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ZANU PF’s draft charter revisions dismissed as “outrageous”

http://www.swradioafrica.com





By Tererai Karimakwenda
23 August 2012

There have been harsh words, shock, disbelief and anger expressed by
officials from the MDC-T, civic groups and ordinary Zimbabweans, in response
to the revised draft charter submitted by ZANU PF this week.

Robert Mugabe finally delivered ZANU PF’s amended draft Constitution to the
other Principals after Tuesday’s cabinet meeting. The draft contains
amendments that ZANU PF is demanding, before the country holds an All
Stakeholders Conference, ignoring the fact that the final draft has already
been signed by all the negotiators.

ZANU PF said they were not happy with the current draft, insisting it did
not represent the views of the people and the liberation values of the
party.

The changes demanded by ZANU PF include a return of executive authority to
the President, instead of the proposed system of having Cabinet share the
power. They remove the proposed public interview process for the appointment
of judges, leaving it to the President to make appointments. Presidential
immunity was also retained.

Several provisions in the Bill of Rights were amended and all references to
democratic society were deleted. ZANU PF also wants to introduce mandatory
national youth service, ban any possibility of dual citizenship for those
who are Zimbabwean by descent or registration and abolish the Peace and
Reconciliation Commission.

On the contentious issue of security sector reform, ZANU PF removed
provisions that require them to be non-partisan and professional. They also
oppose the establishment of a national prosecuting authority, choosing to
retain the current office of attorney general.

Responses to ZANU PF’s amendments came fast and furious, with the MDC-T
dismissing them outright. The Minister for Paliamentary Affairs, Eric
Matinenga, described the ZANU PF draft as “outrageous” and defying any
logic.

“There is no doubt those proposals are an indication that they don’t want a
new constitution. The agreed draft was produced after lengthy and intensive
negotiations. For ZANU PF to come up with this position is inexplicable.
Nobody in their right sense would do this,” Matinenga told SW Radio Africa.

He said the ZANU PF proposals ignore the millions of dollars that were spent
on the Constitutional outreach process and the compromises people were
willing to make to get to a referendum. But Matinenga said he believes
common sense will prevail and ZANU PF will eventually agree to continue with
the original draft.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti, who is also MDC-T secretary general, had harsh
words in response to ZANU PF’s revisions. Writing on Facebook Biti ridiculed
the counter proposals.

He wrote: “I cannot believe that a group of men and women ,many of whom
fought in our war of liberation, can assault and insult the ideas of
decency, equality, justice and democracy that all modern societies should be
founded upon.”

He added that the fact ZANU PF can “unashamedly insult Zimbabweans this way
is a case for allowing Zimbabweans to vote on the two drafts in a
referendum, so that the we can go to an early election to deal with this
aberration.”

The MDC formations had already adopted the draft agreed to by negotiators
representing the political parties, including ZANU PF, and made it clear
negotiations were closed.

Ironically, the draft they agreed to is also being criticized by civic
groups and Zimbabweans who say it does not go far enough in reducing the
powers of the president and reforming key democratic institutions. They say
several issues, including the Diaspora vote, devolution, dual citizenship,
media and security sector reforms, were not addressed.

Ultimately ZANU PF has never respected the current constitution or ruled
according to its provisions. It is widely accepted that they will ignore
whatever version of the constitution Zimbabweans vote for, and continue to
rule through the element of fear.


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Zanu PF, MDC Rift Over New Charter Widens

http://www.voazimbabwe.com/




Violet Gonda, Blessing Zulu

22.08.2012
Zimbabwe’s quest for a new constitution was cast into further doubt
Wednesday after the two Movement for Democratic Change formations rejected
Zanu PF’s proposals to renegotiate the draft charter.

The long-delayed document was finally concluded a few weeks ago and signed
by all the three unity government partners.

But President Robert Mugabe's party has since come up with a raft of
amendments that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Industry Minister
Welshman Ncube - leaders of the rival MDC wings - reject.

Ncube said in a statement Wednesday he was astonished at the “sheer scale of
disrespect, contempt, insult and audacity exhibited by the amendments.”

He added that the new proposals would make the new constitution worse than
the widely-condemned Lancaster House constitution - Zimbabwe's founding
charter.

Zanu PF wants devolution of power removed from the new charter, including a
Peace and Reconciliation Commission, dual citizenship, and presidential
running mates, among other issues.

The party also demands a mandatory National Youth Service and restoration of
the executive powers of the president.

MDC-T Secretary General Tendai Biti slammed the Zanu PF proposals saying
they fundamentally alter the final draft charter.

“We are disappointed," Biti said. "They have come up with proposals that
will be met with one clear answer – 'No', which will clearly lead to the
collapse of this thing,” Biti said.

“There should be no further negotiations on this constitution, and the
people of Zimbabwe should now decide in a referendum.”

Regional leaders, exasperated by the continued bickering, resolved last week
that South African President Jacob Zuma - the facilitator in the crisis -
should be engaged to assist in resolving the constitutional logjam.

The Zuma intervention proposal is being supported by the two MDC formations.
But Zanu PF is pushing back.

Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga told VOA Mr. Mugabe's party
is dragging the process by making unrealistic changes.

National Constitutional Assembly chairman Lovemore Madhuku, said the
constitutional effort must be abandoned since it has now turned into a
"circus" and the wrangles have become a "disgrace" to the country.

Madhuku said as demanded by his group, constitution-making must not be the
business of politicians.

“They should abandon their three party program and subject the draft and
materials to some separate committee in the country, They should set up an
independent committee which can take up from where they have left,” Madhuku
added.

Meanwhile, Mfundo Mlilo, director of the Combined Harare Residents
Association said police barred his group Wednesday from holding consultative
meetings with residents in Harare South to discuss the constitution and
other issues.

The police, Mlilo said, argued that the meetings will disturb the ongoing
country’s 2012 national population census.


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Battle Lines Drawn Over Zim's Constitution Draft:Ncube

http://www.radiovop.com




Harare, August 23, 2012 – Welshman Ncube, the leader of the smaller faction
of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has rejected Zanu (PF)
amendments to the Constitution draft, saying battle lines are drawn over the
new supreme law of the land.

Zanu (PF) has scrapped provisions on devolution of power and restored the
President’s powers in its proposed amendments to the draft constitution.
President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday handed the Zanu PF’s proposed alternative
draft constitution to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Deputy Prime
Minister Arthur Mutambara and Industry minister Welshman Ncube.

In a hard-hitting statement on Wednesday Ncube said Zanu (PF) militaristic
hardliners wanted to maintain the present status quo, which give President
Robert Mugabe an advantage over his opponents ahead of fresh polls.

Ncube said he was shocked by the “disrespect, contempt, insult and audacity
exhibited by the amendments.”


“I have studied the amendments Zanu (PF) has made to the draft and I am
astonished at the sheer scale of disrespect, contempt, insult and audacity
exhibited by the amendments, he said.

“There are only three possible interpretations of it, namely that Zanu (PF)
thinks we are so desperate for a new constitution that we will cling to a
serpent or that we are stupid or that their strategy is to make such
preposterous amendments that no sane party will accept so as to collapse the
whole process with a view to maintaining the status quo,” he said.

“In many respects, their amendments make the draft worse than the current
constitution so that we would be better off with the current constitution.
Even at our most foolish, there is no way we could ever accept those
amendments. Anyone who does so would be committing political suicide. In
fact, the draft is not just an insult on us but is also a mockery of the
people who took time to make representations to COPAC.”

Ncube said it was clear that the Zanu (PF) hawks were itching for an early
election.

“And this move they have made has brought them very close to their wish to
burn down the country by having a rerun of the 2008 elections,” he said.

He added that it was his believe that the moderate elements in Zanu (PF)
have allowed the move to tinker with the COPAC draft in the “mistaken belief
that the MDC formations are so fearful of an election without reforms that
we would accept not only to be insulted but also a constitution which is the
worst we could possibly have”.

“It's not going to happen. It's time to let the dice roll the way it will.
If an election without a new constitution is the only way to move forward,
then let it be. On our part we are not going to betray the people's struggle
for a democratic constitution. We will not yield an inch. We will provide
the leadership required for the people to take up the struggle at the
elections. The battle lines are truly drawn,” he said.

At the last Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit in Maputo,
Mozambique, regional leaders urged the GPA principals to expedite the
constitution-making process by dealing with the contentious issues in the
draft.


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Land reform chaos continues in Zimbabwe

http://www.swradioafrica.com/





By Tererai Karimakwenda
23 August 2012

The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) have reported that a group of about 200
ZANU PF activists invaded a farm on Wednesday which belongs to the principal
director in the Prime Minister’s Office, Norman Sachikonye. ZPP officials
who witnessed the incident said the invaders were singing and dancing to
ZANU PF liberation war songs and wearing party regalia.

