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Mugabe family named in corruption report

Staff Reporter 8 hours 50 minutes ago

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace have been named among 56 other
Zimbabweans - mostly Zanu PF bigwigs –implicated in corrupt activities
fleecing the country of billions of dollars at the expense of the general
Mugabe and the Zanu PF elite were also cited for poor leadership practices
in the country.

According to a report by the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT),
a non-governmental organisation established in 2004, the First Family and
the top Zanu PF component in the inclusive government were fingered in
multi-billion-dollar corrupt activities.

Regional co-ordinator of ACT-Southern Africa Alouis Munyaradzi Chaumba said
all the cases should be reopened, investigated and all culprits prosecuted.

“I do not understand why the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the
Attorney-General’s Office have been consistently refusing to investigate and
prosecute senior government officials, their families, friends and
associates implicated in corruption.

“The impression created is that they are above the law. All these cases
should be investigated or else we are going to compel them to do so through
the courts of law,” he said, adding that people implicated should not be
allowed to participate in future elections until they were cleared.

But, Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said he needed to see the report first
before he could comment on the document.

The report, compiled by studying newspaper reports in post-independence
Zimbabwe, examined corrupt activities ranging from the late 1980s Willowgate
motor vehicle scandal to the farm mechanisation programme prior to 2008. It
also focused on corruption in government entities such as Noczim, Zupco and
Grain Marketing Board as well as the War Victims’ Compensation Fund (WVCF).

Mugabe was implicated in the Z$7 billion Harare airport expansion deal in
1999, the report said, while Grace was fingered in the VIP housing project
in 1995 when she, alongside top Zanu PF hawks, allegedly grabbed houses
meant for low-earning civil servants in the “pay-for your-house scheme”.

Most of the cases, the report states, were not investigated as most
enquiries were kept under wraps by the government to allegedly protect
corrupt officials.

The President’s case, according to the report, came to light after a Saudi
national, Hani Yamani, owner of Air Harbour Technologies (AHT) - a company
that Mugabe seconded to win the tender to expand the airport - wrote to him
in July 1999 complaining of “excessive kickbacks”.

“Alongside the construction of the airport terminal, AHT funded the
construction of a private residence for President Mugabe. Furthermore,
Yamani donated $50 000 to Zanu PF and made payments to two senior Cabinet
ministers,” the report reads.

Grace is also fingered in alleged illegal diamond deals together with
Vice-President Joice Mujuru, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono
and Mines minister Obert Mpofu. -NewsDay

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Father of murdered cop also blames Zanu PF

SEPTEMBER 19, 2012 2:25 AM

By Lance Guma
The case in which 29 MDC-T activists are being accused of killing a
policeman, took a second dramatic twist on Tuesday when the father of the
murdered cop joined his brother in accusing Zanu PF and state security
agents of killing him.

MDC-T Youth Assembly Chairman Solomon Madzore and 28 fellow activists are
facing what his party believe are ‘trumped up’ charges of killing Inspector
Petros Mutedza. The group has had countless applications for bail turned
down and some of them have been in custody since their arrest 16 months ago.
During cross examination in the bail application for the 29 activists, the
slain Inspector Mutedza’s father, Solomon Mutedza mentioned that the people
who arrested the MDC-T members were aware of who had murdered his son and
they had given him false information concerning his son’s death.
Mutedza said he was told his son was struck with a stone on the left side of
the head, fell from the truck he was trying to board while it was moving and
died on the spot. However, upon inspection, his body showed that his cheek
had been pierced, tongue was missing, had a hole in the head and private
parts missing.

Mutedza who is himself a Zanu PF member said the talk during the funeral of
his son made him believe that Zanu PF and not the arrested MDC-T members had
murdered his son. Mutedza said the 29 should be granted bail, as they were
not the ones who killed his son and proper investigations should be
Last week Tichaona Mutedza, a brother to the deceased, also blew big holes
into the prosecution case when he also said that his brother’s body had no
genitals and tongue and that he believed the 29 suspects who have been in
custody since last year in May are innocent.
During cross-examination in the bail application of the 29, Tichaona Mutedza
insisted that his brother was killed by members of the CIO and Zanu PF.
Tichaona said Inspector Mutedza’s genitals and tongue were missing and
challenged the State to exhume the corpse to verify his claims.
Tichaona proceeded to implicate a Zanu PF District Coordinating Committee
(DCC) chairperson in Mt Darwin called Mr Chirwanemoto who hinted at the
killing of his brother during a political gathering on the 6th of August.
Mutedza said on the 18th of April last year his late brother confirmed the
plot against him.

Tichaona implicated CIO operatives identified as Scott and Victor Jaravaza
as the ones who were initially set to kill his brother and in return get a
tractor and a vehicle respectively. Mutedza said Zanu PF wanted to use his
brother’s death as a campaign tool against MDC-T.
“They (Zanu-PF) used the death of my brother to gain political support. They
are de-campaigning MDC by portraying them as a violent party. They are also
detaining the 29 MDC activists for no reason,” said Mutedza.
Stung by the claims, the prosecution quickly rushed to accuse Tichaona
Mutedza of grandstanding to gain political mileage. Law officer Edmore
Nyazamba described Mutedza, as a self-confessed MDC-T activist and attention
seeker who was not concerned by the death of his brother.
It was not clear on Tuesday how the prosecution would respond to the
testimony of the father and if they would also brand him an MDC-T activist.
The defence team say the MDC-T members are applying for bail on changed
circumstances. The state is expected to make its own submissions Wednesday.
The case has drawn comparisons to the one in Shamva, this year in March,
where seven policemen accused of murdering a mine worker were granted $50
bail after one month in detention.

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Judge delays bail decision in Glen View murder case

By Tererai Karimakwenda
19 September 2012

High Court judge, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu, has reserved judgement in the
bail application by 29 MDC-T members, facing charges of murdering a
policeman in Glen View last year. The decision was made as the new wife of
MDC-T President Morgan Tsvangirai sat in court Tuesday.

Defence Lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa told SW Radio Africa this means the judge has
heard both sides and now needs time to consider their submissions.

The accused MDC-T members, some in detention for over a year, will remain
incarcerated until a ruling is made. Mtetwa said this could be any length of
time, but the trial continues on Monday.

The father of slain cop Petros Mutedza, and his brother, had this week
appealed to the court to release the MDC-T activists, insisting they had
nothing to do with the murder. Both implicated ZANU PF in the incident that
happened at a local pub.

Testifying at the bail hearing on Tuesday Solomon Mutedza revealed that
police had lied about the injuries on his son’s body. The state claims he
was struck on the head and fell from a truck, but Mutedza said his son’s
tongue and private parts were missing.

The account given by Solomon Mutedza, who said he is actually a ZANU PF
member, matched the testimony given Monday by his other son Tichaona , who
is the MDC-T ward 2 chairperson for Mt Darwin.

Tichaona testified that there had been threats made to him by ZANU PF
elements who talked of killing his cop brother Petros as a way to “fix him”.
The father also said there was talk at his son’s funeral which made him
believe ZANU PF elements committed the murder.

Both witnesses appealed to the police to conduct proper investigations to
explain the hole in the head, the pierced cheek and lacerated private parts,
so that the real murderers can finally be arrested.

