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COPAC report will not be released: MDC-T

02/09/2012 00:00:00
by Brian Paradza

MDC-T Secretary for Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, Jesse Majome,
has dismissed as nonsensical calls by Zanu PF that Copac make public its
national report insisiting that releasing the document not provided for in
the Global Political Agreement (GPA).

Zanu PF claims the Copac draft constitution published on July 18 ignores
views of the people gathered during the national outreach programme and
contained in the National Report. The party has challenged Copac to make the
document public but Majome, who is also Copac’s spokesperson, said this was
not provided for under the GPA.

“There is nowhere in the GPA where it says after the process you release the
national report,” she told reporters in Harare. “Article 6 of the GPA is
clear on the functions of Copac (and) in any case, the Select Committee is
answerable to Parliament and that body has not demanded such action from

The constitutional reform process appears stalled after the MDCs rejected
several amendments to the draft constitution proposed by Zanu PF which the
party says align the Copac draft with the national report.

Said politburo member Jonathan Moyo in the Sunday Mail: “It is now very
clear and beyond any contradiction that the July 18 so-called final Copac
draft with fraudulent signa­tures is not based on the views of the people as
required by Article VI of the GPA which Tsvangirai claims is part of the
Constitution of Zimbabwe when it - along with the rest of the GPA - is
clearly not

“A draft that is supposed to be based on the views of the people but which
does not have those views and yet claims to have them is clearly a fraud and
a fraud is criminal and can­not be taken to a referendum.”

But Majome said Zanu PF’s demand for publication of the report was a
smokescreen and accused the party of trying to derail the process.

“Zimbabweans must read for themselves the GPA and not listen to what
Jonathan Moyo writes,” she said.
“They (Zanu PF) would want to cause confusion so that the process is
abandoned. Such unreasonable statements you hear being churned out daily are

The MDC parties have declared the constitutional reforms – carried out over
the past three years and which cost about US$40 million - deadlocked and
asked the regional SADC grouping to intervene and help take the process

Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and SADC GPA facilitator President Jacob
Zuma of South Africa are expected to travel to Harare to try and help break
the deadlock.

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MDC To Hold Annual Conference in Bulawayo

Patric Chikwande Harare, September 02, 2012 - Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party will end of
September hold it's 13 th annual conference in Bulawayo where it enjoys most
of its support.
The MDC, which is currently investigating corruption among councillors
countrywdie, to save the party as the country trudges towards elections next
year, has already fired 12 councillors in Harare including the capital
city's deputy Mayor Emmanuel Chiroto.

"This year’s celebrations will be held under the theme; MDC @13 The Last
Mile: Towards Real Transformation. The main event, at White City Stadium in
Bulawayo, shall set the tone for similar festivities to be held
countrywide," the MDC said adding that September 29 as the date of the
conference," noted a statement by the party.

Last MDC annual celebrations were attended by thousands of party supporters
in Harare at Gwanzura Stadium.

"As the theme clearly suggests, over the past 13 years the MDC, as the
vanguard of the people’s struggle has made phenomenal achievements in the
social, political and economic life of Zimbabwe," the MDC said.

"The MDC has acquitted itself well as a pro-people and pro-poor party - A
Party of Excellence.Since the party’s formation 13 years ago on 11
September, 1999 at Rufaro Stadium in Harare, the MDC has achieved a number
of goals which among other issues include; bringing food to the people of
Zimbabwe despite many challenges faced in light of Zanu (PF)’s brutality."

The party said during its 13 year journey to achieve real change and
democracy in Zimbabwe, the MDC had faced many challenges of election
victories being stolen and supporters being injured and killed by Zanu (PF)
using State machinery throughout the country.

The MDC is now in control of all the urban councils except Chitungwiza and
most of the rural councils. In 2009, after winning the 2008 harmonised
elections it was involved in the formation of the inclusive government with
Tsvangirai becoming the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe.

"This year’s celebrations come at a time when the party is preparing for a
referendum on the draft Constitution which will lead to the holding of free
and fair elections next year. The MDC is confident of winning the elections
and forming a government t that will deliver and bring real change and
democracy to Zimbabwe and its people," the party said.

The MDC conference will be graced by leaders from the civic society, foreign
diplomats, church and traditional leaders. The party did not state who the
guest of honour at this year's event but last year Kenyan Prime Minister
Raila Odinga attended the party's congress to the chagrin of Mugabe.

The MDC, as an idea, was first endorsed on 26 February 1999 by over 700
ordinary men and women at the Zimbabwe Women’s Bureau in Hillside, Harare.

"Zanu PF immediately polished up its political culture of violence, leading
to scores of deaths and massive displacements of the poor. The situation
remains unchanged to this day," the MDC said.

MDC leader Tsvangirai is also expected to wed this month with his wife,
Elizabeth Macheka.

MDC's main political rival, Mugabe's Zanu (PF) party will hold it's annual
conference in December in Gweru in what might be the last conference before
elections possibly next year.

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Mugabe’s ‘mercenary’ ministers exposed

Sunday, 02 September 2012 10:43
HARARE - An angry outburst by Harare businessman Temba Mliswa against
ethanol magnate Billy Rautenbach has lifted the lid on how President Robert
Mugabe’s Cabinet ministers are readily available for hire by shadowy
corporate interests.

The shocking revelations not only come amid increasing charges of serious
corruption in the octogenarian leader’s government, but also confirm a
worrying culture that has gnawed at his successive administrations since

While Mliswa’s cries emanate from unfulfilled promises over his alleged
“door-to-door” campaigns and facilitation of Rautenbach’s vaunted $600
million project, it was the controversial figure’s claims that ministers
were roped into the ethanol lobby or project that has given an insight into
how lucrative trade ventures have been won at the back of clandestine access
to Zanu PF officials.

The controversial tycoon, it was alleged, not only managed to get his
lowveld project off the ground through the fitness trainer’s midas ties to
yet unnamed politicians, but was also able to get his Marshlands Farm back
in addition to mining concessions.

