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Seven out of 10 Zimbabweans want 2011 elections: poll


– Wed Jan 5, 10:38 am ET

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) – Seventy percent of Zimbabweans want elections this
year, but less than half the electorate believes the country's next polls
will be free and fair, a survey said on Wednesday.

One in seven also feared election campaign intimidation or violence, which
characterised the country's disputed 2008 vote, amid slipping confidence in
the unity government set up to steer Zimbabwe out of crisis.

The Afrobarometer survey, which questioned 1,192 citizens nationwide in
October last year, said Zimbabweans view the power-sharing pact as a
temporary measure with more than two-thirds saying elections should be held
this year.

"That seven in ten would-be voters are anxious to freely elect leaders of
their choice, even in an atmosphere where security forces and party militias
are again on the move, is testament to the impressive depth of Zimbabweans'
commitments to political rights," said the survey.

Veteran President Robert Mugabe, whom 68 percent of people polled believe
holds most or all power, is pushing for elections in 2011 which will end an
uneasy ruling pact with rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Only 14 percent of respondents believed power was shared equally and even
less, six percent, said Tsvangirai was in charge.

Tsvangirai has conceded that a presidential election could take place in
2011, but ruled out parliamentary polls until 2013.

While two thirds felt the unity government was doing a good job, there was a
21 percent drop in perception that it was performing well or very well.

"The honeymoon in public opinion following the introduction of the coalition
government in February 2009 is over," said the survey.

Against a context of recurrent political threats, Afrobarometer found 71
percent feared election campaign violence or intimidation and fewer people
felt free to speak, associate and vote.

"Instead, confidence in democratic liberties is being gradually replaced by
a resurgence of political fear," it said.

Thirty-two percent of people would not reveal their party preference and
less than half (46 percent) believed the next polls would be free and fair.

In March 2008, Tsvangirai defeated Mugabe in presidential polls but fell
short of the required majority resulting in a run-off ballot which he
refused to take part in, citing violence against his supporters. Mugabe won

The Afrobarometer survey is produced by social scientists from 20 African

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ZANU-PF Military Forces Farmers to Attend Election Rallies

Peta Thornycroft 05 January 2011

Although Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party seems to have
accepted, in public at least, that elections are not possible before year
end, many new black farmers north of the capital were told Tuesday by senior
army personnel there would be "war" if ZANU-PF didn't win the next poll.

An officer in the Zimbabwe National army, accompanied by several colleagues,
addressed new farmers at what used to be called the Ayshire Country Club.

Many farmers and workers attending the ZANU-PF rally now occupy white-owned
land given to them by Mugabe in a process that began in 2000. One of at
least five rallies in that farming district about 120 kilometers northwest
of Harare, was held at the old club.

Among those who said he was compelled to attend the rally was a 46-year-old
laborer who asked not to be identified. He said all new farmers and their
workers in the district were ordered to attend the six-hour rally, which was
addressed by several well-known personnel from the national army.

He provided names of the main speakers. The man said the military provided
transport for farmers and their workers to attend the rallies. He said
farmers were anxious when a team of ZANU-PF aides questioned them about
their finances.

He said some also were anxious because they were forced to interrupt work
during the peak of the summer agricultural season.

The message given to those at the rally was that "If ZANU-PF and President
Mugabe do not win the next elections, there will be war."

A commercial traveler, who also requested anonymity, said he had counted
five ZANU-PF rallies, including the one at Ayshire Country Club.

Mugabe's ZANU-PF is in a coalition government with the Movement for
Democratic Change, which won the last parliamentary elections in 2008.

On Sunday, the state newspaper, The Sunday Mail, which usually reflects
ZANU-PF opinion, said it was unlikely that simultaneous presidential and
legislative elections could be held in 2011.

Zimbabwe has committed to a new constitution before fresh elections, but
parliament says a new charter will not be ready before September.

Mugabe told party faithful last month he was uncomfortable within the
inclusive government and that new elections should be held this year to end
power sharing with the MDC, which he described as a "puppet" of the west.

Since then, South African mediators on behalf of the Southern African
Development Community, which guaranteed Zimbabwe's multi-party political
agreement, said they will draw up a road map of reforms necessary before new

In a public opinion survey by Afrobarometer that was released Wednesday a
majority of people interviewed last October said memories of previous
elections contributed to their fears of ZANU-PF violence in any upcoming

The mobile telephones for senior ZANU-PF officials, including the party
chairman, the party spokesman and the ZANU-PF defense minister in the
inclusive government were all switched off Wednesday.

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Clash in Harare Suburb Signals Rising Pre-Electoral Tensions in Zimbabwe

Mbare lawmaker Piniel Denga warned that there could be more trouble in his
area and other MDC strongholds with a constitutional referendum and national
elections potentially taking place in 2011

Thomas Chiripasi & Ntungamili Nkomo | Harare/Washington 04 January 2011

The Movement for Democratic Change formation of Zimbabwean Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai said Tuesday that suspected ZANU-PF militants attacked a
party vehicle in a Harare suburb, smashing its windows and injuring the
driver's arm in an incident that signaled rising tensions in the country
ahead of possible 2011 elections.

MDC politician Piniel Denga, member of Parliament for the Mbare constituency
where the attack took place, warned that there could be more trouble in his
area and other MDC strongholds with a constitutional referendum and national
elections in prospect.

"The police are working in cahoots with ZANU-PF," Denga said. "This is an
issue that we need to deal with to make sure police do not harass people on
behalf of the party in the next election." He said he was personally
harrassed by ZANU-PF youths in Mbare when he went to inaugurate boreholes
sunk using his constituency development funds.

The injured driver, Stanford Bote, told VOA he went to Mbare for a
mobilization exercise ahead of the party congress expected in May, when his
vehicle was mobbed by a group of youths wearing regalia of President Robert
Mugabe's ZANU-PF party.

Bote said the youths told him and his fellow MDC members that their party
was banned in Mbare though the suburb is a stronghold of the former
opposition party. They then started throwing stones, smashing the vehicle’s
windows and injuring his left arm.

