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<h2>Zimbabwe judge keeps
activists in custody </h2>
<p> Associated Press<BR><BR>Jan 2, 10:36 AM EST<BR><BR>By ANGUS SHAW<BR>Associated Press
Writer<BR><BR>HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- A judge ruled
Friday that a respected human rights <BR>campaigner and 31 other activists
accused of plotting to overthrow President <BR>Robert Mugabe should remain in
custody over the weekend.<BR><BR>Opposition leaders say the detention of
Zimbabwe Peace Project leader <BR>Jestina Mukoko is part of Mugabe's clampdown
on the country's pro-democracy <BR>movement.<BR><BR>High Court Judge Alphias
Chitakunye rejected an application for the <BR>activists' immediate release and
said they should stay in custody until they <BR>appear in the magistrates' court
Monday.<BR><BR>"If the court doesn't realize people's rights to be protected,
there is a <BR>breakdown of law and order," said defense attorney Beatrice
Mtetwa.<BR><BR>The defense argued that police have defied at least two court
orders to free <BR>the activists and have ignored a magistrate's ruling that
they be allowed <BR>visits from private doctors after appearing in court Monday
with swollen and <BR>bloodied faces.<BR><BR>Mukoko was abducted from her home in
early December. For weeks police denied <BR>any knowledge of her whereabouts but
state attorneys this week conceded that <BR>security officials were
responsible.<BR><BR>Mugabe, who has been in power since the country's 1980
independence, reached <BR>a power-sharing agreement with the opposition in
September following a <BR>disputed presidential election.<BR><BR>But the deal
has been deadlocked over how to divide Cabinet posts, and <BR>opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai has warned he will pull out of the <BR>government if Mukoko
and the other detainees are not released.<BR><BR>The opposition wants to control
the Home Affairs Ministry, and thus be in <BR>charge of the police, saying this
is the only way of curbing the violence <BR>and intimidation against its
supporters. Mugabe says he will share control <BR>of the ministry with the
opposition, but not give it up entirely.<BR><BR>In addition to the political
paralysis, Zimbabwe is gripped by an economic <BR>crisis, with galloping
hyperinflation, mass unemployment and hunger. An <BR>epidemic of cholera blamed
on the collapse in sanitation has killed nearly <BR>1,600 people since August,
according to the World Health Organization.<BR>
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<h2>Zimbabwe court
denies rights activist hospital treatment request </h2>
<p><A href="http://news.yahoo.com">http://news.yahoo.com</A><BR><BR>HARARE (AFP) - Zimbabwe's
high court on Friday refused a request by a top <BR>rights activist detained on
accusations of plotting to overthrow the <BR>government to be taken to hospital
for treatment after alleged torture --  <BR>contradicting an earlier order by
the same court.<BR><BR>"The judge (Alphius Chitakunye) made the incredible order
that if she should <BR>be taken to hospital it would be for purposes of
examination otherwise she <BR>would be treated in prison," Beatrice Mtetwa, the
lawyer for rights <BR>campaigner Jestina Mukoko, told
reporters.<BR><BR>Chitakunye's order was contrary to an earlier order by a
fellow high court <BR>judge on December 24 that Mukoko and eight rights and
opposition activists <BR>be released to hospital.<BR><BR>"The law has completely
broken down in Zimbabwe," Mtetwa said after the <BR>ruling on Friday. "(Even) if
we go to another court we may well get a <BR>similar ruling."<BR><BR>The court
also dismissed contempt of court charges against the police for <BR>defying the
high court order to release Mukoko and the others to hospital, <BR>she
said.<BR><BR>Mtetwa added that private doctors examined Mukoko last week and
said she <BR>should be "immediately" admitted to an adequately-equipped hospital
after it <BR>was concluded that she was tortured while in the custody of
security forces.<BR><BR>A representative of the attorney-general, Virginia
Mabhiza, said: "The <BR>proceedings are going ahead on Monday.<BR><BR>"The judge
said she (Mukoko) remains in custody and can only go to hospital <BR>as and when
it's necessary for purposes of examinations."<BR><BR>Mukoko, a former state
newscaster now director of Zimbabwe Peace Project, a <BR>rights group which has
been documenting cases of political violence, was <BR>taken from her home on
December 3 by a group of armed men and a woman who <BR>identified themselves as
police.<BR><BR>Her whereabouts remained unknown despite court orders compelling
the police <BR>to search for her and she only appeared in court on December 24
together <BR>with eight others, most of them opposition activists including a
couple with <BR>a two-year old child.<BR><BR>They were charged with recruiting
or goading other people to undergo <BR>military training in neighbouring
Botswana aimed at toppling Mugabe's <BR>government.<BR><BR>On Monday, nine more
people appeared in court including five who were <BR>accused of sabotage and
banditry. Two of them facing lesser charges were <BR>later freed.<BR><BR>Some of
the activists are opposition supporters who disappeared in late <BR>October,
with authorities repeatedly denying that they were in custody until <BR>they
began appearing in court last week.<BR><BR>The case has highlighted Zimbabwe's
deepening political crisis more than <BR>three months after Mugabe signed a
power-sharing deal with opposition leader <BR>Morgan Tsvangirai.<BR><BR>Mukoko's
detention raised particular alarm among international rights groups <BR>and
western nations which have accused Mugabe's government of intimidation <BR>and
harassment.<BR><BR>Their lawyers claim the activists were beaten after their
arrest, and a <BR>magistrate on Monday ordered authorities to allow doctors to
visit them in <BR>prison.<BR>
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<h2>Zimbabwe court dismisses contempt charges in Mukoko
case </h2>
<p><A href="http://www.irishtimes.com">http://www.irishtimes.com</A><BR><BR>Friday,
January 2, 2009, 16:22<BR><BR>Zimbabwe's High Court today dismissed contempt charges against police
for <BR>refusing to release a leading rights campaigner charged with plotting to
<BR>oust president Robert Mugabe's government.<BR><BR>Lawyers for Jestina
Mukoko, who heads the Zimbabwe Peace Project, which <BR>documents political
violence, had filed contempt of court charges after <BR>police refused to
release her from detention, as ordered by a High Court <BR>Judge last
month.<BR><BR>Ms Mukoko - one of Mr Mugabe's most influential critics - and 15
other <BR>mainly opposition activists have been charged with recruiting or
attempting <BR>to recruit people to overthrow the government, banditry and
bombing police <BR>stations.<BR><BR>Two others face lesser charges.<BR><BR>The
arrest of the activists, condemned by the opposition, has increased <BR>doubts
over implementation of a power-sharing agreement by Mr Mugabe and Mr
<BR>Tsvangirai.<BR><BR>Police initially denied holding Ms Mukoko, who was seized
by gunmen from her <BR>home on December 3rd, and had treated her case as a
kidnapping. It later <BR>emerged Ms Mukoko was being held by state security
agents and police.<BR><BR>High Court Judge Alphius Chitakunye ruled that Ms
Mukoko should remain in <BR>custody and refused to uphold an earlier ruling
ordering police to <BR>investigate and disclose the identities of her
kidnappers, and where she had <BR>been held.<BR><BR>"The law has completely
broken down in Zimbabwe, if a High Court refuses to <BR>investigate an admitted
kidnapping ... what else can we do except maybe to <BR>go to another court but
the result may only be the same," lawyer Beatrice <BR>Mtetwa told reporters
after the ruling.<BR><BR>State prosecutors, who had appealed the earlier High
Court ruling ordering <BR>Mukoko be released, said they were happy with the
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activists' lawyers: Rule of law "absolutely broken down" </h2>
href="http://www.monstersandcritics.com">http://www.monstersandcritics.com</A><BR><BR>Africa News<BR>Jan
2, 2009, 14:13 GMT<BR><BR>Harare/Johannesburg - Lawyers defending a top
Zimbabwe human rights activist <BR>in the High Court in Harare on Friday said
the rule of law has 'absolutely <BR>broken down' in the country.<BR><BR>Their
comments followed the court ruling that the government should not be <BR>forced
to disclose the identities of the state security agents who allegedly
<BR>kidnapped and tortured Jestina Mukoko, the head of the Zimbabwe Peace
<BR>Project (ZPP) last month.<BR><BR>Mukoko, facing charges of plotting against
President Robert Mugabe's <BR>government, had brought a High Court application
to squash the criminal <BR>proceedings against her until her alleged kidnappers
are brought to court.<BR><BR>Mukoko was abducted from her home in Norton outside
Harare at dawn on <BR>December 3. Her whereabouts remained unknown until
December 24, when she <BR>appeared in court. Police had initially denied the
state had anything to do <BR>with her disappearance and said they were treating
the matter as a <BR>kidnapping.<BR><BR>Mukoko's lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, on
Friday said she was disappointed with <BR>Judge Alpheus Chitakunya's ruling.
