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No progress in GPA talks: Ncube

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

15/02/2010 00:00:00

ONE of the GPA negotiators says despite the intervention of SADC facilitator
and South Africa president Jacob Zuma, no progress has been made in the
ongoing dialogue to bridge differences between the country's coalition
partners.

Zuma dispatched his representatives to Harare last week to try to get the
stalled talks off the ground but the team failed to bring the bickering
parties any closer to a deal.

MDC-M representative and industry minister, Professor Welshman Ncube told
the state-owned Herald newspaper that the negotiators have failed to make
any headway since the talks resumed last week.

"Nothing is moving and it is useless for us to continue telling the nation
that there is no progress while they are looking to us as Government to
deliver," Ncube is also reported as saying.

He added that the talks which had been scheduled to continue on Monday would
not take place because of the absence of MDC-T representative and finance
minister, Tendai Biti.

"We are not meeting today because Tendai went away to Tunisia and nothing
can move when one of the negotiators is not available.

"I am not aware of the purpose of his visit to Tunis but, he just confirmed
to us that he will not be available for today's round of talks," Ncube said.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC formation has since challenged its
coalition partners to concede that the dialogue has failed and begin
preparations for general elections.

Tsvangirai's party wants various grievances regarding the implementation of
the SADC-brokered political deal with President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF
addressed.

The MDC-T sites, among a number of so-called outstanding issues, Mugabe's
refusal to swear-in its nomination for deputy agriculture minister as well
as the appointments of the attorney general and the head of the central bank
which it claims were unconstitutional.

For its part, Zanu PF is demanding that sanctions imposed by western
countries must be lifted and recently vowed not to make any concessions in
the ongoing dialogue until this is done.


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ZANU PF accused of politicising civil servants strike

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Violet Gonda
15 February 2010

State security agents and youth militia have been accused of interfering
with the current industrial action by civil servants. Takavafira Zhou the
President of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) says Central
Intelligence Officers, soldiers and the militia descended on some schools
threatening headmasters and teachers who had not yet joined the strike and
forcing them to leave the schools.

"At one school in Masvingo they even suggested that the Deputy Head should
send pupils home, and that pupils should only come back when the industrial
action would have ended. We congratulate them if they have joined the
industrial action but at the same time we become worried when a crocodile
smiles at a fisherman," said Zhou.

The PTUZ President told SW Radio Africa on Monday this behaviour by security
operatives and militia was indicative of attempts by 'a political party' to
control the industrial action by pretending to be sympathetic, but at the
same time derailing the cause of the industrial action.

The MDC has also come out accusing ZANU PF of politicising the strike by
civil servants. The party told the Standard Newspaper that 'state security
agents and ZANU PF hardliners are stoking the on-going strike in an effort
to wreck the fragile inclusive government'. MDC Spokesperson Nelson Chamisa
is quoted saying ZANU PF was taking advantage of the plight of workers to
portray the MDC-T as having failed to improve the lives of ordinary
Zimbabweans since the formation of the inclusive government.

Civil servants began the industrial action over a week ago, demanding a
better standard of living and a top-up of their salaries from $150 to $630,
but the government has said it has no money.

However, the PTUZ said the government has been quiet and has not been
engaging with the workers about their grievances and union leaders are busy
mobilising the workers to come up with more ways to engage them.

He said: "It is surprising that the employer is rather threatening, saying
the strike is illegal and that workers must go back to work.We will not eat
threats, we will continue to lobby our members in order to bargain for
better salaries and living conditions."

It's reported many schools countrywide, as well as government offices have
been affected by the crippling strike. Zhou said it is unfortunate to cause
suffering to students but insists their intention was that the strike would
be very short. He believes the major problem has been caused by the
'bickering' over political power sharing, and that the politicians don't
seem too much concerned about their plight.


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Civil servants vow to continue with strike

http://www.zimeye.org/?p=13384

By Privilege Musvanhiri

Published: February 15, 2010

Harare - Zimbabwe's civil servants have vowed to continue striking
despite a declaration that the industrial action is illegal by their
employer.

On Monday the Public Service Association (PSA) president Mrs Cecilia
Alexander told ZimEye that the strike which began on the 5th of February is
going forward until government addresses the workers' demands.

"The strike is not going to stop. We gave government a two weeks notice of
strike after a deadlock. If they wanted to do any interventions, they should
have done this during the period. Instead they showed lack of seriousness on
addressing the plight of civil servants.

"Dr Mariyawanda Nzuwah's statements are nonsensical. He is trying to put out
fire with paraffin. We are becoming more upset. Instead of pleading and
sympathizing with the workers, he is ordering us to go back to work without
any address to our concerns," Alexander said.

Charles Mubwandarikwa a teacher at Harare's Highfields Primary school said:
"There is no way we are going back to work without getting our salary
increments. The Public Service Commission's declaration is inconsiderate.
Civil servants are earning salaries that are below the poverty datum line
and this is illegal because we are getting slave wages."

Salaries below the poverty datum line are classified as slave wages
according to International Labour Organisation (ILO) statutes,

On Thursday last week, the civil servants employer, Public Service
Commission (PSC) declared the strike illegal and ordered civil servants to
return to work saying unions had not followed required steps to declare a
strike.

In a statement, PSC chairman Dr Mariyawanda Nzuwah said civil servants did
not comply with Section 16:04 of the Public Service Act and the Public
Service Regulations (2000).

He said according to the law, negotiators first engage each other, and if no
solution is found, they can call in an independent arbitrator whose decision
if disputed by the employees they can proceed and give a notice for a
strike.

Nzuwah said this was not followed therefore workers should return to work as
their continued strike is in violation of the law but unionists believe in
the contrary.

On Monday union leaders went ahead in Chinhoyi with the country wide rallies
to drum up support for civil servants to join the industrial action.

Rallies have been held in the country's major cities where civil servants
for the first time since 1996 have gathered amass to air their grievances
and to endorse the ongoing strike.

Some civil servants have been reporting to work for fear of victimization
but schools have been seriously affected by the industrial action as
teachers have responded to the call for strike.

Civil servants are demanding for a minimum wage of $630 but government has
said it has no money to meet such a demand.

Government has offered $122 for the lowest paid worker and $236 for the
highest paid against a poverty datum line pegged at $500.


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EU to endorse decision to extend targeted sanctions by another year

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Tichaona Sibanda
15 February 2010

The European Union's council of ministers will meet in Brussels, Belgium on
Tuesday to endorse a proposal to extend the sanctions against Zimbabwe until
20 February 2011.

The Committee of permanent representatives from the EU met last week and
decided to extend the targeted sanctions against Robert Mugabe and his
cronies. SW Radio Africa understands that this decision was motivated by the
shortage of sufficient progress in the implementation of the Global
Political Agreement between ZANU PF and the two MDC formations.

The EU imposed sanctions on 203 key ZANU PF and government figures allegedly
involved in violence and human rights abuses and 40 companies associated
with these individuals and their sources of finance.

Despite strong resistance from human rights defenders, the EU is likely to
remove some names and companies from the sanctions list. There are divisions
within the EU over the sanctions issue; some are calling for the lifting of
embargoes on state firms, while others want targeted restrictions eased.

Gabriel Shumba, a lawyer and human rights activist told us the majority of
EU countries were against the lifting of targeted sanctions against
Zimbabwe. Shumba who was in Brussels last week said crucial benchmarks to
move the country forward have yet to be met by Mugabe and his ZANU PF party.

"You can't reward them for stalling progress under the GPA. What have Mugabe
or those on the list done in the last year to deserve being struck off the
list?" said Shumba.

