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Morgan Tsvangirai could face bigamy charges after second wedding

http://www.guardian.co.uk

Zimbabwean prime minister marries again despite his ex claiming he is still her husband under tribal laws
Morgan Tsvangirai marries his wife, Elizabeth Macheka amid controversy, in Harare.
Morgan Tsvangirai marries Elizabeth Macheka amid controversy, in Harare. Photograph: Aaron Ufumeli/EPA

Zimbabwe's prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, went ahead with a marriage ceremony on Saturday after a magistrate warned that he could be prosecuted for bigamy if he signed a legal marriage register.

The magistrate ruled on Friday that Tsvangirai could not to go ahead with a formal wedding after a jilted former lover filed a suit against him claiming the two were still married under Zimbabwe's tribal laws. The court held that Tsvangirai paid a traditional bride price for the woman last year and therefore was married to her.

Tsvangirai, 60, and Elizabeth Macheka, 35, exchanged vows but did not sign the register. Tsvangirai insisted that he had not made errors of judgment in seeing other women since his wife of 31 years, Susan, 50, died in a car accident in 2009.

Tsvangirai said he had finally found the right partner. He said he had to date several women to find the one he truly loved, and dismissed as propaganda state media reports that his private life made him unfit to lead the country.

Several regional leaders had been invited to the wedding but did not show up, presumably because of the court order. Polygamy is recognised under Zimbabwe's traditional customary law, but not in its formal legal system.


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Zimbabwe PM: I Have Found True Love

Sep 16, 10:46 AM EDT

BY GILLIAN GOTORA
ASSOCIATED PRESS

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- Zimbabwe's prime minister said at his marriage
ceremony Saturday that he had to date several women to find the one he truly
loves.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai dismissed as propaganda the reports by the
state media that say his private life is irresponsible and makes him unfit
to lead the country.

A Zimbabwe magistrate ruled on Friday that Tsvangirai could not to go ahead
with a formal wedding after a jilted ex-lover filed a suit against him
claiming the two were still married under Zimbabwe's tribal laws. The court
upheld that Tsvangirai paid a traditional bride price for the woman last
year and therefore was married to her.

The magistrate cautioned Tsvangirai that if he signed a legal marriage
register with his new wife he could be prosecuted for bigamy.

Tsvangirai, 60 and Elizabeth Macheka, 35, exchanged vows Saturday but did
not sign the legal marriage register.

Speaking in the local Shona language at the lavish event that continued
until the early hours of Sunday, Tsvangirai reassured his supporters and
Zimbabweans in general that he had not made errors of judgment in seeing
other women since his wife of 31 years, Susan, 50, died in a car accident in
2009. Tsvangirai said he has finally found the right partner.

Several top regional leaders had been invited to the wedding but did not
show up, presumably because of the court order that the wedding should not
go ahead.

Polygamy is recognized under Zimbabwe's traditional customary law but not in
its formal legal system.

Zimbabwe's state media loyal to President Robert Mugabe who is in a shaky,
three-year coalition with Tsvangirai on Sunday described the ceremonies as a
"circus" and Tsvangirai as promiscuous and "sex-crazed."

The state-controlled Sunday Mail said Tsvangirai was a "good-for nothing
politician whose mission in politics is to seek power to get sex."

Tsvangirai told wedding guests that the campaign against him was a political
ploy meant to incite divisions among Zimbabweans and discredit him ahead of
elections expected next year.

The state Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation on Friday broadcast video
footage of what it said was Tsvangirai's traditional marriage to the other
woman, Locardia Karimatsenga, 39.

"ZBC, shame on you for your unprofessionalism. You are dividing Zimbabwe and
sowing hate," Tsvangirai told guests.

Tsvangirai's party, the Movement for Democratic Change, said in a statement
before the marriage celebrations that their leader has faced a "well
choreographed" smear campaign that is "replete with malice and
vindictiveness."

It is "a grand political scheme to besmirch, malign and soil the image of
the prime minister for political gain," said Luke Tamborinyoka, Tsvangirai's
spokesman, of the state media coverage.

Officials in Tsvangirai's party blame Mugabe loyalists in the Central
Intelligence Organization of mounting well-funded campaigns to embarrass
him, code-named `Operation Black Hawk' and `Operation Spider's Web,' that
leaked information from several women claiming to have been ill-treated by
Tsvangirai.

The Sunday Mail editorial questioned Tsvangirai's leadership capabilities
and said that he no longer has the wishes of the people at heart but is
interested in accumulating wealth and women.

The newspaper also accused him of lying under oath over his status with
Karimatsenga.

"Can voters trust Tsvangirai? The answer is that you can trust him to own
peril," it said.

But Tsvangirai says he is being "condemned, harassed and vilified" for
falling in love with the woman of his choosing.

"I love this woman because I chose her myself. I will love her till the day
I die," he told his supporters during the ceremony.

Tsvangirai said "love has nothing to do with politics," apparently referring
to the fact that his new bride's family belongs to Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.

"I saw a beautiful woman," he said. "I said she is beautiful for someone
like me who has an eye for beautiful women."


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Regional leaders snub Tsvangirai's wedding

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

Sunday, 16 September 2012 13:36
HARARE - Invited heads of states and government snubbed Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai “wedding” to Elizabeth Macheka, but that did not stop the
ceremony from taking place with relatives demanding babies.

Only the Prime Minister of Swaziland Barnabas Dlamini and Zambian labour
minister, Fackson Shamenda, who was also Tsvangirai’s best man, were the
notable figures from outside Zimbabwe.

President Robert Mugabe snubbed the ceremony which was attended by Deputy
Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.
Although it was not the wedding of the year, movers and shakers in society
thronged the plush Rain Tree Gardens in Umwinsidale, Harare where the
wedding took place.

Ambassadors, prominent musician Oliver Mtukudzi, swimming sensation Kirsty
Coventry, Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda and big-brother participant Maneta
Mazanhi were some of the notable figures who graced the event.

The ceremony took place around 2pm and later on moved to the Glamis Arena
where Tsvangirai’s followers got a glimpse of his wife.

After the Glamis Arena showcase, the couple went back to the Raintree
Gardens where senior MDC officials broke into song and took to the dance
floor as they outperformed each other in celebration of their leader’s
union.

During the after-party function, Tsvangirai’s mother said she was happy for
her son.