'The law has absolutely broken down in <BR>Zimbabwe, if a High Court can refuse
to investigate an admitted kidnapping, <BR>refuses a patient a right to medical
treatment to a place she can get <BR>treatment, what else can we say,' Mtetwa
told journalists.<BR><BR>Mukoko was charged in court on December 24 with
recruiting people for <BR>banditry a crime that carries the death penalty in
Zimbabwe. She then sought <BR>the High Court order for an investigation into her
kidnapping.<BR><BR>But on Friday, according to Mtetwa, 'The judge says the
minister of state <BR>security is entitled to refuse to disclose the identity of
the kidnappers if <BR>he deems that will jeopardize state security.<BR><BR>So in
effect the High Court of Zimbabwe has said that if you are unlawfully
<BR>kidnapped by state security agents, the court cannot look into the legality
<BR>of that if some government minister invokes state security as a reason for
<BR>not disclosing the abductions, where they took place and who did them.
'<BR><BR>Mukoko's lawyers had also requested that the court release her to a
clinic <BR>for medical treatment after she was allegedly torture in detention.
Mukoko <BR>was also allegedly denied access to medication for her
allergies.<BR><BR>Mukoko is among 32 activists, mainly from the opposition
Movement for <BR>Democratic Change (MDC), that were kidnapped between October
and December <BR>and still being held in police custody despite a court order
clearing their <BR>release for medical treatment.<BR><BR>MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai has threatened to pull of negotiations for a <BR>power-sharing deal
he signed with Mugabe in September if the harassment of <BR>his supporters
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<h2>Rains could
worsen Zim cholera epidemic </h2>
<p><A href="http://www.iol.co.za">http://www.iol.co.za</A><BR><BR>      <BR><BR>          January 02 2009 at
04:29PM<BR><BR>By Michael Georgy<BR><BR>Seasonal rains could worsen a
cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe that has already <BR>killed more than 1 600 people,
a senior international Red Cross official <BR>said on Friday.<BR><BR>The
outbreak has heightened the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe, where <BR>President
Robert Mugabe and the opposition are deadlocked over a <BR>power-sharing deal
and the veteran leader is resisting Western calls to step <BR>down.<BR><BR>The
World Health Organisation said this week that cholera had killed 1 608
<BR>people of 30 365 reported cases and the infection rate showed no signs of
<BR>slowing.<BR><BR>The disease has spread because of the collapse of health and
sanitation <BR>systems.<BR><BR>Francoise Le Goff, head of southern African
operations of the International <BR>Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent
Societies (ICRC), said the cholera <BR>risk was growing now Zimbabwe was
entering the rainy season.<BR><BR>"We are just preparing for the worst," said Le
Goff, who had just returned <BR>from a trip to Zimbabwe, adding that if the
rains continue, the epidemic <BR>could last until March or April.<BR><BR>"The
worst could be heavy rains causing not only this cholera to spread, but
<BR>floods," said Le Goff.<BR><BR>"It means that the water level will cover the
fields, that the crops are <BR>destroyed, that people cannot travel or we cannot
have access to the area."<BR><BR>The cholera crisis could multiply to 60 000
cases and over 3 000 dead in the <BR>next three months, said Le Goff, citing WHO
estimates.<BR><BR>The ICRC is the world's largest disaster relief
network.<BR><BR>Zimbabweans are already suffering from hyper-inflation and
severe food, fuel <BR>and foreign currency shortages.<BR><BR>There is not enough
money to pay doctors and nurses or buy medicine in a <BR>country once seen as
among Africa's most promising.<BR><BR>Cholera, which causes severe diarrhoea and
dehydration, has spread to all of <BR>Zimbabwe's 10 provinces.<BR><BR>Le Goff
said the Red Cross was concentrating on moving treatment centres <BR>closer to
areas hit by cholera, educating people on the disease and <BR>providing clean
water and sanitation.<BR><BR>The economic crisis has deprived local authorities
of badly needed resources <BR>needed to fight the disease.<BR><BR>Chronic fuel
shortages have left Zimbabweans without transport.<BR><BR>Many have to travel
long distances for treatment. Some never make it in <BR>time.<BR><BR>"If you
need to walk 50km (30 miles) to access a centre you will definitely <BR>have
time to lose your fluids before you arrive," said Le Goff.<BR><BR>"What we have
to make sure of is they have time to arrive and get the proper <BR>treatment." -
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<h2>Political deal will not stem cholera
deaths - MDC </h2>
<P><SPAN class=reportbody style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify"><SPAN id=Body>
style="BORDER-RIGHT: rgb(187,187,187) 1px solid; PADDING-RIGHT: 5px; BORDER-TOP: rgb(204,204,204) 1px solid; PADDING-LEFT: 5px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 5px; MARGIN: 2px 5px 8px 0px; BORDER-LEFT: rgb(204,204,204) 1px solid; WIDTH: 120px; PADDING-TOP: 5px; BORDER-BOTTOM: rgb(187,187,187) 1px solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: rgb(238,238,238)"
cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 align=left border=0>
<TD style="PADDING-TOP: 3px" align=right><IMG
style="MARGIN-TOP: 3px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 5px"
style="PADDING-RIGHT: 2px; MARGIN-TOP: 10px; FONT-SIZE: 6.5pt; VERTICAL-ALIGN: top; COLOR: rgb(153,153,153); FONT-FAMILY: Tahoma">Photo:
<A style="COLOR: rgb(153,153,153)" href="http://www.who.int/"
target=_blank>WHO/Paul Garwood</A> <A
style="BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none"
<TD class=ImgCreditCaption style="FONT-SIZE: 7pt; FONT-FAMILY: Tahoma">Cholera
is still not under control, according to
WHO</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>JOHANNESBURG, 2 January 2009 (IRIN) - Nelson
Chamisa, national spokesman of the main opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), has played down the ability of his party to quickly stem the
number of cholera deaths, if it were to join the government immediately.
<BR><BR>Chamisa said if the party signed the power-sharing deal on the table it
would still not "have any real power" to help address the humanitarian crisis.
<BR><BR>As the cholera death toll crept near the 1,600 mark, clocking more than
40 deaths in two days, according to the World Health Organisation, aid agencies
underlined the need to end the months-long political uncertainty which has made
raising funds to help the country back on its feet difficult. <BR><BR>At least
5.5 million people - over half the population - will need food aid in the first
quarter of 2009, according to the World Food Programme. <BR><BR>The food
security situation, cholera and political problems are exacerbated by
hyperinflation and widespread infrastructural collapse. <BR><BR>
style="BORDER-RIGHT: rgb(51,102,153) 1px solid; PADDING-RIGHT: 5px; BORDER-TOP: rgb(51,102,153) 1px solid; PADDING-LEFT: 5px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 5px; MARGIN: 2px 8px 8px; BORDER-LEFT: rgb(51,102,153) 1px solid; WIDTH: 165px; PADDING-TOP: 5px; BORDER-BOTTOM: rgb(51,102,153) 1px solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: rgb(170,187,220)"
cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 align=right>
<TD style="COLOR: rgb(255,255,255); FONT-FAMILY: tahoma; size: 12px" align=left
bgColor=#aabbdc><IMG height=18 alt="''"
src="http://www.irinnews.org/images/design/quotopen.jpg" align=left border=0><B
style="FONT-SIZE: 16px; COLOR: rgb(255,255,255)">If we become part of the
government now we will have no muscle. We are not yet empowered</B><IMG
height=18 alt="''" src="http://www.irinnews.org/images/design/quotclose.jpg"
align=absMiddle border=0> </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>A power-sharing deal
brokered by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) between the ruling
ZANU-PF and the MDC in September 2008 is deadlocked. <BR><BR>&ldquo;The humanitarian
situation is seriously affected by the political situation,&rdquo; said Georges
Tadonki, head of the UN Office for the Coordination Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
in Zimbabwe. &ldquo;The UN is working hard at all levels to reach a political
settlement, which has now become very urgent because of the cholera outbreak.&rdquo;
<BR><BR><STRONG>Power-sharing deal</STRONG> <BR><BR>SADC said the MDC must sign
the power-sharing pact. &ldquo;Then the MDC will be in a position to get the ball
rolling to help the country out of the humanitarian crisis which now needs
urgent attention,&rdquo; said Thabo Masebe, spokesman for South African President
Kgalema Motlanthe, who is also the SADC chairman. <BR><BR>Chamisa explained that
an amendment to the constitution which will bring into law the power-sharing
deal signed between President Robert Mugabe, leader of the ZANU-PF party; Morgan
Tsvangirai, the MDC leader; and Arthur Mutambara, an MDC breakaway party, in
September 2008 will only become effective after it has been endorsed by
parliament, which does not sit until 20 January. <BR><BR>&ldquo;If we become part of
the government now we will have no muscle. We are not yet empowered,&rdquo; said
Chamisa. &ldquo;We do not want to become an accessory to a government which has not
shown any genuine willingness to share power.&rdquo; <BR><BR><STRONG>Abductions
<BR></STRONG><BR>The recent abduction of MDC activists apparently by the state
security apparatus has also fuelled tensions. <BR><BR>&ldquo;Tsvangirai has said that
he would ask his national council to vote to walk away from the deal if the
abductions of our party members and activists do not cease and if all those
seized by state agents have not been released by 1 January,&rdquo; said Chamisa.
