said this week.

With sufficient financial assistance, Zimbabwe’s coal production was
expected to reach seven-million tons a year, from two-million tons forecast
for 2012.

“The rail system, as it is, will not be able to cope with the movement of
the quantity of coal that will be required,” Gumbie told Mining Weekly
Online at this year’s Zimbabwe Mining Indaba, in Harare.

Gumbie said most of Zimbabwe’s 2 583 km railway network required
rehabilitation, which would cost $1.14-billion, while upgrading and
replacing rolling stock would cost $870-million.

However, the funding shortfall for infrastructure development continued,
with the country’s revenue reaching only $62-million in 2009.

At the peak of its operations in 1991, the National Railways of Zimbabwe
moved about 14.4-million tons of freight, but 18 years later, this dropped
to 2.5-million tons.

The decline was attibuted to a lack of availablity of locomotives and
wagons, vandalised electrification systems and unserviceable railway signal

The country’s roads were also in a dire state and Gumbie said Zimbabwe’s
funding requirement for road maintenance in 2012 was $200-million, but that
only $35-million was allocated for this purpose.

Similarly, the country required $2-billion for rehabilitation projects of
roads, but a mere $209-million was set aside for projects.

Gumbie said that the ongoing rail and road infrastructure constraints
created prospects for public–private partnerships. “There are opportunities
for the private sector in rehabilitation and development of infrastructure.”

Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe infrastructure projects division
acting director Alex Machimbirike told delegates that $1.5-million had been
raised for feasibility studies for the Harare-Beitbridge and Harare-Chirundu
toll road projects.

Studies were completed for the Harare-Chirundu road and would soon start for
the Harare-Beitbridge road.

A further $22-million had been disbursed on the dualisation of
Harare-Skyline road and Harare-Norton road, including the construction of
two bridges.

For the rehabilitation of the national railway network $28-million had been
spent, Machimbirike said.

He added that to mobilise resources for infrastructure development in
Zimbabwe, its financial sector would have to forge alliances with external
strategic partners with stronger financial capabilities and direct access to
deep financial markets.

“Government has taken a proactive stance in financing infrastructure and is
further encouraged to speed up the conclusion of public-private-partnerships
legislation and the regulatory framework required to attract private sector
investment,” Machimbirike indicated.

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Chipinge receives $122 000 for safe water

Saturday, 15 September 2012 13:13
HARARE - Japan yesterday extended a grant of $122 372 to Mercy Corps for a
project that will supply safe water and support training to improve
cultivation skills in Chipinge District.

The ambassador of Japan to Zimbabwe, Yonezo Fukuda and the country director
of Mercy Corps, David Brigham, officiated at the ceremony formalising the

The overall objective of the project is to sustainably improve agricultural
production and nutrition levels in seven wards in Chipinge District by
providing necessary inputs and training in resource management and capacity

A total of 600 villagers and 2,520 households are expected to benefit
through gardening projects and improved access to safe water respectively.

Training of Water Management Committees and Village Pump Minders will ensure
sustainable management of the resources.

Forty water points will be rehabilitated and an additional two will be newly
installed. Ten new nutrition gardens will be established.

Food insecurity for the 2012-2013 consumption year is comparatively worse
than that in the last three consumption years in some districts,
particularly those in the southern regions, including Chipinge.

Produce from gardens will not only improve household food security, but
excess produce can be sold to local communities and income generated can be
used for school fees and other basic needs.

The community will contribute locally available material and labour while
government stakeholders such as the District Development Fund will provide
technical support.

Beneficiary selection for the garden groups will be based on vulnerability
criteria which aims to support people living with HIV/Aids, the chronically
ill, the disabled and OVCs.

Speaking at the occasion, Ambassador Fukuda said: “We very much encourage
such partnerships between donors and implementing NGO partners such as Mercy
Corps to uplift the standards of living of marginalised rural communities.”

