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Fort Hare Expels Students for 'insulting' Mugabe

Saturday, 05 September 2009 19:19
JOHANNESBURG -- Three Fort Hare University students have been thrown
out of President Robert Mugabe's scholarship programme for allegedly
insulting their benefactor.

One of them, Tonderai Kunyaye, a second-year Bachelor of Social
Science (Communications) student has spoken about how the expulsion will
ruin his future.

Kunyaye, whose student number is 200808194, was allegedly booted out
of the university with at least two others for saying "bad things about
Mugabe". The identities of the other two students could not be immediately

The expulsions are likely to fuel suspicions that the controversial
scholarship programme, originally designed for under-privileged students, is
being abused by politicians.

Documents seen by CAJ News Agency that were signed by Manicaland
governor, Chris Mushohwe, who is Mugabe's Fort Hare Scholarship Programme
executive director, confirmed the developments.

One of the letters from Mushohwe was copied to the University of Fort
Hare Registrar Dr N Mrwetyana, executive director of students ZM Mjekula,
Vice-Chancellor Professor Alice, Dr Tom Mvuyo and Jerry Samkange, who is a
member of the Presidential Fort Hare Scholarship committee.

Kunyaye is also being accused of refusing to submit his results to the
sponsor and patron, President Mugabe at the end of each semester, a
requirement the letter says every student should comply with.

"The student has violated standing rules and regulations of the
programme. The student has defied calls for him to submit his results to the
sponsor at the end of each semester, a requirement which every student
complies with.

"He has been broadcasting hate, malicious and defamatory propaganda
through self-made music, postcards and addresses to other students in and
outside your university (Fort Hare).

"The student has spread false, malicious and defamatory allegations
through print media which has elicited malicious controversy around the
patron and sponsor of this programme (President Mugabe)," reads the letter.

The letter also claims Kunyaye confessed that he was involved in
illicit dealings in precious minerals in Zimbabwe during the June/July 2009
school vacation.

"Tonderai has been masquerading as a member of national security
organisations as a way of intimidating other students on the programme.

"Programme authorities have evidence to all these claims from numerous
reports written to us by the Zimbabwe Students' Committee there, his own
friends on the scholarship and those not on the scholarship and other
students who do not subscribe to his unclear agenda," reads the letter.

The document claims Kunyaye conned some Zimbabwean students of up to
R10 000.

"It is for the above reasons and many more not listed here that the
sponsorship is forthwith terminated.

"The university is hereby advised that Tonderai is no longer a
beneficiary of the Presidential Scholarship Programme.

"Tonderai is expected to surrender the study permit issued under the
auspices of the scholarship.

 "He is expected to come to Zimbabwe and assist authorities here to
substantiate claims contained in tapes and reports in our possession,
failure to which his guarantors will be called upon to reimburse what
government has expended on his education under the programme sponsorship,"
reads the letter.

But Kunyaye said he was ready to clear his name.

 "I am a victim of this unjust and very oppressive type of autocracy,"
he said in an interview.

"I am prepared to give a testimony at any platform because whatever
has happened to us is not in any way a cause of the scholarship programme,"
Kunyaye said.

Mushohwe was not reachable for comment yesterday while Higher and
Tertiary Education permanent secretary Washington Mbizvo did not answer
calls on his mobile phone  - CAJ News/Our Staff.

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Zanu PF's 'Iron Lady' begs editor for mercy

Saturday, 05 September 2009 18:53
MASVINGO - Zanu PF heavyweight Shylet Uyoyo last week begged for mercy
at the close of her trial for allegedly threatening a journalist.

After the two key state witnesses gave evidence in court on Tuesday,
Uyoyo who is the Zanu PF women's league provincial chairperson, ran to the
Masvingo Mirror editor Golden Maunganidze asking for forgiveness.

Uyoyo was facing charges of threatening the paper's news editor
Tatenda Chitagu with unspecified action after she stormed into their
newsroom in April.

This was after Chitagu wrote a story linking her to a spate of armed
robberies in and around the city.

"Nhai mwana wangu mungabva mada kuti tisvike kwose uku? Dai mangodzora
moyo nyaya yapera (My son, please don't take the case to this level? Have
mercy on me and drop the case," Uyoyo pleaded with Maunganidze as he left
the courts in the company of a number of journalists.

But Maunganidze told her their hands were now tied because the case
had already been closed.  Judgement will be handed down on September 14.

"I can't discuss that now, it's too little too late as the case is
already closed and we can't do anything," the editor said.

The Zanu PF "iron lady" probably sensed that things were not going her
way after the two key state witnesses - Chitagu and Maunganidze - gave

They told the court that she burst into their offices on April 2
accompanied by two heavily built youths from her party and promised to make
life "hell" for Chitagu.

She allegedly demanded to see Chitagu who disguised himself after
sensing danger.

Chitagu told provincial magistrate Learnmore Mpandasekwa that Uyoyo
went on to tell his workmates that she would make it difficult for him to
move "freely in the streets of Masvingo".

"Your worship after she said this fear struck me and we reported the
matter to the police because my life and my security was at risk considering
that quite a number of journalists in the country have fallen victim to
politicians," he said. "I thought the same could happen to me."

Maunganidze also said he felt Chitagu's life was in danger because of
the political situation in the country at the time.

He said a lot of journalists in the province last year were victims of
harassment by politicians, especially those from Zanu PF.

Joseph Nyamapfeni appeared for the state.


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Mudede Kicks out Farm Workers

Saturday, 05 September 2009 18:28
HE cannot even remember his age. All he knows is that he came to work
at Ballineety farm in 1972.

For the past 37 years Ballineety Farm in Mashonaland West has been
Sekuru Thaddeus Chimhanga's only home.

Together with his wife, Esnath  they have also raised their six
children at the farm.

After the infamous land reform programme, the 1 762 hectares land was
given to new farmers and divided into plots.

According to Chimhanga and other farm workers they were lucky as they
were told by the government to remain on the state land and work for the new

The old man, who is now bed-ridden said he had been living in peace
with the new farmers until Tobaiwa Mudede, the Registrar-General came last
week and "violently" removed his family from their home.

Reliving their ordeal, Chimhanga told of how Mudede's son identified
as Tawanda had evicted him and other families.

"Mudede's son came here with more than 10 policemen and a dog. They
told us to leave the houses and started throwing our things outside," he

Because of pain he could not continue talking. His wife, said one of
the plot holders had agreed to have her husband sleep at her house at night.

"Mudede dai adzingwa pano atishungurudza zvikuru (it would be better
if they evicted Mudede. He has wreaked so much havoc)," said an angry Esnath
"It's better for them to bring another person other than Mudede."

The Chimhangas along with their six-month-old grandchild live in the

"We have a six-month-old baby here. Now she has flu because she is
sleeping in the open."

A few metres away is a frail-looking man in his 70s who was also
thrown out of his house. John January can hardly walk and he is being taken
care of by other evicted farm workers.

"They threatened me with a gun, telling me to leave the house as it
now belonged to Mudede," he recounted.

Other evicted workers who spoke to The Standard had no kind words for

Aleck Assan said they had reported the matter to the police at Nyabira
police station but they had been ignored.

"They said they are tired of our stories," he said despairingly.

Assan said Mudede's manager told them that the RG was President Mugabe's
relative and there was nothing they could do to him.

These workers and more than 20 children sleeping in the open are
victims of the fight between Mudede and other plot holders battling to seize
state land within the farm.

Mudede is currently involved in running court battles with his

The RG was in February sued by the four for allegedly preventing them
from accessing their plots and communal facilities at the farm.

The complainants said Mudede had taken over the state land which was
being shared by occupants of Ballineety Farm, which includes dip tanks,
boreholes, fuel tanks, a silage pit, paddocks and a compound for the

The application was however dismissed with costs by a Harare judge.

According to Dave Mutingwende the plot holders' spokesperson, Mudede
has turned out to be a "wolf in a sheep's skin".

"Mudede came here in 2003 looking for a game park, all the people
agreed to give him because he was polite," he said.

