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Zanu PF’s dirty campaign strategy for the Kariba Draft

No to Kariba Draft

Youth Alliance for Democracy Press Release - The utterances by President Mugabe at the 5th ZANU PF Youth Congress that the Kariba Draft is the only acceptable guiding document in the constitution-making process is now cascading down to the grassroots as evidenced by the reports which the Youth Alliance for Democracy has obtained.

The latest development saw Kudzanai Mutarangi, a Mabelreign based activist being assaulted by ZANU PF militia for putting on a Crisis Coalition ”Say no to Kariba Draft” T-shirt at Greencroft shopping centre on Saturday at around 9pm. This resulted in his T-shit being torn and him being forced to wear a green ZANU PF T-shirt written: ‘youths in defence of national sovereignty and economic empowerment.’

This act was carried out by thugs who dropped from a white Nissan hardbody truck labelled ZANU PF Mashonaland Central who accused Kudzanai of supporting a regime change agenda.

In Mberengwa it has also been reported that bases have been established where all night vigils are being hosted to ‘conscentise’ people about Kariba Draft as the sole document to be used as reference in constitution making. This has since spread to other areas which include Wedza and Shamva.

In Mutoko the scenario is even worse as people are told that the Global Political Agreement is only relevant to Harare and it does not apply in the said area.The same is also prevailing in Uzumba and Marambapfungwe, the traditional ZANU PF strongholds

In Mt Darwin it has come to our attention that Hon Saviour Kasukuwere told people at a rally that “we united with MDC for the sole purpose of persuading them to remove sanctions which they brought.” He reiterated that they are still enemies, and no-one should listen to them. This allows ZANU PF to determine the pace and outcome on the constitution making process in such areas.

The state media is also openly campaigning for the Kariba Draft. The ZTV programmes Media Watch, Melting Pot and Newshour are dominated by ZANU PF apologists who include Dr Maxwell Hove, Tafataona Mahoso and Chris Mutsvangwa, all in defence of the Kariba Draft as the only “reputable” reference. The print media is also carrying out the same task. This allows manipulation of the generality of Zimbabweans by individuals who are protecting their power. Given the fact that the stated form of media has the widest coverage it greatly influences the outcome of the process.

Another strategy which has been made use of by the former ruling party is to put MDC leadership in defensive positions so that they can be preoccupied by defending themselves at the expense of critical issues like the constitution making process. The persistent attacks on Prime-Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Finance minister Hon Biti, who are also at the helm of MDC party is deliberately and strategically orchestrated to divert their attention from real issues. At the same time an impression to the effect that ZANU PF is the best party is being created to unsuspecting, ordinary Zimbabweans and as Youth Alliance for Democracy we are worried as this will further compromise the will of people of Zimbabwe in a fashion akin to the formation of the inclusive government.

We take this opportunity to emphasise the need for massive alternative media advocacy and simlilar initiatives in the wake of the stated anomarlies. We reiterate our position that engagement is always better than disengagement.

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Top army officer grabs conservancy land

September 21, 2009

By Owen Chikari

MASVINGO - Major general Engelbert Rugeje who is the army's chief of staff
has grabbed Wanezi Block Ranch in Mwenezi to join a long list of Zanu-PF
officials who have grabbed conservancies in the semi arid Masvingo Province.

Rugeje together with other unnamed senior army and police officers allegedly
grabbed vast tracks of land in Mwenezi as disturbances on white owned
properties continue.

Sources say several white owned conservators in Mwenezi have been ordered to
either vacate their properties or enter into partnership with blacks.

Although Rugeje could not be reached for comment Masvingo provincial
governor Titus Maluleke yesterday confirmed that he grabbed Wanezi Block
Ranch and has since been issued with an offer letter.

The governor pointed out that it was not Rugeje alone involved. Other senior
police and army officers had also been allocated land in order for them to
enter the lucrative wildlife management business.

"We have given land in Mwenezi to several people and Major General Rugeje is
one of them ", said Maluleke.

"I do not see why you want to publicise that because he is not the only one
who has been offered land but a number of senior army and police officers
have been given land.

Sources within the Commercial Farmers Union yesterday revealed Rugeje and
others had forced property owners to incorporate them in their wildlife
businesses without paying any money for their stake-hold.

"The issue is that white property owners were forced to incorporate senior
Zanu-PF officials in the wildlife business", said the source. "These new
partners are just incorporated without paying a single cent and we are
saying no to such day light robbery".

Rugeje joins the likes of Attorney General Johannes Tomana, President of the
council of chiefs, Fortune Charumbira, Chivi central legislator Paul
Munyaradzi Mangwana and others who grabbed conservancies in Masvingo,
arguing that the wildlife business was dominated by whites.

Last year during the run up to the presidential election run-off Rugeje
ordered the closure of all business in Masvingo and force marched people to
a rally in Mucheke stadium.

The army boss told the gathering at the rally that Zimbabwe was born through
the barrel of the gun hence those like the MDC-T who want to rule should
also take up arms to rule the country.

He said that soldiers would never beg for votes but instead would beat up
people for them to vote for a revolutionary party, meaning Zanu-PF.

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Beginning of end for white Zimbabwe farmers

By Richard Lapper

Published: September 21 2009 18:06 | Last updated: September 21 2009 18:06

The bad news has been coming thick and fast for Hendrik Olivier, director of
Zimbabwe’s Commercial Farmers’ Union.

On one morning last week, for example, two of the dwindling band of white
farmers told Mr Olivier that they were abandoning the fight to keep their

While recovering from that blow, the union chief learnt that police had
charged with affray a farmer who had the previous day been beaten by 15
invading youths apparently linked to the Zanu-PF party of President Robert

The union says that since the beginning of March – shortly after a
power-sharing deal took effect between Mr Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai’s
opposition Movement for Democratic Change – at least six farmers have been
abducted and 16 arrested for alleged illegal occupation of their own land.
True, there have been fewer violent occupations by Zanu-PF supporters than
last year, but vandalism and theft have been just as common.

“I don’t see any difference,” says Mr Olivier. “People are telling me that
they have stuck it out for 10 years but now it is getting worse. We are
coming to the end.”

There are some signs that the pace of attacks is about to increase. Ten days
ago, Mr Mugabe told his party’s traditionally belligerent youth movement
that “there is no reversal of the land reform programme at all”.

His ministers have said they intend to ignore a ruling handed down by a
regional court – part of the Southern African Development Community – that
land seizures were illegal.

Already the damage to Zimbabwean farming is extensive. Fewer than 500
commercial farmers are still producing compared with an estimated 4,500 when
Zimbabwe became independent in 1980.

Mr Olivier says that many are operating below capacity. “I can count on the
fingers of one hand the number of farms that are fully operational and which
haven’t been touched,” he says.

Output has been falling, turning a country once regarded as a regional
breadbasket into one dependent on imports for much of its needs. Maize
production is estimated at less than 500,000 tonnes, barely a third of what
it could be, while the union expects wheat production to fall to 18,000
tonnes, about a third of the 2008 harvest.

With even many bigger farmers considering alternatives, the future looks
bleak. Among them this week was Louis Fick, 43, a South African who has
invested heavily in a 400 hectare plot near Chinhoyi in northern Zimbabwe
since 1993.

In August, after his farm was invaded, Mr Fick and his family took refuge in
Harare and tried to keep the business going at a distance. But even this is
now at risk after the new occupants last week refused access to his trucks.
Mr Fick now says: “I don’t see myself in farming.”


Market gardener fights on

It has been a bad year for Malcolm Clark, a 67-year-old farmer from Welston,
a Harare suburb, writes Richard Lapper in Harare. Forced at gunpoint out of
his home and off his 92 hectare farm in January, Mr Clark has lost control
of a market garden business that he says was worth US$8m (€5.4m, £4.9m).

Charged with the illegal occupation of the property that he bought and
developed in the 1990s, Mr Clark has been repeatedly in and out of court,
and in a bid to defend himself he has run up a legal bill of tens of
thousands of dollars.

More tragically, his wife died of a heart attack four months ago. “She was
diabetic but it was the stress that killed her,” says Mr Clark. “She found
it difficult to get used to not having the little things she had lost.”

Of the 25 smallholdings once managed by white farmers in Welston, eight have
been taken over by black sympathisers of the Zanu-PF party of President
Robert Mugabe.

Mr Clark says that unlike some fellow farmers he refused to consider paying
money to a “pet hyena”, a person enjoying close links with Mr Mugabe’s party
who could have sheltered his business from attack.

For the moment he is determined to press on with his legal campaign, arguing
he has never received an eviction notice and insisting that the land around
Welston is part of the city and therefore not subject to land reform

Even were he to win in the courts, Mr Clark says it would be difficult if
not impossible to return to the land he successfully farmed because it is
already occupied. Nor would compensation available under land reform
legislation be likely to offset the investments he has made in his property.
Two hundred farmers compensated have received only about 10 per cent of the
real value of their loss, union officials say.

Above all, Mr Clark has little faith in the capacity of the country’s
coalition government formed in February to help. “Everybody was hoping it
would make a huge difference,” he says. “But we now have sinking feelings in
our stomachs that it won’t make any difference at all.”

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19 year old killed by soldiers in Chiadzwa

By Alex Bell
21 September 2009

Yet another death at the hands of soldiers in the Chiadzwa diamond fields
has been reported, on the same day that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
called for a transparent investigation into abuses there.

According to the Mutare based Centre for Research and Development, a 19 year
old diamond panner was shot and killed by soldiers based at the diamond
fields last Thursday. It's understood the teenager was shot after he was
discovered with a hidden diamond that he was allegedly trying to sell at the
busy Mashukashuka business centre.
The latest death, which is the second reported at the diamond fields in two
weeks, came while the Prime Minister was speaking at a mining conference in
Harare and said that innocent people at the diamond fields had been
victimised for their proximity to 'enormous natural wealth'.

"We must as a government investigate, in an open and transparent manner, any
human rights abuses that took place so that the innocent victims receive
justice and to ensure that the protection of our people is paramount in this
new Zimbabwe," Tsvangirai told foreign investors attending the conference.

Meanwhile the Centre for Research and Development has also reported that an
illegal curfew has been imposed on Chiadzwa and the surrounding area by the
army, and the military's control there means access to the diamond fields is
heavily restricted. It's also understood that the police have resorted to
falsifying information when they bring victims' bodies to hospital
mortuaries, and it's feared that scores of deaths at the hands of the
military are being covered up, or are not reported.

The continued militirisation of the diamond fields has been in direct
contravention of recommendations made earlier this year by a delegation from
the Kimberley Process (KP), the international body tasked with stopping the
trade in blood diamonds. The group was shamed into sending a review mission
after receiving widespread accounts by human rights groups of violence,
torture, child labour and murder at the diamond fields last year. Survivors
of the military violence reported mass deaths at the hands of soldiers in
2008, after the military was ordered to 'clean up' the area.

The KP delegation found evidence of serious non-compliance with minimum
diamond trade standards, as well as dramatic human rights abuses. The team's
interim report, which was leaked to the media and is yet to be officially
published, recommended Zimbabwe's suspension from the regulatory body. But
there has been no movement from the Kimberley Process to suspend Zimbabwe,
despite the ongoing abuses at the Chiadzwa fields.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights have since demanded that the government
immediately release the report, saying it should be accompanied by the
government's full compliance with the recommendations made. The lawyers said
in their own report that human rights groups and others who would have
qualified to be members of such a committee, had been left out of the August
visit by the Kimberley Process team. They also noted that several
high-ranking officials had made televised comments that could jeopardize the
report's findings. The comments included remarks by deputy mines Minister,
Murisi Zwizwai, who suggested that Chief Newman Chiadzwa, a key witness
cited in the original Kimberley report, was a wanted criminal on the run
from the law for illegal diamond dealing.

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1000 WOZA activists demonstrate in Harare

By Violet Gonda
21 September 2009

The pressure group Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA/MOZA) held six
simultaneous peaceful protests, heading to the United Nations offices in
Harare on Monday. There were no arrests. WOZA leader Jennie Williams said
the group decided to march to the UN offices to send a strong message, in
the wake of Robert Mugabe's trip to the UN summit in New York, that there is
no peace in Zimbabwe and there is 'no peace of mind'.

"And we are really hopeful that the news will reverberate in New York  and
somebody there will ask Robert Mugabe what the hell he is doing in Zimbabwe,
that he cannot deliver peace to Zimbabweans," Williams told SW Radio Africa
shortly after the demonstration.

She said over 1,000 members took to the streets to commemorate the United
Nations International Day of Peace and a petition asking the UN to help
intervene in Zimbabwe, to restore the health and education sectors, was
handed in to officials at the UN offices. The petition also called on the UN
to pressure the inclusive government to stop the harassment of vendors and
ordinary Zimbabweans by police.

The group said life for ordinary Zimbabweans remains precarious and human
rights activists continue to be beaten and harassed for exercising their
constitutional right to peaceful protest. 40 WOZA activists have been
arrested on seven separate occasions, since the power-sharing deal was
signed in September 2008.

