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Bus crash kills 8 near Bulawayo, carnage toll climbs to 208

05/01/2013 00:00:00
by Ntungamili Nkomo

A BUS crash near Bulawayo killed eight passengers and injured several others
early Saturday morning, police said.

The accident occurred at Cement Siding, about 10 kilometers outside the
city, when a Botswana-bound and registered JJ Tours bus traveling from
Harare veered off the road around 2AM and flipped twice before landing on
its roof.

The bus, which ripped a telephone pole and flattened its roof on impact, was
towing a trailer that dislodged its wheels and peeled off its body.

Survivors and eye witnesses said the driver failed to negotiate a curve
during a heavy downpour, which they suspect could have contributed to the

Bulawayo police spokesman Mandlenkosi Moyo said 65 passengers were on board,
adding that the injured were receiving treatment at the United Bulawayo
Hospitals (UBH).

An undisclosed number were said to be in critical condition and there were
fears the death toll might increase.

The accident, which brings the national carnage toll to 208 since December
15, comes on the heels of a string of deadly crashes that killed 20 people
in less than 24 hours between late Thursday and early Friday.

One notable crash involved a Toyota Noah that burst a rear tyre and rolled
over along the Masvingo-Mbalabala stretch, killing four of the 11 passengers
on Thursday.

Several others were admitted to Zvishavane District Hospital with varying
injuries. Two were described as critical, while one walked away with minor

The other fatal smash happened in Lower Gweru where a Botswana-registered
commuter omnibus carrying 21 people veered off a bridge and plunged
head-long into a river.

One passanger died instantly while two others were pronounced dead on
arrival at the Gweru Provincial Hospital. Several others were injured.

Preliminary investigations suggested that the omnibus driver might have
dozed off, police said.

Last year only 147 people died during the entire holiday period, which
begins December 15 and runs through January 15. Police have since declared
this season as the deadliest in the nation’s traffic history.

The soaring statistics have sparked national debate with ordinary people and
motorists calling on government to upgrade the poor roads, which most people
blame for the accidents.

But police say human error, more than anything, is responsible.

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Zimbabwe’s Airports Get Passing Grade From ISO

Mavis Gama

Zimbabwe’s airports will be allowed to continue handling international
flights. That announcement was made Friday by the head of Zimbabwe’s
Meteorological Department, who said the nation’s airports meet standards
spelled out by the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Speaking at a Harare hotel during a meeting to discuss the rain outlook,
Meteorological Department Director Amos Makarau announced that the
International Civil Aviation Organization has given the nation’s airports a
passing grade, per ISO standards. This ISO certification is meant to assure
other countries that Zimbabwe’s airports adhere to internationally
recognized civil aviation best practices.

Makarau said Zimbabwe as a country has complied with the ISO certification
requirements, meaning that the country’s airports are up to international

Mr. Makarau said the Meteorological Service, along with several other
government offices, has been involved in strategic planning to restore the
aviation sector since 2005.

The role of the Meteorological Department in the aviation sector is to
provide accurate weather forecasts to pilots, particularly during landing
and takeoff.

He acknowledged that the certification is not yet complete, but said the ISO
process has been carried out and officials have been assured that Zimbabwe
will be recommended for certification.

Makarau said certification means the country’s international airports now
meet international standards in terms of equipment and weather forecast
capability. Other, smaller airports, like Charles Prince, Buffalo Range and
Kariba, are getting final touches.

The International Civil Aviation Organization is mandated the world over to
standardize aviation sector services and airlines. The goal for airports
globally was to obtain ISO certification by November 2012. Failure for an
airport or a nation’s aviation system to meet the deadline or the ISO
standards means no more international flights into or out of the deficient

The International Organization for Standardization was founded in 1946 to
promote the development of international standards and related activities
and to facilitate the exchange of goods and services worldwide. ISO is
composed of member bodies from over 110 countries.