<BR><BR>Jestina Mukoko, head of local rights group Zimbabwe Peace Project, who
had been reported missing since the beginning of December, and eight other
activists, were charged last week with recruiting Zimbabweans to undergo
military training to overthrow the Mugabe government. Despite a High Court
ruling to release the activists, they remained in custody. <BR><BR>Reacting to
the failure to follow the ruling, Motlanthe&rsquo;s spokesman Masebe said: &ldquo;We are
saying the MDC must become part of the inclusive government.&rdquo; <BR><BR>But at the
heart of the MDC&rsquo;s reluctance to sign the deal is also the allocation of
governors' posts and key ministries. <BR><BR>&ldquo;All these issues can be resolved
within minutes if there is political willingness,&rdquo; said Chamisa. &ldquo;We want to be
able to provide a real change in governance and not become part of a symbolic
act.&rdquo; <BR><BR></SPAN></SPAN></P><SPAN class=reportbody
style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify"><BR>[ENDS]</SPAN> </TD></TR><TR><TD><BR><SPAN
style="FONT-SIZE: 8pt; COLOR: rgb(153,153,153); FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><FONT
color=#000000>[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United
Nations]</FONT> </SPAN></TD></TR>
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goes shopping in SA </h2>
<p><A href="http://business.iafrica.com">http://business.iafrica.com</A><BR><BR>Posted Wed, 31 Dec 2008<BR><BR>Zimbabweans have been
advised to form groups and send members to South <BR>Africa to buy basic
commodities there, the state-controlled Herald newspaper <BR>reported on
Wednesday.<BR><BR>This should be done to counter exorbitant pricing by
retailers in Zimbabwe, <BR>the country's Consumer Council (CCZ) told the
newspaper.<BR><BR>CCZ executive director Rosemary Siyachitema said people could
buy more and <BR>save by going to South Africa, where the products were cheaper.
She said <BR>that by forming groups and sending one member, people would reduce
<BR>travelling costs.<BR><BR>Most retail shops were selling goods in foreign
currency and refused to <BR>accept the Zimbabwe dollar, the Herald
reported.<BR><BR>"Although the government issued licences to selected shops to
sell in <BR>foreign currency, the rest are doing it without the
licences.<BR><BR>"Small traders, including vegetable vendors, have also joined
the bandwagon, <BR>making life difficult for the ordinary person who does not
have access to <BR>foreign currency." <BR>
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<h2>They Are Not White Farmers </h2>
<p><A href="http://hararetribune.com"><FONT face=Arial
<b class=contentheading><FONT face=Arial><FONT size=2><SPAN
class=createdate>Thursday, 01 January 2009 13:40 </SPAN><SPAN class=createby><A
T. Tsanga</A> </SPAN></FONT></FONT></b>
<DIV class="article-tools clearfix">
<DIV class=article-meta>
<P style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify"></P><SPAN
style="FONT-SIZE: small; FONT-FAMILY: georgia,palatino"><FONT face=Arial
size=2>Two years ago, I ran into a </FONT><A
face=Arial size=2>new black farmer</FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2> who had
acquired a farm famous for producing huge groundnuts, mazambani. I wanted to
know if this new farmer was still growing the famous groundnuts. <BR><BR>"No,"
he said. "I don't. We now grow flowers that </FONT><A
href="http://www.zimdaily.com/news/gono27.6310.html"><FONT face=Arial size=2>we
export to Europe</FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2>. Eeh, how did you know that
farm?" <BR><BR>&ldquo;I did not know you are now growing flowers on that farm,&rdquo; I said
without bothering to answer his question. It was startling. &ldquo;Why flowers?&rdquo;
<BR><BR>&ldquo;My friend, they can&rsquo;t eat flowers. The labourers are thieves. If I grow
groundnuts and other edible crops like maize, the labourers will steal the crops
to feed their families. Listen,&rdquo; he said as he realized that I had been stunned
speechless, &ldquo;I am running a business not a charity.&rdquo; <BR><BR>I knew the farm.
The black farmer bought the farm from the commercial farmer with assistance from
a government minister. One of my great grandmothers, an immigrant from Malawi,
and my great grandfather, a Shona from Murehwa, met while working on a farm
adjacent to the farm Mugabe&rsquo;s black farmer now owned. Inevitably we had a lot of
relatives who worked as farm labourers and my grandmother used to take me along
whenever she visited our relatives. The visits were memorable. We had beans,
salted and dried </FONT><A
href="http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-bacalhau.htm"><FONT face=Arial
size=2>bakayawo fish</FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2>, cultured milk, sugar,
you name it. The &ldquo;white&rdquo; farmer was not an angel but he was kind enough to give
his labourers food. <BR><BR>Contrast that with his &ldquo;black&rdquo; successor who now
grows flowers while his labourers starve. Since the labourers&rsquo; children cannot
eat flowers, the poor kids have to </FONT><A
href="http://www.newzimbabwe.com/blog/?p=294"><FONT face=Arial size=2>hunt for
crickets</FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2> and wild fruits to survive. That is
Mugabe&rsquo;s land policy right there. It is a failure and people, the inordinate
majority of them black, are going to starve. Just like the heartless flower
grower put it, </FONT><A
face=Arial size=2>they can&rsquo;t eat flowers</FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2>.
Children </FONT><A
face=Arial size=2>digging up crickets</FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2> and
face=Arial size=2>gathering wild fruits</FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2> is
what passes for black empowerment in ZANU-PF. It is this revolution that has to
be guarded, says Robert Mugabe. <BR><BR>Inevitably, I wanted to know if most of
the farm workers were still under the employment of the new farmer.
<BR><BR>&ldquo;Manyasarande aye takaatandanisa! &ndash; We got rid of all the Nyasalanders!&rdquo;
he chortled as he congratulated himself for dismissing the labourers he had
inherited from the white farmer. Mugabe&rsquo;s black farmer had deeply seated
contempt for the black workers. To him, they were Malawian interlopers hence the
use of the profoundly derogatory Manyasarande</FONT></SPAN><SPAN
style="FONT-FAMILY: georgia,palatino"><FONT face=Arial size=2> colonial-era
epithet. </FONT></SPAN><SPAN
style="FONT-SIZE: small; FONT-FAMILY: georgia,palatino"><FONT face=Arial
size=2>Munyasarande is a loaded noun. It captures a terrible stereotype of
someone who is a permanent alien, a person incapable of assimilation into a new
cultural environment and, therefore, irredeemably and hopelessly uncultured. The
original immigrants are all dead and all their descendants are Zimbabwean, any
which way you look at it. However, to this ignoramus Mugabe farmer, the
"Nyasarande" traits are heritable like Adam&rsquo;s sin. <BR><BR>I was furious. I have
relatives of Malawian extraction who are some of the most patriotic, honest,
God-loving and ethically enterprising Zimbabweans. They have never been to
Malawi and yet Mugabe&rsquo;s goofball was dismissing them as gypsies. For all of
Mugabe&rsquo;s endless incantations about </FONT><A
face=Arial size=2>African Solutions for African Problems</FONT></A><FONT
face=Arial size=2>, the attitude of this beneficiary of the ZANU-PF&rsquo;s
catastrophic land program had no iota of sympathy for a fellow black African.
Some will say I should have known that Mugabe&rsquo;s cronies are </FONT><A
face=Arial size=2>as insincere as the man</FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2>
himself. You will have to excuse my French, folks, I was pissed off big time!