The MDC-T activists and officials have been denied bail on several occasions
and the MDC-T has maintained this is being done to prolong their time in
jail and disrupt and destabilize the party structures.

Meanwhile a source told SW Radio Africa that two cars, without license plate
numbers, had visited Solomon Mutedza’s wife at home in Kumbura district, and
interrogated her regarding her husband’s whereabouts. A female state agent
who did not identify herself, conducted the interrogation.

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Supreme Court of Appeal ruling on Zimbabwean land grabs tomorrow

Media Release
AfriForum, Pretoria

19 September 2012

The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein will hand down judgement
tomorrow (20 September 2012 at 9:30) in the appeal of the Zimbabwean
government against the North Gauteng High Court's registration and
enforcement of a ruling of the SADC tribunal and the subsequent attachment
of Zimbabwean property in Cape Town.

The litigation began when a Zimbabwean farmer, Mr Mike Campbell approached
the SADC Tribunal in Windhoek in 2008 after he and his family were targeted
by the controversial land grabs of Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe. The
tribunal, which consisted of five judges from various Southern African
states, ruled in November 2008 that the Zimbabwean land reform process was
illegal and racist and that Mr Campbell and 77 other farmers who intervened
in his application, should be left in peace and their property rights

In the run-up to the proceedings before the SADC Tribunal, the elderly Mr
Mike Campbell, his wife Angela and son-in-law Ben Freeth, were brutally
assaulted by war veterans and intimidated to abandon their action before the
The case nevertheless proceeded and Campbell succeeded.
Due to the severity of his injuries during the brutal assault, Mr Campbell’s
health quickly deteriorated and he passed away in April last year.

AfriForum assisted Zimbabwean farmers with legal action which resulted in
the registration of the tribunal's finding in the North Gauteng High Court
in February 2010 and the attachment of a Zimbabwean government owned
property in Kenilworth, Cape Town, to satisfy a punitive cost order granted
by the tribunal.

If Zimbabwe's appeal is dismissed tomorrow, international legal history will
be made as the planned sale will be the first sale in execution of property
belonging to a state that has committed gross human rights violations.
For more information, call:

Willie Spies
Legal representative: AfriForum – South Africa
Cell: 083-676-0639

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Date for 2nd all stakeholders meeting to be decided Thursday

By Tichaona Sibanda
19 September 2012

The Constitutional Select Committee, COPAC, will meet on Thursday in Harare
to finalize details and date for the second all stakeholders’ conference.

COPAC co-chairman and MDC-T spokesman, Douglas Mwonzora, told SW Radio
Africa on Wednesday that the meeting will decide on the venue, delegates and
terms of reference for the conference. All parties in the GPA have expressed
hope the conference will be held before the end of October.

This is the first time the Select Committee will be meeting in two months,
after a deadlock was declared when ZANU PF rejected the 150-page draft
constitution that had been agreed to and signed by all parties on 18th July.
The draft was however endorsed by the two MDC formations who have already
signaled their intentions to campaign for a ‘yes vote.’

The former ruling party extensively amended the draft and demanded that it
be taken to the second all stakeholders conference. But the party’s
politburo last week made a u-turn and agreed to go to the conference using
the COPAC draft.

Mwonzora confirmed that it had been settled the parties will only bring the
one draft produced by COPAC and that no party would be allowed to bring its
own materials to the conference.

‘The meeting tomorrow (Thursday) is going to prescribe what materials will
be used and how it is going to be used. We will have a range of set rules
for the conference,’ Mwonzora added.

COPAC national coordinator, Gift Marunda, recently revealed that they had
budgeted $1.5 million to host the conference, which is expected to be
attended by more than 2,000 delegates. 30 percent of the delegates will be
drawn from the political parties while 70 percent will come from civil

If COPAC successfully hosts the conference by the end of October, a
referendum will be expected three months after that, as prescribed in the

The adoption of the new constitution is a critical step towards holding free
and fair elections.

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Copac security nightmare

Wednesday, 19 September 2012 13:14
HARARE - Organisers of a forthcoming conference to evaluate a new draft
constitution are busy mobilising financial resources for the conference, but
also preparing for a disaster.

Parliament’s Constitution Select Committee (Copac) has requested beefed-up
security and ramped up deployment of police officers to deal with

Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo said Parliament has written to Cabinet
requesting that law enforcement agencies and concerned government agencies
make elaborate security preparations to ensure the safety and protection of
all foreign and local delegates.

Organisers want police officers with full riot gear to be on patrol at the
event, whose date will be set this week.

While Moyo, who is also the MDC chairperson, is ebullient when talking about
his hopes for the second All-Stakeholders Conference, he rarely speaks of
the conference without mentioning security and his concerns about
“anarchists” provoking violence.

“There are a number of factors that determine the holding of the second
All-Stakeholders’ Conference including the mobilisation of financial
resources to finance it, logistical arrangements which have to do with how
to get people to the conference as well as issues to do with the numbers of
delegates to the conference from each of the political parties in the
inclusive government,” he said.

He and other officials have scrutinised reports from the first
All-StakeHolders conference in July 2009 that descended into chaos when
rival delegates clashed, prompting police to intervene.

“We know there are going to be problems,” he said.

“We know there are going to be confrontations. The delegates will have to be
reduced to minimum numbers with the agreement of Copac leaders, for the
conference to be manageable as well as effective. The parties should also
agree to the numbers of delegates,” he said.

There is the constant underlying concern of chaos after a stand-off over
fresh demands by Zanu PF to table a national report containing views
captured during the public outreach process together with the Copac draft at
the conference.

“There is need for the executive to come in and help deal with violence
effectively,” Moyo said.

“The number of police officers at the conference venue will need to be
beefed up and any other agency providing the policing service. Nothing will
be taken for granted and left to chance to enable the disruption of the
conference,” he said.

Rights groups such as Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights are fearful that if
urgent security measures are not taken, “the Second All-Stakeholders’
Conference will collapse even more spectacularly than the first, and the
conditions preceding the referendum will not be conducive to stemming
violations of fundamental rights and freedoms”.

The MDC has requested Sadc observers for the conference.

Although Zanu PF appears to be issuing statements suggesting it wants a
peaceful conference and a subsequent free and fair referendum, that call
could be short-lived.

It is a lull before the storm, critics warn.

The constitution that is currently being drafted by Copac will — if
adopted — inevitably shape the legal, institutional and administrative
framework of Zimbabwe.

It will be used as a standard to measure good governance, while its
implementation will also be used to assess compliance with the rule of law
in Zimbabwe, the rights lawyers said.

Observers are fearful that the forthcoming All-Stakeholder Conference could
witness deadly clashes between delegates given the polarised positions of
the parties in the ruling coalition if adequate security arrangements are
not made. - Gift Phiri

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Mugabe in no-show, again!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012 09:02

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe yesterday failed to call a scheduled
meeting to discuss the draft constitution.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube, leader of the smaller
MDC by legislative representation, were advised that the Principals’ meeting
to discuss the constitution would take place yesterday after the Cabinet

But again, Mugabe did not call his two coalition partners for the meeting,
which was scheduled for Munhumutapa Building — the citadel of government

The 88-year-old leader headed straight home after the Cabinet meeting,
according to sources.