“I must say I am overwhelmed by this occasion and I am happy. I do not know
about those who are not happy, but for me I am so happy for my son,” she
said.

One of the bride’s aunts echoed the sentiments, as Tsvangirai’s mother said
they were looking forward to seeing babies soon. - Lloyd Mbiba


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Wild animals scare Masvingo villagers

http://www.dailynews.co.zw/

Sunday, 16 September 2012 13:26
MASVINGO - Masvingo wild animals straying from Save Valley Conservancy that
was recently taken over by Zanu PF big wigs and securocrats are threatening
the lives of thousands of villagers and their livestock in surrounding
areas.

The Daily News on Sunday has received reports from terrified villagers in
parts of Bikita, Gutu and Zaka which are close to the valley. Predators such
as lions, leopards and hyenas are wreaking havoc after straying from the
Conservancy that some say are poorly managed by the new owners.

Villagers say they are living in fear as the free-roaming predators have
since started devouring their livestock.

“We are under siege here from wild animals coming from the conservancies.
Most of us have lost our livestock to the dangerous animals. We are now
afraid they could end up attacking us,” said Taurai Mupazhiri from Bikita’s
Mkanganwi village.

Some of the Zanu PF bigwigs who grabbed part of the Conservancy include
Higher Education minister Stan Mudenge, Masvingo governor Titus Maluleke,
former Youth deputy minister Shuvai Mahofa, Health deputy minister Douglas
Mombeshora, Manicaland strongman and Zanu PF central committee member Enock
Porusingazi and Chiredzi North MP Ronald Ndava.

Some of the securocrats who have also taken over the rich wildlife sanctuary
are lieutenant colonel David Moyo, major general Gibson Mashingaidze,
retired colonel Claudius Makova, assistant commissioner Connell Dube, major
general Engelbert Rugeje, brigadier-general Livingstone Chineka and Masvingo
provincial intelligence officer identified only as Chibaya. A villager from
Gutu, Sekayi Nhundurwa, said residents are concerned about losing their
cattle and donkeys which they use as draught power during the agricultural
season.

They have since appealed to local authorities to deal with the menace. “We
hear that the conservancies are now under new ownership and management and
they are failing to keep the animals in their sanctuaries. They are now a
danger to our lives. Right now our livestock are being attacked and we will
be left with nothing yet the agricultural season is upon us.

The ultimate result would be continued food shortages for us and our
families,” she said.

Efforts to get a comment from Masvingo provincial governor Titus Maluleke
were fruitless as he was not reachable on his phone.

Last week, mainstream MDC MPs from Masvingo took Maluleke head-on during a
cross-party peace building meeting and accused him of leading the
conservancies grab.

“We are not amused by the way you and your counterparts in Zanu PF took the
conservancies in Save. The grabs are very dangerous to the economy of the
province and the nation at large, as you know that several communities in
Zaka, Bikita, Gutu and Chiredzi were benefiting from the operations of those
areas but now we are having serious problems of wildlife plunder by you, the
new owners,” said MDC Zaka West MP, Festus Dumbu.

The Save valley conservancy debacle has since drawn the attention of Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Vice President Joice Mujuru, while
international blocs such as the European Union have also expressed concern
over the issue. - Godfrey Mtimba


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Zanu PF to hijack all stakeholders’ conference

http://www.thestandard.co.zw

by The Standard on September 16, 2012 in Politics
ZANU PF plans to hijack the second all-stakeholders’ conference in order to
influence the outcome of the final draft constitution, it has emerged.

Report by Patrice Makova
But as battle lines have been drawn ahead of the conference, the MDC-T said
Sadc and the African Union (AU) should supervise the conference to ensure
that Zanu PF does not bulldoze its position and cause chaos.

Zanu PF last week finally agreed to go to the second all-stakeholders’
conference after re-writing the Copac draft, maintaining President Robert
Mugabe’s sweeping powers while deleting provisions meant to democratise the
country.

The two MDCs have rejected the amendments, insisting that the Copac draft
was final and called on Sadc appointed facilitator, President Jacob Zuma of
South Africa to intervene.

Sources said Zanu PF’s political commissars from throughout the country were
on Friday summoned for a meeting in Harare where they were instructed to
start mobilising support for the endorsement of Zanu PF amendments at the
conference.

The meeting, which was organised by national commissar, Webster Shamu, was
also addressed by national chairman, Simon Khaya Moyo and other senior party
officials.

“The strategy is to ensure that Zanu PF provides the bulk of delegates to
the conference and influence the process,” said one provincial commissar.
“If the worst comes to the worst and our strategy fails, some of our vocal
delegates will ensure that nothing positive comes out.”

Zanu PF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo confirmed the party had started
mobilising for the endorsement of the numerous amendments it made to the
Copac draft.

“We had a mobilisation workshop on Friday where we told them (party
officials) what to do and how to present the party position at the
all-stakeholders’ conference,” he said.

But MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora said his party was aware that there
was a faction in Zanu PF which wanted to cause chaos and mayhem at the
conference so as to collapse the process.

“We also know that the police would be too glad to watch idly while Zanu PF
harasses the delegates to the conference,” he said.

“The spectre of political violence and mayhem that was unleashed by the Zanu
PF militia in 2009, upon the first all-stakeholders’ conference is clearly
still with us.”

He said the Sadc and the AU must supervise and monitor the conference to
ensure that no single party manipulated the process.

But Gumbo laughed off suggestions to invite Sadc.

“Are we sick that we have to be supervised to hold our own conference?” he
asked. “The MDCs must stop the tendency to invite foreigners to resolve
internal issues. There is nothing in the GPA which says Sadc should be
involved in the all-stakeholders’ conference.”

Analysts said Zanu PF’s insistence on the use of the national report at the
all-stakeholders’ conference was meant to buy time and rewind the
constitution-making process to the stage before the drafters obtained the
data.

Political analyst, Gift Mambipiri said while only a few war veterans
disturbed the 2009 first all-stakeholders’ conference, this time around the
likes of Chipangano militia group would be there in full force to ensure
that chaos prevailed.

“The all-stakeholders’ conference will not achieve anything because of the
tension and tone already set. The parties and the facilitator may have to
negotiate their way through,” he said.

Social commentator, Blessing Vava said Zanu PF’s insistence on the national
report was meant to expose the two MDC formations for deviating from what
the people said during the outreach exercise.

