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Zimbabwe 'kingmaker' general dies in fire

Former military chief Solomon Mujuru, one of Zimbabwe's leading political
power brokers and husband of the vice president died in a fire at his home
late on Tuesday.

By Peta Thornycroft in Johannesburg

6:52PM BST 16 Aug 2011

Mr Mujuru, 62 and his wife Joyce were part of the more moderate faction
within President Robert Mugabe's divided Zanu PF party.

His death could intensify turmoil in Zanu PF over who will succeed Mr
Mugabe, 87.

Many fear that the way is now open for defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa,
who is accused of organising much of the political violence in Zimbabwe
since its 1980 independence, to succeed Mr Mugabe.

Mr Mujuru, known as Rex Nhongo during the civil war which brought Rhodesia
to its knees, retired from government ten years after independence from
Britain and became one of Zimbabwe's wealthiest men owning farms and mines.

General Constantine Chiwenga, current military chief and part of Mr Mugabe's
clique of advisors told state radio he visited a farm about 35 miles
southwest of Harare where Mr Mujuru died after the farmhouse caught fire.

Dumiso Dabengwa, one of Mr Mujuru's colleagues from the 1970's civil war,
said Tuesday that his death was a tragedy.

"He played a major role in the liberation war and he never feared
criticising the party." Mr Dabengwa, jailed without trial by Mr Mugabe for
four years after independence said Mr Mujuru played no part in massacres of
opposition supporters in the Matabeleland provinces in the 1980's. "We
discussed it when I came out of prison. He had walked away from it at the

"He and I tried to see Mugabe before the last elections to persuade him not
to stand. We wanted to tell Mugabe he could never win, but he would not see
us." Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai easily beat Mr
Mugabe in the first round of the 2008 presidential poll.

Violence was then launched against MDC supporters and hundreds were killed,
thousands were wounded and tens of thousands displaced from their homes y
militia and members of the security forces loyal to Zanu PF.

With no food in the shops and a worthless currency, a political agreement
was forged between Mr Mugabe and Mr Tsvangirai.

Many hoped that Mr Tsvangirai, a powerless prime minister in the inclusive
government, would form some kind of political alliance with the Mujurus
against Zanu PF hard-liners in the next election which may take place next

Veteran Zimbabwe political analyst Brian Raftopoulos said Tuesday: "Mujuru
not only played a prominent role in the liberation struggle but he was also
key in supporting Mugabe's rise to power in Zanu PF.

"His death has implications not only for the succession debate within Zanu
PF but has implications on negotiations over the next few months." Mr Mugabe
is due late Wednesday at a regional summit in Angola where there will be
some attention paid to Zimbabwe's slow progress in negotiations towards
political reform ahead of new elections.

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Mujuru Was Among Zimbabwe's Most Feared Men

Harare, August 16, 2011 - Solomon Mujuru who died in an electric fire
accident at his farm in Beatrice on Monday evening has been described as one
of the most feared men in Zimbabwe.

Mujuru who was also known as Rex Nhongo was born on May 1, 1949. He led
Robert Mugabe's guerrilla forces during the independence war. Mujuru, a
former Chikomba MP, is a former army chief who left government service in
1995. He is married to Joice Mujuru who is currently one of the two
Zimbabwe's Vice Presidents.

Mujuru, with the late Josiah Tongogara, led the ZANLA forces when Mugabe was
in jail for 10 years from 1964 to 1974. Mugabe and the late Edgar Tekere
with the help of the late chief Rekayi Tangwena their medium, crossed into
Mozambique after their immediate release from jail with the active support
of Mujuru, who implored guerrillas, most of whom had never met Mugabe, to
accept him as their leader. "As a result Mugabe owes (Solomon) Mujuru an
eternal favour," said one Zanu (PF) insider.

Mujuru took over the command of the Zimbabwe National Army at independence
in 1980, retiring 10 years later to go into business. Popular speculation is
that he owns anywhere between six and 16 farms, including Alamein farm, a
productive and high-value operation illegally requisitioned as part of a
"landgrab" from Guy Watson-Smith in 2001, as found by the Zimbabwe High
Court and international courts. However, he remained an influential member
of the ruling Zanu (PF) politburo and central committees.

In the mid-1990s Mujuru clashed with Emmerson Mnangagwa, long considered
Mugabe's favoured heir, when Solomon bid to buy into the multi-billion
dollar Zimasco, a chrome mining and smelting concern in Zimbabwe's Midlands

In 2001 Mujuru became the subject of the first legal action against any
member of Mr Mugabe's inner circle implicated in the illegal seizure of land
and assets. His seizure of Alamein Farm was ruled illegal by the Supreme
Court of Zimbabwe. Wikipedia

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Zimbabwe's ruling party shrouded in suspicion after ex-military chief dies

Fire death of Solomon Mujuru, husband of Robert Mugabe's deputy, exposes Zanu-PF infighting to succeed president

Solomon Mujuru (c) in 2009, with Morgan Tsvangirai  and his wife Joice
Solomon Mujuru (c) in 2009, with Morgan Tsvangirai and his wife Joice, Zimbabwe's current vice-president. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

One of the most powerful men in Zimbabwe has been killed in a fire at his home, triggering rumours of a conspiracy in the battle to succeed the president, Robert Mugabe.

Former military chief Solomon Mujuru, 62, was "burnt beyond recognition" in the blaze at his farm about 35 miles south-west of Harare in the early hours of Tuesday morning, police said.

Under his nom de guerre, Rex Nhongo, Mujuru was a leader of the guerrilla war that swept Mugabe to power and became Zimbabwe's first black military commander after independence. The general was married to Joice Mujuru, vice-president of Zimbabwe and leader of a moderate faction in Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.

Analysts said his death will shake Zimbabwe's political kaleidoscope and rock Zanu-PF, where Joice Mujuru and other rivals are jostling for position as 87-year-old Mugabe's heir apparent. This in turn could destabilise the party's power-sharing agreement with the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

In a country with a history of politically suspicious deaths, there was speculation over the cause of the fire at the 3,500-acre farm that had been seized from a white farmer in 2001, although there was no immediate evidence that it was anything other than an accident.

Rugare Gumbo, spokesman for Zanu-PF, said: "What we know is he died in a fire accident at his home this morning. The police are looking into the cause and they will inform us. Personally, I rule out all speculation but of course you can never be certain."

Mugabe's relations with Mujuru had cooled in recent years, but Gumbo added: "Obviously the president must be troubled by the death of someone he worked with for a long time. They were very close."

State radio said Mujuru's wife visited the farm where its reporter saw the main building razed to the ground. Family members and friends said an electrical fault may have ignited the blaze. Police said a worker at the house told them Mujuru went to bed and neighbours were woken later as fire swept through the house, state radio reported. Mujuru had evidently tried to escape but was overwhelmed by flames and smoke.

General Constantine Chiwenga, the current military chief, also visited the farm and told state radio: "The way he has gone is difficult to comprehend. He was such a fine fighter."

Mujuru had been the most senior member of the military to sit on Zanu-PF's politburo. His wife is seen as leading a reformist faction open to working with the prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, and the MDC. She is opposed by Emmerson Mnangagwa, the hardline defence minister dubbed "the Crocodile" who is also vying to take over, should the ailing Mugabe retire or die.

It was claimed the circumstances of Mujuru's death could fuel Zanu-PF infighting. Eddie Cross, policy co-ordinator general of the MDC, said: "It's a huge shock. The suspicion of a power play is everywhere. Everybody's talking about it. If that was involved, it's a huge event and could spark violence between factions of Zanu-PF.

"We've been saying for a long time that if there's a civil war in Zimbabwe, it won't be between Zanu-PF and the MDC, it will be between factions of Zanu-PF."