Sachikonye is also an aspiring parliamentary candidate for Makoni Central in
the MDC-T. The invaders were allegedly under the leadership of Darlington
Museka, acting secretary at the Rusape Town Council and a ZANU PF cadre.

A monitor for the ZPP reported that police officers at the scene did not
interfere or do anything to stop the invaders, who proceeded to peg Zimati
Kop Farm “haphazardly” and allocated stands to themselves.

The chaos on Zimbabwe’s commercial farms has intensified in recent weeks,
with ZANU PF officials fighting for control of the last remaining farms in
the country.
Some observers believe the rush to claim land ownership is directly linked
to provisions in the new draft cconstitution.

Chiredzi farmer Gerry whitehead agreed. He told SW Radio Africa that there
is chaos in the Chiredzi conservancies and the coalition government has lost
complete control of the farms in his area, the lowveld.

“The ZANU PF chefs know there is no law and order so they can do whatever
they like. We are disappointed because we thought things would get better
under the coalition. But the MDC-T have also lost the plot and conceded to
ZANU PF over land,” Whitehead said, referring to clauses in the draft
charter.

Section 16.4 of the draft, relating to the “rights of occupiers of
agricultural land”, says any person who was occupying land or was entitled
to use it “by virtue of a lease or other agreement” with the State,
continues to be entitled to use or occupy that land after the effective date
of the new Constitution.

Experts say this essentially protects invaders who are taking land from its
rightful owners now, using fake “offer letters” that are signed by district
land officials who have no authority to make such decisions. Whitehead said
this is one of the reasons people are shocked that the MDC-T signed the
draft.

Meanwhile other rows over land are being played out around the country. In
one case, nine families are reported to be homeless and sleeping in the open
after an officer from the Airforce of Zimbabwe destroyed their homesteads
with a tractor.

The incident followed claims by the officer, Dananai Chikanya, that he was
allocated the property at Edinburgh Farm near Chitungwiza in 2008, as part
of the land reform exercise. Chikanya told Newsday newspaper that he evicted
the families because they were settled on the farm by a rival from the MDC
99.

The families have denied Chikanya’s claims, saying the Chitungwiza Area
Board resettled them at the farm in 2002. According to Newsday, some of the
villagers said Chikanya pointed a gun at them when he came to bulldoze their
homes with his wife.

In another row over land, Chief Zvimba is reportedly trying to evict 31
farmers from land they occupy at Lion Kopje Farm in Mashonaland Central,
saying they were allocated land elsewhere and have refused to move there.

But the resettled farmers filed papers at the High court last week seeking
to block the Chief from evicting them. They claim that the land was
allocated to them in 2004 under the A1 land resettlement scheme.

The farmers were notified of their pending eviction on August 6th and were
given just ten days to pack their belongings and move. Chief Zvimba, through
his lawyer, is asking the High Court to dismiss the application by the
farmers, arguing that their continued stay is illegal since they were
officially granted land elsewhere.

It was hoped the creation of the coalition government would bring a sense of
law and order to the so-called land reform exercise. But officials from the
MDC formations have found themselves powerless to change anything, with some
even getting embroiled in the chaos, as the Sachikonye case has revealed.


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MDC-T fury over support collapse report

http://www.newzimbabwe.com



22/08/2012 00:00:00
by Gilbert Nyambabvu




THE MDC-T has angrily rejected a US-based pro-democracy group’s survey which
suggests the party faces certain defeat at the next elections following a
sharp collapse in support at a time President Robert Mugabe is enjoying a
renewed surge in popularity.

The survey, conducted by international research group Freedom House, shows
that support for the party has fallen from 38 percent in 2010 to 20 percent
this year. By contrast, backing for Zanu PF grew to 31 percent from 17
percent, over the same period.

Conducted by researchers from South Africa and Zimbabwe, the survey also
found that President Robert Mugabe would command the support of 31 percent
of voters in a presidential election, ahead of rival Morgan Tsvangirai on 19
percent, an alarming prospect for the MDC-T.

New elections to replace the coalition government are now expected next year
after the completion of ongoing constitutional reforms.

University of the Witwatersrand academic Susan Booysen, who devised and
conducted the survey, said the results were sobering for the MDC-T whose
popularity stood at a healthy 55 percent three years ago, giving the party a
realistic prospect of ending Mugabe's three-decade stay in power.

“It shows us MDC-T is not only in a seriously bad position but the extent to
which that is spread across the country and the provinces,” she said.

"I've heard people saying MDC-T is just not doing work in the constituencies
and is spending too much time in the palace. They're taking for granted
they're the crown princes. They are not capturing the desire for change.

“Perhaps they think they are crown prince that need only wait for Mugabe to
go for it to fall in their lap. This is a wake-up call for them that there
is no honeymoon.”
The MDC-T however, rejected the survey findings, insisting it remained the
“most popular party within Zimbabwe.”

Said party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora: “The party respects the right of
individuals and institutions to carry out opinion surveys on the views of
the people of Zimbabwe from time to time. However, we note that surveys
carried out under current conditions are difficult to rely on due to the
fact that they are held under conditions of major fluidity.

“We note that a lot of people interviewed refused to disclose their
political preferences. This is obviously for fear of intimidation and the
violence they have been subjected to by Zanu PF and its military junta. This
margin of terror fundamentally impugns the conclusion that can be derived
from this report.”

Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said: "People are now beginning to realise
that the MDC-T has no agenda. It (MDC-T) is externally funded and its
interest is to please its master. People are beginning to see this for
themselves.”

Politburo member Jonathan Moyo said the MDC-T’s rejection of the survey
results was ironic and quipped: “It is not possible to ignore the fact that
MDC-T, which has previously celebrated these surveys by the same quarters
claiming its popularity, is now questioning the decline of its popularity.
It’s ridiculous. If they believed them (surveys) before, they must believe
them today.

“Do they only believe these surveys if they are in their favour? Too bad
because things speak for themselves on the ground! The MDC-T has proven to
be a party too preoccupied with itself, they have spent four years in
government fighting for positions, and not a single signature policy issue.

“On the other hand, Zanu PF has understood that to create jobs we need to
indigenise the economy and people identify with that.”

The survey polled a nationally representative sample of 1,198 adult
Zimbabweans between 23 June and 7 July 2012. According to Freedom House, 47
percent of the respondents said they would not vote, or refused to indicate
who they would vote for.

The MDC-T seized on this figure, arguing that: “It is important to note that
a large number of Zimbabweans interviewed by the researchers refused to
disclose their political affiliation. This is clear evidence of the level of
intimidation they have been subjected to.

“While professional people may have carried out this research, the
conditions under which the research was carried were not conducive for
Zimbabweans to freely express their political preferences.”

Still, analysts said the results come as a huge surprise because, for years,
there had been a near-default assumption by the MDC-T, activists and media
that Mugabe had lost popular support and was only being sustained only by
vote rigging, violence and intimidation.

They added that the report also resonates with signs of discontent about the
MDC-T's performance in the unity government it formed with Zanu PF following
the disputed election of 2008.

After joining the coalition government, the MDC-T took charge of the economy
and other social affairs ministries.

But the economic stability and marginal growth of the last few years has not
come with jobs and unemployment remains high at more than 90 percent. Again,
observers argue that MDC-T ministers have fallen in love with their official
cars and other trappings of power.


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Mugabe's star rises further among Zim voters

http://mg.co.za/
President Robert Mugabe is enjoying a surge of popularity that could propel him to victory in Zimbabwe's elections, according to independent research.

An independent poll of voters' intentions indicates Mugabe would command the support of 31% of voters in a presidential election, ahead of rival Morgan Tsvangirai on 19%.

The research was conducted by the US-based pro-democracy group Freedom House.

Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) dismissed the results, noting that Mugabe's supporters were outnumbered by voters who refused to declare their intentions. But it is likely to boost the confidence of Mugabe's Zanu-PF heading into elections expected next year.

The Mass Public Opinion Institute polled a nationally representative sample of 1 198 adult Zimbabweans between June 23 and July 7 2012, Freedom House said. When asked who they would vote for if presidential elections were held tomorrow, 31% say they would back Zanu-PF, an increase from just 12% in a 2009 survey. Alarmingly for the MDC, only 19% expressed support for the party, a dramatic fall from 55% three years ago. Other parties registered just 2%.

Some 40% of respondents did not declare their voting intentions, making it hard to draw categorical conclusions.

Asked who they would support in parliamentary elections, 47% of respondents said they would not vote, or refused to indicate who they would vote for. Some 20% said they would support the MDC (down from 38% in 2010) and 31% would back Zanu-PF (up from 17% in 2010).

The results come as a surprise because for years there has been a near default assumption by the MDC, activists and media that Mugabe's 32-year rule was drained of popular support and is sustained only by rigged elections and violence and intimidation. Freedom House's survey implies the 88-year-old could yet make a political comeback and win.

