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Don't make us pay for working with Mugabe

April 1, 2009

In his first article since taking office Zimbabwe's Prime Minister states
his ambition to move from aid to trade with the West
Morgan Tsvangirai
On February 11, 2009, I took an oath as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe to work
relentlessly to create a society where values are stronger than the threat
of violence, where the future happiness of children is more important than
partisan political goals and where a person is free to express an opinion,
loudly, openly and publicly, without fear of reprisal or repression.

To create a country where jobs are available for those who wish to work,
food is available for those who are hungry and where we are united by our
respect for the rights and dignity of our fellow citizens.

This is the country we are working to build and although Zimbabwe is not yet
a democracy, it is on its way to becoming one. Our success on this journey
will depend on this new, transitional Government, our people and the
international partners who will work with us to realise this vision for our

The political agreement that lead to the formation of this new Government is
not perfect. I have stated my concerns on many occasions, as has President

I have also stated that it is a workable agreement and by that I mean that
it can help to alleviate the suffering of the Zimbabwean people and allow
the country to move forward peacefully to a new constitution and fresh
With regard to the former, the new Government has already made small but
significant progress. We have started paying civil servants a monthly
allowance to allow the public sector to begin working again and provide an
essential stimulus to the economy. We have overseen the opening of hospitals
and schools, the taming of hyperinflation, the lowering of prices of basic
commodities and the rationalisation of utility tariffs. Most importantly,
this new political dispensation has delivered hope to a country devoid of
optimism or expectation.

These achievements are a fraction of what the country requires to start
functioning normally again. It was, however, the knowledge that we could
make an immediate and positive impact on the lives of all Zimbabweans that
guided my party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), to enter the
agreement brokered by the regional Southern African Development Community.

As I write this article, I know that we made the correct decision. The past
six weeks have proved what we are able to do, not just as a party, but as
part of an inclusive Government. For, in deciding to embrace the political
pragmatism of our regional neighbours, we entered this administration in the
spirit of the agreement, embracing its inclusivity and abiding by its letter
with regard to the implementation of the transitional measures it contains.

Before entering this Government, we knew that most public servants, and
Zimbabweans from all walks of life, were desperate for the positive
commitments that the agreement contained. We also knew that elements of the
old regime would resist these measures and attempt to obstruct any positive

Happily, we underestimated the number of people who would embrace the
opportunities that our country now has, but, sadly, we were correct in
allowing for the residual resistance that we are now experiencing from a
small faction of non-democratic hardliners.

However, those who try to stand in the way of progress will either realise
that it is neither in their personal interests nor the nation's to continue
their obstructionist tendencies, or they will be swept aside by the
overwhelming momentum being generated as we move forward as a nation.

This does not mean that the success of this new Government is guaranteed.
Today Zimbabwe stands at a critical juncture that requires the MDC to stay
true to the ideals upon which it was founded. It requires Zanu (PF) to
embrace the commitments of this new agreement and it requires all of its
citizens to stand up for their rights as enshrined in the new political
agreement. This is also the time for the West to stand by the people of
Zimbabwe as they move towards the goal of freedom and prosperity.

I can think of no contemporary example of a people who have stood by their
belief in democracy more determinedly, peacefully or bravely than
Zimbabweans. Despite a decade of persecution and violent provocation,
Zimbabweans have refused to compromise their democratic ideals or their
belief in a future of dignity, prosperity and hope by lashing out at their
opponents in anger or despair. As Prime Minister and the leader of the
largest political party in Zimbabwe, I am immensely proud of my nation and
its peoples.

Zimbabweans should not have to pay a further price for their determination
to stand by their democratic ideals because the new Government does not meet
or match the "clean slate" or "total victory" standards expected by the
West. As stated earlier, this new Government is not perfect, but it does
represent all Zimbabweans - it is positive, it is peaceful, it is committed
to a new constitution and free and fair elections and, with international
support, it will succeed.

As Prime Minister, I am responsible for ensuring the formulation of policy
by the Cabinet and its implementation by the entire Government. It is my
responsibility to ensure that the commitments that this new Government has
made to restoring the rule of law, instituting a democratising legislative
agenda, ending persecution and freeing the media are implemented in the
shortest possible time. In this, the new Government is only now beginning to
realise the muscle that it has and to flex that muscle.

The West has been, and continues to be, the most generous provider of
humanitarian support, of which all Zimbabweans are aware and grateful for.
As a proud nation, we look forward to the day when we can develop our
relationship with the West beyond merely being a beneficiary of emergency
aid. We want to become a true economic partner and an investment opportunity
for those who respect the true value of our natural resources and our
sovereignty over them.

Indeed, as the leaders of the G20 meet in London to consider measures to
deal with the economic challenges facing their countries, I encourage them
to view Zimbabwe and other partners in Africa as investment opportunities
with the potential to stimulate their own economic growth.

As Prime Minister, I ask you to work with me and the people of Zimbabwe and
to engage with the efforts of our new transitional Government. I ask you to
share our vision for our great country, to work with us to rebuild our
nation and to walk with us on this promising phase of our journey to a true
and lasting democracy for Zimbabwe.

Morgan Tsvangirai is Prime Minister of Zimbabwe

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Tsvangirai appeals to G20 leaders for support

By Lance Guma
01 April 2009

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has appealed to the G20 group of developing
nations to help in supporting the new coalition government in Zimbabwe. As
leaders from the group meet in London this week, Tsvangirai used an opinion
piece published in the UK Times newspaper to outline why the coalition
deserved support, despite the many obstacles thrown at it by ZANU PF
hardliners. The Prime Minister argued that the agreement between his party
and ZANU PF was workable and could help alleviate the suffering of
Zimbabweans to allow the country to move forward peacefully towards a new
constitution and fresh elections.

Tsvangirai cited the paying of civil servants in foreign currency as having
provided much needed stimulus to the economy. He said this had encouraged
the opening of hospitals and schools, the taming of hyperinflation and the
lowering of prices of basic commodities. He also said he believes the new
political dispensation 'has delivered hope to a country devoid of optimism
or expectation.' He also defended the decision by the MDC to enter into the
coalition government, saying they knew they could make an immediate and
positive impact on the lives of all Zimbabweans.

But as Zimbabwe National Students Union President Clever Bere noted,
'continued farms invasions, a log-jam over the appointment of governors,
permanent secretaries and ambassadors, are clear pressure points for
democratic reversal in Zimbabwe. Further the continued incarceration of
Ghandi Mudzingwa and other abductees shows a serious sincerity deficit on
the part of the former ruling party ZANU PF.'

Tsvangirai sought to allay any fears over these issues by arguing in the
article; 'We were correct in allowing for the residual resistance that we
are now experiencing from a small faction of non-democratic hardliners'.
However he said this resistance would be swept aside by 'the overwhelming
momentum being generated as we move forward as a nation.'

He added that the government was not perfect, but went some way towards
representing all Zimbabweans and was committed to a new constitution and
free and fair elections and he appealed to the G20 leaders to consider
Zimbabwe and other partners in Africa as investment opportunities, with the
potential to stimulate their own economic growth.

A member of the MDC UK executive who traveled back to Zimbabwe last week
told Newsreel there was still a very long way to go before things return to
normal. He said people are struggling with high utility bills, school fees
and other exorbitant charges, when the average civil servant is earning just
US$100 a month. The official, who refused to be named citing security
concerns, says the only noticeable improvement is the peace and quiet being
enjoyed by people, especially in the cities. This is in stark contrast to
the violence which rocked the country as ZANU PF sought to cling to power
last year, despite the overwhelming victory by the MDC in harmonized
parliamentary and presidential elections.
Meanwhile there are reports that Tsvangirai's MDC party wants to table a
motion in parliament seeking to have an inquiry into last year's
post-election violence. The motion will seek to bring to justice
perpetrators of the political violence that claimed the lives of more than
200 people, mostly opposition supporters, in the run-up to the June 2008
presidential election run-off. Hundreds of thousands of others were
displaced, tortured and beaten.

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Outcry as Zimbabwe cabinet prepares for Vic Falls retreat

By Violet Gonda
1 April 2009

Desperate civil servants are up in arms over poor salaries, prisoners are
dying from hunger and disease and the entire nation is still reeling under
an economic collapse that has crippled all essential services, including
health and water. But barely two months have passed and the government has
planned a weekend retreat in the resort town of Victoria Falls. This has
sparked an outcry from Zimbabweans who say these are misplaced priorities of
a bloated and bankrupt government.

The last two months have brought some small socio economic changes, like the
return of basic commodities to shop shelves, but most people can't afford to
buy it. The coalition says it has no money to pay workers better salaries,
yet it is uprooting an entire government - which includes 71 ministers and
deputies - to an expensive resort town for a working retreat.

Journalist Tanonoka Whande asks: "Are Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai
asking SADC for money to entertain this bloated government's ministers,
their deputies and permanent secretaries at Victoria Falls? What is at
Victoria Falls that cannot be solved by a memo to all ministries? What is
wrong with the Masasa Training Centre? Or even the Quality Inn in Harare?
The government of national unity is asking the world for money and yet they
are already spending it on themselves before that money is even received on
behalf of the people."

A statement by the MDC information department said the retreat will be
"officially opened by the President, Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe, the retreat
will be presided over by the Prime Minister, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, and
attended by all cabinet ministers, their deputies and Permanent

The Prime Minister's office said the retreat was to come up with a clear
plan of action for the first 100 days of the power sharing government.

