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Zim education, health sectors dire: Reports

by Sebastian Nyamhangambiri Wednesday 23 September 2009

HARARE - Conditions in Zimbabwe's health and education sectors remain dire
despite teachers and health workers returning to work and donors injecting
millions of dollars to revive schools and hospitals, according to two
government reports shown to ZimOnline on Tuesday.

The reports marking the first official attempts to assess the extent of
decay in the country's once envied public school and hospital system after a
decade of acute recession and political crisis were prepared by Deputy Prime
Minister Thokozani Khupe's office and the National Education Advisory Board

In a report titled "Report on Provincial Tours of the Education and Health
Sectors", Khupe said public schools and hospitals across the country's 10
provinces were critically under-funded with basic infrastructure either
non-existent or dilapidated due to years of neglect.

In a vivid illustration of the desperate situation in Zimbabwe's once
glorious public education sector, Khupe describes what she calls the "bush
boarding system" in the remote Binga district where students have built
squatter camps in the bush near Binga and Manjolo high schools because
authorities could not provide boarding facilities for learners.

The two schools cater for a large area and some of the students coming from
far off villages either have to live in the pole and dagga squatter camps or
walk long distances of up to 20km everyday to school, according Khupe's

In yet more examples of grim conditions in education, Khupe said in her
report that the textbook/pupil ratio at most schools was as high as 33
learners per one textbook, while in the northern Hwange district there was a
shortfall of 280 primary school classrooms and 53 for secondary schools.

"The enormity of what needs to be done to return our education and health
systems to their former national and international glory and acclaim cannot
be (overstated)," Khupe said.

"Some of these challenges are as a result of institutional administrative
weaknesses, it is quite clear that many of them mirror the economic
challenges faced by the nation as a whole," said Khupe, who toured national
hospitals and schools between July and August.

Describing the situation in hospitals Khupe said: "All the nine hospitals
toured had serious problems with shortages of drugs . . . the equipment is
old and in a state of disrepair. There are shortages of beds and mattresses,
and some patients have to lie on the floor. There is also a serious shortage
of linen and blankets ward equipment and supplies."

While Khupe examined the situation in both public hospitals and schools, the
NEAB assessed the state of Zimbabwe's public schools, releasing a report
depicting an education sector on its knees, weighed down by a severe
shortage of resources and low morale among teachers because of poor pay.

The report titled "Rapid Assessment of Primary and Secondary Education"
laments the government's failure to pay teachers who it says had been
reduced to paupers because of inadequate salaries.

In addition to a demotivated teaching staff, a shortage of textbooks and
other learning materials as well as political violence that has targeted
teachers had all contributed to knock Zimbabwe's once respected public
schools system off the pedestal, said the NEAB that toured schools between
March and July.

It said: "Teacher morale was very low in all schools visited. Teachers were
demotivated by low salaries, lack of security in rural areas where teachers
became victims of political violence in 2008, lack of accommodation and
shortages of teaching and learning resources such as textbooks, stationery.
The image of the teacher was at its lowest since independence."

The NEAB that was tasked by Education Minister David Coltart to assess the
situation in the education sector urged the government to revamp the
Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council that has been rocked by accusations of
incompetence and corruption in recent years.

The two reports were expected to be discussed by Cabinet this week,
government sources said.

Zimbabwe's power-sharing government led by President Robert Mugabe, Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Premier Arthur Mutambara has promised
to revive the economy and restore basic services such as health and
education that had virtually collapsed over the past decade.

But failure by the unity government - which says it requires a total US$10
billion to get Zimbabwe on its feet again - to convince rich Western nations
to release grants and soft loans has hampered its ability to drive the
recovery effort.

Western governments insist they will not provide support until they see
evidence Mugabe is committed to genuinely sharing power with his former
opposition foes. - ZimOnline

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Riot police disturb the peace in Bulawayo today
Written by The Zimbabwean   
Tuesday, 22 September 2009 14:50

police__great_zim_universityToday at noon the streets of Bulawayo came alive with the voices of human rights defenders as they commemorated the United Nations International Day of Peace. The words of the songs rang out - 'its time to expose this false peace' and another 'Lord, hear our cries'.

These songs were silenced however as riot police swooped, beating women and men alike, to disperse them from reaching their target at Mhlahlandlela Government complex. Fortunately the strategy of multiple protests starting minutes apart outwitted the police and the last protest managed to reach their target. No arrests have been reported to date but WOZA leaders are still verifying whether everyone returned safely to their homes.

slipper_of_peace(Pictured: Slipper of peace)

Several activists required medical attention for injuries sustained during the chaos however. 20 year old Prisca Dube, chased by riot police into a pile of broken glass, had to continue running, leaving a trail of blood behind in the street. Her bloody slipper and four stitches to the sole of her foot are proof of the false peace in Zimbabwe.  30-year old Frances Vale had to be driven to hospital as he was unable to walk after being beaten by four riot police at the same time; he has a fracture to his arm and doctors are still waiting to check his leg and lower back.  Nomuhle has a sprained ankle after a police officer stood on her foot. Twenty other members are also seeking medical treatment at this time for the brutal beatings they received at the hands of police.The peace day protest attracted over 1,300 peace activists who marched to deliver a set of demands to the inclusive government under the theme - social justice can deliver peace of mind. Today's march follows the peaceful protest in Harare yesterday where over 1,000 WOZA members handed in a petition to United Nations.

Five separate protests started simultaneously in different locations in the city; four merging to form three groups that would complete the last city block to the government complex. The first sign of police was as the four protests started to make their way to Mhlahlandlela; a pickup truck carrying police attempted to drive through the protest, scattering people. 10 police officers then proceeded to beat the peaceful group, forcing them past the government complex.

byo_22_sept_lots_of_placards_with_policeMeanwhile the last group, seeing this in front of them played for time, sitting down to calm the activists, chanting - sit down and maintain discipline (Ayihlale phansi ibambe umthetho). This smaller group managed to control their fear and ignoring the site of their comrades being beaten, advanced upon the target. Many of those who had stepped aside when the police ran past rejoined this group.  One of those who managed to side step the beatings was Jenni Williams, who proceeded to the government complex. They chanted slogans and left the placards and demands behind before walking peacefully away.

A police vehicle was deployed to locate WOZA leaders Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu after a police officer said they should stop beating just anyone and look for the leaders to beat. Their arrival at the complex was met with rousing congratulations of bystanders - 'you have beaten them 10 zero' was one such comment.

Unfortunately by this time, a senior ranking riot police officer had arrived at the scene and was heard to say, "you have not beaten them hard enough that is why they regrouped, beat them harder." This resulted in the beating of Frances and others.  A group of men watching Frances being beaten tried to mobilise people to beat the police in retaliation. This action was quickly stopped by WOZA members who explained: 'we are non-violent activists and any history should write that the people who disturbed the peace with violence were Zimbabwe Republic Police officers, not peaceful human rights defenders'.  People were over eager today to receive the fliers and many stepped into the protest to hear the message. One bystander shouting at the police to stop beat a woman was pacified by another bystander saying - they may have been beaten but they delivered a truthful message.


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Farm violence continues as Chihuri spurns meeting

Written by Takesure Bizure
Tuesday, 22 September 2009 06:04
HARARE - Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri  has spurned
repeated requests for a crisis meeting with Zimbabwe's commercial farmers,
dashing any hopes of an end to lawlessness and violence on their properties.
The Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) had requested meetings on behalf
of its members, who have borne the brunt of land seizures by President
Robert Mugabe's government.
The farms have, for months now, been besieged by marauding groups of
militant supporters of Zanu (PF) under the guise of the land reform
CFU vice-president Charles Taffs told The Zimbabwean that Chihuri,
himself a beneficiary of Zimbabwe's controversial land reform programme, had
ignored their requests for a meeting.
"We have asked for appointments with the commissioner, but they keep
being cancelled at the last minute," said Taffs.
"There seems to be a lot of indiscriminate crime that includes
beatings, robberies, burning of property and theft of crops, but there is
very little or no reaction from the police force at all.
"The police keep telling us they can't react because these are
political crimes.
"Crime is a crime regardless of the politics of the day. The police
force must be impartial and they are not acting in an impartial manner in
this case," he said.
"We want a just solution for this country. We are not enemies. We want
the country to work again."
Only 400 out of the more than 4,000 commercial farmers who worked
Zimbabwean land nine years ago have braved relentless abuse by the
government, which seems determined to seize the remainder of the land.
President Mugabe is adamant Zimbabwe's land belongs to the indigenous
black population.
Mugabe told a Zanu (PF) youth conference two weeks ago that he would
not hesitate to prosecute commercial farmers who were defying his government's
orders to vacate their farms.
The government has refused to abide by a November 2008 order passed by
the regional SADC tribunal that barred the continued seizure of land by the
Zimbabwean government.

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Thirteen MDC members attacked by gang

Written by Joel Mhizha
Tuesday, 22 September 2009 06:27
MARAMBA - Thirteen MDC members were assaulted, and two of them
seriously injured, after they refused to surrender their party documents to
Zanu (PF) supporters in the area. Peter Katsokonye, speaking from his
hospital bed in Harare, said they were attacked last Tuesday by a group of
men as they left an MDC meeting.
"They used stones and sticks to assault me, while shouting 'why are
you rejecting to join us, and why are you continuing to attend MDC meetings',"
he said. "I only managed to identify three war veterans. They left me
unconscious and I was picked up by passers-by. MDC district chair for the
area Chengatanai Chimunhu said meetings were being interrupted by Zanu
supporters. MDC followers were also being forced to attend Zanu rallies.
"Even the police in the area are refusing to sanction our meetings.
Zanu leaders in the area are telling people that the inclusive government is
between President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai in Harare and not in
this area. Our people are being followed individually and being threatened
that they are going to be killed come the next election period," said
"What disappoints us is that these are the same people who caused
terror last year and they are at it again and are boasting that they are
immune to prosecution."