And analysts say Mliswa’s disclosures were only a tip of the iceberg on how
sleaze and deep-seated corruption ran in the former ruling party.

Most of Zanu PF bosses are career politicians since 1980 when Zimbabwe
attained its independence.
Obert Gutu, the Zimbabwean deputy minister of Justice and Legal Affairs,
said it was impossible to separate Zanu PF from corruption.

"Zanu PF and corruption are like inseparable Siamese twins; the one cannot
do without the other,” Gutu said.

“We have seen the construction of buildings on wetlands, against the advice
and lawful rulings of the Environmental Management Agency (Ema). This has
happened in my own constituency of Chisipite where, against all
environmental logic and communal decency, the wetlands near Dandaro Village
across Borrowdale Road are going to host a so-called biggest shopping mall
in Africa,” said Gutu.

Gutu also questions the hype surrounding the Chisumbanje project saying it
smacks of corruption.

“This country is virtually on its knees thanks to corruption and poor
governance, amongst other vices. For as long as we are not bold enough to
come up with effective tools of detecting, combating and ultimately
eliminating corruption we might as well kiss economic and socio-political
development,” said Gutu.

“Zanu PF has a policy of zero tolerance to corruption. I cannot discuss the
mechanism the party uses to deal with graft but I can tell you we do not
embark on witch-hunting,” Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said.

“We have in the country institutions such as the Anti-Corruption Commission
(ACC). These are the institutions we use if they convict or charge someone
then as a party if that person is found guilty we will definitely act on
that. We have no place for such people in the party,” Gumbo said.

ACC which was commissioned by Mugabe remains a paper tiger which has not
made any meaningful investigations since its establishment in line with the
Global Political Agreement (GPA).

Analysts and commentators say political will is lacking.

Political commentator Dewa Mavhinga said government cannot monitor itself on

“Those embedded in corruption cannot themselves be anti-corruption

“The only way to decisively deal with corruption is revolutionary, involving
a clean sweep of the entire corrupt order and its replacement with a
political order committed to values of good governance, transparency and
accountability,” said Mavhinga.

A survey by Transparency International in 2011 showed that 55 percent of the
country’s population thought that corruption is on the increase
notwithstanding the presence of a unity government.

Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU) director Derek Matyszak said by their
nature, politicians cannot police themselves saying such mechanisms should
be enshrined in a new constitution.

“Politicians will never have the will to end corruption...hence the new
constitution needs to provide for the establishment of a body like the
scorpions and the anti-corruption commission needs to be independently
appointed and to operate with full independence,” said Matyszak.

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Minister says MDC parties imprisoned in ‘unity’ govt

Sunday, 02 September 2012 10:41
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF are so scared of a democratic
society that they will do anything to strangle any such process, a member of
the shaky coalition government has said.

Zimbabwe’s constitution-making process is currently in limbo after Zanu PF
made a volte face on a draft it had initially signed to.

Deputy minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development Jessie
Majome told a Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) discussion at the
Harare Press Club last week that the two MDCs in the coalition government
were shackled with an unwilling partner.

“Zanu PF is afraid of a just and equal society. Every milestone along the
Copac and Global Political Agreement process is to them a subtraction of
their stranglehold on power that has been inbuilt since 1980,”she said.
“They have tried everything from gross unreasonableness,violence, confusion
and are now doing everything to upturn or overturn and detonate the
process,” Majome said.

She said the two MDCs that went into a coalition arrangement with Zanu PF
found themselves in a prisoner’s scenario in which they are shackled with an
unwilling or mischievous colleague.

“It is like a situation in which because of shortage of leg irons, prisoners
find themselves chained together with a fellow who wants to go to the
toilet. They all have to go and if he/she wants to run they should all run
and the same if the fellow stops or slows down."

“Zanu PF is using the consensus clause effectively because they are very
much aware the process will not move without the partners agreeing. I would
never believe that Mugabe and even his politburo members were not aware of
the process and did not know the stages as we moved along. It is total
mischief,” she said.

Majome said Zanu PF’s behaviour had effectively stalled the constitution
making process at a very critical stage.

“We were at a very critical stage at which we needed to distribute our
document to the people so they will be aware and be able to critic the draft
at the 2nd All Stakeholders Conference but everything has stopped.

“Mugabe and Zanu PF have mischievously gone ahead and started to distribute
their so-called Copac amended draft. They are so arrogant to the extent they
are abusing the name Copac to their advantage. It is a total disdain for
Parliament and its committees,” the MDC secretary for constitutional affairs

Zanu PF negotiator and Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa was invited to the
Misa public seminar but could not attend.

Crisis Coalition regional coordinator Dewa Mavhinga called for improved
leadership within civil society to challenge Zanu PF’s intransigence.

“Power response to power and we have not done enough besides quarrelling as
civil society to respond to Zanu PF’s challenge. Constitutions the world
over are a product of blood, sweat and tears and if Zimbabwe is to have a
genuinely democratic charter there should be some kind of mobilisation,”
Mavhinga said.

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Air Zimbabwe to Resume Operations

Published: 2 September 2012

ZIMBABWE – Cabinet is expected to come up with a raft of measures tomorrow
to enable Air Zimbabwe to resume international flights by early next month.
Permanent Secretary for Transport, Communications and Infrastructural
Development Mr Munesu Munodawafa last week said that the national airline’s
future was being discussed at the highest level. He said Transport,
Communications and Infrastructural Development Minister Nicholas Goche would
issue a statement after the Cabinet meeting.
Mr Munodawafa could not disclose the new measures, saying they were subject
to Cabinet approval.
“There are discussions going on in Government that are at an advanced
stage,” he said.
“As I have said, these developments are subject to Cabinet approval. The
Minister (Goche) will issue a statement after Cabinet probably next week
(this week).”
Sources said the Government had engaged a number of potential investors to
partner Air Zimbabwe.
Air Zimbabwe cancelled international and regional flights early this year to
avoid the impounding of its planes by creditors.