Cross added: "I think Robert Mugabe will take it badly. He will read into it rivalries in his own party. Our information is that Mugabe is now looking for a quiet retirement, so this is the last thing he needs."

John Makumbe, professor of political science at Zimbabwe University, said: "There is so much fighting in Zanu-PF now that, if it's foul play, it's anybody's guess who might have done this.

"I think we are going to see a severely fractured party because there is going to be finger pointing and allegations from one side against another. The two factions, Mujuru and Mnangagwa, have been fighting for crumbs from the rich man's table. Mugabe will not find it easy to handle. It will make him age a little faster again."

Mugabe has acknowledged deep divisions in his party and has said he cannot leave office until he has resolved them and unified the party ahead of elections, which could take place next year.

The latest turn of events is likely to strengthen Mnangagwa's hand, according to the Zimbabwean media entrepreneur Trevor Ncube. "It certainly weakens Mrs Mujuru's chances of succeeding Robert Mugabe," he said. "All their supporters will have to regroup and consolidate. It strengthens Emmerson Mnangagwa's chances in a big way. I suspect there may be celebrations in that camp."

Others felt it was too soon to judge. Piers Pigou, project director for Southern Africa at the International Crisis Group, said: "This throws up a lot of dust that will cloud vision for a bit. We'll have to see how the dust settles."

Accusations of foul play are never far from Zimbabwe's political discourse. Questions were raised over the death of Brigadier-General Armstrong Paul Gunda, who had been linked with a coup plot against Mugabe, when his car collided with a train in 2007. Tsvangirai's wife Susan was killed in a car crash in 2009, though the prime minister himself said it was an accident.

Mugabe is scheduled to attend a summit of regional presidents this week in Angola, at which the Zimbabwe political crisis is high on the agenda. Regional leaders have recently taken a firmer stance against violence and other obstacles to democratic reforms blamed on Mugabe and his party leaders.


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General’s death opens Mugabe succession race

August 16, 2011 3:51 pm

By Tony Hawkins in Harare

The apparently accidental death in a fire of a retired general seen as a
kingmaker in Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party has dramatically changed the
dynamics of the struggle to succeed Robert Mugabe, the president.

General Solomon Mujuru, the 62-year-old husband of the Zimbabwean
vice-president, Joice Mujuru, was in an even stronger position than the
president himself to anoint the next leader of the party and possibly the
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Gen Mujuru was second-in-command of Zanla, the guerilla wing of Zanu, in the
eight-year liberation war against the Rhodesian government in the 1970s. He
became the first black head of the army in 1980 before retiring a decade
later to go into business.

An official spokesman said the general died in a fire on Monday night at his
Beatrice farm, some 40 miles from the capital Harare. There was no
suggestion of foul play, he said. But in Zimbabwe’s rumour-riven capital
there is no shortage of conspiracy theories.

Although Gen Mujuru himself was not a publicly active politician, he was the
power behind his wife’s campaign to succeed the 87-year-old Mr Mugabe.
Political commentators say the Mujuru faction, seen as the more moderate of
the two groups vying to take over from Mr Mugabe, has been seriously wounded
by the general’s death.

“Joice Mujuru could only win an election if she had her husband and his
military-business support behind her. Without the general, the Mujuru brand
has nothing to offer,” one political analyst said on Tuesday.

The most obvious beneficiaries are the rival faction of Emmerson Mnangagwa,
defence minister, within Zanu-PF and possibly the Movement for Democratic
Change – the opposition group led by Morgan Tsvangirai that came into a
coalition government following violently disputed polls in 2008.

There have been rumours over the past year of frequent contacts between the
Mujuru faction and the MDC to form a common front against Mr Mnangagwa in
elections should he gain control of Zanu-PF.

Some in the MDC admit they fear that Mr Tsvangirai, prime minister, who has
proved a weak and indecisive leader according to his critics, is in danger
of being “co-opted” by the Mujuru faction. An alliance between the two
groups looks more likely now that the general is gone.

Gen Mujuru’s claimed “moderation” did not preclude him from being a
significant beneficiary of the government’s controversial land reform
programme, with one study alleging that he had gained ownership of between
six and 15 farms formerly owned by whites.

He was also the second-largest shareholder in Zimasco, the country’s
ferrochrome exporter, now owned by Sino-Steel of China and a shareholder in
one of the country’s controversial diamond mines, River Ranch.

If Mrs Mujuru’s succession prospects have been dented by her husband’s
death, one of the general’s former military colleagues, such as the head of
the army, General Constantine Chiwenga, may see his death as an opportunity
to throw his hat into the ring to ensure that the military maintains its
pre-eminence in Zimbabwean politics.

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General Solomon Mujuru legacy divides opinion

By Lance Guma
16 August 2011

The death of 62 year old retired army General Solomon Mujuru, in a farmhouse
fire in Beatrice outside Harare in the early hours of Tuesday morning, has
left Zimbabweans divided over what sort of legacy he leaves behind. Like
most liberation war heroes from ZANU PF his legacy is a mixed bag.

Alongside the likes of the late army commander Josiah Tongogara, Mujuru led
the liberation war against white minority rule. The current ZANU PF leader
Robert Mugabe had to rely on the endorsement of General Mujuru to be
accepted by the freedom fighters, who were very untrusting of the political
leaders of the war.

Mujuru became the first black army general soon after independence and
served in that position for the next ten years. But with ZANU PF’s
unpopularity growing in the nineties as the leadership tightened its grip on
power, Mujuru began to engage in activities that would later tarnish his

Having retired from the army Mujuru began a ‘business’ exercise that saw him
amass an empire of farms, mines, properties and other business interests. In
2001 he targeted white commercial farmer Guy Watson-Smith and violently
removed him off his two farms in Beatrice. Ironically Mujuru was to die on
one of these farms.

Watson-Smith was made to leave the Alamein and Elim farms about 60km south
of Harare with only his briefcase. Mujuru sold off all his property
including lorries, tractors, irrigation equipment and household furniture.
The farmer and his family fled to South Africa soon after their lawyers
filed a High Court application against Mujuru who had taken assets worth an
estimated US$2.5 million. Watson-Smiths lawyers in the case were attacked
and assaulted.

Another insight into Mujuru’s character was to come when he sued the now
defunct Horizon Magazine over a story he felt was defamatory. On realising
that the editor of the magazine, Andy Moyse, was white, Mujuru is reported
to have told the court: “If I had known white people had defamed me, I would
have shot them.”

Before Joice Mujuru became vice-president, she was known for blocking a bid
to set up Zimbabwe's first mobile phone network in the early 1990s. As
Information Minister she blocked Econet long enough for Telecel to set up.
Telecel was part owned by her husband.

In April 2004 Mujuru controversially took over the River Ranch diamond mine,
with the help of Adel Abdul Rahman al Aujan, a millionaire Saudi real estate
developer. The previous owners Adele and Michael Farquhar were forced off
the property by police at gunpoint. Despite the courts passing judgement in
favour of the Farquhar’s, Mujuru continues to occupy and mine the area.

When the Mineral Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe refused to buy the
diamonds from this mine, Mujuru flexed his muscles in the ZANU PF Central
Committee and had the entire board replaced. Allegations have been made that
the mine is being used to launder some of the diamond plunder from contracts
in the DRC, secured by Mujuru and his allies. This is because their
production numbers don’t tally with revenue.