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Politicians ordered violence, say leaders

Written by Taurai Bande
Tuesday, 22 September 2009 06:30
MARONDERA - Traditional leaders last week admitted they had failed to
restrain marauding youths from terror attacks because powerful politicians
were behind the violence. Chiefs and headmen from Mashonaland East told
ministers of state responsible for national healing that the youths got
their instructions from senior government officers. "If Mugabe, Tsvangirai
and Mutambara call for an end to violence, the youths will definitely stop
[their] terror campaigns," said Headman Musami of Hwedza at a one-day
workshop organised for them by the state organ for national healing,
reconciliation and integration. The traditional leaders said their
jurisdiction had been taken over by party district chairpeople, who
virtually ran the affairs of districts.
"Morgan Tsvangirai has been calling for an end to Zanu (PF) sponsored
violence, which continues to claim the lives of his supporters. Violence is
perpetrated by known Mugabe supporters from both Zanu (PF) and state
security organs. Given the refusal by the police to arrest perpetrators of
violence, confessions by the traditional leaders point an accusing finger at
Mugabe," said a resident who attended the workshop. Minister Sekai Holland
said traditional leaders had to be consulted if meaningful national healing
was to be achieved.
"The inclusive government recognises that traditional leaders are the
backbone of the country. They must be consulted in order to find lasting
solutions to violence," she said. Speaking at the same meeting, Gibson
Sibanda said: "Though Zimbabwe's national healing process must be our own,
we can borrow some ideas from Rwanda, South Africa and Mozambique. In
Rwanda, perpetrators of violence and genocides were brought before the
international court of justice. They faced charges of committing
international crimes against humanity. Some were convicted and are serving
long jail terms.

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Zanu thugs on rampage create no-go zones

Written by Gift Phiri
Monday, 21 September 2009 17:00
Zanu (PF) militants and soldiers are rampaging through the countryside
in Mashonaland, in what the MDC says is an attempt to shut down these areas
to constitutional campaigners. The militants have descended particularly
heavily on Mashonaland Central, bastion of support for President Robert
Mugabe's Zanu (PF) party. They have set up unofficial roadblocks to prevent
entry to entire districts by supporters of the MDC and constitutional reform
In Mt Darwin, two MDC activists from Kapiripiri village fled their
homes after receiving death threats from Zanu (PF) supporters. Others are
sleeping in the bush to escape nocturnal abductions. They only return to
their homes during the day, an MDC spokesman told The Zimbabwean.
Luke Tamborinyoka, spokesman for the MDC, accused Mugabe's party of
creating "no-go areas"' for MDC supporters during the constitution-making
process. He said Rebecca Chavhunduka, the MDC district chairperson for Mt
Darwin North, and Paul Chamboko, the MDC ward chairman for Kapiripiri Ward,
had received death threats from Zingange Makabhichi, a Zanu (PF) councillor.
Headman Kudzanai Mutemamombe, a Zanu (PF) youth chairman, gave the two MDC
activists 24 hours to leave the area or risk disappearing forever.
Fearing for their lives, Chavhunduka and Chamboko decided to flee
their homes and are staying with relatives in Bindura.
X head: Colonel Zong
The three Zanu (PF) members seem to be acting on the orders of an army
operative, one Colonel Zong, who co-coordinated Zanu (PF)'s reign of terror
during last year's sham presidential run-off.
This latest resurgence of political violence underscores continuing
tensions within the power-sharing government, despite recent conciliatory
gestures from both sides.
The Zimbabwean heard that dozens of slogan-chanting militants in
Bindura stormed Kingstone Farm, attacking MDC activists, smashing down
fences and hurling stones at approaching vehicles last week.
Tamborinyoka said Zanu (PF)'s losing councillor for Ward 3, Mathias
Machiridza, and a group of eight Zanu (PF) youths led the mob that assaulted
three MDC youths from Kingstone Farm for participating in a clean -up
campaign organised by MDC councillors in Bindura.
Machiridza accused the youths of continuing to campaign for the MDC
and participating in programmes to celebrate the party's victory. The
militants are said to have driven workers from their homes and thrown their
belongings out into the open after accusing them of supporting the MDC.
X head: Left for dead
Peter Kasongonya of Tsvekesu village, Ward 2 in Uzumba-Maramba-
Pfungwe, was left for dead after he was assaulted by Zanu (PF) youths on
Saturday last week, Tamborinyoka said.
He sustained serious head injuries after the youths pelted him with
stones, demanding that he surrender his MDC membership and join Zanu (PF).
"They only left me alone when I had passed out and they thought I was
dead," he said. "I reported the case to the police and they advised me to go
to Mtawatawa hospital before they could open a docket," Kasongonya said.
Local police could not immediately be reached for comment. But police
have neither stopped the violence nor prevented the militias from setting up
Tamborinyoka said the MDC had been receiving reports every day that
Zanu (PF) was setting up bases across the country in order to intimidate the
people ahead of the constitution-making process.
In Mwenezi, Masvingo province, there is a state of siege following the
establishment of a military base at Nuanetsi ranch, owned by Defence
Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and some other Zanu (PF) heavyweights. The base
reportedly harbours fully armed soldiers whose mission is "sinister", the
MDC alleges.
News of bases sprouting up in the countryside came as non-governmental
organisation, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, issued a report stating it had
information that 70 senior army officers deployed to the countryside after
Mugabe's devastating electoral loss last March, were still stationed there.
The NGO called on the army to order the soldiers out of the rural areas and
back into the barracks.
Xhead: Soldiers intimidate
Villagers said the soldiers were intimidating the populace.
"The ranch has become a no-go area," said one villager. "We suspect
the soldiers have a hidden agenda. They also frequent the local villages
intimidating people for no reason."
In Zvishavane, Alois Zhou, an MDC councillor for Zvishavane Town
Council said heavily armed police officers and suspected Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operatives had descended on the mining town
and were forcing striking Shabanie Mine workers to go back to work.
The security agents had established a base at the asbestos mine and
were forcing people to report for duty.
"They are forcing people to report for work and all men who are seen
walking in the mine compound at anytime of the day are beaten up," said
Zhou, who is also employed by the mine. He and two other MDC councillors,
Modercai Masotsha Moyo and Pardon Mushipe, were arrested and interrogated
for more than 12 hours.
"All we want is to be paid our salaries that we have not received for
the past eight months," said Zhou.

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Desperation stalks Zimbabwe's white farmers

By Mkepile Mabuse

HARARE, Zimbabwe (CNN) -- A desperate Zimbabwean farmer fighting to hold
onto his land -- a year after the country's political rivals pledged to
govern jointly -- fears he will eventually lose to politics and violence.

The power-sharing agreement included an undertaking by both parties to
ensure property rights are upheld but farm attacks and invasions continue
unabated in Zimbabwe.
Charles Lock is one of an estimated 400 farmers who have remained in the
country despite President Robert Mugabe's policy of redistributing
white-owned farms to landless blacks.

"Why do they want to remove me when I've complied with everything they want?
What more do they want other than for me to pack my bags and leave and if
that's the case, then admit that that is the policy. Pass a law: no whites
are allowed to farm. Then it makes it clear," Lock said.

Since 2000, Mugabe's controversial land reform program has driven more than
4,000 commercial farmers off their land, destroying Zimbabwe's once
prosperous agricultural sector.

"When the land reform program began, we decided we were not going to have a
confrontational attitude; that we would actually go along with this program
because it was the only way that this whole thing would be sorted out. So I
voluntarily gave away my own farm and moved onto my father-in-law's farm,"
Lock said.

That was in 2002. A year later the government came knocking on his door
again, he said, demanding more land.

Lock told CNN he eventually gave up 70 percent of his father-in-law's farm,
which he then owned. Now an army general is demanding Lock's remaining 30

When Zimbabwe's new unity government was formed -- with Mugabe's ZANU-PF and
Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change -- in February this year,
the general allegedly posted soldiers on Lock's farm. The farmer said he
stopped farming and trade at gun point.

When CNN visited Lock's farm this month, workers were standing idle. Maize
and tobacco, which Lock said is worth more than U.S. $1 million, lay in

"They've switched off our irrigation system, taken out keys and stop our
trucks if we want to deliver maize," he told CNN.

So Lock had to sneak into his own property like a thief by cutting open the
gate leading to his store room. He took a few valuables from his workshop
suspecting that his whole place will soon be looted.

With the formation of a unity government farmers were hoping for some
protection but Lock said: "Nothing is happening here. There is no land audit
happening, no one comes out here to check, to see. We are just left

On another farm, Ben Freeth's fight for his land has just escalated to
another level.

Freeth has been repeatedly beaten, arrested and harassed. Now his farmhouse
and that of his father-in-law have been gutted by a mysterious fire. See the
destruction the fire caused

Freeth could not say for sure that this is arson but told CNN that the group
of ZANU-PF youths who have occupied his farm have repeatedly threatened to
burn his house.

"One time they came round with burning sacks at night and they started
making a huge noise and ringing a great big bell and shouting and screaming.
They were going underneath the thatch saying we are going to burn your house
down if you don't get out," he said.

Freeth and his father-in-law Mike Campbell are among a group of Zimbabwean
farmers who won the right to remain on their land at a southern African

But Mugabe has declared the ruling null and void and pulled out of the
tribunal. Farmers cannot contest land issues in Zimbabwe and approaching
international courts has thus far not worked either.

When CNN interviewed Mugabe's minister of state, Didymas Mutasa, about the
disregard for human and property rights on the farms, he blamed the farmers
for the violence, saying landless blacks are getting frustrated with their
refusal to relinquish their land.

"Human rights are beginning to be seen now because they benefit the whites,
and when they were affecting blacks badly as they did the likes of us, it
didn't matter and nobody raised anything about those human rights.

"And sometimes we say, good heavens, if that is the kind of human rights you
are talking about, you better keep them away from us; we don't want to see
them," he told CNN.

But it is black farm workers who are caught in the cross fire. They continue
to bear the brunt of the land reform program by repeatedly being beaten and
intimidated. Some have even been killed.