"We then started receiving complaints that he was taking over some
plots claiming to have been given offer letters by Minister (for State
Security, Didymus) Mutasa.

"He started with 65 hectares and now he has more than 800 hectares."

However, Mudede dismissed the allegations as false. He said all the
affected workers were removed legally as they were squatting on his land.

"I am the owner of the land. These people were staying at my farm

"The team from the Ministry of Lands and the police went and removed
these people from my land," he said on Friday.

Mudede also produced a copy of a letter from the Ministry of Lands,
which indicates that the state land now belonged to him.

"I was given the land by the ministry.why would I go and ask for a
game park from other plot holders; do they have the right to give me that
land? Actually I am meeting the Minister (Herbert) Murerwa (on Monday) to
solve the whole issue," he added.

An unidentified official from the Ministry of Lands, who arrived at
Mudede's office during the interview with The Standard, said they had
"removed the farm workers from Mudede's land."

The plight of the former Ballineety farm workers mirrors that of
thousands others who have found themselves without homes and a source of
income since the inception of the controversial land reform programme.

Most of the workers originally came from neighbouring countries such
as Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia.

The General Agriculture and Plantation Workers' Union of Zimbabwe
(GAPWUZ) spokesperson Tapiwa Zivira said more than 3 000 former farm workers
had been thrown out of their homes by the new farmers since February this

"Farm workers who historically have always been marginalised continue
to suffer as they are left in the cold with no home to call their own after
being thrown out of the farm compounds," Zivira said.

He said government has been silent about "this critical issue",
leaving farm workers at the mercy of unscrupulous new farmers.

"What worries us more is the fact that the persecution, evictions,
unjustified retrenchments and harassment of farm workers is being
spearheaded by known top government officials or their relatives and we feel
betrayed by the same government that should protect its people from such
acts of brutality," Zivira said.


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'I will not quit' Says Defiant Tomana

Saturday, 05 September 2009 14:59
ATTORNEY-GENERAL Johannes Tomana says he will not to resign from his
post even if it means the collapse of the inclusive government.

He says his appointment was above board and was constitutional.

Tomana's appointment by President Robert Mugabe is one of the sticking
points that threaten to tear apart the seven-month shaky government of
national unity (GNU).

The MDC described as the single biggest threat to the marriage of
convenience the arrest of its MPs on petty offences, which the party says
were trumped up.

MDC also accuses the AG's office of working with Zanu PF to whittle
down its membership in parliament so that the former sole ruling party can
regain its majority.

But in an exclusive interview with The Standard last week Tomana said
if the GNU collapses because of the controversy surrounding his appointment
it would not be his fault and would not feel guilty.

"Politicians are the ones that would have let the nation down. I won't
feel bad.

"I am not a politician," said Tomana. "The nation would have been let
down, but not by me."

The AG was speaking as tension in the inclusive government rose with
the MDC stepping up its demands for Tomana,  who they accuse of selectively
prosecuting its members, to step down.

Tomana referred to the call by MDC to have him fired as "mischief".

"In all the discussions, did you hear them (MDC) saying Tomana has
broken any precepts laid down by the law? This is the basis I am supposed to
be impugned," Tomana said.

"If I am doing that (selectively prosecuting) then I am bad news for
the country. Which means I must feel bad which means I must go. But they are
not saying what it is that justifies that kind of expectation."

Other outstanding issues include the swearing in of provincial
governors and the reappointment of central bank governor Gideon Gono.

The swearing in of Deputy Minister of Agriculture-designate Roy
Bennett and the targeted arrests of MDC MPs are among some of the sticking

Tomana who was unilaterally appointed by Mugabe without consulting
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara as stipulated in GPA
said his appointment was made in terms of the Constitution because the
agreement had not been signed. Tomana was appointed in December 2008 - three
and half months after the GPA.

Tomana was appointed by Mugabe in consultation with the Judiciary
Services Commission (JSC) through the Minister of Justice, Patrick

"Now, don't you think it's mischief on the part of somebody to say
that the process should have been governed by an agreement and not the law?"
he said. "In fact, if that had been done (in terms of the agreement) the
appointment would have been unlawful."

He also denied that he has been selectively targeting MDC officials
for prosecution leaving accused members of Zanu PF - his party - roaming

He said he only prosecutes cases that are brought to him from the
police and when he is satisfied that there is a prima facie case.

Several known Zanu PF figures and Central Intelligence Organisation
(CIO) operatives such as Joseph Mwale, who was implicated in the murder of
MDC activists, have never been arrested or tried even though their
whereabouts are known.

Over 200 MDC activists were also murdered last year and thousands
tortured by known Zanu PF activists who were not arrested.

"I don't have dockets that I am skipping deliberately and prosecuting
these other ones," Tomana said. "The truth is I only deal with dockets that
are referred to this office as completed dockets that have been

As the AG, Tomana said, he has an obligation to make sure that an
accused person is brought to trial as soon as possible regardless of the
person's political affiliation.

At least seven MDC MPs face charges that the party says are trumped up
by the police and the AG's office. Five of them have already been convicted
of various crimes.

But Tomana said the MDC should actually be happy that their cases were
being speeded up because "justice delayed is justice denied".

The AG challenged the MDC to bring evidence of any case in which a
Zanu PF official committed crime and was let to go because of his political

"Why don't they bring that kind of evidence to Tomana to demonstrate
that he is partisan?"

Asked why Mwale has not been brought to book when witnesses were ready
to testify against him, Tomana said he had not seen Mwale's docket in his

He said Mwale was like any other criminal who might be eluding the
police and he urged the public to assist police in finding him.

"If you guys know where Mwale is why are you not telling the police?"
Tomana said.

Two weeks ago, MDC director of security Chris Dhlamini petitioned the
Attorney-General's office, asking him to urgently deal with the murder

The petition was copied to the Southern African Development Community,
guarantors of the GPA, as well as the three Ministers of National Healing
and Reconciliation.

Dhlamini said there was nothing to suggest that there had been any
investigations, even though most of the cases had been reported to the

Under the country's laws the AG has the power to order the Police
Commissioner-General to investigate and report to the AG's office on any
matter which relates to suspected criminal offence.

But Tomana last week denied receiving the letter even though the MDC
insists it was handed to his secretary.

He said: "Well, if they did it (the issue) will be given the due
consideration according to law."

The AG was however quick  to say that the MDC must go through all
police protocol before coming to his office because that would cause him to
clash with the Commissioner-General of Police Augustine Chihuri.

"Check to see whether the constitutional mandate as provided for in
the police commission has been exhausted and if it has not, then you see the
mischief behind trying to push this office to actually cut into that


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Court Hears how RBZ Official Made Millions

Saturday, 05 September 2009 14:56
ZANU PF apologist and former Reserve Bank official Elias Musakwa
allegedly made millions of US dollars supplying the central bank with over
400 tractors, while still working for the central bank.

The tractors were for the RBZ's controversial mechanisation programme.

At that time Musakwa was head of the RBZ's Farm Mechanisation
programme and was widely believed to be a close ally of central bank
governor Gideon Gono.

Through his Elimobil Enterprises, Musakwa imported tractors, motor
cycles and ploughs from China and sold them to the central bank.

This was revealed during a trial of two employees from Musakwa's
company who are being accused of theft of motor cycle spares and helmets
amounting to US$4 000.

Elimobil's stores manager Try Manyanga and salesman Tedius Duli
allegedly stole helmets between April 3 and June 20.

The duo is being represented by Tendai Hangazha and Felix Charamba of
Hangazha & Partners and they are appearing before Mbare magistrate Rebecca

Witnesses in the case exposed how the gospel musician-cum-politician
made millions of dollars from the deals he cut while he was still an RBZ

During cross examination the key witness in the case, Maud Nyabadza,
the company's operations manager, revealed that Musakwa formed the company
in 2007 and had been supplying the RBZ with the farming equipment ranging
from tractors to ploughs imported from China.

"We were supplying the RBZ with the farming equipments since we are
the only company in Zimbabwe that has the franchise to sell Lifan products
which are imported from China," Nyabadza said under cross examination.