“If the principals finally agree on a draft, there won’t be much to expect
from the conference because the majority of the delegates will be drawn from
the parties in the GNU,” he said


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AMH CEO urges teachers not to boycott classes

http://www.thestandard.co.zw

by The Standard on September 16, 2012 in Local
ALPHA Media Holdings (AMH) chief executive officer, Raphael Khumalo, has
urged teachers to desist from engaging in class boycotts in protest at low
pay to safeguard the future of students.
Khumalo said education was primary to the development of any nation and
class boycotts affected the future of Zimbabwe.
His comments came amid threats of a strike by teachers over salaries.
“To the teachers, as parents, we put our trust on you to teach our children
so that they can have a better future through education. What you should
bear in mind is that when you go on strike, you do not fix President Robert
Mugabe, rather you are fixing our children,” he said. “When you go on
strike, you kill the future of this country; you kill the future of these
children.”
Khumalo made the remarks on Friday after donating textbooks to Tshale
Primary School in Nkayi where he learnt between 1967 and 1973.
The AMH boss also donated medical textbooks to Nkayi Hospital.
Nkayi Hospital Administrator, Mcedisi Ndlovu and Celani Madzibandzira, a
tutor at the institution, said the medical textbooks would greatly help in
nurse training.


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Unemployment could drive youths into the streets— MDC-T

http://www.thestandard.co.zw

by The Standard on September 16, 2012 in Local
BULAWAYO — The high employment rate among the youths could soon spark riots
in the country, the MDC-T warned last week.

Report by Nqobani Ndlovu

The party’s youth assembly secretary for information, Clifford Hlatshwayo
urged government to urgently overhaul the country’s education to put
emphasis on entrepreneurship skills to hedge against high unemployment.
This, he said, would prevent violent protests.

“The greatest challenge that is facing the economy is youth unemployment
coupled with a rigid education system churning out thousands of youths into
the labour market where most of these cannot get formal employment,” said
Hlatshwayo.

“Unemployment is the basis of the violent politics in the southern African
country.”

He said as long as graduates continued to be churned out of schools,
universities and colleges without any meaningful investment being recorded,
the unemployment rate would continue to rise.

It is estimated that unemployment tops 80% in the country but independent
analysts say that this percentage could be conservative.

The rate of unemployment has been worsened by retrenchments and company
closures necessitated by a decade-long economic recession.

Hlatshwayo warned Zanu PF against using the unemployed youths to engage in
political violence to sustain its political survival.

“The same jobless youths are used to perpetrate violence against reformers,”
he said.

Zanu PF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo however dismissed accusations that the
former liberation war movement was hiring unemployed youths to cause
violence and lawlessness in the country.

High unemployment continues to push many people into the informal sector.
According to the Mid-Term Plan 2011-2015, 80% of the labour force was in the
informal sector.

A United Nations office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha)
2011 report said the number of the formally employed in the country stood at
3,6 million in 2003.

Ocha said at the close of 2008, only 6% of the population was formally
employed, down from 30% in 2003.


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Water harvesting project transforms villagers’ lives

http://www.thestandard.co.zw

by The Standard on September 16, 2012 in Local
MASVINGO — A community-initiated water harvesting and gardening project has
transformed the lives of over 200 villagers in Dumbu village in Masvingo
district.

Report by Our Staff
Bothered by the recurrent drought in the area, the villagers devised a way
of harnessing water from a hill and rehabilitated a dam which had been
destroyed by Cyclone Eline in 2000.

Twelve years down the line, the Ivhu Inhaka project has become an oasis of
hope for villagers in the perennially drought-hit area.

At least 60 families have a small portion of land each, where they grow
maize and vegetables.

A member of the project, Fadzai Mvurachena (39), said it was difficult in
the beginning, as there was a lot of work required.

“It was worth it because I now generate adequate income to care for my
family of five from the garden,” she said.

Mvurachena said she got at least US$100 from the sale of mealies per season
and US$20 every month from vegetables from her garden.

“Ivhu Inhaka is the sole source of income for a number of widows, widowers
and orphans we work with,” Mvurachena said.

“It helps those like me to subsidise their husbands’ income. I do not wait
for my husband to buy children’s books or to give me money for use at the
grinding mill because I always have my own small savings.”

Ivhu Inhaka secretary, Muchuva Muchuva, said the project had become popular
because it supplied vegetables to well-known educational institutions and
businesses in Masvingo town.

“Our project is now well-known, we get customers from all over who buy our
produce which includes green mealies, potatoes, tomatoes, and other
vegetables,” said Muchuva.

Village head, Johnson Rangwani, said the project was a model of how
communities can start self-sustaining ventures without donor assistance.

In the initial stages, some villagers provided old pipes while others
donated small amounts of money to buy more pipes to draw water from the dam
to the garden.

Impressed by the project, a local non-governmental organisation (NGO),
Aquaculture Zimbabwe Trust, in May this year donated about 22 000 fish which
are now being grown in the dam.

The villagers expect to realise about US$7 000 from the sale of the fish by
December this year.


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Children at Hopley in need of proper education facilities

http://www.thestandard.co.zw

by The Standard on September 16, 2012 in Local
THE sight of toddlers sifting through heaps of rubbish for toys and
occasional left-over food greets visitors to Hopley farm resettlement.

Report by Our Staff
But one would also not miss cardboard box-roofed and rickety wooden cabins
where children from the community conduct their school lessons.

The camp, a creation of government’s violent Operation Murambatsvina
(Clean-up) in 2005, is home to over 22 000 people uprooted from in and
around Harare.

People at Hopley, some 15km south of Harare, still live in very squalid
conditions -— without running water, proper shelter or electricity — nearly
a decade after they were displaced from their homes.

But it was the children in dire need of education that caught the attention
of Rotary Club Hunyani, a local charitable organisation.

Last week, it came to the rescue of Tariro Hopley School, which has an
enrolment of 1 200 children, where it donated some textbooks.
The children had no textbooks and relied on newspapers to improve their
literacy skills.

Speaking at a handover of the books to the School Development Committee
(SDC), Rotary Club of Hunyani president, Ray Mawerera emphasised the
importance of education to children as they are the future leaders.

“We hope that this batch of books will assist with the development of
children’s literacy,” said Mawerera.

Rotary Club Hunyani works in co-ordination with Rotary International in its
efforts to improve the provision of clean water, combating hunger,
supporting education as well as improving health and sanitation.

