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ZBC's Barwe leaves for UN after visa row

23/09/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

A VISA row involving the ZBC’s chief correspondent Reuben Barwe and the
United States embassy in Harare ended on Sunday after the reporter finally
travelled to New York to cover the UN general assembly.

Barwe was due to fly out with President Robert Mugabe’s delegation last
Wednesday but his visa had not arrived – and the ZBC took that to mean the
reporter had been denied a visa.

The visa was finally issued on Saturday – this, according to state media –
after Zimbabwe’s Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi launched a protest
with the UN Committee on Relations.

But a statement by the US embassy blamed the delay on an unusually high
number of applications it was processing. Apart from Barwe, it said two
unnamed government officials also had their applications still pending.

“Visa processing can at times take longer than normal depending on the
volume of applications,” the embassy said.
“September is a high-volume visa processing time because of the UNGA. The
United States takes seriously its role in facilitating foreign
representative participation in the United Nations annual General Assembly.

“The U.S. State Department makes every effort to process delegation visa
applications, including Zimbabwean applications, in a timely and efficient

Barwe said Sunday: “I am leaving today and will be there on Monday
afternoon. This is a repetition of what happened in 2010 and I am

“These are the same people who call themselves beacons of democracy but they
deny a mere journalist a visa.”

But the US embassy insisted “Barwe was not denied a visa for the UNGA in
2012 or 2010, but did receive U.S. visas both years.”
It added: “Barwe is not and never has been on the U.S. targeted sanctions
list. No Zimbabwean journalists are on the U.S. targeted sanctions list.”

Mugabe has joined other heads of state at the UN and will address the
assembly later this week.

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Journalist Reuben Barwe issued a visa for the United Nations General Assembly

U.S. Embassy Harare
Public Affairs Section
STATEMENT: Journalist Reuben Barwe issued a visa for the United Nations
General Assembly

On September 22, the U.S. Embassy in Harare issued a visa to Mr. Reuben
Barwe, Chief Correspondent for ZBC television, to travel to the 2012
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Mr. Barwe is not and never has
been on the U.S. targeted sanctions list. No Zimbabwean journalists are
on the U.S. targeted sanctions list. Contrary to recent press reports,
Mr. Barwe was not denied a visa for the UNGA in 2012 or 2010, but did
receive U.S. visas both years.

Visa processing can at times take longer than normal depending on the
volume of applications; September is a high-volume visa processing time
because of the UNGA. The United States takes seriously its role in
facilitating foreign representative participation in the United Nations
annual General Assembly. Delegations from nearly 200 countries travel
to the U.S. each year for this meeting. The U.S. State Department makes
every effort to process delegation visa
applications, including Zimbabwean applications, in a timely and
efficient manner. As of today, all Zimbabwean delegation members' visas
for the UNGA have been issued; two visas for government officials
planning to attend meetings that coincide with the UNGA are still

# # #

Contact: Sharon Hudson Dean, Counselor for Public Affairs,Tel.
+2634758800/1 Url:

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Anti Mugabe protests at United Nations

By Tererai Karimakwenda
24 September 2012

Zimbabweans in the United States took to the streets near the United Nations
headquarters to protest the presence of Robert Mugabe and other Zimbabwean
officials at the UN General Assembly, which begins this week in New York.

Although Mugabe and his closest allies are under targeted sanctions that
prohibit their travel to the US, events at the UN are considered exceptions
for heads of state and their delegations. Mugabe always takes advantage of
this opportunity to travel with a huge entourage.

Zimbabweans, under the banner of the 21st Movement Global Protests which
have been taking place in several countries every month, decided to show
their disapproval and on Saturday gathered to protest near the UN

Den Moyo, Global Co-ordinator for the 21st Movement, told SW Radio Africa
they had a good turnout considering Zimbabweans are spread out across the
US. He said many of them came from as far as North Dakota, Michigan,
Washington DC and Philadelphia.

“Our message was to say to the UN you keep opening doors to dictators like
Mugabe and this must stop. If you stand for peace and you stand for
democracy and development then do not give a platform to him. He does not
speak on behalf of us Zimbabweans,” Moyo explained.

The 21st Movement Protests were also held by Zimbabweans in London. Tonderai
Samanyanga, the MDC-T UK chairman, said they gathered at The Vigil location
by the Zimbabwe Embassy on the Strand, then took public transport to the
Tanzanian High Commission and Botswana Embassy.

“The turnout was good. It showed the determination of our people to continue
with this project. Tanzania just took over the chairmanship of the SADC
Troika and Botswana had made statements supporting free and fair elections
in Zimbabwe,” Samanyanga explained.

He said they conducted the demonstrations on a Saturday because more people
were available on that day, as opposed to the actual 21st of the month,
which was Friday. But the problem is there are no officials at any consulate
on the weekends, who can receive the protest letters delivered by the group.

Samanyanga said there will be more protests on the 21st of every month, with
locations to be announced nearer the time.

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South Africa poses regional security threat: Moyo

23/09/2012 00:00:00
by Gilbert Nyambabvu

SOUTH Africa poses a “clear and present” regional security threat which
warrants placing the country on SADC’s “security watch list” and the removal
of President Jacob Zuma as Zimbabwe mediator, a senior Zanu PF official has
Zanu PF politburo member and former information minister Jonathan Moyo said
SADC could not continue to ignore the political and security crisis
unfolding in the region’s biggest economy which is epitomised by the
Marikana massacre and Zuma’s subsequent nationwide deployment of the army.

Last month, armed South Africa police opened fire on mine workers striking
for better wages at the Lonmin PLC-owned Marikana mine, killing 34. The
unrest spread to most of the country’s gold and platinum mines, stoking
political tensions.

In a bid to get tough on the strikers and those inciting violence, Zuma
deployed the army to help “in the prevention and combating of crime as well
as the maintenance of law and order in the Marikana area... and other areas
around the country where needed”.

Moyo, writing in the state-run Sunday Mail newspaper, said: “If the truth
was to be told without fear or favour, the unfolding political, economic and
security crisis in South Africa epitomised by the naked brutality of the
Marikana massacre and the subsequent nationwide deployment of the army in
the place of civilian functionaries poses a clear and present threat with
far-reaching regional security implications that can only be ignored by the
clueless among us who find comfort in burying their heads in the sand while
hoping for the best outcome after the dust has settled.

“Even though there’s no need for an emergency SADC Organ Troika summit on
the dangerous situation unfolding in South Africa, there’s clearly more than
enough on the horizon to warrant putting South Africa on a SADC security
watch list without ruling out placing the beleaguered country on the agenda
of the Organ Troika to explore preventive measures to avoid reactive events
lest the situation moves from bad to worse as always happens in such

Moyo also said South Africa’s domestic problems and their regional
implications mean that Zuma could not continue in his role as SADC
facilitator for Zimbabwe since he was mediating over issues that were
“arguably worse in his own country”.