"The company is owned by Mr (Elias) Musakwa and we have been in
business since 2007."

Another witness, Patie-nce Makore, an accounts clerk at Elimobil, told
the court that the company imported 500 tractors from China and supplied the
RBZ with 400 and sold the remaining 100 to private buyers.

"The tractors came by truck and the motorbikes and ploughs were
brought in containers," she said.
"I started working for Elimobil in 2007 and I know almost everything
that has been happening within the company.

"In 2007 we brought into the country four containers and two in 2008."
She said most of the goods that were imported by the company were sold to
the RBZ for the farm mechanisation programme.

The RBZ distributed hundreds of tractors to new farmers, mainly from
President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF, and thousands of motorcycles to farmers
and agricultural extension officers for use in the monitoring of the
2007-2008 agricultural season.

Musakwa represented Zanu PF in Bikita and lost to an MDC candidate.


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Chombo Stalls Bulawayo Mayor's Installation

Saturday, 05 September 2009 14:54
BULAWAYO - The city council is now planning another installation
ceremony for mayor Thabo Moyo after the government caused another

Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo was supposed to officiate at
the ceremony that has been delayed by more than a year. He did not turn up.

Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe (UCAZ) secretary Francis Nturi
said Chombo was not available because he was attending a cabinet retreat in

However, MDC-T-controlled councils accuse Chombo of trying to
undermine them by delaying the implementation of several programmes during
their tenure.

Harare is the only municipality that has officially installed its

Muchadeyi Masunda was installed by Chombo last month.

 "As council, we have resolved to hold our installation ceremony on
the first week of October and we have since appealed to NGOs to assist us
with funds for the ceremony," said Moyo who was elected mayor last year.

His deputy, Amen Mpofu, weighed in saying: "UCAZ and Chombo are
abusing the Urban Councils Act.

"There is nothing in the Act that says the minister should set a date
for the installations.

"The local authority and the town clerk in particular are the ones
that install them at such ceremonies, a minister can just come and observe."

Chombo could not be reached for comment.

Nturi claimed that the installation of mayors was never a priority
saying the government had been busy with other important programmes.

"It was not a top priority at the time. There were so many things that
were happening last year like elections and a lot of focus was put on that,"
he said.

The Bulawayo council has defied Chombo a number of times and they were
the only local authority that refused to comply with a directive to transfer
its water and sewer systems to Zinwa.

Government reversed the directive earlier this year after services in
most urban areas deteriorated to alarming levels.


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US Committed to Revamping Health Service Delivery

Saturday, 05 September 2009 14:20
UNITED States President Barack Obama's top envoy responsible for the
global response to Aids says his government remains committed to revamping
Zimbabwe's health care.

Eric Goosby (pictured), the Global Aids co-ordinator for the US
president's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) who arrived in the
country last week told journalists on Wednesday, the US was concerned about
the impact of HIV/AIDS on ordinary Zimbabweans.

He said years of economic collapse before the formation of the
inclusive government in February had seen Aids becoming a social problem
that required urgent intervention.

"The population has been so riddled with the impact of HIV that it has
(necessitated) both a medical as well as a civil response," Goosby said.

"The number of orphans who have been created by HIV has been
extraordinary, 1.2 million in Zimbabwe.

The population has also had to respond with the convergence of the
economic decline as well as the ravages of cholera during the last summer

Goosby said the success of HIV and Aids programmes depended on
"rejuvenating Zimbabwe's health sector and supporting efforts to increase
service delivery capacity and create sustainable health care systems".

He added: "I'm optimistic that we will be able to use the talent and
experience of our in-country PEPFAR team and their knowledge of the
situation on the ground to develop a response that fits the existing health
infrastructure, supports it and reinforces it in a way that creates a
durable and lasting response.

"I have seen fatigue in health care delivery in the country. A fatigue
that has come out of sustaining the response (to HIV and Aids) with
diminishing resources but at the same time a feeling of hope and
anticipation that they have hit bottom and are now on the return."

During his visit, Goosby toured several PEPFAR-supported initiatives.

They include the Opportunistic Infections Clinic at Parirenyatwa
Hospital, which initiates treatment and follow up programmes on HIV-positive
clients on Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART).

PEPFAR provides antiretroviral drugs for 40 000 out of 155 000 people
depending on the ART nationally.
It also supports the delivery system that caters for all the patients
on ART.

The envoy also visited the male circumcision site at the Zimbabwe
National Family Planning Council offices at Harare Hospital, which also
receives funding from PEPFAR and technical support from USAid partner
Population Services International (PSI).

Goosby who also oversees the US government's engagement with the
Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, said through partnerships
with government and civil society, PEPFAR funds would improve the lives of
HIV-positive Zimbabweans.

"We are anxious to engage with ministries at both the national,
provincial and district levels to develop these systems of care that allow
for the movement of patients into the system and for those that need more
specialised care," he said.

He said Zimbabwe was in a better position to rejuvenate its health
delivery system because it was coming "out of a legacy of an extraordinary,
proud and effective, world class medical delivery system and is ahead of
many other countries in Africa."

Through PEPFAR, the United States government is the leading provider
of HIV and Aids assistance to Zimbabwe.

Between 2004 and 2008, the US government provided nearly US$109
million to Zimbabwe to support comprehensive HIV and Aids prevention,
treatment and care programmes.

There are at least 1.7 million people living with HIV in Zimbabwe,
according to UNAIDS.

PEPFAR was launched in 2003 to combat global HIV and Aids.

Working in partnership with host nations for 10 years, PEPFAR plans to
support treatment for at least three million people.

It also aims to provide care for 12 million people, including five
million orphans and vulnerable children worldwide, according to USAid.


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Mpilo Renal Unit Reopens

Saturday, 05 September 2009 14:17
BULAWAYO - Mpilo Hospital -the largest referral health centre in the
south western parts of the country has re-opened its renal unit closed last
year after all its dialysis units broke down.

The re-opening of the unit comes amid complaints by the Mpilo Renal
Patients Association that a number of its members were succumbing to renal
failure as they could not afford dialysis at private hospitals.

Private hospitals charge anything above US$160 per session.

A renal patient requires about four sessions a month.

Renal patients have problems removing toxic material from their bodies
due to malfunctioning kidneys.

A dialysis machine is used to filter the patient's blood when the
kidneys lose their ability to fully perform their main function of filtering
excess fluid and waste products in the body.

Mpilo chief executive officer, Lindiwe Mlilo said the unit was
re-opened after the hospital received a donation of 10 Gambro dialysis
machines and spare parts sourced by Zimbabwe's ambassador to Russia,
Phelekezela Mphoko and his family.

"The machines are a relief to renal patients," Mlilo said.

She said the hospital required 18 machines at any given time for the
unit to function smoothly.

Jabulani Nyathi, the Mpilo Renal Patients' Association president said
a number of renal patients had died this year due to kidney ailments.

He said most of them could not afford dialysis sessions at private
hospitals. "Many renal patients died at their homes because they could not
access treatment," Nyathi said.

"Private institutions charge much as US$160 per session which is
unaffordable for most patients."

However, he said he could not provide the number of people who had
died under the circumstances 'offhand'.

The closure of the unit mirrored the impact of Zimbabwe's near decade
long economic collapse on the health delivery sector.

The unity government formed between President Robert Mugabe, Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy Arthur Mutambara in February has
set the resuscitation of health delivery as one of its main priorities.

But so far it has failed to win the support of key donors who are
insisting on major political reforms before they can step in.

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World Bank Changing Perspectives Through DAPP

Saturday, 05 September 2009 14:14
CECILIA Makuwe (56), a primary health care volunteer at Nyava village
in Bindura says training on HIV/AIDS has made her see people living with
virus in a different light.

"The training was very useful in our community because people now know
to be HIV positive is not the end of the world," she said.

Makuwe was a beneficiary of training workshops organised by
Development Aid from People to People Zimbabwe (DAPP) at the village funded
by the World Bank.