SDC vice-chairperson Mavis Bosha said the community had resorted to pooling
their meager resources to educate their children.

“Children in this community have no access to proper education,” said Bosha.

“Over the years we have witnessed a lot of fatalities as children had to
cross traffic laden roads to gain access to schooling in nearby suburbs of
Waterfalls and Glen Norah.”

“Children have to sit on the ground as we have neither furniture nor
learning material,” she said, pointing at a big blackboard affixed to a
garage door.
The children also do not have access to sanitation facilities.

Bosha said of all the parents that sent their children to the school, less
than a quarter could afford the US$10 monthly fees used to pay the teachers.
Out of the 24 teachers at the school, only four are qualified.


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Housing scheme flops, bitter civil servants besiege Mutodi’s offices

http://www.thestandard.co.zw

by The Standard on September 16, 2012 in Local
SCORES of civil servants yesterday besieged musician, Energy Mutodi’s
Eastgate offices demanding their money following a flopped housing scheme.

Report by Jennifer Dube
Security at the mall said the civil servants started arriving at Mutodi’s
ZimTrust Housing Scheme offices as early as 5am, demanding their monies
back.

“We were paying for the stands for the past three years only to be told that
the money we had paid was no longer being considered,” said a man who
claimed to have come from Marondera, about 80km away from Harare.

The civil servants said between US$20 and US$50 was being deducted from
their salaries every month going towards the scheme.

The deductions were stopped sometime last year without notice.
“We made a follow-up and we were told some people had already been allocated
stands in some areas, including Mabvuku and Dzivarasekwa,” Florence Njini
said.

“We were told those who were getting the stands were paying US$300, with an
agreement that they will further pay US$150 per month for the next five
years.”

The workers said they told Mutodi that they could not afford the new terms
and tried to negotiate for friendlier ones, but without success.

“We then agreed that he should give us our money and he gave us dates on
which to come and collect it from here,” another disgruntled worker said.
“We were told that those who came last Saturday and on Monday, did not find
him in his office just like us. A few of those who came on Wednesday were
given an average of US$200 each.”

Some office owners and security guards at the complex tried to disperse the
civil servants, advising them they were wasting their time camping at the
mall. They told them that Mutodi and his workers had not been coming to
their offices throughout the week.

“Some of us used to pay our premiums in cash and we would come here on
Saturdays and be attended to,” said another civil servant.

“We will wait here until they come.”

Efforts to get a comment from Mutodi were fruitless as different people kept
answering his phone, giving various excuses.

One claimed the musician had left his phone on the charger while another
said he could only understand Ndebele but suprisingly failed to converse in
the language.

The third one said he recently bought Mutodi’s mobile line from an airtime
vendor.

In July, angry members of the Caledonia Housing Scheme stormed Mutodi’s
offices alleging that they had been swindled of their money, which they had
invested in housing stands.

The members said they were contributing money under the scheme since 2006,
but were yet to be allocated stands.


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Treasury growth projections unlikely to be met: Analysts

http://www.thestandard.co.zw

by The Standard on September 16, 2012 in Business
ZIMBABWE’s economy is in a state of limbo as growth projections made by
Treasury are not likely to be achieved, economic analysts have said.

Report by Our Staff
In his state of the economy report for July to August 2012, Finance minister
Tendai Biti said the economy remained depressed, with funding challenges for
both the private and public sectors, despite the prevailing stable
macro-economic environment.

Exports and imports maintained an upward trend, cumulatively reaching
US$2,16 billion and US$5,1 billion respectively by end of August 2012.

However, this gave a US$3 billion trade gap, worsening the trade deficit.

He said major challenges bedevilling the economy included revenue
underperformance, an acute liquidity crunch, underfunding of government
programmes, low foreign investment and a continued high debt overhang
blocking any new financing.

In his Mid-Term Fiscal Policy review statement, Biti cut growth projections
to 5,6% from 9,4% and attributed this to the underperformance of the diamond
revenue.

Economist, John Robertson, said the 5% economic growth expected this year
was highly unlikely to be attained. “We would really be lucky to grow by
2,5% this year, as it is difficult to tell where that growth will come
from,” said Robertson.

“Although gold production was up 13%, low prices countered this development.
Tobacco production improved greatly, but this sector alone is insufficient
to cater for the economy’s needs.”

He said subdued prices almost cancelled out improvements witnessed.

Mineral exports shipments accounted for the bulk of exports at 70,7%, due to
high global demand and improved capacity utilisation, followed by tobacco at
12,3%, manufacturing at 7,9%, and agriculture at 8,5%. In July, revenues
stood at US$257,5 million while the preliminary figure for August stood at
US$263 million against targets of US$271,2 million and US$280,7 million
respectively.
Biti has for long argued that Treasury was receiving insufficient
remittances from diamond sales, a major factor that has affected government’s
expenditure plans.

Consequently, Treasury earlier this year revised the national budget
downwards from US$4 billion to US$3,4 billion.

Economist, David Mupamhadzi, said government’s failure to undertake critical
development projects would negatively affect the economy as the nation’s
needs remained high. “Government cannot meet expenditure prioritised for the
year. this will adversely affect service delivery as well as expenditure
aimed at infrastructure development critical for economic recovery,” he
said.

He said government should seek alternative sources of finance and come up
with a legal institutional framework for Private-Public Partnerships.
Despite the relative economic stability achieved with the inception of
multiple currency use, foreign investment has not been as forthcoming due to
government policy inconsistency that forces investors to adopt a “wait and
see” approach.

The investor apathy due to perceived country risk, has also partly led to
liquidity challenges on the domestic market.

During the period under review, bank loans and advances to the private
sector increased by 5,02% to US$3,23 billion.

Economic commentator, Eric Bloch, said the banking sector’s loan
contribution in this regard to the private sector was too minimal to have a
meaningful impact on the economy. “All businesses were left severely
under-capitalised in the aftermath of the hyperinflation experienced in
2008. There is need for substantial recapitalisation to get industry ticking
again,” he said.

Biti recently travelled to South Africa to meet his counterpart Pravin
Gordhan requesting a US$100 million budgetary support.

The South African government indicated last week that it would open its
purse if Zimbabwe negotiated for the financial aid in the letter and spirit
of the Global Political Agreement, which gave birth to the coalition
government in 2009.


