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Zim indigenisation law comes into force Monday

by Own Correspondent Thursday 25 February 2010

HARARE - Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere on Wednesday told
ZimOnline that regulations to force foreign firms to offload controlling
stake to local blacks will come into force next Monday, appearing to brush
aside objections to the controversial rules by Prime Minister Morgan

Under the regulations announced by Kasukuwere in line with an Indigenisation
and Economic Empowerment Bill passed by the then ZANU PF-controlled
Parliament in 2007 and signed into law by President Robert Mugabe in March
2008, foreign owned firms will be required to cede 51 percent of
shareholding to indigenous Zimbabweans within the next five years.

Tsvangirai has opposed the laws saying they were invalid because they were
never discussed and adopted by Cabinet, while business leaders have been
lobbying government to shelve implementation of the regulations they say
will only help reinforce perceptions of Zimbabwe as a high political risk
investment destination.

But Kasukuwere was adamant implementation of the regulations would go ahead
as planned.

He said: "Consultations are on going but the Act will be effective. The Act
will become effective March 1 as already stated. We can't have gatherings
every time to finalise this matter. Consultations will always be there, but
the law will become effective Monday."

Under the empowerment regulations foreign-owned businesses operating in
Zimbabwe, including banks, mines and factories will be forced to sell a
majority stake to locals by March 2015.

The regulations provides for foreigners to be compelled to sell stake to
local Zimbabweans but are silent on where impoverished locals will get money
to pay for stake in large mines and industries.

Many had hoped the law and other controversial laws including repressive
press and security laws to be repealed following formation of the
power-sharing government.

Revival of the empowerment laws has sparked fears among business of a repeat
of in industry of a repeat of the chaos that befell agriculture after a
similar government programme to empower blacks saw white-owned commercial
farms seized without compensation. - ZimOnline

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New Zim constitution by Feb 2011

by Sebastian Nyamhangambiri Thursday 25 February 2010

HARARE - Zimbabwe's constitutional committee has said it hopes to produce a
new draft constitution only by next February, which could see fresh
elections that were initially earmarked for 2011 further delayed.

Joint-chairman of the Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (COPAC) driving
the reforms Munyaradzi-Paul Mangwana said that the constitution making
process was several months behind schedule, with a key exercise to solicit
the views of ordinary Zimbabweans on the new constitution that should have
been completed last November now expected to only begin next April.

A referendum on the draft charter that initially was planned for mid-2010
can only take place around February next year according to Mangwana, a
member of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party and one of the three
chairmen of the COPAC.

"Assuming we get funds soon - February next year is the (earliest we can)
have a new constitution in Zimbabwe. Do not ask us (COPAC) about elections.
That will be for the principals to decide," said Mangwana, who was
addressing journalist at national press club in Harare Tuesday evening.

Mangwana said a shortage of funding was the main obstacle to constitutional
reforms that are part of requirements of the power sharing agreement or
global political agreement (GPA) signed by ZANU PF, Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai's MDC-T and Deputy Premier Arthur Mutambara's MDC-M two years

The September 2008 GPA is the foundation of Zimbabwe's coalition government
and the document, among other things, calls for a new and democratic
constitution that should lead to the holding of free and fair elections.

Mangwana said: "The constitution is one of the key deliverables of the GPA
but funding from government has been insufficient. We are still pleading
with government to take its responsibilities of funding the process
seriously. We can't set time frames under the GPA for something whose funds
we don't have."

However Mangwana raised hope that a solution to funding problems was within
sight, saying the three political parties and donors were expected to sign
an agreement today that should pave way for release of funds for
constitutional reforms.

Another COPAC chairman, Douglass Mwonzora said while funding was a problem
another obstacle to constitutional reforms was fear by members of the unity
government that they could lose their positions should new elections be
called once a new constitution is in place.

"Those who are afraid of losing certain positions are endangering the
constitution making process. These people think that after the new
constitution is in place they will be forced to go back to polls to stand
the test of the people again," said Mwonzora, who is from Tsvangirai's MDC

The inordinate delays have helped damage the credibility of the
constitutional reforms that has also been tainted by reports of alleged
violence and intimidation by soldiers and ZANU PF supporters campaigning for
the adoption of the controversial Kariba draft constitution as the basis of
the proposed new charter.

ZANU PF and the two MDC formations secretly authored the Kariba draft in
2007 but critics say the document should be discarded because it leaves
untouched the immense presidential powers that analysts say Mugabe has used
to stifle opposition to his rule for the past three decades.

The coalition government is expected to call fresh elections after enactment
of a new constitution although the administration can choose to wait until
expiry of its term in 2013 to call elections.

Zimbabweans hope a new constitution will strengthen the role of Parliament
and curtail the president's powers, as well as guarantee basic civil,
political and media freedoms. - ZimOnline

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Zimbabweans not ready for elections yet

by Edith Kaseke Thursday 25 February 2010

HARARE - Shelton Mandeya readily reveals a fresh wound on his right buttock,
suffered when a group of militia from President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF
party attacked his home in Mutoko rural district in May 2008, at the height
of a violent presidential run-off campaign that returned the ageing leader
to power.

The wound, which has yet to heal, is a vivid reminder of what Mandeya says
was a vicious campaign by Mugabe loyalists to silence opponents.

But less than two years after Mandeya escaped death by a whisker, Zimbabwe's
top politicians and South African President Jacob Zuma have in recent months
been increasingly talking of fresh elections in 2011 to end a political
logjam in the country's unity government.

Mandeya has every reason to be dismayed, so are thousands of voters who fear
that an election so soon would only see the country spiral into another
cycle of political violence.

"Zimbabweans are not ready for elections," said Mandeya, a former organiser
for former finance minister Simba Makoni, who quit ZANU PF and contested the
March 2008 presidential election under the Mavambo movement.

He later campaigned for Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan
Tsvangirai ahead of the presidential run-off held in June of that year.

"I think there is still too much anger and fear among our people. Many
people, at least that I know, don't believe an election next year is good
for this country or will it be good for the country," added Mandeya.