This followed the impounding of one of the company’s planes in London by an
American parts supplier over US$1 million.
The plane was released a few days later after Government paid the money.
Government disbanded Air Zimbabwe Holdings in March and formed a new
Stateowned company, Air Zimbabwe Private Limited.
The move was designed to lure investors that could partner Government in
turning around the country’s national airline. As part of the restructuring
exercise, Government took over Air Zimbabwe’s assets and liabilities, while
National Handling Services was separated from Air Zimbabwe.
It was recommended that a financial consultant would be engaged to advise
the shareholders on a viable business plan and organisational structure.The
advisor would also consider possible acquisition of some of the existing
equipment deemed necessary by Air Zimbabwe Pvt Ltd.
In March this year, Minister Goche said Air Zimbabwe had secured an A320
airbus for leasing as part of reviving the country’s flag carrier. He said
the airbus would be part of Air Zimbabwe’s regional fleet
Air Zimbabwe Holdings has been facing numerous challenges, which have forced
it to suspend services.The company is riddled with a US$150 million debt. Of
the US$150 million, US$30 million is owed to foreign creditors.

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'Hospital in Zim loots over $1m'

Eyewitness News | 6 hours ago

JOHANNESBURG - There has been another blow to Zimbabwe's hosting of the
United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO 's) general assembly in
August next year, after reports that more than $1 million United States (US)
dollars worth of funds have been looted.

The success of the conference is already being jeopardised by the
controversial takeover of ranches in Zimbabwe's flagship Save Valley

Police are investigating a scam involving the fraudulent purchase of medical
equipment for the Victoria Falls Hospital.

The sums involved are more than a million US dollars.

This was part of a $6.9 million package meant to spruce up the hospital
ahead of the UNWTO conference in the resort town.

Zimbabwe fought hard to win the right to co-host the meeting with Zambia.

But the local tourism industry, including the Minister of Tourism, is
worried Zimbabwe's credibility has been blighted because of the takeover of
ranching businesses in the Save Valley Conservancy.

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Zim babies born on hospital floors

Eyewitness News | 7 hours ago

JOHANNESBURG - State media in Zimbabwe is reporting that babies are being
delivered on the floor of Harare's main hospital, as moms-to-be flood the
institution following the scrapping of fees.

New mothers are being discharged 24 hours after giving birth at the Harare
Central Hospital, and matrons at the facility are unhappy with the

In a bid to cut the rate of maternal deaths, Zimbabwe recently scrapped fees
for pregnant mothers at provincial hospitals.

That has led to a huge influx of disadvantaged mothers, who might otherwise
have given birth at home.

At least 70 women arrive at the maternity wing of the Harare Central
Hospital per day, and staff are swamped.

The Sunday Mail this week reported that women have had to swap between the
beds, benches and the floor to give birth.

Mothers-to-be are supposed to register at the hospital ahead of their due
date, but many are being referred on by state clinics at the last minute and
resources are severely overstretched.

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Parliament committee summons Gono

02/09/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

THE parliamentary committee on agriculture has demanded that Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor, Gideon Gono, reveal the names of people who
benefited from the US$200 million farm mechanisation programme which was
managed by the central bank.

The RBZ chief has admitted that the scheme, carried out between 2007 and
2008, contributed to the central bank’s current US$1 billion debt since most
of the beneficiaries never paid for the equipment.

Legislators suspect the equipment, meant to help newly-resettled farmers who
did not have the resources make productive use of their land, was given
undeserving individuals.

“We made a deci­sion as a committee and we advised Parliament administration
to formally summon the Reserve Bank Governor,” committee chairman Moses Jiri
(MDC-T) confirmed Sunday.

“I can say that he has only two choices, either to come with the list in
person or to send the list to Parliament. However, we would prefer it if he
would bring the list in person.”

In July, Gono clashed with Zanu PF MP Paddy Zhanda when he refused to reveal
the beneficiaries during a hearing before parliament's budget committee,
saying he was barred from making the information public under sections of
the RBZ Act.

Gono's refusal to divulge the names of the beneficiaries has received
backing from an unlikely source - his former adviser-turned-critic
Munyaradzi Kereke.

According to Kereke, who has previously appealed to MPs to probe Gono for
alleged corruption, the Farm Mechanisation Programme was a "noble,
legitimate programme that was not and is not illegal and there is no value
in trying to discuss it now".

He added: "These transactions of the State were legitimate, confidential and
closed and hence must not be looked at to preserve our state security. They
are and they must forever remain State secrets covered under the Official
Secrets Act. No one must breach this. Not me. Not Parliament. Not anyone."

And Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma claimed the committee could not
investigate the programme unless there was an audit proving funds were

“For any investigation into this mat­ter to commence, there has to be an
audit that shows misappropriation of public funds," Zvoma told the Sunday
"This has not happened as far as we know. However, even if there was such an
audit, it’s not the mandate of the agriculture committee to look into the
matter... this matter happened years ago and so should be looked into by the
Public Accounts Committee if there is an audit that shows that public funds
were not used properly.

“The terms of reference for the agriculture committee relate to the current
national budget. They look into how funds that were allocated to agriculture
under the current budget are being used. We are shadowing the work of the
current ministers.”

The RBZ says benefici­aries of the programme included 400 chiefs, 2,000
headmen, 60,000 villagers and about 3,000 A2 farmers.
Gono says it was not the responsibility of the bank to ensure beneficiaries
paid for the equipment, insisting the Ministries of Finance and Agriculture
had to make the necessary follow-ups.

“We distributed the machinery with the assistance of the Ministry of
Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development and the Grain
Marketing Board,” Gono said when he appeared before the budget committee.