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IMF meets to decide on Zim fate

http://www.thestandard.co.zw

by The Standard on September 16, 2012 in Business
THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) executive board meets next month to
decide whether or not it should have an accelerated engagement on Zimbabwe.

Report by Ndamu Sandu
If the board rules in Zimbabwe’s favour, it would open the taps for lines of
credit badly needed to revive the economy after a decade of recession.
The meeting comes after Zimbabwe has made strides in embracing reforms, with
the assistance of the global lender.

Finance minister, Tendai Biti, said Zimbabwe was confident of a positive
result from the meeting.

“We believe that our macro-economic fundamentals are sound,” said Biti.

“Sterp (Short Term Emergency Recovery Programme) is on course. MTP (Medium
Term Plan) is on course and there should be no reason at all why a positive
decision should not be made in our favour.”

He said the positive outcome would enable Zimbabwe to deal with its arrears
clearance plan.

Zimbabwe’s debt, Biti said, prevented the country from accessing the
necessary levels of capital finance at the IMF, World Bank and African
Development Bank (AfDB).

As at June 30, Zimbabwe’s arrears to the IMF stood at US$135 million under
the Poverty Reduction Growth Trust, while US$932 million was owing to the
World Bank and US$570 million to AfDB.

Zimbabwe’s total external debt stands at over US$9 billion and has been
termed as unsustainable up to 2029.

The re-engagement meeting also comes after a joint IMF/World Bank visit to
Zimbabwe in June as a follow up to meetings in Tunisia and Washington DC
where consensus was built among all creditors and other stakeholders over
the process of resolving the country’s external debt.

Early this year, principals in the inclusive government approved the
Zimbabwe Accelerated Arrears Clearance, Debt and Development Strategy that
uses a combination of debt relief and resources pledging to clear the
country’s debt.

Next month’s meeting would come up with recommendations on how Zimbabwe’s
indebtedness should be tackled.

According to a joint IMF/World Bank approach to debt reduction, no poor
country faces a debt burden it cannot manage.

Under its Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, 36 countries —
30 of them from Africa — have benefited from the US$76 billion in
debt-service relief over time.

HIPC is complemented by the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative that allows
100% relief on eligible debts by three multilateral institutions — IMF,
World Bank and the AfDB — for countries completing the HIPC Initiative
process.

To qualify for HIPC, a country should be able to borrow from the World Bank’s
International Development Agency, which provides interest-free loans and
grants to the world’s poorest countries.

A country should also have faced an unsustainable debt burden and
established a track record of reform and sound policies through IMF and
World Bank supported programmes. It should also have developed a Poverty
Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) through a broad-based participatory process.

Once a country has made sufficient progress in meeting these four criteria,
the Executive Boards of the IMF and World Bank formally decide on its
eligibility for debt relief, and the international community commits to
reducing debt to a level that is considered sustainable.


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Stock exchange for parastatals on cards

http://www.thestandard.co.zw

by The Standard on September 16, 2012 in Business
GOVERNMENT is mulling to set up a stock exchange for state-owned enterprises
and parastatals to raise fresh capital for their operations.

Report by Our Staff
State Enterprises and Parastatals minister, Gorden Moyo, told participants
at the mining indaba last week the plan came after the realisation that
state-owned enterprises and parastatals were not meeting the stringent
requirements to join the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE).

“The standards and guidelines are high (on ZSE). Our state-owned enterprises
have been going through challenges in terms of capitalisation, there have
been human capital flight and we have been exploring the idea of setting up
equity exchange for state enterprises,” Moyo said.

One of the requirements for a company to list on ZSE is to provide a
satisfactory profit history for the preceding three financial years.

This requirement is not feasible as most parastatals and state-owned
entities have been recording losses and are behind in terms of producing
audited financial results.

Moyo said a delegation from the ministry, led by his deputy, Walter
Chidhakwa was currently in China to explore the Chinese model where they are
listed on the stock exchange. State-owned enterprises and parastatals have
been an albatross around the neck of the government.

They have also become the breeding ground for inefficiency where the “jobs
for the boys” syndrome is prevalent. Corporate governance has also been
alien with a number of state-owned entities operating without substantive
boards, and failing to hold Annual General Meetings.

Grain procurer, Grain Marketing Board recently held its first AGM in 81
years.
A recent report by the Comptroller and Auditor General noted that some
parastatals were operating with poorly constituted or without boards.


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Zanu PF using draft charter to test popularity

http://www.thestandard.co.zw

by The Standard on September 16, 2012 in Opinion
Zanu PF’s proposed amendments to the Copac draft have become the talk of
town, but that is just much ado about nothing. The Copac process which took
three years to complete (with Zanu PF participating) came to an end with all
political parties appending their signatures as a compliance act of
agreement.

Report by Tendai Muchada
Predictably, after the submission of the Copac draft, Zanu PF spin-doctors
convened their own constitution-making process, which in the eyes of many,
was bent on creating confusion and stalling the people’s process. However,
as an individual, I beg to differ on Zanu PF’s rationale behind bringing
their own constitution on the table.

Zanu PF is well-known for using uncouth political means to hang on to power
and nobody believes that they want to be part of a formal process in which
people will freely decide.

The reason behind a parallel document is for Zanu PF to do a national test
with regards to its current popularity ahead of the presidential election.
It is no news that this political party is very much abreast with its
growing unpopularity.

When Freedom House and the Mass public Opinion Institute (MPOI) publicised
their findings on current popularity statistics between Zanu PF and MDC-T,
the chief political architects in Zanu PF were quick to dismiss those
findings regardless of the same position being taken by Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai’s party, which argued against the issue of the research
environment.

However, it is needless to say that Zanu PF has never planned using data
gathered by liberals. The forthcoming referendum provides a very good
platform for the party to measure itself against other political parties in
terms of popularity.

History has it on good record that the rejection of the 2000 constitution
provided fertile ground for Zanu PF to consolidate its power by convening a
reign of terror on white farmers.

I remember watching President Robert Mugabe on state television on February
12 in 2000, presenting his widely applauded speech which was reconciliatory
and gave hope for political unity and the existence of political tolerance.

Little did we know that his words were not to live beyond 12 midnight that
same evening, for on February 14, the very first farm invasion was reported
in Chief Svosve’s area followed by a string of invasions on white-owned
farms. My own analysis of that situation was, Zanu PF saw an onslaught on
its ideology and existence. It is against this political background that one
does not need to consult a rocket scientist if briefed about the current
Zanu PF stance with regards to the current constitution- making process.