Williams said the GPA is a mere political deal that is not meaningful for
Zimbabweans and is only about positions of power.  "Because even the
outstanding issues they are always bleating about are just the outstanding
issues of positions. What about the outstanding issues of the children who
cannot go to school and the sewage that is all around?" She asked.

"There is food in the shops, yes, but people cannot buy it. There are no
jobs. Even yesterday vendors were still being beaten and harassed by police
and having their goods looted. That is why when we marched today we said to
the inclusive government - social justice is the way that you can bring us
peace of mind."
The WOZA leader had strong words for the MDC and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai who she said have "compromised too much for political
 expedience."  Williams said the MDC has been complacent in their corridors
of power and have not done enough to push the people's agenda for social
justice.  She added: "The MDC is so far down this route of compromising that
it is now difficult to put on the brakes, and talk about outstanding issues
when they have not been pushing the agenda for security sector reform."

Meanwhile, the MDC this weekend started public consultations to assess
whether to remain in the fragile coalition government with ZANU PF. Williams
believes this poses a serious dilemma for the MDC as the option of pulling
out, without a new constitution in place, will mean going to elections using
the present unpopular Lancaster House constitution. The civic leader said
this will only 'reinvigorate' ZANU PF, a party she said is already seriously
mobilising for the elections. "They are recruiting extra youths and the
youth militia themselves are earning money. They are on the payroll and this
is a rejuvenation of ZANU PF. This is a ZANU PF that we are seeing at
grassroots level that is mobilising for an election."

Mugabe told his supporters last Friday that the inclusive government will
complete constitution reforms within 18 months and call elections six months
later. He told a congress of the Zanu PF Women's League to prepare for
elections in 2011 and that the new constitution would be based on the
controversial Kariba Draft Constitution, in spite of resistance from the
partners in the coalition government.

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ZANU PF women's league conference rocked by violence

By Lance Guma
21 September 2009

A simmering factional war between ZANU PF Women's league boss Oppah
Muchinguri, and Vice President Joice Mujuru, exploded into violence last
Friday. Several women allegedly aligned to Muchinguri were assaulted by
security details at the venue of the ZANU PF Women's League Conference, that
was meant to elect a new executive. It was claimed that the women had tried
to force their way into the conference venue. Two of them were seriously
injured and rushed on stretchers to a nearby makeshift clinic.

The Zimbabwe Standard newspaper reports that police officers could be seen
beating up delegates with batons and folded chairs. According to reports
Mujuru and Olivia Muchena, the new Secretary for the Commissariat, are
plotting the ouster of Muchinguri as women's league boss. Although
Muchinguri's position is by appointment by Mugabe, the election of other
office bearers has been dogged by factional interests.

During the conference women aligned to Muchinguri and Muchena fought each
other using chairs inside the tents at the conference hall. At least 3000
delegates who attended the conference were caught up in the stampedes that
broke out. According to Muchinguri some women sustained broken limbs while
others were admitted to hospital.

Meanwhile, in a communiqué released after the meeting, the women's league
backed the same rhetoric that Mugabe is using about the inclusive
government. They called for the removal of 'sanctions' - conveniently
omitting the fact that the sanctions target only the ruling elite.
They also called on the MDC to seek the 'immediate closure' of what ZANU PF
refers to as 'pirate' radio stations.

Ladies, we're sorry to tell you but the MDC have no power over us and we
certainly have absolutely no plans to stop broadcasting. Zimbabweans deserve
a free media and we will continue to fight for that as long as we can.

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Fears Of Secret Army Bases

MASVINGO, September 19, 2009 - There are fears that President Robert
Mugabe may have set secret army bases in Masvingo as tensions between Zanu
PF and Movement for Democratic Change MDC) grow due to disagreements in the
implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA).

Radio VOP is reliably informed that one base has been established in
the Nuanetsi Range, south of the province, in Mwenezi while another one is
believed to be in Hawkdale Farm, 25 kilometers from Masvingo, a few
kilometers before the small mining town of Mashava.
"It is true that soldiers have been deployed to those places, and this
is not only in Masvingo alone, but in other provinces as well. They are not
army bases as such, but transit camps," said a top army official who spoke
strictly on condition of anonymity.
Last week, some disgruntled MDC Members of Parliament (MPs) in the
province said they were fed up with the slow progress in the implementation
of the GPA and have since started campaigning in anticipation of fresh
The source said the army was secretly stockpiling weapons in
anticipation of a mass rebellion by the people over Mugabe's intransigence,
or in the case that the MDC-T pulls out.
However, Army headquarters 4 Brigade commander, Brigadier General
Francis Mtisi, watered down the issue, saying they were 'just training camps
for army recruits".
"I do not know about those secret army bases you are talking about,
unless it is done from the headquarters without my consent, which is very
unlikely. Probably you saw places where we train our recruits, try to verify
your information," Mtisi said.
But villager in Nuanetsi Range also confirmed the sudden appearance of
soldiers and army vehicles in the 20 000 hectare ranch.
"Yesterday, we woke up to see a heavy army presence. We were
afraid....But they did not disturb us; neither did they say a word to us.
They were just busy erecting their structures," said some villagers.
Another source in Mashava also concurred that there was a secret army
base 'established overnight'.
Radio VOP also understands that the army has its traditional training
places in the province like the Mushandike 'Bullet Range' near Masvingo,
another one in Gutu, as well as the Chalenga air force training in
Chikombedzi, south of Chiredzi town.
There are fears the unity government could be facing collapse as Zanu
PF and MDC trade acusations about each other. Mugabe has complained that MDC
is reluctant to push the West to remove sanctions, which he says have killed
the economy. On the other hand, MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai has formally
complained to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) about
Mugabe's failure to adhere to the principles of the GPA, citing the
unilateral appointments of the Attorney General Johannes Tomana and the
Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono among others.

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World Bank, Chihombori and Mawere

September 21, 2009

Medical Centre - RedcliffDesolate – Dr Arikana Chihombori’s Medical Centre in Redcliff

By Geoffrey Nyarota with Ray Matikinye in Bulawayo

BOSTON, MA – Mystery surrounds the use of a large sum of money that the World Bank paid to United States-based medical practitioner, Dr Arikana Chihombori, for the purpose of developing medical facilities in Kwekwe and Redcliff in Zimbabwe.The controversial doctor, who has a track record of hogging the media limelight, has this time steadfastly refused to entertain questions and shed light on the matter of the funds disbursed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank in 2000 after The Zimbabwe Times presented her with questions on how her company used the funds.

Chihombori, who has dramatically claimed to be a niece of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and a friend of several of Africa’s leading politicians, first hit the news headlines back in May 2009 after she attempted to seize De Rus Farm in the Chegutu District of Mashonaland West of Zimbabwe.

Long before then, in June 1999, the Washington DC-based IFC approved a grant of $750 000 to Bell Medical Centers (BMC) her Tennessee-based company in the United States of America for the expansion of Torwood Hospital and Redcliff Medical Centre in Kwekwe and Redcliff, respectively, in the Midlands Province.

After two months of investigation in Zimbabwe as well as in the United States The Zimbabwe Times has put together a story of intrigue and alleged gross self-enrichment on the part of Chihombori. South African business entrepreneur Mutumwa Mawere and Zimbabwe’s Defence Minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa, are prominent players in Chihombori’s story.

The Zimbabwe Times submitted several questions to Chihombori. She has not responded to a single one over the past month. Neither has Mawere, to whom the same questions were forwarded on two occasions. Mawere is usually quick to respond to media inquiries and does so at considerable length.

Torwood Hospital and Redcliff Medical Centre were originally owned by the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISCO), the floundering and corruption-ridden giant Redcliff-based steel-maker, which has been in the grip of dire economic straits for years now.

In 1998, ZISCO decided to shed the two badly neglected facilities off and concentrate on its core business of steel-making.

BMC purchased the two facilities. Chihombori founded Bell Family Medical Center in Tennessee in 1992. She is the chief executive officer. Chihombori refused to say how much she paid ZISCO for the acquisition of the facilities or where and when the transactions were made.

After BMC acquired the facilities Chihombori approached IFC for funding to capitalize their expansion and refurbishment.

“The project involves the expansion of the Torwood Hospital and the Redcliff Medical Center in Kwekwe, in the Midlands Province of Zimbabwe,” the BMC project document says.

The total cost of the ambitious expansion project was US$1.61 million and IFC was requested to provide quasi-equity of US$750 000. IFC approved funding for BMC on June 30, 1999 under Project 9586. The funds were released on August 2, 2000.

Torwood Hospital is situated in Kwekwe’s Torwood suburb while the Medical Centre lies in the centre of Redcliff town, just outside the ZISCO plant.

In the project documents the main offices of BMC are stated as being in Harare. The telephone directory of Harare does not list such a company. The principal shareholder is listed as Dr Arikana Chiyedzo Chihombori, then 42, “a Zimbabwean medical doctor presently residing in America”.

“The main objective of the project is to enable the centers to provide more services and handle the anticipated increase in the number of patients, there is need to expand the centers by adding outpatient departments and upgrading facilities,” the document says. “There will be a requirement to install new and up- to-date equipment, an in-house pharmacy, a laboratory, a radiology department, upgrading operating theatres and the kitchens.”

Sources familiar with the facilities say the expansions did not take place.

The Zimbabwe Times dispatched a reporter to Kwekwe and Redcliff in July. He reported that none of the work outlined in the project proposal appears to have been undertaken.

He wrote, “The hospital at Torwood shows evidence of dereliction, the extent of which could not have occurred in the past ten years. The nurse in charge and the pharmacist were the only people present when I visited and I am told the institution had only opened a fortnight ago after being closed.

“From discussion with the staff the hospital had been closed because it was under renovation. There were, however, no signs of any renovation anywhere around the complex. The building itself is run down as are its environs. Such state of dereliction could not have happened only in 10 years.”

Staff said the hospital now attends to about three patients a week at most. This is a far cry from the “anticipated increase in the number of patients” optimistically envisaged in the project document.

The buildings are run-down, although the nurse in charge says the facility is fully equipped with modern theatre and laundry equipment inherited from ZISCO.

On the other hand, the Medical Centre in Redcliff is in pristine condition. The medical centre once catered for the top management of ZISCO Steel. There are no signs that it has recently been upgraded. It faces the same problem of lack of patients attributed to the fact that ZISCO Steel is no longer fully operational, having put its workers on a part-time basis.

At the height of the media furor over Chihombori’s attempted take-over of De Rus Farm in Chegutu back in June, South African based business entrepreneur, Mutumwa Mawere, rushed to the defence of the besieged American doctor following publication of articles that were critical of her abortive seizure of the commercial farm, which she later claimed she wanted to donate to her sister, Miriam Kanjanda of Harare.

In defending Chihombori, Mawere said she was an outstanding woman. Without her unspecified backing he might not have recorded the achievements that he is now credited with as an entrepreneur, Mawere said.

While the two medical facilities, for whose development Chihombori secured IFC funding support, now both stand derelict as a result of neglect, Mawere has been battling over the past few years to recover his troubled SMM Holdings (Private) Limited (SMM) which the government of Zimbabwe expropriated after declaring him a specified person.

Mawere was stung after he read criticism of Chihombori in The Zimbabwe Times, where she was dismissed as “an opportunist, a racist, and a shameless grabber of land in a country whose citizenship she has willfully renounced”. He emerged out of the blue and rushed to her rescue.

“You make reference to the fact that Dr. Chihombori was a director of First Banking Corporation,” Mawere wrote at the beginning of a 973-word article which was published on The Zimbabwe Times website. “This indeed is factually correct.

“For the record, I met Dr. Chihombori during a road show promoting a non-resident Zimbabwean investment fund.  Although she had been a resident of the USA, she was enthusiastic about being part of the change that she wanted to see in Zimbabwe.  Not only that, she put her money where her mouth is.

“Dr. Chihombori would confirm that I hosted her in 1997 in South Africa…. Chihombori was indeed one of the critical drivers in encouraging non-resident Zimbabweans to consider investing in the country.  Instead of externalizing resources, she saw value in internalizing capacity and resources.

“The connection between Chihombori and I is not a secret…..Without the encouragement of people like Chihombori, I would not have done the kind of things that I now stand credited for.”

Mawere did not say exactly how Chihombori had invested the money he referred to.

Zimbabwe Times readers were incensed. Mawere was addressing issues that had not been raised in the published article that he now volubly challenged.

There were calls for a full investigation into the relationship between Mawere and Chihombori that prompted the businessman to defend her and himself so vigorously where no accusations had been made against him.

The Zimbabwe Times approached Chihombori on August 12 and again on August 17 with a list of questions amid allegations that she might have diverted some of the IFC funds to invest in Mawere’s now troubled business empire.

Mawere assumed South African citizenship in 2006 after he fell out with the government of President Robert Mugabe. He once enjoyed the patronage of both Zanu-PF and government through the powerful and wealthy then Minister of Justice, Emmerson Mnangagwa. Mnangagwa was also Zanu-PF’s secretary for finance. Mawere’s fallout with ZANU-PF government followed the expropriation by government of his SMM Holdings after the State specified him under the Prevention of Corruption Act in 2004.

Mawere has fervently denied the publicly held view that his SMM Holdings was acquired through a government guarantee or that Mnangagwa was involved in the transaction.