<BR><BR>The black farmer&rsquo;s supremacist attitude encapsulates the mentality of
the circle of lunatics that surrounds Mugabe. They are shameless bearers of
false witness and will blatantly lie if it gives them political and material
mileage. The ZANU-PF farmer's xenophobic characterization of the farm labourers
fits the ZANU-PF modus operandi. <BR><BR>Like </FONT><A
href="https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/old/may15_2004.html#link13"><FONT face=Arial
size=2>Munyaradzi Wasosa put it</FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2>, when a
leopard wants to eat its children it starts by accusing them of smelling like
goats. If anyone stands in the way of the Mugabe </FONT><A
href="http://www.zimonline.co.za/Article.aspx?ArticleId=4059"><FONT face=Arial
size=2>crime syndicate</FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2>, nothing will keep the
supposed offender from a torrent of invective and, increasingly, abductions,
torture and gruesome death. That is how the Stalinist-Maoists in ZANU-PF
operate. It comes straight from the playbook of Joe Stalin whereby you
dehumanize and demonize your victims first and then rob them of their property
and lives thereafter. <BR><BR>When ZANU-PF wants to give commercial farms as
gifts or bribes to placate disgruntled party followers, Zimbabwean commercial
farmers are </FONT><A
face=Arial size=2>attacked as white farmers</FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2>,
a charge which is equivalent to calling the farmers unrepentant racists. How can
all the farmers who used to produce enough food to feed the entire region be
racists? Incredibly, the same land is now owned by Mugabe&rsquo;s cronies, most of
whom had never even cultivated a backyard garden of vegetables before receiving
the farms as payment for loyalty to Mugabe&rsquo;s revolution. It is widely believed
that some of these new farmers keep the farms so they can get </FONT><A
href="http://www.thezimbabwetimes.com/?p=1825"><FONT face=Arial
size=2>subsidized fuel</FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2>, seeds and fertilizer
that are then sold on the black market. Farming requires constant and
monomaniacal attention. I have to wonder where someone like </FONT><A
href="http://www.thezimbabwetimes.com/?p=8847"><FONT face=Arial size=2>Samuel
Mumbengegwi</FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2> gets the time to be both a viable
commercial farmer and a minister, even in a completely dysfunctional government.
<BR><BR>The truth of the matter is that it is not just the commercial farmers
that have been demonized by the ZANU-PF Mafia. <BR></FONT></SPAN></DIV></DIV>
<DIV class=article-content>
<P><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT></P>
<UL style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify">
<LI><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: small; FONT-FAMILY: georgia,palatino"><FONT
face=Arial size=2>&ldquo;</FONT><A
face=Arial size=2>Puppets and prostitutes</FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2>!&rdquo;
shouts Mugabe when blacks object to his disasterous policies;<BR></FONT></SPAN>
<LI><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: small; FONT-FAMILY: georgia,palatino"><FONT
face=Arial size=2>When Justin Mukoko decided to go and catalogue acts of
terrorism and theft of food aid perpetrated by ZANU-PF, she </FONT><A
href="http://www.thezimbabwetimes.com/?p=9350"><FONT face=Arial size=2>got
charged with terrorism</FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2> with the possibility
of get hanged if convicted in Mugabe&rsquo;s </FONT><A
href="http://www.thezimbabwetimes.com/?p=9350"><FONT face=Arial size=2>kangaroo
court</FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2>. What the colonialists </FONT><A
face=Arial size=2>did</FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2> to </FONT><A
face=Arial size=2>Nehanda Nyakasikana</FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2>, the
ZANU-PF nationalists want to do to </FONT><A
href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7805733.stm"><FONT face=Arial
size=2>Justina Mukoko</FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2>.<BR></FONT></SPAN>
<LI><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: small; FONT-FAMILY: georgia,palatino"><FONT
face=Arial size=2>People born and bred in Zimbabwe are quickly labelled
foreigners / </FONT><A
face=Arial size=2>Manyasarande</FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2> they </FONT><A
href="http://www.lrb.co.uk/v27/n13/john01_.html"><FONT face=Arial size=2>pointed
out</FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2> refuse to vote for the continuance of
Mugabe&rsquo;s ineptitude running of the country. The irony of it all is that there
are some </FONT><A
href="http://www.zimdaily.com/news/chirikure27.6192.html"><FONT face=Arial
size=2>rumours, which are silly</FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2> in my
opinion, to the effect that Mugabe himself has </FONT><A
href="http://www.freemuse.org/sw25409.asp"><FONT face=Arial size=2>Malawian /
Nyasarande blood</FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2> flowing in his veins. What
we know is that one of his nephews, </FONT><A
href="http://www.newzimbabwe.com/pages/electoral117.12534.html"><FONT face=Arial
size=2>Patrick Zhuwao</FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2>, definitely has a
Chikunda name. Zhuwao is an indigenized Portuguese name
<P style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify"><SPAN
style="FONT-SIZE: small; FONT-FAMILY: georgia,palatino"><BR><FONT face=Arial
size=2>Comrade Mugabe may profess to hate the British but he seems to like aping
them at every opportunity. He tries to speak English like a Britisher. When it
comes to dividing and conquering, the man learnt a lot from his colonial
masters. <BR><BR>Criminals in ZANU-PF may have arrogated to themselves the right
to determine who is and who is not Zimbabwean but we do not have to ape them. We
need to renounce ZANU-PF&rsquo;s xenophobic lexicon once and for all. There are no
white farmers, there are no Manyasarande, there are no Mandevere and there are
no Maindiya. Their forebears might have come to present-day Zimbabwe from
different parts of the world and at different times but that must not be the
defining character to their citizenship. These are Zimbabweans, pure and simple.
Anyone who insists otherwise must be considered a criminal.
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New Year's message to the students </h2>
href="http://hararetribune.com">http://hararetribune.com</A><BR><BR>Friday, 02 January 2009 17:51<BR><BR>We
have travelled a long journey together since our last Congress in January
<BR>2008. We came out of our congress with crucial resolutions intended to
<BR>assist in the resolution of the Zimbabwe's political crisis and hopefully
<BR>the envisaged new dispensation would address the challenges we are facing as
<BR>students in our various colleges.<BR>In 2008, we have endured by far the
most difficult year for our people. We <BR>have endured the worst humanitarian
crisis in post-independent Zimbabwe <BR>characterized by cholera, hunger and
starvation. Post March 29 election <BR>political violence, authored, sponsored
and perpetrated by Zanu PF, <BR>completely destroyed social cohesion and human
dignity. Cash shortages only <BR>but worsened the already desperate situation in
the country.<BR><BR>Virtually no learning took place in our schools, colleges
and universities. <BR>A generation has been wasted. The questions we continue to
ask ourselves is <BR>that what will happen to the school kids, college and
university students <BR>who have lost valuable learning time? What will be the
consequences of the <BR>current developments on our economy and country in
future?<BR><BR>Two events of great significance occurred in the past year. The
election <BR>victory of March 29 and the September 15 Global Political Agreement
are both <BR>historic and significant in the Renaissance of our country. The
mistake we <BR>made by failing to claim our victory of the March election must
never be <BR>repeated. Further, we must never make the mistake of allowing the
Global <BR>Political Agreement to fall by the wayside. The Agreement, as flawed
as it <BR>is, provides the only opportunity to take Zimbabwe back to her glory
days. <BR>The economy is bleeding, there is a desperate humanitarian crisis, the
<BR>nation is deeply divided, and there is lack of confidence in the populace.