The Joint Operations Command (JOC) has not downed its tools. Let us not be
fooled by any report or research that violence will be arrested. Zimbabwe
needs to brace for another bloody show-down if ever there are going to be
two documents up for selection at the next referendum and more-so if the
Zanu PF draft is going to be dismissed. The results of the referendum shall
be a litmus test whose results will form the basis for Zanu PF’s election
strategy.

With that in mind, it is very much important for all political parties to
allow the people of Zimbabwe to vote YES or NO to the draft which was
produced by Copac. It is a process error for anyone to say that let us have
the national report before the referendum because this report should also
inform the nation and the international community on how this
constitution -making process went about from onset up until Zimbabwe went
for its referendum.

All signatories to the GPA must ensure that this process is safeguarded from
fly by night politicians who are always prepared to speak on behalf of the
people.


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Wrong thinking behind war for conservancies

http://www.thestandard.co.zw

by The Standard on September 16, 2012 in Opinion
The fight over the Save Valley Conservancy pitting Zanu PF heavyweights in
Masvingo against a “small boy” minister seems to be escalating by the day.

Report by Nevanji Madanhire

Observers including me have been left wondering whether this is a fight over
principle on both sides, or just another factional fight over resources and
political space in the province.

On the one hand are senior politicians whose voice is now represented by
that of the controversial dame of Masvingo politics, Shuvai Mahofa, while on
the other is, almost single-handedly, Minister of Tourism and Hospitality
Industry, Walter Mzembi.

Mahofa and others argue, as Zanu PF has argued over the past decade or so
for the indigenisation of the country’s resources by grabbing important
assets such as land from those formerly favoured by the colonial system.
They see the Save Conservancy as the latest frontier in this war. Mzembi
argues that this indigenisation process can go ahead but it must benefit not
only the heavyweights from the province but also the common people. He
argues that the heavyweights have already got their fair share from the land
reform programme launched in 2000.

Analysts say both camps are being insincere. Mahofa and her camp just want
to grab what they can to enrich themselves, while Mzembi is trying to build
his political career by touting rationality and good sense as the
cornerstone of good governance. They say he has in sight the success of the
United Nations World Tourism Conference set for August next year as his
greatest coup de main, a victory which would undoubtedly make him the
politician of the future.

But in this fight, whatever reasons drive the camps, it would seem Mzembi
emerges the better devil. Recently Mahofa’s mercenary side was revealed in
interviews she gave to the press. Below is an interview she gave to one
publication:

“Asked to answer allegations that she lacks requisite wildlife management
and hunting skills, Mahofa laughed loudly saying, ‘We cannot let the whites
enjoy riches in our country. We also want blacks in this sector. It is
unacceptable that these few whites are allowed to harvest the money there.

“In fact, I am realising that farming is a waste of time, there is a lot of
money to be made in hunting. I am in there and I now know that. I am very
happy with my hunting business and I have made hundreds of thousands of
dollars.’”

She is also quoted saying: “Business is very good and there is free money to
be made out there and Mzembi must leave me to make money and get old and die
well.”

She alleges Mzembi is standing in their way because she and her colleagues
voted against him in an election for the post of provincial Zanu PF
chairman.
But what are the real issues surrounding the invasion of the Save
Conservancy?

Why is Mahofa wrong for the right reasons and Mzembi right for the wrong
reasons? Mahofa is right that there should be some rectification of
historical imbalances but is wrong that invading conservancies and engaging
in wanton hunting for personal enrichment is the way to do it.

Mzembi is right that any indigenisation process should benefit the majority
of the people but is wrong that parcelling out the conservancies to the
majority of the people is the way to go.

What many people have failed to appreciate is the important role wildlife
plays in the economic wellbeing of any country. In an African traditional
setting, animals were either a nuisance to be got rid of or a source of food
to be hunted for meat. There was really nothing wrong with this thinking
because such hunting and elimination was done at such a small scale that
wildlife populations were never really threatened.

But with the increase in population and the integration of the country into
the world economy, wildlife took a very powerful economic dimension as it
became a source of tourism revenue. To ensure that the business of tourism
contributed to the national kitty the government came up with policies that
protected wildlife and ensured that it was exploited in a manner that
ensured that not only the present generation but also future generations
benefited from it.

To ensure this happened, government set aside about 28% of the country’s
landmass as wildlife areas of which about 14% was for National Parks, about
12% for Campfire and Forestry and 1,9% for Conservancies.

National parks were meant for recreation for both local and foreign
visitors, Campfire projects were meant to be managed by local people so they
could benefit from the wildlife in their areas in a sustainable manner that
ensured the wildlife was harvested properly without completely decimating
it.

Conservancies were meant for the regeneration of animal herds.

Hunting is not supposed to take place in national parks, the nation only
deriving income from gate-takings from visitors. But hunting is taking place
without much control in the parks leading to the depletion of animals. As a
result of this, fewer tourists are visiting because there is little to see.
Sadly, poaching has also had an immense toll on the country’s wildlife. It
has emerged that the poaching menace is no longer just about a few ragtag
gangs of individual who just happened to lay their hands on an AK47 rifle;
but that it is big business managed by big fish, some of whom are in
government or well-connected to those in government.

In the past 15 years during the political turmoil, and because of it, the
country has lost 80% of its wildlife. Conservancies had remained the only
wildlife areas where animals were safe because of proactive game.

Like all business, conservancies need huge investment and an environment
conducive to doing the business. When such an environment is created
government should then earn money from them through legitimate taxes, which
money can then be used to empower the majority. The more money the
conservancies make, the more will find its way to the national purse. Mahofa’s
model works against this; so does Mzembi’s, for he forgets that these
wildlife areas are largely situated in arid parts of the country, marked by
unreliable rainfalls and poor soils. The areas are mostly unsuitable for
sustainable agriculture or cattle ranching.

Like all other sectors of the economy, the government’s role ought to be to
create and sustain an enabling environment that ensures more money flows
into the fiscus for the benefit of the majority. Politics should only play a
background role.