Restoring economy, jobs

He strikes a chord with thousands of ordinary Zimbabweans who say they are,
for now, more worried about government restoring the economy, creation of
jobs and food security than a vote that could tear the fragile country

Zimbabwe's economy grew for the first time last year but is not yet creating
jobs for a country with unemployment above 95 percent and hopes that the
unity government would improve social services have quickly been dashed
after the administration failed to win financial support from Western donors
who insist on more democratic reforms before they can loosen the purse

Mugabe and Tsvangirai formed a unity government last February after
protracted power-sharing talks but the union has been shaky, marred more by
tensions over how to equally share power.

The two leaders have on different occasions called for a fresh vote in 2011,
saying this is the only way to resolve the dispute.

At his party's congress in December, Mugabe, who turned 86 this week, told
supporters to be prepared for a vote he said was imminent. Tsvangirai said
this month an election should be held next year because the parties had
reached a deadlock in power-sharing talks.

Pleasing radical constituencies

"This is populist talk meant for their radical constituencies because in
reality none of the parties want an election anytime soon," Eldred
Masunungure, a University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer told

"ZANU PF knows they will be beaten hands down in a relatively free and fair
election but the MDC fears that any quick election is likely to be violent.
So there is convergence of opinion that quick elections serve no one's
interest politically.

"But more importantly, Zimbabweans have not healed from the election trauma
of 2008. They need more time to have confidence in the electoral system,
that if they cast their vote it will really count for something,"
Masunungure said.

Analysts are convinced that elections will be held in 2013, when the next
vote is due and when a new constitution is expected to have been adopted.

The global political agreement is silent on dates for the next elections,
only saying they would follow the writing of a new constitution, a process
that has been dogged by problems from the beginning.

Experts see the process being concluded in 2012 as ZANU PF and the MDC
haggle over what form the constitution should take.

Zimbabwe's elections have been controversial since 2000, largely marked by
violence which the MDC and Western governments have repeatedly blamed on
ZANU PF aligned war veterans and youth militia.

In 2008, the MDC said more than 200 of its members were murdered by Mugabe
loyalists, including those in the military, in a spree that shocked even
regional neighbours who had long openly sided with the veteran leader.

"June 2008 is still fresh in many people's minds. Why don't the government
first improve services and make sure the economy is functioning again,"
60-year-old Mutsa Katsiru, a grandmother of eight, who sells wares at Mbare's
Mupedzanhamo market said.

Tensions linger

Just to confirm that political tensions still linger in the country,
supporters from ZANU PF and the MDC clashed over the weekend in Epworth
township, leaving several people injured.

Both parties accuse the other of perpetrating the political violence.

Last month members of the two parties fought running battles in Buhera
district, which saw 10 properties being razed by fire in another case of
inter-party violence.

There have been reports that MDC supporters in some rural districts were
seizing back livestock they say was forcefully taken by ZANU PF supporters
in 2008, further heightening political tensions.

"Politicians should consult us first because we will tell them that this
peaceful transition period should go on for some time. We are tired of
election violence," Suzan Karonga, a mother of three from Budiriro said. -

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Bennett’s defence unmasks state witness

by Own Correspondent Thursday 25 February 2010

HARARE – A key state witness – supposed to be an information technology (IT)
expert – turned out to be just a cable layer after he was unmasked by
defence lawyers of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s top aide Roy Bennett,
who is facing terrorism charges.

Denshard Mutsetse, who the state had line up as its computer expect from
Africom to buttress its case that a bunch of emails allegedly printed from
the computer of gun dealer Peter Michael Hitschmann that implicate Bennett
in treason were authentic, shocked the court when he claimed that there are
no internet hackers.

During cross examination by defence lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, Mutsetse who did
not look composed as he spent more time throwing questions to Mtetwa instead
of answering them.

"You are only employed by Africom, currently your job title is a technician
LAN," Mtetwa said. "That position is the lowest rank in your entire
structure just like a madhaka boy at a construction site. The structure (at
Africom) does not have a position of a provincial engineer."

Mutsetse had been introduced by Attorney General Johaness Tomana as the
provincial engineer for the cable firm, but according to the company's
profile there is no such position in the firm.

Mutsetse had refused to outline his company profile citing confidentiality
and also told the court that "it was not possible to create fake emails".

Asked if he knew that there were computer hackers and computer forensic
expects, Mutsetse said it was the first time he was hearing of such terms
and asked Mtetwa to clarify where the hackers are from and who trained them.

"I dont know them. It's my first time to hear that (hackers and forensic
expects). Where are the hackers trained?" he asked.

However, Mtetwa would have none of it as she shot back saying, "You can be
the lawyer and I come the witness," leading High Court Judge Chinembiri
Bhunu to intervene in the spat.

Asked if he knew of computer software called EnCase and Forenscic Tool Kit,
meant to deal with hackers and people who create false emails, Mutsetse
retorted, "Here in Zimbabwe there are no such people, maybe they are there
in South Africa as you have stated. There is no forensic personnel in
computers in this country."

As he finished testifying he had a partying shot for the judge saying,
"Ndinokutendai nekutambisa nguva yangu (Thank you for wasting my time),"
much to the amazement of Bhunu who however let him walk scott free.

The trial continues today.

Prosecutors say Hitschmann implicated Bennett in 2006 when he was arrested
after being found in possession of firearms, claims the gun dealer denies
saying he was tortured into making the confessions during interrogation at a
military barracks in March that year.

If found guilty Bennett faces a possible death sentence, a development
certain to plunge Zimbabwe’s shaky coalition government into unprecedented
crisis. – ZimOnline

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‘78 percent ZITF exhibition space taken up’

by Lizwe Sebatha Thursday 25 February 2010

BULAWAYO – About 78 percent of exhibition space for this year’s Zimbabwe
International Trade Fair (ZITF) has been taken up, with seven African and
Asian countries having already confirmed their participation, according to
ZITF chairman Bekithemba Nkomo.

The 2010 ZITF to be held from April 20-24 runs under the theme “Unlocking
Our Investment Potential”.