It is just the latest cancelled meeting after another Principals’ meeting on
Tuesday last week again failed as Mugabe was in another no-show. Yesterday’s
meeting was expected to clear hurdles prior to the eagerly-awaited Second
All-Stakeholders Conference.

George Charamba, Mugabe’s spokesperson, could not be reached for comment

Tsvangirai, who is spending the post-wedding break with his new wife
Elizabeth Macheka at his new Highlands mansion was frustrated by the
cancellation of the meeting after clearing his afternoon schedule.

“The PM was on standby, he understood there was going to be a meeting but it
did not take place,” the Prime Minister’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka
said yesterday.

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Drama and arrest as WOZA deliver complaint letter to police

By Tererai Karimakwenda
19 September 2012

There was much drama on the streets of Bulawayo on Tuesday as the pressure
group Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) attempted to deliver a letter of
complaint to Bulawayo police, accusing them of harassment and selective

WOZA activist Christine Ndlovu was accused of trespassing as the group left
Ross Camp, where police officials refused to accept the letter detailing
police abuses. She was arrested on orders from Detective Sergeant George
Ngwenya, who has been responsible for the torture and harassment of WOZA

The complaint letter also dealt with the arbitrary arrests of WOZA leaders
Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu, who were detained under false
pretenses at Bulawayo Central Station last week.

WOZA coordinator Jenni Williams told SW Radio Africa that Christine Ndlovu
was released late Tuesday after paying a $5 fine. But police first insisted
on going to Ndhlovu’s home to make sure she had given the correct address
and other personal details, before setting her free.

62 WOZA members had marched to the offices of the Joint Operating and
Monitoring Committee (JOMIC) in Bulawayo on Tuesday, in a strategic move to
avoid other parts of the city where riot police had been deployed.

“There were 62 of us and they deployed 30 riot police, many of whom
threatened to kill us saying ‘we are going to beat you till you die today’.
There were 30 riot police, eight central intelligence officers and about
five from law and order. Every department was present and watching,”
Williams explained.

Riot police deployed at Ross Camp allowed only Williams and Mahlangu to
enter the premises. Assistant Inspector Bhekinkosi Ndlovu refused to accept
the complaint letter and referred them to Police Headquarters at Southampton

But on the way back intelligence officers named Kamba and Dhambi, who had
earlier attended to WOZA at Southampton, arrived and said they would accept
the letter. Williams said this was probably due to the pressure brought to
bear by the protests.

JOMIC also accepted the letter on Tuesday and have requested to meet with
WOZA members next Monday. Williams said they did not make it clear whether
the police will be present at the meeting, which will focus on complaints
against them.

In the complaint letter, WOZA detailed police abuses suffered by their
members and leadership during protests and in detention. They also accused
the police of denying them the right to freedom of assembly. The group has
threatened to affect a citizen’s arrest on police officers who violate these

Williams added: “Today we had two demos and once again both were disrupted
by the police, who have no respect for our right to protest. Fortunately
none of our members were arrested today. The police just say ‘go on and get
out of here, silly things like that”.

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Tsvangirai’s wife attends MDC bail hearing

The MDC Today
Tuesday, 18 September 2012
Issue – 433

Mrs Elizabeth Tsvangirai today attended the bail hearing for the 29 MDC
members who are in prison on trumped up murder charges. Amai Tsvangirai, who
was accompanied by several government Ministers, followed proceeding of the
trial at the High Court where the defence team closed its submissions in
court seeking the granting of bail for the 29 MDC activists who are facing
trumped up murder charges.

The defence team led the evidence by hearing from the second witness, slain
Inspector Petros Mutedza’s father Mr Solomon Mutedza. Mr Mutedza, a Zanu PF
member, said the talk during the funeral of his son made him believe that
Zanu PF and not the arrested MDC members had murdered his son.

He said the 29 should be granted bail, as they were not the ones who killed
his son and proper investigations conducted to explain the hole in the head,
the pierced cheek and lacerated private parts and that the real murderers
should be arrested.

The MDC members are applying for bail on changed circumstances. They have
been in remand prison since March.
The trial continues tomorrow.
In Masvingo, at least 27 MDC supporters in Mukazi village, ward 23 Masvingo
South Constituency have been denied access to food aid by village head
Kwangware Mukazi since the beginning of the year, it has been reported.

According to Masvingo South district committee member Axon Mawire, who is
one of the 27 villagers, grain has been distributed five times under the
government initiated grain loan scheme but MDC supporters have been
systematically left out of the crucial exercise despite the glaring food
shortage in the area.

Local Zanu PF legislator Walter Muzembi has allegedly instructed traditional
leaders in the area to deny all suspected MDC supporters access to food aid
ostensibly as a stern measure to punish them for ditching Zanu PF.

MDC councillor, Charles Mzembi won the Ward 23 seat in the 2008 harmonised
Mawire said Village Head Kwangware openly told him last month that MDC
supporters were not beneficiaries of the exercise despite the critical food
situation in the area. The constituency has been cited as one of the drought
prone areas in the province.

MDC @ 13: The last mile: Towards real transformation!!!

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PM Tsvangirai Takes Marriage Dispute to Supreme Court

Thomas Chiripasi& Blessing Zulu

Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai filed a Supreme Court application
Tuesday seeking to set aside a ruling of the lower court that recognized his
former lover Locardia Karimatsenga Tembo as his wife.

In the court papers, Mr. Tsvangirai’s lawyers said High Court judge
Chinembini Bhunu erred when he upheld a Harare magistrate’s ruling
recognizing Karimatsenga Tembo as the premier’s customary wife.

Karimatsenga Tembo successfully applied for the cancellation of a marriage
license issued to Mr. Tsvangirai by magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi resulting
in the premier resorting to marrying his new love, Elizabeth Macheka, under
customary law.

The lawyers argue that Mr. Tsvangirai should have been allowed to marry
Elizabeth under civil rites. The prime minister denies paying a bride price
or lobola for Karimatsenga Tembo insisting that he only paid damages for
getting her pregnant.

Court records show that Karimatsenga Tembo suffered a miscarriage after
seven and a half months.

According to the Supreme Court application, Justice Bhunu erred in upholding
magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi’s ruling before conducting an inquiry with the
concerned parties.

If the application succeeds, Prime Minister Tsvangirai can marry Elizabeth
under the country’s Marriages Act.

Following the cancellation of the marriage license, Mr. Tsvangirai proceeded
to wed Elizabeth under customary law.

Meanwhile, Mr. Tsvangirai sent emissaries to Karimatsenga Tembo seeking to
make peace following the publication of a story in a local daily quoting her
saying she was prepared to bury the hatchet.

But Karimatsenga Tembo is said to have locked herself in her house resulting
in the emissaries returning empty-handed.
It is still not clear what they intended to discuss with the woman, who’s
still seeking maintenance from the Prime Minister in the courts.

The matter has been set down for Friday.

Meanwhile, there was drama at the High Court Tuesday when Mr. Tsvangirai’s
wife, Elizabeth, turned up for the bail hearing of the 29 Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) supporters accused of murdering police Inspector
Petros Mutedza in Glen View last year.

The 29 accused started singing at the sight of Mr. Tsvangirai’s new wife
temporarily halting proceedings at the court.

Giving testimony, the father of the deceased, Solomon Mutedza, reiterated
his family’s position that Mutedza was not murdered by the 29 accused.