Now Defence Minister and a presidential aspirant, Mnangagwa’s name has routinely been linked to allegations of serious corruption, such as in the exploitation of blood diamonds in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in accepting backhanders from contractors during the corruption-ridden tender process for the construction of the Harare International Airport.

Back in 1989 Mawere was appointed investment officer with the International Finance Corporation, the private sector lending arm of the World Bank in Washington DC. By 1995 he had become a senior investment officer. He resigned from this position and moved to South Africa where he immediately launched Africa Resources Limited or ARL, the holding company for a group of Zimbabwean and Zambian companies involved in the mining, industrial, construction and financial service industries. Mawere was the sole shareholder.

The growth of ARL was phenomenal. In August 1995 Mawere approached an English company, Turner & Newell Plc, based in Manchester, the parent company of Shabanie and Mashava (SMM) (Pvt) Ltd in Zimbabwe with a proposal to acquire the company’s two asbestos mines. In March 1996 ARL acquired the remaining mining and industrial assets of T & N in Zimbabwe and Zambia.

In due course Mawere became the “promoter, sponsor and investor” in a new commercial bank, the First Banking Corporation. FBC was registered as a commercial bank in February 1997. It was heavily linked to Zanu-PF. In due course the bank opened a branch in the DRC.

Among the bank’s inaugural directors was Chihombori. To underscore the bank’s political hybrid, Dipak Pandya, who was also a director of ZIDCO, Zanu’-PF’s trading company was also appointed to the board. Pandya fled to London in April 2004 when Zanu-PF launched an investigation into the financial affairs of the conglomerate of company’s operating under ZIDCO. Pandya fled at about the same time Mawere fell out with the government.
“She was on the inaugural board of First Bank as a non-executive director of the bank,” Mawere said in his Zimbabwe Times article about Chihombori.

As stated in the article, Mawere first met Chihombori during a round-table meeting held in Washington DC to promote the non-resident Zimbabwean investment fund which he was spearheading.

Chihombori is featured in a video posted on Mawere’s website The video entitled: “The ARL Story – The Origins” features Chihombori among many other non-resident Zimbabweans who responded to Mawere’s clarion call to invest in their motherland and in his ARL in particular.

“I am going to invest,” Chihombori tells reporter Petronella Ndebele on the screen.

“I don’t know what everybody else is doing, but I am going to invest.”

Zimbabwean professionals and businessmen resident in the United States gathered at the round-table meeting convened in Washington DC in December 1996 to debate how they could participate actively in the mainstream economy of their country while resident in the Diaspora.

The round-table, which was hosted by Mawere, had a high level of government involvement. It was organised by the Zimbabwe embassy in Washington.

Mnangagwa, then Minister of Justice represented the government at the meeting. He was however listed on the programme as the Zanu-PF secretary for finance. Of the 60 Zimbabweans in attendance several were from the World Bank.

They included former Minister of High Education Dzingai Mutumbuka. He had quietly slipped out of Zimbabwe seven years earlier after he was forced to resign from government, following his appearance before the Wilson Sandura Commission at the height of the Willowgate Scandal. He left government, relocated to the United States and surfaced at the World Bank, where he was appointed sector manager.
Also present was Callisto Madawo, then World Bank Vice President for Africa.

Mnangagwa revealed details of colossal amounts of funds that government had set aside to finance a privatisation programme. The minister said initially government had thought that it was possible to empower people just by giving them money.

“The privatisation process is moving at a slow pace,” Mnangagwa lamented. “Three years ago we put aside $100 million and we said to IBO, IBDC and AAG come and collect.”

Organisations such as the Indigenous Business Organisation (IBO), Indigenous Business Development Centre (IBDC) and the Affirmative Action Group (AAG) were set up after independence to empower an emergent indigenous business community. Mawere’s close ally, fellow entrepreneur Phillip Chiyangwa, skillfully exploited the AAG as his launch-pad to business success and instant wealth.

“In the second year,” Mnangagwa proceeded, “….we then gave $400 million and again we are unable to trace it.

“In the third round now we are sitting on $720 million. We are now deciding how to give it. But most importantly we realise now that is not the best way of empowering our people.”

It is remarkable, if not ironic, that a minister of government disclosed virtually with reckless abandon that the State was scouting around for people to empower with more than a billion free dollars when Mawere, Chihombori and others were seeking investment money. Sources who attended the Washington round-table say it was clear throughout the conference that Mnangagwa had a close relationship with Mawere and Chihombori.

In fact, Chihombori and Mnangagwa himself became neighbouring entrepreneurs in Redcliff, where the minister became the proud owner of the town’s only hotel, the Redcliff Hotel.

Thirty months after the Washington conference Chihombori knocked on the door at Mawere’s former work-place, the IFC. She submitted the project proposal for BMC’s ambitious project in Kwekwe and Redcliff.

Over time Torwood Hospital has become an empty shell of unoccupied beds manned by a nursing sister, a pharmacy technician and a few nursing aides and general hands.

Paint is peeling off the walls and some of the electrical fittings have been ripped out. Most of the curtaining has “disappeared”. There are signs of decay on outbuildings.

An ambulance is rotting away in the backyard, while two emergency water storage tanks which served as backup in the event of water cuts are rusting away on their perches.

“We were promised heaven on earth at the beginning of the take-over by Dr Chihombori,” a former staff member who quit to join the Redcliff municipal clinic said. “She used to throw lavish parties for the staff and even convened a staff meeting in Nyanga.”

The tourist resort town of Nyanga in Zimbabwe’s eastern highlands is 320 kilometres away from Kwekwe.

Despite this veneer of prosperity, all was not well back at Torwood Hospital.

A former employee said Chihombori’s own sister, Sheba Mupfunde, quit her post as nurse-in-charge of the hospital “in disgust over low salaries and poor working conditions”. She joined the ongoing exodus of Zimbabweans to the United Kingdom.

Chihombori has ignored questions submitted by The Zimbabwe Times in seeking to establish how she spent the US$750 000 obtained from IFC in 2000 for purposes of refurbishing and expanding the two medical facilities which now show signs of substantial neglect. The questions were copied to Mawere who also did not respond.

Several phone calls to Chihombori have not been answered. Neither did she respond to messages left on her answering machine.

IFC fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing capital in the international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments.

Today there is little to show for the US$750 000 that the corporation invested in Kwekwe and Redcliff in 2000, a substantial amount of money in Zimbabwe even today.

Questions were submitted to the IFC last week through an online facility. They merely acknowledged receipt of the questions.

“Thank you for your request for information. With regards, International Finance Corporation,” was the response.

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Zimbabwe fails to pay the IMF

Monday, 21, Sep 2009 03:00

Zimbabwe has failed to meet its quarterly loan payment to the International
Monetary Fund (IMF), a move likely to scare away international money lenders
from borrowing the country money due to its poor debt payment record.

The southern African nation - already in alarming debt of US$5.7 billion to
both external and domestic creditors - failed to meet its US$100,000
quarterly loan payment to IMF.

Zimbabwe owes the IMF SDR89 million or US$138 million.

The IMF commented: "As noted at the executive board's discussion of the 2009
Article IV consultation in May 2009, economic and social indicators in
Zimbabwe worsened significantly, culminating in an acute and ongoing
humanitarian crisis.

"Since the last review, Zimbabwe has made two payments to the Fund in a
total amount equivalent to SDR 0.44 million.

"In April 2009, the Zimbabwean authorities committed to regular payments to
the Fund of about US$100,000 per quarter, starting in July 2009. No such
payments have been received to date."

The southern African nation has a poor debt payment record and risks losing
assets over failure to clear liabilities.

Zimbabwe has also been relentlessly sued by creditors who include KFW of
Germany, Daro Film Distributors and UBS AG of Switzerland, SACE of Italy,
ING Bank of the Netherlands, EximBank of US and West Merchant Bank and
Lloyds of the UK abroad over debts.

Recently, the IMF withheld about US$102 million (SDR 66 million) of
Zimbabwe's allocation of the Bretton Woods institutions special drawing
rights until the country has cleared its IMF debt.

The US$102 million is part of the US$500 million allocated to Zimbabwe in
IMF special drawing rights to Zimbabwe under a $250 billion agreement to
bolster the reserves of the fund's 186 member countries.

The US$400 million that has been transferred to Zimbabwe by the IMF has
sparked a turf war over how it will be used between the country's finance
minister, Tendai Biti and central bank governor, Gideon Gono.

Mr Gono, who is calling for the return of the worthless Zimbabwe dollar, is
recommending that US$140 million of the money received from the IMF be used
to clear the arrears.

But Mr Biti, who has noted that he fears the governor might misuse the
funds, has said that the IMF allocation to the country will only be used
next year when a new national budget comes into effect.

"We have to use any money that we get very carefully, under a proper fiscal
plan," the finance minister recently said.

Zimbabwe has suffered a decade of economic meltdown, worsened by the
withdrawal of western funding over policy differences with President
Mugabe's previous administration, before he formed the unity government with
rival MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, now prime minister.

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Desperate Clinic Uses The Moon As A Source Of Light

Nyanga, September 19, 2009 - Nurses at Gotekote clinic in Nyanga North
are using the moon as a source of light during delivery of babies.

The clinic's nurse-in-charge Isaac Mlambo told Radio VOP that the
clinic does not have electricity and they depend on moon light to assist
pregnant mothers to deliver during the night.

"We used to have two solar panels which have since been stolen. We
have no choice but to depend on the moon... We are appealing to well wishers
to assist with solar panels so that we get light to use when attending to
patients during the night. The clinic does not also have a waiting room,"
said Mlambo.

Women in the area confirmed the problem of electricity at the clinic
with some saying they had resorted to giving birth at their homes.

"We see no difference of going to the clinic when giving birth because
we are told to bring our own lights. Some  of  us no longer go  to
the clinic and are  now  using  the  traditional means," said Ida

According to the nurse-in-charge the clinic has a catchment of 4000
people, and the next nearest and only alternative clinic is 15 kilometers
away from Gotekote village.

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Zanu PF hawks eye Meikles assets

From The Financial Gazette, 17 September

Munyaradzi Mugowo, Staff Reporter

The Kingdom Meikles Africa Limited (KMAL) saga spilled into Cabinet on
Tuesday as it became apparent that a section within Zanu PF is determined to
take over the assets of one of the country's oldest business empires from
the Meikles family. The Financial Gazette can exclusively reveal that the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) dragged the long-drawn KMAL boardroom
fight into Cabinet on Tuesday. The MDC had reportedly been pressured by
business executives concerned about the impact the take-over might have on
the country's already battered image. On Friday last week, the government
widened the specification of major KMAL actors in what is being seen as a
key step towards the take-over of assets belonging to the Meikles family. In
January, the government specified John Moxon, the former KMAL chairman and
now in self-exile in South Africa; TM Supermarkets; five investment vehicles
collectively owning 43 percent of the group and four other members of the
Meikles family.

KMAL had been under the State's purview for externalising foreign currency,
allegations first brought into the public domain when a boardroom fight
erupted between Moxon and group chief executive officer, Nigel Chanakira,
over the sale of the Cape Grace Hotel in South Africa. TM was let off the
hook last month along with six top Zimbabwean businessmen specified between
2004 and 2005 for alleged economic crimes. But on September 11, the
government struck again by specifying Kingdom Meikles Limited (KML), the
group's flagship, Tanganda and Thomas Meikles Centre, the parent company to
Greatermans, Barbours and Meikles Stores. It also specified KMAL company
secretary, Andrew Lane-Mitchelle and Murlis Investments, an investment
vehicle linked to Moxon. Ironically, Kingdom Financial Holdings Limited
(KFHL), the banking subsidiary founded by Chan-akira, escaped specification.

The latest development plunged the MDC-T in particular, into a public
relations crisis after its Co-Home Affairs Minister, Giles Mutsekwa,
endorsed the specification along with co-Minister Kembo Mohadi. Mutsekwa has
been under pressure to withdraw his signature from the specification order
to ease pressure on the MDC-T, which does not want to be seen as endorsing
the takeover of the Meikles business, originally founded in 1933. It is
feared that the asset takeovers could hurt current efforts by the inclusive
government to attract fresh investments for the country. It appears the
grand plan involves transferring power from the KMAL board to investigators,
Bhudhama Chikamhi and Cleopas Mukungunugwa of BCA Consulting. It is hoped
that the investigators would then forestall an extraordinary general meeting
(EGM), slated for Thursday next week, where Chanakira and two other KMAL
directors are expected to be shown the exit.