But Whande says: "And the MDC now suddenly calls the murderer Mugabe
"Comrade" and they go on a jaunt at Victoria Falls, calling it a retreat.
Tsvangirai should show more sensitivity than this. The least he can do is to
dress up all those so-called ministers into overalls and put them to work.
The MDC has become a clone of ZANU-PF. What the hell is going on now? I can't
believe this."

It was never going to be easy for Tsvangirai to go into a coalition
government with the man responsible for murder, mayhem and the destruction
of the entire country, and it is not surprising that many Zimbabweans are
concerned. For the majority of people there has been little change in their
lives and all they see is that Mugabe still holds the reins of power.

On Tuesday night a shocking documentary was shown on South African
television. The film showed how Zimbabwe's prisoners are literally rotting
and starving to death, how bodies are piling up in makeshift prison
mortuaries. Wouldn't this be a time for the MDC in the new government to
cancel the retreat, take the money that was going to be used, buy the food
that is freely available in the shops and actually go and feed the people
who are dying?

Whande said: "The MDC cannot continue pleasing ZANU-PF at the expense of the
people and the mandate given it by those citizens."

The MDC have been telling the public that there are fundamental issues that
remain unresolved, such as the issue of appointments of permanent
secretaries and governors. And yet we have seen ZANU PF appointed governors
continue to operate as if the issue has been resolved. It is the same
governors who have been briefing the Minister of Lands about the situation
on farms, and just this weekend some of the governors told the state
controlled Sunday Mail newspaper that there were no new farm invasions,
while new invasions were actually taking place throughout the weekend. This
was two days after Tsvangirai had called for an end to the illegal
activities and the continuing attack on agriculture and property rights.

Critics say the MDC is in danger of losing credibility if they don't
urgently start doing things differently to ZANU PF.

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Coltart Unearths Massive Corruption at ZIMSEC

HARARE, April 1 2009 - The Ministry of Education has unearthed massive
corruption by the Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council, ZIMSEC, after
hundreds of ghost markers found their way on the examination markers list
forwarded to Minister David Coltart, forcing him to amend the list and delay
the payment of markers.

In an interview with RadioVOP, Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe
(PTUZ)'s national treasurer Laudious Zunde, said Coltart revealed in a
stakeholders meeting held Tuesday, that the examination payment schedule
forwarded to him by ZIMSEC had a lot of irregularities and he had ordered a
thorough audit before disbursing payments.

"It is true that the Minister discovered that the list was fraught
with suspicious names and it also vindicates the suspicion that we have
always had that a lot of fishy things are going on at ZIMSEC with regards to
markers fees.

"When the minister requested the payment schedule for the markers, he
discovered that there were a lot of ghost markers, inflated figures and
names of other ZIMSEC employees who are not examiners at all," said Zunde.

Zunde said some markers names were listed more than once under
different identification numbers and that an emended schedule had to be
resubmitted to the minister.

"The minister was not actually forthcoming about what he intends to do
about this massive corruption. But we hope the sooner it is investigated the
better and the happier we will be as well. I think he is going to do
something about it because at out meeting on Tuesday we impressed upon him
that this incident must be reported to the police," he said.

Zunde said the minister had assured them that all markers would soon
be paid after noting that the delay in paying them had been caused by the
payment schedule irregularities, which the ministry wanted to rectify.

"We got the assurance from the minister as well as confirmation that
some Ordinary Level markers were already in the process of getting their
payment through Stanbic Bank. We are quite sure that the markers will
receive their payment but we are also aware that the minister has a mountain
to climb," he said.

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ZIMSEC Yet to Pay Markers

MASVINGO, April 1 2009 - The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council
(ZIMSEC) is yet to pay over 5 000 teachers it contracted to mark last year's
'O' and 'A' level exams, RadioVOP can reveal.

Education Minister David ColtartEarly this week, Minister of
Education, Arts and Culture, David Coltart, said the results would be
released this month (April), although markers are yet to get their dues.

Sources said ZIMSEC had promised to pay markers USd 1 per script, but
less than a month after they finished marking, they were only given
allowances pending full payment.

"We were promised USd 1 per script, but we were told the money was to
be deposited in our accounts a week after. But up to now, the money has not
come yet," said one teacher who spoke to RadioVOP on condition of anonymity.

ZIMSEC provincial head, Fredrick Makausi, refused to comment on the

Last year, the teachers had snubbed ZIMSEC after it had promised to
pay markers in local currency.

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), a teachers'
representative body, said the exams were not objectively marked. PTUZ
president Takavafira Zhou said they would demand samples of the marked
scripts from ZIMSEC.

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MDC to ask Parliament to probe political violence

by Patricia Mpofu  Wednesday 01 April 2009

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party will this week table a
motion in Parliament requesting the House to investigate political violence
in the run-up to a presidential election last June and ensure perpetrators
are brought to justice, a top party official said.

The MDC, which says about 200 of its supporters were killed in political
violence allegedly committed by activists of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU
PF party and state security agents, initially indicated last month that it
would table the motion before deciding against it last week fearing such a
move could poison relations within the new unity government.

Tabling the motion is certain to heighten tensions in the fragile government
while unsettling many in the military establishment who are accused of
having masterminded violence against the MDC.

But MDC legislator for Nyanga North constituency Douglas Mwonzora, who will
table the motion in Parliament, said the move was necessary because of fresh
political violence in Manicaland province under which his constituency falls
and farm invasions that have rocked parts of the country.

"I will be tabling the motion sometime this week," Mwonzora said. "We have
noted that there is a resurgence of violence especially in Manicaland
province. My supporters are under attack from ZANU PF people. So what we are
saying is that violence is still rearing its ugly head despite the inclusive

ZANU PF chief whip Jorum Gumbo was not immediately available for comment on
the matter that is certain to bring to the fore the sensitive and divisive
issue of how to achieve national healing while ensuring those who violated
human rights are brought to justice following formation of the unity

While Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, who heads a smaller formation
of the MDC, managed to reach agreement on how to share power they have not
yet resolved the issue of what to do with those mostly in the security
forces and war veterans accused of committing human rights abuses and other

A committee of senior ministers drawn up from ZANU PF and the two MDC
formations to promote national healing and reconciliation has not said how
exactly it intends to go about the process.

Military commanders and hardliners in ZANU PF who are believed to have been
behind violence in the run-up to the June vote are known to be opposed to
the unity government in part because they fear the new administration could
dilute their power and ultimately lead to their arraignment before the
courts on charges of abusing human rights.

Speculation is rife within political circles in Harare that the military
generals and ZANU PF hardliners were behind the new incidents of political
violence and the farm invasions in a bid to derail the unity government. -

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SADC sets up taskforce to oversee Zim economic recovery

by Nokuthula Sibanda Wednesday 01 April 2009

HARARE - The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has set up a
four-member task force - led by continental economic power house South
Africa - to oversee Zimbabwe's economic recovery.

The establishment of the task force follows a request by Harare at a SADC
summit in Swaziland on Monday for  US$10 billion to bankroll Zimbabwe's
economic recovery.

"The Extraordinary Summit established a Committee of SADC Ministers of
Finance comprising South Africa, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),
Botswana, Zimbabwe as well as the Executive Secretary of SADC to coordinate
SADC support to the Zimbabwe recovery process," the regional bloc said in a
final communique issued on Tuesday.

"The Extraordinary Summit urged Member States to support Zimbabwe to
implement STERP, in the form of budget support, lines of credit, joint
ventures and toll manufacturing.

Zimbabwe told the summit that it needed $8.5 billion for its Short Term
Economic Recovery Programme (STERP) over the next two to three years, with
$1 billion for budget support and a $1 billion credit line.

STERP was announced two weeks ago by President Robert Mugabe, who last month
formed a unity government with former opposition leader and now Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to reverse the country's economic and
humanitarian crisis.

The economic recovery plan seeks to bring down inflation to 10 percent by
year end while bringing law and order to the mainstay agricultural sector
where chaos reigns and farm invasions still occur despite formation of the
unity government.

The 15-member regional bloc that brokered Zimbabwe's power-sharing deal also
tasked the Coordination Committee to urge Western countries to end sanctions
on the southern African country.

"The Extraordinary Summit mandated the Coordination Committee to visit major
capitals in Europe, Asia, and America as well as the major financial
institutions to mobilise support for Zimbabwe's economic recovery
programme," the communiqué said.

All SADC diplomatic missions were mandated to stage a deliberate diplomatic
campaign to lift the sanctions against Zimbabwe and mobilise resources to
support Zimbabwe's economic recovery programme.

Western nations led by the United States (US) and Britain - Zimbabwe's two
biggest donors - have said they want Harare to submit a credible economic
recovery programme and to implement genuine and comprehensive political and
economic reforms before they can provide support as well as lift targeted
sanctions against Mugabe and top officials of his ZANU PF party.

Zimbabwe's economic recovery plan that SADC endorsed at the summit also
envisages resumption of full cooperation between Zimbabwe and rich Western
countries, the European Union (EU), International Monetary Fund and the
World Bank.

"The Extraordinary Summit urged the donor community, the international
financial institutions and the international community in general to support
Zimbabwe and provide it with the necessary financial support for its timely
economic recovery," said SADC.