She extolled the benefits of education in fighting stigma against
PLWAs during a field assessment programme by Word Bank officials recently.

"The programme taught us to look after patients and orphans that we
used to shun despite the fact that they were our relatives," Makuwe said.

She was part of a group of 100 people that were trained as primary
caregivers who will be looking after patients on anti-retroviral therapy in
their community.

This group will mainly be concerned with visiting patients at their
homes to ensure that they eat properly and that they take drugs on time.

Another group of 60 people were trained as secondary caregivers and
their task will be to build relationships with People Living with Aids
(PLWAs) so that they can assist them to live positively.

The training also proved an eye-opener for more than 50 people on ARVs
who said they now realised that testing positive for the virus was not the
end of the world.

"The training equipped us with positive life skills and we now know
what to eat as well as family planning methods and the use of protection
when having sex," said Rosemary Jeche (40).

Jeche says four years ago she gave birth to a baby boy who does not
have the virus.

Alfred Murungweni (40), who benefited from the training together with
his wife said the programme was very educative and helped them to relieve

A World Bank official Margaret Matewa, who said the institution had
given DAPP US$15 000 for the programme, encouraged PLWAs to live positively
for the ARVs to work for them.

DAPP programme manager, Rebecca Njopera said the funding had helped
them to encourage villagers to go for voluntary testing and to fight stigma.

Although AIDS is not a death sentence in many parts of the world,
thousands of infected people in Zimbabwe especially in rural areas die
before they can access life-prolonging drugs.

Others die because they are reluctant to get tested because of the
stigma attached to the disease.


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Petrol ban Hits Small Miners

Saturday, 05 September 2009 13:11
BULAWAYO - A number of small-scale mines in Matabeleland have been
forced to suspend operations following a clampdown by the Ministry of Mines
on the use of petrol-powered pumps for mining operations.

It emerged last week that the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development
launched an operation recently targeting mines that had ignored the ban.

Government banned the use of the pumps because they emit toxic fumes.

"The operation has been ongoing and a number of small-scale mining
operations were suspended last week in Matabeleland South by inspectors from
the Ministry of Mines," said a government engineer based in Bulawayo.

"The inspections were intensified after recent reports of miners dying
after inhaling the toxic fumes from the petrol-driven pumps.

"Small-scale miners use the dangerous petrol-driven pumps during
mining operations because they cannot afford the electric driven machines or
other pumps that use compressed air."

Standardbusiness could not independently verify the number of
small-scale mines that have been forced to suspend operations and those
facing prosecution for disregarding the ban.

Zimbabwe Miners' Federation chief executive officer, Wellington
Takavarasha could not be reached for comment.

But Mines and Mining Development Minister, Obert Mpofu defended the
operation saying miners were risking people's lives.

"Mining regulations clearly spell out that the use of petrol- or
diesel-driven pumps for underground mining is prohibited because of the
noxious fumes they produce," Mpofu said.

Small-scale miners are struggling to recover after last year's
devastating economic problems that knocked nearly all sectors to their

Lack of capital is cited as the biggest factor behind stalling the
revival of the sector.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), which is the sole buyer of gold in
Zimbabwe under the country's mining laws, stands accused of exacerbating the
situation by refusing to pay mines for gold delivered to it.


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Banks Rush to Meet RBZ Cash Limits

Saturday, 05 September 2009 13:02
FIVE banks have already met the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) minimum
capital requirements ahead of the September 30 deadline while some
institutions will seek shareholders' help to boost their balance sheets with
rights issues and placings.

This is the first time that banks have to raise minimum capital in
foreign currency.

In the past, banks had to raise capital in Zimbabwean dollars to be
converted at a rate determined by the RBZ.

In June, RBZ governor Gideon Gono announced a phased plan for
enforcement of the minimum equity capital requirements in which institutions
have to meet half of that amount by this month end while the remainder must
be settled by March 31 next year.

Commercial banks are supposed to have minimum capital of US$6.25
million by September 30 and US$12.5 million by March 31.

Building societies and merchant banks should have US$5 million by
September 30 and US$10 million by the close of business on March 31.

Results for the six months ended June 30, 2009 show that CBZ,
Barclays, Stanbic, FBC and NMB were sitting comfortably having met the
US$6.25 million minimum capital requirements set by RBZ well ahead of the

Stanbic recorded a profit after tax of US$345 595, which was
attributed to the growth in non interest revenue that contributed 92% of the
total income during the first half of the year.

As at June 30, Stanbic was sitting pretty on US$12 551 778 in
reserves, a figure that is more than the minimum capital requirement set by
RBZ for March 31 next year.

Shareholders of CBZ Bank Limited should sleep easy as the bank has met
the minimum requirements.
As at June 30, CBZ Bank was sitting comfortably on US$22.8 million.

The eagle continues soaring high and as at June 30, Barclays had
already complied with the requirements of US$12.5 million set for March 31,

In the first half of the year, the bank posted attributable earnings
of US$672 000 translating to basic earnings per share of US 0.03 cents and a
return on equity of 2.2% for the first half of the year.

"This result largely reflects subdued revenue as the economy adjusted
to changes in functional currency," Barclays said.

FBC Bank says it has already exceeded the capital base after raking in
an income of US$4 134 664 against expenditure of US$3 238 859 in the first
half of the year.

"The bank's capital of US$20.5 million as at 30 June 2009 is in
compliance with the 100% requirement before 31st March 2010 deadline," the
bank said.

NMB says it had met the minimum capital requirements and will continue
to monitor and manage its capital base in line with economic and statutory

The bank said it had complied with the minimum capital of US$6.25
million required by 30 September 2009 and will be recapitalising to meet the
required capital base of US$12.5 million by 31 March 2010.

Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group (ZABG) is confident the bank will meet
the minimum capital requirements.

"The board and shareholders have been working hard to ensure that the
bank's recapitalisation initiatives are on track to meet the 30 September
2009 deadline for banks to comply with 50% of the new capital requirement of
US$12.5 million," ZABG said.

ZB Financial Holdings Limited, the parent company of ZB Bank, ZB
Building Society, Intermarket Banking Corporation and ZB Asset Management
said a restructuring of the group's internal reserves would be used to meet
the minimum capital requirements.

"A recapitalisation plan for the group's operations in which, amongst
other options, a private placement will be considered, is at an advanced
stage," said Bothwell Nyajeka, the group's acting chairman in a statement
accompanying the interim results.

Genesis Financial Holdings says shareholders have approved a US$7.3
million capital raising initiative which will be used largely to
recapitalise the banking subsidiary and its roll out plan.

Genesis Investment Bank was in March awarded a commercial banking
licence and the bank says it is currently setting up the retail arm in
readiness for opening by December 2009.

Interfin, issued with a commercial banking licence during the first
quarter of the year, says the board "is confident that the bank will be
adequately capitalised by the end of the third quarter and will comply with
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe minimum capital requirements".

Less than six months after rolling out its merchant bank operations,
NDH is asking shareholders to approve a private placement for the purpose of
"raising capital to meet the minimum capital requirements for its merchant
bank subsidiary".

Another bank that will ask shareholders to inject funds is ReNaissance
Merchant Bank which had a negative Tier 1 capital ratio of 8.09% against the
minimum requirement of 10%.

"This ratio will be rectified with pending recapitalisation of the
bank to the tune of US$5 million by 30 September 2009," the bank said.

In a statement accompanying its interim results, ReNaissance Financial
Holdings chairman Christopher Chetsanga said with the decimation of the bank's
capital, "it will not be possible to meet the minimum capital requirements
through organic growth, therefore the bank will look to the shareholder for
a fresh capital injection".

CFX said it will raise US$10 million through a rights issue to meet
the minimum capital requirements.

Premier is in talks with a top bank in the region that will inject
capital to boost the balance sheet.

The use of multi currencies early this year stabilised the economy
with inflation below 1% in the first half of the year. Green shoots they may
be but the leaves are yet to bloom with foreign currency constraints dogging
the economy.