Thereafter, the operating environment would be made unbearable for the
Meikles family in a multi-pronged strategy that includes farm occupations of
Tanganda Estates, rights issues and private placements to dilute the
family's stranglehold on the business. Concerned that the takeovers may
impact on its support base, the MDC-T took the issue to Cabinet, but details
of the deliberations were still sketchy at the time of going to print.
Sources said that influential Zanu PF hawks are angling for KML after a
hasty decision to specify the company roughly two weeks before the EGM to
push through five de-merger resolutions, including the ouster of Chanakira
from the board. The blue-chip counter was consequently suspended from the
Zimbabwe Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

Sources close to the saga say the powerful invisible hands behind the plot
have vested interests in two of KML's subsidiaries - Tanganda and Meikles
Africa - which are now at the risk of takeover under the guise of
indigenisation. The specification of KML means its board will not be able to
execute whatever resolutions to come out of the impending EGM without the
approval of Messrs Chikamhi and Mukungunugwa. It also means that the
administrators can make far-reaching decisions for KML and the specified
companies, which can affect the shareholders and operations of the specified
companies. There are other experts who however, believe the EGM can still go
ahead without the investigators being called into the picture. "The EGM on
the 24th (of this month) can still go ahead because shareholders have not
been specified," a source familiar with the issue said. "But what is
worrying is that, apart from the issue of foreign currency externalisation
that Moxon was specified over, there are no new issues to warrant the
specification of KML. And why has KFHL been excluded?"

State attorney, Johannes Tomana, could not be reached for comment. "The
specification and appointment of investigators are unlawful, null and void,"
Stanford Moyo, the Meikles family lawyer said, arguing the Ministers of Home
Affairs, who declared the specification, are not the "Minister" as defined
in the Prevention of Corruption Act. "The government should stay out of
corporate boardroom battles." The government, which apparently appears to
tow the line drawn by KFHL founder, Chanakira, has previously raised
concerns that the proposed de-merger transaction would undermine its
indigenisation policy. At the instigation of Econet Wireless, which holds 10
percent of the group, the KMAL board called for a second EGM this month to
consider and pass six resolutions, including the ejection of Chanakira, Busi
Bango and Callisto Jokonya from the KML board and all subsidiary boards and
the appointment of eight directors to the reconstituted board of the holding

The EGM was considered after Chanakira and the two directors who had been
appointed to the KMAL board from KFHL, refused to resign from the group to
pave the way for the de-merger transaction, in line with the resolutions
that the group's shareholders adopted during their last EGM of June 22. "The
board cannot fulfil one of the essential terms of the de-merger transaction
as the three directors have not resigned as directors of KML and are
refusing to do so, notwithstanding efforts by the KMAL board to at a board
meeting held on 5 August 2009 and adjourned to 6 August 2009 respectively at
which all directors, including the three directors, attended," KMAL said in
the second EGM notice to shareholders. Moxon and Thorn have since resigned
from the KFHL board.

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Non-payment of bills threatens Zesa's operations

Monday, September 21, 2009

New Ziana.

Power utility Zesa Holdings says non-payment of electricity bills by
consumers is posing a serious threat to its operations.

Zesa Holdings group chief executive Engineer Ben Rafemoyo told New Ziana
that monthly collections were averaging 30 percent.

Although he could not disclose the amount owed, Gweru alone was understood
to owe the power utility around US$47 million.

"Consumers need to pay up for us to be able to sustain current power
supplies," Eng Rafemoyo said.

"We have to settle obligations for power supplies from Mozambique,
Democratic Republic Congo and Zambia," he added.

Zimbabwe imports 35 percent of its power from the region.

Eng Rafemoyo attributed the non-payment partly to the liquidity crisis
obtaining in the market.

He said this situation puts the power utility in a difficult position as it
requires cash to pay for critical inputs such as coal.

Since April this year, Hwange Colliery Company has been demanding cash-up
front for coal deliveries to Zesa's power stations, Eng Rafemoyo said.

"It is very difficult to operate because without coal we cannot generate
electricity. The little collections we make now focus on that (buying coal)
but we have many other obligations," he said.

He said the utility was supposed to be concentrating on repairing its
equipment before onset of the rains but this was not happening because of
lack of money to buy spare parts.

He said it was important for consumers to settle their bills so that "we do
not have to borrow to fund normal operations." -New Ziana.

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Zimbabwe teachers call off strike: union

(AFP) - 5 hours ago

HARARE - Zimbabwe teachers, who went on strike over salaries at the start of
the new school term three weeks ago, returned to work on Monday after their
union called off the boycott.

"We have called off the strike with effect from today and this morning we
saw a lot of movement of teachers going back to work," Tendai Chikowore,
president of the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA), told AFP.

The union called the strike after the unity government formed seven months
ago failed to resolve their grievances, especially over salaries. But many
teachers ignored the strike, apparently convinced that the government had
little money to offer.

Chikowore said the union called off the strike because they were pleased
with the progress of negotiations with the government.

"We feel we should give the discussions a chance," he said.

"The other reason is that the strike has been politicised and some people
are trying to gain mileage by interfering with the strike," Chikowore said
without elaborating.

Government school teachers in Zimbabwe earn 165 US dollars (114 euros) a
month, but were demanding at least 502 dollars.

Teachers and other civil servants began receiving salaries in US dollars
after the formation of the unity government, but all workers receive the
same amount, regardless of experience.

Zimbabwe's schools, once the best on the continent, have crumbled over the
last decade, with a shortages of books and other supplies while teachers
have left the job or moved overseas in search of better pay.

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Thousands Turn Up At MDC's Feed-back Rallies Across The Country

Published: September 21, 2009
Thousands of people last weekend attended MDC report-back and consultative
rallies that were held across the country to consult on the challenges and
progress of the inclusive government. The Zimbabwe Telegraph reports.

Addressing 7 000 people at Gaza Business Centre in Buhera North, Manicaland
province, national spokesperson, Hon. Nelson Chamisa said the MDC had
undertaken to deliver real change to the people of Zimbabwe.

He said the while the past months have seen progress in many sectors of the
nation, the Zimbabwe that so many millions of our people have struggled for,
believed in and voted for has not yet been achieved.

Hon Chamisa, who is also the Minister of Information and Communications
Technology, said the party will not lose sight of its dreams and will
continue to struggle until every Zimbabwe lives in peace, prosperity and

He commended the people for their courage, conviction and commitment to the
democratic founding principles of the MDC as shown by their participation in
elections and party programmes over the past decade.

Hon Chamisa said the inclusive government though not perfect, presents a
workable process within which Zimbabweans can exercise their right to author
a constitution of their choice that will provide the framework for free and
fair elections.

"The people of Zimbabwe must determine what will be in their constitution.
The Kariba Draft will not be forced down anyone's throat. It should be borne
in mind that Zimbabwe is using the Lancaster House Constitution of 1979,
which was basically a negotiated political settlement that did not
necessarily reflect the views and aspirations of the masses," he said.

He expressed his disappointment over Zanu PF which continues to act with
arrogance, forgetting that it was the one which lost the March election.

The MDC, he said, remained frustrated over outstanding issues such as the
issue of provincial governors, permanent secretaries, ambassadors, Attorney
General Johannes Tomana, central bank governor Gideon Gono and the swearing
in of deputy minister designate, Hon Roy Bennett.

He said only through the full and complete implementation of the GPA can we
progress as a nation. He called upon the principals of the inclusive
government to abide by the principles of the GPA so that they give the
nation a chance to start afresh. This, he said, will give hope and
confidence to the people, to Africa and the broader international community.

Hon Chamisa said all challenges currently slowing down the progress of the
inclusive government can only be put to halt until and unless all
outstanding issues on the GPA are implemented.

In his vote of thanks speech, Manicaland governor designate, Hon Julius
Magarangoma said he has already assumed duty and is not waiting for Mugabe
to swear him in so that he starts duty as a governor. He said he was
appointed by President Tsvangirai and the MDC.

Also in attendance were Deputy Minister for Media, Information and Publicity
Hon Jameson Timba, House of Assembly member for Makoni South Hon Pishai
Muchauraya, House of Assembly member for Musikavanhu Hon Prosper Mutseyami,
Provincial members and visiting districts.

At another rally in Masvingo province, Masvingo Central MP Hon. Jefferson
Chitando urged traditional leaders to desist from politics and treat their
people equally. He said chapter 14 of the GPA clearly states that Chiefs and
village heads should exercise their duties in a non-partisan manner.

"Chiefs and village heads must realize that there is a new political
dispensation and as such Chiefs must respect all political parties. Chiefs
and village heads are not politicians," said Hon. Chitando.

He said ZANU PF was now a liability to the people of Zimbabwe and he urged
local villagers to remain resolute in the march towards a new Zimbabwe.

The member of the house of assembly for Masvingo West, Hon. Tachiona
Mharadza said the former ruling party ZANU PF was now a spent force and was
bent on discrediting the MDC.

"We know they are spreading hate language and they are claiming the MDC
brought sanctions .We are here to correct the misconceptions being
propagated by ZANU PF. The ZANU PF propaganda machinery has gone into
overdrive in a bid to discredit the MDC," said Hon. Mharadza.

Meanwhile, victory celebration rallies were also held in Chivi South on
Saturday and the keynote address was delivered by provincial secretary Hon
Tongai Matutu .Similar celebrations were also held in Zaka central and Gutu
south constituencies on the same day.

The MDC National Chairman and Speaker of Parliament Hon Lovemore Moyo
addressed a bumper crowd in Ward 18 of Mazhayimbe/Fumago village in Matopo
North n Matabeleland South province.

The MDC National Chairman thanked the people of their resilience and
encouraged them to hold on until real change had been brought to the people
of Zimbabwe.

"Thank you for remaining unmoved in this quest for change in Zimbabwe, real
change that can only be fulfilled when as Zimbabweans we have our own
Constitution. We want a people-driven constitution, he said.

Speaking at the same rally, Senator Sithembile Mlotshwa of Matopo
constituency said women today were lucky because a partner in the new
government considers representation of women.

"We are grateful that the MDC is a partner in government and the MDC
believes in involvement, consultation and participation of women," said Hon

Addressing an 8 000-strong crowd at Nyamhunga stadium in Kariba on Saturday,
Women's Assembly Chairperson and Public Works Minister Hon Theresa Makone
said "restrictive measures and the lack of rule of law co-exist hence
Zanu-pf should morph itself into a party that respects and upholds the rule
of law.

"The MDC is not responsible for punitive measures imposed on Mugabe's regime
neither does it have a prerogative to call for their lifting since we did
not do anything that warranted those punitive measures.

The 8000 strong crowd could not hide its excitement when Agriculture deputy
minister designate and MDC Treasurer General Senator Roy Bennett took to the
stage amidst song and dance.

Senator Bennett told the crowd that the change that we see now is not the
real change we deserve and want.
"We have one leg in this inclusive government so we can not fully manoeuvre
and bring real change to you the people of Zimbabwe. You should continue to
hold on to your hope for real change which is near," Senator Bennett said.

He added that real change for the people of Zimbabwe has not been fully
realised because of the lack of implementation of the GPA by Zanu-PF, which
is impeding progress.

Addressing another rally at Chodha shopping centre in Gokwe-Gumunyu in
Midlands North province, the MDC national Deputy organising secretary
Senator Morgan Komichi urged people to remain united until the party
delivers real change.

Hon Komichi also urged the people to participate in the Constitution-making
process as it is crucial in the next election. He decried the actions by
some few officers in the army who continued to intimidate people.

"Soldiers must be confined to their barracks", he said amidst applause.

The MDC deputy secretary General Tapiwa Mashakada speaking at the same rally
said the MDC had not joined anyone in the inclusive government.

"We should be clear over who is who in the inclusive government and not to
be fooled that we joined Zanu PF. We were joined by Zanu PF, the losing
party in the last election. We are the winning party and we will bring real
change to the people of Zimbabwe when we form the next government on our
own," he said

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Meikles saga: Implications on rule of law

by Mutumwa Mawere Monday 21 September 2009

OPINION: Since the appointment of Gedion Gono as Governor of the Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) in December 2003, a number of businesspersons have
been specified in terms of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

At the time of his appointment as Governor, it was generally felt in
government circles that the economic crisis was largely a direct consequence
of corruption and financial indiscipline in the private sector.

The thinking in government was that using the Prevention of Corruption Act,
the economy would rid itself of alleged corruption and in so doing lift the
country up.

Regrettably this did not happen hence the shift of emphasis to targeted
sanctions as the source of the economic and political crisis confronting

Notwithstanding the change of focus to sanctions removal, there has not been
any fundamental change in thinking on whether in fact; the approach of
victimising businesspersons yielded the kind of results expected.

The first victim was ENG Capital and its shareholders. Then came James
Makamba and with him externalisation as a criminal charge worse than murder
was born.

Makamba was to languish on remand in custody for about eight months and he
was later joined by former Finance Minister Chris Kuruneri.

Many more were specified and no one has taken stock of the impact of
specification on economic performance. With more businesspersons being
targeted, the economy continued to nose-dive confirming that all the actions
of the state were either misdirected or a genuine attempt to distract
attention from the core issues at play.

Although the so-called anti-corruption crusade took a political character
with the majority of victims being black, the matter never attracted the
attention of political actors in the context of the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) facilitated talks that eventually led to the
formation of the inclusive government.

Before the formation of the inclusive government, principal state and
political actors were drawn from the same party that shared an ideology that
the state can do no wrong.

The responsibility for specification was placed on Justice Minister Patrick
Chinamasa. After the government reshuffle before the elections of last year,
a new ministry was created under the name, Ministry of State Enterprises,
Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies. An Anti-Corruption Commission was then
established in terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

The Ministry of Anti-Corruption was abolished with the advent of the
inclusive government.