“More than seven countries have so far confirmed participation for this year’s
ZITF although I cannot name them for now,” Nkomo, who took over the ZITF
chairmanship from Nhlanhla Masuku in January, told journalists in Bulawayo

“In total 78 percent of available space has been booked and confirmed,” said
the ZITF chief who vowed after his appointment in January to restore the
glory of the annual business exhibition which has for the past decade failed
to woo traditional Western and European exhibitors.

According to the ZITF chairman, neighbouring South Africa which is the
continent’s biggest economy leads the pack of African countries who have
confirmed their participation at this year’s annual trade showcase.

Over the last decade Zimbabwe’s premier business exhibition had lost its
glamour as international exhibitors mainly from Europe had been shunning the
fair due to the volatile political situation in the country. Also some local
traditional exhibitors had also reduced their participation.

At its peak, the ZITF attracted dozens of international exhibitors and
brought together multi-sectoral interests ranging from mining, hospitality
and tourism, among others.

Last year, ZITF organisers were almost forced to postpone the trade showcase
after exhibitors, including locals, started pulling out in large numbers
citing high participation costs.

As a result, the ZITF Company was forced to drastically revise downwards the
exhibition fees for last year’s fair held under the theme “Golden platform
for dynamic take-off”.

Zimbabwe will be hard-pressed to have many foreign countries participating
at the ZITF as President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s
year-old power-sharing government tries to woo much needed investment to
drive its ambitious economic revival programme. – ZimOnline


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SA court dismisses villagers’ land claim

by Own Correspondent Thursday 25 February 2010

JOHANNESBURG – A South African court has dismissed a black community’s land
claim because the community would not be able to meet production levels
current white farmers occupying the farmland have achieved.

In a ruling that is set to have far reaching effects on the country’s
stalled land redistribution process, the Johannesburg Land Claims Court last
Friday refused the Bahiring community's claim to farms of eight landowners
in the North West province, saying transfer of the land would have a
negative impact on the "food production and economic activities" of the
highly productive farms.

The current annual production on these farms is 1 800 calves, 5 900 tons of
maize, 400 tons of beans, 470 tons of sunflower seed and 1 080 000 litres of

The court also ruled that relocating the community is not feasible because
the government did not have funds. It would have cost the state more than
R70 million to buy the farms from the landowners and a further R210 million
to relocate the Bahiring community's 400 families and provide resources for
them to continue cultivating the land.

The court also found that the community was compensated when they were
relocated 80km away from the farms in the 1960s and at that time the farms
were not commercially developed.

The ruling is set to have a major impact on other pending land claims,
because this is the first time that a court has found that the relocation
involved in the claim is not feasible due to the land's current use and

Thousands of poor blacks are still waiting for the ANC government to deliver
on its promise on coming to power in 1994 when it set itself an ambitious
target of redistributing 30 percent of all agricultural land to the black
majority by 2014.

But the huge cost of acquiring land – estimated at R75 billion for 82
million hectares of land – as well as problems in negotiating land prices
under a "willing-buyer, willing-seller" policy have seen the government
managing to acquire only 4 percent of land from private owners to date for
redistribution, amid growing unrest among the poor landless blacks.

South Africa – just like Zimbabwe – inherited an unjust land tenure system
from previous white-controlled governments under which the bulk of the best
arable land was reserved for whites while blacks were forced to crowd on
mostly semi-arid and infertile soils.

But South Africa, which has one of Africa’s biggest farming sectors and its
biggest economy, has repeatedly said it will not follow the example of
Zimbabwe where President Robert Mugabe seized most of the farms owned by
that country’s about 4 500 white commercial farmers and gave them over to

Harare refused to pay for land, saying whites had in the first place stolen
the land from blacks. The Zimbabwe administration said it would only pay for
improvements on farms such as buildings, boreholes, dams and roads – and
that it would determine the levels of compensation to be paid to farmers.

Farm seizures are blamed for plunging Zimbabwe – once a net exporter of the
staple maize grain – into severe food shortages since 2001 after black
peasant farmers resettled on former white farms failed to maintain
production because the government failed to support them with financial
resources, inputs and skills training. – ZimOnline

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Zim farmers turn to SA court for help

Micel Schnehage | 1 Hour Ago

Three Zimbabwean farmers will turn to the North Gauteng High Court on
Thursday in their quest to seize Zimbabwe's non-diplomatic assets in South

They want the ruling by a Southern African Development Community (SADC)
tribunal against Zimbabwe's land reform programme to be registered, paving
the way for the seizure of government assets.

The application has been brought by civil rights group AfriForum on behalf
of the farmers.

AfriForum said if the application was successful it could allow Zimbabwean
farmers the chance to recoup losses suffered due to President Robert Mugabe's
controversial land reform programme.

Louis Fick, Michael Campbell and Thomas Etheredge are among hundreds of
farmers affected.

The Zimbabwean government has ignored a SADC tribunal ruling that the land
grabs are racist and unlawful.

A ruling in AfriForum's favour will enable it to seize Zimbabwe's
non-diplomatic assets in South Africa.


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Zimbabwean union leader in hiding after police raid

Gertrude Hambira is now in hiding and in fear for her safety

Gertrude Hambira is now in hiding and in fear for her safety

© Amnesty International

24 February 2010

Amnesty International has called on the government of Zimbabwe to end harassment and intimidation of a union activist who is in hiding after police raided a union office in Harare on Wednesday.

Gertrude Hambira, Secretary General of the General Agricultural and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ), fled after five men and one women who identified themselves as officers from the CID (Criminal Investigation Department) raided the union's head office at about 12:30pm, looking for her.

At the time of the raid Ms Hambira was out of the office. She is now in hiding and in fear for her safety.

Staff at the GAPWUZ head office have since received several phone calls asking for details of Ms Hambira's whereabouts.

"The Zimbabwean police must immediately stop the harassment of human rights defenders including Gertrude Hambira," said Veronique Aubert deputy director of Amnesty International's Africa programme.

"There actions are the latest in a series of persistent human rights violations that have continued despite formation of the Government of National Unity (GNU) in February 2009."