It also resonates with signs of discontent about the MDC's performance in the unity government it formed with Zanu-PF following the disputed election of 2008. The MDC took responsibility for departments such as education and health and has been criticised for slow delivery. Some observers argue that MDC ministers have fallen in love with their official cars and other trappings of power.

Susan Booysen, author of the interim report Change and 'New' Politics in Zimbabwe for Freedom House, said she encountered complaints that the MDC had lost touch with grassroots constituencies, whereas Zanu-PF was still visible and fighting party political battles there.

"I've heard people saying MDC is just not doing work in the constituencies and is spending too much time in the palace," Booysen added. "They're taking for granted they're the crown princes. They are not capturing the desire for change. And there is still a desire for change among people."

The MDC questioned the validity of the study. Douglas Mwonzora, the party spokesperson, said in Harare: "The party respects the right of individuals and institutions to carry out opinion surveys on the views of the people of Zimbabwe from time to time. However, we note that surveys carried out under current conditions are difficult to rely on due to the fact that they are held under conditions of major fluidity.

"We note that a lot of people interviewed refused to disclose their political preferences. This is obviously for fear of intimidation and the violence they have been subjected to by Zanu-PF and its military junta. This margin of terror fundamentally impugns the conclusion that can be derived from this report."

A statement from the party added: "The MDC reasserts that it is still the most popular party within Zimbabwe. That it has had a positive impact on the lives of the people of Zimbabwe since it formed the inclusive government can never be doubted." – Guardian News and Media 2012


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Animal poisoning on the rise in Chiredzi

http://www.swradioafrica.com





By Alex Bell
23 August 2012

The deliberate poisoning of animals in the Chiredzi River Conservancy is on
the rise, with no legal action being taken against the known poachers
responsible.

SW Radio Africa has been told that the carcasses of scores of animals have
been found in recent weeks, adding to the growing numbers of wildlife who
have suffered a similar fate in recent years.

The people responsible are known poachers in the Conservancy who have
previously been caught by police. But their cases have never been heard
because the police either release them from custody, or their dockets go
‘missing’.

Johnny Rodrigues, the chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, told
SW Radio Africa on Thursday that poison is also being used as an
“intimidatory tactic” by people trying to force the legitimate owners of
conservancy land to handover their properties. He said it forms part of the
larger problem that conservancy land is being targeted for ‘reform’, despite
this being illegal.

“The acts are there to protect the animals and the conservancies, but there
is no one to apply these laws. Now you’ve got a scenario where the guardians
of the country’s wildlife have sanctioned hunting and are giving licences to
trigger happy people who don’t know anything about hunting and ultimately it
is the animals that suffer,” Rodrigues said.

Hunting licences in the Save Valley Conservancy have been handed out to top
ZANU PF officials, as part of what Rodrigues says is “appeasement by the
government where the party faithful are rewarded.”

An international tourism conference is supposed to get underway in Victoria
Falls next month. But Rodrigues said the worsening poaching and the ongoing
seizure of conservancy land makes it “embarrassing” that Zimbabwe is the
host.


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Netone cut off by Econet over multi million dollar debt

http://www.swradioafrica.com





By Alex Bell
23 August 2012

A multimillion dollar debt owed to wireless network provider Econet, by the
state owned mobile operator NetOne, has resulted in all interconnection
services between the two being cut off.

Econet announced the termination of the service this week in a public
notice, which revealed that as much as US$20 million (excluding interest) is
owed from as far back as 2009. Econet said it has tried engaging the
Zimbabwean telecoms regulator POTRAZ, and the government to intervene, but
with no success.

The company has now said it is “obvious that NetOne was not prepared to
honour its obligations” even though NetOne has been collecting the fees due
to Econet from subscribers as part of the interconnection deal.

Econet has said it’s ready to reconnect, once NetOne “makes a substantial
payment towards the historical debt and commits to meet future obligations
on due date”.

According to Econet, an interconnection agreement is reached on the basis
that there is a mutually agreed cost of terminating calls on each other’s
network.

In Zimbabwe, POTRAZ regulates the cost of terminating domestic and
international calls. These rates are 7 cents per minute for a domestic call
and 20 cents per minute for an international call.

NetOne and Econet have had an agreement for domestic call terminations for
many years. Each of the operators normally charge its customers 23 cents per
minute (including 15% VAT) for a call to each other’s network and is
supposed to pay the other operator 7 cents per minute whilst keeping to
itself 16 cents.

You can read the full statement from Econet here:

http://www.techzim.co.zw/2012/08/full-text-of-econets-public-notice-to-terminate-interconnection-with-netone/


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MDC parties leaves Mugabe stranded

http://www.thezimbabwemail.com

WONAI MASVINGISE - NewsDay 7 hours 17 minutes ago
The two MDC formations yesterday rejected Zanu PF’s version of the draft constitution, describing it as an insult meant to collapse the constitution-making process.
President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday handed his party’s draft to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and Industry and Commerce minister Welshman Ncube.
Zanu PF rewrote the Copac draft to remove provisions on devolution of power and dual citizenship.
The party also restored presidential powers that had been watered down in the draft produced by the inter-party committee comprising Zanu PF, MDC-T and MDC negotiators, among a number of other controversial amendments.
Zanu PF had initially indicated that it agreed to 97% of provisions in the Copac-proposed new constitution before hardliners — who accused party negotiators of selling out — forced a dramatic U-turn.
Ncube, who leads the smaller MDC formation, said he was “astonished at the sheer scale of disrespect, contempt, insult and audacity exhibited by the (Zanu PF) amendments”.
He said the amendments could be a deliberate provocation against other parties to abandon the constitution-making process so that the country would go for elections using the old Lancaster House document.
“It’s clear that the Zanu PF hawks are itching for an early election and this move they have made has brought them very close to their wish to burn down the country by having a rerun of the 2008 elections,” Ncube said in a statement.
“I believe that the moderate elements in Zanu PF have allowed this move by Jonathan Moyo and his group in the mistaken belief that the MDC formations are so fearful of an election without reforms that we would accept not only to be insulted, but also a constitution which is the worst we could possibly have. It’s not going to happen.”
Moyo has been one of the most vocal Zanu PF officials against the new constitution, pushing for a tougher line on a number of issues.
Ncube said it was now clear Zanu PF was spoiling for a fight.
“It’s time to let the dice roll the way it will. If an election without a new constitution is the only way to move forward, then let it be,” he said.
“On our part, we are not going to betray the people's struggle for a democratic constitution.We will not yield an inch.”
MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti weighed in, saying the proposed amendments were an insult to Zimbabweans.
“I cannot believe that a group of men and women — many of whom fought in our war of liberation — can assault and insult the ideas of decency, equality, justice and democracy that all modern societies should be founded upon,” he said.
“That they can unashamedly insult Zimbabweans this way is a case for allowing Zimbabweans to vote on the two drafts in a referendum so that we can go to an early election to deal with this aberration.”
Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC-T spokesperson, told journalists the party could retreat to its original position of the draft if Zanu PF insisted on its amendments.
“We will also demand some of the issues that we had dropped as a compromise solution such as the amendment of Clause 6.4.2 which demanded that a President who had already run for 10 years could no longer participate in an election,” he said.
“We will also demand that the age limit of 70 years be brought back. There will be a proliferation of documents if Zanu PF insists on its amendments.”
Education, Arts, Sport and Culture minister David Coltart in a Facebook posting said the “proposed amendments to the constitution now provided to us are ridiculous. Perhaps the real name of this party has always been Zany PF”.
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said the MDC-T leader would not renegotiate the Copac draft. The stalemate between the three governing parties arose as it emerged that South African President Jacob Zuma last week told the Sadc Troika on Peace, Defence and Security that there were proposals to take both the Zanu PF and Copac drafts to a referendum.
Zuma is the Sadc-appointed mediator in the Zimbabwe crisis and identified the constitution-making process as the major “hitch” in the roadmap to fresh elections.
“MDC-T and MDC-N are of the view that the only way forward, if there are substantial issues for renegotiation on the part of Zanu PF, is that the current draft be put to a straight Yes or No referendum, or that the current draft and a Zanu PF draft be both put to a referendum,” he said in the report presented in Maputo ahead of the Sadc summit.
“Alternatively, that the referendum includes not only a Yes/No vote on the constitution as a whole, but also a Yes/No vote on each of the clauses of the constitution with regard to which Zanu PF has an alternate formulation.”
He added that it was impossible to prescribe a solution to the problem.
Outrageous Mugabe demands
Removed devolution entirely from the draft and deleted all references to devolution
Removed the Peace and Reconciliation Commission
Removed all indigenous languages from being official languages
Introduced mandatory National Youth Service
Removed the open, transparent and public interview process for the appointment of judges and replaced it with a Presidential appointment systemplaces including by deleting all references to democratic society
Done away with a separate Constitutional Court and reverted to the status quo in terms of which the Supreme Court doubles up as a Constitutional Court
Banned dual citizenship for those who are Zimbabwean citizens by descent or registration
Mutilated the Bill of Rights in many places by deleting all references to democratic society
Redefined agricultural land to include any land used for poultry so that they would be able to take any building used to rear chickens
Taken out the Presidential running mate provisions and replaced them with the current system with the new provision that in the event of the office becoming vacant, the replacement will be chosen by the party to which the President belonged
Reposed all executive authority in the President by deleting the provision which vested it in the President and Cabinet
Reconstituted the imperial Presidency by restoring virtually all the current Presidential powers and even added the new provision that Cabinet can only exercise authority under the direction of the President
Restored the current Presidential immunity provisions
Restored the Presidential power to declare war without any restraint or constraint
Made all State institutions subject to the obligation to promote and defend the values of the liberation struggle
Stripped the Speaker of the National Assembly of all administrative powers and vested these in the Clerk of Parliament
Increased the composition of Senate by four
Introduced unfettered powers of the President to dissolve Parliament at his or her whim
Put one Chief into the Judicial Service Commission
Removed provisions limiting permanent secretaries to two five-year terms
Taken out the provisions requiring a law regulate the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and requiring the CIO to be non-partisan, professional and national in character
Inserted provisions which require independent commissions and the judiciary as well to promote and to be guided by the ideals and values of the liberation struggle
Reintroduced the useless and failed Office of Public Protector
Removed the democratic provisions for the appointment of the Anti-Corruption Commission
Deleted the provisions establishing an independent prosecuting authority and re-established the present political office of Attorney-General.
-Summarised MDC leader Welshman Ncube