The EU set benchmarks for the inclusive government to meet if sanctions were
to be lifted. Among them was the restoration of the rule of law, respect for
human rights, media freedom and institutional reforms. But Mugabe has vowed
he will not cede any further ground in negotiations with Tsvangirai's MDC
until all sanctions against him and his cronies are lifted.

"The inclusive government is not working because the benchmarks set by the
EU have not been met or pursued for that matter. Repressive laws are still
there and human rights violations are still there; so why lift the
sanctions," Shumba said.

He added; "Everywhere you go, the sentiments are the same; it is not the
restrictions that are creating problems in the country but mismanagement,
and not respecting of human rights."

Shumba argued that it was too early to remove sanctions because the levers
of power were still very much in the hands of those on the sanctions list.
All those on the list are banned from traveling to Europe, and their assets
are frozen in European banks.

He said there was a likelihood that some individuals and companies would be
removed from the list as the EU works by consensus, to appease other nations
that are calling for the removal of the sanctions.

Last year, the EU and Australia removed Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn Project leader
Simba Makoni from their lists of targeted individuals. Dumiso Dabengwa the
leader of the revived ZAPU was also removed from the Australian list. There
is speculation he will be one of the few individuals to be removed from the
EU list on Tuesday.

Others names to be removed might be those of the late former Defence Forces
Commander Vitalis Zvinavashe, and the late ZANU PF Minister without
Portfolio and party Commissar, Elliot Manyika, who was killed in a car
accident. He has already had his name struck off the Australian list.



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MDC’s Gwezere tell of torture at hands of ‘drunk’ security agents

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Alex Bell
15 February 2010

The MDC’s Transport Manager Pascal Gwezere, who was finally released from
prison ten days ago, has recounted his ordeal of brutal torture at the hands
of state security agents.

Gwezere was until recently locked up at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison
after he was abducted by suspected state security agents on October 27, 2009
at his Mufakose home. He was viciously tortured and then refused medical
treatment while in custody, pending trial for trumped up banditry charges.
He was accused of plotting with army officers and stealing 20 AK 47 rifles
and a shotgun from an armoury at Pomona Barracks. With absolutely no
evidence against him, the state could not keep him on remand and he was
finally released earlier this month.

Gwezere told the Zimbabwe Independent last week that he is a ‘dead’ man,
saying that his torturers “have killed me already.” He also said the men
were invariably drunk during his interrogation and used a range of torture
methods, from tying his genitals with strong cotton thread and pulling them
in all directions, to burying him alive.

“They damaged my manhood; they tied my genitals with cotton strings and
would pull them from all sides. When that didn’t work they wanted to bury me
alive. I can never forget the pain and humiliation for a crime I did not
commit,” he narrated to the Zimbabwe Independent.

Gwezere recounted how his abduction resembled a ‘Hollywood’ movie, with a
large group of armed men storming his home and bundling him away. Outside
the house, Gwezere explained that police in riot gear and more state agents
had barricaded the road from both ends. The MDC employee was then beaten
with the butt of a pistol while being ‘pinched all over the body including
on the ears.’ On arrival at a base he did not know, Gwezere said he was
taken to a room where the beatings continued. This time his interrogators
used booted feet, clenched fists and open palms. One of the torturers used a
broomstick to assault him.

On the first night Gwezere said he was not asked anything in connection with
the alleged stolen firearms that he was eventually charged with stealing.
Instead he was questioned about his powers as an MDC employee and where he
got the powers from. While in detention Gwezere said he was subjected to
‘intense torture using inhuman tactics.’ He detailed how, just before his
first appearance in court on October 31, his interrogators threw him into a
shallow grave and began to shovel earth on top of him until just his head
was left exposed. They said they would only dig him out when he revealed
where the stolen arms were hidden. They called this the ‘undertaker method.’

”They told me that I was a stubborn man and that all levels of interrogation
had almost been complete yet I had not said anything, so they were going to
use the ‘undertaker method’,” Gwezere said.

Gwezere also claimed that he was framed and set up not by someone in ZANU
PF, but by someone within his own party, the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai.
He said: “I was implicated by fellow workmates who could not stand the idea
of being taken in by the security agents.”


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WOZA ‘Valentine’ protests attracts hundreds

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Alex Bell
15 February 2010

Hundreds of men and women from the pressure group Women and Men of Zimbabwe
Arise (WOZA) took to the streets of Harare and Bulawayo to mark Valentine’s
Day, in what the group called tests of civic and media freedom under the
year-old unity government.

About 700 WOZA members marched through the capital city on Saturday to the
offices of the state’s mouthpiece newspaper, the Herald, handing out
Valentine cards, red roses and abbreviated copies of WOZA’s report on the
state of democracy in Zimbabwe to thrilled passers-by. Six protests started
separately and converged on the offices of the Herald. The peaceful
demonstrators sang as they marched, handing out roses and Valentine’s cards
to eager Saturday shoppers who rushed forward to accept the gifts. At the
Herald offices, the peaceful protestors chanted slogans for a few minutes
before leaving a copy of the report, a Valentine rose and a WOZA scarf at
the door, then dispersed without incident.

Then on Monday, WOZA members re-enacted the scene in Bulawayo where close to
a thousand peaceful protestors marched on the offices of the Chronicle
newspaper. Five protests started separately and made their way through the
city, singing and handing out roses and cards to the public in Bulawayo,
many of whom then proceeded to join in the demonstration. WOZA leader Jenni
Williams explained how people rushed out of shops and offices to join in the
excitement, saying there was a ‘carnival’ atmosphere.

Songs sung by the peaceful protestors included: “We want to expose this
delay in writing our constitution, which will delay our getting our social
justice”; “we don’t want the Kariba Draft” and “we need a Bill of Rights
that respects us - send us around the country to consult on the
constitution, as WOZA respects people.”

At the Chronicle offices, the group sat down outside the building whilst a
journalist came out to interview Williams about the demonstration. After the
interview, Williams gave the journalist a copy of the report and a Valentine
rose before the group left peacefully.

The report, entitled “Hearts starve as well as bodies – give us bread but
give us roses too! Democratising Zimbabwe – an opportunity to shine!” is a
snapshot of community activists’ views on the state of democracy in Zimbabwe
one year after the formation of the Government of National Unity (GNU).
Williams explained that there is grave concern over ongoing harassment,
arrests and lawlessness across the country. She said that crucial reforms
have not happened, leaving people worried about a return to violence and
oppression should elections be called.



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Mujuru, Nkomo blocked Moyo politburo bid

http://www.thezimbabwetimes.com/?p=27335

February 15, 2010

By Raymond Maingire

HARARE - Tsholotsho North legislator Jonathan Moyo's appointment into the
powerful Zanu-PF politburo Friday was allegedly blocked by Vice Presidents
Joice Mujuru, John Nkomo who are said to have felt that his strong
political ambitions could easily destabilize the party.

The two vice presidents are said to have acted in concert with Zanu-PF's new
national chairman, Simon Khaya Moyo, Zimbabwe's former ambassador to South
Africa.

Sources close to the developments said Saturday a Zanu-PF camp led by
retired army commander Solomon Mujuru met to seal Moyo's fate three days
before the announcement of the new politburo on Friday.

"He is not trusted," said the source, "They feel he is too ambitious and can
harm the party. They see him as an unrepentant person."

The President and the three other members in the presidium have to agree on
appointments into the politburo, which comprises a few elite members of the
party who make key decisions on behalf of the party.

President Robert Mugabe apparently has a soft spot for his former propaganda
chief who however is said to have personal axes to grind with Mujuru and
Nkomo.