On Friday 19 February, Gertrude Hambira was called to a meeting at Police Headquarters in Harare with a panel of seventeen high ranking security officials from the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Army, Air force and the Central Intelligence Organisation.

Ms Hambira attended with two colleagues and a lawyer. She was subject to an interrogation about a recent documentary and report published by GAPWUZ which highlight the plight of farm workers in Zimbabwe.

During the interrogation the panel stated that the report and documentary contained very serious allegations for which Ms Hambira should be "behind bars". Ms Hambira and her colleagues were eventually dismissed but the panel warned that they would call on her again.

Gertrude Hambira has previously been the victim of harassment and intimidation as a result of her work to defend human rights, most recently in November 2009 when armed men forced their way into her home. At the time of the attack Ms Hambira was not at home but members of her immediate family were left terrified.

Amnesty International on Wednesday again called on the GNU to halt on-going harassment of human rights defenders. Persecution of human rights defenders for their legitimate activities is a contravention of Article nine of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.

Amnesty International has documented consistent politicised and partisan policing by members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), in particular the Law and Order section, aimed at silencing the voices of human rights defenders.

GAPWUZ support the rights of farm workers in Zimbabwe, raising their plight at national and international levels. Since 2000 tens of thousands of farm workers have suffered violent attacks and have been displaced from commercial farms.

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Representatives of Striking Zimbabwe State Workers Charge Intimidation

Representatives of striking public employees sitting in at workplaces said
officials were demanding they sign registers indicating whether they were
performing their duties or sitting in on strike

Jonga Kandemiiri | Washington 24 February 2010

As Zimbabwe's civil servants pursued a strike now in its third week,
representatives accused the Public Service Commission of pressuring workers
sitting in at their workplaces to sign registers indicating whether they
were performing their duties or striking.

VOA was unable to obtain comment on the situation from the Public Service
Commission or Public Service Minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro.

The government has been mostly silent since workers, went on strike February

Cecilia Alexander, secretary of the Apex Council, the negotiating committee
for public service employees, told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri
that her group sees the government's action as intimidation.

In another strike-related development, the Progressive Teachers Union of
Zimbabwe said ZANU-PF militants and war veterans in many rural districts
were ordering striking teachers to leave schools.

PTUZ President Takavafira Zhou said institutions like churches and companies
were also threatening to evict teachers who are not teaching from homes
provided to local educators by such organizations.

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Zanu-PF gives PM sanctions ultimatum

February 24, 2010

A large turnout of Zanu-PF youths marches through the streets of Harare Wednesday (Picture by Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - The Zanu-PF Youth League which organised a march through the streets of Harare on Wednesday, has given Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai a period of one month to get the sanctions imposed by the West on President Mugabe and the leadership of his party removed.After a stopover outside the United States Embassy along Herbert Chitepo Avenue, the demonstrating youths presented a petition to Rugare Gumbo, the Zanu-PF spokesman at the party's headquarters for onward transmission to Mugabe.

The MDC immediately rejected the call by the Zanu-PF youths.

"The people want Zanu-PF to abide by the Global Political Agreement (GPA), not to engage in shameful acts of grandstanding disguised as "demonstrations"," the MDC said in a statement.

Accusing Zanu-PF of squandering a great opportunity by public posturing and cheap politicking, the MDC said: "There are more pressing issues affecting the people such as food, jobs, health, education and the power black-outs which have seriously affected ordinary residents and silenced our factories."

Hundreds of Zanu-PF youths marched along the streets of Harare, led by the party's new Youth League, to protest against what they alleged were the Western countries' anti-Zimbabwe policies.

The demonstration is the biggest ever in the history of the Zanu-PF Youth League.

Those taking part in the march carried small Zimbabwean flags and placards denouncing the sanctions.

The marchers demanded the elimination of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, the sanctions law enacted by the US congress in 2003, as well as the lifting of travelling restrictions on 200 senior Zanu-PF officials.

Zanu-PF, which accuses the MDC of calling for the imposition of the sanctions, estimate that the measures have caused Zimbabwe economic losses amounting to billions of US dollars.

But foreign diplomats argue to the contrary, saying sanctions have not hurt the economy in any way.

The protestors marched on the US embassy in Harare and later presented a petition at Zanu-PF headquarters.

Amy Diaz, the acting public affairs officer in the US embassy in Harare, said: "On Wednesday, February 24, 2010, an organized demonstration occurred in front of the U.S. Embassy in Harare. The protesters did not present any specific demands to the Embassy. The U.S. Embassy believes in the right of all Zimbabweans to freely gather and peacefully express their opinions."

The march came amid the most significant efforts by Congress in nearly a decade to ease sanctions imposed by the US administration and other Western nations against Zimbabwe at the height of the "land grab" programme almost a decade ago.

The march was staged hardly a week after members of a US congressional delegation, led by U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks, a New York Democrat, met last Thursday with President Mugabe and Finance Minister Tendai Biti to discuss progress in fully implementing the September 2008 Global Political Agreement before they review the sanctions decision.

The march was staged in the wake of the renewal of EU sanctions on top Zanu-PF  officials in protest against the dictatorship of President Mugabe and his party.

Zanu-PF welcomed the moves to partially lift some sanctions, but it said they did not go far enough. The party continued to demand a total lifting of the sanctions.

Zanu-PF officials have been under restrictive measures since 2001. The sanctions have been successively tightened until this year when some officials and key companies to the economy were removed from the list after formation of a unity government last year.

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Suspended Zapu members await hearing

February 24, 2010

By Mxolisi Ncube

BULAWAYO - The opposition Zapu opposition party, led by former Home Affairs
Minister Dumiso Dabengwa, says it is still investigating allegations against
six suspended executive members of the party before they are summoned to a
disciplinary hearing.

The suspended members say they are keen that the hearing is held soon so
that they can exonerate themselves.

Evans Ndebele, Retired Colonel Ray Ncube, Smile Dube, former Bulawayo
councillor Alderman Charles Mpofu, Nhlanhla Ncube and Charles Makhuya were
suspended in December last year after they were accused of deliberately
flouting the party's rules and regulations.