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The Forgotten Ones

Dear Family and Friends,
So many things aren’t often talked about in Zimbabwe anymore. Things
like what happened to the families of at least four thousand people
who died of cholera. Or what happened to the estimated three hundred
thousand farm workers who lost their jobs and homes during land
seizures or what happened to all the children who used to go to little
farm schools. As the country’s media is dominated with topics about
political power struggles, elections, the draft constitution, and the
private relationships of the Prime Minister, the people who suffered
the most in the last thirteen years have become the forgotten ones.

There’s a very sad case underway at the moment involving a senior
female prison officer who is trying to evict a teacher who lives in a
house in the farm compound and teaches at the farm school. There are
no smoke screens of race or indigenisation to hide behind such as
there have been in hundreds of other farm evictions since 2000. In
this case the teacher, Edwin Maseva, is one of three teachers employed
by the Ministry of Education to educate one hundred junior school
children at Makumimavi Primary School. The female prison officer was
given the farm under Zanu PF’s land redistribution and she wants the
teachers out. Mr Maseva is facing criminal proceedings for resisting
attempts to evict him from the compound which is reserved for teachers
accommodation. Parents of children at the primary school have
apparently appealed to the President, Prime Minister and Ministries of
Education and Land without success. Now the matter is being battled
out in court with the help of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. It is
quite clear that once the teachers are gone the school will cease to
be functional and one hundred children will join the ranks of the
forgotten ones.

Another subject not often talked about is the fate of farm workers who
lives have been torn apart by the farm invasions and the horrific
political violence in 2008 leaving them and their families traumatized
and destitute. It’s hard to believe that a home-made, wooden go-
kart, pulled by a kite would embark on an expedition to highlight the
plight of those farm workers but it did.

Armed with 50 litres of water, a map, GPS and a few essentials, Ben
Freeth and his two sons, Joshua (12) and Stephen(10) set sail across
the Makgadikgadi salt pans in Botswana these last school holidays. The
boys called the go-kart the ‘Mike Campbell Dune Dancer’ in honour
of their grandfather who fought tirelessly for justice and the
protection of human rights taking the case of farm seizures all the
way to the SADC Tribunal. The account of Ben, Josh and Stephen’s
expedition is a delight to read, from the first practice runs in an
Harare car park to watching shooting stars and eating sticky
gingerbread in a vast, deserted sand-scape.

‘There is a certain discipline about moving onwards towards
nothing,’ Ben says in his account and the words ring very true for
Zimbabweans who for so long have been striving to get to the end of
this vast tunnel we’ve been stuck in for thirteen years. The all too
brief account of the ‘Mike Campbell Dune Dancer’ expedition and a
few photographs is on my website at the following link
along with details of the Mike Campbell Foundation: ‘rebuilding
shattered lives in Zimbabwe and protecting people’s rights.’

From a teacher on a farm school , to a dispossessed farmer and his
sons on a Botswana salt pan, these are the voices fighting for the
‘forgotten ones.’ If not them, then who? Until next time, thanks
for reading, love cathy. 15th September 2012. Copyright � Cathy

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A never ending struggle

September 15th, 2012

Mrs Makoni is a retired matron who runs a geriatric nursing home. Lame and in her seventies she would rather be at home enjoying her grand children but since no one else is willing to do her job she keeps going. The challenges are many.

The families of the residents are poor and cannot afford realistic fees so there are outstanding bills to keep Mrs Makoni awake at night. Frequent load-shedding means that the electricity is off more often than on, so she has to find firewood to cook the residents’ food with.

A farmer offered her wood for free if she could collect it. She went to the Forestry Commission for a letter granting her permission to collect it and sent a driver in the home’s pick-up (which also serves as their ambulance). On his way back the vehicle was impounded by an official of the Rural District Council who said the letter was not an official permit. Mrs Makoni then got a letter from the head of the Forestry Commission for the CEO of the rural council but found that she could not give it to him directly – the letter had to pass through a hierarchy of officials before it would reach his desk. The CEO is elusive and cannot be contacted directly.

Now the home is still without wood for cooking and when the residents need to go to hospital the only alternative is the ambulance service but there is no money for that.

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