"The Mujuru camp met Tuesday and resolved that Moyo should never be given a
senior post because he insulted the party and could not be trusted any
more," said the source.

"Moyo's fate was as good as sealed after he aligned himself with the
Emmerson Mnangagwa faction of Zanu-PF, which now stands more or less beaten
in the struggle to control the party."

Until Mugabe's announcement on Friday Moyo looked set to land either the
post of secretary for the commissariat or that of secretary for information
and publicity.

The source said Nkomo also got the opportunity to hit back at Moyo, whom he
sued for claiming he was the mastermind behind the ill-fated Tsholotsho
declaration 2004, which sought to rearrange the party's ageing leadership.

The alleged coup plot also sought to block the ascendancy of Mujuru into the
presidium in preference of Mnangagwa, a party stalwart.

The move elicited an angry reaction from Mugabe who summarily dismissed six
provincial chairpersons from the party and berated Moyo for being the brains
behind the plot.

He, however, mysteriously spared Moyo whom he only dropped from both the
central committee and the politburo.

Moyo was to be dismissed as information minister in 2005 after he defied a
party directive not to contest the Tsholotsho seat which the party had
reserved for a woman candidate in the 2005 parliamentary elections.

Moyo went on to win the seat and was to become independent legislator until
his recent readmission into the party after which he was quickly appointed
into the Zanu-PF central committee.

The source said the Zanu-PF leadership were also handed the invidious task
of explaining its propensity to easily readmit Moyo into the powerful power
structures when other long-serving members were subjected to disciplinary
action before reappointment.

Zanu-PF's politburo has 49 members who include the party leader, two
deputies, a chairperson, 19 heads of department and their 19 deputies, as
well as 10 committee members.

Any member of the party holding a full secretary position is influential to
the extent that he implements party policy and can speak on behalf of the
party.

As a central committee member, Moyo is one among 250 members whose influence
in the party is limited.

Soon after his ignominious exit from Zanu-PF Moyo fought endless battles
with the party's old guard including the late vice president Joseph Msika,
who never concealed his rancour towards him.

Moyo, once described by Mugabe as clever but not wise, has been writing
newspaper articles apparently advertising his availability ahead of the
politburo announcement.

Observers said his attempts smacked of somebody trying to endear himself
with the President ahead of the politburo announcement.

In the past, Moyo called Zanu-PF a tribal clique. He has also called on
Mugabe to step down.

Moyo wrote in one of his articles, "That Mugabe must now go is thus no
longer a dismissible opposition slogan but a strategic necessity that
desperately needs urgent legal and constitutional action by Mugabe himself
well ahead of the presidential election scheduled for March 2008 in order to
safeguard Zimbabwe's national interest, security and sovereignty.

He wrote in another, "One does not need to be a malcontent to see that,
after 25 years of controversial rule and with the economy melting down as a
direct result of that rule, Mugabe's continued stay in office has become
such an excessive burden to the welfare of the state and such a fatal danger
to the public interest of Zimbabweans at home and in the Diaspora that each
day that goes by with him in office leaves the nation's survival at great
risk while seriously compromising national sovereignty."

Moyo's response to last week's Politburo appointments would have vindicated
his detractors.

At the weekend, Moyo said Zanu-PF appeared unwilling infuse new blood into
its structures.

"The continued emphasis by some insensitive Zanu-PF leaders on a selfish
past, with claims we hear these days that "those who were not in the
liberation struggle were not there and should not be there now" are simply
not helpful to the party and are, in fact, counter-revolutionary," said
Moyo.

"It is very difficult for many well-meaning Zimbabweans who are committed to
safeguarding the gains of the liberation struggle to understand how or why
some Zanu-PF leaders who now make up the party's critical old guard seem to
have conveniently forgotten that they impacted and shaped our national
politics in the liberation struggle when they were young people."


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Zanu PF Clash Over Mine And Mugabe Birthday Bash

http://news.radiovop.com/

15/02/2010 12:19:00

Bikita, February 15, 2010 - Two Zanu PF factions in Masvingo are involved in
a fiece tug of war in the battle to takeover and control Zimbabwe's sole
lithium producer, Bikita Minerals, threatening the smooth-running of
operations at one of Zimbabwe's top foreign currency earning mining
entities.

The party is also said to be divided over the organising of President Robert
Mugabe's birthday bash. Mugabe turns 86 on February 21 and this year's
celebrations for Mugabe's birthday are scheduled to take place in Bulawayo.

Bikita Minerals,which is located about 60 kilometers east of Masvingo city,
has of late been the battle ground of a raging battle to control the
province between two Zanu PF factions, one led by Emmerson Mnangagwa and the
other led by Vice President Joice Mujuru.

The Mujuru faction formerly enjoyed unchallenged control at the lithium mine
through politburo member Dzikamai Mavhaire, who is a board member but
Mnangagwa's faction had of late been pushing hard to gain control at the
mine, resulting in a tense tug of war.

Recently, the Mnangagwa faction, through former Bikita West Member of
Parliament Retired Colonel Claudious Makova tried to take control of the
mine under the pretext of indigenisation and went on to mastermind the
kidnapping of the mine manager Ronnie MaCphail and three other senior
managers who enjoy the tacit backing of the Mujuru faction.

However, the Mujuru faction hit back, after Mavhaire used his political
clout and influence to have Makova's youths accused of kidnapping the Bikita
Minerals managers jailed by a local magistrates court.

However, in a sign of the widening rift, the Mnangagwa faction led by Makova
was reportedly trying to influence villagers in Bikita to stage
demonstrations against the mine accusing it of destroying the environment.

'The whole idea is to try and push out Mavhaire from the mine because the
Mnangagwa faction fears that Mavhaire,who is aligned to the Mujuru faction,
is getting powerful economically via his control of various big firms and
companies in Masvingo. So Makova is being pushed as the senior Zanu PF
politician in Bikita to fight very hard,'said a source in Zanu Pf,'' who did
not want to be named.

Workers at the mine said they now feared for their future after Zanu PF
youths aligned to Makova descended at the mine last week and terrorised them
accusing them of backing whites who work with Mavhaire.

Mavhaire at the weekend rubbished claims that there was a fight to control
the mine."If there is a fight going on then obviously it does not involve me
because I will not waste my time fighting against fellow party members.
Anyone who is fighting me because I am a board member at Bikita Minerals is
against Zanu PF policies and does not belong to the party.''

Masvingo is long known for its reputation as one of the many battlegrounds
for Zanu Pf factionalism in Zimbabwe. Mavhaire,who was a key ally of the
late legal guru Eddison Zvobgo, is of late enjoying a purple patch in his
political fortunes, mainly due to his alliance with VP Mujuru.

Meanwhile reports from Masvingo also says Zanu PF is divided over Mugabe
bash.

There is serious in-house fighting following the dispute over the
appropriate action to be taken against members who failed to contribute
towards President Mugabe's birthday bash to be held in Bulawayo on 27
February at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) grounds.

Sources with the party's provincial executive said Masvingo is struggling to
meet its target of 30 beasts and thousands of dollars to be donated to
Mugabe.

"Heads are expected to roll in the party's structures, there is already a
serious fighting as some big guys are refusing to donate anything to Mugabe
and yet they are the people who should lead by example. As we speak, the
province has totally failed to meet its target of at least 30 beasts. Some
want the offenders to be punished while some guys are saying the move must
tell Mugabe that something is wrong in Masvingo," said a top party official
in Masvingo.

However, Zanu PF provincial chairman Lovemoire Matuke said the media has
nothing to do with Mugabe's birthday. Matuke could neither confirm
nor deny the allegations.