Among other allegations, the six are accused of holding unauthorised
meetings which Zapu says were acts of insubordination. They are also accused
of making statements to the press viewed to be in contempt of the party's

It is alleged they also participated in the distribution of material on the
formation of a breakaway party called Matabeleland Progressive Party.

The suspended members this week told The Zimbabwe Times that they had not
yet been subpoenaed to a disciplinary hearing, or heard anything from their

Zapu interim chairman, Dumiso Dabengwa had told The Zimbabwe Times the six
would appear before a disciplinary committee before the end of last month.

Dabengwa said that the members would be summoned to the party's disciplinary
committee to answer charges of indiscipline.

One of the suspended members accused the party's leadership of dragging its
feet on the matter because it was failing to gather enough evidence against

"There is nothing that we did wrong, and that is the only reason why they
are still failing to prepare any hearing against us," said the member, who
requested not to be named.

"We have spoken among ourselves, and the general feeling is that if we are
summoned to any hearing, we will go there because we owe our allegiance to
this party and its supporters. We are not after any hidden agendas."

The member said that, although the party did not have a known disciplinary
committee, they would appear before any interim one as long as it was fairly

"We want this matter to be (resolved) immediately, so that we return to our
posts because we know that we did not do anything wrong and a
well-constituted disciplinary committee will clear us," he said.

"The sooner this is done and we are allowed to resume our duties, the sooner
we will bury the hatchet and work for the strength of Zapu."

Zapu spokesman, Methuseli Moyo, confirmed that the six members had not yet
been summoned, but attributed that to their alleged continuation to do "the
same things that they are being investigated for".

"When these people were suspended, their province - Bulawayo - had laid some
allegations against them, which were presented to the national executive and
the party is investigating them," Moyo said.

"However, what makes it difficult to conclude our case against them is that
they are still doing the same things that they were accused of doing in the
first place. How then do you conclude an investigation when such things are

"These members have even gone for a media onslaught against the party and
its leadership through Charles Mpofu, who claims that he is their spokesman,
and we have decided to wait a bit and see what their real intentions are."

Zapu, which was re-launched in December 2008, after some senior members of
the original party announced that they were pulling out of a 1987 Unity
Accord the party signed with Zanu-PF, has scheduled its annual congress,
meant to elect a substantive leadership, for May this year.

It remains to be seen if the party would have managed to end the infighting
by then, as it also aspires to contest in national elections.

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Racist ZRP’s ban lives on

Written by Staff Reporter
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 13:36
HARARE – Police Commissioner Agustine Chihuri has still not lifted the ban
on the inclusion of whites into the ZRP’s crime-fighting initiatives, which
he imposed about a decade ago.

Although not interested in fulltime employment with the ZRP due to its poor
working conditions and very low salaries, whites had, prior to the
politicisation of the force by Chihuri, been very active in crime-fighting
initiatives like the Neighbourhood Watch Committee.
Chihuri, a war veteran and self-proclaimed supporter of President Robert
Mugabe’s Zanu (PF), accused them of sponsoring an alleged attempt by the MDC
to remove Mugabe from power through a mass uprising, unfounded claims that
Mugabe coined to harass the then opposition party.
Junior police officers who spoke to The Zimbabwean this week revealed that
the ban, which Chihuri imposed through internal police signals in late 2000,
was still in place, more than a year since the formation of a unity
government between Zanu (PF) and the two MDC formations.
“We are still not allowed to involve whites in the NWC because they are
considered to be MDC,” said a police officer who is stationed within one of
the ZRP’s recruitment sections in Harare.
“The Commissioner still believes that whites are agents of regime change and
that their involvement in the NWC might jeopardise the force, as they might
be MDC spies coming in just to get internal information and relay it to the
The junior officers said that the ban came as a blow to their crime-fighting
efforts, as the whites had given the ZRP massive material support.
“They used to provide their cars with their own fuel for us to attend
scenes, especially when police vehicles were unavailable or when there was
no fuel,” said one officer.
The junior officers added that the whites, some of whom had been nominated
to be chief wardens in their areas, also did a wonderful job of patrolling
during the night, while others donated stationary to the perennially broke
ZRP, which can hardly afford basic operational equipment for its officers.
“Politics still remains the top priority ahead of our core-duty of fighting
crime and I do not foresee us working with the whites anytime soon,” said a
senior police officer based in Harare, who also confirmed the ban.
Besides whites, the ZRP recruitment officers said that they were also not
allowed to include black Zimbabweans that are suspected of having ties with
the MDC, as the bosses, led by Chihuri, suspected that this could compromise
the ZRP.
Members of the Police Internal Security Intelligence (PISI) do thorough
background checks on prospective members of the NWC and those suspected to
be belonging to any party other than Zanu (PF) are disqualified immediately.
“At times the recruitment officer can also be transferred if he is found to
have recruited a suspected member of any other political party, especially
the MDC,” said the senior officer.
Chihuri is one of Zimbabwe’s intransigent security chiefs, whose actions are
inimical to the inclusive government that is currently running Zimbabwe. He
has previously vowed that he will not salute mainstream MDC leader and Prime
Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai even if he won the elections, accusing him of
being a British puppet.
Chihuri also deployed senior police officers ranking Superintendent and
above on a campaign of retribution against suspected MDC supporters in rural
Mashonaland, after Tsvangirai had walloped Mugabe in the March 29, 2008
presidential elections.
Between 200 and 500 MDC supporters were killed during that gory operation,
code-named “Mavhotera Papi?” (Who did you vote for?). Thousands of other
people were tortured, while others fled into neighbouring countries to live
as refugees, after they had their homes burnt by the police, who were being
supported by war veterans, Zanu (PF) militia and other supporters of Mugabe’s

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Zim, Bots meet over water resources management

Posted By Own Staff Wednesday, 24 February 2010 08:11

The Government has established a Joint Water Commission on Water Resources
Management with the Botswana Government, which will be finalised in June
this year, a Government official has revealed.
Botswana is one of the riparian states that has shown interest in drawing
water from the Zambezi River. However, it wants to access the water from

The Minister of Water Resource Development and Management, Samuel Sipepa
Nkomo met Dr. Ponatshego Kedikilwe, the Minister of Minerals Energy and
Water Resources in Botswana two weeks ago, to discuss the co-operation.