For the financial sector, depressed inflows was met with high demand
for cash creating liquidity challenges which analysts say will be
capitalised by foreign banks to snap up significant shareholdings in the
banking sector.


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Alex Magaisa: When the Comrade President Came to Town

Saturday, 05 September 2009 14:48
THE new president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma was in town last week.

He arrived in Harare to the warm embrace of his northern counterpart,
President Mugabe. An uncanny mixture of hopes, anxieties and expectations
surrounded the much anticipated trip. But in the end, it was no more than a
damp squib.

Critics of his substantive predecessor, President Mbeki thought Zuma
would adopt a different approach towards President Mugabe and Zimbabwe. They
did not like Mbeki's policy of Quiet Diplomacy. They hoped (and some
expected) Zuma to be more vocal and perhaps tougher.

For my part, I feared that too much was expected of Umshini Wami, as
he is affectionately known among his ardent followers. I wondered whether he
was any better-placed and stronger-willed than Mbeki. By the time he left,
it seems Zuma had become even quieter than Mbeki. What had Uncle Bob done or
said to cause this man to apparently withdraw into his shell so soon?

So I read President Mugabe's speech delivered at the dinner held in
honour of Zuma's visit. No doubt the speech was a crucial part of the menu.
A closer look at the menu reveals the work of a master chef who carefully
studies his guests and knows exactly how to bring them under his spell. So
here we go. I have to quote Uncle's words to place things into context, so
it's longer than usual.

After briefly referring to Zuma more formally as 'Your Excellency', it
didn't take long before President Mugabe found comfort in the old favourite,
'Comrade President'. It has a revolutionary touch, a more cordial flavour,
indeed a tone of affection. It is the language that communicates the message
that you are one of us (tiri vanhu vamwe).

In case the Comrade President had failed to pick the hint, he was
quickly reminded of the historical roots of comradeship: "You lived here
when you fought for the independence of your country". A timely reminder,
too to the Comrade President of the enduring debt he owes his hosts.

If that wasn't enough to refresh the Comrade President's memory, it
soon became abundantly clear: "Your presence among us, Comrade President,
cements the strong bonds of the historic friendship and alliance that we
forged in the trenches with the ANC when we fought the twin evils of settler
colonialism and apartheid".

And just in case the Comrade President may have suffered some kind of
amnesia, a trip along Guilty Lane would surely do the trick and how better
to do it than a reminder of the departed comrades? "As we speak, some of
your gallant compatriots, whom you fought with and who perished at the hands
of the enemy, lie buried here". Yes, in Zimbabwe, the country that the enemy
wants him to judge. Surely how can Comrade President be manipulated to do

This opening provided the perfect context in which to firmly drive
home the point that whatever is happening in Zimbabwe was part of a grand
historic mission. This gravitational pull of history is a central element of
Zimbabwean politics.

The Comrade President was also reminded of the familial connections,
"we are always proud and happy to receive our brothers and sisters from
South Africa. We have become more than neighbours to each other".

It's not lost on President Mugabe that the Comrade President has an
abiding relationship with traditional culture. A brief lecture on the
ancient Kingdom of Mapungubwe was therefore not out of place on this

Thus Comrade President was reminded, "We are bound together by common
ancestry, geography, history, heritage and marriage. History tells us that
we all at one point belonged to the Kingdom of Mapungubwe which existed
between AD900-AD1300 and straddled modern-day South Africa, Botswana and

But just in case the Comrade President didn't get it how better to do
it than to reiterate the connection between Mapungubwe and Zimbabwe: "To us,
Mapungubwe is equally important, as we understand it is the forerunner to
the Great Zimbabwe which we have adopted as our national monument and from
which our country derives its name".

If US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton had somehow managed to
persuade the Comrade President that he was different, this mini-lecture
would have brought him straight back into the fold; back to his roots. You
are one of us Jacob, was the clear message, never forget that, son of
Mapungubwe like all of us.

It was hardly a coincidence that Zuma's visit was tied in with the
Harare Agricultural Show. This gave the proper context in which to remind
the Comrade President of the most critical issue: Land. It was enough for
the Comrade President to be reminded that this is part of the historic
mission which consists of "far-reaching reforms which have transformed our
agricultural sector".

And if the Comrade President was too slow to appreciate the nature of
these "far-reaching reforms" he was soon relieved of all doubt when it was
spelt out more plainly that, ". the land reform programme, which is at the
centre of this transformation, has enabled Government to redistribute the
land which was monopolised by a small minority to the detriment of the
larger majority of people, constituting the indigenous African people".

And just in case the Comrade President intended to stand in judgment
of these "far reaching reforms" it was important to remind him that far from
being an uninterested bystander, he was in fact a key participant in this
revolution. In fact, he had to be reminded that he was already an active
"I want to acknowledge with appreciation your government's assistance
with agricultural inputs worth R300 million, provided soon after the
formation of the inclusive Government."

In fact, to emphasise the similarity and scale of the challenges
between the two countries, it became necessary to draw commonalities between
Zimbabwe's land reform program and South Africa's Black Economic Empowerment
(BEE) program. So the Comrade President was reminded that: "Your Excellency,
we are also aware that your government has taken a number of measures to
empower the majority of the people of South Africa, who yesterday were
denied full participation in the mainstream economy of the country of their
birth. The Black Economic Empowerment is one such example.

To us, the Land Reform Programme was one such policy measure designed
to empower the majority of the people".

The message is plain: Comrade President, you and I are in the same
boat. We are operating on the same wavelength. Hapana chandiri kuita
chausiri kuitawo iwe (What I am doing is no different from what you have
done and what you must do). In fact, if anything the Comrade President could
learn a thing or two, "Our Government stands ready to share experiences with
your Excellency's government ." The subtle message there is, Comrade
President hamusati matanga (you haven't even started yet).

In case the Comrade President's mind has somewhat been poisoned by the
many Westerners pushing him to be less brotherly, he had to be reminded of
the primary problem in Zimbabwe. The Comrade President had to be told that
the problem lies firmly at the door of the West and its "regime change"
agenda. In fact, the Comrade President should know that they (the West)
"still maintain these illegal punitive measures in spite of the progress we
have made as an inclusive Government. One is tempted to conclude . that
regime change on the part of our detractors is still an active policy

The message is simple: In other words, our battle, Comrade President
is to resist regime change; an evil agenda that emanates from the West's
bitterness over our land reforms. I am not going anywhere to satisfy these
regime change engineers.

Result? By the time he departed for Pretoria, 'Comrade President' Zuma
had reported that he was satisfied with the progress of the Inclusive
Government. We're told he did not even give a press conference. 'Quiet
Diplomacy' had just got quieter, thanks to the special dish from the master
chef, good old Uncle Bob!

Alex Magaisa is based at, Kent Law School, the University of Kent and
can be contacted at or

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Sundayview: Moyo Contaminated Debate on Nyanga Walkout

Saturday, 05 September 2009 14:45
THE hullaballoo about Professor Arthur Mutambara, the MDC President
and Deputy Prime Minister's remarks at the Nyanga cabinet retreat has amply
demonstrated the level of intolerance that has pervaded our nation and the
extent to which some in our midst have seized the opportunity to attack his

The refusal by ministers to acknowledge and embrace divergent views as
necessary lubricants to enlightened and progressive debates demonstrates
beyond any reasonable doubt the extent to which certain individuals have
remained entrenched in their denial mode.

I hope they will get to understand that, even those who hold opposing
views, have a right to freely express themselves without being subjected to
intimidatory threats of walkouts and boycotts.

It was manifestly disconcerting and hypocritical, that those opposed
to the Deputy Prime Minister's views, particularly the ministers from Zanu
PF, fell over each other, scrambling for an opportunity to appear on
national television dismissing Mutambara's speech as provocative and a
violation of the spirit of the GPA.

But the same opportunity and media could not be afforded to the Deputy
Prime Minister to allow him to clear the air on the matter.

Granted, he could have been off the mark, but democratic practice
recognises his right to give his own side of the story and the circumstances
in which the remarks were made.