RadioVOP is reliably informed that Richard Dzoro who was supposed to moblise
resources from fellow party members refused to so following
some frustrations from fellow members who discouraged him. But Dzoro denied
this to Radio VOP saying: "I was not discouraged as such; I only thought it
was good that someone takes over from where I left. I mobilized for
resources last year and I now think someone must do that this year. I am not
sure if the province managed to meet the target."


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Measles continues to spread in Zimbabwe

http://vaccinenewsdaily.com

by Ted Purlain on February 15, 2010

HARARE, Zimbabwe - Measles continues to spread in Zimbabwe despite
intensified efforts by the government and its partners to contain the
outbreak, which has affected more than 1,200 people since October, The
Herald reported Feb. 10.

According to the latest weekly epidemiological bulletin produced by the
Cholera Command and Control Centre (C4), between Jan. 25 and 31, 611 blood
specimens had been received by the polio-measles laboratory; 221 of them
were confirmed to be measles.

These figures are an increase from the previous week's 459 blood specimens
and 176 positive measles cases.

Latest information indicates that 72 percent of positive measles cases where
above the routine immunization ages of 9 to 12 months, and the majority of
the positive cases were in children ages 5 to 14 years.

Seventeen percent of all positive cases were in children ages 5 to 14; 18
percent were in those ages 1 to 5 years old; and 11 percent were in infants
9 to 12 months old.

The district measles attack rates for the week ranged between 357 per
100,000 compared to 160 per 100,000 people the previous week.

The C4 is a national body formed at the height of the cholera outbreak last
year to respond to emergencies and is led by officials from the Ministry of
Health and the World Health Organization.

According to the bulletin, the majority of the measles attacks were in
people who had never been immunized.

Since October 2009, 28 of Zimbabwe's 62 districts had at least one confirmed
measles case.

In response to the outbreak, the government said it might invoke provisions
of the Public Health Act that empower the Minister of Health and Child
Welfare to enforce immunizations. This follows refusal by some people to
take their children for immunization.

However, Health Secretary Dr. Gerald Gwinji said the act needs amendment
before the minister could invoke the necessary provisions.

"The act needs amendment because it is not clear when a child is said to be
of public health threat.

"It is vague whether the ministry can actually drag someone from his home
saying he is a threat to the public when he is in his house or the provision
applies only when a child is at school," Gwinji said.

Worldwide, vaccination has led to the elimination of measles in the WHO
region of America while global measles mortality has decreased by 74 percent
from 750,000 in 2000 to 197,000 deaths in 2007.


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Cholera resurfaces

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

Written by The Zimbabwean
Monday, 15 February 2010 06:52
HARARE - The World Health Organisation says cholera has resurfaced in
Zimbabwe after a month-long lull in an outbreak that has so far killed five
people and infected nearly 150 others.

The WHO said seven new cholera cases were reported Harare, Mwenezi, Mount
Darwin and Shamva districts since the outbreak resurfaced on February 4.
One of the confirmed cases was from Kuwadzana Phase Three in Harare while
three others were Mwenezi in Masvingo province.
One of the confirmed Mwenezi cases was treated in Beitbridge.
Shamva recorded two cholera cases between February 4 and 7 while an
unconfirmed case was reported in Mount Darwin, also in Mashonaland Central
province.
The case treated in Beitbridge was linked to a funeral at one of the farms
in Mwenezi district while another case was attributed to having eaten
unwashed mangoes in Beitbridge.
Zimbabwe's cholera outbreak had subsidised since the first week of January
when figures stood at 149 cumulative cases and five deaths.
The resurgent outbreak, which is concentrated in rural areas where 82
percent of the cases have so far been reported, raises fears of more deaths
particularly as the mango season is upon the country.
Mangoes and other fruits are regarded as dangerous transmitters of the
cholera bacteria since some people often ignore health precautions and eat
the fruits without washing them.


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State universities near collapse

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

15/02/2010 00:00:00
by Gilbert Nyambabvu

THE country's higher education sector has been hit hard by a debilitating
brain-drain with most of the major state-run universities understood to be
experiencing severe staff shortages while infrastructure is said to be in a
state of general decay.

A recent report to the parliamentary education committee showed that science
departments in Zimbabwe's universities have been hardest hit by the brain
drain as staff left in search of better conditions of service.

The report said that at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), the departments of
animal science, community medicine, metallurgy and clinical pharmacology
require 20, 18, 13 and 11 lecturers respectively - but have nobody in post.

Computer science and veterinary sciences both require 13 lecturers but have
only one each. Psychiatry, geo-informatics and mining engineering also have
one lecturer each but require 16, 10 and eight respectively.

Again the department of medicine has eight lectures but needs 26 while the
anaesthetics, statistics, anatomy and haematology departments each have two
lecturers instead of 16, 11, 10 and eight respectively.

The parliamentary committee heard that the shortages at the UZ mirror the
precarious situation in all state-run higher education institutions.

"Academics are in short supply at the institution. University infrastructure
is dilapidated and this includes lecturer theatres, halls of residence and
dining halls. The university fleet is grounded.

"The government needs to priorities higher education in the fiscus for
universities to not only be fully operational, but to also ensure better
conditions for staff," the committee said.

The economic decline experienced over the last decade induced a massive
flight of human capital from the country.

Many of those who left were Zimbabwe's most skilled and mobile people
including academics and university administrators.

And as the situation worsened, the University of Zimbabwe was closed for
almost a year because of a long lecturer strike and infrastructural
problems.

Meanwhile, a call by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for Zimbabweans to
return home and help rebuild the country was received with scepticism by the
large diaspora community.

In addition, the constant political bickering between the country's
coalition partners and the lack of progress in implementing reforms have
further undermined confidence among non-resident Zimbabweans that the
country is about to turn the corner.


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More Dark Days For Zimbabwe

http://news.radiovop.com

15/02/2010 12:21:00

Bulawayo, February 15, 2010 - Zimbabwe is facing more dark days ahead as it
emerged that the country is generating far less than half of what it needs
after four power units at the Hwange power stations broke down in the last
two months.

The breakdown of the four power units have further reduced power output to
the country as only two power units are now operational at the station and
are only producing 190 MW of power. Hwange has a capacity of producing 920
MW of power when all six power units are operational.

Zimbabwe needs 2 600 megawatts (MW) of power to operate normally but
currently the country's total power generation is 940 MW. The country
imports a further 295 MW of power from neighbouring countries to augment the
national output.

Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) spokesperson, Fullard Gwasira,
this week said the power utility will release a new load shedding schedule
to deal with low power output from energy sources.

"At the present moment the power we are generating is quite low and the
electricity imports are far below consumers' needs, there is depressed
generation at Hwange power station as only two of the six power units are
operational and from a maximum capacity production of 920 MW at Hwange power
station we are only producing 190 MW pf electricity,"Gwasira said.

The serious shortage of electricity, that sees all sections of the country
go for more than seven hours daily without any power, will affect the
country's plans to lure tourists and football teams that will throng the
region for the World Cup tournament in South Africa in June and July.

It also emerged that all the three thermal power stations in the country are
not operational and are not generating any electricity. Munyati, Bulawayo
and Harare power stations have a combined potential to generate 500 MW of
power.

Gwasira however said the country's solution was for the maintenance of the
thermal power stations. "The three thermal power stations have a potential
to generate close to 500 MW and if they are serviced they can contribute to
the national output,"he said.

Zimbabwe has a standing controversial US $40-million deal with Namibia's
power utility where the Namibians are helping Hwange Colliery Company (HCC)
to increase coal production and keep a steady supply to the Hwange power
station, in return for 70 MW of power.