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Tsvangirai must be accountable for his actions

http://www.thestandard.co.zw

by The Standard on September 16, 2012 in Opinion
An interrogation of the ongoing marriage imbroglio between Morgan Tsvangirai
and his wife Locardia Karimatsenga reveals a bid on the part of the latter
to project himself as an innocent victim of an alleged sting operation by
state security agents.

Report by Tendai Moyo
Speaking to a daily paper on the matter recently, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson
Luke Tamborinyoka made some infantile claims that Karimatsenga’s legal
actions against the premier were part of a US$100 000 plot by state security
agents “to cause damage to the person of Tsvangirai”.

These claims are palpably diversionary and wishful. Why is it that whenever
there is a boomerang on Tsvangirai’s philandering expeditions, the MDC-T
will always point their irreverent fingers at the state security agents?

Previously when Karimatsenga went for a traditional visit to Tsvangirai’s
homestead after the lobola payments, Tsvangirai sought to deflect any
culpability by trying to pin the whole drama on imaginary state agents.

Similarly, when the MDC-T leader’s lover Loretha Nyathi lodged papers with
the courts to secure maintenance for the welfare of Tsvangirai’s love child,
the matter was once again blamed on the state security agents.

Even when the premier’s name was mentioned in divorce proceedings between a
named Bulawayo woman and her husband, the blame was left on the doorstep of
the country’s security machinery.

Could the premier be so infallible that someone should always take the blame
whenever he errs? Like all other human beings, Tsvangirai should learn to be
accountable to his errant behaviour.

No amount of mudslinging would take away the fact that he has arrogantly and
uncaringly broken the hearts of several women. His advisors should have
known that no one plays with a woman’s heart and expect to get away with it.
His English masters will tell him that, “Hell hath no fury like a woman
scorned”.

Karimatsenga does not need any security agent to redeem her dignity. On her
own, she will get her recourse. However, Tsvangirai’s evasive and
confrontational antics are unhelpful but will only serve to stoke the fire.

Instead of employing confrontational measures, Tsvangirai should advisedly
adopt conciliatory tactics to cajole the Tempo camp into dropping their
legal proceedings. Only then would they be able to pacify her fury.
Otherwise they should brace themselves for the gnashing of teeth.

Having been publicly spurned and humiliated, and in the process suffer a
miscarriage, Karimatsenga is justifiably determined to fight for her glory.
She is understandably a scorned woman and she will stop at nothing to redeem
her bruised image.

It is payback time for the Tsvangirai camp.

In fact, the Tsvangirai camp should forthwith be mindful of what they say or
do as they could trigger similar lawsuits from the other scorned women
possibly watching from the sidelines. Tsvangirai should not forget that his
trailblazing philandering antics have left a sizeable number of women
dejected and nursing broken hearts.

Clearly, this is the war in Tsvangirai’s hands. Any acrimonious attempts to
therefore drag the name of state security agents into the marriage conundrum
will be diversionary.

As the name “state security agents” entails, these men and women are
constantly seized with “state” security matters. They cannot therefore stoop
to involve themselves in love circuses.

Besides, the underfunded state security ministries could not possibly afford
to carry out a US$100 0000 operation since the Minister of Finance Tendai
Biti, who is also the secretary general of MDC-T, is not releasing adequate
funds to meet their national obligations.

It has notably become a trend that at any given opportunity the pro-western
party alongside its regime change civic group sycophants would denigrate the
security forces so as to push for the so-called security sector reforms in
Zimbabwe.

Relatedly, they have foisted some security sector reform clauses into the
draft constitution with the brazen intention of legalising these parochial
and self-serving changes.

Instead of unnecessarily dragging the good name of our security forces in
the mud, Tsvangirai and his team should regroup and search for ways to
skillfully coax the Karimatsenga camp into dropping their lawsuit. Otherwise
they are fighting a brawl they will never win and that will definitely leave
their principal with egg on the face.

Tendai Moyo is a researcher and social commentator.


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Tsvangirai must clean up his act

http://www.thestandard.co.zw

by The Standard on September 16, 2012 in Opinion
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has over the past few days been seized with
a personal matter that has overshadowed all important national issues.
The premier, who had intended to wed his new lover Elizabeth Macheka
yesterday, fought running court battles with his ex, Locardia Karimatsenga,
who successfully blocked his white wedding on the grounds they were still
customarily married.

Inevitably, these protracted battles and the emergence of a South Africa
woman, Nosipho Regina Shilubane, who claimed to be engaged to Tsvangirai,
completely distracted the nation from pressing matters such as the drafting
of the new constitution.

While officials in the MDC-T party were quick to blame the Central
Intelligence Organisation for the fiasco, what emerged out of the drama in
court was that Tsvangirai’s love life is a mess that needs urgent clean-up.

After the death of his wife Susan in 2009, Tsvangirai undeniably lowered the
guard as he searched for a woman who could take her place. This search for
the right partner, which took him up to SA, left him dangerously exposed to
all sorts of women, some with questionable backgrounds, morals and motives.
Though it was politically damaging, the cancellation of his wedding to
Macheka at Karimatsenga’s instigation, should present Tsvangirai with an
opportunity for self-introspection.

The premier should reflect on the mistakes he has made over the past three
years and seek to correct them. He must realise that cherry-picking women
and casually engaging in unprotected sex is not only retrogressive to the
fight against HIV and Aids, but damages his standing as a leader of a
political party. Such behaviour is also unbecoming of a Prime Minister.

Ever since he emerged on the political scene as leader of the MDC in 1999,
Tsvangirai has been a symbol of hope for millions of Zimbabweans, eager to
dislodge President Robert Mugabe from power. His courage in confronting the
Zanu PF system has been admired by many, but it is these distractions that
may cause his downfall.

It is imperative that Tsvangirai urgently sorts out his personal life and
start focusing on important matters such as overseeing the implementation of
government policies that improve the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans.


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Stop da Circus – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 15th September 2012

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Rasta Mugabe

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Arrival of the bridal party Mugabe gives the Zanu PF brides to Tsvangirai

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Keeping the brides apart The wedding cake

The Vigil didn’t know whether Tsvangirai’s latest wedding was on or off when we gathered outside the Embassy. We were confused by the court proceedings. But we were determined to celebrate either way – not because of the nuptials but because Mugabe has at last solved a perennial problem for us.