A communiqué at the end of the meeting states that the initiative was
pursuant to Article 2 of the SADC Revised Protocol on Shared Watercourses,
where the Ministers are committed to ".foster co-operation for sustainable
and coordinated management and utilisation of shared watercourses." for the
benefit of the people of the two countries and to achieve ".regional
integration and poverty alleviation".

The document also states that the ministers were committed to taking the
Memorandum of Agreement on the Establishment of a Joint Commission on Water
Resources Management through Governance structures of the two countries and
have it signed preferably by end of June, 2010.

In an interview, Nkomo said the main objective of the Commission shall be to
act as technical advisor to the parties on all technical matters relating to
the development and utilisation of water resources of common interest to the
two countries.

He also said there were various key areas identified for cooperation under
the agreement.

"We agreed that there shall be investment co-operation with a view to
encouraging joint ventures by institutions and citizens of both parties in
the area of water development in a manner that enhances sustainable growth,
development and employment in the area of water development.

"Also, the agreement will enhance technical co-operation in areas of
surface, groundwater, water quality and management of information with a
view to strengthening current and future water resources management," said

The third key area was that there shall be facilitation of visits to water
management projects and programmes of interest within each other's
territories such as catchment and sub-catchments, councils and catchment
management agencies.

Nkomo added that they also appraised each other on the progress on
ratification of both the Limpopo Watercourse Commission (LIMCOM) and the
Zambezi Watercourse Commission (ZAMCOM).

The engagement of the Botswana Government is part of an ongoing tour of SADC
riparian states, to engage them to sign and ratify the ZAMCOM Protocol,
which will see Zimbabwe drawing water from the Zambezi River to the
Gwayi-Tshangani dam.

Six of the eight riparian countries (Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique,
Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, and Angola) have to sign and ratify the Protocol
for the drawing of water to begin.

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Nigerians takes AAG to court

Written by Staff Reporter
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 13:09
BULAWAYO - Nigerian immigrants with businesses here said they were dragging
Affirmative Action Group (AAG) to court over its threats to grab their

Last week the militant black empowerment group, AAG, said it would use force
to rid Zimbabwe of all Nigerians running businesses in the country's cities
and towns to pave the way for black empowerment.
"We are not going to allow for them. This is my business, I worked for this
and someone can't just come to take it because it belongs to me. Actually,
together with my fellow countrymen here, we are going to sue AAG for
threatening to take our businesses," said a Nigerian immigrant who operates
a supermarket in the city centre and spoke on condition of anonymity.
There are hundreds of Nigerian nationals running different kinds of
businesses in Bulawayo and Harare ranging from supermarkets, cell phone
repair shops, hair saloons and boutiques.
Another Nigerian who operates a cell phone repair shop said: "We are
operating these businesses legally and I don't see any reason why some
people should grab them".
AAG Harare regional president, Charles Nyachowa, last week told journalists
in Harare that his group had "already approached government and presented
their position with regards to the mushrooming of businesses run by
Nigerians in Harare, Bulawayo and other cities".
Nyachowa was speaking at press conference called by the AAG to announce its
support for the new Act that compels foreign owned companies to cede a 51
per cent shareholding to black Zimbabweans.

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Kahiya to be named NewsDay editor

24/02/2010 00:00:00
by Lebo Nkatazo

PUBLISHERS of a proposed daily newspaper, NewsDay, announce their editorial
team this week after Zimbabwe's unity government took a major step to reform
the media landscape by gazetting the new press regulator.

The Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) board will be chaired by Godfrey
Majonga, a former state TV newsreader. He will be deputised by Nqobile
Nyathi, the former editor of The Daily News which was banned in 2003 by the
ZMC's predecessor, the Media and Information Commission (MIC).

The full commission was published in a government gazette last Friday, which
means it can now take applications for newspaper licences.

ZimInd Publishers, who already publish the Zimbabwe Independent and the
Standard, have been waiting for six months for the chance to apply for a
licence to publish a daily newspaper.

New understands the current editor of the Independent, Vincent
Kahiya, will leave his post to edit the new daily. The Independent's news
editor, Constantine Chimakure, will replace Kahiya.

ZimInd will also make changes to its Sunday paper, The Standard, with
current editor Davison Maruziva expected to be kicked upstairs and his place
taken by 49-year-old Nevanji Madanhire, a former editor of the Tribune which
was also shut down by the MIC.

President Robert Mugabe formed a coalition government with opposition rivals
Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara a year ago, but the partners have
clashed over the slow pace of reforms.

The establishment of the ZMC is seen as a major step to fob off criticism
from sceptics who say Mugabe is not interested in reforms but saving his
political skin after his party lost control of parliament in the March 2008
elections, the first time that has happened since he came to power in 1980.

The government gazette named the other ZMC committee members as Chris Mhike,
a journalist and lawyer, Chris Mutsvangwa, Zimbabwe's former ambassador to
China, freelance journalist Miriam Madziwa, former Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Holdings chief executive Henry Muradzikwa, former Zimbabwe Union of
Journalists (ZUJ) president Mathew Takaona, Reserve Bank division head
Millicent Mombeshora, and media lecturer Lawton Hikwa.

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Zimbabwe's Willowvale Motor Said to Risk Closure Over US$3.4 Million Debt

Sources said directors asked the government for an urgent loan so that
Willowvale could pay its Japanese supplier, Itochu Corporation, which
provides Willowvale with Mazda kits

Gibbs Dube | Washington 24 February 2010

Zimbabwe's largest auto assembler, Willowvale Motor Industries, is on the
verge of collapse due to a US$3.4 million debt to its principal supplier,
sources said.

It is feared that thousands of workers employed by the company and in
related firms could lose their jobs.