Recently SW Radio Africa revealed how Mujuru’s daughter, Nyasha del Campo,
tried to set up a deal on behalf of her parents involving illegal gold from
the DRC. She and her husband Pedro live in the Spanish capital Madrid and
set up two companies there, allegedly with the help and financial support of
the parents. The deal involved shipping about US$35 million worth of gold
nuggets per month to Switzerland.
Firstar a company with offices in Europe, said Mujuru's daughter offered to
sell them the gold from the DRC. The company said it withdrew from the deal
when it realized who Nyasha was. The company also claimed that Vice
President Joice Mujuru then phoned their Chief Executive in Europe,
demanding that the decision be reversed.

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Anglican boss tackles Kunonga mess

By Bridget Mananavire, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:34

HARARE - One of the world’s most powerful church leaders, the Anglican
Archbishop of Canterbury, is visiting Zimbabwe to tackle the violence that
has torn the church apart.

Rowan Williams, the global head of the Anglican church, is due to visit
Zimbabwe beginning of October to deal with squabbles that have seen renegade
bishop Nolbert Kunonga forcibly taking control of most church property with
the help of state institutions such as the police.

Williams is pressing to meet President Robert Mugabe over the matter
according to Chad Gandiya, the Harare bishop for the Anglican Province of
Central Africa.

Mugabe and Kunonga enjoy close ties.

“He is coming to look into the experience of the Anglican Church in
Zimbabwe,” said Gandiya.

Gandiya said Williams was keen on meeting Mugabe, but the President’s Office
was yet to confirm an appointment.

“At the moment there are parishioners being banned from church buildings by
Kunonga with help of the police. They are worshiping in open spaces, under
trees or booking other church buildings,” Gandiya said.

Some of the churches that have been taken over by Kunonga are the Borrowdale
church, the main cathedral in central Harare, Dzivaresekwa, Kuwadzana and
many other Anglican parishes where the police are chasing away people
belonging to the mother church.

Kunonga is also in charge of Anglican schools under the diocese despite his
ex-communication in 2008.

The ownership dispute is before the courts.

Kunonga was ex-communicated by the Anglican church after trying to
unilaterally withdraw the Harare Diocese from the Central African Province
on the largely discredited excuse that the province supported homosexuality,
thus creating factions in the Anglican Church.

Apart from Zimbabwe, Williams will be visiting Malawi.

The Anglican church has 85 million members in 44 regional and national
member churches around the globe in more than 160 countries

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Kunonga gets custody of church property

by Irene Madongo
16 August 2011

The Supreme Court has ruled that excommunicated Bishop Nolbert Kunonga,
together with six other trustees, is the custodian of the Anglican Church’s
assets in Zimbabwe until the matter has been finalised in the courts.

The news is a blow for the Right Reverend Chad Gandiya, who is the current
Bishop of Harare and has been embroiled in a battle with Kunonga for a long

In 2007 Kunonga lost a bid for re-election as Bishop of Harare. The Gandiya
faction had also stopped recognising the six trustees as they had sided with
Kunonga. Instead of stepping down, Kunonga went on to form a rival Anglican
faction and has been using violent tactics to remain in power since.

Gandiya has previously pointed out that the police have been biased in
favour of Kunonga, going to the extent of following his instructions to turn
away people who don’t support him from church properties. Kungonga is known
to be an ardent ZANU PF supporter who enjoys the states protection.

On Tuesday, the Anglican Church’s diocesan secretary, Rev Clifford Dzavo,
who operates under Gandiya, said: “Kunonga and the six other trustees are
trustees until Kunonga is tried by the Central Province Africa. That has
given Kunonga and the six trustees the right to control and use the

The Zimbabwean Anglican church falls under the Central Province Africa,
which will make a decision over the Kunonga troubles after the case is
finalised in the courts.

Dzavo expressed concern for members of the clergy belonging to the
mainstream faction who were living in those properties. Already Kunonga has
been using the property for all sorts of purposes, he explained.

“He has turned most of the churches into private colleges, crèche, early
learning school. He’s also renting part of the halls to people to stay in as
tenants,” Dzavo explained.

Kunonga is understood to have made it difficult for the Gandiya group to get
outright support from other denominations by politicising the situation,
making it appear that those who supported Gandiya were for regime change,
Dzavo explained.

Despite this, Dzavo said that the Zimbabwe Christian Council had taken up
their case, to speak out against the way they were being treated by the
police and the law. He added that they had also been receiving a lot or
prayers and moral support from other churches in the country.

The Anglican Church abroad has attacked Mugabe over the mistreatment of
their members. According to the UK Telegraph newspaper, this year Dr Rowan
Williams, who is the head of the Anglican Church around the world, said he
and fellow church leaders were distressed to hear of their persecution.
Williams also said that evidence presented showed that the excommunicated
bishop’s faction had police backing to attack parishioners and was loyal to
Robert Mugabe.


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In Zimbabwe, renegade bishop's backers evict priest

August 16, 2011

By: ENInews Staff

Harare, Zimbabwe --Supporters of renegade Zimbabwean Anglican bishop Nolbert
Kunonga have forced a priest and his family out of their home following a
court ruling giving Kunonga control over church assets, a church spokesman
said on Aug.16.

"There has been an eviction at St. James in Mabvuku," Michael Chingore,
registrar for the Anglican Diocese of Harare, told ENInews.

"The Rev. Dzikamai Mudenda and his family left after they were threatened by
people from the Kunonga group who came with copies of the court judgment.
They have been going around the vestries and parishes dropping copies of the
judgment and demanding that the church officers leave."

Chingore said other priests have received stamped copies of the judgment
from supporters of Kunonga and been ordered to move out.

Bishop Chad Gandiya, head of the diocese, expressed fears the evictions
would disrupt the work of the church and said arrangements were being made
to provide shelter for those affected.

"I now know that all our priests who were still in parish rectories have
received the stamped latest court judgment delivered by Kunonga's people and
in one incident they were in the company of the police," Gandiya said in an
email message.

"They told our priests to move out. Our parishes are busy finding
alternative accommodation for them. We don't know who he is going to put in
these houses. This is not going to be easy at all. It will disrupt their
family life and ministry," Gandiya wrote.

"Kunonga was given custodianship of [Church of the Province of Central
Africa (CPCA)] properties when he is no longer a member of our church and
province and he is now evicting CPCA priests and we don't know who he is
going to put in these houses - certainly not CPCA people! God help us." The
case now goes to the Supreme Court.

Kunonga, an avowed supporter of President Robert Mugabe, fell out with the
Anglican church when he left the Church of the Province of Central Africa
and was subsequently excommunicated in 2007. Among other things, he accused
the church of being pro-gay.

He later formed his self-styled Province of Zimbabwe and claimed ownership
of church buildings  and other properties, including schools. Kunonga, with
the support of police and henchmen, has seized CPCA church property and used
violence to break up church services.

In a recent interview with the New York Times, Kunonga was quoted as saying
he aimed to control the 3,000 Anglican churches, schools, hospitals and
other properties in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Malawi.

A recent judgment in Zimbabwe's High Court upheld Gandiya's appointment as
Harare's bishop but also gave Kunonga custodianship of all church properties
belonging to the CPCA.

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Thousands destitute after Nyazura farm invasions

By Alex Bell
16 August 2011

See pictures of the du Toit farm after the invasion

Thousands of people have been left destitute after a spate of land invasions
in Nyazura in recent months.

Four of the remaining five white commercial farms in the district have been
invaded by a mob working for so called ‘beneficiaries’ of the land grab
campaign. The mob is led by a self confessed CIO agent called Onisimas
Makwengura, who has used intimidation and violence to force the farmers and
their families to flee their homes. The mob in turn has been given free rein
to loot the properties.