Tractor driver William Kale said it is farm laborers working for white
farmers who are targeted.

"They actually say you the workers, you are ones that are supporting the
white farmer. That is why he is carrying on farming and we refuse to go
because we have nowhere to go," Kale told CNN.

Many farmers and farm workers we spoke to say they are in a worse position
now under the unity government than they were before.

Lock said: "When ZANU-PF was in power, you had hawks and doves in government
and the doves were approachable and often helped us. But now that these
positions are being shared with Mr. Tsvangirai's MDC, Mr. Mugabe has only
appointed hawks to his cabinet who insist on continuing the land reform
program. And when it comes to the MDC, the land issue seems to be a hot
potato they do not want to touch. I have asked Mr. Tsvangirai to intervene
but nothing is happening."

Prime Minister Tsvangirai refuted that. "That is not true," he said. "We
initiated to find out who is being affected, the few remaining white
farmers. Let's be frank here, we are talking of farmers as being white, but
to me any destruction of farm production affects the whole viability of
agriculture. There should be no disruption of any farm activity."
To those under siege these words are little comfort as they continue to
fight a battle they are unlikely to win.

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Zimbabwe Central Bank Chief, Finance Minister Clash Over IMF Funds

By Blessing Zulu
22 September 2009

Zimbabwean Finance Minister Tendai Biti on Tuesday dismissed a request by
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono for the principals in the
unity government to intervene in a dispute between the two men over the use
of hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars that the International Monetary Fund
recently made available to the country.

The special credit line of US$510 million was extended under a Group of 20
facility to help developing countries deal with the impact of the global
economic downturn.

Gono reportedly said President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime minister Arthur Mutambara - head of a rival MDC
grouping - should instruct Biti to tap the US$510 million line to step up
the pace of economic recovery.

Mr. Tsvangirai's formation of the Movement for Democratic Change, of which
Biti is secretary general, has been demanding the removal of Gono from his
post at the central bank, but Mr. Mugabe, who reappointed Gono in late 2008,
has adamantly refused to do so.

The finance minister earlier said that if Zimbabwe, which has US$5.7 billion
in external debt, drew on the credit line, it would do so in order to
rebuild the national infrastructure.

Biti told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe in an
exclusive interview that as finance minister he is the sole authority
authorized to tap those funds, whose use must be approved by parliament,
while issuing a scathing denunciation of Gono as the architect of Zimbabwe's
steep economic decline over the past decade.

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Human Rights Groups Lobby Europe Over Zimbabwe Diamond-Field Abuses

By Jonga Kandemiiri
22 September 2009

Zimbabwean and international non-governmental organizations are
criss-crossing Europe at present drawing the attention of governments and
civil society groups to human rights violations in the Marange diamond
fields of eastern Manicaland province.

Representatives of the London-based Zimbabwe NGO Forum, the Center for
Research and Development of Mutare, Zimbabwe, and Human Rights Watch have
been meeting with foreign ministry officials and European NGOs to discuss
whether Zimbabwean diamonds should be barred from world markets by the
Kimberly Certification Process over the human rights violations which a
Kimberly Process team recently documented on the spot.

Charges by Human Rights Watch that the Zimbabwean military units in control
of the alluvial diamond field have murdered at least 200 people and forced
others to mine diamonds were subsequently backed up by members of the
Kimberly Process mission to the area.

The human rights delegation has visited Belgium and the Netherlands and will
be meeting with various interlocutors this week in Switzerland and Germany,
its members said.

World Diamond Council Chairman Eli Izhakoff told VOA that Harare has not yet
responded to the final report issued by the Kimberly Process inspection
team. He said it is hoped that Zimbabwe will have acted on the abuses before
a meeting in Namibia in November.

Director Farai Maguwu of the Center for Research and Development in Mutare,
Zimbabwe, near the diamond field, told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's
Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the human rights groups represented by the
delegation are much concerned at how the diamond field Marange district,
discovered in recent years, has caused conflict.

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Ian Makone formally appointed Secretary in Tsvangirai's office

By Lance Guma
22 September 2009

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Chief of Staff, Ian Makone, was last week
Friday formally appointed by Robert Mugabe as Secretary in the PM's office,
after months of ZANU PF resistance. Although a statement from the Office of
the President said Makone was a 'Permanent Secretary', Tsvangirai's
spokesman James Maridadi told Newsreel his correct title was 'Secretary in
the Prime Ministers Office and Council of Ministers'.

Online blogger Denford Magora has suggested that at the same time Mugabe
'quietly' appointed former Information Minister Jonathan Moyo as the new
Communications Commissioner in the President's Office. Maridadi however
dismissed Magora's report as merely speculation and said he would not
dignify it with a response. He however told us appointments in the
Presidents Office and Prime Ministers office could be done without
consultation, as they had no bearing on the unity deal.

On Tuesday Newsreel was unable to confirm Moyo's 'appointment', and it would
be unusual if it had happed as ZANU PF is reportedly still to debate Moyo's
re-admission into the party. Calls to Moyo's mobile phone went to voicemail
the whole day.

Makone meanwhile becomes the first 'Permanent Secretary' in government who
is from the MDC. In the initial dispute over the fact that ZANU PF had all
the permanent secretary positions, ZANU PF argued that they could not
appoint anyone from the MDC as these were career civil servants who
possessed the required qualifications for the job. The MDC eventually
capitulated and dropped their demands for representation, agreeing instead
to a compromise where their people would be appointed when vacancies arose
in the future.

So what does Makone's title and appointment mean? Maridadi told us he
becomes the Accounting Officer in the Prime Minister's Office. The PM's
office is able to get a budget from the fiscus and Makone is in charge of
running that budget. Since the unity government was formed there has been a
refusal by ZANU PF to accept that staff members in Tsvangirai's office are
civil servants. With Makone in his position it's hoped that this problem
will now be resolved.

Last week reports claimed Jonathan Moyo has made a bid to be re-admitted
into ZANU PF. In 2005 he clashed with ZANU PF bigwigs over his refusal to
step aside from contesting the Tsholotsho parliamentary constituency. He
eventually fell out with the party he so vociferously defended as
Information Minister. His tenure in this ministry saw the most draconian
pieces of legislation passed and used, to suppress the media. He crafted and
used the repressive Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
(AIPPA) to shut down several newspapers and brought in broadcasting
regulations that blocked private broadcasters from operating, despite
Capital Radio successfully challenging the governments broadcasting monopoly
in the Supreme Court.

There is much speculation that ZANU PF is already mobilizing for elections
in 2011 and Mugabe wants to rope in Moyo, to continue the clampdown he so
successfully engineered from 2000 to 2005.

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Confusion grips Zim constitutional reforms

by Cuthbert Nzou Tuesday 22 September 2009

HARARE - Zimbabwe's constitutional reforms were on Monday plunged deeper
into confusion with President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party rejecting
reports that the governing coalition had finally agreed not to base the new
supreme law on the controversial Kariba draft constitution.

Mugabe's party dismissed as "nonsensical" claims by Constitutional Affairs
Minister Eric Matinenga earlier in the day that coalition leaders agreed at
a meeting last week to drop the Kariba draft that has caused sharp divisions
among the three governing political parties, threatening to derail the
constitutional reforms.

In a statement that appeared to suggest welcome attempts to quicken
constitutional reforms that have to date moved at a snail's pace, Matinenga
said Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister
Arthur Mutambara met last Thursday and agreed to drop the Kariba document
because of the polarisation it had caused within the ruling coalition.

Zimbabwe's principal political leaders also agreed to grant autonomy to a
special parliamentary committee set up to lead the constitution reforms,
according to Matinenga, who is from Tsvangirai's MDC-T party that has
opposed the Kariba draft.

He said: "Due to the unfortunate polarisation brought about by reference to
the Kariba draft neither party to the inter-party agreement should seek to
promote the draft at the expense of other constitutional material it being
accepted that the draft will be open to study and scrutiny just like any
other constitutional material available."

But Masawi told ZimOnline that ZANU PF had not shifted from its position
that the Kariba draft that was secretly authored by Mugabe's party and the
MDC in 2007 should form the basis for the new governance charter, adding
that this was what the three coalition parties agreed in the global
political agreement that gave birth to the power-sharing government.

"ZANU PF made a decision on how the constitution-making process should
proceed and as far as we are concerned that decision has not been changed,"
Masawi said. "The Kariba draft remains the reference document and it is
nonsensical for anyone to suggest that that position has been reserved."

Masawi accused the MDC of back tracking on the Kariba draft in a bid to
appease its civic society allies who are opposed to the document.

The issue of whether to use the Kariba draft as the reference document for
constitutional reforms is fast emerging as the biggest threat to Zimbabwe's
unity government that is in its seventh month in office.

Civic organisations and the MDC have criticised the Kariba draft
constitution that they say leaves largely untouched the wide-sweeping powers
that Mugabe continues to enjoy even after formation of a power-sharing

But Mugabe has promised to instruct ZANU PF parliamentarians to block any
draft constitution that is not based on the Kariba document.

Tsvangirai and Mutambara's MDC parties cannot enact a new constitution
without backing from ZANU PF and in any case, any proposed constitution
would require Mugabe's signature to become effective law.

Failure to enact a new and democratic constitution would be disastrous for
the coalition government whose most important task besides reviving the
economy is to write a new constitution to replace the existing one that was
drafted by Zimbabwe's former colonial power, Britain.

The draft constitution will be put before the electorate in a referendum
expected in July next year and if approved by Zimbabweans will then be
brought before Parliament for enactment.

Once a new constitution is in place, the power-sharing government is
expected to call fresh parliamentary, presidential and local government
elections. - ZimOnline

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Zuma urges Zim to implement unity govt pact

by Tendai Hungwe Tuesday 22 September 2009

JOHANNESBURG - South African President Jacob Zuma on Monday said Zimbabwe's
inclusive government should fully implement last year's Global Political
Agreement (GPA) to end squabbles threatening viability of the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) brokered political settlement.