Zimbabweans have had to endure long and unannounced load shedding because of
electricity shortages.


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Urgent report from Chipinge farmer

The following is a report just received from Mr Dawie Joubert of Chipinge:

Update 14 February

The following email report has just been received:

At approximately 11.30am we return from church to receive the following report re happenings on Stilfontein Farm:

Approximately 314 head of stud Brahman cattle have been moved into the security fenced workshop yard area.

This includes 114 bulls (including top stud bulls), that have been herded in together with the female stock and young calves. The extreme concern is the presence of females on heat – this will cause fights amongst the mature males, especially the older and more valuable stud bulls, and can cause severe injury to the female herself.

In this very small restricted area of about 3 hectares there is no drinking water for the animals.

There is also no grazing of any significance for this number of animals.

There are 2 very deep big cemented tanks sunk into the ground normally used to circulate/recycle coffee washing water. These are approximately three metres deep.

These tanks are uncovered and pose a great danger to the animals should they fall into them. There are also various implements and scrap metal which can injure the animals.

Of extreme concern is a macadamia and avocado nursery which is normally kept inside the workshop area – this comprises of approximately 20 000 grafted macadamia seedlings in jumbo pots, as well as approximately 400 avocado seedlings, also in jumbo pots. A herd of cattle in the same confines can lead to irreparable damage to these seedlings, through eating (in the absence of any other food) as well as trampling. There are also numerous lengths of PVC irrigation piping, which are exposed to the same damage.

I immediately sent one of my employees, Philemon Maposa to Grassflats Police Station to make a report and ask for assistance in the above situation.

He returned and I was told that Grassflats Police Station could not make contact with their superiors in Chipinge.

I then telephoned the ZNSPCA in Harare and spoke to George, an SPCA inspector. George knows the situation on the ground as he was here a week ago to rescue the dogs in the dog unit and the parrots.

George telephoned back after lunch telling me he had spoken to Assistant Inspector Kandiado who was manning a roadblock at Chiriga, and that I should go there to pick up a detail to accompany one of us to Stilfontein farm. I did exactly that and was given Sgt. Mhuka to help us.

At the roadblock there was also a parked white Canter truck Reg. No. ABC 9812 loaded with maize.

I asked the police to assist me in checking to see if it was not our maize being stolen from Stilfontein. The driver of that truck accompanied me and Sgt Mhuka back to Luipaardsvlei Farm. From Luipaardsvlei, Philemon Maposa proceeded to Stilfontein farm with the truck driver and Sergeant Mhuka. They returned after 1 hour.

Sgt. Mhuka assured me that he had ordered the release of the cattle.

Sgt. Mhuka asked me if any asbestos or corrugated iron sheets had been stolen.

I stated that I could not say as we have been denied access, but enquired why he was asking. He advised that he had heard it being told that sheets had been moving off Stilfontein. I told him that there was normally a pile of asbestos next to the security fence and a pile of new galvanised iron sheets in the workshop.

I then ordered my supervisor, Fungai Mafake, to return Sgt. Mhuka and the other driver to the roadblock at Chiriga.

I then immediately sent Philemon Maposa back to Stilfontein to see what the position was with the cattle and whether Sgt. Mhuka’s orders had been carried out.

The cattle were still in the fenced area, and no attempt was being made to release them.

I then phoned Assist. Insp. Kandiado at the roadblock who told me she was going into town and would consult her superiors. She advised that I should phone her after 1 hours had elapsed.

In the mean time George ZNSPCA phoned to hear whether there had been any progress in freeing the cattle to water and grazing. I gave him an account of what had taken place to date.

At 20h00 hrs I phoned Asst. Insp. Kaniado, as per her orders. She immediately gave the phone to Dispol Jaboon, so that I could speak to him. Dispol Jaboon told me that this case had nothing to do with the police and that I should get hold of Lands Department or Veterinary, or go to the Civil Court.

Update 15 February

The following email report has just been received:

As at 11am, the situation remains unchanged. Our head stockman, Joel Marange has reported that the cattle are still closed up with no water. Our stockman have been advised by the Porusingazi thugs to tell us that Mr. Porusingazi is moving 200 head of his own cattle onto Stilfontein Farm from the Chisumbanje area, which is why our cattle should remain “kraaled”.

Chisumbanje area is a RED ZONE Foot and Mouth Disease area.

Joel Marange has already been to Grassflats Police Post to make the report re the planned movement of cattle and also to advise ZRP that the cattle are still being held in the confines of the fences. While at Grassflats Police, an employee of Porusingazi, Charles Jambaya, along with 3 other thugs who are also employed by E. Porusingazi, arrives with a Ford tractor belonging to this company and which he has no authority to use.

They report that the fence had been cut at the yard where they have closed in the cattle.

Grassflats Police advise that they will assist with the cattle at 2pm this afternoon.

In accordance with orders from DISPOL Jaboon, Fungai Mufake, our supervisor, is despatched to Veterinary Dept. and Lands Dept. with a letter asking for assistance regarding the release of the cattle.

In the absence of cell communications, an email is also forwarded to Veterinary Department, Harare, warning them of the possible movement of cattle from a red area in to the Chipinge area.

A hard copy of this letter is also forwarded to Dr Pikitayi Chinayiwa, of Chipinge Veterinary Department.

2pm: we have despatched a vehicle and driver to collect Grassflats Police details for the assistance offered this morning.

We have received a Skype message from George of SPCA Harare, that he has spoken to ZRP Officer Commanding Mutare: Phineas Madudu, re the assistance required to release the cattle.

Our supervisor has not returned from Lands/Veterinary Department, Chipinge yet.

Our three guards who were still patrolling our macadamia lands have been told that they are no longer allowed patrolling: one of them has reported this in person to us, and has also said that the cattle are still closed in.


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SA diamond chief earmarked for Marange job

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

Written by STAFF REPORTER
Monday, 15 February 2010 06:21

HARARE - Diamond trade watchdog Kimberley Process (KP) is recommending
seasoned diplomat and experienced industry regulator Abbey Chikane as ......

monitor for Zimbabwe's controversial Marange fields, The Zimbabwean on
Tuesday learnt this week. A former chairperson of the KP and current head of
the South African Diamond Board, Chikane is expected to oversee
implementation of decisions of last November's Swakopmund plenary meeting in
Namibia which produced a Joint Work Plan under which Zimbabwe pledged to
comply with minimum requirements of the KPCS.
He is also a director of the World Diamond Council which has slammed the KP's
handling of the Marange saga where the diamond trade watchdog has turned a
blind eye to human rights abuses at the military-controlled fields.
If approved by Harare, Chikane would be bound by terms of reference crafted
by the KP's Working Group on Monitoring (WGM) after last year's Namibia
meeting.
His role would include working with Zimbabwe's Ministry of Mines tom ensure
compliance with KPCS standards as well as supervising exports of Marange
diamonds.
The monitor will be expected to produce quarterly progress reports on the
Joint Work Plan implementation to the WGM, with copy to the KP Chair and the
Ministry of Mines of Zimbabwe.
"In order to prepare these reports, the monitor must have full and
unhindered access to all relevant diamond production and processing sites as
well as to all relevant stakeholders from the point of mining to the point
of export, including representatives of government, industry and civil
society," read part of the terms of reference.
He would also conduct KP certification of Marange diamonds under the
supervised export mechanism.
Prior to each export, the KP Monitor would examine, "at the request of the
Zimbabwean Ministry of Mines", diamonds shipments from any producing areas
in the Marange diamond fields with a view to confirm whether they meet KPCS
minimum requirements and confirm their certification for export.
Under the supervised export mechanism, the Ministry of Mines would notify
the KP monitor via e-mail or fax, with a copy to the chair of the WGM, when
a shipment for export from one or more of the producing areas in Marange is
prepared and ready for certification.
The monitor would be required to visit Marange production sites once every
month to conduct export certification of the stones.
The terms of reference are however silent on the location of the monitor,
only saying he would need ministry notification to allow him sufficient time
to travel to Harare and the mine sites and carry out the examinations.
The KP monitor would be expected to conduct thorough examinations of
individual shipments and their chain of custody with a view to confirming
their compliance with KP requirements.
If he assesses that an export shipment has been produced and prepared in
accordance with KPCS minimum requirements, the KP Monitor would confirm the
certification on a KP certificate with his signature and stamp, and will
digitally photograph the certificate and shipment.
A specimen of the monitor's signature and stamp will be circulated to the KP
chair for distribution to KP participants and the rest of the diamond
industry.
But in the event that he discovers that an export shipment has not been
produced and prepared in accordance with KPCS minimum requirements, the
monitor will provide to the Ministry of Mines with a written report stating
the reasons, including any possible means of remediation.
Any such export would be held until remedial action is completed after which
the monitor would re-examine the export.
But industry experts say the monitor's presence would not prevent smuggling
or human rights abuses at Marange, also known as Chiadzwa.
"The monitor has to be specifically invited by the Zimbabwe government any
time that the government is ready," observed one industry expert.
The experts say the monitor may not be there to oversee day-to-day
operations at Marange, leaving the door open for illegal activities to
continue.
According to the terms of reference, the monitor would only need to confirm
that the administrative procedures have been followed correctly.