SADC countries are also expected to inform the bloc's executive secretary
within two weeks on their respective pledges to support Zimbabwe's recovery
programme within two weeks. - ZimOnline

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Zimbabwe prisoners in 'hell on earth' die from disease and hunger

April 1, 2009

Jonathan Clayton in Johannesburg
A horrifying investigative film, shot undercover in Zimbabwe, has exposed
how prisons under President Mugabe have become death camps for thousands of
inmates who are deprived of food and medical care.

The documentary, shown last night on South Africa's state broadcaster SABC,
documented the "living hell" for prisoners across 55 state institutions. The
result, Hell Hole, was a grim account of a crisis in which dozens of inmates
die each day.

Describing the conditions in two of the main prisons in the capital, Harare,
in late 2008, a prison officer said: "We have gone the whole year in which -
for prisoners and prison officers - the food is hand-to-mouth. They'll be
lucky to get one meal. Sometimes they will sleep without. We have moving
skeletons, moving graves. They're dying."

The film was made by SABC's Special Assignment programme and shot over three
months with cameras smuggled into the prisons. Reaction in South Africa,
where the authorities try to deny the extent of the crisis in its neighbour,
is certain to be fierce.

The film showed how prison staff have converted cells and storage rooms to
"hospital wards" for the dying and makeshift mortuaries, where bodies
"rotted on the floor with maggots moving all around". They have had to
create mass graves within prison grounds to accommodate the dead. In many
prisons the dead took over whole cells and competed for space with the
living. Prisoners described how the sick and the healthy slept side by side,
packed together like sardines, along with those who died in the night.
Prisoners in the film are suffering from slow starvation, nutrition-related
illnesses and an array of other diseases to which they are exposed as a
result of living in unhygienic conditions.

A former prisoner, a young man, struggled to convey the horror of these
conditions: "That place, I haven't got the words ... I can describe it as
hell on earth - though they say it's more than hell." In October last year
the Zimbabwe Association for Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation of the
Offender (Zacro) released a report noting that there were 55 prisons in
Zimbabwe, with the capacity to hold 17,000 inmates. But in October 2008 it
was estimated that more than 35,000 people were in jail.

A report released to accompany the film said that, unlike Zimbabweans on the
outside, "inmates can't beg for food from passers-by, they can't forage for
wild berries in the bush, and they can't rummage through dustbins for waste

"Because of this, Zimbabwe's prisons constitute a unique and especially
cruel form of torture," said the report compiled by a human rights
organisation called Sokwanele, or "Enough is Enough". The number of deaths
from disease in the prisons have risen since the start of the economic
decline and political crisis that has gripped the country since the late

From 1998 to 2000 the Zimbabwe Prison Service estimated that there were some
300 deaths each year because of disease, with tuberculosis the biggest
killer. In May 2004 a senior prison officer reported 15 deaths a week, and a
peak of 130 deaths in March of that year, in just one of the prisons in
Zimbabwe's second city, Bulawayo.

Since then the crisis has deteriorated greatly as all the country's services
have entered meltdown after Mr Mugabe's refusal to leave office in the wake
of rigged polls.

The Times spent ten days in one of the "better" prisons in Bulawayo last
year, surrounded by young skeletal men who fought over small plates of sadza
(local maize), and noted severe overcrowding, overflowing toilets, water and
electricity cuts, and a lack of blankets and basic commodities such as soap.
Those without people on the outside to bring them food face almost certain
starvation unless they find another solution, such as resorting to

Prison populations also have high rates of HIV/Aids infection, with some
reports estimating that more than half of prisoners are HIV-positive.
Antiretrovirals are unavailable and the dietary requirements of treatment
cannot be met in any case.

There are few drugs for the treatment of tuberculosis and other diseases,
and the cramped and filthy conditions ease the transmission of infection.
Late last year and early this year a cholera outbreak in Harare's Central
Prison killed four to five prisoners each day, with a peak of 18 deaths in
one day, according to prison officers.

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MDC says harassment of Roy Bennett continues

By Violet Gonda
1 April 2009

The MDC issued a statement on Wednesday stating that Senator Roy Bennett,
the proposed Deputy Minister of Agriculture, continues to be harassed.
Police officers are said to be giving the MDC official the run around in an
effort to intimidate him.

"Senator Roy Bennett, earlier today appeared at the Harare Central police
station for routine reporting to the police in line with his bail
conditions. He was informed that he had to see the Officer-in-Charge of
Harare Central police station, Detective Inspector Dowa. Detective Inspector
Dowa was, at the time, said to be in a meeting, and he instructed Detective
Inspector Muchada, who questioned Senator Bennett as to where he is staying,
even though the police have a clear record of this. Senator Bennett was then
forced to take four plain clothes police officers, who refused to give both
their names and force numbers, to his residence," the statement said.

Bennett is still waiting to be sworn into the new government after having
missed the swearing in ceremony of his colleagues in February as he was in
prison. He spent a month in jail in Mutare and faces trumped up charges of
possessing weapons for purposes of terrorism. He denies the charges and his
party says they  "have no basis in law and as such they should be dropped."

Last week Sam Sipepa Nkomo confirmed that Robert Mugabe was refusing to
swear in the former commercial farmer, as a deputy Minister.

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Top RBZ official on the run after fraud

April 1, 2009

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - A senior Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) official,  who allegedly
helped a farmer to fraudulently acquire farming inputs, in on the run.

The farmer, Joseph Banda, who allegedly connived with Mordecai Masakwa, the
RBZ official, early this year to acquire an assortment of farm implements
under government's farm mechanization scheme, is due to stand trial for
fraud on April 20, 2008.

Banda is alleged to have fraudulently acquired four generators, a motorbike,
15 knapsacks and other implements valued at a total of US$35 100 through the

He is being charged together with Masakwa, the head of the RBZ's
Agricultural Mechanisation and Small to Medium Enterprises Support Division,
who is now said to be on the run.

Banda also faces charges of impersonating a senior police officer and a war

He was arrested last month following an investigation by an Anti-Corruption
Commission team led by Servious Kufandada.

Reports say Banda and Masakwa had approached BAK Storage along Harare's
Birmingham Road where they were allowed to acquire the equipment after they
had convinced the company they had authority from RBZ governor, Gideon Gono.

Banda's trial will be the first since the RBZ launched an audit into the
abuse of farm implements it acquired to resuscitate Zimbabwe's now ruined
agricultural sector.

The implements were acquired by the central bank ostensibly for distribution
to previously disadvantaged black farmers, who took over the formerly
white-owned commercial farms.

The RBZ audit was meant to ascertain if the equipment which included
tractors, combine harvesters, ploughs, fertilizer spreaders, generators,
grinding mills and various animal-drawn implements, was being used

The first phase of the Farm Mechanisation Programme was launched in Harare
by President Mugabe on June 11, 2007.

It however later turned out its main beneficiaries were in fact well
connected businessmen, war veterans, senior government officials and senior
officers in the uniformed forces. Top officials within President Robert
Mugabe's Zanu PF party also benefited.

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MISA-Zimbabwe Alert: Gweru Freelance Journalist Missing

Wednesday, 01 April 2009
Media Alert
Gweru freelance journalist missing
Gweru-based freelance journalist Kudzai Musengi is reportedly missing
amid growing concern by his family and colleagues who were still to
ascertain his whereabouts on 1 April 2009.

Musengi's unknown circumstances came to light after he failed to
return home after normal working hours on 31 March 2009 prompting his wife
to check with colleagues as to whether they knew of his whereabouts. He was
last seen by his colleagues in Gweru late on Tuesday afternoon after
attending a meeting they held to plan for the May 3 World Press Freedom Day
MISA-Zimbabwe has since engaged Tonderai Chitere, a member of the
Media Lawyers Network who said they had checked, but to no avail, all the
police stations and hospitals in Gweru including a visit to the Central
Intelligence Organisation's (CIO) offices in the Midlands town. Chitere said
concern over Musengi's whereabouts come on the backdrop of alleged reports
he received from unidentified persons  on 26 March 2009 at a local hotel
over reports of fresh invasions of commercial farms.
Chitere said they had since made a report to the police law and order
section in Gweru following their fruitless search for Musengi. "The police
said they were going to conduct their own investigations and that we should
not hesitate to contact them if we get any leads on his whereabouts," said
He said the police had advised them to file a formal missing persons
report on 2 April 2009 if Musengi is not found within the lapsing of the
stipulated 48 hours from the time he went missing on 31 March 2009.
MISA-Zimbabwe position
MISA-Zimbabwe is gravely concerned with Musengi's safety and security
as this comes on the backdrop of the abduction of Zimbabwe Peace Project
director and former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation  television news
anchor Jestina Mukoko and freelance photojournalist Shadreck Manyere in
December last year.
Mukoko and Manyere were allegedly tortured by their abductors when
they went missing on 3 December and 13 December 2008 respectively as their
whereabouts remained unknown until their appearance in court on 24 December
2008 together with alleged Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) activists on
alleged charges of banditry.
MISA-Zimbabwe strongly appeals to the authorities and law enforcement
agencies to do everything within their power and means to ensure that they
find Musengi and in particular issue stern warnings that the abductions,
threats and harassment of journalists conducting their lawful professional
duties will be met with the full wrath of the law.
Journalists will only be assured of their safety and security once the
government and law enforcement agencies assert their authority impartially
by getting to the bottom of these unlawful actions against journalists as
this will act  in sending a strong and deterrent message to would-be other
MISA-Zimbabwe further commends journalists in Gweru for immediately
rallying behind their colleague through their swift response and continuing
efforts to ascertain his whereabouts.