“Beneficiaries received implements according to the sizes of their land and
the ecological regions in which they are operating.
“The GMB and the Ministry identified the beneficiaries. They were the ones
who had information on the farmers and their production records.”

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Diamond, Essar deals expose govt incompetence

01/09/2012 00:00:00
by Brian Paradza

ZIMBABWE has lost billions of dollars in potential revenue as government
officials give away the country’s vast mineral wealth on the cheap due to
corruption and sheer incompetence, an economic and governance expert has

Citing the stalled Essar takeover of Ziscosteel and disputes over diamond
mining concessions as well as the Green Fuel ethanol project, Titus
Gwemende, told a recent public meeting on contract transparency in Harare
that there was a “worrying lack of expertise” on contract negotiation within
the government.

Gwemende said ministers have signed-off poorly drafted investment contracts
which bring little benefit to the country, resulting in controversies which
have either ended up stalling the projects or costing the country billions
of dollars in potential revenue.

“You are as rich as your investment contract. Getting a contract right
involves having a balanced negotiating structure between investors and the
host state. Negotiation capacity is critical. In Liberia at the moment is
revising all the contracts to ensure they benefit the Liberians,” Gwemende

Despite being touted as one of the world’s biggest diamond finds in recent
years and a possible source of at least US$2 billion in annual revenues for
the country, the coalition continues to bicker over the Marange diamond

Finance Minister Tendai Biti recently cut back his revenue projects for 2012
saying about US$600 million promised from diamond sales was not forthcoming.

Biti and his MDC-T party claim that the Marange diamond mining deals in
which the government partners some private companies are murky and of little
value to the country.

Again, the US$750 million takeover of Ziscosteel by Essar Holdings has
stalled after government ministers discovered that they may have handed the
Indian company a US$30 billion asset on the cheap.

Equally, the US$600 million ethanol project teeters on the brink of collapse
as ministers haggle, among various other issues, over the company’s land
deals with the agricultural parastatal, ARDA.

Environment Law Association Director, Mutuso Dhliwayo, said it was ironic
that government officials dismiss civil society groups as “sell-outs” when
cabinet ministers were presiding over the plunder of the country’s mineral
wealth through dodgy investment deals.

“How can you possibly explain a situation where you have a deal which gives
an investor iron ore reserves worth over US$30 billion and, in return, the
government only gets US$700 million,” he said.

“We need to seriously look at these investment agreements as a country.”
African Parliamentary Network Against Corruption member, Willias Madzimure,
said major investment deals should be subjected to Parliamentary scrutiny
before they are concluded instead of the current situation where the
legislative body merely rubber-stamps decisions made by ministers.

“Parliamentary Portifolio Committees should be favoured with the draft
agreements before the deals are concluded so that they can scrutinise them
and make recommendations,” he said.

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MPs embarrass provincial governor

Sunday, 02 September 2012 10:39
MASVINGO - Zanu PF Masvingo provincial governor Titus Maluleke got a torrid
time last Friday after mainstream MDC MPs accused him of masterminding the
politicisation of food aid.

The MDC MPs said their party members were being snubbed in the distribution
of government-subsidised food.
The legislators grilled Maluleke at a lodge at Ancient City during a meeting
organised by the provincial Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee

It emerged during the meeting that complains of partisan food distribution
of the grain loan scheme had been overwhelming across the province.

MDC MP for Masvingo central, Jeferyson Chitando, attacked Maluleke accusing
him of flouting government procedures on food distribution.

“The problem of partisan food distribution lies with governor Maluleke who
is here. He is the one responsible for the challenges people are facing in
getting food hand outs from government if they are not from Zanu PF. Why I
am saying this is because he abuses his power to flout and twist government
procedures that should be followed to distribute food to starving
villagers,” said Chitando.

Chitando said the governor was instructing his subordinates to by-pass
councillors and MPs from the MDC party during the distribution and was using
losing Zanu PF councillors and traditional leaders to give food aid to the
former ruling party supporters only.

Masvingo Urban legislator, Tongai Matutu said the partisan distribution of
food hand-outs were initiated from Maluleke’s office and recommended Jomic
to take over the distribution of food to bring sanity.

“The whole problem starts right in the governor’s office. He is supposed to
see that the distribution is done on a non-partisan manner but we get
reports that he is behind everything. In order for us to solve this problem
I suggest that Jomic takes charge of distributing food so that other
political party supporters are not treated unfairly,” Matutu said amid
cheers from fellow legislators.

Maluleke, who was the guest of honour at the meeting, was left embarrassed
after the MPs took turns to tell him in his face that he was the perpetrator
of violence and politicisation of food aid.

Maluleke tried to defend himself but the MDC legislators would have none of

“The distribution of food aid is not done by politicians but by government
through the Local Government ministry or Social Welfare and the help of
traditional leaders and everything is going on well in Masvingo,” he said
but was quickly rubbished by furious MDC legislators.

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Deal to ease Masvingo water woes

Sunday, 02 September 2012 10:37
MASVINGO - A $40 million loan deal that could solve chronic water problems
in Masvingo is in the pipeline, according to city mayor Femias Chakabuda.

Chakabuda told the Daily News on Sunday that council was on the verge of
receiving the money from an undisclosed partner to construct a new water
treatment plant.

“I can say that the water problems in the city will soon ease as we are
about to finalise a deal with a certain company to get the money that we
have been struggling to get over the years,” said Chakabuda.

“There is light in this but we cannot disclose the name of the business
partner until we are through with all the processes, then we will call a
press conference and make a public announcement,” said Chakabuda.

The city has been struggling to raise $40 million for the water project to
plug water shortages that have perennially affected the country’s oldest

A booming population has overwhelmed water supply infrastructure,which has
not been upgraded since it was first put in place by the colonial government
in the 1960s.

Chakabuda said the project should take less than a year to complete once
work has started.

“We are ready and as soon as we get the money work will start. We have our
plans in place and I do not think we will take long to finish the project
because everything has since been planned well,” he said.