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Welshman Ncube Rejects Zanu PF Accusations on SADC Leaks

http://www.voazimbabwe.com





22.08.2012
Stung by a leak of details of a regional summit in Mozambique last week Zanu
PF has fired a salvo at Ncube, accusing him of breaching his ministerial
oath by releasing details of the deliberations.

Zanu PF politburo member, Jonathan Moyo told reporters Tuesday that while
proceedings of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defense and Security are
political and not confidential; the summit Heads of State Forum is secretive
in nature.

“It is a violation of Ncube’s cabinet oath to put under his name a purported
verbatim record not corroborated by any other source, and attribute to
certain heads of state certain words. It is unprecedented,” alleged Moyo.

Ncube, who is also Industry minister, told reporters after last week’s
summit that Mugabe was dressed down by other SADC leaders when he tried to
retain deputy Prime Minister, Arthur Mutambara, as a principal in the
ongoing Zimbabwe crisis.

But in an interview with Studio 7 Ncube contends that his release of the
summit details was legal and to the best interest of the Zimbabwean
population.

“I don’t have time to waste answering people who don’t have anything to do
but bring down what we have done,” he said.


Legal expert, Matshobana Ncube of the Abammeli Human Rights Association,
also believes Welshman Ncube did not breach any laws by releasing the detail
of the summit.


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ZimStart runs out of Census collection Data forms

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk




The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStart) in Bulawayo has run out
of census data collection forms, a development which has resulted in the
suspension of the exercise in some areas.
23.08.1201:12pm

by Zwanai Sithole Harare




Enumerators who spoke to the Zimbabwean on Thursday said they have been told
to wait for the forms from Harare.

"Most of the enumerators have run out of the data collection forms .We have
been told to go back home and check with the ZimStart Bulawayo offices on
Friday if the forms will be available. We do not know if we are going to be
paid during this period when the forms are not available," said an
enumerator who refused to be named for fear of victimisation.

Another enumerator who also refused to be named accused ZimStart of poor
planning.

"Surely how can ZimStart embark on such a very important national exercise
when they do not have all the necessary resources in place.Thise exercise
was supposed to end on the 27th of August but with this delay, I think the
exercise will have to be extended," said the enumerator.

The preparations for this year's census have been marred by the involvement
of soldiers who despite failing to meet the census criteria wanted a stake
as census takers. Thousands of the enumerators also failed to secure full
identification regalia required when conducting the exercise after suppliers
reportedly run out of material for the attire. Repeated efforts to get a
comment from ZimStart officials in Bulawayo were all in vein.


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US condemns Zimbabwe raids on gay activists



(AFP) – 4 hours ago

WASHINGTON — The United States on Thursday condemned Zimbabwe over raids on
the offices of a gay rights group and urged authorities to end a "pattern of
abuse" against civil society.

Activists said that two truckloads of police on Monday raided offices of the
group Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe, rounding up 44 people in what
authorities called a search for illegal data and offensive materials.

US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland condemned the raids and said
several people sustained serious injuries. She said the United States
"stands in solidarity" with Zimbabwe's gay rights activists and other civil
society.

"We are deeply concerned when security forces become an instrument of
political violence used against citizens exercising their democratic
rights," Nuland said in a statement.

"We call upon the government of Zimbabwe to end this pattern of abuse and to
eradicate the culture of impunity that allows members of the security sector
to continue to violate the rights of the Zimbabwean people," she said.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has championed gay rights around the
world. Earlier this month on a visit to Uganda, she honored the "brave"
rights activists fighting a proposal to punish homosexual acts with the
death penalty.

The United States and European Union maintain sanctions against Zimbabwe's
veteran President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle as they press for free
elections and democratic reforms.


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ZLHR condemns GALZ raids and state-sponsored homophobia against LGBTS

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk




ZIMBABWE Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) is perturbed by the sustained
attacks, harassment and persecution of members of the Gays and Lesbians of
Zimbabwe (GALZ), including police raids and property seizure from the
organisation’s offices on Monday 20 August 2012 - the second swoop inside
one month.
23.08.1207:39am

by ZLHR



More than 20 police officers from the Zimbabwe Republic Police on Monday 20
August 2012 raided the GALZ offices in Milton Park suburb, Harare. The
police officers, including some in plain clothes, rummaged through the
offices of the organisation and confiscated computers, Digital Versatile
Discs, pamphlets, compact discs and various documents.

According to a search warrant shown to ZLHR lawyers, Tonderai Bhatasara,
Dzimbabwe Chimbga, Jeremiah Bamu and Mandevere Marufu, who responded to the
raid, the police claimed that GALZ is in “possession of pamphlets and fliers
with information that promotes homosexuality for distribution”. The police
also alleged that GALZ director, Chesterfiled Samba, “unlawfully and
intentionally distributed pamphlets and fliers with information that
promotes homosexuality”.

The raid and seizure of GALZ computers and other materials comes barely a
fortnight after the police first raided the premises and arrested 44 GALZ
members present there on Saturday 11 August 2012 during the launch of the
GALZ Violations Report and Briefing on the Second Draft Zimbabwe
Constitution. The 44 were detained for a night, questioned, and personal
details recorded before they were released without charge. Still unappeased,
the police at the weekend launched a manhunt for the 44 GALZ members and
summoned some of them to report to their offices.

ZLHR condemns the illegal and arbitrary actions of the police who appear to
have made it a pastime in recent months to pursue members of GALZ even where
they have not committed any crimes to warrant the police’s attention and
intervention.

ZLHR has monitored and recorded several incidences in recent months where
State actors have stoked up homophobia towards the GALZ community and people
who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or
transgender (LGBT).

Of particular note is the hate speech from government figures who in May
2012 urged chiefs to banish “people who support homosexuality” from their
communities and take away their land.

In July 2012, police summoned the director of GALZ to answer charges of
allegedly undermining the authority of or insulting President Robert Mugabe
in contravention of Section 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform)
Act.

The government should be ashamed that such State-sponsored homophobia has
given rise to an increase in incidents of harassment, persecution, as well
as unlawful arbitrary evictions, which are a violation of our national laws,
as well as the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, to which
Zimbabwe is a signatory.

Harassment and persecution based on sexual orientation is a monumental
tragedy and also a violation of international human rights law.

ZLHR reminds the police and the coalition government that the all-important
international principles of human dignity and non-discrimination are
protected in the Zimbabwe Constitution, as well as in regional and
international treaties to which Zimbabwe is a party so there can be no
justification for such harassment or persecution.

We urge the government to seriously heed the recommendations outlined by
Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,
following her official visit to Zimbabwe, during which she advised that
“there can be no justification for violence, harassment or stigmatization”
against LGBT people.

ZIMBABWE Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) is perturbed by the sustained
attacks, harassment and persecution of members of the Gays and Lesbians of
Zimbabwe (GALZ), including police raids and property seizure from the
organisation’s offices on Monday 20 August 2012 - the second swoop inside
one month.

More than 20 police officers from the Zimbabwe Republic Police on Monday 20
August 2012 raided the GALZ offices in Milton Park suburb, Harare. The
police officers, including some in plain clothes, rummaged through the
offices of the organisation and confiscated computers, Digital Versatile
Discs, pamphlets, compact discs and various documents.