He said when he reported the case at the Mbare Police Station, officers told
him to bring the suspects to the station. VOA was unable to obtain comment
from police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena. The ZANU-PF chairman for Harare
province, Amos Midzi, refused to comment saying he had no knowledge of the
alleged attack.

Political analyst Brilliant Mhlanga told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili
Nkomo that the Mbare incident was a harbinger of the kind of violence new
elections may bring.

MDC activist Crispen Mandizvidza died late last year in Mbare in
disturbances during the constitutional revision outreach process in the

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Zimbabweans must resist Zanu PF’s partisan distribution of seed packs and food

Written by MDC Information & Publicity Department
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 13:49

The MDC is dismayed by countrywide reports of partisan distribution of
agriculture inputs by Zanu PF politicians and Cabinet ministers, which
represent a sad and stark reminder of a culture of patronage and use of food
and poverty as instrument of control and a political weapon. Using such base
tools for political purposes is against the letter and spirit of the Global
Political Agreement, much as it is a form of violence against the majority
who are on record as having been impoverished by Zanu PF’s history of
tyranny and dictatorship. Zanu PF is not a donor; has never been; and will
never be.
What makes this practice disconcerting is that the food, seed and input
packs were either sourced by the Inclusive Government or procured with
resources from the national budget to which all Zimbabweans contribute
through their taxes. The MDC calls on Zanu PF to stop this criminal abuse of
critical national supplies and make allowances for an open distribution of
essentials to all those interested in farming for the restoration of our
food reserves and food security.
It is not secret that under Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono’s quasi-fiscal
activities, close to US$3 billion was carelessly dished out to Zanu PF
politicians and supporters, with negative consequences that led to
uncontrolled food shortages and famine. Other countries, like Malawi, which
invested a similar amount during the same period, have become net food
exporters. The current practice is a repeat of a tired Zanu PF tactic,
albeit under the guise of a newly found pseudo-philanthropic desire to shore
up its waning fortunes in the rural areas. The people can easily see through
the segregation and the attempts to divide the poor – a weak strategy
Zimbabwe rejected in March 2008 when the people tossed off Zanu PF from
What is clear is that Zimbabweans can never allow themselves to be dragged
to the pre-2008 era. Their collective wisdom, experience and their new life
they are enjoying today, thanks to the MDC, have left an indelible mark in
their political behaviour. The people -- coming out of two indisputably,
memorable Christmas and New Year breaks made possible by the MDC’s entry
into government in February 2009 -- know that the past was hell on earth,
marked by an energy sapping war imposed by Zanu PF; they know of the hunger
and disease they endured; and they have not forgotten the story of a total
collapse of their existence caused by Zanu PF greed, avarice and corruption.
The MDC calls on the Inclusive Government to stop the Zanu PF practice as it
has the potential of re-opening festering wounds; and is an affront to
national integration and healing. We need not remind Zanu PF that the
sourcing of inputs and other donations for poverty alleviation is a direct
result of the MDC’s efforts in the Inclusive Government. The party strongly
urges Zimbabweans, especially the poor and vulnerable in the rural areas, to
resist any partisan food and seed distribution programmes initiated by Zanu
PF politicians. The food and seed packs are mainly from donors and
government stores; and they belong to all the people, regardless of their
political affiliation. As we enter in 2011, the MDC pledges to bury the Zanu
PF system of patronage, segregation and partisanship in the availability and
supply of national services and public resources to the people.

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Zimbabwe military beseige rural shopping centres

05 January, 2011 12:42:00 By Chengetai Zvauya

HARARE - The presence of soldiers from the Presidential Guard Unit based in
Domboshawa who are roaming Chinamhora communal lands has caused panic among
villagers in Pote, Runhanga, Molife, Mungate and Mutonda Villages.
The soilders, who are moving in groups, are interacting with the villagers
and sometimes join in the social activities of the villagers.

Andrew Muchenge, a villager in Domboshava, which falls under Goromonzi North
Constituency, said people were living in constant fear of the soldiers.

''We dont understand why the soldiers are moving everyday in our area. I
dont know whether we are in war situation. The soldiers are not beating us
but their presence here is causing a lot of alarm and panic amongst the
people. They are also attending village funerals.

This is very unwelcome as we are just peasant farmers, who want to go about
our farming peacefully.''

Many villagers refused to discuss the presence of the soldiers for fear of
victimisation. Goromonzi North Constituency falls under Zanu PF legislator
Beatrice Nyamupinga.

The deployment of soldiers started last month when the Ministry of Defence
Forces embarked on the programme resulting in the deployment of soldiers in
Gokwe , Masvingo Bikita and Chipinge districts.

Most of the rural areas that were strongholds of Zanu PF were grabbed by the
MDC in the 2008 elections as the rural electorate switched their vote to
support the MDC.

MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai has denounced the deployment of the
soldiers in the rural areas countrywide.

Defence Forces spokesperson Ben Ncube was not available for comment. - Daily

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Chinamasa’s electoral law proposals likely to hit brick wall

By Tichaona Sibanda
5 January 2011

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa’s proposed changes to the electoral laws
are likely to hit a brick wall, following suspicions that the new set of
rules will only benefit ZANU PF.

Of major concern to civil society groups is the proposal by Chinamasa, a
ZANU PF hardliner and party negotiator, to ban civic participation in voter

The new changes also seek to punish those who announce election results
before they are officially announced by an election officer.

MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti was arrested two years ago and charged
with treason for announcing the 2008 election results before the discredited
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) had done so.

These charges were subsequently dropped after a magistrate ruled that Biti
had been improperly arrested. The MDC argued at the time that the charges
were politically engineered.

It took the ZEC almost five weeks to announce results of the 2008
Presidential election. This delay gave credence to widely held views that
authorities used the period to distort the figures in ZANU PF’s favour, and
thereby deny MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai victory against ZANU PF leader
Robert Mugabe.

John Huruva, a founder member of the MDC-T in the UK told SW Radio Africa on
Wednesday that his first reaction was to laugh when he saw the proposals in
the media.