<BR>Only through the implementation of this agreement can rescue the country. We
<BR>are however aware of Zanu Pf' intransigence, which can be a hindrance to the
<BR>successful implementation of the GPA. We must not allow Zanu Pf to detract
<BR>us from achieving a better life for ourselves and our people.<BR><BR>The
strong message we wish to convey to our political leaders at this <BR>juncture,
is that put the interest of the people and the country first. The <BR>people
have been patient enough. If you intend to form the inclusive <BR>government,
let that be now. If you have other ideas then let us know now.<BR><BR>Having
said that, we urge President Tsvangirai to come back and lead the <BR>country
out of the current mess. Your absence is being felt.<BR><BR>To my fellow
students, parents and Zimbabweans in general, let us remain <BR>committed to the
struggle for a better Zimbabwe. let us all unite and work <BR>towards the
renaissance of our country.<BR><BR>Wish Zimbabwe a better 2009,<BR><BR>On behalf
of the Students' Union<BR><BR>Clever Bere<BR><BR>President<BR>
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<h2>A letter
from the diaspora </h2>
<p> <A href="http://www.cathybuckle.com">http://www.cathybuckle.com</A><BR><BR>2nd January 2009<BR><BR>Dear Friends.<BR>I know that I am
not alone in my anger and indignation at the continued <BR>imprisonment of
Jestina Mukoko and the other abducted MDC activists on <BR>trumped up charges of
plotting to overthrow the regime in Harare via a <BR>military operation based,
the State alleges, in Botswana. We had a few brief <BR>moments of relief at the
end of 2008 that perhaps there was still justice in <BR>Zimbabwe after all. The
High Court had ordered the abductees' release to a <BR>hospital of their choice
and further ordered that they be accorded full <BR>access to their lawyers and
visits from relatives. Our relief at the good <BR>news was short-lived. Having
denied that they had any knowledge of Jestina's <BR>whereabouts, the police
finally produced her and thirty two other activists <BR>who the appeared before
Magistrate Misrod Guvamombe. What happened next <BR>could only happen in
Zimbabwe as the activists' lawyer, the courageous <BR>Beatrice Mtetwa commented,
" It's only in Zimbabwe that an inferior court <BR>can really implement a High
Court order differently. The High Court made an <BR>order that was deliberately
subverted by the state." The reason for <BR>Magistrate Guvamombe's decision to
disobey Justice Omerjee's ruling was that <BR>the State had already filed an
appeal against Omerjee's ruling. Wearing <BR>prison garb with shackles and leg
irons, the accused were paraded in court <BR>and then dispatched to Chikurubi
Maximum Security Prison to await trial.<BR><BR>Thus 2009 began in Zimbabwe with
yet another gross abuse of human rights, <BR>another travesty of justice that
makes the Mugabe regime even more of a <BR>pariah state in the eyes of the
world. Shamefully South Africa and SADC <BR>continue to protect Mugabe, claiming
that even the arrest of activists need <BR>not be a bar to the implementation of
a Government of National Unity. Today <BR>we read that Police Chief Chihuri has
declared a ban on all political <BR>meetings, citing the security situation in
the country which he describes as <BR>'volatile'. The courts and the police have
become totally complicit in the <BR>regime's increasingly desperate hold on
power. Any hope that Zimbabweans had <BR>that justice might ultimately prevail
has once again been cruelly dashed. <BR>With magistrates, judges and police
supporting the regime's every move, <BR>there seems little hope that 2009 will
be any better than the previous year <BR>for long-suffering Zimbabweans. The
rains are falling but there is no sign <BR>of planting and without the NGO's to
feed the people, starvation looms while <BR>the cholera toll continues to mount.
And Mugabe just sits back and allows it <BR>to happen, knowing that the world
will not allow the people to starve. He <BR>has virtually abdicated all
responsibility for the people's welfare; his <BR>only focus now is on his own
survival and he will use every means to ensure <BR>it, assisted by the greed and
avarice of his cronies whose own survival <BR>depends entirely on his staying in
power - as his does on their continued <BR>sycophantic support.<BR>I am reading
Heidi Hollands' book Dinner with Mugabe at the moment and it <BR>makes an
engrossing read. Holland's central purpose is to attempt to <BR>understand
Mugabe's psyche and disabuse the popular notion that he is a <BR>madman, another
Idi Amin. She interviews all sorts of people, friends and <BR>enemies of
Mugabe's, who throw light on his very complex personality and in <BR>the course
of her analysis she asks the question, 'Does it actually help to <BR>understand
the sort of man he is?' Understanding why Hitler was the way he <BR>was does not
after all make the murder of six million Jews any less <BR>shocking. Similarly,
Gukukahundi and the massacre of 20-30 thousand Ndebele <BR>people or the
terrible violence now meted out on innocent Zimbabweans for no <BR>reason other
than their opposition to his rule is hardly excusable on the <BR>grounds that
his father left home when Mugabe was ten years old. More <BR>understandable
perhaps is his supposed hatred of whites. What is not <BR>excusable is that the
confiscation of white-owned farms has caused such <BR>dreadful suffering to the
very people Mugabe claims to have liberated. Early <BR>childhood trauma hardly
explains such an act of massive injustice. Perhaps <BR>the explanation is more
to do with the fact that Mugabe simply cannot <BR>tolerate opposition or
criticism whether it comes from inside his own party <BR>or from the MDC or the
populace at large. Does it help to understand why <BR>Mugabe is like this? 'By
your deeds shall you know them' says the Christian <BR>doctrine which Mugabe
claims to espouse. On that basis, history will not, I <BR>believe, judge him
kindly and neither will the thousands of victims of his <BR>arrogance and
cruelty.<BR>May 2009 be the year when the hope for change becomes reality for
Zimbabwe.<BR>Yours in the (continuing) struggle PH<BR>
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Most Horrible Things of 2008: Why 2009 is Zimbabwe&rsquo;s year of Change or
Rebellion </h2>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><I
style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT faceibri>231
Million Percent Inflation<o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></SPAN></I></DIV>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT faceibri>With
an official rate of 231 million percent as of October 2008, the sky is the limit
for Zimbabwe&rsquo;s astronomical inflation. In Zimbabwe anything called official is a
lie! It is the highest inflation rate ever recorded since recording began. As
that figure became official coming from the government&rsquo;s Central Statistical
Office (CSO), many economic experts disputed it arguing that inflation was well
over 5 quintillion percent. Regrettably there seems to be no end in sight to
solve the nation&rsquo;s economic crisis given the paralysis that characterizes
contemporary Zimbabwean politics. It is an economy whose wheels have all come
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><I
style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri><SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>&lsquo;Zimbabwe is Mine&rsquo;(to
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri><SPAN style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'">In addition to
being a catalyst for the ongoing conundrum, Robert Mugabe is the CEO and author
of Zimbabwe&rsquo;s tragedies. He brazenly claims that &ldquo;Zimbabwe is mine&rdquo;; therefore
he can do whatever he wants (as he has done over the past 28 years) regardless
of what the people of Zimbabwe want or vote for. Behaving weirdly did not start
today; the nation is paying the price of an unchecked mental case. There is a
pattern; Mugabe has always been a </SPAN><SPAN lang=EN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ansi-language: EN">malicious
schemer whose machinations do not serve the nation any good other than
perpetuating self-serving interests. The UN experts who described Mugabe as a
&ldquo;mad dictator&rdquo; are correct just as US Department spokesperson Sean McCormack
succinctly rebutted: </SPAN><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'">"Well, last time the world
checked, Zimbabwe belonged to the people of Zimbabwe." I could not agree
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><I
style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT faceibri>As
of December 31 2008, official reports from the World Health Organization put
Zimbabwe&rsquo;s Cholera&rsquo;s death toll at 1 551 while new <SPAN
style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>infections have shot past 30 000. It is very
difficult to determine the exact number of deaths and infections given the
calamitous state of Zimbabwe&rsquo;s health delivery system. <SPAN
style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>The bulk of the population also resides in
rural communities where <SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>most cases go
unreported. Sadly, it is apparent that the cholera crisis has just
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><I
style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri>Chiadzwa Massacres<o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></SPAN></I></DIV>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri>While barely reported, Chiadzwa massacres in late 2008 represented some
of the most horrific scenes of the year. On a daily basis, Chiadzwa attracted
thousands of impoverished yet enterprising Zimbabweans trying to eke out a
living by panning diamonds. Their only crime was tampering with the wealth that
&lsquo;belongs&rsquo; to Mugabe and his kleptocrats. The military sprayed them with bullets
from helicopters. Victims were dumped in mass graves. At one point the Deputy
Mayor of Mutare, Admire Mukovera asked for &ldquo;space for a mass grave for 78 people
killed&rdquo; in Chiadzwa. While the actual number of the Chiadzwa massacres is an
official secret as the area was completely sealed by government troops to avoid
public access, journalists estimate them to be as high as 500.