Last week the deceased’s brother, Tichaona, was accused of grandstanding to
gain political mileage by accusing Zanu PF and state security agents of the

But law officer Edmore Nyazamba yesterday described Mutedza, a
self-confessed MDC activist, as an attention seeker who is not concerned by
the death of his brother.

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Water, sanitation needs $1 billion

Zimbabwe needs almost a billion dollars to normalize the water and
sanitation situation and a national policy is being crafted through a
consultation process involving government and other stakeholders.

by Christopher Mahove

This was revealed by the Institute of Water and Sanitation Development
Technical Officer, Rememberance Mashava, in an interview with The Zimbabwean
on the sidelines of a media briefing on National Sanitation Week.

“The policy is currently being drafted through a consultative process
spearheaded by the Ministry of Health. Actually, this process has formed the
National Action Committee - consisting of various partners,” said Mashava.

Various aspects of sanitation and water delivery need to be addressed,
including hardware, institutional capacity, software and training in
community-based management of resources.

Meanwhile, Vice President Joice Mujuru is expected to launch the water and
sanitation week tomorrow (Friday), aimed at conscientizing communities on
the need to maintain hygiene and dispose of waste in a sustainable manner.

Harare City Waste Water Manager, Samuel Muserere, said the local authority
had a lot to do to curb the discharge of raw sewage into water bodies, as
continuing sewer bursts and blockages remain a threat to the health of the
city’s residents.

He said 50% of the challenges in proper sewage management were to do with
social engineering – lack of knowledge on the part of communities - while
the other 50% was caused by industrialists.

“The Environmental Management Agency must control soaps and detergents,
especially those imported into the country, that contain high levels of
phosphates,” he added.

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Inflation drops to 3,63pc

Wednesday, 19 September 2012 00:00

Tawanda Musarurwa Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S headline inflation has maintained a downward momentum from the
previous month, going down 0,31 percent to 3,6 percent in August as economic
activity remains depressed. Low or moderate inflation is generally
attributed to fluctuations in real demand for goods and services. Latest

figures from the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency show that the annual
rate of inflation went down rather significantly in August after taking a
marginal dip in July.
“The year-on-year inflation rate for the month of August 2012 as measured by
the all-items Consumer Price Index stood at 3,63 percent on the July 2012
rate of 3,94 percent,” reported Zimstats.

In normal situations, a decline in the rate of inflation would be welcome.
But with the country currently facing significant inflationary pressures
emanating from — among others — the poor harvest in the current season,
demand for rental accommodation and increasing utility prices, observers
believe the downturn in annual inflation lately is largely due to poor
economic performance.
Analyst Mr Trust Chikohora said the low inflation is due to the fact that
the demand side of the economy has been depressed since the beginning of the
year and this is reflected through reduced appetite for goods and services
in the economy.

“Demand is generally depressed as consumers have very limited cash-flows due
to the prevailing liquidity crunch. Money supply continues to be low and
availability of credit remains on the low side. The market remains a buyers’
market and so prices tend to be subdued,” he said. Since the beginning of
the year, inflation has ranged between 4,3 percent (the highest, in January)
and 3,63 percent (the lowest, in August) and largely remains within the 5
percent target for the year. Zimstats figures show that food and
non-alcoholic beverages are the major contributors to annual inflation which
is prone to transitory shocks at 4,20 percent, while non-food inflation
stood at 3,38 percent.

Meanwhile, month-on-month inflation also went down during the period under
“The month-on-month inflation rate in August 2012 was 0,18 shedding, 0,41
percentage points on the July 2012 rate of 0,23 percent,” said Zimstats.
The month-on-month food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation stood at -0,11
percent in August 2012, shedding 0,09 percentage points on the July 2012
rate of -0,02 percent. The month-on-month non-food inflation stood at -0,21
percent, shedding 0,54 percentage points on the July 2012 rate of 0,33

In terms of outlook, observers contend that the inflation rate will remain
in the targeted band, although upward shifts can be expected in the interim.
“Lately, we have seen some increases in the fuel price, but this may not yet
have had an impact on the general level of prices,” said Mr Chikohora.

“Such inflationary pressures may have some impact later on in the year and
as we get into the festive season, especially with cash boosts like bonuses
which usually drive spending. However, we should still close the year with
inflation levels of not more than 5 percent as forecast in the Budget.”

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Family dispute over politics leaves nephew in coma

By Tichaona Sibanda
19 September 2012

A nephew who accused his uncle of being paid money for doing nothing as a
ZANU PF ward officer was left in a coma, when the row turned violent last
week Wednesday.

23 year old Talent Ndlovu Hwavai from Mawungura business centre in Gokwe was
attacked by his uncle who resorted to muscle power to settle the issue.
Hwavai is a well known MDC-T activist in the area.

While his uncle used a log to hit him over the head, other family members
used clenched fists and boots to attack him, according to the MDC-T
provincial chairman for Midlands North, Constain Muguti.

‘He was hit in the head and collapsed to the ground. And the sad thing is
they left him there to spend the entire night outside,’ Muguti said, adding
that he was only taken to hospital by concerned neighbours the following

Muguti, the MP for Gokwe-Kabuyuni, and Blessing Chebundo the MDC-T MP for
KweKwe, visited Hwavai in hospital in Nkayi on Tuesday. The two senior
parliamentarians organized for their party cadre to be transferred to Mpilo
hospital in Bulawayo for specialist treatment.

‘He is in a coma, we spent time on his hospital bed and he was unresponsive
to anything that was said to him. It was visible he received a blunt trauma
injury to the head,’ according to Muguti.

The MP told SW Radio Africa no one has so far been arrested for the attack,
although information is in the public domain as to who is responsible. He
said the police indicated that they were still waiting for a medical report
before making any arrests.

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Shangaan Speakers Invade Sugar Cane Farms In Tribal War

Roy Chikara Masvingo, September 19, 2012 - Over a thousand Shangani
speakers, believed to be Zanu (PF) supporters from Chief Tsvovani in
Chiredzi, have invaded Sugar Cane producers, Triangle limited plantations.
They are accusing the party of sidelining them during the chaotic land grabs
that started 12 years ago in favour of the Karanga speaking people who have
been given land.

The irate villagers together with their children, who occupied the giant
sugar cane mill’s farms in section six and four over the weekend, have vowed
not to move out.

“We have been neglected and overlooked by our party for a long time may be
because of our minority tribe," a settler who only identified himself as
Hlekani told a Radio VOP reporter who visited the area on Wednesday.

"Since 2000 less than 10 Shangans benefited from the land redistribution,"
he said.

"Land was distributed to the Karangas who are the majority in the province
and they came from other districts. We have therefore decided to take our
stake and we are not going anywhere," he said.

The latest development is coming barely a week after some of the villagers
from the same area invaded two farms occupied by fellow former ruling party
supporters of the Karanga tribe.

Triangle Limited, Managing Director, Sydney Mutsambiwa, said his
organisation will find solutions.

“We have received such reports and we are running around ...We will try to
find a solution," he said.

The invasion could disrupt the smooth flow of business at the enormous sugar
plant that had been enjoying a sharp upsurge of production over the past
years since the formation of the shaky inclusive government that has brought
some stability to the economy.

In 2008, he said production had sunk below a production level of 320 000
tones but this year there were looking at getting over 400 000 tones and
improve their export to the European Union (EU).