The Tsholotsho North legislator said the deployment of army units at
Marikana and the planned prosecution of expelled ANC youth leader, Julius
Malema, means that Zuma’s facilitation team could not continue to criticise
so-called selective application of the law in Zimbabwe and demand security
sector reforms without looking ridiculous.

He wrote: “President Zuma’s facilitation team made up of Charles Nqakula,
Lindiwe Zulu and Mac Maharaj (who is President Zuma’s spokesman) has been
widely quoted... pressing for so-called security sector reforms in Zimbabwe
and pontificating that the military in Zimbabwe should be confined to the
barracks yet just last week Maharaj was… hopelessly justifying in the name
of ‘law and order’ SANDF’s deployment to mount civilian operations that
should be otherwise done by the police.

“If Maharaj thinks he will be able to still come here and continue
mindlessly preaching about keeping the army in the barracks as part of
President Zuma’s mediation, then he does not take himself seriously.

“By the same token if Lindiwe Zulu still thinks she can come here and abuse
the convenient banner of ‘reforms’ to preach about the so-called selective
application of the law to target individuals for political purposes, then
she would have to explain what South African law enforcement agencies are
doing to Malema and why their incomprehensible actions do not amount to
violating his human rights.

“The proposition that Malema can be charged for corruption involving tenders
that he could not have awarded himself since he has never been a government
official at provincial or national level boggles the democratic mind unless
he is jointly charged with others who either allegedly deposited moneys into
his family trust or who allegedly abused their positions to corruptly award
him tenders.”

Moyo said Zuma cannot play a “holier-than-thou card” on Zimbabwe before he
explains “the fact that South Africa has the highest number of political
killings in SADC – most of them taking place in President Zuma’s own home
province of KwaZulu Natal...”

Moyo said SADC should revert to “international best practice” with regard to
mediation efforts and use former heads of state and government or a former
eminent person or former international diplomat who cannot be compromised by
issues of the moment arising from his or her current responsibility their

Moyo’s Zanu PF party is unhappy with Zuma, who has taken a tougher line in
his diplomacy on Zimbabwe compared to his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki.

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Zimbabwe police chief attacks foreigners after mining setback

Posted on Monday, 24 September 2012 12:01

Zimbabwe police commander Augustine Chihuri has instructed his officers 'to
defend the country from cunning foreigners' echoing President Robert
Mugabe's often repeated claims that Harare is under siege from Western
"Police officers must not allow thieves who come with the aim of looting the
country's resources and destroy their spirit of unity," he thundered at the
weekend graduation of police recruits.′′
"Their presence must not cause decay but it must add value by utilising
talent in them to improve situations and improve the nation as a whole.′′
"The bible says we must enjoy life in abundance but other people from
overseas come and teach us the gospel that we must suffer on earth so that
we can be rich in heaven.
"So young people you must work hard in defending this nation because God
rightly created it for us."
Chihuri is considered to belong to a group of hardliners in Mugabe's camp
who believe the veteran Zimbabwean ruler is being vilified by Western
governments who want to recolonise the country.
As a way of fighting back, Mugabe is forging ahead with plans to seize
majority stakes in foreign owned mining companies.′′
Chihuri's comments also came hard on the heels of revelations by government
that it had withdrawn 334 Exclusive Prospecting Orders (EPOs) from mining
firms operating in the country.
The companies were accused of abusing the grants to raise millions of United
States dollars through speculative practices involving international
In a latest government gazette, Rio Tinto Zimbabwe, Ashanti Gold­fields,
Aquarium (Private) Lim­ited, Metallion Gold and Africa Star Hold­ings have
been singled out as the culprits.
′′Mines and Mining Development deputy minister Gift Chimanikire said the
firms were acting in bad faith as they were abusing the due diligence
process which government carries out on all prospective international
investors in the mining sector.
′′"We have unearthed this worrying development where foreign investors who
were granted EPOs are raising capital on the stock exchange in their
respective countries," he said.′′
"They are basically touting our resources by disclosing what the coun­try
holds and luring investors without making any significant investments in the

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‘Zanu PF victim of SA judiciary’

Monday, 24 September 2012 10:52

HARARE - Zanu PF is a victim of the South African justice system, the party’s
secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa said yesterday.

Responding to a recent South African Supreme Court ruling, which ordered
Zimbabwean government assets in South Africa to go under the hammer to
offset millions owed to farmers whose land was forcibly taken under a
chaotic and often violent land reform exercise, Mutasa seemed deflated.

“Ask the South Africans they should explain their actions. We are only
victims and that is why we had appealed the High Court judgment and opposed
the case all the way,” was all Mutasa could say.

South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein handed down a 23-page
judgment on September 20 following an appeal by the Government of Zimbabwe
against the North Gauteng High Court’s registration and enforcement of a
Tribunal ruling and the subsequent attachment of Zimbabwe government-owned
property in Cape Town.

The Sadc Tribunal in November 2008 ruled in the Mike Campbell case, a
landmark test case that Zimbabwe’s land reform processes were racist and
that farmers ought to have been compensated for their farms.

In June 2009, the Tribunal followed up its ruling with a contempt ruling and
costs order, a financial penalty levied against the Zimbabwe government. The
costs, determined by the Registrar of the tribunal, were $5 816,47 and
ZAR112 780,13.

Despite being subject to the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, the Zimbabwe
government declined to pay the costs.

This resulted in an application to the North Gauteng High Court by three
Zimbabwean farmers, Louis Fick, Richard Etheredge and the late Campbell, to
have the ruling and costs order recognised in South Africa.

After the judge ruled in their favour, AfriForum’s legal representative,
Willie Spies, who acted as the farmers’ attorney, said the door was open for
the sale of Zimbabwe government properties in Cape Town that AfriForum had
seized in 2010.

The Zimbabwe government’s appeal against the North Gauteng High Court ruling
was heard last month by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein on
August 27.

The SCA dismissed the Zimbabwe government’s appeal with costs, which
included the costs of two counsel.
Despite the Zimbabwe government’s claims to the contrary, the SCA confirmed
that, according to the Sadc treaty the decisions of the Tribunal were

Tafadzwa Musarara a businessperson fronting a group known as Resources
Exploitation Watch was livid over the judgment.

“The South African Supreme Court ruling, on the execution of Government of
Zimbabwe property in pursuance of the Sadc tribunal judgment is very
unfortunate, malicious and interferes with the territorial integrity of

“This judgment only seeks to intimidate, discourage and dissuade progressive
forces in Africa not to copy the Zimbabwe land reform,” Musarara said.