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Know Your Ministers: Matinenga, Mumbengegwi

March 31, 2009

With Conrad Nyamutata

eric-matinengaEric Matinenga in the wire enclosure of Rusape Prison in June 2008.

Matinenga, Taurai Eric (MDC) - Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs

ONE of Zimbabwe’s most prominent lawyers, Matinenga is a respected advocate of the High Court of Zimbabwe.

He is married to Miriam and the couple has three children, Tafadzwa, Farai and Takudzwa.

Matinenga, 57, is a former president of the Administrative Court of Zimbabwe.

Matinenga went to St Faith’s Secondary School outside Rusape for his “O” Levels and to St Augustine’s, Penhalonga, for his “A” Levels. He studied law at the University of Zimbabwe. He was initially accepted for an economics degree but switched to the Faculty of Law.

The change of heart, according to family members, came after Matinenga had seen how his father had been battling with unfair tax laws under the Ian Smith’s regime.

As a lawyer he has worked with various organizations including the Msasa Project. Msasa aims at protecting women’s rights and helping victims of domestic violence. Matinenga then worked as a magistrate before he was appointed president of the Administrative Court.

He has also lectured in the Faculty of Law at the University of Zimbabwe and has served on a number of boards.

As an advocate he has defended various MDC officials and members. He successfully defended Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai, now Prime Minister, during his high-profile treason trial in 2005.

He had also successfully represented the founding executives of Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ), publishers of the banned Daily News, in 2001. Former managing director Wilf Mbanga and editor-in-chief, Geoffrey Nyarota were falsely accused of supplying “false information to a lawful authority” when they registered the company. Matinenga argued in court that it was inexcusable “for a police officer of average intelligence” not to see that the two accused men had not committed any offence.

The charges were dismissed.

Matinenga was elected Member of Parliament for Buhera West in March 2008, defeating the Zanu-PF candidate Tapiwa Zengeya.

Thereafter, Matinenga endured a torrid time at the hands of the police. On June 1, 2008 he was arrested and detained on charges of public violence.

He was arrested soon after he obtained a court order against the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) for the harassment, torture, and political persecution of MDC supporters in violation of the military’s constitutional mandate and functions.

After Matinenga handed the court order over to the military in Buhera, he proceeded to visit his constituents who were in jail there. In a swift turn of events the police arrested the lawyer and newly elected MP instead and placed him in custody. They accused him of election-related violence.

He was released on June 5, but just two days later on June 7, Matinenga was arrested again. Defying a court order to produce Matinenga, the state moved him to Rusape Police Station. He was kept in jail through delayed court dates and denial of bail.

Backing a campaign for the release of their father, Farai and Tafadzwa Matinenga said Matinenga’s original intentions were non-political. “But as events started to unfold the people of his home area asked him to stand for them as MP as they saw in him a man of integrity, strength, truth and someone who would be able to serve them and their needs.”

Miriam Matinenga was detained by Zanu-PF supporters in Rusape on one occasion as she brought food to her husband in prison.

Matinenga’s detention triggered off an uproar within the international legal community. The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) and the Commonwealth Lawyers Association and Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians called for his immediate release.

The High Court ordered his release but a magistrate in Rusape, Herbert Mandeya, defied the order. He was released after three weeks in remand prison.

His trial has since opened and judgement in the case was set for May 4, 2009.

In February Matinenga was appointed Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs in the coalition government.

He is charged with the challenging task of steering formulation of the long-awaited new constitution, a key condition of the power-sharing agreement signed on September 15 last year. The constitution is expected to lead to fresh elections.

Matinenga is a family man and an avid squash player.

mumbengegwi-simbarasheMumbengegwi, Simbarashe Simbanenduku (Zanu-PF) - Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Married with five children, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi was born on July 20, 1945 in Chivi District, Masvingo Province.

He attended Fletcher High School for his ‘O’ and ‘A’ Levels and then went to Australia, where he attained most of his higher education.

He holds a BA (General) Degree; a BA (Combined Honours) Degree in Politics and History, a Diploma in Education and Masters in Education - all obtained from Mônash University in Melbourne, Australia.

He studied for a Masters Degree in Public Administration at the University of Zimbabwe

Mumbengegwi says he became a member of the youth league of the National Democratic Party (NDP) at 15 in 1960 and subsequently a member of the youth league of the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU).

From1976 to 1978 he was ZANU’s chief representative in Australia and the Far East.

He was a teacher at Prahran High School, Doveton High School, Mannix College and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia.

He returned to Africa to become the Zanu-PF chief representative in Zambia between 1978 and 1980. In March 1980 he was elected Member of Parliament for the Midlands Province. He became Zanu-PF provincial treasurer for the Midlands province from 1981 to 1984.

Mumbengegwi was elevated to be a member of the Zanu-PF Central Committee as deputy secretary for publicity and information. He has held different ministerial and diplomatic posts since 1980.

In 1981 he was appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 1982 he was moved to the Ministry of Water Resources and Development before he became Minister of Public Construction and National Housing two years later.

Mumbengegwi was re-elected in the March 1985 elections to represent the Midlands constituency. He continued to serve as Minister of Public Construction and National Housing. He then became Minister of Transport from 1988 to 1990.

Mumbengegwi was Zimbabwe’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1990 to 1995. He served as vice-president of the United Nations General Assembly from 1990 to 1991.

He was also a member of the United Nations Security Council from 1991 to 1992, serving twice as its president.

Mumbengegwi was appointed ambassador to Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxemburg in 1995.

Four years later, he was posted to London as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Ambassador to Ireland, serving in that capacity until 2005. His title changed to ambassador after Zimbabwe withdrew from the Commonwealth of Nations. Representatives of Commonwealth countries serving in another Commonwealth country are called High Commissioners, not ambassadors.

After the March 2005 elections Mumbengegwi was appointed a non-constituency Member of Parliament. The following month, he became Minister of Foreign affairs.

In the March 2008 election, Mumbengegwi was the Zanu-PF candidate for the Senate seat of Shurugwi-Zvishavane in the Midlands.

He received 24,055 votes against 11,988 for Vincent Gwarazimba of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Mumbengegwi was retained as Minister of Foreign Affairs. His brother, Dr Samuel Creighton Mumbengegwi, served as Minister of Finance in the last government.

As Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mumbengegwi now faces the momentous task of re-establishing broken foreign relations and bringing Zimbabwe – long a pariah state – back into the international community of nations.

Thursday: Fidelis Mhashu, Herbert Murerwa

(Ministers whose profiles are still outstanding are kindly requested to rush their details to, with a copy to Ministers who wish to amend or supply additional information to their already published profiles are requested to do likewise. We appeal particularly to Minister Sekai Holland who was travelling when we attempted to contact her last week.)

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COSATU berates SADC "double standards"

March 31, 2009

By Mxolisi Ncube

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) has
accused the Southern African Development Community (SADC) of showing double
standards, following its decision to suspend Madagascar from the regional
bloc Monday.

COSATU argues that SADC has failed to take equally decisive action on both
Zimbabwe and Swaziland.

SADC leaders, who met in Swaziland Monday, reaffirmed an earlier decision
taken by the broader African Union to suspend Madagascar, off the south
eastern coast of Africa, following the ouster of its leader - Marc
Ravalomanana, by opposition leader and Mayor of Antananarivo, Andry
Rajoelina, in a military-backed action.

The Summit also put in place a process to strengthen sanctions, should the
de facto regime refuse to cooperate with their demands and mandated the
Executive Secretary of SADC, Tomaz Salamao, to engage the UN and other
role-players to define a comprehensive and coherent strategy to resolve the

However, in a statement released Tuesday by its national spokesman, Patrick
Craven, COSATU said that the SADC leaders' decision exposed the
inconsistencies, hypocrisy and double standards that it said would continue
to plague the regional bloc.

"The SADC Organ Troika on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation chaired
by Swaziland's dictator, King Mswati III, held an extraordinary summit in
Mbabane and prepared a process to effect sanctions against the new regime,"
said COSATU.

"This was followed by yesterday's SADC Summit of heads of states."

COSATU blasted the regional bloc for its failure to act on Zimbabwean
President, Robert Mugabe, after the country's ill-fated presidential
election run-off, which was boycotted by opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, citing state-orchestrated violence
on his supporters.

Mugabe later claimed victory in a one-man election, which was described by
both SADC and AU observers as both not free and not fair.

However, both bodies failed to act on Zimbabwe and instead, chose to pursue
a national unity government formation, which has since been constituted and
has Mugabe as its leader and still firmly in charge of all security organs.

"Having failed to act with the required decisiveness on Zimbabwe and
Swaziland, SADC now seeks to prove a point in the Madagascan situation,
which it could not in the two other instances," said COSATU.

"While decisive action is welcome, it must be a consistent and not selective
feature of institutional intervention."

The powerful umbrella trade union organisation, which is also part of the
African National Congress (ANC), a tripartite alliance currently ruling
South Africa, also criticised the SADC for appointing "a despot" - Swaziland's
King Mswati, to preside over the SADC Organ Troika on Politics, Defence and
Security Cooperation.

"The fact that SADC could appoint a renowned despot in the person of Mswati,
to preside over such an honourable institution as the SADC Organ Troika,
responsible for the defence and promotion of democracy in the region, makes
a mockery of those intentions, however noble they may be.