Mugabe’s intolerant comments about Jamaican Rastafarians (as our poster put it ‘Mugabe’s message to Jamaica: stop da ganja man and da strong drink and cut the hair’) opened the eyes of Caribbeans to his true character. We have had endless discussions with our brothers in the British Caribbean community over the past 10 years but they have been firmly fixed on an unreal picture of Mugabe as a warrior for African liberation. Now they have been kicked in the groin by their hero’s feet of clay.

A dreadlocked Mugabe puffing a giant spliff featured prominently at the Vigil, where he welcomed the arrival of Tsvangirai’s rival brides by rickshaw. Mugabe then handed them to a kneeling Tsvangirai with a placard reading ‘Morgan’s Zanu PF brides’. Fortunately we had plenty of people to keep the two brides apart. They then tucked into the marriage feast including a cake emblazoned with ‘Congratulations on your wedding MDC-T & Zanu PF’.

Thanks to ROHR for inspiring the event, including providing the wedding feast. Thanks particularly to Lindiwe Bare (bride Elizabeth), Philip Maponga (Morgan), Mary Ndoro (aspiring bride Locardia), Fungayi Mabhunu (Mugabe) and Georgina Makaza (bridesmaid).

As the Vigil’s contribution to the Zimbabwe Diaspora 21st Movement’s Global Protests, we will be taking letters to the Tanzanian and Botswanan High Commissions in London next Saturday. Here are the letters:

‘To President Kikwete of Tanzania

On behalf of the millions of Zimbabweans driven into the diaspora by the collapse of our country’s economy and the breakdown of the rule of law, we appeal to you as the new head of the SADC security troika to act speedily so that the ground can be prepared for free and fair elections.

We recall that it was your predecessor, Julius Nyerere, who told Mugabe that he was inheriting the jewel of Africa. At that time Zimbabwe had the second most advanced economy in sub-Saharan Africa. Now after 32 years of Mugabe’s misrule it is one of the poorest and most corrupt countries.

Mugabe is seeking to delay progress to elections so that there are no essential reforms, such as a new voters’ roll. It was confirmed this month that the current roll contains the names of 16.800 people born on 1st January 1901 – no doubt all Zanu PF members.

We draw your attention to remarks by President Khama of Botswana at a recent banquet in Gaberone for President Zuma: ‘nothing less than free and fair elections in Zimbabwe should be acceptable to the international community. SADC, as the guarantor of the GPA, must ensure transparency not only of the elections but also of the process leading to the polls’. President Khama also stressed the need for SADC monitors as well as the wider international community to participate in observing the process before, during and even after the elections. Reports that torture bases are again surfacing in some constituencies lend added urgency to this.’

‘To President Khama of Botswana

Exiled Zimbabweans wish to express our gratitude for your support for the people of Zimbabwe. In particular we applaud your comments at a recent banquet in Gaberone for President Zuma that ‘nothing less than free and fair elections in Zimbabwe should be acceptable to the international community. SADC, as the guarantor of the GPA, must ensure transparency not only of the elections but also of the process leading to the polls’.

We are particularly appreciative of your understanding of the need for international monitoring of the elections.

We enclose a copy of a letter to President Kikwete of Tanzania which we have delivered today as part of the Zimbabwe Diaspora 21st Movement’s Global Protests.’

For details of the event check our ‘Events and Notices’ section.

Other points

The body of our good friend Bernard Hukwa has been repatriated to Zimbabwe. Vigil supporters contributed 500 to this. We are continuing to make collections to support his family.

For those who are thinking of going home on a visit, be warned. A Zimbabwean who has lived in London for a long time and wanted to go home on holiday had a salutary experience. After travelling around South Africa and Swaziland, he went to book his coach to Zimbabwe. He was strongly warned not to cross into Zimbabwe through a land border using a British passport because he would have to pay exorbitant bribes and if he could not afford these his passport might be cut up by the authorities. He decided not to go home.

We noted with interest the economic philosophy of former Gutu South MP Shuvai Mahofa, one of the Zanu PF officials gifted with the Save Conservancy. She said “In fact I am realising that farming is a waste of time, there is a lot of money to be made in hunting . . . You just sit and wait for whites to come and pay for hunting and make money.” (See: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/sep10_2012.html#Z9Mzembi playing politics while I am making dollars – Mahofa).

Thanks to Anne Chikumba for bringing cupcakes which she sold on behalf of the Vigil.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. 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: 68 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

The Rain that Washes showing at the Lounge, Leicester Square Theatre, from Monday 17th September – Saturday 6th October at 7 pm. Check: http://leicestersquaretheatre.ticketsolve.com/shows/126523428/events or phone the booking line: 08448733433 for specific dates and to book tickets, ‘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 a series of interviews 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’.

Ninth 21st Movement Free Zimbabwe Global Protest. Saturday 22nd September. Meet at the Vigil at 2 pm. Once the Vigil is set up a group will go by public transport to the Tanzanian and Botswanan High Commissions in Stratford Place, London W1C 1AS (1AY). Nearest station: Bond Street. Reasons for the demonstration are detailed in the letters above.

21st movement protest

Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 22nd 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. www.swazilandvigil.co.uk.

ROHR Bournemouth elections and fundraising. Saturday 22nd September from 2 pm. Venue: Bourne Spring Centre, St Mary's Road, Bournemouth BH1 4QP. Good food and entertainment. Founder and President Ephraim Tapa and the UK Executive will be in attendance. Contact: Memory Dzapasi 07585907566, Urther Chagadama 07951269667, Dennis Muringai 07917426201, Nancy M 07404159038.

ROHR Leicester general meeting. Saturday 22nd September from 11 am – 1:30 pm. Venue: Bishop Street Methodist Church, 10a Bishop Street, Town Hall Square, Leicester LE1 6AF. Contacts: Rachael Munda 07989 093661, Enniah Dube 07403439707.

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.

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.

Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2011 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/363-vigil-highlights-2011. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2011 Highlights page.

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 http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.

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.

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: www.imusicafrica.com and to watch the video check: http://ourvigil.notlong.com. To watch other Zim Vigil band protest songs, check: http://Shungurudza.notlong.com and http://blooddiamonds.notlong.com.

Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.

Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.

To sponsor the Mike Campbell Foundation expedition ‘Sailing across the Makgadikgadi Pans’ which will raise money for the work of the Foundation, go to www.justgiving.com/Mike-Campbell-Foundation.

Useful websites: www.zanupfcrime.com which reports on Zanu PF abuses and www.ipaidabribe.org.zw 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. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.

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