The new settlers also accused Zanu (PF) leadership of being greedy by
recently grabbing Save Valley Conservancies when they had nothing, a
situation that triggered the new wave of invasions.

The new settlers accused the local Governor, Titus Maluleke, of neglecting
them despite being at the helm of the provincial political power.

Maluleke, a Shangaan, owns two farms. He declined to comment on the matter.

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Zimbabwe cops offer $5m for Rwandan genocide fugitive

Sapa | 19 September, 2012 14:31

Zimbabwe police offer $5 million reward for information on a Rwandan
genocide fugitive they say may be hiding in Zimbabwe.

The state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation said Wednesday police are
offering the reward for news on the location of Protais Mpiranya, a former
Rwandan Presidential Guard commander wanted by a United Nations tribunal for
Rwanda on allegations of participating in the mass killings of 60,000
civilians during that country's 1994 genocide.

Prosecutors of the U.N. tribunal asked Zimbabwe's help under international
laws to arrest Mpiranya but immigration officials and police previously
denied that he was in the country. Now police say Mpiranya may be in

State radio said Mpiranya could be using the aliases Theophase Mahuku or
James Kakule.

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Econet Wireless Nets 7 Million Subscribers

Staff Reporter

Zimbabwe’s largest cellular provider, Econet Wireless, says its customer
base in the country has surged to over 7 million connected users, up from
6.4 million in February.

In a statement released Tuesday, Econet, which will release its six-month
financial results next month, attributed the surge to its popular Buddie

Demand for Econet lines is extremely high, the statement said, adding an
informal market of its lines had emerged when the company temporarily
suspended the issuance of new cellular lines with people paying over $20 for
a Buddie line that normally costs $1.

The operator assured customers that the shortage of lines is a thing of the
past, noting that it has the capacity to carry over 8.5 million subscribers.

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe chief executive, Douglas Mboweni, said he is
satisfied that over 90 percent of local businesses are its customers.

Early this month, Forbes Magazine named Econet as one of Africa’s top 10
innovative companies.

The telecommunications giant was the only Zimbabwean company on the list
which was dominated by South African companies based in the United States.

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Kereke claims wife and daughter have ‘vanished’
SEPTEMBER 19, 2012 3:19 AM
By Lance Guma
Munyaradzi Kereke, a former adviser to Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono, has sensationally claimed that his wife and 4 year old daughter “just vanished” on the 13th of September and the police are now helping with investigations.
Munyaradzi Kereke vs Gideon Gono: Its War
Kereke embroiled in an acrimonious dispute with Gono, after being sacked from his job in February this year, claims “indications so far suggest that foul play looms large. God has a way and I pray they are both safe.”
The dispute scaled new heights in February after Kereke alleged that Gono stole millions of dollars and gold from the central bank. He also claimed he is the one who wrote the examinations which earned Gono a doctorate degree.
Kereke claimed his removal from the central bank was calculated to conceal Gono’s criminal activities. The two fell out after Gono alleged that Kereke had authored a 20-page dossier detailing financial misdemeanours at the bank.
In a letter dated 18 September 2012, addressed to the Speaker of Parliament, Lovemore Moyo, Dr Kereke says:
“I wish to update you that I have approached the relevant authorities and presented reports of continued unbearable acts of intimidation and threats to myself and my family for the irreversible firm stance I have taken to stand against the vices outlined to Parliament.”
He then says “On the 9th of September, 2012 my Head of Ambulance at my RMC Hospital was trailed from the Hospital to his house by an armed gang who then proceed to fire gunshots in his bedroom before taking off with my motor vehicle. This was all done in front of his children.”
In February this year, Kereke wrote a 12 page letter in which he told Gono “You abused public assets, ranging from cars, gold bullion, shares, etc for direct personal gain. I have explicit evidence on this and please challenge me openly so that the public pronounces their own verdict based on facts.”
Kereke accused Gono of giving the impression he fired him for disciplinary reasons, “yet you know very well that you did so to cover up the multiple acts of criminal frauds you, Dr Gono did for your own personal gain with your family.” Gono “bought many personal real estate properties,” with stolen money, Kereke claimed.
Kereke also threatened to expose how Gono “used RBZ money to buy two houses as ‘gifts’ for Millicent Mombeshora, the wife of Deputy Minister of Health Dr Douglas Mombeshora “here in Harare”.
“As a fellow Zimbabwean, my own conscience is clean and at peace that I stole no one’s penny and earned all that I have, academic, materially and spiritual beliefs through my own physical and mental efforts. Should you have evidence to the contrary, please report me to the relevant offices,” Kereke said.
Last month Gono filed a US$25 million defamation lawsuit against Kereke claiming the accusations by his former advisor were meant to tarnish his name. Kereke responded with this letter requesting further details.

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UK and Australia contribute US$ 11.5 million to help Zimbabwe’s smallholder farmers

The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the
Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) have contributed
US$ 11.5 million to help 60,000 smallholders in 20 districts in Zimbabwe
through market-based input assistance, as part of the Agricultural Inputs
Provision Programme. The funds, channelled through the Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations (FAO), will enable smallholder farmers to
receive support through a crop and livestoc

by Staff Reporter

The support from DFID and AusAID will make it possible for beneficiaries to
access cropping or livestock inputs of their choice, as well as training and
extension support. The inputs will be delivered through district
agro-dealers and livestock fairs, which will inject cash into the rural
economy. DFID and AusAID emphasise that this is a hand-up rather than a
hand-out to smallholders.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanization and
Irrigation Development, Mr Ngoni Masoka, has welcomed the support, saying
“Timely provision of agricultural inputs, particularly to the smallholder
sector is an essential ingredient for improving agricultural production and
is key to unlocking the capacity of smallholder farmers to improve
productivity. This support will go a long way in complementing government’s
efforts in supporting agriculture as part of the broader economic recovery

DFID, AusAID and FAO are seeking to contribute to wider efforts to reduce
poverty and chronic malnutrition in Zimbabwe, by helping to improve the
production and income of small-scale farmers and to commercialise the
smallholder sector. The overall goal is to enable food insecure and
vulnerable farmers in communal and old resettlement areas to meet their
basic food and non-food household requirements.

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Zimbabwe urged to lift ban on growing genetically modified food

Wed, 19 Sep 2012 00:00 GMT

By Madalitso Mwando

BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe (AlertNet) – From poultry products to fish, potatoes to
apples, Johnson Moyo, a primary school teacher in Bulawayo, has come to
enjoy what many Zimbabweans once considered the finer things in life.

While such foodstuffs might be part of a normal grocery list elsewhere, for
Moyo and many poorly paid civil servants like him they were luxuries that
have only recently become affordable for the “average man,” as he puts it.

The reason lies in the provenance of the food: it is imported, and some of
it is farmed using genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Moyo knows, and he
doesn’t mind.

“These items are relatively cheap,” Moyo said. “They are keeping my family

The cheaper alternatives to locally grown food are particularly welcome in a
country where agricultural mismanagement has combined with drought, believed
related to climate change, to create chronic food shortages.

Import food wholesalers have sprouted across Zimbabwe’s capital, where items
such as poultry, long absent from working-class dinner tables, are sold in
bulk cheaply.