It was also intriguing to note that those that hardly engage in any
form of national discussion without making reference to the history of our
country, were infuriated by the mere mention of our recent past elections,
which invariably, are part of our history.

This shows a serious selective sense of outrage, which should not be
allowed to define our democratic values, given the fact that, we have as a
nation, established an institution called the Ministry of National Healing,
Reconciliation and National Integration, whose prime objective is to
interrogate the past in order to allow for forward planning and development.

How is this ministry expected to function when the mere mention of the
past makes some of our leaders so nervous? Granted, the recent past was
painful, we can only avoid its recurrence if we talk about it.

I found it strange that describing our recent past elections as a
nullity and fraudulent translates into hate language.

If this is hate language, how do we define the language that is
consistently and persistently used in which members of certain political
parties are called puppets that take instructions from their handlers?  I
hope that this is not doublespeak on the part of some of our national

The entry of Professor Jonathan Moyo, the MP for Tsholotsho North to
contribute to the debate over the Nyanga incident, contaminated the debate.
In my view, Moyo showed excessive emotion and anger on behalf of Zanu PF and
as such, failed to provide a credible, objective and balanced analysis of
what transpired at the retreat and what should not have happened.

He seems to have come in simply to settle a personal vendetta with
Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara by ridiculously and maliciously attacking

There is no dispute that this is a loaded headline full of innuendos
and insulting language that must have been crafted with a view to vilifying
Mutambara. Moyo came up with profound arguments, aimed at poisoning the
minds of the readers and one such nonsensical claim was that Mutambara is
not a principal.

He however could not state the credentials that qualifies one to be a
principal which Mutambara failed to meet.

Mutambara is on record for stating that all the leaders to the
agreement owe their roles and responsibilities to GPA.

They are all products of a negotiated settlemen. Moyo acknowledges
this in his article, when he points out that the 2008 elections were
inconclusive. Unfortunately, Moyo enjoys engaging in senseless theories
examplified by the statement that Mutambara made the utterances allegedly in
order to get support from the MDC-T group.

While there is nothing to stop him from doing that, it is infact Moyo
himself whose sickening shrills about Mutambara and members of the
opposition are meant to impress the powers that be in Zanu PF in order to
earn himself rehabilitation back into the Zanu PF gravy train through the
back door.

Let me end by sharing this secret with Moyo and others like him.
Mutambara is his own man and will always say what has to be said not what
people necessarily want to hear. True leaders stand by what they say and
Mutambara is one such leader.

Maxwell Zimuto is the MDC's National Director of Information and
Publicity, here he writes in his personal capacity.


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Comment: Veld Fires are the Cost of Negligence

Saturday, 05 September 2009 14:43
THE loss of lives to veld fires encapsulates the extent of the
lawlessness that has become synonymous with land invasions, compounded by
the government's tardy response.

Four innocent lives have been lost and 46 000 hectares of land have
been destroyed in 29 incidents of veld fires recorded so far this year.

We are also reminded of the enormous damage not long ago to
plantations in the Eastern Highlands that left a trail of devastation that
set back growth of the sector, export orders vital for foreign exchange
earnings and threatened jobs.

In one recent incident, uncontrolled fires raged for days along the
Zambezi Escarpment where there are game reserves. The scale of devastation
was breathtaking as fires leapt up, swallowing everything in their way. The
picturesque sites combined with wild game bring much-need foreign currency
earnings from tourists.

A person who deliberately starts a fire which scorches vast tracts of
land killing wildlife, livestock and people is an arsonist. In cases where
vast tracks of land are burnt down the perpetrators should be arrested for
at least malicious damage to property and endangering lives. Where lives are
lost, surely there is a case of culpable homicide charges?

Police investigations need to focus on who started the fire so that
persons responsible are tracked down and face the music at the end of the
day, even if they are good at shouting loudest Zanu PF slogans. We can't act
unconcerned at the extent of unnecessary loss of so many lives - first on
our roads and now as a result of veld fires.

Police investigations must result in arrests because those deaths are
arson. There are villagers in the vicinity where the fires started. They
should be able to help in identifying the culprits. The villagers would have
seen people whose presence in the area coincides with the outbreak of the
veld fires. It's time people learnt there is a cost to their reckless

The response from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources
Management to the veld fires has been singularly disappointing. "Stiffer
penalties" is a convenient distraction from the real issue and therefore not
the answer. The absence of a concerted nationwide campaign and seriousness
on the part of the ministry is the problem, compounded by the belief
encouraged by Zanu PF members that they are "untouchable".

The painful truth is that during the Smith era veld fires were almost
non-existent precisely because everyone knew the cost associated with wanton
arson. But that changed with the 2000 chaotic land invasions. Unfortunately
the Ministry and through it the government has done absolutely nothing to
control and eradicate deliberate veld fires.

Yet, a campaign could have targeted schools countrywide, farmers'
groups and traditional leaders among others in both old and newly resettled
areas. Such an approach would have prevented such anti-social conduct
because of the risks of being identified and dealt with first by the
immediate community in which they live and secondly by the laws of the land.

The campaign would also target people being resettled so that they do
not start veld fires in the newly resettled and adjacent areas.

Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara was right at the conclusion of
the Global Political Agreement when he spoke on the need for a "new
opposition" to the three parties to the agreement. In a vibrant democracy
such an opposition would be keeping the government on its toes. Right now
the government is getting away with murder.

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Zim Standard Letters

EPAs: Digging our own Grave
Saturday, 05 September 2009 14:29
IT is saddening that Zimbabwe is going ahead in signing the interim
and full Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the European Union (EU)
at the expense of its citizens, small-scale farmers and industries.

The Minister of Industry and Commerce, Professor Welshman Ncube stated
that cabinet had agreed to sign the interim EPAs that will run until
December 2010 adding that full EPAs would be signed by end of December 2010.

EPA negotiations will result in total trade liberalisation or opening
up of trade between Zimbabwe, other African Caribbean  (ACP) countries and
the EU. Trade liberalisation would be in tranches and the first tranche is
expected to be liberalized in 2013 while the other two tranches will come in

It is critical to analyse the current content and context in which
EPAs were and have been negotiated between Zimbabwe, the EU and other ACP
countries. Although EPAs are seen as, "developmental, strengthen regional
integration among developing countries, vehicle for reducing poverty", and
ensure full legality of EU-ACP trade relations vis-à-vis multilateral trade
of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, they also guarantee a
continuation of trade flows from the ACP to the EU, avoiding disruptions and
ensuring a continuation of the EU-ACP conditions of trade.

That is a continuation of the market access conditions established by
the Lome conventions. However, in the final analysis, the negative effects
far outweigh the benefits since EPAs were tailor-made to benefit the EU and
not developing countries.

The fact that the EPA negotiations were concluded by individual
countries has resulted in divisions among ACP regions to the extent of
jeopardising regional economic integration of developing countries. Sadc and
Comesa have been divided since some countries in the Sadc region such as
Zimbabwe and Malawi negotiated the EPAs under the East and Southern Africa
(ESA) bloc. The negotiations were shrouded in secrecy excluding other
relevant stakeholders and beneficiaries.

Civil society, business, small-scale farmers, miners and informal
traders as well as the ordinary citizenry were not involved in the
negotiations and governments only consulted these groups for rubber-stamping
purposes only.

Further, the negotiations were hurriedly concluded in 2007 without
covering the contentious issues that are still to be agreed. These
contentious issues include sensitive goods, rates and the time to be taken
by countries in reducing tariffs, Singapore issues especially on competition
in government procurement, investments and trade in services.

For Zimbabwe to maintain only 20% on goods it considers sensitive
products and protecting infant industries is a tall order. Serious lack of
technical and negotiating capacity which had characterised ACP participation
in the EPAs persisted until the conclusion of the negotiations.

The government is currently engaging the international community
begging for international aid to resuscitate the decade-long dilapidated
agricultural and manufacturing industry. How can anyone expect Zimbabwe's
small-scale farmers and industries to compete with highly subsidized and
technologically advanced EU's industries? The EU supports its farmers with
up to 6 billion euros a year and this is almost the same amount Zimbabwe
requires to resuscitate her economy. In this regard it is disappointing for
Zimbabwe to sign EPAs as this is not going to benefit anyone in Zimbabwe.