Sources said directors asked the government for an urgent loan so that
Willowvale could pay its Japanese supplier, Itochu Corporation, which
provides Willowvale with Mazda kits.

Company Managing Director Dawson Mareya refused to comment, but sources said
Itochu gave the company until March 18 to clear the debt. A similar grace
period was extended several months ago.

Zimbabwe's Parliament has taken up the matter and ordered Willowvale
executives to remain silent while it probes alleged management deficiencies.

Lawmaker Misheck Kagurabadza, a member of the Parliamentary Committee on
State Enterprises and Parastatals, told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube
that the committee visited the Willowvale plant on Tuesday and discussed the
firm's problems with the company's directors and workers.

Willowvale is said to be sitting on a vehicle stock worth more than US$5
million which it cannot sell due to the non-payment of the debt, as Itochu
Corporation is in control of the stock.

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U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray, on Agricultural Development in Zimbabwe

Danielle Nierenberg , Zimbabwe 2010-02-23

U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray.

U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray.

Last week, I had the privilege of meeting with the new U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray. Ambassador Ray was gracious enough to take the time to answer my questions about agricultural development in a country facing political turmoil, high unemployment, and high food prices. 

What do you think is needed in Zimbabwe to both improve food security and farmers incomes?

Over the past decade, Zimbabwean small holder farmers have endured a litany of economic, political, and social shocks as well as several droughts and floods resulting in the loss of their livelihoods and food security. Poverty for small holder farmers has greatly increased throughout the country.

In order to restore farmers' livelihoods they need to be supported in a process of sustainable private sector-driven agricultural recovery to achieve tangible household-level impact in food security and generate more household income, as well to promote more rural employment.

The U.S. government through USAID is doing this by supporting programs that provide effective rural extension, trainings and demonstration farms in order to improve farm management by small holder producers. The programs also include support for inputs and market linkages between the farmers and agro-processers, exporters and buyers. These programs are broad-based and cover all communal small holder farmers throughout the country.

The result of this work is increased production, and productivity, lowered crop production costs and losses, improved product quality, and production mix and increasing on-farm value-adding. Together these programs are increasing food security and farmer's incomes as well as generating more farmer income and rural employment of agro-business.

At present, the U.S. is the largest provider of direct food aid in Zimbabwe. We are working with our partners to move from food aid to food security assistance which will use more market oriented approaches and combine livelihoods programs as noted above, which will reduce the need for food distribution.

Do you think Zimbabwe needs more private sector investment? If so, what are ways the U.S. government and other donors can help encourage both domestic and foreign investment?

Zimbabwe certainly needs more foreign direct investment. There is little chance that the country can internally generate the investments required to promote the economic growth it needs without it. But it is the government of Zimbabwe that is responsible for creating the business enabling environment to attract investment including both foreign and national.

At present, much more needs to be done in policy and the legal and regulatory framework and in the rhetoric and actions by the government in order to create the environment conducive to attract investment. Without the clear will of the government to be FDI-friendly there is not much that the donors can do.

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Casualties of the constitutional reform process

Written by John Makumbe
Tuesday, 23 February 2010 16:35

Taking your eyes off the ball can result in you walking into a brick wall'
Change is dynamic; it has to be handled very thoughtfully, otherwise it can
throw you off the rails and straight into the bottomless pit. In politics,
change has the uncanny tendency to cause even some of the most astute
fellows to lose their way and end up walking up a cal de sac and being
off-leaded into the dustbin of political malcontents.
The now-you-see-it and now-you- don't constitutional reform process in
Zimbabwe has thrown off several individuals and organizations that
previously used to be considered to be gurus in law-making and civic
promotion. Take, for example, the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA),
whose core business was originally to ensure that Zimbabwe develops a
democratic, people driven constitution. Since its formation in 1997, the NCA
has persistently and consistently pursued this goal or objective without
The recent proposition by the government of national unity (GNU) to have the
constitutional reform process led by Members of Parliament (MPs) seems to
have thrown the NCA off-target in that the once progressive organization has
totally failed to read the mood of the people of this country vis-à-vis this
critical matter of national transition to democracy. True to its core
business, the NCA has condemned the Copac led process as inconsistent with
the writing of a people-driven constitution.
The mood of the people of Zimbabwe is that it is imperative that a new and
democratic constitution be written before the holding of the next elections
if meaningful democracy is to be attained in the long run in this country.
The people of this country have rightly determined that to be people-driven,
the proposed constitution will have to legitimately take into account the
views and wishes of the people as expressed through the outreach meetings
that will be conducted by Copac throughout the country. But this is not good
enough for the arrogant NCA, which has vowed to campaign for the NO vote at
the referendum later this year.
What is most pathetic is that as a result of this stance by the NCA
leadership, the organization has dug itself into a bottomless pit. The NCA
now only exists on paper or in the utterances of good old Madhuku and,
occasionally Mudzengi. Most of the other officials of the NCA have sine left
the organization for less embarrassing engagements elsewhere. It is ironic
that the very process that is its core business has knocked the NCA out of
civic action. But the NCA is not alone in this unfortunate development. In
the past, we have seen guys like Jonathan Moyo also take the wrong turn by
seeking to democratize the undemocratic Zanu (PF) through the infamous
Tsholotsho debacle. The man is still paying for his sins having been left
out of the recently announced Politburo of that sickly political party when
almost every idiot got on board. Poor Johno!
Then there was the good Professor, Ago Mutambara, who walked up a dead end
when he agreed to head the Welshman Ncube faction of the MDC. It is only now
that Mutambara realizes that he dares not stand for another election except
as part and parcel of some larger-than-life figure. The man is too proud to
submit to Morgan Tsvangirai of the all-powerful MDC-T, so he seems to have
thrown in his lot with a fellow loser of the 2008 elections, Robert Mugabe.
The two speak the same language these days, especially with regard to the
so-called illegal sanctions against Bob and the Waiters. Change demands that
those who get involved in its processes be mindful of the various facets of
the ultimate goal. Taking your eyes off the ball can result in you walking
into a brick wall. Welcome to Zimbabwe.