Masvingo residents sometimes go for days without water,exposing them to
diseases such as cholera. Council blames ageing water infrastructure,which
no longer has the capacity to meet growing demand.

The plant has a capacity to pump 24 000 mega litres per day, only enough for
40 000 in a city which requires 60 000 mega litres per day for the current
population of slightly over 100 000.

Previous efforts to get government assistance have failed,forcing council to
seek alternative funding.

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State media refuse seat on VMCZ

Sunday, 02 September 2012 10:35
HARARE - The state media has refused a seat on the Voluntary Media Council
of Zimbabwe (VMCZ), thus making it difficult for the council when it
receives complaints from the public.

Addressing editors from the print and broadcasting media at a Harare hotel
on Thursday, retired High Court judge George Smith, who chairs VMCZ’s Media
Complaints Committee, said the state media’s reluctance to take up their
seat has been a challenge.

Editors from the independent media and civil society representatives made up
the gathering under the banner “Media Accountability Series”.

The main aim of the meeting was to create a platform for civil society to
interact with editors on how best to utilise the media complaints mechanism.

“While VMCZ and the state media collaborate on educational activities, they
refuse to participate in our programme,” said Smith.

VMCZ’s Media Complaints Committee comprises Smith,veteran journalist Chris
Chinaka and Advocate Mtombeni.

It receives, mediates, and adjudicates complaints by individuals and
organisations against the media.

VMCZ also seeks to form a buffer between the public and media and to serve
as a medium of understanding between the two entities.

Brian Mangwende, the Zimbabwe National Editors Forum chairperson, said his
organisation supported self-regulation as the best method of promoting
accountability while protecting media freedom.

“The majority of editors in this country believe that the media should
account for any mistakes that they make while reporting on issues,” said

“The media practitioners themselves would be the first to admit that they
cannot be left to their own devices to report as they choose without any
kind of oversight.”

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ZCTU endorses draft constitution

Sunday, 02 September 2012 10:08
HARARE - Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) has endorsed the draft
constitution saying it had been approved by the workers in the country.

ZCTU secretary-general Japhet Moyo said the ZCTU supreme body, the general
council approved the draft constitution arguing that it was a ‘better devil
‘as compared to the current constitution.’

He said that draft can be used to hold free and fair elections if approved
at the referendum.

ZCTU is a strong labour and trade union movement with a membership of over
one million countrywide.

Moyo said the ZCTU held their meeting on July 18 and gave thumps up to the

“We have accepted that the draft constitution might have some flaws but it
is a good document. We agreed to support it and we have to let the public
know that workers have endorsed it. This why we are participating in some
civic society discussing forums briefing the public about the decision of
the workers in supporting the draft,” said Moyo.

In the past two weeks Moyo and ZCTU president George Nkiwane have been
appearing among panelists of experts, academics, political parties and civic
society representatives discussing the draft constitution and articulating
the workers position on the draft.

ZCTU have joined the MDC formations in endorsing the draft constitution as
Zanu PF has made several amendments in an attempt to rewrite the draft
against the people’s wishes.

However, Raymond Majongwe spokesperson of Concerned ZCTU Affiliates said it
was wrong for Moyo and Nkiwane to endorse draft without consulting the

Concerned ZCTU Affiliates is a splinter group of ZCTU.

Majongwe disagreed with Moyo and Nkiwane’s support of the draft saying it
was wrong to assert that the workers had accepted the draft.

“It took Zanu PF more than 50 hours to debate on the draft constitution and
we now have these two colleagues claiming that the workers have accepted the
draft,” said Majongwe.

Concerned ZCTU Affiliates president Lovemore Matombo supported Majongwe’s
argument and said the two trade unionists were playing politics.

“The history of ZCTU is known and the constitution process started when I
was still the President of a united ZCTU. I am not aware that the position
has change. Moyo and Nkiwane are playing politics in endorsing the draft,”
said Matombo.

In 2000 ZCTU was in partnership with the National Constitional Assembly
(NCA) and MDC in campaigning for a no vote in the referendum for the draft
constitution, which was rejected by people.

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Residents angry with Zesa estimate bills

Sunday, 02 September 2012 10:08
HARARE - Harare Residents’ Trust (HRT) in the public interest and in the
fulfilment of its vision of a free and prosperous citizenry continued to
receive reports from residents owing to the continued use of estimated
billing instead of actual meter readings to reflect actual consumption.

Residents are concerned with the operations of the Zimbabwe Electricity
Distribution Company (ZETDC), as the billing authority. “This has left the
majority of the populace in debt, given the social and economic hardships.”

Widespread power disconnections have followed across Harare, including some
buildings in the Central Business District.

During the first two weeks of August 2012, the HRT recorded 180 cases of
residents whose electricity had been disconnected, with the majority of
these cases based on estimated bills.

As a success, the HRT has been able to have these cases re-evaluated to
reflect actual consumption as residents are being trained to read their own

“The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) has not satisfactorily
explained how residents’ bills have continued to rise above their incomes
and capacities.

“The HRT urges Zesa to immediately review the bills of the residents
downwards to reflect actual consumption and the capacity or ability of the
recipients of the services to pay,” said HRT.

The residents’ body urged Zesa’s public relations officials to be available
when they are needed to address residents’ concerns within communities.

“HRT strongly advocates for the complete reduction of the debts owed to
ZETDC by the residents.

In line with the HRT objective Number three “to facilitate engagement among
council officials, service providers and the citizenry to improve the
standards of living in Harare Metropolitan Province”, the organisation will
continually endeavour to seek and facilitate dialogue between ZETDC and the
residents in order to reach a common understanding in pursuit of an
efficient electricity provision system.

“Also in line with objective Number four to “monitor and audit the
performance of service providers so that they deliver quality and affordable
services to the citizenry”, the HRT will continue to closely monitor how the
national power utility provides services to its customers to ensure
accountability and value for money for the residents. A transparent billing
system is a must if electricity consumers are going to pay up their bills.”