According to a search warrant shown to ZLHR lawyers, Tonderai Bhatasara,
Dzimbabwe Chimbga, Jeremiah Bamu and Mandevere Marufu, who responded to the
raid, the police claimed that GALZ is in “possession of pamphlets and fliers
with information that promotes homosexuality for distribution”. The police
also alleged that GALZ director, Chesterfiled Samba, “unlawfully and
intentionally distributed pamphlets and fliers with information that
promotes homosexuality”.

The raid and seizure of GALZ computers and other materials comes barely a
fortnight after the police first raided the premises and arrested 44 GALZ
members present there on Saturday 11 August 2012 during the launch of the
GALZ Violations Report and Briefing on the Second Draft Zimbabwe
Constitution. The 44 were detained for a night, questioned, and personal
details recorded before they were released without charge. Still unappeased,
the police at the weekend launched a manhunt for the 44 GALZ members and
summoned some of them to report to their offices.

ZLHR condemns the illegal and arbitrary actions of the police who appear to
have made it a pastime in recent months to pursue members of GALZ even where
they have not committed any crimes to warrant the police’s attention and
intervention.

ZLHR has monitored and recorded several incidences in recent months where
State actors have stoked up homophobia towards the GALZ community and people
who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or
transgender (LGBT).

Of particular note is the hate speech from government figures who in May
2012 urged chiefs to banish “people who support homosexuality” from their
communities and take away their land.

In July 2012, police summoned the director of GALZ to answer charges of
allegedly undermining the authority of or insulting President Robert Mugabe
in contravention of Section 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform)
Act.

The government should be ashamed that such State-sponsored homophobia has
given rise to an increase in incidents of harassment, persecution, as well
as unlawful arbitrary evictions, which are a violation of our national laws,
as well as the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, to which
Zimbabwe is a signatory.

Harassment and persecution based on sexual orientation is a monumental
tragedy and also a violation of international human rights law.

ZLHR reminds the police and the coalition government that the all-important
international principles of human dignity and non-discrimination are
protected in the Zimbabwe Constitution, as well as in regional and
international treaties to which Zimbabwe is a party so there can be no
justification for such harassment or persecution.

We urge the government to seriously heed the recommendations outlined by
Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,
following her official visit to Zimbabwe, during which she advised that
“there can be no justification for violence, harassment or stigmatization”
against LGBT people.


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MDC youth call for immediate release of jailed chairman

http://www.swradioafrica.com





By Alex Bell
23 August 2012

The South African wing of the MDC-T Youth Assembly has called for the
immediate release of their Zimbabwean comrade, Solomon Madzore, who remains
jailed at Chikurubi prison.

Madzore, the chairman of the party’s Zimbabwean Youth Assembly, is facing
charges of murder after the death of a policeman in Glen View last year. He
has been jointly charged with 28 other MDC-T members and activists, most of
whom have remained locked up for almost a year. Their trial meanwhile has
been suspended, with the state using the ill health of one of the accused to
stall arguments in the case.

The MDC-T’s South African youth leaders have echoed the party’s belief that
the charges against its members are fabricated. The youth leaders have now
made calls for Madzore’s release the centre of planned protest action taking
place Friday.

The demonstration will be taking place outside the Zimbabwean Embassy in
Pretoria on Friday morning. Madzore’s South African counterpart, Giyani
Dube, told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that the Glen View murder case is
deliberately being stalled “by rogue ZANU PF elements in the government.”

The picket at the embassy will also demand that the draft constitution,
still under debate in Zimbabwe, remain unamended, with the youth wing
rejecting proposed changes by ZANU PF.

“We demand that ZANU PF stop playing games. They signed up to the process
willingly and were fully represented when the document was being drafted.
They must now allow the people to decide what they want,” Dube said.

Friday’s demo will also call for better quality of service from the Embassy
in Pretoria, with the MDC-T youth leaders raising concern that they have
been subjected to partisan treatment.

“The office represents all Zimbabweans and should not be seen to work on
behalf of individuals based only on their political affiliation. The
Ambassador in particular needs to treat us all fairly as Zimbabwean
citizens,” Dube said.

The picket will get underway outside the Embassy from 11am where protesters
will be addressed by the South African youth Chairmanm Dube, the
spokesperson for the Zim wing of the Youth Assembly, Clifford Hlatywayo, and
Mpumelelo Ndlovu, the Youth Association National Acting Organising
Secretary.


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The Salvation Army in Canada Remains Committed to Howard Hospital, Zimbabwe

http://www.prnewswire.com




Hospital Operational, Service Continues

TORONTO, Aug. 23, 2012 /CNW/ - The Salvation Army in Canada has been
informed by its International Headquarters located in London, England, that
Howard Hospital remains operational following the recent reassignment of
the Chief Medical Officer, Captain Dr. Paul Thistle. Patients are being
treated by the two doctors and other medical staff at the hospital.

A new Acting Hospital Administrator has been assigned and is in place to
guide the facility through this transition. According to the statement
issued by the Army's International Headquarters, service will continue and
be enhanced by significant, planned future investment in the hospital.

Since this situation began, The Salvation Army in Canada has been in regular
contact with its International Headquarters. A team under the direction of
International Headquarters will be heading as soon as possible to Howard
Hospital to review and analyze this situation further. The goal of this
group is to better understand the situation on the ground in Zimbabwe, and
to reaffirm our continued support for the hospital and local community.

"As an organization, we remain committed to Howard Hospital and to the
people of Zimbabwe today and in the future," said Commissioner Brian Peddle,
Territorial Commander for The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda. "We
consider the health of its patients and the well-being of the staff at
Howard Hospital to be of paramount importance."

As the home territory for Captain Dr. Paul Thistle and Captain Pedrinah
Thistle, The Salvation Army in Canada is working to ensure the safe return
of the Thistle family. The Salvation Army will work to ensure that this
transition period runs smoothly and will do what is needed to help them
reacclimatize to life in Canada. Once they are home and settled,
consultation will take place with them regarding their future appointments.

"Our first priority is to welcome the Thistles back to Canada," said
Commissioner Peddle. "I have been in communication with Paul and anticipate
further dialogue upon his return home."

Canadians have always generously supported the work of Howard Hospital. A
statement from our International Headquarters confirms that "systems of
internal and external audit are in place and that we will investigate the
processing of donations to Howard Hospital as a further act of
accountability to our donors."

The Salvation Army in Canada will soon be sending a shipment of medical
supplies valued at more than $300,000 to Howard Hospital shortly.


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Tough Going for Retrenched Zimbabwe Ethanol Workers

http://www.voazimbabwe.com




Tatenda Gumbo

22.08.2012
Hundreds of workers retrenched by a Zimbabwean ethanol-processing company
early this year have told a government panel of their daily struggles to put
food on the table for their families.

Green Fuel Private Limited sent home more than 4,000 workers in February
after its Chisumbanje Ethanol plant in Manicaland Province, failed to sell
over 10 million liters of fuel and incurred huge loses.

This after the energy ministry refused to craft a law obliging all motorists
to use ethanol-blended fuel.

A cabinet committee overseeing the company's operations met with the
struggling former workers during a tour Wednesday - who called on government
to reopen the plant so they can start earning a living.

The committee, comprised of Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara,
lawmakers and state officials, was assessing the situation at the shutdown
processing plant.

Some members of the Chisumbanje community said their children have since
dropped out of school.

Green Fuel General Manager Graeme Smith told VOA the meeting with the
cabinet committee was fruitful and relevant.


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Anjin: We're Not Stockpiling Diamonds

http://www.israelidiamond.co.il/


23.08.12, 05:46 / World


A source at the Anjin diamond mine in Zimbabwe claims that the firm is
stockpiling diamonds that it harvests instead of selling them, in order to
avoid having to pay taxes to the government, the Zimbabwean reports. In
response, Anjin has denied the charges and a company representative called
them 'propaganda' that originated with the country's Finance Minister Tendai
Biti.

The unnamed source at Anjin stated that on some days, the diamond company's
multiple processing plants producing upwards of 40,000 carats daily. Anjin
board member Munyaradzi Machacha denied the allegations, and while he would
not give an exact figure, he said that Anjin produces far less than that
number, on the order of 1,000 or 2,000 carats every day.

Another often-cited claim, that Anjin is in part owned by elements in the
Zimbabwean military, was also denied by Machacha, according to the
Zimbabwean. Machacha called attributing ownership of Anjin to the country's
army 'popular fiction'.


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Things fell apart but centre holds hope for Zimbabwe's students

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/




23 August 2012

By Matthew Reisz

Refugee scholars support beleaguered university via virtual learning hub.
Matthew Reisz writes

One Friday in June, Laura Broadhurst sat in a studio in central London that
was linked by satellite to the University of Zimbabwe.

She was there to take part remotely in the official launch of a new 200-seat
virtual learning centre that she hoped would "support the resurgence of
Zimbabwe's higher education sector as a beacon in southern Africa".

A central goal of the initiative is to enable academics in the Zimbabwean
diaspora to support the university's College of Health Sciences and its
faculties of science and veterinary science, all struggling with a lack of
teaching staff as the country's higher education system buckles under the
weight of Zimbabwe's political and economic problems.