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Bridging the knowledge divide: People and power

by Mutumwa Mawere Thursday 25 February 2010

OPINION: Who has power and on whose behalf is power exercised in
post-colonial Africa? How is power held to account and how can it be
accessed by all who want to play a part in shaping the future?

The story of power, influence and control in post-colonial Africa is a
complex one reflecting the commonly shared ignorance of the majority about
how to use existing and new tools to access, harness the energy and
innovation of front-line professionals in Africa and the diaspora, local
government, citizens and communities.

Africa's many challenges cannot be met by central governments acting alone
but by enhancing the rights of citizens and more importantly making
institutions more accountable.

This can best be done by the seemingly powerless who normally operate at the
coalface. We all know that power in Africa is not fairly distributed across
the whole of the society and communities and citizens feel powerless and

I was privileged to be one of the few people who attended the special
opening of the South African Parliament on February 11 2010 at which
President Jacob Zuma delivered the State of the Nation address.

We all know that on this day, 20 years ago, former President Nelson Mandela
was released from prison.

As we look back on the challenges and progress in building an inclusive and
progressive South Africa, we cannot help but reflect on the evolving
relationship between people and their power.

After almost 16 years of democracy, it was striking that generally people
expect, like in many African states, the central government to think for

There was expectation that Zuma would come up with his vision and blueprint
on how to solve the challenges that confront South Africa.

We generally expect the people we elect into public office to be smarter
than us.

It was Mandela who rightly said that he was no prophet but an ordinary human
being with no special qualities from any other human being and yet people
expected him to have all the answers.

Although we all want a brighter and secure future, we rarely look at our own
actions as the real driver of change.

We expect state actors to play the role that we should play.

The post-colonial experience has seen the power that ordinarily resides in
communities to set and meet their own priorities through participation in
the governance chain being daily eroded through increasing centralization of
power in state offices.

After 54 years of independence, we must acknowledge that local democracy is
weak in Africa and people generally believe that their voices are not
important in shaping the future.

The majority of Africans are politically, socially and digitally excluded
from the knowledge they need to make their own decisions.

The explosion of information and the technologies to utilise it has
regrettably not touched the majority of Africans.

The few of us who are part of the digital society have failed to package the
growing knowledge and experiences of other societies and cultures so that
the generality of the African population can be part of the exciting changes
that are taking place globally with critical implications on governance.

The changes that have been and are taking place in the digital world mean
that modern citizens are more empowered to make the real choices and expect
high standards across a range of services, from their finances, clothes,
food, music, holiday to the big decisions about what kind of society they
want to be part of.

In many of our democratic systems in Africa, citizens are not allowed to
exercise the same level of choices they make in daily lives in the digital
space.  Knowledge is and can be empowering and yet our collective investment
in knowledge and community building is minimal.

We cannot take for granted that the people we surrender power to during
elections will exercise that power in our interests.

We can and should demand the best from our state servants but ultimately the
responsibility lies with us to be the change that we want to see.

Technology has made it easier for knowledge to be shared.

In 1791, Thomas Paine in "The Rights of Man" wrote: "Revolutions create
genius and talent but those events do no more than bring them forward.
There is existing in man, a mass of sense lying in a dormant state, which
unless something excites it to action, will descend with him, in that
condition to the grave.  As it is to the advantage of society that the whole
of its facilities should be employed, the construction of government ought
to be such as to bring forward, by quiet and regular operation, all that
capacity which never fails to appear in revolution."

Revolutions created remarkable African revolutionaries like Kwame Nkrumah,
Patrice Lumumba, Samora Machel, Agostino Neto, Sam Nujoma, Kenneth Kaunda,
Julius Nyerere, Jomo Kenyatta, Robert Mugabe, Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo
and many others but the post-colonial experience has demonstrated that the
absence of something to excite the African spirit has led to many of its
geniuses descending with them a mass of sense still in the dormant state to
the grave.

The daring Africans have regrettably been externalised and could only show
their talent in foreign states.

The few actors who seized the state at independence regarded themselves as
indispensable to the prosecution of the national democratic revolution.

What is needed to excite the mass of sense that lies in African minds? We
all have work to do. It was Lao Tzu (600 - 531 BC), the Chinese Philosopher
who said: "Go to the people. Live with them. Learn from them. Love them.
Start with that they know. But with the best leaders, when the work is done,
the task accomplished, the people will say - We have done this ourselves."

At the end of the day, human progress is in evidence when people are allowed
to feel that they own the process and outcomes.

However, in many of our states, state actors would want to think and act on
behalf of citizens and in doing so kill the dormant mass of sense that
resides in each and every human being.

The challenge is that people would want to be led. They want a smart leader
forgetting that no leader however smart can realistically be expected to
address the challenges of the people he/she leads.

It is up to us to create the kind of society that we want to see.

The role of frontline professionals and general citizens in creating the
kind of environment that encourages power to be devolved cannot be
understated. It is our duty to make the people who accept to lead us to know
what we want.

The only power we have is the power to organise ourselves so that those
privileged to govern us cannot take us for granted.

Even in South Africa, the most developed African economy, the majority of
the people expect Zuma, for instance, to have a day with more hours than
what is available to us.

They expect him to think and find solutions for their future forgetting that
any civilisation founded on expecting someone to do what one can do in
his/her own interest is doomed to fail.

Political leaders are wholesalers of political faith and the moment they
sink to retail dispensing of faith they are bound to be ineffective.

By participation, citizens can be part of the solution rather than
spectators of change.

As Chairman of Africa Heritage Society it is not
unusual to get people requesting for meetings on a one-on-one basis clearly
oblivious of the fact that I am also human with no better control of time
that any other citizen.

Some wait to see me expecting that I may have the answers that they do no

The real answers lie in our ability to organise ourselves so that working
together we can make the changes that we want to see.

It is easier said than done because there is something about the human mind
that expects the next person to be better at resolving challenges than the
person facing the challenge.

Africa has the leaders it deserves and before pointing a finger at leaders
we have to look at ourselves and ask the question: "What makes me come alive
and not what the Africa needs." Africa needs people who have come alive. -

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