"Swaziland is not the place to discuss the democratic resolution of regional
problems, because it is a bad example to the region and world."

COSATU accused Mswati of being a dictator who does not allow opposition
politics in his country, as evidenced by the continued incarceration of
opposition leader, Mario Masuku of the People's United Democratic Movement
(PUDEMO), and added that it would fight for his release.

"As Mswati was presiding over the Organ troika meeting and addressing the
summit about the crisis in Madagascar, PUDEMO President, Mario Masuku
remained behind bars, rotting in jail for merely challenging oppression and
calling for democracy. What an irony!"

"COSATU's Mpumalanga Province has taken a firm resolution to take urgent
action to demand the release of Mario Masuku, in the form of a week-long
border blockade against Swaziland, until Mswati's regime falls on its knees".

The labour union called for the transformation of SADC, to "reflect the
legitimate aspirations of the region and its people" and the removal of such
leaders like Mswati from occupying crucial positions within its ranks.

"It must uphold the most democratic practices and consistently enforce high
standards of governance, transparency and accountability to its people.

"Mswati must be removed as chairperson of the Organ Troika; he is a disgrace
to the region and its concerted efforts to promote democracy."

COSATU also called on the regional bloc to take a stand on Zimbabwe, where
it accused President Robert Mugabe of showing no commitment to the recently
constituted government of national unity.

"Further, we call for cautious engagement with the ruling unity government
in Zimbabwe, given that the Mugabe regime has not yet shown serious
commitment to the ideals of democracy and fully embraced the new

"Accountability for all the support and resources being raised to support
the new government must not be compromised.

"It must be part of the new culture being inculcated throughout the region,
for more accountability and zero tolerance of corruption," added COSATU.

COSATU added that while SADC's intervention was taken in the context of a
clearly unconstitutional transfer of power that threatens to undermine the
basis of constitutional democracy, a lot still remained to be done in other
countries in the region.

"Insufficient, sometimes non-existent, political or democratic space for
continuous political engagement in most countries of our region, constitutes
the greatest threat to democracy, stability and progress

"The weakness of civil society, sometimes as a result of deliberate state
policy to keep ruling elites in power, subjects the people of our region to
a perennial process of elite-recycling, without clear and fundamentally
progressive alternatives to failed state policies

"Weak institutions of state jurisdiction and power management lead to
individuals and even armies exceeding their own limits; hence the rife abuse
of power," said South Africa's biggest labour union.

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Refugees still arriving daily in S Africa

April 1, 2009

By Mxolisi Ncube

JOHANNESBURG - Hundreds of Zimbabweans are said to be still arriving in
Johannesburg, South Africa daily, despite reports that their country's
economic situation has improved since the recent formation of a government
of national unity.

Zimbabwe's decade-long economic crisis is said to be showing signs of
easing, after the country's adoption of multi-currencies, followed by the
formation of the all-inclusive government between President Robert Mugabe's
Zanu-PF and the two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) parties.

Although the Southern African Women for Immigration Affairs (SAWIMA) says
that it has recorded decreased numbers of desperate Zimbabwean immigrants
seeking help at its offices since the beginning of March, officials at the
Central Methodist Church, which is already home to 4 000 predominantly
Zimbabwean refugees, told The Zimbabwe Times this week that they seen an
increased number of new arrivals during the same period.

SAWIMA spokesperson, Joice Dube, said that since the formation of the
all-inclusive government the organization had been receiving less than 50
desperate Zimbabwean immigrants seeking humanitarian help at the offices a
day, and that all of them were economic refugees, unlike in the past.

"We used to have hundreds of people here in the past, when the Zimbabwean
crisis was at its worst, but now we host between 20 and 50 people, most of
them coming from refugee camps that were dismantled by the South African
government recently," said Dube.

She said that after receiving help, the refugees would then be referred to
the Methodist refugee centre, where they are accommodated and fed.

Officials at the Methodist Church, however, told The Zimbabwe Times that
they had experienced an increase in the number of new arrivals both straight
from Zimbabwe and from the dismantled refugee centres, especially at the
beginning of March.

"The situation concerning those Zimbabweans that have already been here
worsened at the beginning of March, when the refugee centres were
dismantled," said an official at the church.

"Even the number of new arrivals coming straight from Zimbabwe has not
eased, as people keep coming.

"We still receive between 80 and 120 new Zimbabwean economic immigrants, who
come to South Africa seeking employment.

"There have been fewer political refugees arriving since the formation of
the national unity government though"

The officials said that the economic refugees tell them that the situation
on the ground has still not changed much for the better in Zimbabwe, where
there is still a high rate of unemployment and everything is now quoted in
foreign currency.

"They say that they have been finding life even more difficult in their
country, where the unemployed cannot access the foreign currency that shops
accept, while informal trade, which was striving in the past, has become
very difficult due to the changing economic climate, where goods are getting
cheaper and available in shops."

Some of the newly-arrived refugees, who spoke to The Zimbabwe Times,
confirmed that they had been finding life difficult in Zimbabwe.

"To be able to survive in Zimbabwe, you need to have foreign currency, and
most of us do not have that kind of money," said Zwelihle Moyo, a
28-year-old man from Tsholotsho, a rural area in the south-western regions
of the country.

"Most of us have not been working, and that had made life very difficult for

Officials at the church said that the continued arrival of more immigrants
had further stretched the church's own resources, while also worsening the
general living conditions for the refugees.

"We were already having problems taking care of the refugees that have been
here all along and these new arrivals have made things even worse for us,"
he said.

"There is no space to move because of overcrowding, while food reserves are
fast diminishing by the day."

However, those refugees that have been at the church for long expressed
mixed feelings.

While political exiles, most of them former Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) activists, said that they would rather stay put in South Africa, than
return to Zimbabwe, some economic refugees said that they would be happy to
go back home.

"I cannot go back to Zimbabwe," said one political activist from Masvingo.

The man, a former soldier in the Zimbabwean army who became an MDC activist,
says that he is a wanted man in Zimbabwe.

"I came here early this year," he said. "I would rather suffer here in a
foreign country, than go back to Zimbabwe. I know that one day things will
work out fine for me here."

Other exiled activists also expressed fear that they would be arrested and
tortured upon arrival in Zimbabwe, as they said that there had been no
guarantee of their safety.

"I welcome the new government of national unity that has been formed in
Zimbabwe, but I do not feel that it is safe for me to go back there now,"
said Gift Nhidza, a former MDC security man, who was tortured by state
agents, incurring several injuries on his limbs and in the spinal cord.

"The new government should first arrest those who brutalized us, and then
make promises that those like me, who are wanted on trumped up charges are
not persecuted when we arrive back home."

Nhidza, also a former soldier, says that he is also wanted for the alleged
training of bandits in South Africa, which he says is a false charge.

Other political refugees said that even if they wanted to go back to
Zimbabwe, they had nowhere to go.

"My home was burnt down and even if I go there, I will sleep in the open,
while here I have this church as a home. The government should re-build our
homes before we can talk about going back there," said another former MDC
activist, who comes from Gokwe, in Zimbabwe's Midlands's province.

However, economic refugees, especially those that have been stayed at the
church for more than six months, expressed their desire to go back home, but
said that they did not have money, as they have not been working.

"If I get a sponsor who can give just bus fare, I will go back home even
now," said Charles Chikuni, who has been unemployed since arriving in South
Africa in 2007.

"When I came here, I thought that things would work out easily for me, but
now I have seen that this country is not that different from Zimbabwe,
especially for us foreigners."

He complained that he had been exploited while doing part-time jobs in
Johannesburg since his arrival.

"Since coming here, I have not managed to get any job that has paid me more
than R2 500, yet I have been working with locals that earned more than that,
despite us performing the same tasks."

The refugees said that once employers knew that someone was coming from the
church, they made sure that they exploited them, while living conditions in
the church are said to be worsening by the day, due to the continued influx
of Zimbabweans.

"Due to the high number of refugees, the church has stopped feeding those
that have been here for long, in preference of the new arrivals, while
overcrowding has seen some now sleeping out in the open at night," said
Marshal Moyo, another economic refugee who said that he was ready to return
to Zimbabwe.

There are a number of employed refugees who prefer to live in the church to
take advantage of free accommodation.

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Zambia to aid Zim RB

From The Zambia Daily Mail, 1 April

By Kasuba Mulenga

President Banda says Government will in the next two weeks decide how much
money it will contribute towards the US$10 billion economic recovery plan
for Zimbabwe after taking into account the effects of the global economic
crisis on the local economy. This is in line with the agreement that was
reached by member states of the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) at Monday's extraordinary summit in Swaziland. Mr Banda said this
yesterday during a media briefing at the Lusaka International Airport
shortly after arriving from Swaziland where he had gone to attend the SADC
summit on Zimbabwe and Madagascar. The President said all member states'
representatives at the summit agreed to make donations towards the economic
recovery plan but that they would not do so as much as they could because
they too had internal problems. "As SADC member states, we have been given a
fortnight within which to discuss with our ministers of finance to see what
we can give to assist our brothers," he said. Mr Banda said SADC countries
promised to try their best in providing financial assistance to Zimbabwe but
pointed out that each one of them had internal economic problems that arose
from the global economic crisis.