With the specification of Moxon and subsequently companies deemed to be
connected to him, the attorneys representing the specified persons,
Sternford Moyo, have raised an interesting legal point that has implications
to many who remain specified notwithstanding the confusion regarding who is
in charge of the administration of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Moxon is seeking an order in the court application under HC2857/09 before
the High Court of Zimbabwe that the appointment by the co-Ministers of Home
Affairs of forensic auditors Budhama Chikamhi and Cleopas Mukungunugwa as
investigators be declared as a legal nullity.

The facts of the Meikles matter are that a battle for control of KMAL
between Messrs Moxon and Nigel Chanakira has spilled into the domain of
state actors amid allegations that the state has been rented as leverage by
Chanakira to gain an advantage against Moxon.

Chanakira was the complainant against Moxon raising allegations of
externalisation in respect of certain transactions that relate to assets
situated in a foreign state, South Africa.

Based on these allegations, Minister Undenge purporting to act as the
Minister of State Enterprises, Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies specified
Moxon and appointed an audit firm as investigator.

At present, there appears to be no minister administering the Prevention of
Corruption Act notwithstanding the fact that recently a number of
businesspersons were de-specified by the co-Ministers of Home Affairs.

If as observed by Moxon, there is no minister assigned to administer the Act
as required, then the de-specification as well as all the specifications
that are purportedly in force is null and void.

An Investigator as agent needs a principal to report to. If the principal is
no longer in place, can an agent be appointed to report to a minister
without legal standing?

The line of argument that Moxon has taken is not only interesting but raises
fundamental questions about integrity of the state. It is evident that the
manner in which the pre-inclusive government political culture operated has
been adopted by the inclusive government seamlessly.

We have seen Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party condemning the
action notwithstanding the fact that one of the co-Ministers is a nominee of
the party.

The mere fact that the specification order was signed after the formation of
the inclusive government confirms that there are people in the state who
continue to believe notwithstanding the dollarisation of the economy that
externalisation is a criminal charge that merits the intervention of the

Mr Chikambi supported by Melusi Matshiya, the permanent secretary of the
Ministry of Home Affairs, have opposed Moxon's application arguing that a
number of irregular transactions allegedly made by Moxon including a
disposal of 25 percet equity of TM Supermarkets to Pick 'n' Pay retailers
and the externalisation of US$8.4 million from the transaction.

It is also alleged that Moxon and not Meikles Africa Limited externalised
US$7.4 million, being the proceeds from the disposal of shares in the
jurisdiction of South Africa to a South African and not Zimbabwean company,
Mvelaphanda Group.

Chikamhi in the court papers accuses Moxon in his personal capacity of being
the mastermind behind the alleged undervaluation of the Cape Grace Hotel
that was sold for cash. He does so purportedly on behalf of the shareholder,
KMAL, arguing that the disposal to Mentor Holdings Limited represented by
Steven Lavenburg was not above board.

Any rational observer would agree that the state of Zimbabwe has no right to
interfere with the administration of companies and more significantly that
any attempt to make Moxon accountable to Zimbabwean authorities on
transactions relating to assets situated in foreign territories violates
international law as doing so would effectively give the Prevention of
Corruption Act extra-territorial application.

If Moxon committed an offence then it is for the forum courts in South
Africa to adjudicate.

What is critical is that all investors follow this landmark case as it
further exposes the fact that no investor is safe when the wheels of justice
and transparency are off.

Yesterday, it was Muponda for example, and today it is Moxon. What will
tomorrow bring? Only God knows.

However, the government must observe its own laws before compelling others
to do the same. There is no choice but to accept the argument advanced by
Moxon that the specification has no force or effect and is, therefore, a

As we continue to watch the inclusive government negotiate its moral
compass, we can only support the efforts by Moxon to bring to the attention
of the investing public that a lot more needs to be done to remove domestic
sanctions against progress and prosperity. - ZimOnline

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'No blanket takeover of foreign-owned mines'

by Own Correspondent Monday 21 September 2009

HARARE - Zimbabwe's Youth and Indigenisation Minister Saviour
Kasukuwere has ruled out any blanket take over of foreign owned mines in the
country, saying the state was open to discussions on the controversial
empowerment Bill.

Kasukuwere told ZimOnline on Friday that investors had nothing to
fear, but should instead embrace the government's indigenisation programme
as this would also protect their interests in the country.

"Indigenisation does not mean nationalisation," Kasukuwere said.

"We are doing this so that we can protect foreign investors
themselves. Look at the problems being experienced in Nigeria as a result of
the oil crisis. Oil militants are kidnapping foreigners saying they are not
benefiting from the oil which is theirs.

"Government will need to see money upfront from any local investor if
they want anything in the foreign-owned firms. Nothing will be for free."

In 2006, Parliament approved the indeginsation law, but it was never
assented to by President Robert Mugabe.

The government has since withdrawn from Parliament the controversial
Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill that analysts had warned could scuttle
efforts to revive the mining sector.

The Bill - withdrawn to allow for consultations with stakeholders -
among other investor-unfriendly facets, sought to transfer a majority stake
in international mining houses to locals, including giving the government a
free 25 percent stake.

Under the draft law, foreign firms mining strategic minerals such as
coal and coal-bed methane were required to cede 51 percent shareholding to
government, with the state taking 25 percent of that free.

The government was also entitled to take 25 percent shareholding in
precious minerals such as gold, diamonds and platinum while 26 percent would
go to locals.

The empowerment plan came under heavy criticism from business saying
any unilateral empowerment programme would backfire.

"However, we are saying business must not be stone-walling
government's efforts to empower local people. Although we have proposed 51
percent stake, we are open to negotiations. We will be meeting business to
discuss further on this issue," said Kasukuwere.

Last week Mugabe told an international mining investment conference in
Harare that the government would ensure a stable policy environment to allow
the country's ailing mining sector to attract the much-needed foreign

Mugabe urged foreign mining companies to invest in the southern
African country and said government would soon pass a new law to govern the
sector, which would address concerns raised by an earlier draft.

Zimbabwe has the world's second-biggest platinum reserves after South
Africa and large deposits of diamonds, coal and nickel.  - ZimOnline

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MDC treading on dangerous ground ahead of 2011 elections

 Monday 21 September 2009 / by Alice Chimora

President Robert Mugabe has told his Zanu PF party to prepare for elections
in 2011 and work towards emerging victorious. Mugabe told the fifth congress
of the Zanu PF Women's League at the weekend that the inclusive government
formed between his Zanu PF and MDC would windup all constitution reforms
within 18 months and call elections six months later. Tsvangirai's MDC
party, meanwhile, have been warned that they are treading on dangerous
"At the end of 18 months we will have a draft [constitution] and we will
present it to the people. If the people accept it, we will have elections
within 24 months and there will be a new government. You must have this
timetable in your minds," he said. "Let's work towards emerging victorious
in 24 months time."

Mugabe insisted the new constitution would be based on the controversial
Kariba Draft Constitution that was agreed on by the parties, but which the
MDC and civil society organisations now reject. The MDC has said it will
oppose the Kariba Draft framework despite appending their signature to it in
September 2007, as they believe that the draft entrenches the executive
powers of the President and leaves Mugabe's powers intact.

The Kariba Draft was produced and signed by Zanu PF and the two MDC factions
in 2007 during talks under the auspices of former South African President
Thabo Mbeki.

President Mugabe said the document would certainly be the basis of the new
constitution. "We look forward to the new constitution and for us, we will
go by the Kariba Draft. That's what we agreed upon. Every page of that draft
has signatures of all parties and there's no way anyone can run away from
it," he said. "Nobody is disallowed to give proposals but on our side, we
expect that the three parties will go by the Kariba Draft."

Meanwhile, Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC at the weekend embarked on nationwide
consultations to ask its members whether they should disengage from the
inclusive government as the party and Zanu PF continue to disagree on
outstanding issues.

Dangerous ground

The grassroots consultations come after a number of high-level party
meetings failed to come up with a clear position on the future of the
inclusive government. It has been reported that the party's officials are
divided on their continued stay in the inclusive government. Some senior
members are said to be pushing for a complete withdrawal, a position that
has received resistance from Tsvangirai and some of his lieutenants.

MDC-T national spokesperson, Nelson Chamisa says the meetings were to allow
members of the public to give their views on whether or not the inclusive
government "is still a worthy project". "We are simply throwing the argument
to the people," said Chamisa, "updating them on the current state of things
and allowing them to share their views. We want to hear from them whether
they think it is worthy for us to continue in the inclusive government. Do
they think this is a worthy project?"

John Makumbe, a University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer, says it
was understandable why some MDC members wanted out of the inclusive
government. Zimbabweans are frustrated by the slow pace at resolving the
sticking issues, but Makumbe is doubtful the MDC would walkout of

Makumbe said consulting ordinary people on the fate of the MDC in the unity
government could be disastrous. "I doubt whether Tsvangirai and his team
would adhere to the views of the people if told to get out of government.
The consultation route is dangerous as they might fail to implement the
wishes of the people therefore plunging them into a dilemma," he said.
Makumbe said MDC should be seen at this stage soliciting views on how to
"make the GNU work".

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Zimbabwe bans ISP licencing

By John-Chimunhu

Published: September 20, 2009

(HARARE,) The Zimbabwean government has banned licensing of more internet
service providers (ISPs) after officials in President Robert Mugabe's Zanu
PF party complained that cyberspace could be used to trigger regime change.

The ban is seen as a serious blow to long-suffering Zimbabweans who rely on
the internet for accurate news and information amid a barrage of state
propaganda churned out by public media which is tightly controlled by Zanu

Independent newspapers and broadcast stations are either banned from
operating within the country and subsequently forced to operate and survive
from outside the country.

The Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz) which
licences ISPs confirmed the ban.
"The Authority's considered way forward is to suspend issuance of internet
access provider (IAP) licences until further notice," Potraz said in a

Potraz claimed that allowing more players in this sector would "result in
unnecessary duplication of infrastructure and a waste of scarce financial

Experts immediately dismissed the claim, noting that only 10 percent of
Zimbabweans have some form of internet access. They noted that even those
with access can not make full use of it due to high costs partially caused
by lack of meaningful competition in the sector.

Instead there are claims that the ban is meant to protect the interests of
Zanu PF heavies who are jostling for a piece of the action in the
fast-growing information technology sector, which is expected to surpass
many other industries in terms of profitability.

Potraz said it had recently received an unprecedented number of applications
for IAP licences.

The Zimbabwean government has become notorious for shutting off areas that
would bring in immediate investment and then complaining that foreign
investors are shunning the country.

The trend is evident in the media sector where Mugabe is blocking the
establishment of a commission to provide licences to newspapers.

In agriculture, state-sponsored thugs are chasing off farmers and looting
property with the active encouragement of Mugabe.

In June defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa said the army would begin
training soldiers to monitor cyberspace as the internet could be used by the
country's 'enemies'.

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U.S. State Dept Africa head on Zimbabwe, and more



SPEAKER: Ambassador Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, U.S. Department of State



AMB. CARSON:  Let me just say that we have an enormous amount of respect for SADC and what SADC stands for.  We appreciate enormously the diplomatic efforts that have been undertaken by governments with respect to Zimbabwe.  We differ on when and how to lift sanctions.  I want to stress that the sanctions that the United States has in place are primarily directed at individuals, some approximately 220 of them, of the most senior officials in the government, and also at entities that they possess or may own.  We reserve the right to lift those sanctions when we want to do so and when we see progress.

We have sought to engage on Zimbabwe.  We would like to see Zimbabwe not be a drag on SADC and the region, and we would like to see a return to democracy.  We do not believe that the global political agreement has been implemented and that we do not believe enough has been done.

I might also that while we have sanctions on Zimbabwe, the United States has been a strong contributor to ongoing humanitarian assistance for that country in providing food aid, medical assistance to help in the recent cholera outbreak, health assistance and fighting HIV/AIDS and supporting child survival.  And following Morgan Tsvangirais visit to Washington, President Obama and Secretary Clinton requested that we also increase or at least provide some support to education and agriculture as long as it did not go through government hands.

We will continue to remain engaged on Zimbabwe.  We think it is premature to lift sanctions on Zimbabwes leaders.  And we think it is important not to let the economic advantages that Morgan Tsvangirai and Tendai Biti bring to the case to be exploited and used by Robert Mugabe and others to secure their further control on government.  We will continue to dialogue and talk with SADC and others, but we still think insufficient progress has been made, and to remove that pressure may in effect allow for economic gains, but not in effect change the dynamics of the political strangulation that ZANU exercises on political control and power.

The full presentation follows:






TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2009 11:30 A.M.

Transcript by Federal News Service Washington, D.C.

RUDY DE LEON:  Good morning and welcome to the Center for American Progress.  My name is Rudy de Leon and I am the senior vice president for the national security programs here at the center.  We are honored today to host Ambassador Johnnie Carson, assistant secretary of state for African Affairs.  Ambassador Carson, in his 37-year career in the Foreign Service, which included ambassadorships to Kenya, Zimbabwe and Uganda, is clearly an expert on the continent.