Broadhurst is Zimbabwe programme manager at the Council for Assisting
Refugee Academics (Cara). Established as the Academic Assistance Council in
1933, the organisation was designed to aid academics targeted by the Nazis
to find work and build new lives in Britain.

By a strange coincidence, its first general secretary, Sir Walter Adams,
went on to serve as vice-chancellor of what is now the University of
Zimbabwe from 1955 to 1967.

Developing this initial purpose over close to 80 years, Cara and its
predecessors have now given support on British soil to more than 9,000
academics and their families, displaced by persecution and political
upheavals from countries ranging from Argentina, Burma and Cambodia to
Sudan, Uganda and Vietnam.

In the recent Iraq programme, however, there has been an additional
objective: using diaspora enthusiasm and expertise to help rebuild higher
education capacity within Iraq. The Zimbabwe programme has adopted a similar
approach.

Squalid conditions

There is little dispute about the scale of the problem. "Zimbabwe's higher
education is in shambles," Tabitha Mutenga wrote earlier this month in the
Harare-based weekly newspaper The Financial Gazette.

"The country's education system has not been immune to the tense political
situation and harsh socio-economic conditions that prevailed for over a
decade. The once revered education system is now a shadow of its former
self.

"Many schools and institutions of higher learning have not been operating at
full capacity for years, depriving millions of students of their right to
quality education."

The same article also pointed to cases of impoverished students living up to
10 to a room "in repugnant, squalid and insalubrious conditions" or turning
to prostitution, leading to inevitable increases in the number of unsafe
abortions and HIV/Aids cases.

Similar conclusions were reached by a 2010 consultation project that Cara
carried out with the International Organization for Migration, in
partnership with the UK-based Zimbabwe Diaspora Development Interface (ZDDI)
and the Britain Zimbabwe Society.

Its aim was "to listen to the needs of academics on the ground in order to
form a responsive and effective programme" for supporting higher education
in Zimbabwe.

There were three meetings in Harare, Gweru and Bulawayo, bringing together
about 200 academics and higher education professionals. The issues raised
were then discussed in three further meetings, largely of diaspora
Zimbabweans, consisting of 40 delegates in London and 100 in Cape Town and
Johannesburg.

The project's report, CARA/IOM Zimbabwe Higher Education Initiative
Consultation Findings, offered a bleak picture of the state of Zimbabwean
higher education together with many suggestions for constructive
intervention.

"Heightened fees for both tuition and accommodation", payable in US dollars
(used as Zimbabwe's currency since 2009 in an attempt to halt runaway
inflation), had led to "huge dropouts and students forced to defer" at the
start of the 2009 academic year.

A longer-term malaise was the "gross underfunding of institutions by the
government since the 1990s", which translated into "insufficient funds to
buy up-to-date teaching and learning materials, equipment and resources, to
update technology and curricula".

Science students in Bulawayo, for example, had to travel 430km to Harare if
they wanted to see a laser in action. Lack of money had also caused "severe
staff shortages" and a "brain drain".

Cara had itself noticed "an alarming increase in the number of Zimbabwean
refugee academics seeking assistance. In 2009, 17 per cent of grant
applications and the majority of new enquiries were from Zimbabweans". And a
recent report by the country's Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Higher
Education, Science and Technology pointed to a total absence of lecturers,
for example, in the University of Zimbabwe's departments of animal science,
community medicine, metallurgy and clinical pharmacology.

Shortages were almost as acute in other branches of medicine as well as
mining engineering, computer and veterinary sciences.

Alex Magaisa, chairman of the ZDDI, who opened each of the six consultation
meetings, had noted that "many successful Zimbabweans at home and abroad
were beneficiaries of the once prestigious higher education system" and that
this meant they had "a moral obligation to assist in rebuilding the
education sector for the benefit of future generations".

The diaspora communities responded with a range of suggestions for improving
the financial stability of universities, plugging their physical and human
resource gaps, and building links with other institutions.

Cara has been able to take some of these ideas forward in partnership with
Econet Wireless - a company set up by a Zimbabwean and based in South
Africa - by creating the virtual learning centre in what used to be the
University of Zimbabwe's anatomy lecture hall.

The opening ceremony included fervent speeches in praise of Jesus and
congratulations to Broadhurst on her recent marriage, but it also made clear
the vast educational opportunities being opened up for Zimbabwean students
in fields dogged by staff shortages and inadequate facilities.

Aspiring doctors

These opportunities should start to come through during the autumn term. The
most important initial partner is King's College London.

Lectures on anatomy and physiology in King's main medical lecture hall, for
example, will be streamed simultaneously into Zimbabwe, at no cost to the
latter institution or its students.

Students at the University of Zimbabwe can also access the virtual campus
and resources such as slides, case studies, real-life scenarios and
questions and answers.

In the future, there should also be opportunities for two-way discussions
about the treatment of particular diseases, which should benefit aspiring
doctors in the UK as well as in Zimbabwe.

Starting in September, there will be similar links with the School of
Dentistry at Queen Mary, University of London; the University at Buffalo -
State University of New York (for courses in pharmacy); the University of
Pretoria's Faculty of Veterinary Science; and Unesco-IHE (Institute for
Water Education) in the Netherlands.

"We are concerned with filling gaps, not taking over," stresses Broadhurst.
"UZ continues to have responsibility for creating syllabuses, setting exams,
marking and so on."

Further support for Zimbabwe's frail university sector should come from the
many diaspora academics in the UK, southern Africa and elsewhere who are
keen to remain in touch and "give something back", whether or not they have
yet found positions in their new countries.

Provided the relevant deans of faculty agree, Cara can supply them with IP
addresses to deliver lectures straight from their laptops at home.

Longer-term plans include further links with other Commonwealth, and
particularly southern African, universities, as well as renting out the
facilities of the learning centre to generate income.

If all goes well, Broadhurst says, she also looks forward to "the
installation of a roaming unit that would enable lectures and seminars to be
streamed into hospitals and labs to facilitate e-health and e-learning
simultaneously".

The University of Zimbabwe houses the country's only - desperately
understaffed - Faculty of Veterinary Science. In a country where agriculture
is crucial, it needs all the support it can get.

Helping to set Zimbabwe's universities back on their feet will allow them to
spread social and economic benefits well beyond their campuses.

matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com.


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Plunder fears amid ‘wildlife-based reform’

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/


August 23, 2012 in Opinion

Herbert Moyo

AS if the chaotic land reform programme of the last decade blamed for
decimating the country’s agricultural sector and the current contentious
indigenisation policy have not ruined the economy enough, Zanu PF has now
added the country’s wildlife conservancies to its national destruction
manual.


Vast tracts of once very productive farmland have been reduced to wasteland
after being parcelled out to mostly high-ranking Zanu PF officials and those
closely connected to the former ruling party, resulting in Zimbabwe facing
year-on-year food deficits.


The country, which used to be a bread basket of the region even though it
experienced shortages sometimes, is now largely relying on countries in the
region, including South Africa, Zambia and Malawi, for food imports.


Displaced farmers, mainly those now in Zambia, are currently feeding the
nation, while donors have been increasingly bailing out the poor since the
land reform programme.


However, Zanu PF has not stopped its scorched earth policies. The party’s
officials and supporters are now grabbing wildlife conservancies in a move
which threatens the country’s flora and fauna in unprecedented ways.


Besides, the ravages on land and wildlife areas, Zanu PF’s discredited
indigenisation policy, deeply divisive in the unity government and widely
viewed as a vote-buying ploy ahead of the next elections, has scared off
potential investors and led to massive capital flight, robbing the country
of much-needed foreign direct investment and inflows to resuscitate an
economy in intensive care since the turn of the millennium.


Foreign-owned mining companies have been forced to cede 51% of their shares
to locals, while banks continue to operate under threat as Zanu PF’s
indigenisation crusade sweeps across the country’s key economic sectors.




London-based policy analyst Clifford Mashiri has described indigenisation in
its present form as “the most harmful, partisan and counter-productive
policy ever adopted in post-Independent Zimbabwe”. Mashiri wrote that
selfish political expediency and greed rather than sound economic principles
are the driving force in the implementation of this controversial policy.


Mashiri said the on-going programme of threatening takeovers of other people’s
businesses, investments, and valuable assets would not help the empowerment
and transformation agenda as it would only lead to further damage to the
economy, with very serious implications for the future of the country still
slowly recovering from recent near implosion.


A fortnight ago Zanu PF heavyweights converged in Masvingo to launch the
party’s latest economic assault dubbed “Wildlife-based land reform”.


At the gathering, National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority
director-general Vitalis Chadenga issued licences to Zanu PF bigwigs for the
Save Conservancy in the province, and chillingly declared the exercise would
shortly expand to the rest of the country.