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><I
style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri>Victims of Political Violence<o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></SPAN></I></DIV>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT faceibri>More
than 600 died in cold-blooded murder yet their killers are out there, alive and
well. Here are a few reminders of Mugabe&rsquo;s victims: Tonderai Ndira (the hero of
heroes) who was abducted by ten armed &lsquo;Mugabe men&rsquo; and later bludgeoned to death
(May 2008): Joshua Bakacheza, the MDC driver whose decomposed body was found
abandoned near a Beatrice farm (July 2008). Tabitha Marume who was shot and
killed by soldiers at Chiwetu Rest Camp (April 2008); Percy Muchiwa, a teacher
in Guruve who was beaten to death (April 2008); Bigboy Zhuwawo and Tenos Manyimo
died in Mashonaland Central <SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>after being
attacked by Zanu PF militants (April 2008); Clemence Dube, an MDC polling agent
who was attacked in Poshai Village of Shurugwi; Sadly, the list is endless! In
addition the 29 March nation-wide post election violence exacerbated <SPAN
style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>the situation as more women were raped while
opposition members were tortured and
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><I
style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri>Stolen Election<o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></SPAN></I></DIV>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT faceibri>They
were described as a &lsquo;sham election&rsquo; by the US and the UK.<SPAN
style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>Having taken more than a month to announce
own defeat, Mugabe and his men refused to concede defeat after the violent
29-March 2008 elections. Instead they called for another round of elections,
presided over by the military junta&rsquo;s Joint Operations Command. It was another
bloody campaign that culminated in MDC pulling out resulting in a solo contest
by Zanu (PF). To this day Mugabe is an illegitimate President who said that he
was not going to give up &ldquo;because of a mere
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><I
style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri>Surge in State-Sponsored
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri>While Justina Mukoko has come to personify the misery suffered by those
who get clamped in the jaws of Mugabe&rsquo;s terror, the story of many is still
untold. Now we know that a total of 560 abductions took place in Zimbabwe since
January 2008. Of that number only 220 cases were closed because the remains of
the murdered Zimbabweans were identified. The rest have not been accounted for
as their whereabouts are still unknown. Zimbabwe still resembles a typical war
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><FONT size=3><FONT faceibri><I
style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'">Ghost Hospitals</SPAN></I><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'">
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT faceibri>The
closure of all state-run hospitals was the epitome of the death of Zimbabwe&rsquo;s
health delivery system. According to the World Health organization, medical
staff stopped going to work because they were literally working for nothing as
inflation rendered their meager salaries worthless. Just like supermarkets and
shops with empty shelves in Zimbabwe, government bankruptcy did not spare
hospitals which were left without any supplies, stuff, staff or materials.
Recently, UN experts reported that "Zimbabwe's health system has completely
collapsed - it cannot control the cholera outbreak which is spreading throughout
the country, with a daily increase in the death
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><I
style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri>Ghost Schools<o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></SPAN></I></DIV>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri><SPAN style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'">First it was
political violence that led to nationwide school closures as Mugabe&rsquo;s violent
presidential <SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>campaign of 2008 wantonly
<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>targeted teachers and aid workers <SPAN
style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>accused of supporting the opposition
style="COLOR: black; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'">
Now that </SPAN><SPAN style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'">Zimbabwe
is a basket case (as opposed to bread-basket country that it used to be), a
severe shortage of maize has led to the closure of most schools in Zimbabwe as
far back as September. It is all part and parcel of a nationwide food crisis
that is also threatening to decimate half the population of
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><I
style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri>Banning of NGO&rsquo;s<o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></SPAN></I></DIV>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT faceibri>In
June 2008, President Mugabe banned all aid agencies that were carrying out field
operations in Zimbabwe at a time when the country was in dire need of
humanitarian assistance. The aid agencies were accused of working in connivance
with the opposition party to effect a &lsquo;regime change.&rsquo; Operations of hundreds of
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were paralyzed yet they played such a
pivotal role in providing water, food, shelter, health care and education for
millions of people in the midst of the country's economic malaise. Over the
years, aid agencies have done a remarkable job in place of a diminished
government. They helped to rebuild and sustain the country's health and
education system. To this very day (after their reinstatement as the epidemic
got out of control) the NGO&rsquo;s are largely accredited for averting a large-scale
humanitarian disaster in Zimbabwe, far greater than what has happened.<I
style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"><o:p></o:p></I></FONT></FONT></SPAN></DIV>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><I
style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri>Revoked Knighthood and Honorary
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><SPAN lang=EN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ansi-language: EN"><FONT
size=3><FONT faceibri>On June 25 2008, Queen Elizabeth II wasted no time
cancelling and revoking the 1994 Knighthood bestowed on Mugabe (never mind the
reasons surrounding the decision to bestow that honour in the first place).<SPAN
style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>Likewise, University of Massachusetts at
Amherst stripped him of a chain of honorary degrees, a similar move made by the
University of Edinburgh the previous year.<o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></SPAN></DIV>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><I
style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"><SPAN lang=EN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ansi-language: EN"><FONT
size=3><FONT faceibri>Lies, lies, lies<o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></SPAN></I></DIV>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri><SPAN style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'">It is no secret
that lack of sanitation and hygiene caused Zimbabwe&rsquo;s cholera epidemic contrary
to the lies peddled by Mugabe&rsquo;s regime that &ldquo;Cholera is a calculated racist
attack on Zimbabwe by the former colonial power so that they can invade the
country,&rdquo; <SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Mugabe&rsquo;s Information Minister
also<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>went on state television saying:
&ldquo;T</SPAN><SPAN lang=EN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ansi-language: EN">he
cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe is a serious biological, chemical war force, a
genocidal onslaught, on the people of Zimbabwe by the British.&rdquo; <SPAN
style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN><SPAN style="mso-bidi-font-weight: bold">As
far back as January 2007, the Associated Press reported about Zimbabwe&rsquo;s
National Water Authority (ZINWA) issuing a deadly water contamination warning
that &ldquo;a breakdown at a major sewage treatment plant had left it spewing 72
mega-liters of raw sewage per day into a river that feeds into Lake Chivero,
Harare&rsquo;s main source of drinking water.&rdquo;</SPAN></SPAN><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'">On December 11 2008, Mugabe also
shocked the world when he stated that &ldquo;Cholera no longer exists&rdquo;. <SPAN
style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>The death toll doubled three weeks
style="mso-bidi-font-weight: bold; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ansi-language: EN">
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><o:p></o:p></SPAN></FONT></FONT></DIV>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><I
style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT faceibri>5.5
million urgently need food<o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></SPAN></I></DIV>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri>According to UN, Zimbabwe is sitting on time bomb liable to explode
anytime if nothing radical is done by the international community to immediately
send food supplies into the country. In addition to erratic weather that causes
droughts, gross mismanagement of the nation&rsquo;s food supply by Zimbabwe&rsquo;s Grain
Marketing Board (GMB) caused the crisis. On one hand Mugabe and his men continue
to deride the International community whose leaders are the US and the UK while
on the other hand they desperately need their
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><I
style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri>Shortage and Queues <o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></SPAN></I></DIV>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT faceibri>In
2007, they were used to shortages and queues of basic commodities such as milk,
sugar, bread and meat as empty shelves became the order of the day. For the
people of Zimbabwe 2008 was the peaking of a major economic crisis as they could
not even access their worthless currency &lsquo;sitting&rsquo; in the bank while losing
value by the minute. Queuing and experiencing shortages is now a way of life
while the unavailability of bank notes ushered in great misery. As the year drew
to a close (November 2008), uniformed soldiers went on a rampage rioting over
cash shortages.<o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></SPAN></DIV>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><I
style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri>Treacherous Border Jumping by Women and
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri>Images of Zimbabwean women with infants on their backs jumping
razor-wire fences were a sorry sight that disturbed anyone with a conscience,
let alone those of pregnant women and school kids navigating crocodile-infested
waters of the Limpopo to cross into South Africa. It is not about the survival
of the fittest but about the survival of the needy, forced out of their beloved
homeland by political violence, poverty and hunger. The problems only start
after crossing the border!<o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></SPAN></DIV>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><I
style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri>Xenophobic Attacks<o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></SPAN></I></DIV>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri><SPAN style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'">In March 2008,
South Africa resembled a war zone as some of its citizens murdered over 60
immigrants after unleashing violent attacks on foreigners, predominantly
Zimbabweans. </SPAN><SPAN lang=EN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ansi-language: EN">It is
estimated that over 2 million Zimbabweans have found refuge in South Africa
having fled political violence. Others simply escaped the economic misery
brought about by Mugabe and his men. While other foreign nationals had the
luxury of voluntarily returning to their countries, Zimbabweans have no choice
as long as Mugabe and his men continue to populate the corridors of usurped
power in that country. Zimbabwe is not their usual home anymore; it is a place
that smacks of death.</SPAN><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><o:p></o:p></SPAN></FONT></FONT></DIV>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><I
style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri>Concocted Treason charges<o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></SPAN></I></DIV>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri>Sounds familiar? True. It is a tried and tested strategy to distract
the people of Zimbabwe from real issues of solving the people&rsquo;s problems. In
2008, the hapless Tendai Biti of the opposition MDC appeared in public for the
first time extremely shackled (complete with leg irons) after a protracted
incarceration facing treason charges. He still faces the concocted charges. In
August 2005 Morgan Tsvangirai was finally acquitted of fabricated treason
charges that dragged on forever. Representing the State, prosecutor Florence
Ziyambi declared: <SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>&ldquo;The state is
withdrawing charges before plea&rdquo;<o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></SPAN></DIV>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><I
style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri>Two-year old boy in jail<o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></SPAN></I></DIV>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri><SPAN style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'">As the illegal
detentions and abductions were brought to light the last week of December 2008,
another disturbing moment took center stage &ndash; an unfamiliar political detainee.