Over the weekend Dolf and Alida du Toit from Exelsior farm were forced to
flee their home with a police escort, after days of attack by Makwengura and
his gang. The mob used rocks as missiles to smash windows on the Du Toit’s
house, and even tried gaining access to the house through the roof. Police
eventually arrived on the property on Sunday night, but instead of arresting
the violent thugs told the Du Toits that their safety could not be

Dolf du Toit had to seek medical attention after he was pelted with rocks by
the gang, while he was trying to protect his home. His property has since
been completely looted.

Former Chegutu farmer Ben Freeth meanwhile told SW Radio Africa that about
2,000 farm workers and their families have all been left without homes and a
source of income, because of the Nyazura farm invasions. He said it was
critical for the government to intervene, because of the massive impact this
unlawful behaviour was having on ordinary citizens.

Hundreds of thousands of farm workers have lost their jobs and homes as a
result of the destructive land grab campaign since it was launched in 2000.
Some observers say that the figure could be more than a million, because
whole families lost their sources of income and homes when ZANU PF forcibly
took over productive, commercial properties.

Respect for property rights and basic human rights are just two issues the
unity government is supposed to uphold, as part of the coalition agreement
it signed back in 2008. But nothing has been done to protect Zimbabweans,
and the ongoing farm invasions are just one more sign that the rights of
ordinary people are being wholly overlooked.

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Luxurygate spreads

By Nkululeko Sibanda, Chengetai Zvauya
Tuesday, 16 August 2011 18:00

HARARE - Ministers’ lavish tastes are rubbing off to their subordinates and
other arms of government, as councillors and Members of Parliament are now
demanding their own luxury cars funded from taxpayer’s money.

The Sunday edition of the Daily News exposed at the weekend how ministers,
deputy ministers, permanent secretaries and senior government officials have
in recent weeks been taking delivery of top-of-the-range vehicles worth more
than $20 million, when the majority are wallowing in poverty.

This extra-ordinary spending spree, comes at a time when Finance Minister
Tendai Biti said government was in a precarious financial position.

However, in what many have equated as indicating left and turning right,
government this week was left with egg on its face as it emerged that it had
made an “excessive one-off order of vehicles”.

The vehicles, similar to the ones driven by millionaires around the world,
include Mercedes Benz vehicles, Jeep Cherokees, Toyota Land Cruisers and the
latest Land Rover Discovery.

Information received by the Daily News shows that after the expose of the
vehicle scam, other bodies such as parliamentarians and councillors in
various cities have also made requests to the government to be feted the
same way the ministers had been treated by the government.

At the weekend, Bulawayo city councillors who met Prime Minister, Morgan
Tsvangirai told him they also wanted vehicles.

A source told the Daily News that the matter was raised in a closed door
meeting with Tsvangirai.

“We made representations that we were now unable to do our duties because we
do not have cars. Now that there are issues of government releasing cars to
its various arms, we believe that, as part of the same government, we should
be allocated cars so that we deliver services to the people,” said a source.

Tsvangirai, the source said, was non-committal on the matter.

“He told us that he would make representations on this matter and some
others that we had presented to him in the meeting. He did not commit
himself to say whether we would get the cars or not. But the bottom line is
that we want the cars and they have to be given to us,” the source said.

Sources also disclosed that Members of Parliament had also renewed their
demands for new vehicles given that the old ones dished to them under the
parliamentary scheme in 2008 had been rundown during the Copac outreach

Ironically, those whose vehicles were hired by Copac were paid allowances
for the use of their vehicles.

The legislators are said to be demanding vehicles whose costs are pegged at
$15 000, which the minister of Finance, Tendai  Biti promised to buy them
last month when the parliamentary committee on welfare met him to express
their demands for luxurious vehicles.

The MPs appear determined to push through their demands as it was clear that
the funding for such luxury was there, according to Parliamentary sources.

Parliamentary Welfare Committee Chairperson, who is MDC legislator for
Kuwadzana, Lucia Matibenga laughed off the matter, arguing that she did not
have a comment to make.

But Zanu PF MP for Mwenenzi, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti, who is the secretary of
the parliamentary welfare committee, confirmed that the MPs were waiting for
their vehicles.

“We had a meeting with minister Biti and he is aware of our demands for new
vehicles and we are still waiting for the cars.” said Bhasikiti.

Matibenga said: “I don’t want to comment on the issue as I am out of touch
with the matter surrounding the purchase of the vehicles for the MP’s,’’
said Matibenga.

The Daily News was told that parliamentarians were fuming on the latest turn
of events.

“It is a fact that MPs from both parties of the two MDC’s formations and
Zanu PF are waiting for the cars,‘’ said a source.

Meanwhile, the Committee of the Zimbabwe Peoples Charter (CPC) expressed its
concern over the reports of the lavish spending by government.

In a statement issued yesterday, the committee said: “The Committee of the
Zimbabwe Peoples Charter (CPC) expresses its serious concern at reports that
the inclusive government has against better advice, purchased luxury
vehicles at an estimated total cost of $20 million.

“Among the excuses informally given is that the state of our national roads
necessitates the purchase of these luxury vehicles. Such profligacy and
potential pre-occupation with self than country is unacceptable to the
majority poor of Zimbabwe. It is a complete misplacement of priorities by
the inclusive government where it chooses to spend on itself as opposed to
the social welfare needs of the people of Zimbabwe.”

The committee said it was “mischievous” for government to spend on its own
tastes at a time when there is serious poverty facing the general populace.

“It is the considered view of the CPC that this flagrant misuse of our
country’s meagre resources is an attempt by government to wish away the
poverty of the people of Zimbabwe with shocking arrogance and profligacy.

“It is also an unfortunate demonstration of the true character of all the
political parties that comprise the inclusive government, a character that
is driven more by the pursuit of self-aggrandisement rather than the
interests of the people of Zimbabwe,” the committee added.

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Mutasa vows not to close ‘torture base’

By Bridget Mananavire, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:31

HARARE - Didymus Mutasa, the minister of state in President Robert Mugabe’s
office, has declared he will not close a “torture base” at a primary school
in Headlands, as a leading rights group demanded the closure of the place.

The training of over 70 youths at Sherenje Secondary School in Mutasa’s
constituency has caused apprehension in the area, as campaigning for looming
elections heats up.

Previous efforts to close down the base have been resisted by Zanu PF

Zimrights, an organisation that focuses on promoting, protecting and
defending human rights in Zimbabwe, reported that the base had churned out
over 200 “militias” to date, with another 75 recruits currently undergoing
Zimrights claimed the militia was currently undergoing military training at
the school.

Mutasa told the Daily News yesterday that the youths were school-leavers
staying at the school engaged in “a lot of activities to help the community
and their families”.

“That is an insane report. There is no torture camp. It is a lie.

Whoever said that should be admitted to a rehabilitation clinic,” Mutasa
said, before saying the source of the report might have seen the youth
“undergoing their drills and mistaken it for militia training”.

“There are youths who finished school who are staying at the school,
something that their parents, ministry of education and I know about.

They help their families in farming and they also fix the community roads,”
he said.

“There is actually a pass out parade which we are attending on August 27 for
the youths,” said Mutasa.

“Whoever said this does not want Zimbabwe,” he said, responding to questions
that escalating violence was proof that the country was not ready for

MDC deputy treasurer Elton Mangoma recently queried the justification of the
camp given that the government had temporarily stopped the national youth
training programme.

Rights groups such as Zimbabwe Peace Process (ZPP) and Zimbabwe Election
Support Network (ZESN) have been reporting an increase in human rights
abuses, including violence.

A recent political temperature bulletin by ZESN claimed harassment and
intimidation of perceived MDC sympathisers countrywide. ZPP, which has
monitors countrywide, has also released a report detailing a spike in human
rights abuses. Both organisations link the human rights violations to
President Robert Mugabe’s calls for elections to be held this year.