“Looking at the proposals one would say they are a big joke by ZANU PF, not
by the government of Zimbabwe but ZANU PF. To say they want to tackle
political violence is disingenuous by ZANU PF. Already we have over 200
murders carried out in 2008 and not a single one has been investigated,”
Huruva said.

He added: “So what are they trying to do? Trying to blindfold the nation by
saying they want to deal with violence when that is not the case.”
Huruva also questioned Chinamasa’s judgement in trying to ban civic
participation in voter education, saying such a move displayed a big sign of
repression and dictatorship.

“This really smells like a party that does not want to go away but actually
want to stay there by any means necessary. Why would they also want to ban
people from disclosing election results?” Huruva questioned.

“In a democracy you can stand on top of a hilltop and shout ‘I’ve won, I’ve
won,’ or so and so has won, that does not alter the result. You can tell
they had Tendai Biti in mind when they came up with this idea,” Huruva

Other proposals, published on the NewsDay website on Wednesday, include the
appointment of ‘special police liaison officers’ and ‘special investigation
committees in provincial centers’, to deal with cases of
politically-motivated violence or intimidation in each province.

The ‘special liaison officers’ would be senior police officers, appointed by
Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri, who would work closely with the
Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and a multi-party liaison committee during
the election period.

Asked to comment about these proposals, a senior MDC legislator said that
Chinamasa will hit a brick wall in his efforts to bring about changes that
suit his party only.

“I’ve seen the proposals and they won’t even pass the cabinet stage,” the
legislator said on Wednesday.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition regional director, Dewa Mavhinga said the
proposals focus on peripheral reforms unlikely to change the violent
character of the country’s elections.

“Electoral reforms must be carried out together with, and in the context of
constitutional and institutional reform—not separate and piecemeal,”
Mavhinga said.

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Energy policy needed to curb fuel shortage

By Thelma Chikwanha
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 17:00

HARARE - Zimbabwe has been experiencing a shortage of gas for the past few
weeks and people have resorted to alternative sources of energy like
paraffin, generators and firewood.

A survey conducted by the Daily News revealed that gas, which is mainly used
for cooking in many households across the country has been in short supply
for a few weeks.

An employee at BOC Gases who spoke on condition of anonymity said that the
commodity had been out of stock since 10 December last year.

“The only gas we have here is for other uses not for household use,” he

Matlock Service station along Simon Mazorodze Avenue where gas is almost
always available also confirmed the shortage of the essential commodity
which is used as fuel for gas stoves which have since replaced electric
stoves in some homes.

The Daily News also approached another garage in Willowvale where the
commodity was said to be available in large quantities only at the
exorbitant price of $2.50 a litre.

Energy and Power Development minister Elton Mangoma said plans to have a
policy on access for household energy were in place but officials were
still working on the policy at ministerial level. Mangoma apportioned the
blame of gas shortages to manufacturers and consumers.

“Gas is supplied by private manufacturers and not Government. It is not
available because people are buying and the manufacturers are failing to
meet demand,” he said.

It is clear that the absence of a policy on the provision of fuel might
continue to adversely affect the supply of gas to households in the country.

The policy on access to fuel for household energy will go a long way in
educating people on the alternative means of fuel they can use.

If put in place, the proposed energy policy would ensure the increased
availability of energy by the poor while at the same time protecting the

Zimbabwe's electricity supply falls short by at least 700 megabytes and only
20 percent of households in the country can access it.

Urban dwellers have had to live with constant electricity cuts because of
the shortages which many believe are caused by government's failure to
invest in electricity.

Zimbabwe has not made any attempts to build a power station since
independence but has been relying on Hwange and Kariba which were built
during the colonial era.

Such developments come at a time when there is need for economic growth in
the country whose industry is operating below 30 percent.

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Partners sought for restructured Noczim

by Tobias Manyuchi Wednesday 05 January 2011

HARARE – The Zimbabwean government is hunting for partners to invest in the
restructured National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim), a Cabinet minister
said on Tuesday.

Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma said the government has
split Noczim into to two companies, one to focus on trading and the other on
infrastructure development, adding that the move was meant to ensure
viability and profitability of the companies.

“As of the 1st of January 2011 there will be two successor companies to
Noczim, one playing a regulatory role and the other focusing on
infrastructure development,” he said.

Mangoma, who is a senior member of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC
party, said the move to unbundle the government-controlled Nocizm followed
the realisation that it was not viable for the enterprise to be both a
regulator and a player.

The unbundling of Noczim is part of a drive by the unity government of
Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe to either privatise or commercialise
loss-making state companies and parastatals that have continued to bleed the
fiscus as they have to be regularly bailed out by Treasury to save them form

The government last November sold controlling stake in troubled steel making
firm, the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISCO), to India’s Essar Group in
a deal believed to be worth nearly US$500 million.

There are up to eight other government-controlled entities that are
earmarked for immediate privatization or restructuring.

Mangoma said the government was yet to decide exactly how much it would
require potential investors to plough into the oil trading company formed
out of Noczim.

“The partner for the infrastructure company will be taken in on an
operational basis and they will be assisting in the stock management of the
company,” he said. “For the trading one we are looking for an equity partner
though we are yet to come up with the actual figure of the kind of
investment we require.” -- ZimOnline

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WikiLeaks are ‘harmless thunderclaps’ says Chamisa

By Lance Guma
05 January 2011

Nelson Chamisa, a spokesman for the MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai has said the recent revelations by the WikiLeaks website are
nothing more than “harmless thunderclaps,” and that ordinary Zimbabweans are
actually more worried about the “leaks in their roofs” during the rainy

Confidential cables sent by US diplomats in Harare to Washington, and
recently leaked by the WikiLeaks website, appear to show different MDC
officials discussing the political situation in the country and various
options to peacefully force long time ruler Robert Mugabe to step down. ZANU
PF have seized on the cables as evidence that the MDC were and are
“consorting with western powers to effect regime change.”

Speaking on SW Radio Africa’s Question Time programme, Chamisa said ZANU PF
had “desperately” sought to use leaked cables “as political tools,” but this
would have no impact on them and they were not worried in the slightest. “As
a National Council (MDC) we are not going to be bothered with gossip and
hearsay. Those cables are mere gossip and opinions by individuals in the
corridors of the diplomatic circles,” Chamisa said.