<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>It is a two year old boy who is among
the 23 &lsquo;perceived enemies of state.&rsquo; <SPAN
style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Zimbabwean police shamelessly violated a
ruling by High </SPAN><SPAN lang=EN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ansi-language: EN">Court
Judge Yunus Omarjee of December 27 which <SPAN
style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>&ldquo;ordered an unconditional release of 23
opposition members -- including a 2-year-old boy.&rdquo;according to CNN. Several news
organizations have reported that the baby was also beaten up. </SPAN><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'">How low can Mugabe&rsquo;s government
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><B
style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><I
style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT faceibri>4
Positive things<o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></SPAN></I></B></DIV>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><I
style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri>Mugabe is cornered<o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></SPAN></I></DIV>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT faceibri>When
his government finally delivered Morgan Tsvangirai&rsquo;s passport and a letter of
appointment as Prime Minister, it surely showed Mugabe&rsquo;s desperation. Two weeks
earlier, it was the same Mugabe who called Morgan Tsvangirai a &ldquo;political
prostitute&rdquo;. <SPAN
style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN><o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></SPAN></DIV>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><I
style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri>Tightening of Screws by SADC<o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></SPAN></I></DIV>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri>Neighboring countries such as South Africa and Botswana that are
importing instability and cholera are increasingly becoming restless. They also
want a GNU deal struck as soon as possible. <SPAN
style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Pressure is up and a political deal is in the
offing.<I style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"> </I>The GNU deal is alive and
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><I
style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri>Break away of Zapu<o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></SPAN></I></DIV>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT faceibri>The
splitting of Zapu and Zanu is healthy for Zimbabwe&rsquo;s democracy.<SPAN
style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>While it adds to political pluralism, it is
imperative for Zapu to move beyond regrouping to merely grieve over
Matebeleland<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>Holocaust of more than
twenty years ago or to rekindle tribal diatribes. Zimbabwe has changed. You
cannot have a party for a specific region or tribe and expect to lead a nation.
Get me right, while the massacres of Matebeleland should not go unpunished,
<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Zapu must integrate itself into
mainstream Zimbabwean politics and become nationally competitive. I do not want
to think that the goal is to position itself for political opportunism. <SPAN
style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Zimbabwean politics is replete with episodes
of opportunism, just ask Arthur Mutambara or Jonathan Moyo <I
style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">. ( I wrote a piece on that on my blog <A
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><I
style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT faceibri>You
and Me<o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></SPAN></I></DIV>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT faceibri>We
care deeply about the plight of the suffering people of Zimbabwe and we will
make a difference as we continue to press for
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri>Mugabe must be focusing his energies on redoing the government of
national unity agreement which he deceptively authored so that Zimbabwe can move
forward. With continued abductions, Zanu PF&rsquo;s unflinching insistence on
retaining control of Home Affairs (that &lsquo;own&rsquo; the police) is worrisome. Most of
those abductions are masterminded and spearheaded by the police. What will stop
them when Morgan Tsvangirai is a titular Prime Minister? Already Zanu PF has
Defence Ministry and the deadly partisan spies fall under its ministerial
portfolios. People have to understand where Morgan Tsvangirai is coming
from.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>As for me, I will not set foot in
Zimbabwe until my President is President (sic)! Vangandiita kanyama kanyama
(&lsquo;BBQ me&rsquo;).<o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></SPAN></DIV>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT faceibri>The
need to extend Zimbabwe&rsquo;s begging bowls internationally is increasing given the
gargantuan problems facing the country in 2009. The poverty in Zimbabwe is
dehumanizing! Mr President please do not continue to fart in public as that
scares away would-be helpers. Your flatulence problem is not terminal. Eating
less of that meal of pork and beans can solve it. <SPAN
style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>In 2009, please spare us that perennial
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri><SPAN style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'">Zimbabwe&rsquo;s
mounting problems will never be solved by you and your Zanu (PF).</SPAN><SPAN
lang=EN style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ansi-language: EN">
Your</SPAN><SPAN style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"> diatribes
serve Zimbabwe no good, but only aggravate the situation.</SPAN><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ansi-language: EN"> <SPAN
lang=EN>Be reminded that at this stage, Zimbabwe requires more than just a mere
political settlement. A comprehensive development strategy is required in order
to solve problems bedeviling an imploded
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><A name=1><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT faceibri>The
way 2008 ended is quite ominous. Although 2009 is agog with expectations of a
better life, new problems will dwarf existing ones if the government of national
unity fails to succeed because of Mugabe. Simultaneously, Mugabe&rsquo;s political
fate is being sealed as the odds against him continue to mount while the social
time bomb ticks even faster. Be reminded that continued political paralysis is a
zero-sum game.<o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></SPAN></A></DIV><SPAN
style="mso-bookmark: 1"></SPAN>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT faceibri>It
is in the best interests of all citizens of Zimbabwe to demand change in 2009,
if not, Mugabe will continue to sleepwalk the nation to its grave. It is the
people of Zimbabwean who are bearing the agony and brunt of a failed leadership,
&lsquo;a tragic failure of leadership&rsquo; as stated by Nelson Mandela (who happens to be
Africa&rsquo;s best politician ever!)<o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></SPAN></DIV>
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><FONT size=3><FONT
faceibri>However it is comforting to note that for now Morgan Tsvangirai is
Zimbabwe&rsquo;s last and best hope to get Zimbabwe back on the path of sanity. He has
already treaded the treacherous politics of Zimbabwe with great honor,
selflessness, grace and humility defying all appeasement attempts by
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><SPAN lang=EN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ansi-language: EN"><FONT
size=3><FONT faceibri>Dear God, for 2009 I have one request on behalf of the
people of Zimbabwe:<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>Please increase
Robert Gabriel Mugabe&rsquo;s sensitivity to the plight of the suffering poor people
of Zimbabwe. If possible, sneak in psychedelics into that State House in order
to reduce the amount of cruelty and violence within him. Transform his
declaration that &ldquo;we have degrees in violence&rdquo; into &ldquo;we have degrees in peace,&rdquo;
for we know fully-well that Mugabe and his men do not want peace or political
progress, &ldquo;kubvongodza muto kuseva kweakaguta.&rdquo; The status quo benefits them.
<DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><SPAN lang=EN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ansi-language: EN"><FONT
size=3 faceibri>The people of Zimbabwe cannot afford another year of the same
with Mugabe at the helm of Zimbabwean politics.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> 
</SPAN>For 2009 the choices for the people of Zimbabwe are very simple:<SPAN
style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>Change, Riot or Rot!<BR></FONT></SPAN><SPAN
style="mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"><o:p><BR>Paul Mutuzu<BR>+1 972
201 5554<BR><BR><EM>President and founder of the National Vision Institute
(</EM><A href="http://www.nationalvision.wordpress.com/"
target=_blank><EM>www.nationalvision.wordpress.com</EM></A><EM>), an independent
non-profit economic and political strategy think-tank focusing on Zimbabwe and
Southern Africa region. It offers policy initiatives and strategic insights in
finding solutions to the challenges facing Southern
<div align="right"><A HREF="#tocPos"><font color="#ff3300">Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP</font></A></div>
of Zimbabwe: 2009 </h2>
href="http://www.sokwanele.com/thisiszimbabwe/archives/2983#more-2983">http://www.sokwanele.com/thisiszimbabwe/archives/2983#more-2983</A><BR><BR>A friend of mine attacked the start of the new year
with gusto. He went to a <BR>New Year's party where he did his level best to get
as drunk as he possibly <BR>could. When I saw him the next day, he had a
hangover of note. "I believe", <BR>he declared, "that all Zimbabweans should get
the worst hangover they <BR>possibly can on New Year's eve; that way they start
the year feeling sicker <BR>than the sickest of dogs and then they can try and
tell themselves that <BR>things can only get better in 2009."<BR><BR>His Zimbo
humour did make me laugh, but apart from that moment of mirth <BR>there is very
little else that I find amusing about the start of the New <BR>Year in
Zimbabwe.<BR><BR>My 'Face of 2009' is already burned in my mind and the year has
barely <BR>begun. It comes to me via an experience of a relative of mine, which
he had <BR>while driving on an isolated stretch of road between two
towns.<BR><BR>He said he saw a child standing in the middle of nowhere crying
its heart <BR>out by the side of the road, trying to wave down cars. An adult
sat crumpled <BR>in the dirt next to her.<BR><BR>When he stopped, he learned
that the child was with her grandmother, and <BR>that the grandmother was very
very sick. The small girl had been trying to <BR>help her Gogo to find a way to
get to a clinic or hospital and they had <BR>walked through the bush for miles.