Below is a summarised brief on the provision of electricity and its
distribution in the various suburbs within Harare based on information
provided by HRT Community Coordinators and the various suburban residents’

Waterfalls: Uplands, Picnic Park, Hilton Park, Cheviot and Shortson areas
experience electricity power outages from 0510 hours or 0600 hours in the
morning to around 1300 hours.

When there is no electricity in the morning it will be back in the afternoon
or it is vice-versa.

The electricity is usually cut off for seven hours. Residents are forced to
buy paraffin which costs US$1,15 per litre and firewood which costs $1 for
four pieces.

Mbare: Power outages are usually experienced for five hours in Mbare
National, Jourburg Lines, Nenyere and Mbare flats.

At Matapi hostels, there is rarely load shedding because they are
interconnected to Matapi Police Station and home industrial areas.

Hatfield: Residents have always been satisfied with supplies. However, in
the past three weeks, electricity supplies have been cut off in excess of
four hours daily.

Borrowdale/Mount Pleasant: An improvement has been noted by most residents
but they require Zesa to follow a known timetable.

The residents are sometimes switched off for an hour or for five hours then
switched on.

Greendale, Mandara, Highlands and Chisipite — Improvements have been noted
by residents.

Duration of load shedding has been reduced from eight to five hours per day
in the last week.

Residents are mainly complaining due to increased expenditure on fuels for
their generators and firewood and paraffin in place of electricity.

Tashinga — Electricity outages are experienced from 0500 hours to 1300 hours

Dzivarasekwa — The area experience power outages for averagely four hours.

Kuwadzana Extension — There is an average of eight hours without electricity
every day.

Kuwadzana — an average of eight hours to 9 hours without electricity.

Warren Park — Power outages averagely eight hours a day.

Highfield, Jerusalem and Egypt — During weekdays there are power outages
from are experienced from 9am to 2pm and on particular days load shedding is
experienced between 2pm and 9pm.

The load shedding at times alternates between the two suburbs.

Glen View — Electricity is available from 8pm to 9am on Monday, Wednesday
and Friday but on Tuesdays and Thursdays there is electricity supply during
the day from 9 am to 6pm.

Glen Norah A — Electricity is supplied four hours during the day and power
cuts are experienced twice or thrice a day, increasing the risk to people
and damage of electrical gadgets.

Glen Norah B — There is load shedding from 2pm to 10pm during the day.

Budiriro 4 — Load shedding is experienced twice a day from 6am to 12pm and
from 2pm to 8pm during weekdays.

Budiriro 3 — There is no supply during the day from 6am to 8pm especially
during weekdays.
Mufakose — Electricity has been supplied consistently from the first week of

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Exiled Zimbabweans troop back home

Sunday, 02 September 2012 10:55
HARARE - Thousands of Zimbabweans who fled economic and political turmoil
are trooping back home, even as a volatile political situation plunges the
country further into uncertainty.

Formed three years ago, President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai’s “unity” government is tottering on the brink of collapse due to
seemingly irreconcilable differences.

Delivering far less than what it promised on inception, the coalition
government however seems to have done enough to convince a number of exiled
Zimbabweans that home might be better after all.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM), a UN agency heavily
involved in helping repatriate exiled Zimbabweans from South Africa says a
large number of illegal migrants are volunteering to return to Zimbabwe.

“Following the resumption of deportations on 7 October, 2011, the Beitbridge
Reception and Support Centre has provided assistance to a total of over 25
000 returned migrants as of end of June,” said Knowledge Mareyanadzo, an IOM

“The majority of the returnees are males with the percentage of females
being lower than 15 percent. More than half of the returnees are aged
between 18 and 24 years whilst unaccompanied minors constituted almost two
percent of the total returnees,” he said.

This might seem a small number given that close to a quarter of the
population or three million Zimbabweans-are estimated to have fled the
decade-plus economic and political turmoil.

But officials say as life in foreign lands proves harsh, many more are
returning home without being officially recorded as returnees.

Mareyanadzo says the reasons for voluntary return are “varied and complex”.

“They range from changes in personal and family circumstances, family
re-unification, unmet aspirations while in South Africa, the various forms
of abuses and vulnerability that migrants in general and irregular migrants
in particular face while in destination countries and improved
socio-economic and political stability prevailing in the country,” he said.

Conditions back home have helped.

Though progress has been slow, the country has been recording some positives
that have made Zimbabweans struggling with life as migrants consider
returning home.

From a collapsed state, the economy is relatively on the mend and the
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries says industrial capacity utilisation is
up from 10 percent in 2009 to 57, 2 percent.

Although conditions are still far from “normal”, the adoption of multiple
currencies has made transactions and savings easier.

Unemployment is still high, estimated by government to be over 80 percent,
but a free for all informal sector is keeping families going.

Health experts such as Walter Mangezi told a recent gathering of medical
experts at a Zimbabwe Medical Association annual congress that life
expectancy had risen to 52 years from 37 years in 2006 due to improved

Mareyanadzo said life was harsher for many Zimbabweans living outside the

“The socio-economic challenges that Zimbabwe witnessed over the past decade
saw a significant outmigration of Zimbabweans to South Africa and Botswana
within the region,” he said.

“While the number of people leaving the country in search of employment and
for other socio-economic reasons is difficult to quantify, the number of
migrants deported to Zimbabwe continues to increase.”

The majority of those returning, voluntarily or through deportation, are in
need of urgent help upon landing, Mareyanadzo said. IOM has an office in
Beitbridge which offers assistance to returnees.

“Of all the returned migrants received at the centre, at least 91 percent
have requested for some form of IOM assistance with at least 61 percent of
the returned migrants being assisted with transport back to their homes,” he

Yet, some of the Zimbabweans who fled the country’s debilitating decade-plus
political and economic crisis still prefer to beg and rough it on the
streets of South Africa.