“Violence was largely concentrated in the Mashonaland Central areas such as
Mt Darwin, Rushinga and Dotito where Zanu PF militia’s drills were reported
to have put the communities in quandary,” Zimrights said.

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SADC must stop Zimbabwe army generals: Tsvangirai

by MDC-T
2011 August 16 17:43:56

MDC-T President Tsvangirai, expects this week's SADC Summit in Luanda,
Angola to decisively deal with the issue of Zimbabwe and come up with a
position on the role of the military following threats to destabilise the
country by some rogue elements of the security sector.

MDC-T President Tsvangirai told MDC-T newsletter in an exclusive interview
that some few misguided elements among the security establishment have taken
a political position making unconstitutional statements that undermine the
Global Political Agreement (GPA) which is the backbone for the transitional

The military has in the past delved in politics with some individuals such
as Brigadier General Douglas Nyikayaramba threatening to disregard the will
of the people in the likely event that MDC-T President Tsvangirai wins the
pending elections.

Nyikayaramba has annointed himself spokesperson for those who are keen to
see Zimbabwe dragged back to the precipice and to the Stone Age where only
the few rich immoral hoodlums connected to politicians illegally benefit
from illicit deals.

The army has in the last few years become a very key instrument in the
intimidation and state sponsored violence against the people.

Military personnel have been fingered in the gruesome murders in the SADC
must stop the army Matabeleland and Midlands provinces Gukurahundi massacres
and featured prominently as the major culprits during the tortures and
murders of the 2008 election. This, MDC-T President Tsvangirai said has led
to the calls by the MDC and other democratic alliances for the re-alignment
of the security sector in Zimbabwe.

"We are not seeking the overthrow off our security agencies but their
realignment so that they reflect the new dispensation by being
non-partisan," the MDC-T President said.

"The re-alignment of the security establishment is important given the
recent comments made by some individuals among the military which literally
undermine the whole effort and transition that we have been working towards.

"SADC should be alarmed by these comments because they run counter to the
expectations of a roadmap that will lead to credible elections," he said.

"SADC must come up with a position on the role of the military because it
would appear that some in the military in Zimbabwe have adopted a political
position which is contrary to the spirit of democracy.

"But it is not the whole institution that is acting unconstitutionally
because I am very certain that the majority of serving army officers do not
go along with some of the opinions that have so far been expressed," MDC-T
President Tsvangirai said.

"The agreement in the GPA is that these are national institutions but we
have now over the last two years learnt that some of the members in the
military do not respect the authority of the inclusive government.

"They are still partisan and re-alignment of the security sector is
important so that they play a non-partisan role.," he said.

"We are not dismantling the security sector but we want re-alignment so that
they contribute to a democratic dispensation.

"But over the last two years we have been drifting away from that principle
and therefore it has become fundamental that this issue should be part of
the reforms we are pursuing,"added the Premier.

The MDC-T President said SADC should discuss and take a position on the
roadmap to a free and fair election that has been agreed by the parties.

"There are still some serious disagreements, but the region should at least
adopt the roadmap so that the agreed areas can begin to be implemented," he

MDC-T President Tsvangirai paid tribute to the facilitator, South Africa
MDC-T President Jacob Zuma and SADC, for remaining seized with the issue of

"We have become a perennial agenda item on SADC summits and we have to
ensure that we resolve these problems once and for all.

"We have become an embarassment because we cannot respect our own
signatures. We cannot even implement what we have agreed and the guarantors
have to assist us, especially those who have shown intransigence in
respecting the GPA," said MDC-T President Tsvangirai.

He urged SADC to urgently deploy monitors to assist the Joint Monitoring and
Implementation Committee (JOMIC) as resolved at both the Livingstone and
Sandton SADC summits.

Zanu PF has further stalled media reforms by refusing to licence private
broadcasters despite an agreement by the negotiators and the Principals.

The Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity has refused to allow
private players in the broadcasting sector, leaving the partisan Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation with the broadcasting monopoly in the broadcasting

Arbitrary arrests, intimidation and murder of opposition, civic society
activists and journalists continues despite the resolutions of the
Livingstone Troika summit which said all these must be stopped forthwith.

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ZCTU Congress to go ahead as the High Court dismiss Majongwe's papers

by Ndou Paul
2011 August 16 17:31:07

The High Court has issued an order dismissing papers filed by Progressive
Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe's Raymond Majongwe & 7 others against the
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions & 6 others seeking to stop the ZCTU
Congress as not urgent.

The order reads:

"The papers do not establish how or when the urgency arose. The matter is
not urgent."

The order was granted today, August 6 2011, by Justice Susan Mavangira. The
ZCTU had in the meantime responded to the application through it legal
counsel, Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni that the PTUZ & 7 others knew as far
back as the 16th of April that there was going to be a ZCTU Congress to be
held on 19 and 20 August and they knew who was going to attend Congress as
far back as April 29, hence they were not justified to wait until the last
minute to file an urgent application seeking to stop the ZCTU Congress.

More so, those cited as applicants in the matter submitted their nominations
to be considered for various posts – namely Raymond Majongwe for Secretary
General, and Angeline Chitambo for 1st Vice President. Apart from submitting
their nominations the applicants had also endorsed General Council's
position that the ZCTU Congress be held as advised on April 16 2011, that
is, on 19 and 20 August 2011. This was done at the General Council meeting
of August 13 2011.

The ZCTU said it is pleased with the order issued by the High Court as it
sounds a victory for the workers' struggle. The 7th Congress is going ahead
as planned and more 300 workers will be gathered in Bulawayo to map the way
forward for the workers' struggle.

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Former Grace Mugabe business partner avoids extradition

16 August 2011

A court has ruled that a South African-based businessman, Ping Sung Hsieh,
will not be extradited to Zimbabwe to face charges of swindling $1million in
a truck deal linked to Zimbabwe’s First family.

It’s understood the Mugabe family agreed to buy six haulage trucks from
South Africa, and the money was transferred to Sung Hsieh’s company there,
but the trucks were not delivered. Then in February four drivers hired by
Sung Hsieh delivered the trucks to Zimbabwe, but were arrested and charged
with fraud. Their application for bail was turned down.

Attorney-General Johannes Tomana went on to apply for Sung Hsieh to be
extradited to face trial and the drivers trial was held back to await the
extradition. But on Monday Tomana’s application was thrown out of a
magistrate’s court in South Africa. Lawyers say the humiliating defeat
should trigger the immediate release of the drivers. Tomana was in the court
on Monday.

The South African Independent newspaper said Magistrate Pieter du Plessis
stated that Tomana had failed to provide a proper affidavit to support his
demand for Ping’s extradition. He also said Tomana’s statement
 “contradicted” those made by a Zimbabwean policeman and a senior official
of Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank which were ‘central planks of the extradition
application’, the paper said. In addition Du Plessis said the case should be
“civil not criminal.”

Sung Hsieh operates companies in South Africa and China and has done
business with the Mugabe family before. The businessman was reported to have
helped Grace and her ageing husband buy an opulent home in Hong Kong in
2008, where their daughter Bona is studying.

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Zimbabwe Human Rights Lawyers Accuse Police of Selective Arrests

15 August 2011

Human Rights Defenders Project Manager Roselyn Hanzi told reporter Jonga
Kandemiiri that police refuse to open dockets against ZANU-PF members even
when victims report political violence to authorities

Jonga Kandemiiri & Sithandekile Mhlanga | Washington

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights has accused the Zimbabwe Republic
Police and Office of the Attorney General of making what the civic group
called "selective arrests" of the perpetrators of political violence,
favoring ZANU-PF.

Lawyers for Human Rights Executive Director Irene Petras told journalists in
a workshop that court records showed some perpetrators have not been brought
to book.