The President said Zambia would make a donation towards the economic
recovery plan for Zimbabwe but not as much as it would be expected to. "So,
after a fortnight and consultations with our finance ministers and other
Cabinet ministers, we will be able to see how much we can give," he said. Mr
Banda said SADC leaders also agreed to make an effort to sensitise the
international community to help Zimbabwe with finances to enable it
implement its economic recovery plan. "Since we have reached a point where
the two leaders (President Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai) are now able
to sit together, we would like to prevail over our co-operating partners so
that they can lift sanctions which were imposed upon Zimbabwe," he said. Mr
Banda said countries which imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe should now give
that country a chance to redeem itself from economic problems. The President
said SADC countries and co-operating partners had been instructed to work
towards the goal of ensuring that sanctions on Zimbabwe were lifted. Mr
Banda said as a neighbouring nation, Zambia would work hard to see Zimbabwe
return to its original status.

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Leading Zimbabwean HIV/AIDS activist, Lynde Francis dies

By Violet Gonda
1 April 2009

Lynde Francis has died. She was the founder and director of The Centre in
Zimbabwe, an organization run by and for people living with HIV. Francis
herself lived with HIV for decades, but she died from related complications
in Harare on Tuesday.  She was one of the first people in Zimbabwe to go
public about her HIV status in 1986.

She started the first clinic that provided free anti-retroviral treatment in
Zimbabwe and helped form the first group of people living with HIV/AIDS, at
a time when it was still taboo to talk about the illness.

Francis was best known for her determination to encourage better nutrition,
as an alternative to anti retrovirals, which are available to so few in the
third world. She believed that correct nutrition, started early, could
maintain good health almost indefinitely for people with HIV.

It's reported there will be a body viewing at the Doves Chapel in Harare on
Thursday, after which she will be cremated in Mutare. There will also be a
Memorial Service at Celebration Centre in Harare on Monday, to celebrate the
life of this truly inspirational and remarkable woman.

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Daily cholera update and alerts, 31 Mar 2009

 Full_Report (pdf* format - 190.3 Kbytes)

* Please note that daily information collection is a challenge due to communication and staff constraints. On-going data cleaning may result in an increase or decrease in the numbers. Any change will then be explained.

** Daily information on new deaths should not imply that these deaths occurred in cases reported that day. Therefore daily CFRs >100% may occasionally result

A. Highlights of the day:

- 76 Cases and 3 deaths added today (in comparison with 92 cases and 2 deaths yesterday)

- 45.0 % of the districts affected have reported today 27 out of 60 affected districts)

- 96.8 % of districts reported to be affected (60 districts out of 62)

- Cumulative Institutional Case Fatality Rate = 1.7%

- Daily Institutional CFR = 1.0 %.


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WOZA continues to engage schools directly on education issues - Harare

Wednesday, 01 April 2009
Members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) in Harare continued with the
campaign to directly engage school authorities over unreasonable demands on
parents today. Representative groups met with school authorities at 12
schools across Harare and Chitungwiza to outline the concerns of parents and
to deliver copies of petitions protesting against the extra demands placed
on parents by schools, in particular the demand for stationery and cleaning
At Seke 7 Primary School in St Marys and Seke 1 High School in
Zengeza, both headmasters welcomed the representative groups with
enthusiasm, commending WOZA for the work it is doing, and encouraging the
parents to continue to defend their children's rights.
The reception was less welcome at Seke 1 Primary School in St Marys
but at least the headmaster met with the representative group and responded
to their concerns. At Dudzai High School in Zengeza the headmaster refused
to meet with the representative group unless they had a letter from the
district education office. The petitions were therefore left with the
The district education officer later contacted leaders in the area,
after petitions had been presented at the three schools, commending WOZA for
the good initiative. He complained that parents did not speak openly at
meetings about levies or simply did not attend. He advised WOZA to encourage
parents who are struggling to pay fees to attend the meetings.
In Chitungwiza North, the headmasters of Tamuka and Farai Primary
Schools were very cooperative after they had seen the petitions. They
explained that the USD 50 charged for levies covers the cost of the text
books and to maintain the grounds. At Farai, the school authorities admitted
that the school was not very clean and promised to do something about that
soon. At Kambuzuma 2 High School, the headmaster explained that the
teachers' fee of USD 10 is used to buy chemicals and pay the grounds men.
He complained that parents were not actively involved in the improvement of
the school and did not attend school meetings yet were quick to criticize.
In Dzivarasekwa, the headmaster of Dzivarasekwa 4 Primary School
welcomed the representative group and was happy to discuss their concerns.
When asked why his school was sending pupils home because for failure to pay
fees, he said it was an agreement with parents who had attended a meeting
when schools opened and they had agreed that if school fees was not paid by
the 5th March, then pupils should be sent home. He said half of the levy
paid was given to teachers as an allowance. The teachers at the school had
started boycotting classes saying their salaries were poor. The headmaster
of Dzivarasekwa 6 Primary was having a similar problem with teachers as they
had told him they would not be teaching again until their salaries were
reviewed. Both heads encouraged parents to attend and participate in
meetings that affect their children.
In Glen View, the headmaster of Glenview 1 High School refused to meet
with the representative group but the headmaster of Glen View 2 High, Mr
Masiiwa, was more friendly, even addressing the parents who had gathered
outside. He told them that extra allowances for teachers had been stopped
since they had been instructed by the ministry to do so.
He also said both school fees and levies could be paid in instalments
as long as the parents approached the school authorities to make an
arrangement to do so. No pupils have been sent home since schools opened.
The headmaster of Glen View 7 Primary was also happy to meet with the
representative group and address their concerns.
WOZA would like to commend the school authorities that took the time
to meet with the representative groups of parents and address their
concerns. As in Bulawayo, we would also like to encourage all parents to
take an active role in participating in the running of the schools that your
children attend and take responsibility to hold the school authorities
accountable for the funds given to the school. WOZA

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Zimbabwe Campaign Posters Printed On Bank Notes

zimbabwe-money-poster Zimbabwe Campaign Posters Printed On Bank NotesIN Zimbabwe, the money is so worthless, notes are cheap alternative to paper - and, no, not even toilet paper. The Zimbabwean wants you to “Fight The Crime That Crippled a Country”. The call to arms is writ on bank notes…

The Mugabe regime has destroyed Zimbabwe. It has presided over the brutal oppression of the opposition, a cholera crises, massive food shortages and the total collapse of their economy. Furthermore anyone brave enough to report this has been bullied, beaten and driven into exile. One such group is ‘the Zimbabwean Newspaper’. However, not content with having hounded these journalists out, the regime has slapped an import ‘luxury’ duty of over 55% on them which makes the paper unaffordable for the average Zimbabwean. In order to subsidize the paper they need to sell it in England and South Africa, to raise the foreign currency.

A unique campaign was devised to promote the paper to raise awareness and increase readership. One of the most eloquent symbols of Zimbabwe’s collapse is the Z$100 trillion dollar note, a symptom of their world record inflation. This note cannot buy anything, not even a loaf of bread and certainly not any advertising, but it can become the advertising, it can be a powerful reminder about Zimbabwe’s plight and the need to hold someone accountable.

zimbabwe-money-poster-wall Zimbabwe Campaign Posters Printed On Bank Notes

Spotter via thehouseofmarketing


Posted: 1st, April 2009

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PEACE WATCH of 31st March 2009 [Question on Torture Raised in Parliament]


[31st March 2009]

Update on Peace Workers

The State is persisting with criminal charges against Jestina Mukoko and Broderick Takawira of the Zimbabwe Peace Project.  The third abducted peace worker, Pascal Gonzo, was released without charge in January. 

Update on Prosecution of Political Abductees

The “recruiter group”

Jestina Mukoko and Broderick Takawira together with seven others, Fidelis Chiramba, Concillia Chinanzvavana, Emmanuel Chinanzvavana, Pieta Kaseke, Violet Mupfuranhehwe, Collen Mutemagau and Audrey Zimbudzana], are being charged with recruiting people for training in banditry, insurgency, sabotage or terrorism [Criminal Law Code, section 24].  The  penalty if convicted is imprisonment, possibly for life.  They last appeared in court on 20th March and were remanded until 9th April.  On that date the State is expected to have fixed a definite date for their trial before the High Court in the session commencing in May – and to be ready to serve the documents indicting them for trial.  The defence lawyers have warned that if no trial date is given on the 9th April they will apply for the charges to be dismissed.

The “bomber group”

Gandhi Mudzingwa, Chris Dhlamini and Andrisson Manyere, Chinoto Zulu, Zachariah Nkomo, Mapfumo Garutsa and Regis Mujeyi are facing charges of sabotage based on the bombing of police stations and railway lines in 2008 [Criminal Law Code, section 23].  The penalty is imprisonment, possibly for life.  Their lawyer represented them at a magistrates court hearing on 24th March when they were further remanded until 30th April.  On that date the State has said it will serve them with papers indicting them for trial before the High Court on 29th June.  Of this group Andrisson Manyere, the photo journalist, is still being held in appalling conditions at Chikurubi maximum security prison, and Gandhi Mudzingwa and Chris Dhlamini are under guard in the Avenues Clinic, having been refused bail by the High Court.  They have been granted leave to appeal to the Supreme Court against the refusal of bail, but their lawyer has been unable to get a date for the hearing.  Under Zimbabwe law, in principle, all appeals for bail applications are deemed urgent.  These three have been detained by the State since December and been trying to get bail since the middle of February.  The other four in this group are on bail. 