Addressing more than 4 000 delegates at the Congress of South African Trade
Unions (COSATU) 10th national congress in Midrand, Johannesburg, Zuma called
upon Zimbabwe's three political principals - President Robert Mugabe, Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Premier Arthur Mutambara - to respect
the power-sharing agreement.

"We must emphasise the need for the full implementation of the Global
Political Agreement," Zuma said, adding; "As neighbours, the Zimbabwean
situation is real for us, it is not theoretical. We have a direct interest
in the sustainable finalisation of the political settlement."

Mugabe's ZANU PF party and the MDC formations led by Tsvangirai and
Mutambara signed a power-sharing GPA last year leading to the formation of a
coalition government in February to end a political crisis following an
inconclusive presidential election last year.

But the unity government is beset with problems with the MDC accusing ZANU
PF of failing to honour an agreement to reverse the appointments of
political allies to the key posts of central bank governor and attorney
general and saying pro-Mugabe police and state prosecutors have continued to
target the former opposition party's activists and legislators for arrest in
violation of the power-sharing deal.

On the other hand ZANU PF insists it has done the most to uphold the
power-sharing deal and instead accuses the MDC of reneging on promises to
campaign for lifting of Western sanctions on Mugabe and his top allies.

Zuma, who two weeks ago surrendered the SADC chairmanship to Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC) President Joseph Kabila, urged the 14-nation bloc to
continue supporting Zimbabwe but stressed that respect of the GPA was the
main issue if progress was to be fully achieved.

The South African leader also called on his ruling African National Congress
(ANC) party, the South African Communist Party (SACP) and COSATU to assist
in the resolution of the challenges in Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, United Sates (US) Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie
Carson said on Monday the Washington reserved the right to lift the
sanctions it slapped on "approximately 220" individuals in Mugabe's previous
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," said Carson.

"We do not believe that the global political agreement has been implemented
and that we do not believe enough has been done."

The US and its Western allies have maintained visa and financial sanctions
against Mugabe and his senior lieutenants as punishment for their failure to
uphold the rule of law, democracy and human rights.

But a summit of SADC leaders in the DRC two weeks ago called for the lifting
of the sanctions that they said were hampering efforts to rebuild Zimbabwe's
economy. - ZimOnline

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Govt can't impose constitution: Biti

      by Chenai Maramba Monday 21 September 2009

KAROI - Zimbabwe's power-sharing government has no right to impose a new
constitution on the country, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party
said at the weekend, amid widening division in the governing coalition over
the drafting of a new governance charter for the southern African nation.

MDC-T secretary general Tendai Biti told supporters in the farming town of
Karoi, 204km north-west of Harare that Zimbabweans should write a new
constitution for themselves and should not be forced to accept a
controversial draft constitution known as the Kariba Draft that was written
by the former opposition party and its two coalition partners in 2007.

''You must fully participate in a new constitution that will be for the
people and by the people," said Biti, who is also finance minister in the
unity government.

"The new constitution needs your full participation as it will start soon
throughout the country. Kariba Draft was done without your participation but
for democracy to work your views must be accepted in the new constitution,''
he added.

The issue of how a new constitution should be drafted is fast emerging as
the biggest threat to Zimbabwe's unity government that is in its seventh
month in office.

President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party has said any new constitution should
be based on the Kariba Draft that was secretly authored by the country's
three main political parties without citizens' participation.

However, civic organisations and the MDC are opposed to the Kariba Draft,
saying the document leaves largely untouched the wide-sweeping powers that
Mugabe continues to enjoy even after formation of a power-sharing government
with Tsvangirai and Deputy Premier Arthur Mutambara.

Mugabe two weeks ago told his party's youth wing that ZANU PF
parliamentarians would be instructed to vote against any draft constitution
that is not based on the Kariba document.

The two MDC formations cannot enact a new constitution without backing from
ZANU PF and in any case, any proposed constitution would require Mugabe's
signature to become effective law.

Failure to enact a new and democratic constitution would be disastrous for
the coalition government whose most important task besides reviving the
economy is to write a new constitution to replace the existing one that was
drafted by Zimbabwe's former colonial power, Britain.

Article 6 of the global political agreement (GPA) that was signed by the
country's three main political parties and that gave birth to the coalition
government provides for the drafting of a new constitution.

The draft constitution would be put before the electorate in a referendum
expected in July next year and if approved by Zimbabweans will then be
brought before Parliament for enactment.

Once a new constitution is in place, the power-sharing government is
expected to call fresh parliamentary, presidential and local government
elections. - ZimOnline

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MDC in dilemma over 2011 elections

September 22, 2009

HARARE ( - 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 wind up
all constitutional reforms within 18 months and call elections six months
later. Tsvangirai's MDC party, meanwhile, have been warned that they are
treading on dangerous ground.

"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," Mugabe 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

"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.

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's Mugabe Expected to Demand Lifting of Sanctions in UN Address

By Ntungamili Nkomo, Jonga Kandemiiri & Arthur Chigoriwa
Washington, Karoi
21 September 2009

President Robert Mugabe was in New York on Monday to attend the United
Nations General Assembly where he was scheduled to speak on Friday in an
address analysts said is very likely to reiterate his demand that Western
targeted sanctions or restrictions be lifted.

Mr. Mugabe flew into New York on Sunday with his wife Grace and several
other senior government officials from his ZANU-PF party including Foreign
Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi. The U.S travel ban on Mr. Mugabe doesn't
apply to U.N events.

Cape Town-based political analyst Glen Mpani told reporter Ntungamili Nkomo
that he expects Mr. Mugabe to ramp up his rhetoric against the United States
and Britain despite, in the former case, a new leadership, and again demand
that the West lift its sanctions.

In another development, the Movement for Democratic Change formation of
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said it would agree to elections in 2011 if
only there is a new constitution in place, an independent electoral
commission and if the rule of law is re-established.

The MDC was reacting to Mr. Mugabe's call for ZANU-PF to be ready for
elections in 2011.

Mr. Mugabe told his party's women's league late last week that elections
should be held within 24 months of when a new constitution is in place -
which could happen by late 2010.

MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for
Zimbabwe that his party will only start campaigning after the new
constitution is approved.

Political analyst John Makumbe said that if the draft constitution is
rejected by the people in an eventual referendum, ZANU-PF could then pull
out of the unity government and demand elections on the basis of the
existing constitution.

Meanwhile, correspondent Arthur Chigorowa reported from Karoi, Mashonaland
West, that Finance Minister Tendai Biti, secretary general of the Tsvangirai
MDC formation, told a rally on Sunday that the party would need a "Plan B"
if it pulled out of the unity government as Mr. Tsvangirai has tacitly
threatened to do in opening consultations on power-sharing.

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CFU slams Mugabe

Published on: 21st September, 2009

HARARE - The Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) has slammed remarks by
President Mugabe at the fifth conference of the Zanu PF Youth League last

Mugabe sternly warned white farmers against resisting eviction orders. The
president is reported to have urged "former" commercial farmers to embrace
his sullied land grab.

"Once people have offer letters and they are valid, that's it," Mugabe said.
"The farm is not yours any more. Please don't resist. I am saying please,
please but that will stop.

"If we hear about any resistance, we will stop pleading. I will just send
the police to drive them away. If they thought they would be saved by the
inclusive government, kunyeperwa ikoko!"

The CFU said it was concerned by the possibility of putting in jeopardy the
lives of all Zimbabwean people by sacrificing food self sufficiency for
possible political gains.

The white farmers group warned the speech to the Zanu-PF youth may provide
fuel for further politically- motivated violence and disturbances on
commercial farms at a time where peace and stability are required to ensure
confidence and
increased agricultural production in the current summer cropping season.

"We believe these remarks are contrary to the spirit and tenor of the Global
Political Agreement (GPA)," said a spokesman. "The CFU would like to place
on record that farmers have complied with the criteria set out by the
Ministry of Lands, Land Reform and resettlement in that applications have
been made to continue farming and occupation of their farms."

"To date, regrettably, government has not responded to the numerous
applications which were made. It appears that government does not accept the
legal rights of skilled commercial farmers, the majority of whom are also
Zimbabwean citizens who bought land after Independence as opposed to being
neo-colonialist British."

Mugabe's thugs have acquired white farmers land in an arbitrary manner and
the farmers are now excluded from being allowed to use their wide
experience, knowledge and skills for the benefit of all Zimbabwean people.

"The true legal interpretation of an offer letter is that it does not
entitle a beneficiary to immediately take up a piece of land that has
allegedly been acquired," said the spokesman. "It is merely a precursor to
the possible issuance of a lease should certain further conditions be
complied with."

The CFU said it was important that the ZRP at all times be impartial and to
ensure that no selective application of the law is applied.

Elsewhere the president states: "It is the duty of the British to pay the
compensation. We will only pay for improvements made at the farms."

"If this is the case," said the CFU, "we request that those of our members
and former members, who may so desire, be adequately and fairly compensated
for their improvements, equipment and materials without delay and without
prejudice to
any other claims they may have against the state."

"It is regrettable that the vast majority of our members and former members,
the majority of whom were driven off their farms over the past 10 years,
have not received any form of compensation."

Compensation for improvements, which has been paid to only a few former
farmers, has been criticised as being grossly inadequate and unfair. Only
200 farmers out of approximately 3 500 who have been forcefully evicted have
been compensated.

In some cases the total amount paid equates to less than 10 percent of the
total value of the improvements, CFU said.

"The CFU and its members have never disputed the need for genuine land
reform that truly empowers all the people of Zimbabwe, irrespective of
gender, race, belief or political affiliation and without destabilising
agricultural production," the spokesman said. "We respectfully submit that
this has clearly yet to happen."

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Zimbabwe parliament shortlists candidates for Electoral and Human right commission

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

HARARE - Parliament's Standing Rules and Orders Committee, has shortlisted
candidates to be interviewed within the next two weeks for consideration to
sit as commissioners for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and Human Rights

The shortlisting was done yesterday when the SROC, chaired by the Speaker of
House of Assembly, Mr Lovemore Moyo met at Parliament building.