“We urge that more resources be mobilised towards the funding of the
Attorney General office so that it is financially able to mount serious
legal fight on the pending cases being sponsored by Afriforum and government
must buy back these properties should the sale of the same occur,” he said.

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Professors Ncube, Mutambara lock horns

Staff Reporter 20 hours 57 minutes ago

Professor Welshman Ncube and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara have
locked horns ahead of the constitutional Second All Stakeholders Conference
as both factions claim to be legitimate representatives of the MDC party to
the event.
The conference is set to be held from the 4th to the 6th of October.
Delegates from political parties and civil society will meet to discuss the
Copac draft constitution.
Prof Ncube, whose leadership is being contested at the Supreme Court by a
faction aligned to DPM Mutambara, last week told The Herald that his party
was the “only one” entitled to send representatives to the event.
However, the faction aligned to the DPM, which calls itself MDC-M said it
would send its delegates and was “ready” for the critical indaba.
“There is only one MDC — this MDC. We will be sending representatives and
members to the Second All Stakeholders Conference,” said Prof Ncube while
addressing a rally in Mutoko on Friday.
“We are the elected leadership and we know there is a case pending in the
courts. Unless and until the courts rule otherwise there will be one MDC,
which I lead,” he said.
However, the faction aligned to Prof Mutambara, was adamant.
The faction’s secretary general Mr Maxwell Zimuto yesterday shot down Prof
Ncube’s claim to represent the party.
“Prof Ncube is entitled to his own personal opinion,” said Mr Zimuto.
“MDC-M is a legitimate party and a signatory to the Global Political
Agreement, being represented at the senior level in Government by Deputy
Minister Arthur Mutambara,” said Mr Zimuto.
“There is a pending Supreme Court case and until it rules otherwise we are
entitled to a share of what happens in the party,” he said.
The parties to the inclusive Government have agreed to send two documents —
the draft constitution and the national statistical report to the all
stakeholders’ conference to be debated.
Past clashes between the two professors have seen Prof Mutambara’s faction
being excluded at the Anti-Violence Indaba last November as top bodies of
the GPA parties met in Harare to discuss peace in Zimbabwe’s body politic.
Last month Prof Mutambara was left out of the political parties during a
meeting with GPA mediator, South African President Jacob Zuma in Harare.
Meanwhile, Prof Ncube on Friday reiterated that MDC-T led by Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai was a corrupt and violent outfit.
He said such practices led to the split in 2005.
The MDC leader recently told BBC HardTalk programme that the MDC-T was a
violent and corrupt party.
“This is not speculation,” said Prof Ncube.
“We saw violence within the united MDC and the MDC-T has continued to deploy
violence to deal with people in and outside the party,” he said.
He added that that the cases of officials such as Frank Chamunorwa, Trudy
Stevenson, Alois Mudzingwa being attacked by thugs aligned to PM Tsvangirai
were on record and that MDC-T’s last congress in Bulawayo was marred by

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Zanu PF, MDCs clash looms

Staff Reporter 10 hours 47 minutes ago

Zanu PF and the two MDC parties are heading for a constitutional stalemate
at the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference next month after it emerged the
parties had failed to agree on which documents to table for public scrutiny.
It has also turned out that only the Copac-led draft governance charter has
been tentatively set for the October 4-6 conference, exactly two days before
the Sadc Troika meets in Tanzania to assess progress in Zimbabwe’s
constitution-making process, among other issues.

The MDC parties last week reportedly demanded that all documentation
produced during the constitution-making process, including the outreach
reports, be tabled for public scrutiny should Zanu PF insist on the release
ofthe national report.

The two parties made their new demands during a Copac Select Committee
meeting in Harare last Thursday as Zanu PF indicated it only wanted an
averaged report to be tabled at the conference.

This came after Zanu PF recently made an unprecedented about-turn and
allowed the Copac draft to sail through to the conference demanding the
document should be accompanied by a national report for people to compare it
with the Copac draft.

MDC-T spokesperson and Copac co-chairperson Douglas Mwonzora yesterday
confirmed their demands, saying: “There is no discussion about the Zanu PF
draft at the conference. The Zanu PF draft has no status and the Select
Committee has rejected it and it will not be used anyway in the conference.”

Mwonzora said his party had demanded all information — not the statistical
report alone — including agreements reached at during negotiations.

“All the documents extracted from the national report data should be before
the conference. There must be an explanation to accompany figures for the
delegates at the conference to be fully equipped with the information. Zanu
PF wants to pretend to be transparent, but at the same time hiding some
information,” he said.

“We are against the hiding of information and creating a false impression,
so we need all the data from the outreach programme right through to this
second conference stage.”

However, Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo yesterday claimed the MDCs were
contesting production of the national report because “they know that they
left out people’s views in the Copac draft”.

“The two MDCs know that they betrayed the people by leaving out their views
in the draft, that is why they are afraid of the national report which
clearly states what the people said they wanted,” Gumbo said before
referring technical questions to Zanu PF Copac co-chair Munyaradzi Paul
Mangwana, who was not answering his phone.

MDC policy and research director Qhubani Moyo said: “Zanu PF is like a
cornered rat that has nowhere to run to, that’s the reason why they now
demand a national report when actually Article 6 of the Global Political
Agreement says Copac should produce a draft — not a report.”

Copac chief rapporteur and political analyst Rejoice Ngwenya said Zanu PF
was “chasing a shadow” by demanding the national report, warning President
Robert Mugabe’s party would be exposed. Ngwenya said the national report if
it was analysed as a complete package, does not reflect what Zanu PF claims
to be people’s views.

He said frequencies alone could not determine the majority or minority
nature of a view.

“There is a report on outreach — city, diaspora, website and sectoral — all
these have divergent views from the rural report which Zanu PF rigged by
coaching people and determining who would speak while denying others a
chance to express their views,” Ngwenya said. - NewsDay

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MDC calls for arrest of violent ‘soldiers’

By Alex Bell
24 September 2012

The MDC led by Welshman Ncube has called for the arrest of a group of people
dressed in army camouflage, who attacked party supporters in Mutoko last

Scores of people were forced to scatter and hide while at least six
individuals were hospitalised at Mutoko hospital, after the attack by
suspected soldiers. The attack followed a party rally at Mutoko Business
Centre, where Ncube told his supporters that the country’s security sector
must not be allowed to meddle in politics.