No Trace of the Other “Disappeared”

This week the MDC-T issued a statement expressing its continuing concern over the fate of the seven other abductees who disappeared on various dates in October and December 2008 and have still not been accounted for by the police or State security.  The persons named are Gwenzi Kahiya – abducted 29 October 2008 in Zvimba, Ephraim Mabeka – abducted 10 December 2008 in Gokwe, Lovemore Machokoto – abducted 10 December 2008 in Gokwe, Charles Muza – abducted 10 December 2008 in Gokwe, Edmore Vangirayi – abducted 10 December 2008 in Gokwe, Graham Matehwa – abducted 17 December in Makoni South, Peter Munyanyi – abducted 13 December 2008 in Gutu South.  

Torture of  “State Witnesses”

It has now emerged that the three abductees who were held by in “protective custody” as State witnesses are alleging that they were tortured while held.   Lloyd Tarumbwa, Fani Tembo and Terry Musona were part of the group kidnapped from their homes in Banket, Mashonaland West province at the end of October.  They say they were severely tortured and subjected to inhumane treatment by State security agents.  They were also denied food and medical treatment and their right to access to lawyers, and they were not taken to court in the four months they were incarcerated.  Tarumbwa said: "In fact when we told the persecutors that we wanted access to a lawyer or to be brought before the courts, we were severely beaten, threatened with death and denied food for up to two days."  They were eventually released following a High Court order in early March.

Roy Bennett

On 18th March Roy Bennett appeared at Mutare Magistrates Court for routine remand and was remanded out of custody [he is on bail] until 21st April.  As soon as the court hearing was over, he rushed to Harare to be sworn in as a Senator that afternoon.  He has not yet been sworn in as Deputy Minister of Agriculture – reportedly because President Mugabe has refused to complete the appointment of a Deputy Minister who is facing serious criminal charges.  

Use of Torture Raised in Parliament

Nearly all of those abducted allege they were tortured while unlawfully held by State security personnel before they were handed over to the police in late December.  In Peace Watch of 4th February it was pointed out that Zimbabwe  has not signed the UN Convention against Torture.  Now the matter has been taken up in Parliament – last week’s Wednesday Question Time included the following questions on the Convention and the use of torture:

·    “To ask the Co-Ministers of Home Affairs to explain why Zimbabwe has not ratified the UN Convention against Torture, and

·    To as the Co-Ministers of Home Affairs whether the Ministry approves the alleged torture of suspects as a means of getting confessions; if not, why suspects are still being tortured and evidence obtained through such means used in court.” 

The questions were not answered last week – they were well down the list of questions and the allotted time ran out – but they will come up again this Wednesday.   [Note:  Several years ago Parliament passed a motion recommending that the Government should sign the Convention against Torture. The Government needs to give an explanation why this was never put into effect.   

The new inclusive Government should act on the intention of this motion immediately and ask Parliament to pass a new motion that the necessary steps be immediately taken for Zimbabwe to sign the UN Convention against Torture. 

The Optional Protocol to this Convention needs to be signed at the same time, to signal the Government’s determination to eliminate the practice of torture, with or without the State’s condoning it.  The Optional Protocol provides for practical measures for the prevention of torture; it requires member States to permit regular inspections of places of detention [police stations, prisons] by the UN Sub-Committee on the Prevention of Torture, and to set up their own independent and impartial national bodies to inspect such places.

Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.

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Zimbabweans: Where do we go?

31st Mar 2009 22:01 GMT

By Nesbert Mhondoro

NORTH, East, West and South, where do we go? Home is best, so they say.
According to the saying, it is true, home is best. But this is dependent on
the circumstances which surround and are within your home.

When the Government of National Unity (GNU) was formed most of us thought
that this was the most opportune time for all professionals, who were
benefiting foreign lands with their wisdom, to head home and work for the
benefit of our beloved mother land, Zimbabwe.

Most of those in the diaspora started packing bags heading for Zimbabwe a
country that they were dreaming of. A Zimbabwe where my political
affiliation and past history were no longer anything to be afraid of.

BUT alas, Zimbabwe's partisan police force has emerged as the biggest
violators of the September 15, 2008 unity pact by Zanu-PF and the two
formations of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The Global Political
Agreement, a product of a painstaking negotiation process by the two
parties, called for impartiality by state organs when dealing with citizens.

Recent report by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum has revealed that
police were responsible for the majority of the 513 recorded cases of rights
abuses this year. The violations are in the form of wanton and often
selective arrests, and unlawful detention of MDC supporters, commercial
farmers, university students and protesting civic society groups. The police
cannot investigate and come up with a clue on those abducted, even when the
Prime Minister was on record calling for the organs of the GNU to work in
support of the effort by government.

This is home, where those in the diaspora are looking forward to go and
serve and be assured of their safety. Where they can go and contribute to
the development of a country that holds the hope of their children.

Yes the Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has vowed to take tough action
against the perpetrators of the ongoing farm invasions sweeping the country
, stating that the culture of entitlement and impunity in Zimbabwe has
'stained'the country for too long. And at present he has been fighting for
the release of political prisoners such Ghandi Mudzingwa, and it is proving
difficult for a man whose authority is such that what he says should go. Not
that he should defend those that do wrong, but the circumstances or reasons
that those in detention are for, should be thrown through the window for the
benefit of the GNU.

"Those continuing to undertake these activities will be arrested and face
justice in the courts," Tsvangirai said. The comments have highlighted the
deep divisions that are present in Zimbabwe 's so called 'unity' government,
as they are completely opposite to the sentiments of the President. At
present, it is said that, the President has said that he is not keen to
swear in the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Roy Bennet. Why? God knows.

Are we prepared to let our talent, that is scatted all over the world, to
lie idol, misemployed and underused, when our country, Zimbabwe, is so
desperate for its children to come to its rescue. Zimbabwe has got
unbelievable potential in the diaspora, waiting to be tapped towards the
development of Africa 's basket of talents.

This can only be so when ZANU-PF and MDC start to sing from the same hymn
book, though from the two sides of the divide. The sound that should be
heard from Zimland and the action seen from there is such that it should
encourage those in the diaspora to see reason why they should not remain
away but start heading home.

I wouldn't imagine offering myself to the slaughter house. I would rather
sit and wait. I remember during childhood when we used to play, "Hwai
hwaiwo, uyai." And the other group says, "Tinotya." "Munotyeiko?" "Tinotya
mapere." "Mapere akaenda kare kare." And people would run towards home. The
weak and vulnerable ones would get eaten by the hyenas.

I remember, again, back in my early primary school days when we used to
recite a poem entitled, "The School Creed." One of the phrases went as,
"This is the school, where peace dwells." Now my question is, is this the
home/country where peace dwells? A country which I can safely say,
East-West, which place is best, East-West home is best.

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From Zimbabwe to Finley

Thobekile Madonko

Thobekile Madonko

Despite drought conditions, husband and wife team Greg and Jo Fleming have grown their dairy farm operations to more than one thousand head of livestock and were in desperate need of another reliable, qualified worker.

Through assistance from the Murray Regional Development Board (MRDB), the Fleming's were able to sponsor Thobekile under the 457 long term business visa program. The couple have been pleased with her work ethic, commitment and adaptability.

"I'm not sure how many dairy cows Thobekile had come across in Zimbabwe, but she has slotted in perfectly to our operations," farm owner Jo Fleming said.

"While she has degrees in agriculture, Thobekile has had to learn how to assist with milking around 450 cows, learn about mastitis and other health issues, quality assurance and general issues such as keeping the dairy clean.

"We also calve heavily in February and Thobekile has been handling 70 calves on her own. She's really taken on the role well, and we haven't had a lot of sickness with our calves, so that's been great."

The hardest part about taking on their new farm hand has been curbing her enthusiasm.

"She helps with two milkings a day and handling the calves which keeps her busy. It took a while for her to learn to slow down. We'd tell her she doesn't need to do this or that, but she would keep showing up, eager to do more," Jo said.

It's not the first time the Flemings have sought skilled workers from overseas. They have another farm hand from Zimbabwe and one from the Philippines.

"It's clear they've come from a background where they've been less fortunate than us and they really appreciate the opportunity to earn a regular income," Jo said.

"They are really integrating well, Thobekile has enrolled in a sewing class and enjoys going into town. From our point of view, it's the most harmonious workforce we've had in a long time."

The Flemings are appreciative of the assistance given to them by MRDB.

"When we were having trouble with paperwork and questions, they were able to steer us in the right direction. MRDB was also able to make a few phone calls for us and were an important point of contact which helped make the sponsorship smooth sailing for us," Jo said.

Edwardo Deperalta, Greg Fleming, Thobekile Madonko and Brett Kleinschmidt

Edwardo Deperalta, Greg Fleming, Thobekile Madonko and Brett Kleinschmidt.

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JAG open letter forum - No. 616- Dated 1st APRIL 2009


Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject


I. I really believe the time has come to cease the "blame game"

2. Minister of Finance Tendai Biti has requested aid of up to


Dear JAG

Whilst understanding the emotions behind the letters on "blame" from
Eddie Cross and from Roger Freshman et al, I really believe the time has
come to cease the "blame game" if we are going to move on and rebuild

Blaming is unproductive and pointless, achieving nothing.  We are all
aware of the shortcomings of every shade of the political spectrum, but
until we focus on the positive and start actively participating in the
rebuilding of our beloved Zimbabwe, nothing will be achieved.  I was most
inspired by a meeting at the Highlands Presbyterian Church last week,
where around 180 people turned up to find out how they could be of help
in the alleviation of the suffering of our people from all walks of
life.  Now, that's what I call the way to accomplish something good!