Orphans, Milton,18, Ruvarashe, 16, and Diana, 12, are some of the
Zimbabweans living rough in South Africa and have no intention of returning

While life is becoming better for some people, the three orphans have no
hope of returning home.

With a weak and broke government, safety nets for vulnerable people such as
these orphans do not exist in Zimbabwe. The country relies on donors to feed
more than a million people ravaged by hunger.

“We are orphans, our parents died and we have nothing and no one to go back
to,” Milton told the Daily News on Sunday on the streets on Musina, where
she makes a living from begging.

“Our coming here was caused by the fact that we did not have anyone to look
after us, so it is better for us to stay here than go back to Zimbabwe. May
be one day we will return, but not anytime soon. We still have to figure out
a way to sustain ourselves when we return,” said Milton.

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Back to school: From rural Africa to the Ivy League

The United States Achievers Program provides funding and moral support for
promising but disadvantaged students from 13 countries on four continents to
pursue their educational goals.

By Scott Baldauf, Staff writer / September 2, 2012

In early 2008, Joshua Foromera was a talented Zimbabwean high school
graduate living as a refugee in South Africa. He fled Zimbabwe because of
political and economic collapse, seeking higher education opportunities.

Today, Mr. Foromera is a biology and chemistry major at Duke University in
North Carolina, following his dream of finding a safer, more effective
treatment for the virus linked to AIDS.

Good grades and standardized test scores got Foromera, a graduate of a rural
Zimbabwean public school, into Duke. But a small public-private partnership
between US universities and the United States government helped him navigate
the unfamiliar process of taking American-style tests, filling out college
applications, seeking financial aid, and finally, applying for US student
visas. The program, called the United States Achievers Program (USAP), aims
to help promising students from disadvantaged backgrounds to further their
education in the United States, and then return to their home countries to
make a difference.

Joshua Foromera is just one of hundreds of foreign students with modest
incomes attending university in the United States, thanks to private
scholarships, enthusiastic volunteers, and the relatively small $12 million
USAP program run out of US embassies in 13 countries on four different

At a time when the US’s strategic advantage in higher education is being
tested, and global talent moves to emerging economic powers such as India
and China, programs like USAP help ensure that America’s colleges and
universities still draw in the lion’s share of academic talent, and
contribute to the economic boost higher education brings to the US economy.

“The primary goal for what we do and why we do it is to cultivate
relationships with future leaders around the world,” says Meghann Curtis,
deputy assistant secretary of state for academic programs, including USAP,
the Fulbright program, and other scholarships.

“With US Achievers Program, we are trying to tap into the underserved
students, to give opportunities of an educational experience to people who
otherwise wouldn’t have it.”

'Tell us your budget'

Foromera, now a college senior, just finished a summer research internship
with Harvard University and the Massachusetts General Hospital’s AIDS
research center, working to find specific enzymes to target in the latest
generation of AIDS drugs. But if he hadn’t heard about education
opportunities in the states, he would still be a refugee in South Africa,
unable to afford higher education there, he says.

“I didn’t have a cent,” Foromera says. “When I applied for Duke, they knew I
would need money for everything, but they said, ‘tell us your budget.’”

In total, US scholarship programs have educated some 310,000 Fulbright
students (192,800 of them from foreign countries), and a large number of
these have gone on to important careers. “Not only do we help people to go
back to serve their countries, we help them to become leaders," says Ms.
Curtis. "Three hundred and fifty Fulbright alumni have gone on to become
heads of state, 16 have become Nobel laureates, and the US Achievers Program
now makes this possible for those of limited means.”

There is another advantage. Congressional studies have found that the $12
million spent for international scholarships through USAP’s parent
organization, Education USA, brings in some $21 billion to the US economy
each year, generating new business ideas, innovations, and economic

America 'is a meritocracy'

The achievers program had humble beginnings, and was the brainchild of an
employee at the US Embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe. As an academic adviser on
the embassy staff, Rebecca Zeigler-Mano noticed one common feature of all
the prospective students coming to her office. They were almost all wealthy
and well-connected.

So in 1999, she started visiting schools outside of the capital city, first
in modest towns, and finally into rural areas, asking school principals to
keep their eyes out for promising students who might benefit from higher
education. Money wasn’t an issue, she assured the educators. Private
universities, particularly rich institutions like Harvard, Yale, and
Princeton, have scholarship funds to meet the needs of those with talent but
no money.

“I have this belief about America: It is a meritocracy,” says Ms.
Zeigler-Man, talking by telephone from Harare. “If you are a talented and
bright student, let me handle the fundraising, and help to prepare those
students for SAT tests, and if you don’t have financial capabilities
yourself, then let’s still go for it.”

Finding scholarships for talented students was the least of Zeigler-Mano’s
problems, she soon found. Many of these students, even those who had scored
best in their class, had never taken standardized tests before. Some were
unable to pay even the standard fees for an SAT test. Most didn’t have
passports. Few could imagine affording a plane ticket. Zeigler-Mano realized
that getting these students into US colleges would require individualized
help for each student, and a lot of patience.

Zeigler-Mano’s can-do spirit – as well as the efforts of dozens of USAP
volunteers around the world – is an important source of support for the
hundreds of USAP students now attending US-based universities.

Jonah Kadoko, a Zimbabwean student in mechanical engineering at Tufts
University in Medford, Mass. says that Zeigler-Mano’s efforts on his behalf
helped him to do things he could never do in Zimbabwe, gave him the
“opportunity to talk with some of the greatest minds in the world,” and
allowed him to do extensive research in both solar energy and in global
positioning system technology.

Yemurai Mangwendeza, a medical student from Harare turned African and
gender-studies double major at Yale, remembers the day Zeigler-Mano handed
her an alphabetical listing of 4,000 US universities and colleges and asked
young Yemurai to circle the colleges that interested her.