“We will not retreat or compromise on our position that the elections must
be held under the free and fair conditions. These conditions are clearly
spelt in the GPA. We want the SADC to push these generals to make a public
enforceable commitment to respect the results of the elections. It’s the
highest undemocratic practice for the military to seek to subvert the will
of the people. As MDC we are not scared of the free and fair election
because we are confident we will win over all other parties,” Ncube said.

Party spokesperson Nhlanhla Dube told SW Radio Africa on Monday that the
rally was peaceful until the party leadership left the venue to travel to
Harare. He explained that many of their supporters remained, singing songs
and socialising.

“As soon as we left, people in camouflage descended on the venue and
starting attack people. These soldiers beat up our supporters, people were
forced to run away and hide. It was totally mayhem,” Dube said.

Dube said there has been no attempt by army officials to distance it from
the attacks or deny the involvement of its soldiers, and as such “we will of
course believe they are complicit.” He also called on the security forces to
unite for the good of Zimbabweans to bring the perpetrators of such violence
to book.

“Soldiers and the army must come clean and clean up their image apprehend
the people responsible for this,” Dube said.

He meanwhile raised concern that the attacks are a sign of things to come if
there is no attempt to rein in the security sector.

“It is indicative of the problems likely to arise around elections, because
we saw how the security forces were deployed by ZANU PF in the 2008
elections to unleash violence,” Dube said.

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Musindo gives housing stands to gain votes in Mutare

By Tererai Karimakwenda
24 September 2012

A loyal ZANU PF supporter gave out free housing stands to families in Mutare
last week, with the condition that they vote for Robert Mugabe and his party’s
candidates in the next election and bring others to do the same.

Singing Mugabe’s praises and comparing to him to the Biblical David, Destiny
for Africa Network founder Obadiah Musindo distributed 1,200 residential
stands to ZANU PF supporters only in Mutare. His speech at the project
launch was said to be full of references to the next election.

“How many of you are ready to vote for ZANU PF? Every one of you should
bring at least five people to vote for ZANU PF in the next elections and
make sure that we win,” Musindo was quoted as saying.

MDC-T spokesman for Manicaland, Pishai Muchauraya, told SW Radio Africa
Musindo also told the beneficiaries use their new house addresses from the
stands when they vote in the next elections.

Muchauraya dismissed the project as an attempt to buy support from urban
residents who abandoned Mugabe and his party in the 2008 poll. Mutare is in
Manicaland Province, where ZANU PF lost lost 20 out of 26 constituencies to
the MDC-T in that last election.

“Most ZANU PF big shots lost to MDC-T candidates in Manicaland. This is
where Patrick Chinamasa and Oppah Muchinguri were defeated. So they are
trying to get back those seats. But people here will never vote ZANU PF
again. They know all the tricks used on them last time around,” Muchauraya

The feisty MDC-T provincial spokesman also pointed to the continued
hijacking of the government’s grain loan scheme by ZANU PF officials in
rural areas of Manicaland. He said poor villagers are being denied grain
that could save their lives because they support the MDC.

Muchauraya also said he had received some sad news Monday. Senator Josiah
Mukayi Rimbi from Chipinge had died at the age of 73. He had suffered from
diabetes and high blood pressure and was being treated at Murambi Gardens
Clinic. According to Muchauraya the Senator left 8 children and 11
grandchildren. Arrangements for his burial have not yet been made.

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Chiweshe nurses back in court over Howard Hospital saga

By Alex Bell
24 September 2012

A group of nurses from the Salvation Army run Howard Hospital in Chiweshe
were back in court on Monday, over the ongoing saga surrounding the
dismissal of a top doctor there.

The eight nurses stand accused with 12 other Chiweshe residents, who were
all arrested after a protest against the forced removal of the Hospital’s
chief doctor, Paul Thistle, in August. The protest turned violent with angry
residents turning over a car and demanding that Dr. Thistle be allowed to
remain. Riot police were called in to stop the demonstration and arrested 12
residents. Eight nurses were also taken into custody and questioned for
allegedly inciting violence.

The trial against the 20 accused was meant to start earlier this month, but
the case was postponed until Monday. A source at the proceedings told SW
Radio Africa that the case was postponed again, because the prosecution is
still trying to gather enough evidence.

The nurses meanwhile have returned to work, but residents in Chiweshe have
told SW Radio Africa that services there have not returned to normal since
Dr. Thistle was forced to leave. The doctor was dismissed after raising
concerns that funds he had sourced for the hospital were not making it past
the Salvation Army administration in Zimbabwe.

The Salvation Army has insisted that Dr. Thistle’s ‘reassignment’ to his
native Canada was a normal internal process, despite the fact that he was an
intrinsic part of the hospital over the last 16 years. The doctor meanwhile
has refused three separate attempts by the Salvation Army leadership in
Zimbabwe to get him on a plane back to Canada, insisting he is staying while
his colleagues face trial.

The nurses, along with their 12 co-accused, will be back in court on October

A resident in Chiweshe meanwhile told SW Radio Africa that they are growing
confident that the doctor will be back in his position soon, after his
Zimbabwean born wife, Pedrina, was reassigned to the hospital recently.

“His wife is coming back to Howard as a senior nursing teacher. We don’t
know about Dr. Thistle yet but we are confident he is coming back,” the
resident said.

The resident added that investigations into the alleged misuse of funds for
the hospital has begun, with the weekend arrival of three delegations, one
from the President’s office, one from the London headquarters of the
Salvation Army, and one from the Canadian branch of the Christian group.

There is also ongoing speculation that another reason behind the doctor’s
dismissal is ZANU PF politics, as Vice President Joice Mujuru is a senior
member of the Salvation Army leadership in Zimbabwe. It’s understood the
hospital is in an area that is supportive of Mujuru’s rival Emmerson
Mnangagwa, and Mujuru has used her influence to control the area through the

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Glen View cop murder trial drags on

By Tererai Karimakwenda
24 September 2012

The trial of 29 MDC-T members, facing charges of murdering a policeman in
Glen View last year, continued Monday at the High Court in Harare, but was
in session for only one hour in the morning and the judge was not available
in the afternoon.

Defence lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa told SW Radio Africa that the trial had a
late start because the prosecutor was late. She said all testimonies would
have been heard by now and the trial would be over if the court was
utilizing the entire day.

“We said in the beginning that we should be getting a judge who will
dedicate his entire time to this case because these are persons in custody.
And we were assured that the case would be given priority. So it’s
frustrating that this is not happening,” Mtetwa said.

Glen View policeman Petros Mutedza was killed by unknown assailants at a
local pub. The state claims he was attacked by MDC-T members who held an
illegal meeting there, charges the party has denied. Defense lawyers have
insisted many of the accused were not at the pub the night Mutedza was

The MDC-T members have been denied bail on several occasions as flight
risks. Some have been in jail for over a year, with their party insisting
the whole affair is part of a ZANU PF strategy to extend their time in jail
and destabilize MDC-T structures.