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Bank says Zim will miss most MDGs

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk.

Written by Radio VOP
Monday, 15 February 2010 07:21
HARARE -- Zimbabwe is likely to miss most of its promised Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs), the World Bank has revealed.

In a report called "Building knowledge and enhancing capacity" for the year
1990 to 2015, the World Bank said Zimbabwe was unlikely to reach its
targets. There are eight MDGs which Zimbabwe has pledged to meet by 2015.??
The World Bank said Zimbabwe's poverty level had actually worsened between
1990 and 2003 as the country experienced an economic downturn, which began
in 1999.
"The share of people below the food poverty line almost doubled, indicating
an increase in the number of people who cannot meet their minimum daily
dietary requirements," the report said. "Also the malnutrition levels among
children of age five and below increased according to some estimates."??
The World Bank said Zimbabwe, however, appears to be on track to reach
universal primary education by 2015. "Zimbabwe has been riding on its past
success and more efforts are required for improving quality of its education
system," the bank said.?
It said he country would struggle to meet the target of equality within the
next five years and urged the Harare authorities to do more to reduce child
mortality, improve maternal health.
The Bretton Woods institution said Zimbabwe was likely to win the battle
against malaria and other diseases, noting that the country had made
progress in combating malaria and HIV-Aids.?
"UN official estimates suggest that HIV-Aids prevalence among young pregnant
women has declined and clinical incidence of malaria cases has dropped as
well," the report said. "At the same time tuberculosis cases have been
rising albeit at a slower pace in recent years. Overall, this MDG is likely
to be achieved but difficulties remain."??
The World Bank pointed out that as far as ensuring that there was
environmental sustainability, Zimbabwe was "off track". ?
"The country is making rapid progress prior to the onset of economic
difficulties that began in late 1990s," the report said. "Since then access
to water and sanitation indicators point to a deterioration of the situation
in both urban and rural areas. Housing poses challenges as well."


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Deepening poverty grips golden town

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

Written by Chris Anold Msipa
Monday, 15 February 2010 07:10
CHIRUMANZU -- Zimbabwe's second oldest town and once one of its main sources
of best gold, Mvuma, has become poverty stricken.
Coupled with the economic dip over the past 10 years, the impoverishment is
beginning to display ugly signs of increased serious crime which is
endangering the lives of the small town's residents.
For decades, more than 75-thousand people living in the central region
district of Chirumanzu depended on the now dilapidated town as their source
of livelihood because of its district headquarters status. Unemployment is
high as the town does not have any form of industry anymore.
Development of the area, 190 kilometres south-east of the capital, Harare,
has been stagnant since the closure 12 years ago of Athens Mine, owned by a
British international corporation, Lonrho, and a lucrative farming venture,
Central Estates.
Residents of Mvuma say lack of jobs has landed them in this unbearable
situation. Most of them have become self-employed; the most common form of
informal employment being buying and selling goods or food vending as well
as cross border trading.
Dyton Mulenga, a 45-year-old self-employed welder in the sister mining town
of Lalapanzi, not wanting to condemn the increasing criminal activities says
the crimes are symptoms of deepening poverty amid abundant riches:
"This district is full of riches that can feed the whole of Zimbabwe, yet
our people are among the poorest. Poverty is the biggest culprit here and
unless it is dealt with, this won't end at any time soon.
"Look at school leavers, look at workers laid off from Athens Mine, the
Central Estates and other surrounding farms and mines. What about those laid
off by commercial businesses that folded over the years?
"All these people want to survive honestly but they can't find employment.
Yet they can't also watch their children die. They will do something, even
illegal."


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African ministers arrive in Zimbabwe for tourism conference

http://www.apanews.net

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) More than 500 local and foreign delegates have
converged in Harare to attend a pan-African tourism and infrastructure
investment conference that opens in the Zimbabwean capital on Tuesday.

The delegates include 14 African tourism ministers, 32 chief executives of
international investment financiers and international bankers.

Also present at the conference will be UN World Tourism Organisation, World
Bank, International Monetary Fund and African Development Bank officials.

President Robert Mugabe is expected to officially open the summit which runs
until Thursday, while Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is expected to give a
keynote address.

The conference is jointly organised by leading international investment
research and communications company, African Investor, and the Zimbabwean
government, through the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.

The conference will discuss tourism strategies, investment opportunities and
tourism infrastructure development that should make Zimbabwe maximise gains
expected to accrue from the 2010 FIFA World Cup extravaganza being held in
neighbouring South Africa in June.

Africa Investor is a specialist investment communications firm advising
governments, international organisations and businesses on communication
strategies for capital market and foreign direct investments in Africa.

JN/nm/APA
2010-02-15


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U.S scholarships for Zimbabwe students now fair

http://www.zimdiaspora.com

Monday, 15 February 2010 06:45

The US has started accepting scholarships for talented Zimbabwean students
under the United States Students Achievers Programme (USAP) in which
students are awarded with lucrative scholarships to study degree in America,
it has been announced.

Last year the criteria of scholarships selection created a storm when it
emerged that Ndebele students were being deliberately excluded in the
awards.

Critics in Matabeleland said in the last 10 years the selection has not been
inclusive as it concentrated on Mashonaland areas.

To qualify for the USAP, students must currently be a highly-determined and
hardworking Upper Sixth student who will write "A" level examinations in
November 2010.

To be eligible for consideration, students must have a very strong academic
record and be actively involved in co-curricular, leadership and community
activities.

Students must also demonstrate financial need that their families would not
be capable of financing the US application process on their own.

Interested students are this time required to download and complete
application forms and return them together with the required documents
either by post, fax or in person no later than Friday, March 26, 2010.


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Signs of hope in Zimbabwe

http://www.csmonitor.com

The unity government that joined strongman Robert Mugabe with democrat
Morgan Tsvangirai a year ago has lasted longer and accomplished more than
many people expected. But it's in trouble, and needs a push from neighbor
South Africa.