In an interview soon after the meeting, Constitutional and Parliamentary
Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga confirmed the latest development.

"Interviews for the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission will be done next
Monday September 28, while interviews for ZEC will be held on October 15, if
that date is not suitable for one reason or the other, it will be held on
October 12," said Minister Matinenga.

It has also emerged that Parliament does not have the sole prerogative to
appoint the remaining independent commission, the Anti-Corruption
Commission, sources in the SROC have said.

The SROC was advised in its recent meetings that appointment of people in
Anti-Corruption Commission was different from how people are appointed to
sit in the Zimbabwe Media Commission, ZEC and Human Rights Commission.

Whereas the Constitution provides that President Mugabe appoints the people
to sit on the three independent commissions from a list submitted to him by
the SROC, the situation is slightly different with regards to the
Anti-Corruption Commission.

The Constitution provides that it is the President who appoints people on
the Anti-Corruption "in consultation with SROC." Minister Matinenga said the
SROC had noted that interpretation and would approach the Anti-Corruption
Commission differently from other three commissions.

"Yes, the Anti-Corruption Commission provides for different procedures of
appointment and we are still to revisit it, but for now, we will be dealing
with ZEC and Human Rights Commission. There is consensus on the
interpretation of the relevant section of the Constitution that it is the
President who appoints, but in consultation with Parliament,"
said Minister Matinenga.

However, sources in the SROC, said yesterday there was a heated debate when
the issue was initially brought to the attention of the SROC, as the
Parliament organ thought that it had the powers to make appointments with
respect to all the commissions.

Most MPs, including MP lawyers, were not aware of the provision, until it
was brought to their attention in one of the meetings recently, said the

"Most MPs were surprised, they were caught unawares, they thought that it is
the SROC who makes the identification of people and submit it to the
President with respect to all independent commissions," said the source in
the SROC.

The SROC has since identified members to sit on the Zimbabwe Media
Commission and has since forwarded 12 names for consideration for
appointment by the President.

At least six people have also been forwarded to the Minister of Media,
Information and Publicity for people to be considered to sit on the
Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe. Controversy however surrounded the
manner in which interviews for the
ZMC were held as they  were allegations of bias and partisan being levelled
against the committee of experts drawn by Parliament as well as the panel of
MPs. Some people questioned the rational of allowing both the committee of
experts and a panel of MPs participating during the interview.

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Mugabe ally hands himself to SA authorities

by Own Correspondent Wednesday 23 September 2009

JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwean business tycoon Billy Rautenbach has handed
himself over to South African authorities and agreed to pay a R40 million
fine, bringing to an end his 10-year attempt to escape fraud and tax-evasion
charges, an official said on Tuesday.

The fugitive multi-millionaire businessman, who has close links to
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF party, skipped South
Africa in 1999 after a warrant for his arrest was issued for numerous fraud
charges committed while he headed the South African arm of the Hyundai Motor

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said Rautenbach
handed himself over on Friday and appeared on 326 charges of fraud in the
Specialised Commercial Crimes Court and was sentenced to pay a R40 million
fine in terms of a plea agreement.

"He had to pay R10 million of that R40 million immediately," said Mhaga,
adding that the remainder will be paid in instalments - R15 million to the
South African Revenue Service and another R15 million to the Criminal Asset
Recovery Fund.

"In the event that he fails to make payment, we have secured his farm, which
is worth more than R30 million in Paarl in the Western Cape," said Mhaga.

The controversial businessman was two years ago expelled from the Democratic
Republic of the Congo (DRC) for entering the minerals-rich country

Rautenbach had extensive mining interests in DRC, running cobalt-mining
ventures at the height of the country's civil war after he first ventured
into the Congo as a relatively unknown in the mining world when he was hired
by former president Laurent Kabila in October 1998 to run Gecamines, then
the mainstay of the former Zaire's economy.

Zimbabwe had deployed its army to help Kabila repel rebels fighting him for
the control of the minerals-rich country. - ZimOnline

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Zanu PF and MDC Youths Clash

Hurungwe, September 22, 2009 - Police on Tuesday arrested five Zanu PF
youths over assaults of Movement of Democratic Change (MDC) youths over an
MDC's rally held over the weekend to mark the party's 10th anniversary.

The Zanu PF youths had compiled names of MDC supporters who had
attended the rally held in Karoi, about 60 kilometers north of Karoi farming
town, situated in Mashonaland West about 204 kilometres north-west of
''We had just arrived from the Karoi rally and had used Chief
Kazangarare's car to attend the rally. Zanu PF youths ambushed us at
Kazangarare business centre where they assaulted us. They accused us of
being sell-outs who had attended the MDC rally in Karoi on Sunday afternoon
since most villagers were blacklisted to attend the rally. Some did not
attend the rally out of fear. The youths used logs to beat us all over the
bodies'' said one victim who has since fled the rural area.
A police source privy to investigations from Kazangarare confirmed the
incident saying, ''Five people have been arrested over political violence
here and we have since referred them to Karoi court. Though the suspects had
implicated Zanu PF councillor Jahweti Kazangarare of having assigned them,
he has distanced himself from the violence but our investigations will
MDC lost hundreds of its supporters in the bloody June run-off
including the late Tapiwa Mugwandarikwa who was murdered in Kazangarare in
April last year.
Officer Commanding Hurungwe under which Kazangarare falls, Chief
Superintendent David Mandizha, was not immediately available for comment.
Ironically on Sunday, Chief Kazangarare attended the rally in Karoi
that was addressed by MDC's secretary-general and Finance Minister Tendai
Biti who called on Zimbabweans to fully participate in crafting of a new
Karoi has been one of the Zanu PF strongholds and in the past has been
a no-go area for the opposition.

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Farm Implements Gather Dust

Binga, September 22 2009 -  Farming implements distributed by the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) under the Farm Mechanisation  Programme are
getting rusty at Binga police station because of bickering between  Zanu
(PF) officials and the beneficiaries, the Zambezi Green Valley Project ZGVP)

The farm implements which include scotch carts, harrows, ploughs and
cultivators were meant for Zanu (PF) supporters ahead of last year's
harmonised elections but following the party's dismal performance in the
elections in the area, RBZ decided to give the implements to ZGVP, an
association of local farmers, accused of being Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) supporters.
  "There is a lot of politics behind the farming implements. When the
implements  arrived in 2007 we were told that they were going to be
distributed through Zanu (PF) structures but after complaints and
representations to RBZ it was resolved that some of the implements should be
given to ZGVP farmers," said Timothy Senda, a member of ZGVP.
Senda said Zanu (PF) officials in the area were blocking the release
of the implements to the farmers saying that members of ZGVP s are MDC
  "Even if it is true that ZGVP members are MDC supporters what is
wrong with  that? We are now in the inclusive government and I do not
understand why some people still live in the past. Right now we should be
preparing for the up-coming rainy season but some people who are not even
farmers are busy denying us farming implements.
  The District Administrator for Binga, Tapera Mugoriya said there
were "few logistical " problems which caused delays in distributing the

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Villagers In Dire Need Of Water

Nyanga, September 22, 2009 - A serious water crisis has hit the
Gotekote village in Nyanga North following the vandalism of boreholes in the
area last year during the political violence.

 "We used to depend on open wells during the rainy season but now they
have dried up. We get our water from the nearest village which is five
kilometres away," said a villager. "Our boreholes were vandalised last year
and most of the  parts...were  used  as weapons  for political violence
activities. Our cattle are  in real danger as the area has no rivers where
they can drink..."

The village councillor Samuel Chikwiramakomo said he had already
approached the local Member of Parliament for urgent attention on the
problem which is threatening lives.

"We are faced with a serious water problem which  needs urgent
attention, otherwise we will lose lives..."said Chikwiramakomo.

Nyanga North Legislator Douglas Mwonzora said he had already mobilised
spare parts for the boreholes.

"We have always told our people that vandalism of public utilities
affects their community, hence the critical water shortage that is affecting
innocent people," said Mwonzora.

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Long walk to help Zimbabwean tumour girl

From the Zimbabwe Vigil


Press notice – 23rd September 2009


Long walk to help Zimbabwean tumour girl



Two exiled Zimbabweans are to undertake a grueling 55 mile sponsored walk to London on Saturday, 26th September, to raise funds to help a Zimbabwean girl with a severe facial tumour come to the UK for urgent medical treatment.


Luka Phiri and Dumi Tutani are members of the management team of the Zimbabwe Vigil, which has been demonstrating outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London for the past seven years in protest at human rights abuses in Zimbabwe


Luka and Dumi are to set off from Brighton on the south coast at 5 am and are confident of reaching the Vigil that evening. 


The Zimbabwean girl, Taremeredzwa Nomatter Mapungwana, is supported by the Zimbabwean charity Girl Child Network ( founded by Betty Makoni in 1998. There are plans for Tare to have an operation at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London and Luka and Dumi are raising money to help meet her expenses in the UK.


In July 1803 a Captain Robertson walked from Brighton to London and back in 45 hours. He repeated the feat in November of that year, covering the walk to London in 14 hours.


Donations can also be deposited in the following bank account:

Bank: Lloyds TSB 

Branch: Southend-On-Sea 

Branch Code:  309784 

Account Name: Girl Child Network Trust Fund UK 

Account No.: 03872848 

SWIFT Code: LOYDGB21100 


For more information:     Luka Phiri    07951 293 766

                               Dumi Tutani 07960 039 775

For the Vigil:            
Rose Benton     07970 996 003


Vigil co-ordinators

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe.




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My conversation with Nyarota on Chihombori

See for background: NYAROTA: World Bank, Chihombori and Mawere

Author: Mutumwa Mawere
Date: 22 September 2009

My attention was drawn to an article published on 21 September 2009 by Messrs. Geoffrey Nyarota and Ray Matikinye entitled: "World Bank, Chihombori and Mawere" making a number of allegations against me.

The authors make the point that mystery surrounds the use of large sums of money that the World Bank allegedly paid to Ms. Chihombori without disclosing the source of the purported commercial and financial injury.