Last month, Ambassador Carson accompanied Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Africa.  Secretary Clinton’s 11-day, seven-country tour included stops to both the continent’s most horrific and hopeful places.  Her delegation looked at ways to strengthen the African Growth and Opportunity Act, continue support for AIDS relief and to address terrorism in the Horn of Africa.  Secretary Clinton vowed that the United States would be a partner and not a patron.  In her concluding remarks in Cape Verde, Secretary Clinton stated, I leave Africa after this remarkable trip even more committed. 

Here at the Center for American Progress, we are focused on how to best use all the elements of American power.  Our sustainable security program highlights the importance of a 3-D approach to U.S. foreign policy, an approach where diplomacy and development are strengthened and help defend against real-time threats to America while managing long-term threats and challenges to our national security.  We are pleased by the State Department’s sustainable security approach to Africa from committing itself to the fight against sexual violence in the Congo to pushing Kenya to do more to halt corruption and to urging South Africa to be more proactive in resolving the conflict in Zimbabwe. 

My colleague, Reuben Brigety, will enter into a Q&A with the ambassador.  Followed by that, we will take questions from the press and then questions from our audience. 

So Mr. Ambassador, we thank you for your service.  And we very much look forward to your remarks here today.  (Applause.)

AMBASSADOR JOHNNIE CARSON:  Rudy, thank you very much for the very kind introduction.  It is a great pleasure for me to be here this morning to talk with all of you about Africa, U.S.-Africa policy and the policies of the Obama administration.  I will use this occasion to try to have a conversation with you.  For those of you who know me, that fits into my style and I much prefer a give and take rather than a more formal presentation. 

But let me begin with some very brief remarks, some very brief opening remarks to give you a sense of the direction that the administration’s policies towards Africa are likely to take.  Some observations from Secretary Clinton’s recent trip to Africa on which I accompanied her and perhaps conclude with some specific initial thoughts about changes I intend to make at my level. 

I have spent my entire professional life working on and in Africa.  And this opportunity to serve as the assistant secretary of state in this administration is virtually a dream come true, a dream of a lifetime.  I feel especially fortunate and pleased to have so many others here in this room today who are equally passionate and engaged on issues related to Africa.  And I see the faces not only in the front row, but others in the back as well, almost too numerous to name.  This encourages me to believe that working together, we can all make a substantial difference in the improvement of our relations with Africa and also improving conditions on the ground for Africans themselves.

In the past four months since I became assistant secretary, it is clear to me that President Obama has a strong, continuing and personal interest in what happens on the continent and that he intends to give Africa a much greater priority among our foreign policy interests.  We are already beginning to see this manifested in the travel by the president himself, his early visit to Ghana being an example of that.  A permanent representative to the United Nations, my former boss, Ambassador Susan Rice, visited five African countries in June.  Our Deputy Secretary of State Jack Lew visited Ethiopia and Tanzania in July.  And has already been noted, Secretary Clinton made an extensive seven-country, 11-day trip to Africa in August. 

And the president will engage with all of the African delegations at the United Nations General Assembly next week when he hosts a luncheon meeting for the African heads of state who are there.  He also will be engaged with the African leaders who are coming to the American-hosted G-8, G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh later in the month.  All of these are clear indications, early indications of a strong commitment on the part of the administration to making Africa a central part of our thinking with respect to America’s foreign policy engagement.

The president has made it clear that despite the very serious and well-known challenges that confront Africa today, we remain optimistic and hopeful about the continent.  We believe in Africa’s potential and its promise.  We remain committed to Africa’s future.  And we will be strong partners with African people and African governments. 

The world of geostrategic politics continues to shift as the world community leaves behind the challenges and the chessboard of the global Cold War era and move towards a future that is more global, more resource conscious, more affected by issues that know no border, challenges of health, disease, security, food scarcities, energy needs and uneven preservation of the planet’s resources.  This is why we believe that the 21st century will not be shaped merely in the capitals of the super and near superpowers, but also by the continent of Africa and its leaders as well.

We can no longer ignore the role Africa and its people must play in the international community.  The administration sees Africa as a fundamental part of addressing the challenges we face and a real partner in devising solutions to these challenges, especially the challenges that confront the African continent.  We envisage a much stronger partnership in which cooperation, mutual respect and mutual responsibility are the foundations of success between the United States and Africa and its many diverse nations.  We believe that African countries and their people must take the lead, must look to a brighter future and must examine themselves frankly to allow us to be honest and open partners together.

The president has acknowledged that considerable progress has been achieved in many parts of Africa.  But he has also noted that a good deal of the continent’s potential has yet to be fulfilled.  While some African countries used to have growth rates and per-capita income levels higher than many countries in Asia, they have not sustained this promise and have fallen gravely behind Asia and other emerging markets.  We must acknowledge that Africa is poor and its people are disadvantaged by poor governments, poor infrastructure, natural and manmade disasters, as well as a harshness of life that is often daunting. 

But that is only part of the story.  Now in the 21st century, we are beginning to see some budding success stories.  We need to nurture these and enable them to blossom into self-sustaining models that can be replicated across the continent.  Changes have occurred to disprove the reigning stereotypical views that we see all too often in the media.  We must seek out and publicize the progress that is occurring to give hope to others and encourage the kind of investment and people and countries.  That is critical.

Our policies will emphasize mutual responsibility.  Our commitment will be measured not merely in monetary and programmatic assistance, although the president has pledged substantial increases in our foreign assistance to Africa, but will also be gauged in ways that also further our mutual interests.  Our success should not be determined by remaining a source of perpetual aid only, so that people can scrape by, but we should be seen by how we can build partnerships and local capacity to help transform and reduce the need for assistance in the future.

I believe firmly that we will focus on five areas of critical importance for Africa that reflect America’s core values and interests, as well as issues of significance and importance to Africa.  I will touch briefly on this and we can discuss them a little more in depth when I have finished this presentation.

First, we will work in partnership with African governments and civil society to strengthen democratic institutions and to protect the gains that have been made in many places in Africa in the area of democracy and governance.  This includes rule of law, constitutional norms, democratic principles and privileges and the creation of greater opportunities and the ability to peacefully change governments.

Second, as we have done historically, we will work for sustained economic development and growth across the continent.  I do not need to explain to this audience why this remains a critical and essential part of American policy, as well as an interest of the entire international community.  We have numerous programs and institutions to undertake this particular challenge.  And I believe we will use every tool at our disposal and hope to encourage some non-traditional ones to become more engaged and involved with fostering a more prosperous African continent.  Without growth and development, especially that of open markets and the institutions and laws of a market economy, I fear that prosperity will not be achievable over the long term.  

Third, we will also continue to maintain our historical focus on health issues with a particular emphasis on public health and the strengthening of African delivery systems to provide the kinds of access, treatment and prevention that remain essential for progress in most other areas.  We view this as a basic building block to achieving our other objectives.  There is no question that we need on the continent for improved health care is vast.  And the challenges exceed our own resources and capacities.  But we hope to work intensively with our global partners and institutions to ensure that this sector remains a very high priority and that we make every effort to ensure that resources are deployed and spent in a coordinated and complementary manner that multiplies the impact across the continent.

Fourth, we will continue to work with the international community and African states and leaders to prevent, mitigate and also to resolve interstate conflicts and disputes.  To the extent we have the ability to become a player, we will also work to mitigate and end internal disputes such as in Sudan, Somalia and the Eastern Congo, so that greater stability and security can lead to improved living conditions for those countries and their citizens.  Each conflict generates unwanted consequences of impoverishment, disease, refugees, violent deaths and destabilizations internally and in neighboring countries.  This cannot be ignored, nor will we allow it to be.  We will work with our friends to bring about greater regional and local security and seek partners who share our concerns to end these manmade tragedies.

Fifth and finally, the 21st century has brought new transnational challenges to Africa that were previously prevalent mostly outside of the continent.  These global issues have now come to infect Africa with the same virulence that they have appeared elsewhere.  Narco-trafficking, climate change, illegal exploitation of Africa’s maritime resources, pandemic diseases and energy security are all eroding our ability to meet the historical challenges that have faced Africa.  We intend to address these issues in Africa with our African partners with the same seriousness that we have addressed them in our own country and elsewhere.  We have learned that these are global challenges, transnational challenges, and that we cannot afford to ignore them wherever they are.

I promised at the very beginning that this would be more a conversation and a discussion than a speech.  And I am going to stop right here, allow the moderator to come forward and during the Q&A, I hope that I will get a chance to go into some depth about the secretary’s past trip to Africa and give you all an opportunity to ask specific questions about things that I have not mentioned or specific countries that I have not said anything about.  I am going to stop here and allow for the dialogue and the conversation to begin.


REUBEN BRIGETY:  Ladies and gentlemen, good morning.  My name is Reuben Brigety.  I am the director of the sustainable security program here at the Center for American Progress.  So let me extend – be the second to extend my welcome to all of you here and also to Ambassador Carson for his willingness to come and answer some questions.

We will proceed in the following way.  I will ask a couple of questions to Ambassador Carson and then we will take a few questions from the media.  And then we will take questions from the floor and go to just about 11:30. 

So why don’t we start, Ambassador Carson, with an event taken straight from the headlines?  We learned that yesterday Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, who was an operative al-Qaida, was killed in a quite daring special operations raid in Southern Somalia.  And given the history of American counterterrorism operations in the Horn of Africa, I am wondering what you think the death of Mr. Nabhan means for both the ability of the United States to promote stability in Somalia and also for its general counterterrorism efforts in the Horn.

AMB. CARSON:  Let me just say in general terms without discussing this particular raid by pointing out that the terrorism that we ourselves have experienced in the United States has also been visited on numerous occasions in East Africa.  Many people recall that three years prior to 9/11 on August 7, 1998, we had two embassies in East Africa, one in Nairobi, Kenya; the other one is Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, that were destroyed by al-Qaida terrorists.  In that terrible event, some 214 people were killed.  Forty-four of them were killed inside of the American embassy in Nairobi. 

In 2002, in November of 2002, al-Qaida in East Africa struck again.  And this time, they did it in Mombasa, Kenya, where they destroyed the Paradise Hotel and used two MANPADS to bring down or attempt to bring down an Israeli charter flight.  We know that the individual who was reportedly killed in Somalia yesterday was, in fact, one of the two top leaders of al-Qaida in East Africa and was, in fact, the individual who was directly responsible for organizing and planning the destruction of the Paradise Hotel and the attempted shoot down of the Israeli aircraft. We think that his departure from the ranks of the al-Qaida leadership in East Africa will substantially reduce the capacity of that organization to plan and carry out future attacks.

We believe his departure from that organization will also deprive those individuals in Somalia in the al-Shabaab organization with whom he was collaborating with an individual who has been attempting to undermine the efforts of the transitional federal government of President Sheikh Sharif and attacking the Djibouti process that brought that government to power.  We have to recognize that there are individuals, including in Africa, who were working against the interest of the United States, the international community and most importantly, against the interest of Africans.  We think that his departure from the scene probably makes us all who work in and around East Africa a little bit safer, a little bit more secure.

MR. BRIGETY:  Ambassador, you spent a fair amount of your time in your presentation just now talking about the importance of economic growth and development both for our partners and also for the ability to provide prosperity.  And clearly, Secretary Clinton emphasized that by starting her trip in Kenya with a presentation at the AGOA Summit.  And yet, a skeptic might take a look at a variety of issues and have a fair amount of cause for concern with regard to American economic partnership with Africa.  We are nine months into an administration without a USAID administrator.  The United States has a trillion-dollar budget deficit this year, therefore bringing to some level of question the ability of the president to maintain his commitment to double foreign assistance overall.  Key elements of AGOA are set to expire within the next couple of years and they have not been brought in permanent. 

So for those who are here in the audience and those who may be watching around the world, can you give us some more really quite concrete reasons for African partners to have confidence in the ability of the United States to be true powerful economic partners in this administration going forward?

AMB. CARSON:  I think the commitment of the United States to Africa remains extremely strong.  The U.S. has been one of the largest, generally the first or the second largest contributor of development assistance to Africa over the past decade.  I expect that our contributions to Africa will continue to remain focused and they will remain strong.  I think that this administration will clearly build on some of the very sound initiatives that have been developed over the last decade starting with AGOA.

The secretary did, in fact, go to Kenya to participate in the African Growth and Opportunity Forum.  AGOA is a landmark piece of legislation that opens our market to some 6,000 African products duty free.  We intend to work as hard as we can to encourage African states to develop the kinds of industry and production that will allow them to send products into the United States. 

Equally, we have a strong commitment to MCC and continuing the MCC process of which the secretary of state serves as a chairman of the MCC board.  There is an ongoing commitment to support that and to see it fully funded, no drawback on that.  There is also a commitment to carry on the HIV/AIDS and prevention programs, which are important for Africa’s health.  But beyond that, the president has clearly committed the United States to being a strong partner in the area of development assistance.  I think that one should look at the signals that are already out there.  The president’s engagement on African issues in Rome at the G-8, G-20 meeting, where, in fact, he spearheaded the international effort to focus on Africa’s agriculture and the need to help create a green revolution in Africa, one similar to that which occurred in Asia and Latin America some 20 or 30 years ago and which have transformed the agricultural scenes in those countries.