“I have been told some of the chicken and fish we eat comes from Brazil and
Australia, but it all tastes the same to me,” Moyo said.

While consumers gobble imported GMO products, however, the Zimbabwean
government remains opposed to local production of genetically modified food,
even as influential lobbyists pressure it to rethink.

Last month, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) announced it was
asking the government to allow farmers to plant GMO crops to boost
agricultural production after a succession of poor harvests.

“We will continue pushing for the embracing of GMO production, using GMO
technology,” the CZI said in a statement, noting that exporting such food
would be a starting point.


Zimbabwe has long opposed the production of genetically modified crops, even
though imported GMO products have flooded supermarkets since the easing of
stringent import regulations in 2009, when the country suspended the local

Agriculture minister Joseph Made has said previously that the country will
not allow farmers to produce GMOs, claiming they contain toxic substances
that are harmful to consumers’ health and that they are less nutritious than
organic foods.

The minister’s position has been criticised as flawed since Zimbabwean
farmers use pesticides and fertiliser, so locally produced food, while
non-GMO, is not necessarily organic.

However, there remain policy differences within the troubled coalition
government on this issue, as with others. Science and technology minister
Heneri Dzinotyiwei said last month that the government was reviewing its
anti-GMO policy.

According to Dzinotywei, the safety of GMOs has been confirmed by the United
Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organisation,
as well as the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and
Biotechnology, a non-profit research organisation.

But there are fears in the agriculture ministry that the call for relaxing
the country’s GMO ban could lead to the country being unable to export its
crops, and could lead to local seed dealers and farmers being pushed from
the market by foreign GMO producers.

Agriculture Minister Made last year described the idea of investment in
genetically modified products as an economic blunder, telling state media:
“If Zimbabwe produces surplus food for export where would you expect us to
export (it to), with most countries now banning GMO foods?”

Made says the government will invest in providing farmers with fertilisers
instead of adopting GMO production – even though most countries in the
world, contrary to his statement, are open to the importation of GMO foods.

Sentiments on GMO crops remain varied and often fuelled by emotion, but the
Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU), which represents indigenous farmers, says the
time has come for the government to explore more research on genetically
modified crops.

“We are aware of other African countries such as Burkina Faso that have
successfully embraced (genetically modified) production in non-edible crops
such as cotton. (They) are doing well. Why not us?” said a ZFU official.

For ordinary Zimbabweans who over the years have received food assistance
from relatives working in neighbouring South Africa, genetically modified
food already has become part of the daily diet.


Tapuwa Gomo, a Zimbabwean development expert based in South Africa, said
that adopting genetically modified crops could help farmers grow more food
with fewer resources.

“Engineering the ability to fix nitrogen into cereal crops could reduce or
even remove the need for chemical fertilisers and increase yields,” Gomo

“Zimbabwe must seriously discuss GMO production because, as it stands, it is
impossible to talk about economic revival without strengthening
agriculture,” he added.

Opponents of the move to GMOs, however, point out that adopting more
drought-resistant existing crop varieties or incorporating needed genes
through traditional breeding could help solve Zimbabwe’s problems without
the need for genetic modification.

Zimbabwe this year is again appealing for food assistance to feed millions
of hungry people, having moved from being a food exporter at the turn of the
millennium to a food importer. The change was triggered by violent land
seizures that disrupted farming activities and by successive droughts.

“If Zimbabwe is to be self-sustaining, locally driven GM technology could be
a panacea for the country’s food security problems,” Gomo said.

President Robert Mugabe has in the past tried to ban imports of GMO food
from South Africa. But when local producers failed to meet demand, the ban
was quickly lifted, highlighting the tricky choices some African countries
face in their attempts to promote local food production that has to compete
with cheaper GMO imports.

For Moyo and other consumers, however, the GMO controversy has more
straightforward ramifications. As long as locally produced food remains
expensive, he says, “GMOs are what I will eat.”

Madalitso Mwando is a journalist based in Harare, Zimbabwe.

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What really happened to The Farmer

In 2002, The Farmer magazine, after 43 years as Zimbabwe’s Commercial
Farmers’ Union’s print medium, suddenly disappeared. The official statement
issued by CFU at the time was ‘financial constraints’. Mike Rook, its CEO
who served the Union for 23 years (1979-2002), now publicly reveals the true
story behind its forced shut down.

by Staff Reporter

EDITOR - Since my review of Rory Pilossof’s book ‘The Unbearable Whiteness
of Being; Farmers Voices From Zimbabwe’, I have had a lot of feedback from
Zimbabwean farmers, mostly concerning the chapter devoted to The Farmer
magazine. The question everyone asks is why large-scale commercial farmers
and Commercial Farmers Union members were not consulted about the arbitrary
shut down of their only means of communication. I now wish to set the record

The closure of The Farmer magazine in early 2002 was orchestrated by the
existing CFU administration and the magazine’s own Board of Trustees. The
erroneous excuse given for its demise was lack of viability. In fact, after
canvassing of the CFU membership the vast majority of farmers agreed to pay
for the magazine, and insisted it continue publishing. The CFU had tried to
stop the accessing of its list of email addresses, but a sympathetic staff
member risked severe disciplinary action by providing them surreptitiously.
I learned later that The Farmer business plan proposal based on increased
income from the additional cover charge payments was never even considered.
It was summarily shelved and conveniently ignored by the Union and The Board
of Trustees.

So why was The Farmer silenced?

The simple answer is that neither the Union nor its Board of Trustees were
able to influence the magazine’s content or compromise its independence.
Being too timid to sack the editor it was decided to remove the publication

The manner of the closure was a shameful example of duplicity and
Machiavellian conspiracy between the CFU and Board of Trustees. To avoid
severance pay due to the loyal and long-serving staff because of forced
redundancy, CFU and The Board of Trustees connived together to present the
Trust as the employer and not CFU. As the Trust had no reserves of capital
this meant staff, some with over 30 years on the magazine, would leave with

A letter from the CFU’s own lawyers clearly stating the employer as CFU
forced both parties to back down and admit defeat and the issue was
forcefully redressed.

The Farmer was no more: sacrificed on the altar of expediency by those that
should have known better by setting higher standards of morals and
integrity. Subsequent CFU administrations realising the folly of their
predecessors tried with European Union funding to bring back The Farmer
under a different guise and title without success.

Alas! The realisation that it is easier to tear down than to build up came
too late to save The Farmer. - Mike Rook, by e-mail

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Nkayi – no road, no bridge, no signal

Jengwe Primary School in Nkayi is typical of a rural school in Zimbabwe
today. Situated in a dusty, acacia-dominated landscape, the school has 143
students crammed into two classroom blocks. Grade Three and Four pupils
share one classroom, filling the about-to-collapse room to capacity. Every
morning pupils jostle for the scant furniture that is hardly enough for a
quarter of the competing number.

by Mkhululi Chimoio

Jengwe Primary school Headmaster Mr Mbewe.
The other grades also squeeze into single rooms, with only the Grade Sevens
enjoying the modest comfort of learning on their own. The children have one
qualified teacher and three temporary teachers. The qualified teacher,
having completed training in 2005, automatically became the headmaster.