When they reached the road, Gogo's legs <BR>gave out, and she could not find the
strength to stand up again and the <BR>child was too small to help her stand and
keep going. All she could do was <BR>sob, and try and wave down someone who
would stop and help her.<BR><BR>My relative helped Gogo into the car and drove
her and her grandchild to the <BR>nearest hospital. He said they had a long way
to go and Gogo was silent all <BR>the way, very ill and every last bit of
strength drained from her just <BR>trying to reach the road. The little girl, he
said, sobbed the whole way <BR>there. He said she was crying in grief and fear,
but that she also kept <BR>thanking him, her gratitude that he had stopped at
all was heartbreaking.<BR><BR>He left them at the nearest clinic in the care of
doctors and nurses who <BR>probably don't have the medicines they need to help
Gogo, and I fear she <BR>will probably die. 'Happy New Year' to that tiny little
girl? I think not.<BR><BR>There is no amount of alcohol on the world that can
give me a hangover <BR>headache that is strong enough to match the twisting pain
I get in my heart <BR>and stomach when I think about that little girl. Unlike a
hangover, this <BR>pain will not pass and I can't tell myself that when it has
gone that 2009 <BR>can only get better. I know that there will be more of the
same.<BR><BR>I state the obvious when I say that in this millenium, in 2009, a
small <BR>child of primary school age should not be staggering through the bush
in the <BR>middle of nowhere, entirely responsible for taking her dying Gogo to
<BR>hospital. She should not be crying by the side of the road begging cars to
<BR>stop and help her. Of course she should not. All reasonable people would
<BR>agree with that but no one can reasonably find a way forward. The bottom
<BR>line is that the problem this child had - her Gogo dying and needing care -
<BR>was her problem alone.<BR><BR>Another friend of mine recently travelled
through the rural areas, visiting <BR>quite a few remote places. She said that
she only saw the very elderly and <BR>the very young, that all the ages in
between were missing. We speculated <BR>that those of working ages - the mothers
and fathers, the strongest - had <BR>either left for South Africa to try and
support their families, or that they <BR>had died from AIDS related
illnesses.<BR><BR>All reasonable people reasonably argue that the solution to
Zimbabwe's <BR>problems rests with Zimbabweans - it is us who must 'do
something'. I wish <BR>those reasonable people would report that to that small
child and her <BR>grandmother, who represent thousands more small children and
their <BR>grandmothers in the rural areas, because that is one tidbit of
information <BR>that I don't have the heart to convey. When you face a nation
that is <BR>starving, desperately scrounging for survival, old and frail or very
young, <BR>sick with cholera and HIV/AIDS, I can't help wondering if that thesis
is as <BR>reasonable as it seems at face value, or whether its just the world
passing <BR>the buck.<BR><BR>For me, my New Year blog begins with a public
confession and a promise.<BR><BR>My public confession is that I am sick to the
back teeth of this struggle. I <BR>am so tired of it, and I want to give up and
let my life move on. I want my <BR>head to be filled with different thoughts
other than 'what can I do, what <BR>can I do..'<BR><BR>My promise is to a child
I have never met: I promise before God that I will <BR>not give up, I promise to
keep going. I wish this promise meant something to <BR>this child, but the truth
is it doesn't even scratch the surface of a grief <BR>she has that runs so deep
it will forever define her life as an adult.<BR><BR>This entry was
written by Hope on Friday, January 2nd, 2009 at 11:34 am<BR>
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<h2> Zimbabwe:
Hopes for a better 2009 </h2>
<p><A href="http://www.oxfam.org.uk">http://www.oxfam.org.uk</A><BR><BR>by Caroline Gluck in Harare.<BR><BR>As the midnight
countdown ended, cheers rang out and the crowd hugged and <BR>kissed friends and
strangers in the small jazz club bar in downtown Harare.<BR><BR>2008 was an
especially grim year in Zimbabwe - and prospects for the coming <BR>year seem
little better. The fact that Zimbabweans were celebrating the new <BR>year at
all might seem surprising. But many people, or at least those with <BR>some
money living in the cities, were in the mood to party, if only for a <BR>night
and to forget their worries.<BR><BR>Zimbabwe is gripped by economic collapse.
Hyperinflation, the worst in the <BR>world, has seen prices skyrocketing, making
it hard for many to access food <BR>and fuel. Last month, the country's central
bank introduced a 10 billion <BR>Zimbabwean dollar banknote, but its actual
worth, about $10 US dollars on <BR>the black market, is rapidly decreasing day
by day. Most shops now only <BR>accept foreign currency not Zimbabwean
notes.<BR><BR>On top of the economic meltdown - which has seen doctors,
teachers, and most <BR>government staff staying away from work because their pay
in local <BR>Zimbabwean dollars won't even cover their crippling transport costs
- is a <BR>serious and worsening humanitarian crisis.<BR><BR>A cholera outbreak
in August has now affected more than 30,000 people, and <BR>claimed the lives of
more than 1,600 people, with cases now being reported <BR>across every province
in the country.<BR><BR>Cholera is an easily preventable and treatable
water-borne disease. But its <BR>spread in Zimbabwe is being fuelled by the
collapse of health, sanitation <BR>and water services. There are limited medical
supplies and many don't have <BR>access to clean drinking water or proper
sanitation. The onset of heavy <BR>rains this month is worsening an already
alarming situation.<BR><BR>A second humanitarian crisis, still under-reported,
is worsening <BR>malnutrition and food shortages. There have been several years
of failed <BR>harvests; a serious shortage of seeds and fertilisers; and driving
hunger is <BR>forcing many to eat seeds instead of planting them for next year's
crops.<BR><BR>The UN has warned that around five million people, more than half
of the <BR>population, will soon rely on food aid.<BR><BR>The country is also
facing political deadlock. Efforts to form a <BR>power-sharing government
between the ZANU-PF party of President Robert <BR>Mugabe, who has been in power
since 1980, and the opposition Movement for <BR>Democratic Change, has
stalled.<BR><BR>I got a sombre insight into many of the problems the country was
facing as I <BR>visited Kadoma city in central Zimbabwe, about 180 kilometres
west of the <BR>capital, Harare.<BR><BR>Oxfam has been working in the area,
drilling boreholes so that communities <BR>can access safe drinking water;
distributing hygiene kits and undertaking <BR>health promotion work.<BR><BR>The
health authorities have reported nearly a thousand cholera cases since <BR>mid
November, with 29 deaths. Unofficial statistics put the figure even
<BR>higher.<BR><BR>The cholera treatment centre - mainly consisting of makeshift
canvas tents - <BR>was packed with 120 patients. And staff were working
flat-out.<BR>Two people had died that day; and I was shown a tent containing the
wrapped <BR>corpses of seven bodies, several of which had lain there for several
days <BR>and were swelling. Fuel shortages and rocketing prices meant that there
were <BR>no vehicles available to take the bodies to the local
cemetery.<BR><BR>"Things aren't stabilising," said one nurse, "they're getting
worse. We're <BR>seeing more patients every day."<BR><BR>With early access to
treatment - intravenous fluids and oral rehydration - <BR>patients can recover
quickly and be discharged within days.<BR><BR>But a visit to a nearby housing
estate - described as a cholera 'timebomb' <BR>by a senior health official -
made clear why the epidemic is sweeping across <BR>the country.<BR><BR>The
sewage system had broken down; and residents were disposing human and <BR>other
waste in the narrow lanes around their homes.<BR><BR>Open sewers in Kadoma
CityChildren played alongside open sewers. There was <BR>no running water and
the community of around 1200 depended on water from a <BR>borehole Oxfam had
provided.<BR>Those images haunted me as I sat in the jazz bar that night.
Zimbabweans <BR>might have little to celebrate, other than surviving another
difficult year; <BR>but they are still pinning their hopes that the coming year
might bring some <BR>change for the better.<BR><BR>This entry was posted
on Friday, January 2nd, 2009 at 3:31 pm<BR>
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