By the Monitor's Editorial Board / February 15, 2010

The last time the global media checked in on Zimbabwe was a year ago, when
strongman Robert Mugabe joined with his political rival in a "unity"
government. Few expected this unlikely pairing of a dictator and democrat to
last long or accomplish much. Encouragingly, they were wrong.

In the past year, hyperinflation has disappeared - stopped cold by switching
to the US dollar. Store shelves are stocked with staples. Schools have
opened. The mining industry has restarted. Tourists can once more use ATMs.
Builders, painters, and repairmen are working, and political violence has
subsided.

Three in 4 Zimbabweans say their economic conditions have improved,
according to a poll by US-based Freedom House. This is a remarkable
turnaround from the nadir of 2008, when severe hunger and almost universal
joblessness plagued Zimbabwe. In elections that year, voters turned against
Mr. Mugabe. He may have liberated them from white rule, but his economic
mismanagement and political patronage and violence had ruined a country that
was once a breadbasket to Africa.

Economic collapse and pressure from fellow African leaders pushed Mugabe
into governing with his archrival, Morgan Tsvangirai, of the Movement for
Democratic Change. The MDC, which is in charge of the finance ministry and
social services, deserves much credit for the progress.

But Mugabe needs another push. His party, which controls the powerful
security apparatus, has yet to fulfill the unity agreement with the MDC.
Talks to reconcile differences have reached a standstill, and a team of
South Africans sent to Zimbabwe to mediate last week left for home without
moving the two sides any closer together. Now the MDC is pushing for early
elections.

The outsider with the most leverage remains South Africa, under the new and
more forceful leadership of Jacob Zuma. This year South Africa hosts the
soccer World Cup. The last thing it wants is another refugee exodus from
next door, which is likely if the unity government collapses. It should step
up the pressure on Mugabe to bridge the political gap in Zimbabwe, and help
the country further down the road toward a successful democracy.


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A WOZA perspective on the state of democracy in Zimbabwe

http://www.sokwanele.com/thisiszimbabwe/archives/5474

WOZA LogoPreamble

On 11th February 2009, a Government of National Unity (GNU) was formed between the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU PF) and the two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) with the swearing in of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara. Its birth filled us with hope. The promises of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed on 15th September 2008 that led to the formation of the new government gave Zimbabweans an opportunity to shine:

  • "Concerned about the recent challenges that we have faced as a country and the multiple threats to the well-being of our people;
  • Dedicating ourselves to putting an end to the polarization, divisions, conflict and intolerance that have characterized our country's politics;
  • Determined to build a society free of violence, fear, intimidation, hate, patronage, corruption and founded on justice, fairness, openness, transparency, dignity and equality;"

Talking Democracy

A month later, in March 2009, WOZA started discussions on what we think the building blocks of democracy are with over 11,000 members, urban and rural, through workshops and a booklet - Building democracy with WOZA. The objective was to build an appreciation within the hearts and minds of our members that Zimbabwe needs a democratic form of government committed to making sure that all the building blocks of democracy are in place for all citizens to enjoy social justice. We identified the eight building blocks of basic democracy as:

  1. Elections - people vote to choose representatives to govern them
  2. Opposition - many political parties are welcome, expressing different ideas, views and policies
  3. Civil rights - people have rights which protect them from abuse of powers by government
  4. Rule of law - everyone must obey the law or be punished
  5. Separation of powers - different roles of government are held by different people who act independently
  6. Equality - everyone has the same rights and the same protection of the law
  7. Transparency and accountability - government's actions are made public and they accept responsibility for any mistakes
  8. Participation of the people - the people are able to make their views known and influence decisions of government

As 2009 closed, a further consultation of the state of our democracy was conducted through the lens of the power-sharing government. 4,016 people from Harare and Bulawayo gave their views in answer to the following questions:

  • Did the power-sharing government bring more democracy or less?
  • Since the only independent MP Jonathan Moyo has rejoined ZANU PF, who is the opposition in Zimbabwe?
  • If an election is called before any electoral reform is conducted, will you feel confident that your vote will count?
  • Do you feel that the parliament-led constitutional consultation process can bring a people-driven constitution?
  • Has government spending become more transparent?
  • Are civil rights more respected under this government?
  • Has the rule of law improved or become worse?
  • Has the power-sharing government made your personal life better, worse or nothing has changed?

In this report we hope to provide a snapshot of our community activists' views on the state of democracy in Zimbabwe one year after the GNU was formed.

A synopsis of the findings

Did the power sharing government bring more democracy or less?

Members felt that the power-sharing arrangement has decreased democratic space for the following reasons:

  • There is not a genuine sharing of power amongst all three principals (Robert Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara) and that too much legal and actual state power is still in the hands of one person - Robert Mugabe.
  • The other two principals are not active enough at wrestling power away from ZANU PF or in holding them accountable to fully implement the 15 September 2008 agreement. The agreement was not negotiated on the basis of mutual respect and so it has continued on in a disrespectful manner.
  • No clear steps have been taken to restore the rule of law and respect of human rights.
  • People's participation in decision-making has not been encouraged nor has it expanded.
  • There has been no concrete opening up of the media. Hate speech against MDC supporters, human rights defenders and international actors remains and media coverage is still biased towards ZANU PF
  • People are still being forced to join ZANU PF or attend rallies against their will.
  • There is now no opposition in parliament to exercise their role in being a check on the government's behaviour.

The general feeling amongst those polled was that the power-sharing government may have stabilised the economy but it has not brought democracy. Some people even stated that 'democracy' and the names 'Robert Mugabe' and 'ZANU PF' cannot be used in the same sentence. Members also expressed sadness that despite MDC's holding cabinet positions, they have not managed to reduce the harassment of their own members or to increase their member's freedoms of expression and assembly as well as their free movement. How therefore can they be expected to deliver more freedom for the people of Zimbabwe?

Since the only independent MP, Jonathan Moyo, has rejoined ZANU PF, who is the opposition in Zimbabwe?

Members were clear that there is currently no meaningful opposition in the country that can criticise the power-sharing government. The Simba Makoni-led Mavambo party has no seats in parliament and the ZAPU revival is currently confined to the distribution of t-shirts. Many people testified that people are forced to attend ZANU PF meetings and rallies under threat of violence or control of food aid or other support so support for that party is not truly in people hearts.

If an election is called before any electoral reform is conducted, will you feel confident that your vote will count?

  • Many members felt that their votes will not count in any election whilst ZANU PF controls appointments to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). People will only feel confident to vote if there is a reformed and transparent process of appointing new commissioners.
  • People expressed concern that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is biased. There was a demand that other countries also monitor the election so that people's voices will not be undermined. In addition to SADC, monitors and observers from other countries, like the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN), should also monitor the elections.
  • Many expressed no confidence in an election before the constitutional process is complete, as we need a new system of checks and balances if our votes are to be respected and counted.
  • Some argued that voting is a risk worth taking as it could be the only way to choose the leaders we want. Additionally people will take the risk because they want to have a government made from one party that will rule and concentrate on the constitution-making process.
  • Concern was expressed that as soon as dates are announced there will be a lot of violence and intimidation from the militia who are being regularly paid from the Minister of Finance, Tendai Biti's sweat.
  • There cannot be a free and fair election until there is a free and fair voters' roll prepared by an independent commission and not ZANU PF civil servants.
  • Many felt that until the President's powers are reduced, no one's vote will count properly.

Do you feel that the parliament-led constitutional consultation process can bring a people-driven constitution?