Firstly, the World Bank finances projects and not individuals as suggested in the article. Accordingly, it is not clear under what circumstances would the World Bank disburse any funds to an individual if there was no project for which the financing was sought.

The World Bank no doubt has its own processes for vetting projects and is competent to take action against any party that may have abused its funds in accordance with the applicable laws.

Secondly, is it not evident to the authors that at the very least they would have required someone from the World Bank to be be the voice of the complaint?

However, for unprofessional journalists ethics is no longer a virtue as the end normally justifies the means. What the journalists sought to do was to scandalize individuals in what should be a purely commercial matter.

Why my name was included in the article only God knows but it was evident from the outset that the approach was not only to single out Dr. Chihombori but to malign any source of residual support that she may still enjoy after the well-acknowledged hatchet job for reasons best known to the authors.

The authors present as truth and fact that they put together a story of intrigue and alleged gross self-enrichment on the part of Chihombori. It is not explained to the reader how she enriched herself and at whose expense.

It emerges from the article that the authors are, indeed, representing themselves as spokespersons for the World Bank and yet in the same article they do acknowledge that they did not receive any comment or response from the institution before going to the press.

The authors as expected then present myself and Zimbabwe’s Defence Minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa, as prominent players in Chihombori’s so-called story.

In particular mention is made of the fact that questions were posed to me and my failure to respond to such questions can be read to mean that there is indeed a story or scandal to uncover.

It is true that questions whose context and content can hardly be considered to emanate from anyone who had done his research on the subject matter.

It is often said that one must avoid arguing with a fool as people may not notice the difference. This is one such case where people are pursuing a non story. What is it that Mr. Nyarota hopes to achieve by this kind of journalism? I have yet to understand the kind of mind that informs this toxicity.

Ordinarily one would not need the input of the accused to sustain allegations that have substance. In this case, clearly the adage that one is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty is waived by people who want to be taken seriously as journalists.

It is common cause that the said Torwood Hospital and Redcliff Medical Centre was owned by Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISCO) and was sold in the ordinary course of business on a willing buyer willing seller basis otherwise Zisco would be the source of this malicious story.

The authors then correctly identify a corporate entity, Bell Family Medical Center (BMC), as the purchaser of the assets from Zisco. The fact that the assets were purchased by an entity that may be connected to Dr. Chihombori is not in dispute.

It is then stated that after the acquisition, a project was then presented to IFC, the World Bank's private sector arm, for financing.

Such financing was provided to the project but what the authors seem to suggest is that the funds provided by IFC were not used for the intended purposes. This being the alleged case, a suggestion is then made that Hon. Mnangagwa and I were involved in the alleged abuse of funds.

At the very least, the authors would have needed to establish whether in truth and fact, I was connected with BMC.

To my knowledge there is no direct or indirect connection with me and I challenge the authors to expose such connection.

One would expect that shareholding information would be available as are company statutory documents to give direction to any serious journalist investigating a story of this nature.

The authors seem to have the information on the project that IFC allegedly helped to finance.

They state in the article that: "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."

Surely if they know the project details they would also have known who was instrumental in getting the project financed as at the material time Dr. Chihombori was not as controversial as she is now being projected.

She only became notorious as the story suggests when she made the mistake of confirming that she was related to the Prime Minister and more importantly walking side by side with the Prime Minister at the inauguration of President Zuma. Had she not made this fatal error then she would have remained a private person other than also accepting to be allocated a farm under the land reform program.

A case is then made that projected expansion of the facilities was not made and, therefore, this is used to confirm that funds were abused and by some strange coincidence I was implicated in this.

A statement to the effect that: “The hospital at Torwood shows evidence of dereliction, the extent of which could not have occurred in the past ten years. The building itself is run down as are its environs. Such state of dereliction could not have happened only in 10 years.”

Any rational mind would know the conditions under which the Zimbabwean economy has been operating over the last 10 years and the impact on business performance as would anyone familiar with the recent history of Zisco and the optimism at the material time about the future of the Zimbabwean economy.

The authors correctly recorded the fact that Dr. Madavo, former Vice President of the World Bank, who attended a meeting that Africa Resources Limited (ARL) hosted in Washington DC in 1997 was bullish about investment prospects in Zimbabwe. Yes, Dr. Chihombori did commit to investing in the country.

What is evident from the story is that she did invest as promised. In fact, the facilities were purchased from Zisco according to the story and transfer of title to BMC was effected allowing for BMC to then approach the IFC.

What many had not anticipated at the time is that Zimbabwe would go through a period of political and economic madness.

To suggest that we were responsible for the economic crisis that also affected projects like the BMC sponsored one is to miss the point. We are talking about the Zimbabwe that we are all familiar with.

A point is made that I rushed in defense of Dr. Chihombori at the height of the media furor over Chihombori’s attempted take-over of De Rus Farm in Chegutu back in June, following publication of articles by Mr. Nyarota in which my name was brought into the story in a defamatory manner.

What was I expected to do when my name is brought into disrepute by irresponsible and unaccountable type of journalism?

To Mr. Nyarota, I must not enjoy the right of self defense. He says that I emerged from the blue and rushed to her rescue forgetting that it was he would brought me into the fray for reasons best known to himself.

I am then accused of failing to say exactly how Chihombori had invested the money that I did mention in my article as if to suggest that private investors have a duty to disclose to the general public about their investments.

What is clear is that Mr. Nyarota did not expect me to respond so that he gets the last word as his is accustomed to.

It seems that my crime was to state accurately how I met Dr. Chihombori and my knowledge of her as a person and more importantly as a person who can walk the talk.

Even according to Mr. Nyarota's version, the purchase of the clinic was made and if Dr. Chihombori was not a serious person she would not have followed up on the investment in Zimbabwe choosing to remain focused on the USA where she was domiciled.

The authors of the article state as fact that: "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."

What may not be clear to Mr. Nyarota is that SMM was expropriated in 2004. As such, how could I have taken citizenship in 2006? If I was a fugitive from justice as is suggested in the article, I would hardly have been a candidate for citizenship in South Africa.

The truth of the matter is that I naturalized as a citizen of South Africa prior to expropriation of my companies. In fact, Mr. Nyarota was a guest at my house in South Africa. My Nyarota would be aware that I have not changed my residence for the last 14 years.

It is the stated that: "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" as if SMM was expropriated by a political party and not by the government of the day.

It is not explained how such a fallout manifested itself when it is common cause that a number of individuals were also specified at the same time.

The authors would no doubt be aware that even the Meikles institutions were also specified as well as Mr. Moxon.

To Mr. Nyarota one can only be specified if there is a fallout instead of dealing with the real issues about the state of play in respect of the rule of law and respect for human and property rights.

My case is one such that can be used as a case study. However, with the kind of mind that informs Mr. Nyarota's thinking human rights abuses can only be authentic is they are targeted at white people.

To him, our rights are consequential and, therefore, perishable.

Another point is then made that: "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" when no proof is provided in the article that SMM was acquired using a government guarantee.

If this was the case then surely there is nothing to deny as they facts will speak for themselves. In fact, the seller of SMM would be the first one to confirm this material fact and agreements would no doubt be available to substantiate such a baseless allegations.

SMM was acquired in 1996 and the records are available in the numerous litigations that have been instituted as a consequence of the government of Zimbabwe's actions to expropriate the company.

The government has not made any allegation that a guarantee was used to purchase SMM rather what the government sought to argue in the UK through a nominee company, AMG Global Nominees (Pvt) Limited, was that ARL had defaulted in making payments for the purchase price and, therefore, AMG should takeover the rights of ARL. The application failed and if Mr. Nyarota was genuinely interested in the truth he would be the first one to do his research and make informed comments about matters of national interest.

What Mr. Nyarota hopes to achieve by this kind of gutter journalism can only be answered by him. He makes the point that his readers were outraged by my response in self defense.

I do hope that you will have the courage to publish my response so that readers can made their own conclusions about our respective state of minds.

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'National healing needs full disclosure, justice'

by Lizwe Sebatha Wednesday 23 September 2009

BULAWAYO - Full disclosure of human rights atrocities and justice for
victims of political violence dating back to the 1980s are key requirements
to Zimbabwe achieving true national healing and reconciliation, National
Healing co-Minister Sekai Holland said on Tuesday.

In comments likely to cause discomfort within the troubled coalition
government between President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party and the former
opposition MDC parties, Holland told traditional chiefs from the southern
Matabeleland region gathered at Elangeni Training Centre in Bulawayo that
national healing needed to address the 1980s disturbances in southern

About 20 000 innocent civilians lost their lives in the Matabeleland
and Midlands provinces after Mugabe unleashed the army's notorious 5th
Brigade ostensibly to crush an armed insurrection against his rule.

Mugabe has never apologised for the army atrocities also known as
Gukurahundi although he has described the crackdown as "a moment of madness".

"In the 1980s there was talk of national healing and reconciliation
after the Gukurahundi but was it achieved?" said Holland, who is one of the
three ministers making up the Organ on National Healing and Reconciliation
drawn from the country's three political parties in the unity government.

"A circle of violence has continued to haunt Zimbabwe because a truly
national healing and reconciliation process was never achieved. National
healing does not only mean forgive and forget. It also means full
disclosures, reparations to victims and some form of justice.

"And the only way to tame this circle of violence is when we start
talking about national healing and reconciliation dating back from the
1980s," she said.

The organ is on a countrywide tour consulting traditional leaders over
the best way forward to conduct the sensitive issue that analysts say might
collapse the coalition government if not handled properly.

A power-sharing deal signed between Mugabe and MDC parties leading to
the formation of the unity government in February, has national healing and
reconciliation as one of the priorities of government to unite Zimbabweans
who last year experienced some of the worst political violence in the run-up
to a presidential run-off poll between Mugabe and MDC leader Morgan

Tsvangirai, who is now Prime Minister in the unity government,
eventually pulled out of the run-off citing violence that his party says
left more than 100 of its members dead and at least another 200 000
displaced, leaving Mugabe to claim victory uncontested.