At a fresh bail hearing last Tuesday, launched after new evidence was
introduced recently, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu at the High Court reserved
judgement and did not indicate when a decision would be made.

It had been hoped the jailed activists would finally be granted bail, after
the father and brother of the slain cop appealed to the court to release
them, saying they had nothing to do with the murder. Both Solomon Mutedza
and his son Tichaona implicated ZANU PF elements in a plot to kill Petros.

Solomon Mutedza testified that he actually supports ZANU PF, while his son
Tichaona is the MDC-T chairperson of ward 2 in Mt Darwin.

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Indigenisation policy hostile to investors: Mashakada

September 24, 2012 in Business
THE current indigenisation policy is incompatible with Zimbabwe’s investment
attraction drive and must be revised, a Cabinet minister has said.REPORT BY
Economic Planning and Investment Promotion minister, Tapiwa Mashakada’s
remarks come in light of reports that South African companies were closely
monitoring their assets in Zimbabwe.

The companies are said to be “quietly” preparing to contest a government
move that forces disposal of shares to Zimbabweans under the indigenisation

South African companies with significant material exposure in terms of
operations in Zimbabwe include Pretoria Portland Cement, Zimplats, owned by
Implats and worth more than US$24 million, Tongaat Hulett, with sugar
operations, wholly owning the Triangle Sugar operation and a 50,3% holding
in Hippo Valley Estates.
Others include Standard and Nedbank which operates MBCA in Zimbabwe.

“Any policy is subject to changes, this (indigenisation) policy is not cast
in stone. There are two options that government can explore. First, there is
need to review thresholds with a view of lowering them in line with
recommendations from sectoral committees,” he said, adding that the
recommendations made were already being assessed.

“Secondly, there may be a need to temporarily suspend the policy which would
facilitate much-needed FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) inflows and provide
local industry with sufficient time to grow and recapitalise,” he said.

Zimbabwe’s return to political and economic stability three years ago,
following the inception of the inclusive government attracted investors’
attention regionally and internationally, as they increasingly sought to
advance their capital into emerging markets.

However, policy inconsistency has proved to be the bane of anticipated
economic growth, as treasury recently revised projections downwards.

Government signed and ratified a number of Bilateral Investment Promotion
and Protection Agreements (Bippas) with other countries, but the
indigenisation policy which dictates that foreigners should cede 51% of
their investments to locals has caused consternation within the investment

Under the indigenisation policy, South African companies holding
considerable assets in Zimbabwe have been told to come up with a plan to
dispose of 51% of them to Zimbabweans or face confiscation.

However, Mashakada said the bilateral agreement between Zimbabwe and South
Africa would protect investors’ interests.

“The South Africa-Zimbabwe Bippa is still in full force and will be used as
a basis of government’s commitment towards protecting investors’ interests,”
said Mashakada.

The existing ratified bilateral investment treaty clearly prohibits the
expropriation of South African assets in Zimbabwe.

The treaty allows parties whose interests have been violated to appeal to
international dispute resolution centres at multilateral bodies such as the
United Nations, in order to obtain recompense against any confiscation.

Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment minister, Saviour
Kasukuwere, said although he had not heard of any particular cases, the
indigenisation policy would continue to subsist.

“Well, they can go ahead (and contest). The Bippa is very clear, but we are
entitled to our rights as a sovereign nation. They can’t just say they would
use the Bippa to undermine our rights,” he said.

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Only Bewitched People Will Re-elect Mugabe-Ncube

Masvingo, September 24, 2012 -Only people who are under the cast of a very
powerful spell which cannot be exorcised will vote for ageing President
Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF party in the next polls as he has failed to
run the country dismally for the past 32 years.
Professor Welshman Ncube is the President of the smaller MDC faction and
Minister of Industry and

Addressing about 200 party supporters at Sisk Shopping Center yesterday,
Ncube said those who will vote for Mugabe again-after a decade long socio,
political and economic breakdown in the country’ will not be in the right

“Munenge makaroiwa neakafa if you still vote for Mugabe and say, ‘Pamberi ne
ZANU PF. If you still want to vote for Mugabe, check if he has delivered in
the past 32 years.

“If you have to remove this party regalia so that you can move freely, then
you say Mugabe has brought good governance?” Ncube quipped.

His rally on Sunday came a day after his party supporters were assaulted by
soldiers in Mutoko.

“You will be out of your mind to vote for Mugabe again in the next polls as
he has a well documented history of failure,” he said.

Zimbabwe has been hit by a decade long economic meltdown sparked by violent
and chaotic land seizures by Mugabe’s loyalists from formerly white
commercial farmers.

The country also faced shortages of almost everything during the 2008
crisis, forcing many people to migrate as economic refugees.

Violence also characterized the previous poll, leading to the formation of
an inclusive government after a political impasse.

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Agony for Mutoko villagers who attended MDC rally

Monday, 24 September 2012 13:31
HARARE - For a moment the colour green turned into a source of hope for
about 200 people who pitched up for the Welshman Ncube’s rally at Mutoko
Shopping Centre on Saturday.

Clad in green T-shirts and cap, the MDC supporters drew optimism from Ncube’s
speech when he promised to take them to the promised land of milk and honey.

After the rally, some received green bicycles given to them by Ncube. Rival
political parties could have turned green with envy at the atmosphere.

The next minute, that same colour green turned into a source of agony.

Ncube and his convoy of senior officials had just left the venue when
another form of green took over-this time with bloody results.

Men in green army uniforms suddenly appeared and mayhem ensued as they
brutally attacked anyone wearing any green outfit not resembling an army

Suddenly, the next minute the green which was a source of hope turned into a
source of despair as another green descended upon the Mutoko Business Centre
and brutally attacked MDC supporters.

The men, suspected to be from Mutoko’s 2.1 infantry battalion had been
roaming around the venue of the rally in a truck during proceedings and
descended on the hapless supporters as the meeting came to an end.

Business came to a standstill as shops were forced to close in fear as the
soldiers went for MDC supporters.

Exhibiting a no-nonsense mood, the men went after the MDC supporters who had
queued for food and started assaulting them.

The supporters, still in a joyous mood1 panicked and ran all over the
business centre causing commotion. The bicycles were left behind in the

Party secretary-general Priscilla Misihairabwi Mushonga said at least six
MDC supporters were badly injured and had to be admitted at Mutoko Hospital.

“It is so disgusting that we have such cowards who could not face the
leaders and waited for us to leave. The next time we come to Mutoko we are
spending the night under the trees.