Responding to claims by the Attorney General Johannes Tomana that he would
launch an inquiry into the WikiLeaks saga, Chamisa said the AG had failed to
act on the violence and murder in the June 2008 election. He said Tomana’s
own appointment was still a subject of dispute in the coalition government
and “even without shooting the messenger, the message from Tomana is not
credible either.”

The WikiLeaks saga took a new twist last week when a group of
cyber-activists, calling themselves Anonymous, shut down several Zimbabwe
government websites. The group is protesting against a lawsuit filed by
Grace Mugabe who is suing the Standard newspaper for publishing a story
quoting WikiLeaks cables, accusing her of making ‘tremendous profit’ from
illegal diamond trading.

Chamisa, who is the Minister of Information Communication Technology, said
“we have managed to work round the clock to deal with the problem and I must
say that within a short space of time we should be back online for the few
websites that have been brought down.” He said they had a “competent team of
experts,” and security for the websites was a top priority at the moment.
Tune in to Question Time to listen to the full interview with ICT Minister
and MDC-T spokesman Nelson Chamisa.

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Anger in SA over Zim passport freeze

By Alex Bell
05 January 2011

Zimbabweans in South Africa have expressed their anger over their government’s
decision to suspend issuing new passports, after a small fire in Harare’s
Registrar General’s office.

Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede announced on Monday that his office has
indefinitely stopped issuing birth certificates, identity cards and
passports after the fire on New Years Eve. He said at a press conference
that no key infrastructure used in the making of the identity documents had
been damaged, but electronic systems had been disrupted.

“We wish to inform members of the public that the department is currently
unable to process computerised documents until further notice,” Mudede said.

The situation has left at least a hundred thousand Zimbabweans in South
Africa living in limbo, because they need the passports to receive South
African work or study permits. An estimated 250 thousand Zimbabweans
successfully applied to South Africa’s Home Affairs to regularise their stay
in the country before last week’s deadline.

But according to refugee rights group, PASSOP, at least a hundred thousand
of the applicants are still waiting for their Zimbabwean passports, and “now
find themselves in limbo and at the mercy of an unscrupulous Zimbabwean
government.” PASSOP lashed out at the Zimbabwe government in a statement on
Wednesday, saying the Diaspora has been “humiliated.”

Anthony Muteti, a Project Coordinator for PASSOP told SW Radio Africa on
Wednesday that people are angry, because the Zim government has repeatedly
failed to help its citizens in South Africa during the rush to get legal
documents before the end of last year. The documentation process has been
severely hampered by the Zim government’s inability to produce enough
passports, which were needed to apply for permits. Officials even turned
down an offer from South African authorities to use one of their passport
printing machines, a revelation that has shocked and angered Zimbabweans.

“People are angry and suspicious, and we have to question the intentions of
the Zim government,” PASSOP’s Muteti said. He added: “We think there is some
kind of political motive.”

Commentators have said that it is no surprise that Zimbabwe has been so slow
to roll out new passports to the Diaspora, because of impending elections.
One commentator told SW Radio Africa that ZANU PF will be reluctant to allow
thousands of exiles back into the country, because they will hold a powerful
vote against the party in the coming poll. Other observers have said that
these latest delaying tactics by Registrar General Mudede are a political
play that favours Robert Mugabe and ZANU PF.

PASSOP’s Muteti agreed that this could well be the reason why the passport
freeze has happened now, “because the government knows full well that when
Zimbabweans have passports they can travel freely and vote.”

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Over 100 thousand Zimbabweans in South Africa living in limbo as Zimbabwe suspends printing of ID documents

Written by PASSOP
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 13:43

At least 100 thousand of the close to 250 thousand Zimbabweans who applied
for permits during the recent Zimbabwean Dispensation Project now depend on
the Zimbabwean authorities to provide them with passports to enable them to
receive their South African permits. These Zimbabweans have clearly shown
that they intend on legalising their stay in South Africa, but now find
themselves in limbo and at the mercy of an unscrupulous Zimbabwean
government. Sadly it is now official that Zimbabwean identity documents are
no longer being printed due to a mystery fire that occurred in the
Zimbabwean passport printing office in Harare on Friday.
Confirmation came at a press conference held by the Zimbabwean Registrar
General Tobaiwa Mudede (in Harare) - “We wish to inform members of the
public that the department is currently unable to process computerised
documents until further notice. These include acceptance of new passport
application forms, processing of temporary traveling documents, processing
of computerised identity cards and processing of computerised birth
This directly affects the over 100 thousand Zimbabweans trying to legalise
themselves in South Africa. PASSOP is neither surprised nor amused by this
latest development, as it is sadly in line with the ongoing impunity shown
by the Zimbabwean government.
It seems that it does not respect even the basic principles of willing buyer
and seller. They have charged R750 (over US$100) per passport (roughly half
of an average Zimbabwean's montly wage in South Africa), and are yet to
deliver to the vast majority of the over 30,000 Zimbabweans in South Africa
that have already applied and paid for passports. In addition, an estimated
100 thousand Zimbabweans are desperately trying to apply for passports,
since they had to rush to meet the ZDP deadline and had to apply for the
permits without passports in the interim. It is hugely disappointing that
the Zimbabwean government have humiliated the Zimbabwean diaspora, even when
they have been charging such exorbitant fees.
Because the Zimbabwean government has failed to provide even basic human
survival for its people, a huge migrant population exists in South Africa
that is now being held hostage first by high fees and now by mysterious
stories of a suspiciously-timed and located fires. They are clearly rubbing
salt into open wounds. It has been speculated that the Zimbabwean political
situation and potential elections in 2011 have much to play in the delivery
of passports, simply because Zimbabweans who have passports can travel more
freely and, ultimately, vote. Such suspicions are further justified by the
fact that the Zimbabwean government recently refused to accept an offer by
the South African government to use their state of the art printing machine
(which prints passports at a much higher speed) for "security reasons". In
the face of this latest development, we expect and urge the Zimbabwean
government to now revise its decision and make use of the passport printing
facilities offered by the South African government.
The South African leadership is now seen as the best hope for the over 100
thousand Zimbabweans whose futures hang in the balance while they helplessly
wait for the shameless Zimbabwean “leadership” to provide them with the
desperately needed passports. We appeal to the South African government for
leniency and patience during these testing and telling times.