Western governments and a host of African nations rejected Mugabe's
victory while the African Union and the regional Southern African
Development Community piled pressure on the Zimbabwean leader to form a
power-sharing government with the opposition.

But the parties in the unity government are divided over who should
lead the national healing process with ZANU PF opposing plans by the MDC
formations to let the church and civic society steer the sensitive process.

ZANU PF, which has been in power since the country's independence from
Britain in 1980, is said to favour a national healing process led by
politicians and political parties in the hope of striking concessions
against prosecution for past human rights crimes.  - ZimOnline

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Solution to problems not in Mugabe's interest

September 22, 2009
Tanonoka Whande

EVENTS in Zimbabwe during the last several weeks should have opened our eyes
to see the scantly camouflaged GNU road signpost leading to a patch of

Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF have not only shrewdly survived people power
but continue to outfox their comrades-in-government.

The GNU saved Mugabe now we have a growing, malignant problem.

To make it worse, both MDC parties actually believe that they are sharing
power with Mugabe, despite the unrelenting humiliation!

Home Affairs co-Minister Giles Mutsekwa's admission that he made a blunder
when he appended his signature on a document that effectively seized a large
company is no consolation.

Is the MDC now into forced farm and company acquisitions too?

The MDC never told us under what circumstances they would "approve" the
acquisition of property but they are busy inviting investors into the

The international community has tried to push Zimbabwe's lethargic and
cantankerous government of national unity to move forward and fully
implement the misnamed Global Political Agreement.

Global my foot! It's not even Zimbabwean.

As usual, SADC was a big disappointment as it failed to stamp its authority.
Many times, SADC's silence or pronouncements on Zimbabwe stopped nations
outside Africa from doing something about the situation in Zimbabwe.

South Africa, during the days of disgraced former president Thabo Mbeki,
also acted as a buffer for Robert Mugabe by blocking any attempts to table
and discuss the problems of Zimbabwe.

Although Mugabe's excesses and human rights violations were there for
everyone to see, South Africa's behaviour at the United Nations succeeded in
creating the false impression that Zimbabwe was a victim of both Britain and
the United States.

Meanwhile, African nations continue to behave as if they do not know what
the real problem in Zimbabwe is.
SADC and South Africa continue to shield Mugabe, who is at the center of all
that is wrong in Zimbabwe today.

Zimbabwe has always prided itself on belonging to many organizations,
including SADC and the Commonwealth, but has resisted complying with their
protocols. For what it's worth, in November last year, 79 white commercial
farmers rightfully took their case to the SADC Tribunal and won an order
"barring the government from compulsorily acquiring their land without
paying compensation".

The court further ordered the government to compensate those who had lost
their land under Zimbabwe's land reform programme.

Mugabe steadfastly refused to abide by the rulings of an organization of
which our country was a member, saying the rulings are in conflict with the
country's land acquisition laws.

Early this month, Zimbabwe formally withdrew from the jurisdiction of the
SADC Tribunal, to blunt and avoid being held accountable for the two

One would have hoped that problems of law and order, human rights, and
instability in a member state, such as Zimbabwe is going through, would be
of paramount importance when SADC Summits are convened but in their last
summit a few weeks ago, SADC did not even mention the issue of a member
state refusing to adhere to agreed protocols.

In fact, they spent time trying to avoid discussing the Zimbabwean issue all

Mugabe has done it before.

He refused to implement the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing
Democratic Elections, something he continues to do to this day.
In 2002, Zimbabwe was suspended by the Commonwealth and the following year,
Mugabe, to avoid humiliation, withdrew Zimbabwe from the organisation

Because of human rights abuses, violence, corruption, economic plunder and
other transgressions, the international community, minus Africa, of course,
imposed travel bans on Mugabe and his close aides.

During the recent SADC Summit, African leaders had the audacity to ask for
the removal of those sanctions as if the Zimbabwe situation were back to

"Significant progress has been made under the auspices of the inclusive
government," President Jacob Zuma told fellow leaders. "We are all
encouraged by how the three parties put their differences aside."


Tsvangirai, a pivotal partner in this GNU, had a mouthful to say and
complain about, only to be shut out by SADC.

As Zuma was saying this, farms were being set on fire in renewed bids to
grab them.

It was also a period that witnessed the murder of at least three MDC

Continued Zuma: "These achievements signaled to the people of Zimbabwe, the
region and the world, that the Zimbabwean political leadership was ready to
collectively tackle the political and the socio-economic challenges facing
that country."


The MDC then reported that yet another of its activists had been murdered in
an incident linked to renewed political violence.

It identified the deceased as Godknows Mtshakazi, who was reportedly beaten
to death by four soldiers at a township outside Shurugwi.

His crime: playing a popular MDC song in a bar.

Edwin Chingami, who had fled Zimbabwe to South Africa for protection during
last June's violence, was murdered by Zanu-PF supporters upon his return

MDC activist, Joseph Munyuki, died at Masvingo Hospital where he had been
receiving treatment for injuries sustained from a brutal attack by a known
Zanu-PF supporter.

There was also a marked increase in farm invasions as members of the GNU
went into overdrive in, encouraging investors into the country. Mugabe's
inflammatory speech to the Zanu-PF Youth League conference did not help

Murray Pott, a commercial farmer in Mugabe's rural province, Mashonaland
West, is recovering from serious injuries sustained during a brutal beating
by invaders on his farm last Tuesday.

"Once people have offer letters and they are valid, that's it. The farm is
not yours anymore," said Mugabe to the youth congress. "Please don't resist.
If we hear about any resistance, we will stop pleading. I will just send the
police to drive them away. If they thought they would be saved by the
inclusive government (then) they were lied to."

On Wednesday, less than a week after making this statement, Mugabe is
reported to have told businessmen at a mining investment forum that
potential investments would be safe in the country. He claimed this was
because his government respected "the sanctity of property rights and the
rule of law in all its dimensions".

"Meanwhile 115 kilometers from where Mugabe was delivering his speech, South
African farmer, Louis Fick, was watching his 4 000 pigs, 14 000 crocodiles
and several hundreds of beef cattle starve to death in Chinhoyi, as he tries
to fight off a deputy Reserve Bank governor who is trying to grab the farm
and whose hired thugs are preventing workers from feeding the animals," said
a news report.

The very next day, Tsvangirai reportedly told the investors that the
coalition government would implement rational mining royalties and taxes and
deregulate mineral marketing, to attract as much as US$16 billion in
investment by 2018.

But this was just six days after the government had used an extra-ordinary
gazette to seize the assets of the Meikles Group, to which Mutsekwa had
appended his signature.

Just how does anyone help Zimbabwe, except by dislodging Mugabe?

Mugabe is single-handedly blackmailing the world using innocent citizens as

I don't believe that a solution to Zimbabwe's problems is in Mugabe's

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MDC has no option but to walk out of GNU

September 22, 2009

By Owen Chikari

MASVINGO - A mainstream MDC parliamentarian yesterday said that his party
has no option but to walk out of the troubled government of national unity
formed in February by the coming together of President Robert Mugabe's
Zanu-PF and the two MDC parties.

Tongai Matutu, Member of Parliament for Masvingo Urban who is also a member
of the party's national council said that because of President Mugabe and
Zanu-PF's  failure to adhere to terms of the Global Political agreement his
party had no option but to pull out of the fragile inclusive government.

Following the impasse between the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC and Zanu-PF in
resolving the outstanding standing issues Matutu said his party was gearing
for fresh polls and was already campaigning.

"We cannot continue to beg from Mugabe and his party over outstanding
 issues", said Matutu.

"These outstanding issues have been outstanding since last year which points
to the fact that the inclusive government has failed to work.

"Because of Mugabe and his party's failure to resolve the outstanding issues
we have no option but to pull out".

The MDC insists that Mugabe has to revoke the appointment of reserve Bank
governor Gideon Gono and Attorney General Johannes Tomana. Last month Matutu
moved a motion in Parliament calling for the investigation of Attorney
General Tomana. The party also wants its treasurer Roy Bennett to be sworn
in as deputy minister of agriculture designate and for the provincial
governorships to be shared among the parties as stipulated in the GPA.

However Zanu-PF says that the MDC has failed to campaign for the removal of
targeted sanctions imposed by the west on Mugabe and his cronies.

Matutu said that the continued arrest of MDC legislators was a cause for
concern, adding that Zanu-PF had failed dismally to honour the GPA.

"The GPA is clear and we expect Mugabe and his cronies to understand and
stick to its terms", said Matutu.

The MDC decided at a meeting held in Bulawayo last week to consult its
general membership on whether to pull out of the inclusive government or

Sources in the party say Tsvangirai is under pressure to pull out of the
Government of National Unity.

However the party resolved that it has to consult the general membership on
the way forward following the impasse between the three political parties in

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Lack of succession plan recipe for disaster

September 23, 2009

By Crisford Chogugudza

FOR many years a lot has been said about Zanu-PF's succession; this emotive
issue has not gone away as it threatens to tear the party apart and pose a
serious problem for the entire country.

Analysts attribute the problem of succession in Zanu-PF to the absence of
democracy in the party. Over the years, democratic principles have been
undermined in favour of the appointment system based on party loyalty and
cronyism, where party loyalists have found themselves at the pinnacle of the
party's decision-making body.

This includes the 'tested unelectables' who have contested parliamentary
seats repeatedly and lost dismally. The concept of meritocracy does not
exist in Zanu-PF politics any more. The recent chaos at the Zanu-PF women's
conference is a clear example of electoral decadence in Zanu-PF politics.
It is universal wisdom that democracy can never be replaced by any form of
unrepresentative system except in war situations.

An organisation that does not have a succession plan, be it in business or
politics, is a danger to itself and its people. Such an organisation is not
sustainable as it is devoid of any capacity to meaningfully transform
itself. UNIP in Zambia, MCP in Malawi and KANU in Kenya suffered the same
fate about to befall Zanu-PF.