  • People want to give their views and write their own constitution but worry that the current consultation process has too many loopholes that can be manipulated to change their views into those wanted by politicians.
  • Because of the public bickering over resources, people are losing confidence in the select committee who seem to be working for their own benefit. There is a belief that the delays are a sign of foul play so that time is lost and people are forced to settle for the 'Kariba Draft' of the constitution (drafted and initialled by the three negotiators of the three main political parties).
  • There needs to be debate about how the referendum will be organised so that people are confident that their vote will be fully exercised and respected.
  • There is concern that the President may change or alter the draft if it includes clauses that he does not like.
  • People in rural areas are already being told to vote for the 'Kariba Draft' by their Chiefs in Mashonaland. This already distorts the consultation process.
  • There is sense that there is less democratic debate about the constitutional reform process because both formations of the MDC are discredited because they signed the 'Kariba Draft'.

Has government spending become more transparent?

  • There is not yet any spirit of transparency. People are not told exactly how much money is being sourced and earned through revenue, for example the AIDS levy and the Chiyadzwa diamond fields, and what it is being spent on. Until there is transparency we will be concern that embezzlement and corruption are still the order of the day and that funds are still being diverted for personal use of politicians. It will take time for Zimbabwe to build a structure of honest people.
  • Most agree that they believe that public funds should go through the Ministry of Finance but the Minister must also be transparent about what he does with it. Mr Biti - where are the road repairs you promised when you introduced the tollgates?
  • There is concern about how the youth militia are formally employed as civil servants and receive money through the Salary Service Bureau when their work is to beat and maim people in the name of the politics of ZANU PF.
  • Mr Biti - as long as civil servants underpaid by government there will be corruption and demand for bribes from ordinary people.

Are civil rights more respected under this government?

  • Civil rights are not respected under this power-sharing government. People are not able to exercise their rights freely and are still beaten and arrested for peacefully exercising their rights. They are also not encouraged to participate in civil life.
  • The personal security situation for ordinary people is still very insecure - anyone can be arrested for anything and end up forced to pay a bribe or a fine without any clear wrongdoing.
  • In many rural areas there is an increased presence of youth militia who have been deployed to threaten people and put pressure on them to vote for the 'Kariba Draft' and not participate in the constitutional outreach meetings. People are forced to attend ZANU PF meetings.
  • Civic rights are still being violated because it is still difficult to get a birth certificate, identity card or a passport in the country.
  • As long as state media and radio continue to spear hate messages people will not feel freedom of expression is respected. Bring back banned newspapers for a clear signal of open media space.Let us see a public transparent process of appointing commissioners for the human rights commission and less appointment of military men to these positions.

Has the rule of law improved or become worse?

Most people polled believe that the rule of law in the country has worsened for the following reasons:

  • People are living in fear that the violence experienced in 2008 is resurfacing. People are reporting that in some parts of the country, militia bases were not closed.
  • Police officers are not working professionally to reduce crime, which continues to increase. Police also apply the law selectively, openly solicit bribes from people and ignore violence from youth militia.
  • Many government officials are known to be looting at the Chiyadzwa diamond fields, but no action is taken against them. In Zimbabwe, the rich can easily get away with crime because they can afford bribes.
  • Court orders are ignored and law officers still follow political orders when making judgements. We want to see a judiciary operating professionally without political interference.
  • The president is still above the law.
  • Vendors are criminalized and are always on the run despite the need to revive the economy.
  • Illegal land grabs from ZANU officials are continuing.

Has the power-sharing government made your personal life better, worse, or nothing has changed?

  • There has been some change for those who are rich but for the poor nothing has changed. It has remained survival of the fittest. The dollarisation of the economy stabilised prices and the economy in general but the gap between rich and poor widened. The reason is simple - there was no increase in employment opportunities and genuine encouragement of informal trade. The few who are employed are paid too little to survive or to put back into the economy as disposable income.
  • Some people are happy that there is food in shops. Unfortunately many people cannot afford to eat three meals a day or to pay high rents or service charges for unstable supply.
  • Service delivery remains hijacked by too much political interference in local councils and so people continue to suffer flowing sewages, increased electricity and water cuts, and many homes going without services for weeks at a time.
  • It is better because the hospitals may have some medication although it is not always affordable but we desperately need more professional and motivated staff in hospitals. There is still not dignity in death as mortuaries are still in a bad state.
  • The education sector has collapsed and most parents cannot afford to pay teachers and all the school demands so drops-outs continue.
  • The youth cannot dream of a better future for themselves because of unemployment and lack of education.

Conclusions

As mentioned earlier, the power-sharing government turns one year old as we finalise this report. The 'baby' is taking steps - learning how to walk. It has taken the first step - the economy is a bit more stable and food is on the shelves, with a quiet promise of jobs. WOZA, the mothers of the nation, would like to see steps toward a full democratisation of Zimbabwean systems as follows:

1. Elections - Before the referendum, we need to have confidence that a voter's roll will be transparently prepared and displayed for viewing. We need a truly independent electoral commission.
2. Opposition - we need to see democracy in action - a genuine welcoming of different political voices.
3. Civil rights - we are citizens with rights and must be allowed to enjoy all our rights without fear or harassment. We look forward to the passing of the bill amending POSA. We need to see the promised security sector reform with special attention on police reform because it is police who abuse our rights on a daily basis.
4. Rule of law - start to prosecute perpetrators of politically motivated violence urgently - everyone must obey the law or be punished.
5. Separation of powers - The presidential appointment of Tomana and Gono has resulted in a further mixing up of the functions of government. For judicial reform, Tomana and other political appointees in the Attorney General's office must go and be replaced by professional people who will balance the scales of our justice system.
6. Equality - we are writing this into our new constitution. Please Parliamentary Select Committee do not betray this ideal by cheating us when we give you our views.
7. Transparency and accountability - As long as we have a politically partisan Reserve Bank governor, there will be no investor confidence, jobs will not be available and workers receive a living wage - therefore Gono must go. Minister Tendai Biti, we need more transparency and accountability from you. Studying your strategy from the trenches, it looks like you want to squeeze money out of poor people's pockets to fund the recovery. You need to do better to cushion the poor! You must stop the police from criminalizing informal traders. Please don't forget about the children's education, they are our future.
8. Participation of the people - our report is called hearts starve as well as bodies - give us bread but give us roses too! We want our 'rose', which is our own constitution! Allow a genuine people-driven process for the constitutional consultation for our full participation. Disband militia camps and let our children come home. The police must stop arresting people without good reason; police officers are crucial to allowing people to feel free. To the three principals, you promised us a "society free of violence, fear, intimidation, hate, patronage, corruption and founded on justice, fairness, openness, transparency, dignity and equality." Now it is time to deliver on what you promised.

ZIMBABWEANS lets us ALL participate in democratizing our country: people must participate and politicians must practice it - this is our opportunity to shine!

Download the WOZA report in PDF format from their website here, and read about their Valentine's Day march in Bulawayo.




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Download the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act and Statutory Instrument 21 of 2010

http://www.sokwanele.com/thisiszimbabwe/archives/5468

The Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act 14, 2007 was passed by parliament towards the end of 2007, gazetted on March 7, 2008, and was signed into law on April 17 2008. This provided for all companies operating in Zimbabwe to arrange for 51% of their shares or interests therein to be owned by indigenous Zimbabweans.

Download PDF of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act 14, 2007 (230KB).

On January 29, 2010, the Zimbabwe Government published regulations with respect to the Act that include the requirement for companies operating in Zimbabwe to provide specified information to the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment, including an indigenisation implementation plan, by April 15, 2010. That information, together with responses from all sectors of the Zimbabwe economy, will be used as a basis for determining what amount less than 51% shall apply to any sector or subsector and the maximum period for achieving indigenization.

Download a PDF of Statutory Instrument 21 of 2010 (2,3MB).


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