Chadenga said the exercise was not aimed at expelling incumbent white owners
in a manner similar to the chaotic fast track land reform but they (whites)
were “only being requested to accommodate blacks as partners in the
conservancies”.


However, the list of beneficiaries exposes the programme as a party exercise
as only Zanu PF officials were granted 25-year leases to game parks in the
conservancy.


Masvingo provincial governor Titus Maluleke got the 3 388 hectare Hammond
ranch in Chiredzi district, Higher Education minister Stan Mudenge was given
a lease to the 16 507 hectare Senuko 2 ranch and former Gutu South MP Shuvai
Mahofa the 5 526 hectare Savuli ranch in the same district. Chiredzi North
MP Ronald Ndava got the 11 736 hectare Bedford ranch in Bikita district
while his Chiredzi South counterpart Ailess Baloyi was given the 6 886
hectare Humani ranch in Chiredzi district.




MDC-T Masvingo provincial secretary Tongai Matutu described the granting of
the leases as “a continuation of the land-grab process”.
“Zanu PF realised that in Masvingo there was no more arable land that could
be taken and so they simply moved into the conservancies with their
potential for high earnings,” said Matutu.


“Other provinces have diamonds, chrome, platinum and gold, but here we don’t
have much except for the conservancies. If these are destroyed there will be
nothing left which is why it is important for a non-partisan approach to be
found to manage these resources.”


Apart from concerns over Zanu PF leaders’ propensity for self-enrichment,
there are also fears that the latest developments would have harmful
repercussions on wildlife resources, the environment, ecological systems and
tourism, not to mention Zimbabwe’s already battered image.


Mindful of the disastrous land reform, Chadenga pleaded for co-operation
between black and white farmers saying government had initially balked at
compulsory acquisition of conservancies after realising their importance.


“They (whites) are also Zimbabweans and have the necessary skills in the
conservancy business,” said Chadenga.





However, his sentiments were contradicted by a belligerent Maluleke who
described the granting of the leases as a “red letter day” for the province
in the prosecution of wildlife-based land reform. Maluleke accused white
farmers of stalling implementation of the programme for the past five years
because “they did not want to work with their black counterparts who had
been issued 25-year leases by Environment minister Francis Nhema”.


“They (white farmers) have been doing everything possible to resist new
farmers and harvesting wildlife illegally but now a new era is beginning
that will see the latter get on with the job they have been assigned,”
Maluleke said.


Vice-chairman of the Save Valley Conservancy Wilfried Pabst has described
the granting of hunting permits as “highly illegal and criminal”.


Even the usually diplomatic EU ambassador Aldo Dell’Ariccia condemned the
programme as “totally unexpected from a country that is preparing to host
such an important function connected with tourism in addition to having
bilateral agreements enjoining it to protect investments of EU nationals”.


Zimbabwe will co-host the United Nations World Tourism Organisation general
assembly with Zambia in August 2012.


“While we respect Zimbabwe’s sovereignty, it is clear they have violated
their bilateral agreements with EU member states and this week I will be
engaging ministers Nhema and (Tourism and Hospitality minister Walter)
Mzembi because these actions are a danger to property rights and tourism,”
said Dell’Ariccia.


With the high levels of unemployment in the country estimated at above 85%,
indigenisation seem to be increasingly a problem rather than part of the
solution and given the current seizure of conservancies it appears we have
not seen the last of Zanu PF’s campaign of plunder.


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Eric Bloch Column:The myth of economic recovery

http://www.theindependent.co.zw


August 23, 2012 in Opinion

Eric Bloch

THERE is continued despondency over Zimbabwe’s economy notwithstanding
government and Finance minister Tendai Biti’s claims that economic recovery
is progressing, albeit slowly. Many contest the view that there has been
economic improvement, or that it is occurring, believing claims of recovery
are fictitious and/or made only with political objectives in mind. This
perception of the population at large poses the question: Are Zimbabweans
economically whipped for many years, oblivious to change, or are politicians
who claim economic change is occurring hallucinating or merely pursuing
political agendas?


The reality is that three years ago there was one positive development in
Zimbabwe; and that is the cessation of the highest hyperinflation ever. In
2008, Zimbabwe experienced inflation at a rate of several trillions percent.
So rapidly were prices rising that most retailers stopped displaying prices
of their goods. Instead, shopkeepers resorted to adjusting prices on their
computerised cash registers or by cashiers adjusting prices upwards by
percentages prescribed by traders during each day.


In early 2009 the newly-formed Government of National Unity effectively
stemmed that hyperinflation by adopting the multi-currency system comprising
the United States dollar, South African rand, Botswana pula, British pound
and the euro. By so doing, to a significant extent Zimbabwe’s inflation was
aligned to the inflation rates of the countries from which those currencies
came from. Of even greater import was that, by virtue of Zimbabwe no longer
having its own national currency, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and
government could no longer resort to endless printing of money, unsupported
by any meaningful national reserves.


Consequently, inflation almost immediately fell to minimum levels
approximating 4% per annum, consistent with inflation rates of many of the
neighbouring countries, and lower than those prevailing in much of Africa.
The impact of that development cannot be credibly denied. However, although
hyperinflation ceased, it was not reversed. Most prices of goods and
services remained at their January 2009 levels, with periodic marginal
increases in alignment to the admittedly low inflation that persisted
thereafter. There is increasing doubt as to whether inflation data is
materially correct; many are convinced actual inflation is higher than
official data suggests.


There is substance to that conviction, especially insofar as low income
earners are concerned; for the weightings of the respective components of
the Consumer Price Index (CPI) on which inflation rates are calculated today
were determined many years ago. In subsequent years, the spending patterns
of low-income earners have markedly changed. Their limited resources
necessitate that their spending is predominantly on basic foodstuffs,
accommodation, utilities, education, transport, healthcare, and minimally on
such items as clothing and footwear, furniture, restaurants and hotels.


Inflation on the latter categories has been significantly less than that on
the former categories, which deflates the computed inflation rate against
the actual rate sustained by most. Hence, whilst there is some substance to
claims of economic recovery based on the overall decline in inflation, the
fact that prices have not gone back to pre-hyperinflation levels and that
there have been unavoidable changes in spending patterns, diminish the real
extent of the alleged recovery.


As a result Zimbabwe remains confronted by several other negative economic
circumstances. A combination of the limited spending power of most
Zimbabweans and an ever-increasing influx of imported goods has impacted
upon the productivity and output of most manufacturing enterprises.



Moreover, as an after-effect of the hyperinflationary era and of the
demonetisation of Zimbabwean currency, almost all of those enterprises are
under-capitalised and devoid of capital resources necessary for viability.
In addition, their productivity has been negatively affected by inadequate
utilities such as electricity and water and by the paucity of rail and air
services. The result has been closure of industries, and the downsizing of
most others. This has impacted adversely on employment, and upon the
salaries and wages of those still employed.


In a normal economic environment, under-capitalised businesses seek to
redress their capital inadequacies by sourcing new investment, or by
obtaining loan funding from banks and other financial institutions. But this
has proved to be almost impossible in the prevailing environment. Investment
funding is extremely limited as potential investors fear for the security of
their investments as a result of the unstable political environment,
ill-considered and oppressive indigenisation and economic empowerment
policies, and pronounced government bureaucracy. Similarly, access to loan
funding is marginal.



The public’s lack of confidence in the banking sector after the collapse and
failure of many banks has minimised deposits which in turn curb banks’
lending. Financial institutions also experience great difficulty (for like
reasons) in sourcing international lines of credit to enable comprehensive
lending to commerce and industry. Because of their limited lending ability,
such loan funding as the banks can provide is of limited tenure, and subject
to exceptionally high rates of interest and allied charges, coupled with
demands for considerable collateral security.


One of the platforms used by politicians to justify claims of economic
recovery is the progressive upturn in the agricultural sector (save for the
2011/12 season when poor rains severely reduced production). It must be
acknowledged that there has been some significant growth in tobacco
production, to a large extent because of corporate contract farming,
although total production was nevertheless only marginally more than 50% of
that achieved in 2001 when draconian land reform policies undermined the
sector’s viability. But production of maize, wheat, cotton, sugar, and many
other crops is at a low level compared to the 1990s and compared to the
country’s economic needs, whilst the national livestock herd is only at 36%
of its peak level.


Another major economic ailment is the impoverished state of the national
fiscus where there are accumulated debts of many billions of dollars,
inability to fund essential infrastructural needs, recurrent below-budget
revenue inflows and therefore ongoing fiscal deficits. At the same time, it
is certain that there are many in government who continue to resort to
costly, corrupt practices.


The problems of manufacturing industries, agriculture, the fiscus and others
prove the economy continues to be grossly emaciated and to say Zimbabwe has
attained economic recovery, such recovery is of so little real extent that
to a substantial degree, the recovery remains a myth.