Human rights defenders and the two formations of the Movement for Democratic
Change said their members are targeted by the police even if they are the
victims of violence.

Attorney-General Johannes Tomana recently declared that he will continue
prosecuting MDC supporters before those of ZANU-PF, maintaining that he has
such discretion.

Human Rights Defenders Project Manager Roselyn Hanzi told reporter Jonga
Kandemiiri that the police routinely refuse to open dockets against ZANU-PF
members even when victims report political violence to authorities.

Meanwhile, the human rights defenders group Tolerance and Reconciliation
Development said it has identified 500 people in Masvingo province alone who
have not been located after they went missing during the turbulent 2008
elections. The group continues to compile information on such missing
persons throughout the country.

Programs Coordinator Gamuchirai Mukura said missing people, mostly Movement
for Democratic Change activists, were said to have been abducted by ZANU-PF
militia with the help of state security agents during the election period.

Mukura told VOA Studio 7 reporter Sithandekile Mhlanga that the compiled
information will be sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs when the exercise
is concluded.

The Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai says more than 200 of its members were murdered during the
political violence which peaked in the run-up to the June 2008 presidential
run-off contest, from which Mr. Tsvangirai withdrew in protest, leaving
President Robert Mugabe unopposed.

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Zimbabwe to Use Special Drawing Rights Facility to Pay Off IMF Debt

15 August 2011

Finance Minister Tendai Biti said Zimbabwe hopes for the release of US$93
million that was withheld by the IMF when the country got its share of
global economic crisis adjustment funds in 2009

Gibbs Dube

Finance Minister Tendai Biti says Zimbabwe will use US$140 million of a
US$500 million Special Drawings Rights facility to pay down debt to the
International Monetary Fund which is preventing the country from obtaining
any new loans.

Biti said in a statement that the payment will allow Zimbabwe to tap
development funds under the global lender’s Poverty Reduction and Growth

He said Zimbabwe hopes for the immediate release of US$93 million that was
withheld by the IMF when the country got its share of crisis-adjustment
funds in 2009.

But economists doubt the IMF will release the funds due to other debts.

Zimbabwe owes the African Development Bank some US$400 million and the World
Bank US$1.2 billion, plus more than US$5 billion in other international

Economist Daniel Ndlela said Biti has made the right decision to settle the
debt to the IMF using the 2009 global crisis funds. “But as long as we still
owe other institutions, we are still not out of the woods,” Ndlela said.

Economist Eric Bloch said Zimbabwe is not likely to receive financial
support from international organizations until it has gotten current on its

Biti said the SDR equivalent of US$150 million has so far been used for the
purchase of agricultural inputs for the 2009-2010 crop season and
infrastructural projects, and US$20 million for lines of credit for
Zimbabwean industry under the Zimbabwe Economic and Trade Revival Facility
administered by Interfin Bank.

The funds were spent to overhaul the Hwange Thermal Power Station, National
Railways of Zimbabwe track and rolling stock, and Bulawayo City Council’s
sewer and water distribution system, to upgrade broadcasting equipment, to
resume construction of a Matabeleland water pipeline and for housing in
Kwekwe and Harare.

Biti said SDRs equal to US$215 million are held at the IMF as national

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Cabinet approves exploration company

Sapa | 16 August, 2011 08:17
The cabinet in Zimbabwe has approved the draft framework for establishing a
company to spearhead exploration of minerals throughout the country.

The company, to be called the Zimbabwe Mineral Exploration Corporation,
would enable the government to know the extent of the country's mineral
wealth and reap maximum benefits from the resources, Zimbabwe's Herald
Online reported on Tuesday.

Mines and Mining Development deputy minister Gift Chimanikire told New Ziana
that the Attorney General's office was now drafting the Statutory
Instruments needed to give legal effect to establishment of the company.

"We have taken the matter before the cabinet committee on legislation and it
has been approved," he said.

"Now we are waiting for the AG's office, which is currently working on
drafting the necessary Statutory Instruments. Once the AG is done... we will
then float a tender for partners because we need a private player to partner

Chimanikire was, however, unable to give a timeline when the company would
be operational.

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South Africa's Jacob Zuma Moves to Finalize Zimbabwe Elections Road Map

12 August 2011

ZANU-PF hardliners want the road map to lead to elections this year - though
Mr. Zuma and other SADC officials have indicated they don't consider this a
good idea as the country is not ready

Blessing Zulu, Ntungamili Nkomo & Sandra Nyaira | Washington

Zimbabwe mediator and South African President Jacob Zuma summoned
negotiators for the power-sharing parties in Harare to Pretoria on Friday to
finalize the road map to the next Zimbabwean elections for presentation to a
regional summit in Angola next week.

An aide to Mr. Zuma said he is pressing on with the road map despite
objections by both President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF and Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change - though for very
different reasons in each case.

Mr. Zuma is to report on his progress in Zimbabwe mediation to his fellow
leaders of the Southern African Development Community meeting in summit
Tuesday in Luanda.

ZANU-PF hardliners want the road map to lead to elections this year - though
Mr. Zuma and other SADC officials have indicated they don't consider this a
good idea.

The Tsvangirai MDC formation has expressed grave concerns about the
environment for elections, saying Zimbabwe's military and other security
forces must be reformed before elections to level the playing field. The
former opposition party also wants assurances from SADC that international
monitors will be in place before and after a ballot.

But ZANU-PF has resisted those demands, especially security sector reforms.

South African facilitation team spokeswoman Lindiwe Zulu said Pretoria will
not address calls for road map revisions made informally by Zimbabwean
parties that have not been tabled by their negotiators, and that talks will
continue to refine the road map.

Spokesman Nhlanhla Dube of the MDC formation headed by Industry Minister
Welshman Ncube said his party expects SADC to endorse the election road map
despite the objections raised by the other parties in the national unity

Political analyst Phillan Zamchiya said the real crisis is with Mr. Mugabe.

Meanwhile, Angola refused entry Thursday to civil society activists of the
SADC Council of Non-Governmental Organizations and Mozambican journalists
who flew into Luanda seeking to attend a civil society forum on the margins
of the regional summit.

The groups had issued some statements critical of SADC's record on human

Civil society sources said some groups which had intended to head to Luanda
Friday have canceled their flights fearing they will also be refused entry
at the airport.

Abie Dithlake, secretary general of the SADC Council of NGO Organizations
said the group appealed to SADC alleging mistreatment by Angolan

Political analyst Gladys Hlatshwayo called Luanda's move shocking and

Elsewhere, leaders of liberation movements in the Southern African region
who were meeting in Windhoek, Namibia, concluded their summit calling on the
West to lift sanctions aimed at President Mugabe and other top ZANU-PF

In a communiqué, the liberation movements called the sanctions “subversive
acts” intended to economically sabotage Zimbabwe.

Namibian president Hifikepunye Pohamba urged his colleagues, including Mr.
Mugabe, not to forget the ideals of their struggles against white minority
rule. He said Southern Africa should fight poverty through indigenous
ownership of natural resources.

Political analyst Psychology Maziwisa told VOA Studio 7 reporter Sandra
Nyaira that the liberation movements are right in supporting Mr. Mugabe and
ZANU-PF and insisting on the removal of so-called targeted sanctions against
the president and his party.

But Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Director Mcdonald Lewanika told VOA that
while the liberation movements are free to support and stand by President
Mugabe and ZANU-PF they cannot impose leaders on the people of Zimbabwe.