We have all witnessed what happened to the cross-border traders
especially in the clothing industry and footwear when the Chinese entered
Zimbabwe. Most of the companies went out of business and even small-scale
traders closed their shops leading to massive unemployment. There is an
urgent need for the government to institute safe-guarding measures to
protect our local industries as we also expect the same dumping of cheap
products into Zimbabwe from the EU.

There is poor infrastructure in Zimbabwe, insufficient and often
poorly maintained transport, information, electricity and communication
infrastructure (roads, ports, railways, telecommunication etc) are a major

Poor infrastructure results in high costs of doing business for
traders and this reduces productivity resulting in local industries not
being able to produce in time to compete with the EU. There is an urgent
need for Zimbabwe to prioritize the development of infrastructure while
existing infrastructure must be properly maintained, not left to decay as is
the case with Zimbabwe at present.

The dependence on trade taxes constitutes a major threat for Zimbabwe
because if they are removed in the course of implementing the EPA agreement,
the country will lose revenue. In all of the developing countries, trade
taxes account for over 10% of total fiscal revenue.

Trade liberalization is likely to create a significant fiscal gap
through the lowering of import duties in some countries. Alternative sources
of fiscal revenue are going to be difficult, considering that Zimbabwe has a
weak industrial base as well as high unemployment levels that result in less
income to offset the tax gap. In this regard by signing full EPAs, Zimbabwe
is digging its own grave.

Richard Mambeva
Programme Officer
Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD).


Induction for new Ministers

Saturday, 05 September 2009 14:27
WHEN I read that ambassadors-designate were undergoing an induction
course, I thought the same should be provided for newly appointed government

Not the usual rigmarole of hand-over take-over but basic training on
what the job entails and the attendant responsibilities to the nation.

As debate raged with the Harare municipality threatening to disconnect
water supplies while the Ministry of Health was declaring an end to cholera,
I telephoned one of the ministers to find out the likely impact on health
delivery in view of the ever present cholera threats.

I was stunned when the newly appointed minister, who sounded very
annoyed, started lecturing me about making sure I attended his Press
briefings. I told him I had been out of town and had therefore been unable
to attend the Press conference.

I reminded him that I did not want to know how many nuclear war heads
the country had stockpiled and in which direction they were facing.

All I wanted to know was the likely effect of disconnecting water
supplies to a recently cholera-ravaged city.

"Listen, I am watching television and you are making me lose
concentration," said the government minister, who is sustained by tax
payers - myself included.

I was speechless. I did not know whether to be angry or sorry for him.
I was more inclined to feel sorry for Zimbabweans for the faith that they
place in politicians.

Foster Dongozi (Journalist)

West, Sanctions Have Nothing to do With Implementing GPA

Saturday, 05 September 2009 14:25
I have two related issues that I want to raise, namely the
implementation of the Global Political Agreement and the continued stay in
office of the governor of the Reserve Bank, Gideon Gono.

 The GPA has three principals - Morgan Tsvangirai, Robert Mugabe, and
Arthur Mutambara. Only these three principals are responsible for the full
implementation of the GPA. The West has absolutely nothing to do with the
implementation of the GPA. They are not even signatories to this document.
So why is there so much talk that the West should remove sanctions before
any other concessions can take place?

 According to the GPA, the principals and Joint Monitoring and
Implementation Committee (JOMIC) are responsible for the full implementation
of the agreement.

As Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara has said how can we expect
outsiders and investors to have confidence in our political and economic
systems when we cannot honour and respect our own laws and agreements?

The issue of confidence brings me to the next issue, Gono's continued
stay in office.

We the majority nationalist Zimbabwean citizens have no confidence in
Gono's continued stay in office. His sins are well documented. I am
surprised that some academics are entertaining the debate by writing lengthy
articles in support of Gono's proposed reintroduction of the Zimbabwe

Any utterance and statement that Gono makes should just be construed
and perceived as a "farce and nullity" because his appointment is
controversial and inconsistent with the GPA. There is no doubt that the
Zimdollar must return - eventually in the future when there is economic
stability, but Gono should not be the one initiating this debate, neither
should he take part in any future national economic debates.


Involve Disabled in Constitution-making

Saturday, 05 September 2009 14:24
this is an open letter to the Parliamentary Select Committee on the
constitution-making process on the participation of young people with
disabilities in the current constitution-making process.

  Inasmuch I would like to commend all the efforts  by the Committee,
civil society and all the groups that are involved in the current
constitution-making process, I have noted with concern the exclusion of a
very important group of people in nearly all consultations undertaken so
far - young people living with disabilities.

For a long time and all too often the voices of young people are not
heard in the process of designing the legislation that later affects their
lives, despite the fact that in many developing countries, people under the
age of 25 make up over half the population.

Young disabled people are doubly excluded from the legislative
process, as disabled people have also frequently been left out while medical
or charitable "experts" speak for them.

The emergency of and involvement of organisations representing the
disabled in development activities has given disabled people a greater
capacity to speak for themselves, but young disabled people are still rarely
asked their views.

Representation in nearly all consultations has been on behalf of
people with disabilities or by the old guard of the disability movement.

Young people living with disabilities face a lot of challenges not
because of their impairments, but because of lack of acceptance from the
society. You then get situations where people with disabilities are excluded
and ignored, especially the youths, in official information campaigns,
resulting in people with disabilities having limited awareness and knowledge
of their rights and entitlements. People with disabilities are denied
opportunities to voice their needs, which to me are essential especially in
the current constitution-making process.

Article 1 of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with
Disabilities states the purpose of the Convention as to, "promote, protect
and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental
freedoms by persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their
inherent dignity".

The outcome of the current constitution-making consultations on
disability issues should be based on the purpose of the UN Convention. The
new constitution should address vital issues of the disabled youths such as
education, health, women's issues, children's issues, accessibility, freedom
from exploitation, violence and abuse, work and employment and participation
in political and public life.

Without the involvement of young people with disabilities, the
resultant constitution will do little to change disabled people's daily
experiences of discrimination and exclusion. Nothing for us without us!

Clemence Nhliziyo
Young Voices.

SMS The Standard
Saturday, 05 September 2009 14:23
Crazy ideas
ZBC management is crazy. It wants to launch a second television
station when it cannot operate ZTV 1 fully. Why not license other players?
Who is the minister responsible for such decisions? - GPA circumvented.
TO Zanu PF: For most Zimbabweans, Gideon Gono and Johannes Tomana are
the critical outstanding issues. They must go. They are unacceptable to us.
Sanctions on Zanu PF must remain in place until there is real change. We do
not see that yet. - Justice.
CLEARLY Zanu PF is out to destroy any future Zimbabwe might have. We
want law and order in the agricultural sector and an unbiased and
transparent land audit. - N M.
Guilty are afraid
WHAT is Zanu PF afraid of? Let the issue of Zimbabwe be discussed at
the Sadc summit in the DRC because we want to know who is not fulfilling
part of their undertaking under the Global Political Agreement. - Karoi.

WE applaud all the independent newspapers for upholding the sacred
journalistic values of telling it like it is. The Daily News adverts for new
and old personnel to register their availability is the breaking news for
2009. We eagerly wait for it to tell it like it is. - Gurundoro, Sanyati.

TEACHERS are a very funny lot. They want the government to top up
their salaries when the government doesn't have the US$150 they are being
given now.
- Curious.
ISN'T it amazing that the Zimbabwe Teachers' Association never called
for teachers to strike when there was a Zanu PF government in charge and
conditions were worse but suddenly they found their voice in the new
environment where the education sector falls under the MDC?
- Meki Sithole, Bulawayo.
Govt insensitive
THE government is very insensitive. They give a degreed teacher
US$150, a Grade VI MP numerous benefits including car loan. I pay Zesa
US$70, Zinwa US$40, rent US$45, fees for my children, medical bills,
clothes, food etc. God help the poor under-paid civil servants.- Zvichapera.