“They should come for us if they have balls because we are the ones who
invited the innocent villagers. So they should deal with us and stop
intimidating villagers,” Misihairabwi-Mushonga said.

A woman supporter is missing, according to Misihairabwi-Mushonga.

Ironically, the attack came on the day when the world was celebrating World
Peace Day.

It also came hardly a week after the fourth anniversary of the signing of
the power-sharing Global Political Agreement which gave birth to the unity
government and stipulated that the army should not be involved in politics
and violence against civilians. - Lloyd Mbiba

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Jomic fails to attend WOZA complaints

Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) leaders Jennifer Williams and Magodonga
Mahlangu responded to a Joint Operations and Monitoring Committee


(Jomic) request for a meeting. The activists were in the company of Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) chief Law officer Lizwe Jamela. The meeting
was requested after WOZA submitted letters of complaint about the Zimbabwe
Republic Police over the last few weeks.

However the Monday 8am meeting flopped as MDC T Neffat Sibanda was the only
one who attended the meeting to advise WOZA that Jomic Bulawayo were
referring their complaints to the Hare headquarters as they only deal with
'political violence' cases. When he was questioned about the Jomic role of
ensuring the Global Political Agreement is implemented, he declined to

Before the formation of the Bulawayo office, WOZA took complaints directly
to Jomic in Harare and once even conducted a protest at their offices but no
solutions were forthcoming.

WOZA complained about police harassment and the 'tribalisation' of police
response in Bulawayo. WOZA leaders had given up on Jomic but at the behest
of ZLHR decided to give them another try but it is apparent the body will
not focus its energy on the GPA implementation but on intraparty violence,
leading human rights defenders and the people of Zimbabwe out in the cold.

Meanwhile WOZA Founder / National Coordintor and winner of the Ginetta Sagan
Fund of AIUSA embarks on a speaking tour of the United States.

Various events can be found on

this link:

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Sithole’s wife dies

Staff Reporter
24th September 2012

The widow of Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole, the late Zanu Ndonga leader, has
Vesta Sithole passed away in Maryland in the United States, after a long
battle with liver cancer. She was 70.

She joined Joshua Nkomo’s ZAPU in the 1960s and left Zimbabwe, for what was
then Tanganyika, at the age of 19 to join the armed struggle. In 1963 she
joined Ndabaningi Sithole’s ZANU, when it split from ZAPU. It wasn’t until
1980 that she married Ndabaningi.

Mrs. Sithole was the author of the book: My Life With An Unsung Hero –
Memoirs of a Zimbabwean Woman Freedom Fighter. In it she said she hoped to
clarify what had happened in the ‘well orchestrated’ moves by ZANU PF to
strip her husband of his political and financial status. She referred to one
case where Rev Sithole returned from exile in the United States in 1992,
only to have his Chulu Farm confiscated by the Mugabe regime.

The MDC issued a statement Monday ‘demanding’ that Vesta Sithole be declared
a national hero, for her significant contribution to the liberation of

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Zimbabwe trade unionist rests after persecution
Supporters of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe cheer during his final rally in Harare on June 26, 2008.

A former trade unionist from Zimbabwe is the guest of the Hamburg Foundation for Politically Persecuted People. DW profiles Eddson Chakuma, who was persecuted in Zimbabwe merely for organizing a discussion.

An apartment in a nondescript building on a busy street in downtown Hamburg has become Eddson Chakuma's home for the next 12 months. The 38-year-old former trade unionist is a quiet and friendly man - it's difficult to believe that the Zimbabwean authorities would see in him a menace to the state.

But in March 2011, a court charged Chakuma and five others with treason. They had been arrested at a political event they'd organized, where they'd screened and debated a video about the political uprisings that were taking place at the time in a number of Middle Eastern and North African countries.

'Political discussion'

The meeting was nothing more than a political discussion, said Chakuma, and the Arab Spring was only one of several items on the agenda. Despite this, the police evidently had an undercover agent at the event, who sent text messages to his bosses while it was going on.

"Before our meeting ended, that's when the police barged into the room where we were, and we were arrested," Chakuma told DW. All 45 of them, including eight or nine women, were taken into custody.

Once they'd arrived at Harare Central Police Station, the undercover officer pointed out three speakers at the meeting. Eddson Chakuma, Welcome Zimuto and Hopewell Gumbo were taken into cells in the basement of the police station.

There the police told the three to write down what they had said and heard in the meeting. After writing down what they had discussed, the police - apparently dissatisfied - began to beat them.

46 social and human rights activists appear in court in Harare, February 2011

Forty-five people who had been at the meeting faced court

"They wanted us to write something which incriminated us; maybe they were going to use it in court. But we wrote exactly what we had said," Chakuma reported.

Others who had been at the meeting were also interrogated. Some allege that they were beaten on the soles of their feet by police officers. Four days after their arrest, the prisoners were sent to remand prison by a magistrates' court.

According to Chakuma, the conditions in the cells at the police station were not good - there were no blankets, the toilets had no running water and the prisoners were denied food. Remand prison, Chakuma said, was even worse.

Possible death sentence

At remand prison, the activists were put into solitary confinement.

Eddson Chakuma

Chakuma is ready for a break after his treason trial

"You don't have access to any books or to anybody whom you can talk to," said Chakuma. "You'll be given an hour in the morning to go out and wash. So, actually 23 hours in the confinement cell, then one hour in the morning just to get out."

After a week, the court released 39 of the 45 prisoners. Although their solitary confinement ended, Chakuma and five others were kept in prison and charged with treason for showing the Arab Spring video at the meeting.

Chakuma was frightened when he found out that newspapers suggested they could receive the death sentence: "Everybody was toying around, saying if they don't get the death sentence, they'll get 10 or 20 years. It was traumatic - even to my family - that my name would be written in the newspaper with a suggestion of a sentence of death."

After a further three weeks in remand prison, Chakuma and the five others were granted bail. Their court case, however, dragged on.

A year in fear

In the end, the treason case lasted from March of last year to February of this year.

Chakuma described the uncertainty as the worst part. After receiving a guilty verdict and while waiting for the court's sentence, the six activists "had to think again - is that death which is coming? Is that 10 years which is coming? Is that 20 years coming?" It was a traumatic experience.

After two weeks in limbo, Chakuma and the five others found out they had been sentenced to 420 hours of community service, a fine of $500, and a two-year suspended prison sentence. They paid their fines and began their community service.

Their lawyers appealed to a higher court, which suspended the sentence. They are still awaiting the final decision, so the ordeal is not over.

Wary of people power

For Chakuma, the authorities' reaction to the meeting he helped organize is a sign that little has changed in Zimbabwe despite the fact that the former opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, has been part of the government, with its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai as prime minister, under a power-sharing agreement since 2008.