For comment contact Anthony Muteti on 0843510388 or David Burgsdorff on
Issued by PASSOP (People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty) on
January the 5th, 2011.

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Zimbabweans Returning to South Africa Said to Face Shakedowns, Long Delays

Zimbabweans seeking passports as documentation for their applications for
permits to study, work or run a business in South Africa face more delays as
their Registrar General has suspended production of passports

Studio 7 Reporters | Beitbridge/Washington 04 January 2011

Zimbabwean immigration officials and soldiers manning the Beitbridge border
crossing to South Africa have been demanding bribes from Zimbabweans lacking
good documents, leading to the buildup of long lines and delays for
travelers, sources said.

VOA Studio 7 correspondent Irwin Chifera reported from Beitbridge.

Zimbabweans seeking passports as documentation for their applications for
permits to study, work or run a business in South Africa face potentially
long delays now that the office of the Registrar General has suspended
production of passports.

Authorities said a fire on New Year's Eve knocked out critical electronics
at a facility where passports and other official documents are produced. The
stoppage means Zimbabweans will also be unable to obtain birth certificates
and identity cards - which in many cases are also important in seeking South
African residency permits.

Zimbabwean Co-Home Affairs Minister Theresa Makone said fire damage to the
passport-making equipment must be assessed before repairs can be made.

She said her ministry will now reconsider South Africa’s offer of access to
advanced technology for passport production, which Harare turned down last

South Africa's Department of Home Affairs meanwhile said that about 10,000
permit applications filed by undocumented Zimbabweans have been rejected for
reasons ranging from forged employment letters to criminal records.

Permits Department Director Jacob Mamabolo said the rejected applications
will be reviewed and that there will be no deportations untill the process
is over.

Ngqabutho Dube, secretary of the South African branch of the Movement for
Democratic Change formation of Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, said
Pretoria has assured Zimbabwean civic groups that although a December 31
deadline for applications has passed, there will be no deportations until
the documentation exercise is done.

South African authorities said some 230,000 Zimbabweans have applied for
permits - but estimates of the number of Zimbabweans in the country range in
excess of 2 million.

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South Africa's Zuma Seeks Regional Consensus on Zimbabwe Elections Road Map

Lindiwe Zulu, foreign affairs adviser to South African President Jacob Zuma,
says Zimbabweans must also own the electoral process though Pretoria is
seeking regional support for an electoral road map

Blessing Zulu | Washington 04 January 2011

South African President Jacob Zuma has widened his consultation in drafting
an election road map for Zimbabwe, drawing in fellow Southern African
Development Community leaders in a move seen as intended to press for faster
reform in Harare.

Sources said Mr. Zuma has already opened talks with the three principals in
the Harare unity government - President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara - on the way forward.

Southern African diplomatic sources told VOA that they do not want a repeat
of the 2008 elections which were deeply marred by violence and alleged vote

They said the regional leadership is particularly concerned in light of
developments in Ivory Coast where incumbent Laurent Gbagbo has refused to
step down after losing a presidential election, and want a Zimbabwe road map
with a clear exit strategy.

The regional diplomats said Mr. Zuma is seeking the support of his
counterparts in the region, who are said to have become exasperated by the
bickering in Harare.

SADC and Southern African sources said the roadmap would be modelled along
the lines of the regional bloc’s Mauritius principles and guidelines
governing elections.

The so-called 2004 Grand Baie Guidelines call for the full participation of
citizens in the political process, freedom of association, political
tolerance and equal opportunity for all political parties to access
state-controlled media.

Zuma international relations advisor Lindiwe Zulu told VOA Studio 7 reporter
Blessing Zulu that Zimbabweans themselves must also own the electoral

Zimbabwe Election Support Network Chairman Tinoziva Bere said Mr. Zuma is on
the right track.

Some political analysts caution however that whatever the intentions of SADC
leaders, the grouping lacks a mechanism to enforce its principles if they
are violated, unlike the Economic Community of West Africa which has been
known to intervene forcefully.

But Bere said SADC needs no military force to compel compliance as mere
denunciation of a rigged election and shunning its winner is enough to
produce results.

Elsewhere, Zimbabwean Minister of Parliamentary and Constitutional Affairs
Eric Matinenga said he will not be rushed into turning out a constitution
that is not all it should be simply because some are intent on holding
elections this year.

Matinenga, a member of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri there is no way
the country can short-cut making a proper constitution for the sake of
holding early elections.

He said work on the new constitution will resume next week.

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Thieves Stealing Copper Wires Force Zimbabwe Railways To Seek Alternatives

January 05, 2011 16:06 PM

HARARE, Jan 5 (BERNAMA-NNN-NEW ZIANA) -- The National Railways of Zimbabwe
(NRZ) is searching for alternative materials in place of copper on its
electrified railway network after a large section of the country's railway
network falls prey to vandalism as thieves target the copper.

The World Bank has advised the NRZ to shut more than 75 per cent of its
network after deeming it dysfunctional and much of the railway network
continues to deteriorate as it has gone unattended for almost a decade with
NRZ requiring a staggering US$274 million to recapitalize.

NRZ Spokesman Fanuel Masikati told New Ziana here Tuesday that an
investigation was underway to determine what materials could be used on most
of its railway network.

"We are researching the type of material that can be used in place of
copper. We have since removed all the vandalized wires on our electrified
routes," he added.

The parastatal, which is beset by a host of challenges, is left with about
60 out of more than 160 locomotives still fit to run on the tracks with an
estimated US$750,000 and US$20,000 needed to refurbish each locomotive and
wagon respectively.

The grounded fleet, now more than 40 years old, has outlived its lifespan,
which is estimated at 25 years. As a result, the carrying capacity of the
NRZ has declined from 18 million tonnes to below 6.0 million tonnes

The government this year allocated a paltry US$7.0 million to the railway
operator, an amount which will not meet the escalating maintenance costs.