I AM really in pain because of the bills from Zesa, the City Council
and others. Do they want us to survive? Who can save us from these greedy
and heartless service providers? They want to build Rome in a day. We are
suffering silently. Where do they think people get the money when we only
work for rates and rentals and the US dollars are hard to come by? Please
hear our plea. - J Gwisai, Glen View, Harare.
Kick out pretenders
RAYMOND Majongwe and Takavafira Zhou have overstayed their welcome at
the Progressive Teachers' Union. Teachers, let us kick these myopic and
misguided tyrants out and install consistent and dedicated leadership. The
above two and their executive are pretenders who are abusing teachers in
order to realise their own selfish ends. Let them join the MDC without
resorting to feudal and Stone Age unionism as a springboard. - Janjaweed.

THE government should sell all loss-making state companies because for
years they have been a drain on the fiscus as most of these parastatals are
always in dire need of fresh capital, new equipment and technology that the
government cannot afford. Most of the companies are on the verge of
collapse. Selling off the state companies would allow for raising of funds,
which in turn would be ploughed into public works projects in order to
stimulate the economy. Zimbabwe has fewer options to pull itself out of the
recession. The other option would be to mortgage natural resource assets
which will bring short-term results but in the long term prove disastrous. -
Time out.

DOES the government ever care to take the statistics of the loss of
revenue they suffer daily through unreceipted money at roadblocks by all
traffic officers? - Moore Nyathi.
'Puerile propaganda'
I was shocked by a report in the state media on the Doma people
claiming that they know nothing about Zimbabwean politics except that Mugabe
is the head of state and government and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence
Forces. We are tired of such puerile propaganda. The state media is becoming
dangerous to society. - A M, Harare.
WHAT is Makhosini Hlongwane up to when he allows disruption of lessons
by addressing teachers and students at schools in his constituency without
regard to the education of the students? You harass teachers who ask
incisive questions. The incident at Mrerezi School is a good example where
he sent one Major Shava to further harass teachers.
- Hokoyo, Mberengwa.
Tell the nation
CAN Patrick Chinamasa, the Minister of Justice tell the nation what he
ever did for the welfare of magistrates since 2000? Magistrates rub
shoulders with chiefs, soldiers and doctors who drive govern-ment supplied
vehicles. - Fed Up.
AS long as Hwange Colliery Company is led by a Zanu PF minister, the
present managing director and heads of departments, the money invested is
like money thrown down the drain. Workers will continue to be ignored. -
Workers, Hwange.

I applied for an ordinary passport on April 28 2006 but up to this day
I have not gotten it. Please co-ministers, do your work properly. For how
long should I wait? - Passportless.
Power games
WHERE does President Robert Mugabe draw his power from to the extent
he instructs his praise singers to call him by all those titles especially
after his party lost the elections last year? Are they saying they
negotiated themselves into that position? Can't South Africa and Sadc see
that Mugabe is not an honest man and that he wants to fool everybody
including his friends? The MDC should make that position clear or else
by-elections should be held and all parties allowed to contest. I promise
that Zanu PF will be thoroughly defeated and it will become clear who is the
ruling party and who is the opposition, since the foreign media are now
being allowed back. - Tichaona.

THE youth training centres should be transformed into technical
colleges and be transferred to the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary
Education, while the Ministry of Youth should be scrapped altogether. What
Zimbabwe should be doing is investing in technical skills for our youths
instead of mass production of ignorant and semi-literate youths that these
youth training centres have been producing. - Border Bodo, Masvingo.

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Film shows whites’ plight in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe

Sebastien Berger, Foreign Correspondent

  • Last Updated: September 05. 2009 10:09PM UAE / September 5. 2009 6:09PM GMT

The home of Ben Freeth, the son-in-law of Mike Campbell, was burnt down despite an order by a court for him to be protected. Ben Freeth

JOHANNESBURG // When told that a gang of marauding thugs, loyal to Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe and armed with knives and axes, are hiding in his maize crop, Mike Campbell’s reaction is shockingly phlegmatic.

“It’s no use getting excited, I’ll go out when I’ve finished my drink,” he said.

The moment is captured in a new documentary, Mugabe and the White African, which records Mr Campbell’s attempts to hold on to his 1,200-hectare Mount Carmel Farm in Chegutu, 100km south-west of Harare, in the face of eviction orders by the government and repeated invasions by non-white Zimbabweans.

Mr Campbell, 76, bought the farm after Zimbabwean independence in 1980, and after the government said it was not interested in acquiring the farm for resettling landless Zimbabweans. Nonetheless, he has been ordered off the land and has been fighting the decision ever since.

The film title comes from another comment of his: “I have got nowhere else in the world I can go. I can’t call myself English or American or Australian and I happen to be white so I’m a white African.”

The result is a fascinating examination of nationality, identity, and the brutal violence such categories engender.

Interspersed with it are comments by Mr Mugabe, in his gravelly tone, such as: “Our present state of mind is you are now our enemies,” and, “I will never, never sell my country. I will never, never surrender; Zimbabwe is mine.”

Peter Chamada, the son of Nathan Shamuyarira, a Zanu-PF stalwart and former information minister, tells Mr Campbell: “You are in the wrong home, you are in my home.” Asked if a white person can still be a Zimbabwean, he responds: “Not any more. We don’t want to have anything to do with you any more.”

Mr Campbell, his wife Angela and his son-in-law Ben Freeth have been savagely beaten, on one occasion suffering broken fingers, a broken arm and a fractured skull respectively, and last week Mr Freeth’s house was burnt down, destroying everything he owned, despite an order by a state court for him to be protected by the authorities.

One of the few remaining white Zimbabwean farmers, Mike Campbell fights through the courts to stay on his land. Courtesy Robin Hammond

In an unprecedented move, Mr Campbell took his case to an international court, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) tribunal in the Namibian capital Windhoek. In the first case it has ever tried, it found that he had been racially discriminated against as a white Zimbabwean, contrary to the rules of the SADC.

The Zimbabwean government is still resisting the judgement, arguing that the court has not been properly set up.

It said: “The judgement of the tribunal can only amount to a hitch or temporary impediment to the process of land reform in Zimbabwe, but the process cannot be stopped.”

Jeremy Gauntlett, a senior lawyer involved in the case, said: “He has been prosecuted for the unique offence of living in his own house and farming his own farm. It’s distinctly racially discriminatory.

“Is it possible to be a white man and an African? If you talk to Mugabe, if you talk to Mbeki, if you talk to any of the nationalist leaders, the answer is very definitely no and there’s something very wrong in that.”

The case has been referred to a forthcoming SADC summit, but it remains to be seen whether the region’s leaders are prepared to uphold the court ruling in the face of Mr Mugabe’s resistance and the unity government’s seeming indifference to the issue.

“All the political leaders have paid lip service to human rights and the rule of law by their commitment to the tribunal,” said Mr Gauntlett. “Are they going to leave that high and dry? Now really is a moment of truth.”

Even so, reactions to the documentary at a private screening at the University of Johannesburg – the film has yet to be released – demonstrated the wider controversies tied up in the land issue in Zimbabwe. Wilfred Mhanda, of the Zimbabwe Liberation Veterans, was outspokent on the issue.

“We still need land reform, what has happened in Zimbabwe is anarchy, it has not benefited anyone,” Mr Mhanda said. “There’s no doubt that an injustice has been done to the white farmers who have been evicted from their farms. The greater injustice has been done to the people of Zimbabwe themselves.”

But Wilbert Sadomba, a war veteran and farm invader himself, said that by personalising the issue the film failed to address the wider picture and causes of the land issue.

In a parallel with the Campbells, Mr Sadomba said that he spent his life fighting injustice.

“If a white man comes from Europe and chucks us from the land and puts us somewhere in a corner I have to tell generations to come I was removed from the land because of the colour of my skin,” he said.

“I have to fight, I have to carry on the fight to teach my children.

“I have got no regrets and I don’t apologise for that.”

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