After a half hour, Ms. Mangwendeza handed the book back. She had found
dozens of colleges, but never got past the letter “A.” “Mai Mano told me,
‘you’re selling yourself short. Why not look at Smith and Yale,’”
Mangwendeza recalls with a laugh. Mai Mano, a term of endearment meaning
“Mother Mano,” is a nickname many of Zeigler-Mano’s students call her.

Months later, Mai Mano called Mangwendeza. “I have news for you, you’re
going to Yale.” Mangwendeza did what one would do in such a situation: “I

Simply getting to college, however, was only the beginning of the
challenges, says Mangwendeza.

Being a foreign student in America can be an isolating experience. Fellow
Zimbabweans who come from richer families don’t understand the financial
challenges faced by their poorer countrymen, she says, and even poor or
middle class African American students often don’t understand the cultural
differences that an African student faces in American universities.

But the USAP program, by bringing together fellow scholarship students from
time to time, tries to create a sense of community that helps students like
Mangwendeza survive.

“What I love about USAP is: community, community, community,” Mangwendeza

“There are other Zimbabweans at Yale, but there is something special about
USAP people. When you tell them your story, they understand. When talking of
the concept of sending money home to help send your siblings to school, they

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Disappointment with MDC – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 1st September 2012

Vigil supporters gathered after our weekly protest outside the Embassy for a wide-ranging discussion of the threatening situation in Zimbabwe and the Vigil’s role in the fight for freedom and democracy. Our monthly action forum, held at the famous India Club down the road from the Embassy, concluded almost unanimously that the MDC was unlikely to be in charge after the next election.

There are many reasons for this, of course, not least the prospect of Zanu PF skullduggery, but speakers felt that the MDC had lost the trust of many people whose support it had taken for granted – partly because its leaders were tainted by corruption. The expulsion from the party of the Harare Deputy Mayor, Emmanuel Chiroto, and disciplinary action against a number of councillors from other local authorities was welcomed but, at the same time, confirmed the perception that many party officials had joined the Zanu PF looting frenzy (see: MDC-T jumps on Zanu PF gravy train –

There was puzzlement why the MDC had simply given up on what it had said were key issues three and a half years ago: the positions of Gono and Tomana and Mugabe’s refusal to swear in Roy Bennett and MDC governors etc. Their main interest now seemed to be how much money they could make (see: Another windfall for MPs –

Questions were asked why the MDC had allowed itself to be seduced by the ludicrous constitution-making process while nothing had been done to ensure free and fair elections: a new voters’ roll, an independent electoral commission, security reforms, fair access to the airwaves, international observers etc. Instead we have Tendai Biti

confessing that the constitution deadlock had left him ‘confused’ (see: Draft derails govt planning: Biti –

We at the Vigil don’t doubt the confusion of the MDC. After all Mr Biti has been touring the world expressing his admiration for Mugabe and saying how the economy is poised to power ahead. Yet now he tells a luxurious conference at the Victoria Falls that Zimbabwe has a per capita income of about $320 – scarcely half the amount considered to be the poverty line. He went on to point out that 37% of the population had no clean water, 45% no access to lavatories and less than 50% access to electricity (see: Economy needs complete overhaul - Biti –

Our meeting noted that Professor David Hulme of Manchester University had told the Victoria Falls conference that Zimbabwe had seen one of the biggest declines in human and economic development recorded among countries not in a war situation.

The meeting was chaired by Ephraim Tapa, one of the founders of the Vigil and President of ROHR and the Zimbabwe We Can movement. He said politics in Zimbabwe was not working and it was up to people in the diaspora to help. He called for more regular meetings, bringing in other groups under a neutral framework. Ephraim said the Vigil should continue its job of telling the world the truth about Zimbabwe.

For latest Vigil pictures check: Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.

FOR THE RECORD: 59 signed the register.


ˇ Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 8th September from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB. Please support our Swazi friends. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria.

ˇ ROHR Doncaster Branch Launch; Saturday 8th September from 1 – 4 pm. Venue: St Paul's Church, 21 Goodison Boulevard, Cantley, Doncaster DN4 6BT. Contact: Chairlady Linet Moyo: 07943169953, Secretary Isabel Chirimuuta 07717529369, Organising Secretary: Sitshengisiwe Mkhwananzi 07849462688.

ˇ The Rain that Washes showing at the Lounge, Leicester Square Theatre from Monday 17th September – Saturday 6th October at 7 pm. Check: or phone the booking line: 08448733433. ‘Instantly plunged into a young man’s compelling story of growing up in turbulent Zimbabwe, we live and breathe his extraordinary journey from innocence to escape, finally returning to his homeland to witness the greatest betrayal of all . . . Inspired by an series of interview between Zimbabwean Christopher Maphosa and Writer Dave Carey, The Rain That Washes is a true story that is poignant, political and most of all, personal.’

ˇ ROHR Cambridge Branch Relaunch: Saturday 29th September from 1 – 4 pm. Contact: Memory Simbi 07584759284, Deon Matora 077866674066, Richard Zvinoira 07810592390. Venue: to be advised.

ˇ 10th Anniversary of the Zimbabwe Vigil / Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 13th October from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. Directions: The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It's next to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn. Future special ZAF meeting: Saturday 10th November when our special guest will be Ben Freeth. This meeting will take the place of the regular ZAF meeting in November at 6.30 pm at Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see above.

ˇ Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2011 can be viewed on this link: Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2011 Highlights page.

ˇ The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.

ˇ ZBN News. The Vigil management team wishes to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News.

ˇ The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit: and to watch the video check: To watch other Zim Vigil band protest songs, check: and

ˇ Vigil Facebook page:

ˇ Vigil Myspace page:

ˇ To sponsor the Mike Campbell Foundation expedition ‘Sailing across the Makgadikgadi Pans’ which will raise money for the work of the Foundation, go to

ˇ Useful websites: which reports on Zanu PF abuses and where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe.

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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