NRZ is also struggling to come up with close to US$30 million for the
acquisition of 14 locomotives from the China North Railway Company.


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Williams calls for reforms in Zimbabwe

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011 | By Marwa Farag

Jenni Williams, a Zimbabwean activist, spoke Tuesday as part of the Sanela
Diana Jenkins International Human Rights Speaker Series. Williams is
national coordinator of Women of Zimbabwe, Arise!, or WOZA, a nonviolent
organization that protests against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.

“We are human-rights defenders to the nation, mothers to the nation…we defy
unjust laws and take our issues to the streets to find a nonviolent way of
protesting,” Williams said after showing her audience a slideshow titled
“Zimbabwe’s Elections: 30 Years of Torment, Torture & Death,” which depicted
images of torture under Robert Mugabe’s regime in her homeland.

Following the slideshow and a video showing members of WOZA protesting for
proper electricity, Williams started her speech on a somber note.

“2011 is going to be a year of hell in Zimbabwe, so excuse me for not
saying, ‘Happy New Year,’” she said.

In a country where the average life expectancy for women is 37 years, the
unemployment rate is 94 percent and Mugabe has been in charge for 30 years,
leading a regime accused of corruption, nepotism, bribery and human rights
abuse, WOZA seeks to bring democracy and justice to Zimbabwe, she said.

“We aim to mobilize through civic education,” she said. “We capacitate
ordinary people with skills for community leadership…we’re creating a
society where no new Robert Mugabe can flourish.”

WOZA has carried out 35 street demonstrations in the last 18 months. The
grassroots organization relies on ordinary Zimbabweans. Both women and men
have swelled its ranks to 75,000 members.

“Our activists are not the employed or the ones who go to university,”
Williams said. “They are ordinary people struggling for ordinary everyday
things that the politicians needs to be focused on.”

After choosing to remain in Zimbabwe despite mass exodus and the migration
of her husband and children to the UK, she has been arrested 33 times,
including after the electricity protest. She was held in prison for six
days, then returned to her activism once she was freed.

Williams also moves between safe houses in Zimbabwe every six months and was
at one time under risk of assassination, she said.

Nonetheless, Williams said, she believes fully in nonviolence, quoting
Gandhi and saying, “We love anyone, even our enemies.”

“She’s a pioneer for protecting human rights,” said Davis Albohm, a graduate
student in African studies. “She’s doing incredible work that I think a lot
of people would not be brave enough to undertake.”

Williams credited her fellow WOZA members for their achievements.

“A shared burden is a burden lightened,” she said. “Our organization has
empowered people. We’ve trained them to be human-rights defenders…we see the
Zimbabwe we want in our mind’s eye, and we feel it in our hearts.”

Williams said Zimbabwe’s political environment “remains highly violent,
uncertain and tense,” speaking of the very real possibility that President
Mugabe, now 86, will die in power before opposition defeats him.

Williams said her group’s goals went beyond simply deposing Mugabe.

“Robert Mugabe is only the face of a political system…we want to put the
democratic yeast within the society so the loaf will rise,” she said.

Victoria Alvarado ’14 said the talk was “very, very emotionally striking.”

“I found myself in tears at points. She came here to show us that we can
help,” Alvarado said.

Williams’ suggestion to the audience was to “appreciate what you have and
protect your own rights and freedoms. We need a model to copy.”

And on why she continued to fight a dangerous struggle, Williams cited the
future, not only of her nation but of her family.

“If my grandchildren cannot get a better Zimbabwe, they will think of me
badly,” she said. “We have to correct the past wrongs and re-establish the
social dignity of our people.”

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Int’l watchdog approves Zimbabwe diamond exports, minister says

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) The world diamond watchdog Kimberley Process (KP) has
granted Zimbabwe permission to continue conducting supervised sales of
diamonds mined at the Marange fields (east) between 2007 and 2009, APA
learns here Wednesday.

Mines and Mining Development deputy minister Gift Chimanikire told online
news agency ZimOnline that the KP wrote to the Zimbabwean government in
December, confirming that it could now export its precious stones.

“The KP wrote to us communicating that diamond sales should proceed,”
Chimanikire said.

The KP banned Zimbabwe from selling diamonds from the Marange fields in 2009
over allegations of human rights abuses in the extraction of the gems and
failure to meet minimum requirements for trading in the precious stones.

The KP has until now allowed Zimbabwe to conduct two supervised sales which
took place in August and September last year.

Before the two supervised sales, the southern African country was believed
to be sitting on more than six million carats of diamonds.

The issue of Zimbabwe selling the Marange diamonds has divided the KP along
political lines, with Western countries led by the United States, Germany
and Australia as well as civil society groups that are members of the
organisation calling for the extension of a ban of the gems due to alleged
human rights abuses and rampant smuggling at the controversial diamond

African and other countries, including Russia, have however opposed the
calls to ban the diamonds.

Zimbabwe has criticised the calls for a ban of the Marange stones, accusing
the West of using the diamonds issue to punish President Robert Mugabe for
taking land from white farmers and reallocating it to landless black people.


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Kimberley Process denies clearing Zim diamond sales

By Alex Bell
05 January 2011

The international diamond watchdog, the Kimberley Process (KP), has
reportedly denied giving Zimbabwe permission to carry on selling diamonds
from the controversial Chiadzwa fields.

According to the news service for the US based Rapaport Diamond Trading
Network (RapNet), a KP representative has refuted the claims made by Mines
and Mining Development Deputy Minister Gift Chimanikire.

“No decision has been made yet,” said a spokesperson for the new KP Chairman
in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The DRC took over the
Chairmanship of the KP from Israel on January 1, 2011 with Yamba Mathieu
Lapfa Lambang assuming the Chairman’s position.

Zimbabwean media reported on Tuesday that Deputy Mines Minister Chimanikire
said that the KP recently wrote to the government, confirming that it could
market its diamonds.

“The KP wrote to us communicating that diamond sales should proceed,”
Chimanikire is quoted as saying on Monday.