His imprisonment, Chakuma believes, reveals the government's fear of possible uprisings. "In Egypt and Tunisia the revolutions ... were aimed at actually trying to get rid of dictators," Chakuma said. "If Egyptian people can say no to Mubarak, why can't the people in Zimbabwe say no to Mugabe?"

President Robert Mugabe sitting next to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai

Mugabe and Tsvangirai have governed in a coalition since 2008

But he still hopes that Zimbabwe will move toward greater democracy under a new constitution guaranteeing free and fair elections. "We'll have a democratic space whereby everybody's allowed to express whatever he wants to express. And we'll have a country, which has no human rights abuses. And at the end of the day we attract investors - those are my wishes, actually."

Looking to the future

An additional source of worry for Chakuma was the fact that his employer, the United Food and Allied Workers Union, let him go from his job as an organizing secretary because of work he missed while in prison.

This led him to get in touch with the Hamburg Foundation for Politically Persecuted People, an organization that regularly invites to Germany people who are being persecuted for political activity in their home countries.

Chakuma is grateful to the foundation, he said, because its invitation to Germany came when he most needed some time to rest. He is now living in Hamburg with his wife Lydia, considering his next steps, including studying towards a degree in labor law and political economy.

Although he holds out hope for his country, Chakuma may be away for a while. But he added that anything he achieves academically during his time in Germany will be put to use in Zimbabwe, to help make his dreams for the country come true.

  • Date 24.09.2012
  • Author Julian Bohne, Hamburg / sad
  • Editor Michael Lawton

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Involvement Zim military in partisan politics is disturbing

Press Release: 24 September 2012

THE Centre for Community Development In Zimbabwe (CCDZ) strongly condemns
the involvement of the Zimbabwe military in party politics as evidenced by
last week’s disruption of a rally organised by the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) party led by Professor Welshman Ncube in Mutoko. The disruption
of the rally by the military confirms our fears that ZANU PF is planning to
unleash its terror machinery once again in the forthcoming Constitutional
referendum and elections. The disruption and beating up of MDC supporters
who attended the Mutoko rally point to yet another sham election.

We note with concern the continued militarization of the country and the
impunity that has been allowed to take place even after the formation of the
coalition government. CCDZ reiterates the Civil Society position that the
forthcoming elections are an exercise in futility if they are held under the
prevailing climate of fear and intimidation. We are worried that there is no
commitment on the political leadership to bring to justice those responsible
for instigating the human rights abuses.The human rights violations are
being instigated by State security agencies and no action is taken against
them. In 2008, the same military launched an operation code-named “Operation
Makavhotera Papi” (Where Did you place your vote?” to ensure President
Mugabe’s re-election in the June Presidential Run-off elections.

The deployment of the military to the villages under the guise of
championing food security in an operation code-named “Operation Maguta” is
part of the ZANU PF strategy to instill fear in the electorate ahead of the
planned elections. We call upon the Zimbabwe military to stay out of
politics and stick to their constitutional mandate of defending the country
from external aggression and making sure that the citizens live in peace.

We urge the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to effectively and
decisively deal with the problem of militarization of elections in Zimbabwe
in the context of the ongoing mediation.The forthcoming referendum and
elections must be preceded by institutional reforms including weeding the
country’s security apparatus of political activists masquerading as genuine
soldiers. The forthcoming elections will not be free and fair elections if
the State security agencies are not held accountable for the abuses that
they continue to perpetrate against citizens.

Issued by:

Information Department
Centre for Community Development In Zimbabwe

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International Peace Day Statement

As championed by the theme “Sustainable peace for a sustainable future” it
is important to note that there will not be any desirable future without
peace. Peace is actually an integral component of any sustainable future.

by ZimRights

The annual recognition of the 21st September marks that time when
progressive minds are afforded a chance to reaffirm allegiance to good
governance, democratic principles, tolerance and largely the respect for
peace. The day was set by the United Nations in 1981 through resolution
36/67 and first celebrated in 1982. It is reserved for all nations, groups
and people to honour a cessation of hostilities and to otherwise commemorate
the day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.

Back home to Zimbabwe there has been relative progress politically,
economically and socially although a lot more is still to be done. The
strides made in the aforementioned spheres have a positive effect to the
attainment of peace. The Zimbabwean situation can best be appreciated on a
comparative basis that is when it is compared to the period preceding the
formation of the coalition government. The more than a decade long political
squabbles spanning from the late 90s and associated economic recession had a
massive effect to the several components crucial for the sustenance of
peace. Zimbabweans’ experience with elections is not good at all as they
have been marred by rape, torture, displacements and all forms of violence.

However, through the coalition government, a constitution draft containing
several provisions with the potential to address past anomalies that acted
as hindrances to sustenance of peace have been written and is about to go
for referendum. This year the cabinet adopted a draft Code of Conduct of the
Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration. The code of
conduct is expected to ensure that political parties be held accountable for
their supporters’ violent conduct among other things.

A Human Rights Commission Bill and Electoral Amendment Bill are also in the
pipeline though the pace and commitment must be improved. We have also seen
some improvements in the education sector, which has mainly been
characterised by unprecedented drop outs from the primary level up to the
higher and tertiary level. Changes have also been made in the health sector
and we can single out recent scratching of maternal fee as one of the
commendable developments. We also understand that the conditions of service
are still said to be below expectations. All the aforementioned factors have
a complementary effect to the attainment of the desired effect.
Peace-building and sustenance is a process- hence the need to remain
committed to its attainment.

ZimRights however, reiterates that most of the initiatives are still pending
and need to be finalised. It is our hope that the mechanisms including the
above-mentioned will not just end in paper work. Such mechanisms should be
afforded enough space and chance to execute what is expected from them. We
also demand that there be improvements in the provision of other social
services such as refuse collection, electricity and water supplies. Cholera
and Typhoid outbreaks are disturbing and should not recur. On the other
hand, there is need for investigations into the activities of the so called
Chipangano group that in the year 2012 has become a menace to citizens in
and around Harare. ZimRights registers its disappointment with the fracas
that engulfed the start of the census mid- August. It is a pity that
uniformed forces were implicated and on the wrong side for that matter, yet
their duty is to maintain peace and order.

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Save Conservancy: Demanding broad based empowerment

September 24, 2012 in Opinion
They are speaking out now aren’t they, the people and community of Chiredzi
who constitute part of Zimbabwe’s critical indigenous majority. Their voices
are now being heard above the whispers of discontent and simmering
disillusionment over indigenisation within the Save Valley Conservancy.
Their chiefs have boldly declared that they will not have anything less than
the broad-based economic empowerment which will guarantee them
socio-economic benefit from the exploitation of their wild life-based
natural resource.