The administration is working on a major food security initiative.  We will be seeing more about this in the weeks to come.  The secretary of State and others have been in consultation with all of the African diplomatic missions in this town, as well as a number of diplomatic missions from other parts of the world.  There is a strong commitment to try to jumpstart Africa’s agricultural sector, to end hunger and to create the kinds of strong agro-industry that can help propel that continent forward.

There is also a strong commitment to support wider public health initiatives.  I think both in Rome and in Ghana, the president made it clear that we have broad interests in African health.  There is a need to help Africa eliminate deaths – needless deaths from diseases which are easily cured.  African children, African men and women should not, in fact, be dying of cholera, of malaria, of tuberculosis.  All of these things can be turned around with proper health care.  I think that nine months into a new administration, administration that is only now putting forth its own real budget to the Congress, it has demonstrated a tremendous commitment to build on the good things that have gone before and to start to develop a set of policy frameworks that will carry us forward.

I think that the visits and the interaction that the administration has had – the president; the secretary of state; Ambassador Susan Rice; Jack Lew, our deputy secretary of State – and in the meetings that the president will have next week with African leaders – we are listening, we are planning and we are poised to continue to launch and move forward with developing a partnership that is real, that is meaningful and that is built, as we like to say, on mutual respect and mutual responsibility.  I am optimistic.  And we believe in Africa’s future and its promise.  And we are committed, as I said, to trying to do everything we can to advance it.

MR. BRIGETY:  In the interest of time, we are going to start taking questions from the audience.  Here is how we are going to proceed.  As I mentioned, we will start first with members of the press corps.  And after a few questions, we will go to the audience as a whole.  Let me just ask – we have a variety of people in the audience.  You are experts in a variety of issues in Africa and are passionate about them.  For that reason, let me please request that you make your questions questions rather than statements and those who are challenged in that area, I would be more than happy to assist you in that regard.  So may I please see hands from the press corps first?

Yes, sir?

Q:  Reed Kramer from AllAfrica Global Media,  You made the point in your opening remarks that there was more – the commitment to Africa extended beyond flow of resources and you mentioned diplomatic engagement.  So I wanted to briefly ask you about the level of engagement and the willingness to be involved in four key areas – Zimbabwe, particularly in light of the fact that President Obama will be with President Zuma next week at the G-20 and – two countries have been very active on that continuing crisis; Congo, where you just visited with the secretary; Nigeria, where the largest oil producer in Africa where conflict in the delta threatens U.S. interests as well as stability in the region; and finally, Liberia, which is seeing some peace after a long conflict and where many people think that U.S. engagement and partnership is crucial if that country is going to be successful in its post-conflict transition to real democracy.

AMB. CARSON:  Reed, thank you very much for the question.  We are interested and engaged in all of these countries, three of which the secretary visited on her trip.  Let me say a bit about Zimbabwe.  We remain deeply concerned about the failure of the government of Robert Mugabe, but particularly of President Mugabe and his party to live up to the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement brokered by South Africa and SADC and negotiated with the MDC. 

We would like to see a reaffirmation of the commitment to implement the Global Political Agreement as swiftly as possible and a strong support for moving towards a new constitution and new elections.  The president is, indeed, engaged, as is the secretary of State.  You may recall that President Obama met with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in the White House.  Secretary of State Clinton had a separate meeting with Morgan Tsvangirai.  Those meetings were intended to underscore U.S. interest and concern about what is happening in Zimbabwe and the U.S. commitment to try to encourage as much progress as swiftly as possible in helping to restore democracy in that country.

Also note that for the very first time in many years, I have myself sought out the Zimbabweans.  I had a not very pleasant and successful meeting with President Mugabe in Libya a month ago.  I also met prior to that meeting with Zimbabwe’s Vice President Joyce Mujuru, a much more satisfactory meeting in which I thought we could work with him to make some progress.  We are committed to work with others to try to see Zimbabwe resolved.  The best resolution is a full implementation of the Global Political Agreement as swiftly as possible.  We will continue to work for it on behalf of democracy, on behalf of the Zimbabwean people and on behalf of the fairness that is required and which is – in its absence, has deprived the MDC of leadership.

Secretary Clinton went to Congo, to Nigeria and to Liberia.  The secretary is deeply concerned about the ongoing crisis in North and South Kivu.  It was the first time that a secretary of state had been to Goma in the Eastern region.  It was only the second time in the last 14 years – 12 years that we had seen a secretary of state in the Congo.  The last visiting secretary of State was Madeleine Albright.  She went to the Congo and to the Kivus to underscore our concern about the continuing violence there, about the use of rape and as a weapon of war against Congolese women and to encourage the greater action on behalf of MONUC, on behalf of the Congolese government and behalf of the international community. 

The secretary has indicated that Ambassador Howard Wolpe will be taking an active leading role as an advisor on how we move the Congo along or work with the Congolese government, a reflection of the commitment we have there.

Nigeria is without a doubt for the United States and probably for Africa the most important country on the sub-Saharan portion of the continent because of its population, because of its oil and mineral resources, because of its economy, because of its peacekeeping capacities and you could go on and on and on. 

But Nigeria is one of those African countries, while extraordinarily important, is a country that has not lived up to its full potential.  It is a country that is facing enormous challenges both north, south and central, in the delta, in the north as we have seen with the recent incidents of the Boko Haram faction.  And in terms of the ability of the government to move forward in fighting corruption and in dealing with enormous power shortages and in dealing with social, economic and health needs for all of its citizens.  We are engaged in Nigeria. 

We will continue to be engaged in Nigeria.  One of the things that Secretary Clinton said that she would do in conjunction with the Nigerians is to set up a binational commission mechanism that would allow for the U.S. and Nigeria to engage on a variety of issues on a routine basis to advance the relationship.

Liberia – there is enormous respect for the work that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has done in that country in its effort to restore democracy and stability after the long, long nightmare of Charles Taylor and civil strife.  We are committed as a country and a government to work with Liberia on helping to provide development assistance, encourage investment, give support to its ministries and to help in security sector reform.  The secretary of state has enormous respect for President Johnson Sirleaf.  And it was, in fact, one of the most important stops that she made on the trip. 

We are committed in each of these countries.  Let me just say, too, that the secretary’s trip to Africa can be measured in many ways.  But it can be measured in the things that she did not do and measured in the things that she did do.  This was a trip in which there was no sightseeing, no game parks, no tourism and no shopping.  It was a trip in which we went to all of the difficult and tough spots and where we handled multiple issues at every turn.  Kenya was not just a trip for AGOA.  It was also an opportunity to signal our strong support for President Sheikh Sharif, the TFG and the Djibouti process.  It was an opportunity to talk to the Kenyans about getting their democracy back on track, an important partner for the United States and East Africa. 

The same thing was true of every stop.  I have talked about Goma.  I have talked about Liberia.  But every stop was a serious one and a serious country in which we have important relationships.  We cannot emphasize enough that the trip itself and what we did on it reflects a level of commitment that we have not had before.  This is the longest trip the secretary has taken as secretary of State.  Not any of her other foreign trips have been this long.  And I would argue that probably none of them have been as difficult and as arduous.  It was important.  It was significant.  It is a manifestation and an underlining of where we are and the commitment that rests ahead.  Nine months into this, nine months into this.  We are not talking about three years or four years.  We are just on the takeoff at this point.

MR. BRIGETY:  Did I see a press question in the rear?  Yes, sir, with the red pen?  Yes, ma’am?  I am sorry.  All the way in the back, all the way in the back.

Q:  Thank you.  My name is – (inaudible) – King and I am from Pacific Radio.  Ambassador, thank you very much.  I just wondered whether there has been any discussion about involvement and role of the African Diaspora and what that discussion has been.  What does it sound like?  Thank you.

AMB. CARSON:  We have tried to in the Africa Bureau to engage all of our constituencies in Washington and around the United States, and we include amongst that the Africa diaspora as one of those constituencies.  In discussions that I have had in the Department of State, in meetings that I have had in New York, here in Washington and with individual groups, we have in fact reached out to the African diaspora to talk with them and consult with them.  We certainly did prior to the trip, and I’ve certainly talked to people post the secretary’s trip.

An example of things that we’re about to do:  I, myself, will be going out to the Midwest to Minneapolis within the next three weeks.  Out there, it is my intent to meet with leaders in the Somali community in Minneapolis.  But, yes, we have many constituencies in the Department of State.  We think that it is important to talk to the diaspora to listen to it, to hear its views and to share our thoughts and concerns as well.

MR. BRIGETY:  In the interest of time, we’re going to open the floor to general questions, so I’m going to – I’ll try to bundle a couple of them together.  I see a hand here, yes sir, in the glasses – (inaudible.)  No, I’m sorry, just here on the right, may I ask you, just, right here, with his hand up.  Yes, thank you very much.  Please identify yourself.


Q:  Thank you very much.  Lawrence Freeman, Executive Intelligence Review, African desk.  One question you did not bring up, Ambassador, was the situation in Sudan.  And since the special envoy’s comments at Sen. Kerry’s hearing, which I was at, questioning the – being kept on the sponsored list of terrorists and also sanctions, I was told that he came under a lot of attack.  There is now a review which was scheduled to be completed, I believe, in early September by the State Department or by the Obama administration.  Could you tell us more and how that’s proceeding and what are the key issues and what do you think is going to happen in that for U.S. government policy towards settling Sudan?

MR. BRIGETY:  Sir, we’ll take one more question, they can answer both of them.  Yes, ma’am, here, with the pen, in the blue pen.  Yes, please.

Q:  Hi, Elizabeth Dickinson, I’m with Foreign Policy Magazine.  I also wanted to ask a question about our engagement with Africa a little bit closer to home.  Just about a month ago there was an internal report released by the inspector general about the Bureau of African Affairs that raised a number of challenges for the bureau.  It also praised very greatly your leadership and the way that that is helping to bring the agency together, but I wonder if I could ask you your assessment of that report, whether those were fair conclusions and what needs to be done in the coming months to address those.

MR. BRIGETY:  So again, those two questions, Ambassador, on the review of the U.S.-Sudan policy and the on the IG report on Africa Bureau.

AMB. CARSON:  The administration is focused on Sudan and regards it as a serious and significant priority for us.  One of the early special envoys appointed by the president was Gen. Scott Gratian to handle the Sudan account with a focus clearly on trying to realize full implementation of the comprehensive peace agreement and to work as diligently as possible to bring an end to the humanitarian crisis in Darfur and an end to the political crisis in that area as a well.

A policy review has in fact been ongoing.  It is in fact over.  I hope that in the weeks that come, people will have a better perspective on the key elements of that policy.  I think we are moving very aggressively towards doing the things which are absolutely vital and key there, and that is trying to ensure that the core elements of the comprehensive peace agreement are fulfilled, that people in Southern Sudan have an opportunity to vote for whether they want to remain a part of Sudan or whether they want their independence, and secondly to bring an end to the crisis, both humanitarian and political in Darfur.

I think that there is a strong degree of commitment across the administration with respect to Darfur, and I think youre seeing that in the level of activity being undertaken by Scott Gratian and others in the administration.  I wont say anything more about that. 

Yes, with respect to the Africa Bureau, the inspector general of the State Department conducts on a routine basis audits and management reviews of embassies and bureaus.  One was carried out on the administration of the Africa Bureau over the last three years.  That report did not in fact find that everything was running smoothly.  There were a number of issues that surfaced.  I think that it is my obligation as assistant secretary to look at such things, take them seriously, to remediate them, and improve them. 

The Africa Bureau has a long and distinguished record of service in the Department of State.  It has produced some of the finest officers in the State Department writ large across all bureaus.  I think that it is my responsibility not only to help shape and guide and direct the policy but also to manage the bureau, its personnel, and its resources in the most effective and thoughtful manner, and I will try to do that.

MR. BRIGETY:  I think we have time for two more questions.  Sir, in the yellow tie.

Q:  Let me just my name is Manalese Tubas (ph).  Im with the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

Let me just make a very quick follow-up on the issue of Zimbabwe in the light of your earlier presentation where you emphasized the issue of mutual respect between the administration and Africans and the fact that you say that Africans must take the lead in resolving their own problems.  And they have taken many, but let me just confine my question to one.  The resolution of SADC in Kinshasa a week ago, where they said that sanctions must be lifted in Zimbabwe as a matter of (inaudible) so that the people of Zimbabwe should start to rebuild their country.  And it does seem to me that you are not listening to that and are not prepared to respect that resolution.  Why?

MR. BRIGETY:  And one last question here.

Q:  Im from the Voice of America (inaudible). 

I would like to ask you, also to do with Zimbabwe.  At what stage would you advise Mr. Tsvangirai to leave the unity government?

MR. BRIGETY:  And one last one.

Q:  Thanks.  I had a couple of questions.  Michelle Keleman with National Public Radio. 

On Sudan, as you review this policy, what do you think the biggest challenges where are the biggest challenges in Darfur, or the fact that the North-South peace deal is fraying?  Who from Sudan, if anyone, will be invited to this lunch next week with the president?  And has there been any diplomatic fallout to this U.S. strike in Somalia yesterday.