But the KP spokesperson told Rapaport News that the new Chairman is waiting
for a response from all KP participants to an amendment to a draft agreement
on Zimbabwe’s trade future. That agreement was originally turned down by the
government when it was drafted in November last year. The KP Chairman set a
deadline of January 10 to get a response from all KP participants about the
new amended agreement. The KP spokesperson reportedly said that should the
amendment be accepted by the participants, the revised proposal will be
forwarded to Zimbabwe for approval.

Zimbabwe was suspended from trade in 2009 over human rights abuses at the
Chiadzwa alluvial diamond fields, where the military has been accused of
violence, forced labour, smuggling and murder. The KP, which was started to
end the trade in blood diamonds, resisted pressure to ban the country
completely. Instead, mining authorities were given a six month deadline to
fall in line with international trade standards. That deadline was
accompanied by a ‘Join Work Plan’ which included the demilitarisation of the
Chiadzwa area.

This has not happened and there have been ongoing reports of smuggling and
harassment by military officers. Despite this, the KP has continued its
lenient treatment of the Zimbabwe situation, allowing two auctions of
stockpiled diamonds last year. The sales were meant to pave the way for full
exports to resume, but KP members have not reached the necessary consensus
on whether to allow full exports to resume or not.

Efforts by SW Radio Africa to contact both the KP and Minister Chimanikire
were unsuccessful on Wednesday.

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Lawyer booted off diamond case

By Chris Goko, Business Editor
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 20:27

HARARE - Zimbabwe’s High Court on Wednesday barred commercial lawyer Farai
Mtamangira from representing Mines Minister Obert Mpofu and the Zimbabwe
Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) for being “seriously conflicted.”

This was after South Africa’s Core Mining and Mineral Resources (Core
Mining) had challenged his role in its recent destabilisation, and
subsequent court battles pitting the Canadile Miners (Canadile) joint
venture partner, and several government officials or agents.

While Mtamangira had contemptuously said there was no conflict in assisting
Mpofu and the ZMDC in a September probe of Core Mining, Judge Susan
Mavangira rapped his judgment for participating in meetings to dislodge the
embattled miner, accepting the responsibility to represent Mpofu as opposed
to Attorney General Johannes Tomana, and certifying defence papers, among
other issues.

Along with the ZMDC, Mpofu – a fifth respondent – is being sued with Marange
Resources (Marange), the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe and
Canadile. Seasoned lawyer George Chikumbirike is representing Core Mining.

“The basis for this is that Mr Mtamangira is intimately and emotionally
interested in matters involving the applicant and the respondents, and
generally in the affairs that have developed and culminated in the
institution of these proceedings,” Mavangira said, adding the court did not
condone the Harare lawyer’s opprobrious behavior in allowing his firm to
represent the ZMDC and Marange when their papers had been filed by him.

“The documents which Mr Chikumbirike referred the court to in support of his
submissions are mostly the first respondent’s (ZMDC) opposing affidavit… is
a letter dated 20 September 2010 authored by the fifth respondent. Specific
reference was made to paragraph 4… that the fifth respondent expected a
professionally compiled report and that a suitable person must be identified
to undertake the investigation or enquiry on the directions given by the
fifth respondent,” she added, noting the person turned out to be Mtamangira.

Apart from representing Mpofu in court matters, Mtamangira has accompanied
the Mines minister on key government trips and business such as the recent
Kimberly Process lobby effort in Israel.

Also arising from an October 19, 2010 meeting attended by the young lawyer
at the ZMDC and in which it was resolved that “Core Mining’s shares be
transferred to Marange”, Mavangira concurred that he had conflicted and
“intricately involved” himself beyond measure, hence he could not represent
some of the parties.

The judgement comes at the backdrop of claims by deposed ZMDC chief
executive Dominic Mubaiwa that Mtamangira was paid nearly US$950 000 in
legal fees recently and in the aftermath of the purported “dissolution” of
the Canadile working arrangement.

While Mpofu and company insisted that Lovemore Kurotwi’s Core Mining
misrepresented to government on its capabilities to inject US$2 billion into
the Chiadzwa operation, they knew very well that SA’s BSG Resources had
baulked at the prospect of investing in Zimbabwe due to unfulfilled demands.

Meanwhile, legal watchers say the Mavangira judgement could mark the
beginning of a disintegration of cases against Core Mining and its principal
shareholders, following the clumsy takeover of its assets by State

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Zimbabweans Stagger Into 2011

05/01/2011 12:28:00

HARARE - Some Zimbabwe's civil servants who went through 2010 on a USD150
monthly salary took to the dance floors to drown their sorrows on Christmas
and New Years Eve courtesy of "golden handshakes" from the Minister of
Finance, Tendai Biti.

The country's bloated civil service workforce last year received a bonus -
their first time in United States dollars since Independence in 1980.

Their paltry salaries of about US$150 were doubled to US$300 each for

Zimbabwe adopted a multi currency system and abandoned its worthless dollar
which had seen inflation rising to world unprecedented levels in 2008.

In separate interviews at various watering holes in Harare revellers said
they were very happy that 2010 was past but felt 2011 could be worse because
of planned elections.

"I am worried about the forthcoming elections," said Dimbo Josiah a media
consultant in an exclusive interview. "However we need one leader and this
inclusive government thing has failed us. May be we should go for the
elections and finish the job once and for all."

At The Balcony Night Club in down town Harare, DJ Tommy Dutch said: "2010
was good and I believe 2011 could be better for us here. We had a full house
on Xmas Day and Eve and on New Year’s Eve. We had Tich Mataz and other DJs
to spice up our line up with music - mainly Old School."

He said their night club had been filled to capacity and they had to close
their doors early.

At Chez Ntemba International Night Club doors were closed as early as 10 pm
on both Christmas and New Years Eve. Chez has become Zimbabwe's leading
night club with two dancing floors for rhumba and R&B customers. The place
is rather expensive but one gets their money's worth, according to customers
who frequent the joint.

At Sports Diner Night Club the "DJ Ironic" said in an interview that he had
enjoyed 2010 but that 2011 would provide much better entertainment for his
home place.