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As SADC Summit Opens, Zimbabwe Governing Parties Remain Divided

15 August 2011

ZANU-PF negotiators told Mr. Zuma’s team of facilitators that any efforts by
SADC or other outsiders to press the party for reform of Zimbabwe's military
and police would violate sovereignty and therefore be unacceptable

Ntungamili Nkomo & Sandra Nyaira | Washington

ZANU-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said reform of the security sector is not in
the cards, adding that the lifting of Western sanctions should be the

Foreign ministers of the Southern African Development Community were to open
talks in Luanda, Angola, on Tuesday, while the parties in Zimbabwe's
fractious unity government remained deeply divided over key issues,
particularly the composition of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and
demands for reform of the security establishment.

Negotiators for President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF and both formations of the
former opposition Movement for Democratic Change met on the weekend in
Pretoria with the facilitation team of South African President Jacob Zuma in
a bid to iron out some issues ahead of the summit. But sources said they
emerged more divided than ever.

ZANU-PF negotiators told Mr. Zuma’s team of facilitators that any efforts by
SADC or other outsiders to press the party for reform of Zimbabwe's military
and police would violate Zimbabwean sovereignty, and therefore be

They called for a near-term election and argued that reconstitution of the
electoral body as the MDC formations demanded was not possible. They said
the MDC had participated in selecting members and endorsed the commission
when it was initially formed.

The MDC's objections have to do with the commission's permanent staff, which
is much the same as it was in 2008 when election results were long withheld.

Energy Minister Elton Mangoma, negotiator for the MDC wing headed by Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, told VOA Studio 7 reporter Sandra Nyaira that
the current impasse requires the direct intervention of Mr. Zuma, rather
than through his facilitators.

"Some of these issues require the attention of [Mr. Zuma] himself, otherwise
we will continue going in circles," Mangoma said. "There is no point going
into an election whose outcome will be challenged."

National Healing Minister Moses Mzila Ndlovu, negotiating for the MDC
formation led by Industry Minister Welshman Ncube, said that without the
security sector reforms the two MDC wings are demanding, free and fair
elections will not be possible.

But ZANU-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said reform of the security sector is not
in the cards, adding that the lifting of Western sanctions should be the

Commenting on the forthcoming summit, Bob Libert Muchabaiwa of the SADC
Council of Non-Governmental Organizations said regional civic groups hope
SADC will maintain the spirit of the so-called Livingstone troika meeting in
April that took a firm stand on key issues including human rights and the
lagging pace of reform in Zimbabwe.

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SADC told to tackle Zim media repression

by Own Corespondent     Tuesday 16 August 2011

JOHANNESBURG -- Reporters Without Borders has urged southern African leaders
to tackle media repression in Zimbabwe it said was on the rise with 11 cases
of intimidation and arbitrary arrests of journalists recorded over the past

The Paris-based group warned that new elections demanded by President Robert
Mugabe could see Zimbabwe -- which has witnessed a relatively more relaxed
media environment under the veteran leader’s unity government with Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai -- relapsing into a new era of media persecution.

A summit of Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders in Angola
this week will discuss Zimbabwe among other trouble spots in the region.

“Press freedom violations have grown significantly in Zimbabwe in recent
weeks. The surge in cases of violence, intimidation and arbitrary arrests of
journalists and the persistent climate of impunity is forcing them to censor
themselves,” said the media rights watchdog that is known by its French
acronym RSF.

“The SADC must prevent Zimbabwe from relapsing into another period of harsh
repression for independent media and journalists,” it said, in statement
released ahead of the SADC summit scheduled for August 17 to 18.

Mugabe and his ZANU (PF) are pressing for elections either before the end of
the year or by early 2012 to choose a new government to replace their
coalition with Tsvangirai’s MDC.

Analysts fear new polls could see a return to violence, human and media
rights abuses in the absence of meaningful political, security and electoral

The RSF said the media was already under siege with police arresting
journalists to intimidate them while it also cited one case in which an army
brigadier general threatened to shoot two journalists for asking the wrong
the questions during an interview.

“Two journalists with the privately-owned newspaper The Mail (who are not
being named for safety reasons) were threatened by Brig. Douglas
Nyikayaramba during an interview …. they fled when Nyikayaramba threatened
to shoot them if they did not stop asking ‘inopportune’ questions,” said

While Zimbabwe’s coalition government has implemented some of the media
reforms agreed in a power-sharing agreement between Mugabe and Tsvangirai it
has avoided instituting far-reaching measures that would drastically open up
the country’s media space.

The reforms instituted so far include the establishment of the Zimbabwe
Media Commission (ZMC) and the licensing of at least nine private newspapers
to compete with the state-run titles that have dominated the country’s media
landscape since 2003.

But Mugabe’s allies in the Ministry of Information that oversees the media
have continued to hold back reforms especially in the key broadcasting

More than two years after the coalition government was formed, the
government broadcaster Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) still
dominates the country’s media.

The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe has refused to license private
television or radio stations, forcing several radio stations to broadcast
into Zimbabwe from Europe or United States.

It however allowed the ZBC to launch a second television channel last year
underlining its dominance of the airwaves.

The Information Ministry that is controlled by Mugabe loyalist Webster Shamu
and the President’s influential press secretary George Charamba has also
held on to the draconian Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
(AIPPA) and other laws that restrict media freedom.

The AIPPA requires journalists and media houses to register with the
government and also criminalises the publication of "falsehoods". The law
has been solely used to harass and arrest journalists working for the
private media or state media reporters who fail to toe the line. -- 

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Zimbabwe seal ODI series against Bangladesh

HARARE, ZIMBABWE - Aug 16 2011 19:24

Zimbabwe snatched an astonishing victory over Bangladesh at Harare Sports
Club on Tuesday to win their five-match ODI series three up and two to play.

They got home with just four balls to spare, grabbing the final Bangladesh
wicket with a boundary catch when the tourists needed only six runs to win

Zimbabwe, having been put into bat, made 250 for seven wickets down, with
Bangladesh 245 all out in reply as darkness was closing in.

Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taykor said afterwards: "This was absolutely
awesome, the most exhilarating match of my life and the most dramatic for
all Zimbabweans.

"I was never sure we had enough with our 250 runs effort and so it almost
proved. It just shows that you never know in cricket. I am really proud of
the team for sticking to their guns, not just in this match but for the
entire tour so far."

A century in exactly 100 balls by Mushfuqur Rahim in a gallant attempt to
get his Bangladeshis home was almost lost in the excitement. It was his
first in internationals and he simply needed a good partner to achieve

The match started in dismal fashion for Zimbabwe when Brendan Taylor was out
for three runs, his third successive failure. Sibanda steadied his team with
26. But then came what turned out to be a winning partnership of 142 between
Hamilton Mazakadza, who made 74 and Tatenda Taibu who scored 83.

They both scored quickly but with some luck. It was Mazakadza's 17th half
century and Taibu's 20th. Taibu lost his wicket racing to get his second
century but he failed in that in offering a towering catch to Rubel Hossain
off the bowling of Nazibul Hossain.

Craig Ervine made 18 and Elton Chigumbura 31 to keep the momentum going.

The story of the innings was told by a score of 22-1 after ten overs, 60-2
in 20 overs and then another 116 runs in the next 20 overs.

Zimbabwe's total of 250 was a challenging score, but with the wicket easing
to a slower pace in the afternoon, Bangladesh expected to meet the challenge
and keep the series alive.

Their run rate was much faster in the early part of the innings than
Zimbabwe's but when Tamim Iqbal was run out after scoring 44 there were was
nobody else able to link up to any extent with Rahim.

Shakib Al Hassan (19) and debutant Juniad Siddique (22) were both caught and
bowled by Prosper Utseya, who ended with 3-47.

Neither they nor the other middle and lower order batsmen stayed
significantly with Rahim.