MR. BRIGETY:  So three concluding questions.  (Laughter.)  The first on SADCs resolution to lift sanctions towards Zimbabwe, the second on Mr. Tsvangirai should leave the government and the third on Darfur.

AMB. CARSON:  Let me just say that we have an enormous amount of respect for SADC and what SADC stands for.  We appreciate enormously the diplomatic efforts that have been undertaken by governments with respect to Zimbabwe.  We differ on when and how to lift sanctions.  I want to stress that the sanctions that the United States has in place are primarily directed at individuals, some approximately 220 of them, of the most senior officials in the government, and also at entities that they possess or may own.  We reserve the right to lift those sanctions when we want to do so and when we see progress.

We have sought to engage on Zimbabwe.  We would like to see Zimbabwe not be a drag on SADC and the region, and we would like to see a return to democracy.  We do not believe that the global political agreement has been implemented and that we do not believe enough has been done.

I might also that while we have sanctions on Zimbabwe, the United States has been a strong contributor to ongoing humanitarian assistance for that country in providing food aid, medical assistance to help in the recent cholera outbreak, health assistance and fighting HIV/AIDS and supporting child survival.  And following Morgan Tsvangirais visit to Washington, President Obama and Secretary Clinton requested that we also increase or at least provide some support to education and agriculture as long as it did not go through government hands.

We will continue to remain engaged on Zimbabwe.  We think it is premature to lift sanctions on Zimbabwes leaders.  And we think it is important not to let the economic advantages that Morgan Tsvangirai and Tendai Biti bring to the case to be exploited and used by Robert Mugabe and others to secure their further control on government.  We will continue to dialogue and talk with SADC and others, but we still think insufficient progress has been made, and to remove that pressure may in effect allow for economic gains, but not in effect change the dynamics of the political strangulation that ZANU exercises on political control and power.

MR. BRIGETY:  And did you want to address Darfur for any political fallout?

AMB. CARSON:  Yeah, let me just say Morgan Tsvangirais decision on when he what he does are his own decisions, not for us to advise him or to criticize him one way or another.  Those are domestic decisions, personal decisions, political decisions that he and he alone and his colleagues must make.  Theyre not for us in Washington to make.

The issues related to Sudan I believe personally and professionally that the most serious problem today there is ensuring that the comprehensive peace agreement is fully implemented.  One can only look at Sudans history to recognize the criticality of ensuring that this agreement is implemented.  Throughout some 70 percent of its post-independence history since 1957, Sudan has been engulfed in war, two long struggles, Anyanya 1 and Anyanya 2, the second one being brought to an end in January of 05 with a comprehensive peace agreement. 

Both of those conflicts have caused enormous loss of life, not in the hundreds of thousands, but in terms of four or 5 million people.  It would be disastrous not only for Sudan but also for the region if this agreement were not completely fulfilled and there were a reemergence of conflict in the south or between the north and the south.  Ensuring that that agreement stays on track is critically important.  That is not to diminish the need, the very serious need to resolve the humanitarian situation in Darfur or to reach a political conclusion there, but the CPA and the North-South Agreement is critical to the stability of that country.  If that agreement unravels, it is unlikely that anyone in Darfur will put much trust in an agreement between Darfurians and the Khartoum government.  They would expect that it probably would have the same kind of shelf life or life expectancy of the CPA.  Making sure that agreement works, making sure that it works fairly on behalf of all involved, north and south is absolutely critical.

As far as our planning or planning of those who are most directly involved in next weeks events in New York, it is not our intention to have any contacts at the White House level with anyone from the leadership in Sudan.  It would be inappropriate.

You had one last question and I cant remind

MR. BRIGETY:  It was the diplomatic fallout from the strike in

AMB. CARSON:  Diplomatic fallout at this juncture no diplomatic fallout we have seen statements from a number of leaders in Somalia associated with the TFG and with the other groups that are fighting al-Shabaab that have applauded the success of the effort against Saleh Nabhan.  We have not seen any statements at least I havent seen from any governments at this point in the region.  But as I said earlier, Saleh Nabhan was an international terrorist.  He was responsible for the death and destruction of a number of Kenyans and others in Mombasa and certainly was an individual who was clearly capable of carrying out incidents like this in the future if he had remained at large.

MR. BRIGETY:  I apologize for running over time, but I think that well agree its been a fantastic and very substantive conversation.  Please join me in thanking Ambassador Carson for joining us today.


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TIM COHEN: Taking a bet on a 'safer' Zimbabwe

     Published: 2009/09/21 06:25:43 AM

HERE is a terrible question: has the time come to think of investing in
Zimbabwe? For nearly a decade, investors have been getting their fingers
burnt, calling a bottom in Zimbabwe. It was always going to get better, but
it just got worse.

Yet things have changed. For the past three months, inflation has,
incredibly, been negative. Dollarisation of the economy has effectively
removed the Zimbabwean Reserve Bank from the equation, making printing money

With the Zimbabwean economy, once the region's second- biggest, now
collapsing to the size of Swaziland's, another incredible thing could take
place this year; economic growth. The International Monetary Fund is
projecting 3% gross domestic product growth, half the Zimbabwean finance
ministry's projection.

After dropping this year far below the frontier index, Zimbabwe's bourse
rebounded spectacularly in dollar terms, and is now trading on a par with
regional and frontier indices. None other than President Robert Mugabe is
seeking investment in mining, the only thing that can still rightly be
called an industry. He promises these businesses won't be expropriated (hard
to believe as existing mining law, which he promises to change, seeks to
expropriate half of mining company shares).

Buoyed by these changes, the Zimbabwean government is due to have an
investment conference in London later this month.

While the signing of the grandiosely titled Global Political Agreement was
undoubtedly a step forward, many uncertainties remain, including splits and
factions developing in both the major parties, arguments over interpreting
the power-sharing agreement, and a succession problem in both parties. But
at least Zimbabwe is now a conceivable bet.

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Tsvangirayi rattles sabre

Comment from Modern, 20 September

By Rejoice Ngwenya

More often than not, we commentators are desperate to bring good tidings to
our fellowmen, because it is the right thing to do; political correctness
even in the face of adversity. But that is only if there is time, when the
sand is at the top end of the glass and the pendulum is still on an upward
swing. It is African to be nice, especially in unified collective solidarity
with those, like Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirayi of Zimbabwe, who are on
the proverbial side of truth and justice. We Zimbabweans can no longer
afford this luxury. On this side of the continent, when things are bad, we
say 'it could be better'. If one is not satisfied, we say 'not really', but
for Mr Tsvangirayi, the reality of dissatisfaction calls more for
superlatives than adjectives. At one time, he called president Robert Mugabe
a 'good' person to work with, since the Global Political Agreement [GPA]
was, in his words, 'going the right direction'. Now, Gunilla Carlsson, the
international development minister of Sweden, which holds the EU's rotating
presidency, has spit political acid on Mugabe and told him restrictions
remain intact until the ageing dictator understands the word 'agreement'.

The view from popular terraces is that if indeed politics is a dirty game,
Mugabe is at the wrong side of the football pitch. Instead of scoring own
goals, the Old Man must restrict himself outside the touchline, picking and
throwing stray balls with the rest of the 'harmless' ball boys. Yet he has
surrounded himself with unrepentant cheer leaders who hide behind a
smokescreen of legalism to portray him as a kingmaker in this union of
monumental compromise. The man has no morsel of moral high ground to define
the destiny of our country. He lost the elections in March 2008. I just wish
the pseudo-intellectuals who sing his praises could evoke a semblance of
commonsense. African scholar George B. N. Ayittey, comments on the blog
ZimOnline: "Many of these African scholars and professors acted like
intellectual prostitutes, selling off their integrity, conscience and
principles to hop into bed with barbarous regimes. Then after being used and
defiled, they were tossed aside or worse."

Good start, then he takes a wrong turn, like Mr Tsvangirayi: "The other
option for the MDC is to level with the Zimbabwean people and pull out of
the GNU. It is not working," cries Ayittey. Tsvangirayi himself rattles the
sabre for good measure: "I have done my part to promote reconciliation in
this country. Even after winning the election, I have compromised for the
sake of Zimbabwe. But don't misjudge me. You misjudge me at your peril." The
sword is gleaming with provocative resolve in the simmering African sun, or
is it? Assuming Mugabe calls the bluff, it is a case of dejavu for the
embattled Prime Minister. You see, there is an argument that of all the arms
of national governance, Tsvangirayi can only exercise influence over the
Legislature, seeing that MDC has a slight parliamentary majority. But by
right, if he should be the one to have invited Mugabe into the coalition,
can he can toss him out? The irony of 'pulling out' is further complicated
by the fact that most MDC ministers who have sunk their political fangs in
Zanu PF style patronage-induced largesse may scoff at the idea of abandoning
their new-found wealth.

So what choice does MDC really have? Other than the dotted line, the GPA has
no legal backing, so SADC's Joseph Kabila cannot enforce anything. Jacob
Zuma is well aware that Tsvangirayi once came within a whisker of
imprisonment for threatening to remove Mugabe 'violently', so the South
African can dismiss Tsvangirayi's threat as an act of sabre rattling. More
importantly, if Mugabe is confronted with several empty seats in Cabinet, he
may convince his fellow SADC under-achievers that the pre-29 March
constitution bestows authority upon him to nominate and appoint additional
ministers, in which case all MDC operatives with no electoral constituencies
may find themselves in the wilderness. For a man who 'lost' in the free and
fair version of elections, this option to work would require a massive
display of reckless self-abandon matched with an equally passive civil
society to match. As it is, Mugabe conducts 'presidential business' with a
touch of defiant confidence, proving to all and sundry that his post-GPA
choice of central bank governor and attorney general were 'legal'. Therefore
it is only incessant condemnation that can act as a deterrent against

Moreover, how dangerous it is to threaten Mugabe and fail to follow up on
the threats. Whilst Tsvangirayi can struggle to summon the unreliable and
unpredictable critical mass of citizens that voted him into power, Mugabe's
trigger-happy police and army activists are a phone call away to suppress
any dissent. Yet if Tsvangirayi is only interested in causing a
constitutional crisis, he might just strike bull's eye. Mugabe at one time
contemplated or threatened to form a cabinet in the absence of MDC but
climbed down the ego tree possibly after considering the inevitable loss of
legitimacy. Thus in this repertoire of confusing options, there is only one
constant element – that Zanu PF's violation of the provision of GPA calls
for a drastic response. However, moving out of the union may sound a high
value populist proposition for Tsvangirayi, but he has a mountain to climb
in persuading his colleagues that good political judgement has better long
term gains than short term comfort. So, call me a prophet of doom, purveyor
of pessimism and merchant of shame. I have few regrets for such labels that
tickle my imagination!

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CHRA demands the arrest of Hon. Nyanhongo





145 Robert Mugabe Way, Exploration House, Third Floor; Website:

Contacts: Mobile: 0912 653 074, 0913 042 981, 011862012 or email,,


21 September 2009

The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) has since written to Officer Commanding Harare Central police station requesting the arrest of Hon. Nyanhongo for inciting public violence and disorder. Hon Nyanhongo issued out statements to the press threatening the city council and residents who will benefit from the re allocation of the market stalls.

Kindly find attached the letter that was written to the Officer Commanding Harare Central Police Station.

HRA Information, making the implicit, explicit





21 September 2009


Officer Commanding

Harare Central Police Station



Cc: Commissioner of Police

 Honorable Minister Kembo Mohadi

 Honorable Minister Giles Mutsekwa    


Dear Sir/Madam


Re: Letter of complaint and request for appropriate investigation


We the peace loving and law abiding residents of the City of Harare and members of the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) express our disappointment over the statements issued out by Honorable Hubert Nyanhongo in The Herald Newspaper of Wednesday the 16th of September 2009. Commenting on the City Council’s decision to review the allocation of market stalls at Mupedzanhamo and Machipisa, Honorable Hubert Nyanhongo said “It has to stop or guns will blaze. Guns will be fired. We can command people to fight those people and drive them out of the City” We bring it your attention that such statements are tantamount to inciting public violence, causing public despondence and general disorder and are a clear violation of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) as well as the Criminal Codification Act. Honorable Nyanhongo is a Member of Parliament, a Deputy Minister and a political party leader. This entails that Honorable Nyanhongo is a public official with considerable capacity to influence people to behave in a certain manner. In that regard, Honorable Nyanhongo’s statements have considerable capacity to incite certain people to start public violence and disrupt order. Thus we are of the opinion that there is a prima facie case of inciting public violence, causing public despondence and general disorder by Hon Hubert Nyanhongo. 


Furthermore, we are extremely worried that Hon. Nyanhongo is making such public statements at a time when the same Government which he serves, is in the process of promoting national healing. We therefore implore your offices to cause investigation into this issue and take the appropriate measures that are in line with the administration of justice. CHRA further implores you to take appropriate action to ensure and guarantee the security of its leadership and members who may be at risk of victimization by virtue of calling for this investigation. We look forward to your response and seeing your office taking such action. Meanwhile our legal team is carrying its own investigations and will be ready to help you appropriately. 


Yours faithfully


CHRA leadership as signed on the next page




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