"I think we are heading for good times," he said in an interview. "While I
enjoyed 2010, I think 2011 will be better."

At Celebration Church, Chief Pastor, Tom Deuschle told his full gathering
that 2011 would be more challenging and that they would need to help the
church with various projects.

The managing director of Sports Diner, Kudakwashe Matutu said he hoped 2011
would bring more business for his partners.

"I think this will be a better tear," he said in an interview. "The past is
past and the New Year should be great."

So while the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted the economy to
grow by only 7 percent this year, Zimbabweans did not worry but danced the
night away.

Biti, brushed aside the statistics released by the Washington-based IMF
saying the economy could grow by as much as 9 percent this year.

"It will be difficult but we will try," Biti said. "We cannot lose hope. We
will have to work very hard in order to bring back the glory of the past."

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Debut writer Jason Wallace wins Costa book award for Robert Mugabe novel

By Sherna Noah, Press Association

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

A debut children's writer who was turned down by 100 publishers has followed
in the footsteps of JK Rowling and Philip Pullman to land a major literary

Web designer Jason Wallace, 41, has scooped the Costa Children's Book Award
for Out Of Shadows, set in newly-independent Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe.

The judges declared the book an "extraordinary debut novel" and "unanimous
winner", saying: "This compelling portrayal of a nation in crisis gripped us
from start to finish and has stayed with us since."

Previous winners of the title include JK Rowling in 1999 for Harry Potter
And The Prisoner Of Azkaban and Pullman for The Amber Spyglass, which also
went on to win Costa Book Of The Year in 2001.

Bestselling author Maggie O'Farrell, 38, wins the Novel Award - her first
major literary prize - for her fifth novel The Hand That First Held Mine.

She was due to hand in her manuscript just before the birth of her daughter
Iris but has told how she delayed publication because she "couldn't even
remember the word for a teapot".

Potter and ceramic artist Edmund de Waal, 46, has been tipped to win the
Costa Book Of The Year award, after scooping the Biography Award for his
acclaimed family memoir The Hare With Amber Eyes.

Originally published with modest sales expectations after being "turned down
by absolutely everyone", it has become a bestseller and even been described
as the "book of the decade".

Jo Shapcott, 57, wins the Poetry Award for her first new work in over a
decade, Of Mutability, which was partly influenced by her experience of
breast cancer.

Kishwar Desai, 54, takes the First Novel award for Witness The Night, which
explores India's hidden story of female infanticide.

The five category winners, who receive 5,000 each, were selected from 540
entries and will be pitted against each other for Book Of The Year, which
will be announced on January 25.

The judging panel is chaired by broadcaster Andrew Neil and includes David
Morrissey, Elizabeth McGovern, Natasha Kaplinsky, Anneka Rice and Adele

The last winner of the Costa Book Of The Year was A Scattering by
Christopher Reid.

O'Farrell, who was taught extra curricular creative writing classes by
fellow winner Shapcott at Cambridge University, said: "I don't know how I'll
celebrate. I told my (seven-year-old) son that I'd won a prize and he said
'are we going to have cake?' so maybe I'll bake one!"

She said she was "so pleased" that poet Shapcott had also won.

Fiona Kennedy, head of non-fiction at Waterstone's, said of the winners:
"It's a strong selection full of confident, absorbing writing.

"Kishwar Desai's publisher may be small but they are very astute and we are
not surprised to see Witness The Night doing so well.

"Maggie O'Farrell is a writer that is adored by Waterstone's booksellers and
customers and the surprise here is that this is her first major prize.

"However, it is The Hare With Amber Eyes that we believe will take the
overall prize. Edmund de Waal's memoir is one of those books that people
cannot stop talking about, and has attracted universal acclaim from readers
and critics.

"It would be a real word-of-mouth winner, and would break this already
bestselling title into the mainstream."

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Learn Shona - Beginner's Lesson 4

The following is part of a series of Shona lessons provided by The audio versions are available at Please note that courses are designed to teach you by listening and repeating the words, as this is similar to the highly effective and proven Pimsleur technique. As such, it will be more difficult, and much slower, to grasp by reading alone. We recommend downloading the audio course to listen and repeat.

We welcome your feedback and hope that you find this useful.

This week we’re keeping it very simple, as last week’s lesson was quite a lot to cover in one lesson. We follow up the previous topic of greetings with an example conversation between two people, then look at the verb, to be. We then learn how to say goodbye, and also how to introduce ourselves. Introductions give a good springboard into grammar, and before learning these at this point we leave the first part of the course, basic phrases, and begin understanding more about the grammatical framework of Shona.

Conversation between two people

A: How did Mum sleep? - Amai varara sei?

B: She slept well - Varara zvavo /zvakanaka

A:How did Chipo spend the day? - Chipo aswera sei?

B:She spent it well - Aswera zvake

A: How are the children? - Vana vakadii/varisei?

B: They are fine - Varipo zvavo

To be (Present tense) Kuve

I am - Ndiri

You are (informal) - Uri

You are (formal or plural & informal) - Muri

He/she is - Ari (informal)

He/she is - Vari (formal)

It is – Chiri/Iri

We are - Tiri

They are - Vari

Taking leave

The interesting thing here is that you say

Goodnight and sleep well - Rarai zvakanaka

Godnight and see you in the morning - Ava mangwana

Sleep well - Murare zvakanaka

Goodbye – Chisarai

Goodbye and stay well - Sarai zvakanaka

To see - Kuona

See you - Ndichakuona

Catch you later - Ndichakubata pamberi apo

We will - Ticha

Each other suffix – na. See the following examples.

See each other – Onana (as in, ona-na)

We will see each other – Tichaonana (tichaona-na)


This section will deal with self introductions.


Be called - nzi

Be happy - fara

Know - ziva

To know - kuziva

Name - zita

Also - wo

Your name - Zita rako

What is? - Ndiani

Who? - Ani

Possessive stems (endings) used in introductions

My - ngu

Your(informal) - ko

Your(formal) - nyu

There are 2 basic ways of making self introductions.The use of ‘zita’ (name) and the use of

the verb ‘-nzi’ (be called)

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