Suddenly, within sight of the winning line, Bangladesh's tail collapsed.
From 229-5 and with 22 to win in two overs and with nine to win in the last
over they were tossed aside, mainly by Kyle Jarvis, who bowled out Shafiul
Islam and Robiul Hossain to deliver a coup de grace, just as the opportunity
for a dramatic Bangladesh victory looked within their grasp.

The tour now moves to Bulawayo for two dead rubber matches with the series
done and dusted. -- AFP

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Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai´s condolence message

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai´s condolence message on the death Retired
General Solomon Mujuru

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

It is with deep sorrow and grief that I learnt of the death of Retired
General Solomon Tapfumanei Mujuru, one of the undisputed national heroes of
this country. Rtd General Mujuru, the founding commander of our national
army after independence, will be greatly remembered for his sterling role in
the liberation struggle and his outstanding and distinguished service in our

It is indeed tragic that we have lost a patriot who served his country with
honour and distinction.

The painful national story of our liberation cannot be told without
mentioning the name Rex Nhongo, a true and gallant son of the soil.Though he
died in very tragic circumstances, it is befitting that he died in the month
that we celebrate and cherish the rich legacy of our national heroes.

My sincere condolences go to the Vice President, Amai Mujuru, on the sad
loss of a dear husband. My condolences go as well to the Mujuru family at
large on the sad loss of a beloved relative. This is not their loss alone.
We join them in their grief and Zimbabwe is a lot poorer following this
tragic loss of an icon.

May his dear soul rest in eternal peace.

Morgan Tsvangirai
Prime Minister of Zimbabwe

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Another Open Letter to Eddie Cross

Dear Eddie,
I read with great interest your article 'Marvellous Zimbabwe'.
One element of the Zimbabwe situation that you fail to address is the
continual misuse of public funds; 20 million dollars for cars for
Is this just a final feeding frenzy before the next elections?
I flew from the UK in 2002 to volunteer for MDC's election campaign,
many times I put myself at risk to support a party that I believed
would get rid of the pestilence that is Zanu PF. Nothing has happened.
We are a token opposition, our followers still get beaten, abducted,
raped and killed. Food Aid is for many their only recourse, teachers
and health staff survive on ludicrous wages and Tendai Biti votes
20million dollars to buy cars!!

I and thousands of supporters become gradually disillusioned every

Sincerely , Miles Anderson
The Old Globe Theatre
San Diego USA

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Has the Zimbabwe Diaspora been neglected?

This article is not an attempt for me to make friends or enemies. Rather it is an opportunity to revive the debate that has had numerous starts and stops in the past without any tangible conclusion. Arguably, the Zimbabwe Diaspora is a critical but neglected link of the national puzzle as we move towards the new dispensation.


Unfortunately, not everyone across the political divide believes that indeed, the Zimbabwe Diaspora shall forever be a permanent and critical aspect of our nation. In the past, going into the Diaspora was more of a temporary relief than permanent migration. Most people moved for reasons such as education, political asylum and economic advancement. The idea then was that once an education had been obtained, the political situation back home normalised and our economy started ticking again, the Diaspora would start repatriating en masse.

Over the years, particularly in the last ten, the reality on the ground has shifted to the extent that there shall always be Zimbabweans in the Diaspora even if our country were to be miraculously turned into some replica of Switzerland. Many will remember that when Nigerians started leaving their country in large numbers for foreign lands, the majority thought that once civilian rule returned to the North African nation, they would then pack their bags and return. Today, with a fairly stable political and economic environment under civilian rule, why is it that Nigerians continue to relocate to other countries, some of them with very little resources compared to Nigeria?


China, with its booming economy and vast tracks of land, continues to pour citizens across the globe, some moving to tiny countries with insignificant economies. The U.K and Japan (forget about the tsunami disaster which only happened yesterday) are among top countries with mobile citizens. The question to ask is, why do these people leave their countries and when shall they return?  One of the answers may be that this is now more of personal choice than anything; a product of globalisation which has afforded global citizens an opportunity to exercise their freedom of movement. Human beings now move from pastures to pastures at will, some choosing to return to their homelands while others continue to be perpetual visitors. Nevertheless, this cannot be used as an excuse to despise these people as second-class citizens.


There are several countries in the world today whose economies are very much dependent on the Diaspora. Philippines, Jamaica, Lebanon and Ghana are among them. New Zealand has nearly half a million of its citizens permanently resident in Australia alone who still enjoy being an integral part of their nation.

Unfortunately, the Zimbabwe Diaspora has been treated with contempt or at least with very little respect by some across the political divide. This group has been stereotyped as the unemployable, those who live from hand to mouth, cowards or sell-outs. I will come to this later. Does it then come as a surprise that more than two years after formation of the inclusive government which is now slowly but surely winding up business, nobody has come up with a viable policy or strategy on the Diaspora? The only time the Zimbabwe Diaspora remotely comes to mind is when issues of dual citizenship and postal vote become topical. Often, this comes as a product of political expediency rather than genuine desire to positively engage the Diaspora.


It is no longer a secret that one side of politics continues to view the Diaspora with suspicion and indignation. This side holds the perception that those who left Zimbabwe are against revolutionary policies, a bunch of sell-outs who ran to seek refuge in enemy territory. Some on the other side compound the problem by regarding the Diaspora as a club of cowards who deserted the struggle for the new Zimbabwe, or opportunists who are busy developing themselves in comfort zones with the evil intention to return when the political storm is over and reap where they did not sow. Elsewhere, the Diaspora has been accused of trying to export Western democracy to Africa, as if there were variations of democracy. However, I must hasten to emphasize that not everybody subscribes to this retrogressive thinking but those who do, do so with a passion.


None of these unfortunate and extremist views is correct. They must be dismissed with utmost contempt. Such sentiments  may be guided by arrogance, misinformation, ignorance, greed, opportunism, fear of competition or a combination of these and other factors. At a time when the majority of citizens had lost hope, the Diaspora stepped in and restored that hope by providing food to starving families, education to orphaned children, basic health care to old people, the list is endless. Some even earned themselves the unofficial title of undertaker or Doves Morgans because none of their relatives, close or distant, could be buried decently without Diaspora benevolence. Ironically, at the same time, some unscrupulous economic players with unfettered access to the national purse survived on printing worthless paper which they handed over to recipients of Diaspora remittances and took off with hard currency. Many of these extortionists ended up living opulent lifestyles out of fleecing these remittances.  Nevertheless, the Diaspora did not give up, knowing very well that this was a passing phase and that they had a moral obligation to keep families alive. Other Diasporas even went further and made different kinds of direct and indirect political contribution, as a way of participating towards creating the new Zimbabwe.


The seemingly institutionalised marginalisation of a quarter of the population currently resident outside the country by choice or through circumstances beyond their control has come to a point where it now needs to be interrogated or challenged. Does anybody remember that in 2008, the total number of voters in the presidential polls were just about the same number as Zimbabweans in the Diaspora? Is this a constituency that anybody who worries about the future could afford to ignore? The Diaspora may not be allowed to vote for now but this is just a tactical delay of the inevitable. Which party will have the courage to go and campaign across the globe when that day comes? What will be the enticing message to those who believe they are now regarded as second-class Zimbabweans?


While the Zimbabwe Diaspora may be physically separated from their homeland by oceans, rivers and national borders, the fact remains that they are very much on the ground in terms of their aspirations, hope and wishes. This demonstrates how much they love and feel for their country. They have resolutely remained attached to motherland in times of strife, hunger and disease. Neglecting a potentially vibrant demography of three million people with nearly 100% employment rate, 100% literacy rate and largely of young to middle age whose majority are professionals in different critical fields, could be a myopic act tantamount to political suicide, naivety or both.

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