It is encouraging to see indigenous Zimbabweans beginning to engage
indigenisation and economic empowerment, to participate and demand that its
broad-based objective and intent be fulfilled.
A recent publication gives an account of the socio-economic plight of the
people and communities in Chiredzi who face starvation and the indignity of
relying on food aid.

To the credit of the current Save Valley Conservancy members they did, as
early 2006, engage the Ministry of Environment and the National Parks and
Wildlife Management Authority with plans to bring increased benefit to
neighbouring communities. Yet the only real response now making the
headlines today is the allocation of licences to a few individuals said to
be largely from Masvingo, far divorced geographically from the communities
living around the conservancy.

It is imminent that those mandated with implementing broad-based economic
empowerment, across all sectors of government, must adopt a “dictatorship of
the economy” on matters of indigenisation and economic empowerment. Such
“dictatorship” will be legitimised and democratised by the majority of
indigenous Zimbabweans now demanding that indigenisation and economic
empowerment is not hijacked by a few individuals, but must benefit the

It is ill-advised to hound Tourism and Hospitality minister, Walter Mzembi,
for prioritising broad-based economic empowerment in the Save Valley
Conservancy, at a time when Zimbabwe prepares to host the United Nations
World Tourism Organisation General Assembly in 2013.

The UNWTO General Assembly shall place Zimbabwe’s tourism sector at the
centre of international attention. Yet already, the individualism and greed
being portrayed in the Save Valley Conservancy debacle are reflecting a bad
image and giving new ammunition to the very foreign economic forces still
very much committed to having us abandon indigenisation in its totality.
Already the EU’s ambassador to Zimbabwe warned of a boycot of the UNWTO
General Assembly and more sanctions being imposed against Zimbabwe because
of the parcelling out of the conservancy.

Clearly, anything other than a community-based approach in the Save Valley
Conservancy flies in the face of not only the very principle of empowerment
but also in the international law provisions that would otherwise support
our indigenisation programme at a time when ulterior forces would have such
programme brought to a halt.

The cost of causing disillusionment among a now expectant indigenous
majority must not be miscalculated. We cannot raise the hopes of a long
socio-economically deprived people only to immediately dash such hopes
against the rock of individualism, greed, corruption; more-so in such a
programme that is by its very nature broad-based and must benefit to the
majority. The national interest that defines us all, especially those
appointed as custodians of such interest, is that of an economic
emancipation programme that will ensure sustainable socio-economic benefit
to the majority indigenous Zimbabweans, and with it stability for our nation
birthed from racial socio-economic prejudice.

Rangu Nyamurundira is a lawyer and indigenisation/empowerment consultant
based in Harare.

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World Rhino Day: Time to reflect

September 23, 2012 in Environment
YESTERDAY was World Rhino Day and Zimbabwe, like the rest of the world,
joined in the celebrations.

Report by Chipo Masara
As much as it is commendable that we should recognise the day, the
rhinoceros is under threat and there is need for serious reflection on the

The small-eyed, three-toed, mud-rolling mammal characterised by a broad
chest, thick legs and a great sense of hearing, used to be at home in
Not anymore.

The rhino, the second biggest land mammal, is endangered and faces an
uncertain future. Like South Africa, Zimbabwe’s battle with poachers seems
to be escalating, with the rhinoceros proving to be their number one target.

Although Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority have been
continually putting in place measures designed to make it very hard for the
poachers to get to the animals, so far it does not look like it has been
enough to deter the poachers.

The poachers appear to have upped their game and are getting more
well-organised by the day. Their activities prompted the authority’s late
director-general, Vitalis Chadenga, to admit that rhino tusks were being
removed “quickly, clinically and professionally”.

What has become apparent is that rhino poaching has become a well-funded,
highly profitable trade and the demand for illegal rhino horn has surged.

China blamed for promoting poaching

In 2008, at a workshop organised by the Global Association for People and
the Environment (Gape) and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (Ifaw),
Yemen and China were accused of fuelling rhino poaching in Africa.

A year later, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
(Cites)’s report noted: “Currently, most rhino horns leaving southern Africa
are destined for end-use markets in southeast and east Asia, especially
Vietnam and China.”

It added: “The continued involvement of Vietnamese and Chinese nationals in
the acquisition of rhino horns within Africa needs to be addressed from the
standpoints of collective and collaborative law enforcement action involving
authorities both in Africa and Asia.”

Sadly, the rhino poaching problem has not ended but has grown to alarming
levels, making the threat of the rhinoceros extinction more real than

In Yemen, rhino horns are in demand and are used to make ornamental handles
for ceremonial jambiyas (daggers). in China, they have been used in
traditional medicines for centuries.

As the animals’ numbers continually decline, the horns are reportedly in
demand more than ever, as the Chinese continue to consider them a cure for
basically “everything”.

This is however in spite of the fact that scientific evidence has since
proven that rhino does not, in actual fact, contain any medicinal

Unfortunately, the Chinese have such belief in their myths that they are
reportedly prepared to part with as much as US$60 000 for one kilogramme of
rhino horn.

Considering this, what is left of the rhino in the country is very much a
target of the poachers, and unless stricter, harsher measures are
immediately put in place, we risk losing them all.

‘Parks authority intensifying measures to protect rhinos’

Caroline Washaya-Moyo, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority
spokesperson, said her organisation had stepped up efforts to protect the
rhino by creating intensive protection zones (IPZ) for the animals and
intensifying anti-poaching activities.

“Zimbabwe has just over 700, both black and white, rhinos left and to date
we have lost 17 rhinos,” said Washaya-Moyo.

While these figures show that poaching might be on the decline, it is
worrying to note that at independence in 1980, the country boasted of 2 000
black rhinos.

Although poaching is undoubtedly the main threat, habitat loss has also
posed as a major impediment to the animals’ thriving. The wildlife
sanctuaries in the country have since been invaded under what has been
termed the wildlife-based land reform programme, an exercise that exposes
the animals to poachers.

Extensive logging, both legal and illegal, has also created a problem.
Political instability in the country has not made the situation any better.
Zimbabwe is ranked among the countries in which normal law and order has
broken down, with political conflict having been matched by a rise in

In attempts to save the fast-depleting species, government introduced a
dehorning policy. This method however has been viewed by some as not only
ineffective, but cruel. There have been cases where the dehorned rhinos have
still been killed by poachers.

So while we “celebrate” World Rhino Day, it is good that we reflect on the
fate that befalls the animal, which happens to be one of the Big Five.

The truth of the matter is that if nothing is done to make things right,
rhinoceros in Zimbabwe will one day be nothing but a memory.

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