Shift your imagination to the cumbersome journey to Nkayi using the
incomplete, abandoned Nkayi-Bulawayo road, not to mention the hazardous
dusty strip road and the bridgeless rivers one has to cross to get to the

As if the torture is not enough, the area lacks cell-phone reception - as if
to signal that the dwellers are citizens of a different country. Because of
the difficulties in accessing this remote school, education officers are a
rare sight. Tales have been told of teachers who made a U-turn even before
they could reach the school; during the rainy season, the road leading to
the school is almost impassable.

Even though the local MP, Sithembiso Nyoni, has donated paint and a few bags
of cement using the Constituency Development Fund, hardly any facelift has
taken place. The school, according to locals, has for long time been asking
well-wishers to help with building materials, but the requests have not
yielded much.

There is urgent need to repair the walls that could collapse on the
unsuspecting pupils at any time.

The children who have to cross Mangwizi River to the school are forced to
opt for a longer but safer route, forcing them to travel more than 15km from
Monday to Friday.

According to villagers, most pupils opt to stay at home during the wet
season, with some dropping out of school completely and joining the trek to
South Africa as undocumented migrants who gain access to the southern
neighbour through undesignated points along the border.

However, even for those that choose to brave the rivers and harsh weather,
concentration in class, where a whole class shares one textbook, is
compromised, resulting in poor grades.

Villager leaders say girls are worse affected than boys, as they cannot
endure the physical demands of walking long distances and crossing flooded
rivers, strenuous activities that they have to balance with household chores
before and after school.

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Alan Butcher charged with rejuvenating Zimbabwe cricket
Zimbabwe cricket

19 September 2012Last updated at 14:45 GMT

  • Hosts: Sri Lanka
  • Dates: 18 September to 7 October

Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC 5 live sports extra and BBC Radio 4 LW & via BBC Sport website on majority of matches; live text commentary on BBC Sport website & mobiles

It is 20 years since Zimbabwe shocked England at the 1992 cricket World Cup - and the African nation's short cricketing history has been marked by a string of significant highs and disappointing lows.

An impressive Test series win in Pakistan and fifth-place finish at the 1999 World Cup was followed by Andy Flower and Henry Olonga's death of democracy protest in 2003, then the controversial sacking of Test captain Heath Streak and player walkout over racial quotas a year later.

After a five-year period from 2006 to 2011 where they were exiled from Test cricket, it is down to former Surrey and Glamorgan opener Alan Butcher as the man tasked with rejuvenating Zimbabwe cricket.

The Butcher dynasty
Alan Butcher
  • Alan Butcher played 402 first-class matches for Surrey and Glamorgan
  • His brother, Martin, played one game for Surrey
  • His brother, Ian, played 124 first-class matches for Gloucestershire and Leicestershire
  • His son, Mark, played 71 Tests for England and 209 first-class matches for Surrey
  • His son, Gary, played 53 first-class matches for Glamorgan and Surrey

Butcher - who made one Test appearance for England - took the Zimbabwe job in April 2010, with his first main challenge overseeing that return to Test cricket.

It proved to be a victorious one, withZimbabwe beating Bangladesh by 130 runs in a one-off Test in Harare.

"The fact that we came back and won that one and made it difficult against Pakistan and New Zealand in Zimbabwe suggests things are moving forward," Butcher told BBC Sport.

Coaching Zimbabwe comes with its problems - not least a severe lack of money, which makes organising tours to major cricketing nations difficult.

"Like the rest of the world, Zimbabwe is going through an economic crisis, so finances to resource cricket are difficult to come by," Butcher added.

"We have a few series planned over the next six months, but unfortunately we've just lost one against Pakistan, which was scheduled for the new year.

"India have offered them a tour and we couldn't compete with the money that was available."

It means his players are deprived of priceless experience, which was evident in Tuesday's thrashing at the hands of Sri Lanka.

Butcher added: "It would definitely help if we played more cricket, especially overseas in different conditions. It's very difficult to get on a roll, while the learning curve of the players keeps getting interrupted.

"We don't play very often unless we come to World Cups. We definitely need to play more cricket and that will help the process of improving the side, although we should have given a better account of ourselves than we did against Sri Lanka."

Zimbabwe's cricket record
  • Tests: 81, won: 9
  • ODIs: 407, won: 107
  • T20s: 21, won 3
  • Most Test runs: Andy Flower, 4,794; Avg: 51.54
  • Most ODI runs: Andy Flower, 6,786; Avg: 35.34
  • Most Test wickets: Heath Streak, 216; Avg: 28.14
  • Most ODI wickets: Heath Streak, 237; Avg: 29.81

Butcher is confident the talent pool in Zimbabwe is as good as it has ever been.

"The player base is bigger than it ever was before. There's a lot of talent among the black Zimbabweans who have really taken to the game.

"Providing the right decisions are made there is a bright future. I think that in a period of time if we can find enough finances and the right development processes we can become a good side."

Butcher also says that he is able to coach the team the way he wants, without an excessive amount of interference from board level and beyond.

"In any work there is always some interference from up above but by and large I've been able to do the job the way I want.

"There is no suggestion of racial quotas and we pick what we think is the best side, which is how it should be. Beyond the frustrations of not having enough money, it's not been that difficult."

It is an adventure he does not want to end.

"I've really enjoyed it. I enjoy Harare, I enjoy the country and I enjoy the people. I've looked on it as a bit of an adventure, I wasn't quite sure what I was going to, and I still feel good about it. My wife always says I'm happier living overseas. My contract runs out in March and I can see myself staying around for longer. But we need some results to put a case forward - that starts against South Africa."

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RAU’s opinion piece – The Fear Factor

The Fear Factor

There has been a small controversy over two recent reports dealing with the
comparative popularity of ZANU PF and MDC-T. However, it is a controversy
with greater importance than it appears on face value. It is important
because the issue is not merely over political party support and which party
might win an impending election. We do not need to consider popularity of
other political parties since both reports indicate that their support is
negligible. The crunch issue is not whether support for MDC-T is waning and
increasing for ZANU PF, and why. It is the problem to explain why such large
numbers of people will not express a preference for one party or another,
why this has been the case for nearly a decade, and whether the “fear
factor” affects the crucial variable in political party support: does it
affect who citizens actually vote for?

The Freedom House report says that support for MDC-T is waning, that fear of
political violence is receding, but also that a very large number of
citizens (47%) do not support either party. The Afrobarometer report argues
that the gap between ZANU PF and MDC-T is negligible, but with still nearly
a quarter of those polled having no party preference.

The big issue between the two surveys (and for politics in Zimbabwe
generally) is fear. The Afrobarometer report argues that fear makes people
either claim to support ZANU PF (when they don’t) or claim to be apolitical.
The Freedom House report claims that fear is waning, and surprisingly that,
with this waning, so has support for MDC-T declined. There is perhaps a
methodological argument to be had between the two reports, but how to
understand fear and its effects on politics and the citizenry in Zimbabwe is
an even more crucial factor.