Patricia Kinloch


Dear JAG,

Minister of Finance Tendai Biti has requested aid of up to USD$8billion
to assist in the rebuilding of Zimbabwe.  As is usual it is expected that
the West should provide this Aid, meanwhile over the last 10-15 years
Mugabe and his team have consistently vilified the West for its stance
over the mismanagement and break down of law and order in Zimbabwe.

During this time Mugabe and his team, despite the imposition of sanctions
on them, (not the country) and according to anecdotal evidence, have
probably become exceedingly wealthy in USD terms.

In a recent statement Jacob Zuma of South Africa has also called upon the
west to assist Zimbabwe and that it was unfair for the West to withhold
aid because "When there was an election, it is not as if not a single
human being voted for Mugabe in Zimbabwe. He had a very big percentage
himself. He has a sizeable support." Conveniently Mr Zuma has overlooked
that the final results of the March 2008 election were withheld for a
month whilst Zanu Pf manipulated the results to avoid a loss to the MDC.
Mr Zuma, Mr Mugabe did not win the election and by all accounts the MDC
should be in charge. South Africa and SADC stood by, watched, applauded
and cooperated in the blatant disregard and corruption of its own

In the very same issue of the Zimbabwe Situation from which I have
extracted Mr Zuma's comments is an extract from a meeting of mostly
western countries where it has been indicated that in 2008 that the West
gave Zimbabwe humanitarian aid of USD670m and have for this year already
contributed a further $300m. There is not one African country in the
list, and Japan is the only country from the East to have contributed.
Where are our Malaysian, Chinese, Cuban, Libyan, and North Korean
friends? Of course it is entirely possible that these countries have
contributed via other means.

A recent IMF statement on the country stated that the Zimbabwean
government has been unable to account for a large amount of the funds
sent into Zimbabwe. Does not Mr Zuma remember the USD30m that South
African recently contributed but has gone missing or misused? (South
African Taxpayer money Mr Zuma) Also funding that could have been more
usefully employed in South Africa rather than wasted on Zimbabwe.

Other recent articles about Zimbabwe's finances included a statement that
there has been "looting on a grand scale"  Chiadzwa diamond fields
perhaps an extreme example where Mr Gono has previously indicated that
Zimbabwe may have lost up to USD1bn in revenue.

 From the UK Observer of 22/3/09 the following is reported   "South

Africa's most respected politician has told the West that democracy can
only succeed in Zimbabwe if Britain, the EU and the US reverse their
restrictive aid policies against Robert Mugabe's regime. The South
African Finance Minister Trevor Manuel used an interview with the
Observer to demand that Britain and other donors urgently inject cash
into Zimbabwe's treasury rather than give it exclusively to foreign
humanitarian agencies."You have to support the government,"

Manuel said. "Zimbabwe's foreign friends are opposed to the notion that
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his ministers are just puppets. But
if you just have outside agencies running the show, then that notion is
amplified. And people will say Tsvangirai is not even trusted by his

Why should the West give Aid to Zimbabwe when so much of that Aid has
been misused and abused and what right does Mr Manuel have to demand Aid
from the West?

Mr Manuel it is not Mr Tsvangirai who is not trusted it is Mr Mugabe and
ZanuPF. It is up to Mr Mugabe to restore the trust of the West and not Mr
Tsvangarai. If Mr Manuel has been quoted correctly with his reference to
"Mr Mugabe's regime", it seems that even he believes that Mr Mugabe
is in charge.  Whilst Mr Mugabe believes and acts as if he is still in
charge, the West is absolutely correct in withholding that Aid. Now is
the time for Mr Mugabe to change not the West. If he is not prepared to
change then he should step down for the sake of the people of Zimbabwe.
We all know that this is not going to happen! Mr Manuel also shows his
support for the contention that Mr Tsvangarai is a puppet of the West and
it is therefore easy to see where his sympathies lie.

If was not for the South Africa's, prevarication over Mugabe and
Zimbabwe, the country would not be in a position of needing Western Aid.
Maybe, in light of this, South Africa and SADC should be in the forefront
of providing this Aid instead of always expecting the western taxpayers
to foot the bill. Perhaps it is SA & SADC who do not trust Mr Mugabe;
after all there have been many instances over the past 10/15 years when
Mr Mugabe has kicked them in the teeth also.  It is also very easy to
hide behind the general term "The West" when in reality it is
taxpayers in the West whose taxes are being used to finance aid into
Africa. Perhaps Messrs Zuma and Manuel are not aware that many taxpayers
in the West are also suffering, perhaps not to the same extent as in
Africa but nevertheless suffering in the current economic uncertainty.
Perhaps it is time for Africa to start giving (notwithstanding historical
arguments over the rape of Africa) instead of always taking. How many
leaders in Africa over the past 60 years have amassed great wealth at the
expense of western taxpayers and the poverty of their own countrymen?
Maybe it is time to recover all their ill-gotten gains and so develop
Africa without the dependence upon the West or the East for that matter.
Charity begins at home goes the old truth and perhaps African leaders
should apply it to themselves instead of relying on the generosity and
liberality of the West.

Mugabe and Zanu Pf are the ones responsible for the collapse of Zimbabwe
and for the West to pour in Aid is merely a way of rewarding them for
their mismanagement.  A current comparison with the ongoing worldwide
banking collapses and in particular the insurance giant AIG in the USA is
appropriate.  AIG was recently bailed out by the American Government to
the tune of billions of dollars. At the same time the directors of AIG
recently paid themselves bonuses totalling USD196m. President Obama
suggested that either they pay it back or the bonus was going to be taxed
at 90%. There are a number of issues surrounding this in the USA which
are beyond the scope of this article, but nevertheless the principle
should also be applied in Zimbabwe.

Mr Mugabe and his friends should pay back all the money that they have
made from the crisis in Zimbabwe and the Congo!

Perhaps before seeking Aid from the West, Mr Biti and his team should
seek to recover all the money and assets, wherever they may be, held by
Mr Mugabe and his colleagues in Zanu Pf and all those others who have
financially benefited from the chaos and disorder of the last 15 years.
After all Mr Mugabe has recently spent USD5m on a property in Hong Kong.
Perhaps also it is now time to sell all those fancy ministerial vehicles.

A simple suggestion perhaps is for the West to offer aid on a matching
principle. For every USD$ returned to Zimbabwe by Mr Mugabe and friends,
the West should match with a dollar. If (and it is a big IF) Zanu Pf et
al are really committed to the Unity government I am sure that they will
not object, after all collectively $4bn should not hurt too much!

Peter Thompson

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A new dawn

Leading Article

April 1, 2009

The Prime Minister of Zimbabwe appeals powerfully for Western help today
Morgan Tsvangirai, the new Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, writes compellingly
in The Times today of his determination to build a free and prosperous
society out of the ashes of his ravaged country. It is an admirable and
inspiring vision, one shared by the millions of Zimbabweans who have
continued to fight for democracy in the face of terrible persecution. But it
is a vision which cannot be realised until Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's
President, is out of office and out of power.

The urgency of Mr Tsvangirai's appeal for help from the West reflects his
nation's desperate situation. Half the population is dependent on food aid
to survive. Over 90 per cent of them have no job. Thousands have died of
cholera, and more will succumb, weakened by the artificial famine created by
the Mugabe regime while it feasted on lobster and champagne. Yesterday, a
South African documentary revealed that prison inmates are starving to
death, in scenes reminiscent of concentration camps. A whole generation has
been brutalised.

In these circumstances, such a powerful call for help should not go
unanswered. Yet the difficult question for the West is what assistance can
be given which will not simply strengthen the hand of the dictator and his

Robert Mugabe is still President of Zimbabwe, and his power has been
glimpsed in multiple ways since the power-sharing government was established
in February: in the continued invasions of farmland and eviction of farmers
by so-called war veterans, and in the arrest and savage treatment of Roy
Bennett, Mr Tsvangirai's nominee for deputy agriculture minister. Under
these circumstances, there can be no rapid increase in foreign aid, except
perhaps to areas which are controlled by the opposition.

Mr Tsvangirai writes that he would like Zimbabwe to move beyond being a mere
beneficiary of emergency aid, to becoming "a true economic partner" of the
West, and an "investment opportunity". That is a laudable aim, and
undoubtedly the right path to Zimbabwe's ultimate salvation. It is a country
rich in natural resources. But the hope is premature. The truth is that
private investment will not return to Zimbabwe until the rule of law is
clearly re-established, property rights are respected and the law of
contract is guaranteed. Nor can Western governments realistically "partner"
with Zimbabwe, until its government is truly democratic.

Mr Tsvangarai needs to do everything in his power to move his country
towards law and order and democracy. But it will be a long road. It is
tempting to argue, as he does, that Zimbabweans should not have to wait for
more help from the West until their government meets some idealised
standard, some "clean slate". But turning a blind eye to the abuses in
Zimbabwe, as South Africa and some other African countries have repeatedly
done, has had the effect of simply entrenching dictatorship. Those countries
now face internal economic problems which may make them even more reluctant
to act.

Zimbabwe's problems are too pressing for the West to wait on the outcome of
the elections which are to be held next year. The truth is that only the
removal of Mr Mugabe can put Zimbabwe on the road to the future so
powerfully painted by Mr Tsvangirai.

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