Mugabe has been accused by his critics for stifling the issue of succession
in his party and allowing the debate to continue ceaselessly to his

People who have previously presented as potential succession candidates have
been sidelined and those who have tried to ignite the issue of succession
have been branded enemies of the revolution and their voices have been
muted. Dzikamai Mavhaire spent time in political limbo when he raised the
succession issue a few years back. Mugabe himself has been asked several
times by foreign journalists to state whether or not he was contesting the
next elections and the man has been evasive.

When asked by BBC at State House recently, Mugabe said the question was
based on the "regime change" western agenda. Mugabe has stated that he was
looking forward to retirement and possibly handing over power but this has
not happened. The longer the issue persists unresolved the more people will
continue to press for answers. Some have also questioned the wisdom and
political maturity of senior Zanu-PF members who are seemingly devoid of any
ambitions to lead their party forward.

It puzzles me and other progressive-minded people that all that Zanu-PF
bigwigs can ever think of is being Mugabe's deputy and followers. They must
have resigned to the reality that Mugabe cannot be challenged and therefore
will lead them to eternity. It is true that parties that are run as private
political enterprises can only serve the interests of their leadership not
followers or sympathisers. In the long run a party that undermines democracy
will be deserted in favour of those that are more democratic and
representative, such as the MDC.

The ANC in South Africa has so far provided the best form of democracy in
Africa by imposing a fixed term of office for its cadres and creating a
transparent way of choosing its leadership. Succession politics works in
South Africa; they have had four presidents in a space of 15 years which is
phenomenal by any standards. The recall of former president Thabo Mbeki
would not have happened in Zimbabwe and indeed in most parts of Africa.

The Mbeki example shows that no one individual, no matter how important they
are, should be allowed to impose their will on the people forever. Frelimo
of Mozambique, Swapo of Namibia, MMD of Zambia and Chama Cha Mapinduzi of
Tanzania have all had successful succession plans. Even the former military
dictators like Obasanjo and Rawlings gave in and allowed succession to take
course. Zimbabwe currently stands out as the only undemocratic regime in the
SADC region apart from the Swazi Monarchy without a succession plan.

Mugabe is currently the third longest serving African leader and there is no
evidence he is going soon.

The Communist Party in China, undemocratic as it might appear to the west,
has had for many years a system that allows leaders to come and go. In the
event of Mugabe dying unexpectedly or possibly losing the next election as
public opinion currently indicates, without a clear succession plan the
country may be set ablaze as the leaders from various Zanu-PF factions will
be fighting for control of the party.

The death of Mzee Joseph Msika, Mugabe's deputy a few weeks ago could be the
beginning of a stormy period ahead for Zanu-PF. It is also feared that the
inclusive government will fall apart if anything happens to Mugabe without a
clear favourite to succeed him. Many in Zimbabwe would prefer a smooth
transition in Zanu-PF from Mugabe to a more level headed person who is
capable of unifying the party and ensuring that it behaves responsibly most
likely as a major opposition party in the near future.

Currently, there are two main factions in the Zanu-PF party vying for power
after Mugabe, thus one allegedly led by Vice President Joyce Mujuru, wife of
the revered former army commander, Rtd General Solomon Mujuru and another
led by the Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, ostensibly Mugabe's current
preferred successor. There is a possibility of more factions and tensions
within Zanu-PF. The current succession debates and power games between party
stalwarts is said to have riled Mugabe who has always maintained that only
the people will choose his successor.

It is saddening to note that the same people Mugabe refers to have always
been denied the change to change leader at Zanu-PF congress after congress
let alone talk about succession. Succession has almost become a taboo in
Zanu-PF circles. The recent allegation of sodomy levelled against John
Nkomo, Zanu-PF chairman is another unsavoury tactic by those seeking to
ignite the succession debate. It appears succession in Zanu-PF is a
confirmed taboo which has cost and may still cost people's careers and any
one who dares talk about it in any specific fashion will be committing
political suicide.

When Margaret Dongo, then ZUD president once said Zanu-PF stalwarts were
Mugabe's 'wives' few paid attention to her views but the current situation
surrounding the succession debate has proved Dongo right. The latest
revelation that support for Zanu-PF is now at an all-time low of 10 percent
of the electorate is a worrying feature for the succession debate and Mugabe's
flawed concept of people power. The problem in Zanu-PF today is that those
capable of succeeding Mugabe are getting too old and frail themselves,
leaving the MDC as the only party whose leadership has youth, energy and
vision that resonate with the generality of the people in Zimbabwe.

Zanu-PF's future fortunes only lie in a reformed organisation that has
democratic structures and a credible record of upholding human rights. The
violence characterising Mugabe's disputed 're-election' in June 2008
indicates the level of anarchy that might ensue Mugabe's untimely departure
without a clear succession plan.

Finally, the longer the Zanu-PF succession debate and confusion continues
the less likely the country will stabilise. It's not clear whether Mugabe
still wants to pursue plans for his party's life presidency which can only
complicate the current fragile political dispensation. His hero-worshippers
and cheer leaders are already presenting him as their only choice for the
next presidential elections, which is another example of lack of direction
and ambition in the party.

The succession debate in Zanu-PF should be made a matter priority as it
threatens the foundations and stability of the state. Any chaos that might
arise either from the military or Zanu-PF bigwigs will reverse the progress
that has been achieved by the inclusive government. It is high time Zanu-PF
imposed party presidential limits to allow Mugabe to retire peacefully to
his Zvimba mansion and allow a new democratic political era to unfold in

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Can the Zimbabwe dollar come back?

September 23, 2009
John Robertson

VERY nearly all the recent official comments on the question of monetary
policy reform have centred upon the fact that Zimbabwe is no longer using
its own currency.

This fact is certainly the source of many problems, mainly because Zimbabwe
does not have enough of the foreign currencies it has been forced to adopt
in place of its own.

However, in the context of the claimed need to "embark on Monetary Reforms"
to make our economic recovery sustainable, the phrase Monetary Reforms is a
reference to monetary policies, not to the currency in use. At the core of
official monetary policies are the measures government uses to regulate
activity on the money market, usually by the exercise of statutory authority
in ways that will ensure that the quantity of money in circulation balances
the amount needed by the economy accurately enough to keep prices stable.

This simple definition disguises a wide range of very complicated
relationships. In the economy, the needs of producers must be compatible
with the needs of consumers, and we also have to ensure the compatibility of
the needs of employees and employers, tenants and landlords, lenders and
borrowers and the government and the governed. So it is a huge balancing act
that calls for considerable expertise and discipline.

Around the world the talk of reform these days centres on the banks and the
development of various behaviours that now, after the crisis, call into
question why the levels of discipline that should have prevented the
development of massive imbalances were not imposed. They also call into
question the levels of expertise that seem to have fallen well short of

But attempts to compare these developments with events in Zimbabwe are
extremely misleading. Our set of circumstances is entirely different, even
though we also have reason to question disciplines and expertise.

In Zimbabwe we have to go back to the most fundamental issues of all to
describe what makes money work. As money was invented to overcome the
inconveniences of barter deals, it had to have the most important attributes
of trustworthiness, stability and acceptability. Working together, these
made us happy to accept reasonable quantities of money in payment for goods
and services and we remained happy as long as others would accept reasonable
quantities of the same money from us when we had to pay for goods and

What started the process of collapse in Zimbabwe was an attack on the
country's ability to produce the goods and services. The Land Reform
Programme started a demolition process on Zimbabwe's biggest business
sector. Within a short period, the physical output of the sector had fallen,
the exports that earned foreign exchange had fallen, the imports the country
could afford had fallen and the jobs that allowed hundreds of thousands of
people to earn the money they needed disappeared.

Government's tax revenues began to shrivel up as well, and that is when they
started to use their statutory authority and selected Monetary Policies to
extract the money they needed from wherever it could be found.

It was a classic case of treating the symptoms, not the disease. If the
symptom was less tax revenue, the cause was less economic activity. The
right prescription would have been to restore production levels, repair the
damage done to investor confidence and rebuild production volumes to bigger
levels than before.

Instead, government decided to do a more thorough hatchet job on productive
capacity. It passed constitutional amendments that took agricultural land
off the market and by doing that it deliberately destroyed the collateral
base that supported by far the largest proportion of the credit that banks
extended to the business sector.

The banks lent most of this money to farmers, but the farmers used it in
every business sector in the economy. The farming companies were the biggest
customers of many manufacturers, of the transport and construction
companies, of the engineering and law firms, of the banks, the insurance
companies and the suppliers of fuel and power. And the farming companies
were also the suppliers of inputs to the thousands of factories that
processed agricultural products and thousands more retailers who on-sold
them directly to the public.

How much more sensible it would have been for government to recognise the
importance of this productive sector and look after it properly. In choosing
instead to demolish it, the activities that supported most of the value of
the Zimbabwe dollar were swept aside. So it began to fall. In other words,
prices began to rise.

As taxes fell, government chose to help itself to the nations' savings by
offering interest rates that were a fraction of the inflation rate. As this
gap widened, government was systematically confiscating pension fund and
savings account money and before long it had removed all prospect of the
nations' savings being able to support new investment. Government needed
foreign exchange, so they made sure they could capture most of the shrinking
export earnings too.

Then, using the Statutory Reserve Ratio, government started confiscating
ordinary bank balances too. Money scarcities worsened, inflation soared, the
value of what was left dropped even faster and government had to resort to
printing the amounts it needed.

Under the conditions that have developed since our hyperinflationary
experience, Zimbabwe has totally destroyed the trust element that used to
make the Zimbabwe dollar an acceptable medium of exchange. We have no chance
of re-generating that trust before we have rebuilt the production volumes of
tradable goods that supported its value before.

The bottom line is that we have no chance of persuading any other country to
help us with money while the government continues to protest that it has the
sovereign right to behave as badly as it wants to.  We need to be deserving
of the help we need and we would be more deserving if we were not so stupid
to deny ourselves the use of the collateral value of our own land.

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