When Eldred Masunungure pointed out that Zimbabwean citizens were “risk
averse” some years ago, he was not making a simple politico-psychological
point, but indicating something fundamental about Zimbabwean politics. He
was drawing our attention to the place of coercion in political life, and to
the ready use by the state of violence and intimidation as a means of
maintaining political power, what he termed “risk taking” as a strategy of
governance. The use of coercive means has been more recently illustrated by
Lloyd Sachikonye, shown in his detailed historical analysis of politics over
the past four decades. The intimate relationship between politics and
violence is embedded in the collective and individual psyche of Zimbabwe and
Zimbabweans. It is embedded in our ordinary language of political
This is a perspective that does not require detailed description of our
history: it is common knowledge. The equation, politics=elections +
violence, is burned into the understanding of all Zimbabweans, no matter
which party one supports. This is so clearly demonstrated by the findings of
all four rounds of the Afrobarometer surveys on Zimbabwe. And there is the
pathos shown in these surveys that Zimbabweans are the most demanding of all
African countries in their desire for independence, believing that elections
can deliver this, but are amongst the most pessimistic that elections will,
in reality, deliver democracy or the party of their choice.

However, it may be that this pessimism cannot be solely attributed to fear.
Consider the following. The voters roll is currently claimed to consist of a
little more than six million voters (6,094,452), which is half the 12.6
million that is suggested to be the total Zimbabwean population in 2012 by
Index Mundi, which seems to indicate that virtually all adults that can
possibly vote are registered. This seems implausible. Since 2000, it is
estimated that somewhere in the region of two million Zimbabweans have left
the country, some 16% of the entire population, all and all potential voters
(or even registered). If it is the case that there are two million
Zimbabweans out of the country and the actual population is 12.6 million,
then the number of voters on the roll could not be larger than 4.3 million.
These are all speculations in the absence of accurate census data and
confidence in the voters roll.

However, let’s go with the flow. In 2008, 2,497,265 citizens voted in total,
which according to the Registrar-General’s roll meant a 44% turnout, and all
claimed voter apathy, or fear, or both as the reasons for this depressed
poll. However, if the voters roll was grossly inflated and at absolute
maximum could only have had 3,727,902, because 2 million voters were out the
country, then the voter turnout was rather higher, about 67%. No-one would
have been talking about voter apathy or the negative effects of fear in this

Since almost every aspect of Zimbabwean elections since 2000 is opaque – the
number of people in the country eligible to vote, the real number of
registered voters, the number of ballot papers actually printed, etc. – we
have no idea how to interpret election results, apart from the final results
that we get given (and these are scarcely derived from a transparent
process). The relationship between fear and votes is not a simple one.

What is the point here? Fear (or its absence) measured by opinion poll does
not necessarily translate into votes, as the Afrobarometer report rightly
states. Opinions must be triangulated against other factors. One factor is
that it is unknown how many people did not vote that could vote, but we can
speculate as we have done above. The other factor is the consistent
reporting on the extent of political violence and intimidation by a wide
number of different sources, and intuitively it can be concluded that this
must affect voting.

Research in 2010 may shed some light, albeit on women only. In a national
survey of women’s opinions on a range of issues, 78% of the sample indicated
that they had voted in 2008, 70% said they felt unsafe during elections, and
63% stated that they had experienced violence during the 2008 elections.
Again, a large percentage (20%) would not express a political party
preference. However, women voted despite being unsafe, or experiencing or
witnessing violence, so fear was present but not a factor that stopped them
voting. In 2010, 48% of women openly expressed support for MDC-T as opposed
to only 9% for ZANU PF. Even if the 20% “uncommitted” were really nervous
ZANU PF supporters. MDC-T seemed to have massive support amongst females.
This is a very different picture to that obtained in 2012 by Freedom House
and the Afrobarometer.

It therefore seems that coercion is a dubious political tool. Fear may
inhibit what citizens are willing to say publicly, and it may be difficult
as a consequence to easily understand what support political parties may
have, especially the parties that are the cause of coercion and violence.
And, given that we have enormous difficulty in understanding election
results (whether they are truthful or not), we must be very cautious in
ascribing election results to fear in a simple fashion: cause and effect are
not easily described.

2000, 2002, and 2008 were very violent elections for Zimbabwe, of this there
can be no serious denial. Presidential elections in particular are likely to
be very violent, given the enormous powers of the presidency under the
current constitution and legislation. As Eldred Masunungure points out,
Zimbabweans may be “risk averse”, but this does not mean that they do not
take certain kinds of risk: voting seems to be a risk that they will take,
and the only question to be asked here is how many take that risk. Is it 45%
or 67% or 78%? Until we have hard data on what actually goes on in
elections, we may be drawing conclusions about the effects of fear that are

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Youth Forum Launches the ‘Score a Goal for Democracy’ Tournament

Zimbabwe’s largest and most consistent youth-serving organization, the Youth
Forum, on Sunday 16 September launched its first “Score a Goal for
Democracy” soccer tournament in Bikita, Masvingo Province at Mashoko
Mission Hospital. The tournaments are meant to encourage young people to be
involved in elections by registering as voters and also campaigning
peacefully. The launch was held in a drizzle leading to the local headman to
conclude “This is a sign of blessings to all the activities the Youth Forum
is going to have in this part of the country”

The tournament, which was graced by the Youth Forum personnel including the
outgoing Chairperson, Mr. Madock Chivasa, the National Coordinator Mr.
Wellington Zindove as well as the incoming Treasurer General Ms Faith
Chinooneka, consisted of 6 teams. The winner of the tournament was Chadya
Bhuru Chii? F.C. and the runner up was Mashoko ZRP, a local team of the
Zimbabwe Republic Police. The other teams were Magocha FC, Mushayamunda FC,
Zvimba Stars and Bambaninga Rovers.

The tournament was also graced by different relevant authorities and other
stakeholders who were invited and who also applauded the initiative. The
authorities included the local Councillor for Ward 2, Amai Kunaka, the local
churches and their leaders, the police supporting their team and other civil
workers in the area. The Member of Parliament, who had initially indicated
he would attend, could not attend as he was attending to the Prime Minister’s
wedding in Harare. He, however, send in a message of apology and
encouragement to the youths in the area. The local chief was also away from
the area and hence could not attend.

The area surrounding the venue is characterized by poor and dilapidated
infrastructure including poor dusty roads and very poor network coverage
from all service providers. There are also a very few schools in the area
which are scattered miles apart from each other, with the Mission Hospital
acting as the centre and hub of development. The tournament was attended by
over 500 youths and older people from around Mashoko area who supported
their teams enthusiastically.

The winners of the tournament, ‘Chadya Bhuru Chii FC, got away with Youth
Forum branded Soccer Jerseys, T-Shirts and soccer balls. During the
tournament, the Youth Forum distributed literature on voter education
including pamphlets, stickers and fliers on voter registration as well as
old newspapers. The T-Shirts that were distributed also had messages
encouraging young people to positively participate in elections, with
affirmative messages like “I am a registered voter and I will vote” and
“Play your part and determine your future: Register as a voter and vote”.
The tournaments, which are scheduled to be held throughout the country, have
been hailed by different stakeholders saying they are a noble initiative as
they also take young people away from drugs and other harmful activities.
With the Masvingo Province tournament already launched, the next stopping
point will be Mashonaland Central before it moves to all the remaining
political provinces in the country.

The tournaments will be held in rural areas where the voices of young people
have been silent for too long. Rural areas are also characterized by lack of
information as very few newspapers, radio and television broadcasters reach
these areas. Conducting these tournaments in rural areas will mean more
information being accessed by these marginalized communities and will lead
to a positive result with regards to their participation in elections.

Youth Forum Information and Publicity Department
Promoting Informed Youth Participation and Empowerment

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