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Violence, threats and hate speech: little has changed in Zimbabwe

http://www.irishtimes.com/

Thursday, August 23, 2012




LETTER FROM ZIMBABWE: There are signs Mugabe’s party is gearing up for polls
using illicit techniques it favoured in the past, writes BILL CORCORAN

EXAMINING UNFOLDING events in Zimbabwe over the past few months has brought
an old epigram, “the more things change, the more they stay the same”, to
mind on more than one occasion.

Even a cursory look at the main news items in local newspapers over that
period suggests that President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party’s
repeated calls for upcoming elections to be free and fair may not be
genuine.

The Southern African Development Community recently decided that fresh
elections should be held in Zimbabwe before June next year to end the
stalled powersharing arrangement between Zanu-PF and the two Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) party factions.

That much-heralded pact, mediated by the development community and signed in
2009 as a way to overcome disputed polls the previous year, has stabilised
the country somewhat. But it has failed to take it forward, due to the
ideological differences between the opposing groups.

Initially it appeared that Zanu-PF and the MDC parties were willing to work
together for the sake of the country. However, the relationship between the
groups has worsened significantly, and there are indications that Mugabe’s
party is gearing up to contest the coming polls using the illicit techniques
it favoured in the past.

Instances of hate speech, harassment, intimidation and violence attributable
to traditional supporters of Zanu-PF, which has been in power since 1980,
have begun to make the headlines more frequently in recent months than a
year ago.

In the courts, especially at magistrate level, legal actions involving
members of MDC and pro-democracy movements have become long and drawn out.
Critics of Zanu-PF maintain this is being done to ensure those involved have
less time to focus on the upcoming elections.

A good example involves Women of Zimbabwe Arise leaders, Jenni Williams and
Magodonga Mahlangu, who were charged in April with kidnapping a woman named
Emma Mabhena, and remanded in custody.

On May 1st, a magistrate dismissed their application to have the case
against them dropped even though the alleged victim refused to acknowledge
being kidnapped. After appealing the decision to the high court, they were
released.

At the end of June, 100 of the organisation’s members were arrested and
detained by police in Bulawayo for holding a pro-democracy rally in the city
centre.

On May 12th, the Zimbabwe Standard newspaper reported that the MDC faction,
aligned to the prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, has accused the police of
setting in motion a campaign to disrupt its election rallies.

Observers of the Zanu-PF-instigated “indigenisation” policy, under which
black Zimbabweans must own 51 per cent of shares of foreign companies
operating in the country, say the strategy is designed to a facilitate the
creation of a new patronage system.

Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere expanded the policy this week to
include all foreign-owned businesses in Zimbabwe.

The land reform policy of 2000, which involved often violent land grabs of
white-owned farms, has been completed and there are few farms left that can
be given to Zanu-PF loyalists.

It is believed the policy will be used to replace the land reform strategy
as a means to ensure supporters stay loyal to the former liberation
movement, and do its bidding in the run-up to the election.

Kasukuwere gave foreign-owned banks and other companies – including tourism
businesses and private schools – a year to cede the 51 per cent stake of
their operations to local indigenous Zimbabweans or face expropriation.

It was reported in mid-June that the Zanu-PF controlled defence minister had
clandestinely recruited 5,000 additional members in a bid to beef up the
security forces, which have always been loyal to Mugabe’s regime, even
though the state does not have the money to pay their wages.

A further 5,000 people have been employed under similar circumstances by
Zimbabwe’s interior ministry, another government department controlled by
Zanu-PF.

In terms of an increase in hate speech, Tsvangirai said on World Press
Freedom Day on May 3rd that Zimbabwe’s state-controlled media was using the
same strategy as Rwanda’s “Hate radio” that helped to incite the violence in
1994 that led to genocide.

A pro-democracy civil society movement in Zimbabwe, Sokwanele, has been
monitoring press articles generated within Zimbabwe since 2008 to watch for
violations of the terms of the powersharing agreement.

In May it recorded 72 reports that showed violations, such as incitements to
violence, intimidation, hate speech, threats, abductions and brutality: all
of these were attributed to Zanu-PF.

“The category with the highest number of recorded violations was the
harassment of perceived opposition politicians and supporters using
drawn-out litigation, with 18 cases logged,” Sokwanle reported.


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How they got filthy rich

http://www.thezimbabwemail.com/
Phillip Chiyangwa is the biggest beneficiary of his relative President Mugabe
Phillip Chiyangwa is the biggest beneficiary of his relative President Mugabe

Since the attainment of independence in 1980, many people with links to Zanu (PF) have amassed great wealth but just how did they make their millions?

Prominent high-flyers include former army general, Solomon Mujuru, his wife Joyce, Emmerson Mnangagwa, Phillip Chiyangwa, Ray Kaukonde, Ignatius Chombo, Mutumwa Mawere, David Chapfika, Obert Mpofu and Saviour Kasukuwere.

Recent revelations indicate that Solomon Mujuru’s estate is worth $9 billion, with concerns in mining, agriculture, tourism and construction. Mnangagwa’s business empire is more difficult to pin down but is thought to include retail, mining and farming.

Mines Minister Obert Mpofu recently bought off ZABG, a beleaguered bank. He is in direct control of mining processes in the country, among them the diamonds in Marange. He also has interests in properties and wildlife.

Kasukuwere’s empire is mostly in transport and fuel, while Chombo, another senior Zanu (PF) member, made headlines last year over then properties he has acquired since getting into politics, having been a mere lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe.

Smuggling

It is not just Zanu (PF) bigwigs who have made money in Zimbabwe. Individuals such as Mohammed Al Shanfari gained notoriety when he was linked to diamond looting in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Al Shanfari is the owner of Oryx House that is tucked away in Folyjon Close in Borrowdale. He has been linked to Zanu (PF) bigwigs who endorsed Zimbabwe’s intervention in the DRC war in the 1990s in order to take advantage of the strife in that country to smuggle diamonds.

Tales have been told of helicopter-loads of minerals being airlifted from the DRC and influential Zanu (PF) members reportedly escorted diamond smugglers to the airport to ensure they were not searched.

According to sources, one of those now filthily rich individuals started off as a mere Central Intelligence Officer and used his staff card to evade the police. He would use his sister’s car to drive into Mozambique where he bought ivory on the black market, until he managed to build a business empire that now spans numerous concerns.

Dubious platforms

For some, the creation of different platforms has enabled them to divert funds towards their personal pursuits.

Currently, there is concern that the indigenisation programme that Zanu (PF) has been pushing since 2007 is a deliberate ploy to enrich members and allies of the party.

The programme first targeted foreign controlled mines, demanding a 51 percent stake that should be ceded to blacks, but not much is known about local takers. The programme recently spread to conservancies, with Zanu (PF) stalwarts becoming the first beneficiaries.

Phillip Chiyangwa's private jet
Political analyst John Makumbe expressed concern over the wealth being amassed by these individuals, saying the indigenization policy would give them yet another chance to loot the country’s resources.

“The policy (of indigenisation) is aimed at the self-aggrandizement among Zanu (PF)’s rich coterie. This indigenisation policy will not alleviate poverty. It is flawed and is going to make the rich richer,” said Makumbe.

The likes of Mutumwa Mawere, who was forced off the vast Shabanie Mashava Mines by his erstwhile cronies in Zanu (PF) and now lives in self-imposed exile in South Africa, was a direct beneficiary of affirmative action in the early years of independence.

He reportedly acquired the asbestos mining company without paying a single cent, thanks to the Zanu (PF) patronage. According to sources, he neglected his godfathers, resulting in them conniving to push him out.

Some have chosen to use underground syndicates to fatten their purses. There have been unconfirmed reports of several high-profile individuals forming “mafia gangs” to collect gold and diamonds from illegal miners and smuggling them out of the country.

Wikileaks

In a 2008 Wikileaks cable, the then US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, James McGee said high ranking government officials were getting millions of dollars through illegal diamond trade.

He was quoted as saying: “High ranking Zimbabwe government officials and well-connected elites are generating millions of dollars in personal income by hiring teams of diggers to hand extract diamonds.”

The cable also quoted African Consolidated Resources Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Cranswick, whose claim was seized in Chiadzwa, as saying a small group of officials were amassing a lot of wealth from Chiadzwa diamonds.


He named Grace Mugabe, Joyce Mujuru, Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono, and General Constantine Chiwenga as some of the culprits.

In May this year, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said only a small group of powerful figures in Zimbabwe was benefiting from diamond trade.

Biti is on record saying the Treasury was not receiving revenue from Anjin, a diamond mining company in Chiadzwa. Global Witness, a United Kingdom based non-governmental organisation claims it was highly possible that the revenues had been diverted to the company’s part owners in the military and the police.

The dynamics surrounding how these individuals have acquired their wealth have a political bearing, some analysts say. The high-ranking figures cannot openly challenge Mugabe, who is fully aware of their shenanigans, because they fear being arrested. According to the analysts, that is why the Zanu (PF) succession issue has taken so long.

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