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Biti challenges false prophets

Staff Reporter 22 hours 40 minutes ago

FINANCE Minister Tendai Biti has challenged Spirit Embassy founder Prophet
Uebert Angel and United Family International Church leader Prophet Emmanuel
Makandiwa to “produce” over US$10 billion required to liquidate Government’s
debt and fund national programmes.
This follows claims that Prophet Angel enables congregants to “miraculously”
receive money in their pockets and bank accounts.
Prophet Makandiwa is on record as saying he can assist people to amass
material wealth.
“I respect the men of God, Angel and Makandiwa because of the miracles they
are performing. But if they are printing real money, I am asking them to
deposit the money in our (Treasury) account at CBZ so that we can pay some
of our arrears,” said Minister Biti.
He said he would not comment on the implications of this “miracle money” to
the United States Federal Reserve because it had not been officially
confirmed that it was happening.
“I have no knowledge of that (miracle money) happening. I have never known
it to happen, so I can’t comment on hearsay and speculation.
“However, on a lighter note, I want to tell these men of God that we have
US$10,1 billion external debt and US$260 million local arrears. We also need
US$200 million for the referendum. So if they are printing real money, I
would be grateful if they can deposit it in our account so that we can
settle these debts.”
It was reported that Prophet Angel delivered miracle money to congregants at
the Botswana miracle night crusade recently and at the crossover night at
City Sports Centre in Harare.

In one of his sermons on Youtube, Prophet Angel told congregants in South
Africa that he started prophesying when he was in Grade two when he was
He said if people could not explain how Peter found money in the fish’s
mouth as instructed by Jesus then they could not question how miracle money
was found.
The bank, Prophet Angel said, had no records of how the fish found the
Prophet Angel said his bank account had been credited with large sums of
money on several occasions after praying.
He said this happened because he believed in God and instructed automated
teller machines to give him cash despite the fact that his bank account was
in the negative.
Prophet Angel said money answered all problems as mentioned in the Bible.
He said people who criticised the miracles were poor, adding that poverty
made people jealous.
However, leaders of other churches have questioned how this miracle money
was being made.
Secretary-general for Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference Father Fredrick
Chiromba was quoted in the media as saying it was the duty of the State to
regulate on financial matters and to consider whether the “miracle money”
complied with financial systems of the country.
Apostle Patrick Zimba of Kairos International Ministries said money was
owned by central banks all over the world and every note had a serial
He said it was not clear whether the ‘miracle money’ had serial numbers.

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Midlands University grabs Ian Smith’s farm

on January 5, 2013 at 3:17 pm

SHURUGWI — The Midlands State University (MSU) has reportedly taken over the
late Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith’s Gwenhoro Farm, about 45km outside

The farm, which encloses Gweru City Council’s main supply dam Gwenhoro Dam,
was recently gazetted for compulsory acquisition by the government. Although
MSU spokesperson Sinikiwe Tirivanhu had not responded to questions sent on
her e-mail, farm manager Owen Jarman confirmed the grab.

He said he was now winding up farming operations and paying off terminal
benefits to his 35 employees, some of whom have been at the farm for over 40

“I can confirm that the MSU will be taking over the farm, but all I can say
at the moment is that we are engaged with the university in some
negotiations as far as the exit date and other logistics are concerned,”
Jarman said.

Gwenhoro operations include cattle ranching with a herd of over 500 cattle,
a citrus plantation and poultry project with 3 000 layers. After Smith’s
death in November 2007, Jarman continued managing the farm, but reporting to
the late Rhodesian leader’s children based in Cape Town, South Africa.

It was not immediately clear if the university was going to take over the
livestock and farm machinery without paying compensation. Part of the 6
000-acre ranch was invaded by Zanu PF supporters at the height of the land
invasions in 2000.

The invasions coincided with the visit to Zimbabwe by the then Commonwealth
secretary-general Don McKinnon. But Smith, who led white-ruled Rhodesia
throughout the 1960s and 1970s, played down the incident saying he had good
working relations with the surrounding community.

“No, they all love me. I’ve got more black friends than (Robert) Mugabe at
present,” he said then. NewsDay

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Voter Registration Fails to Take Off

Blessing Zulu

WASHINGTON — The Zimbabwe’s government’s plan to expand the voter
registration and verification exercise by making it ward-based has hit a
snag amid confusion and lack of funds.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) announced last month that the
exercise will begin January 3 and run through April.

Zimbabwe has slightly over 5.5 million registered voters, with the number
expected to increase when mobile voter registration begins.

The ZEC and Justice Ministry officials say the whole exercise would cost
US$21 million. But treasury says for now it can release only US$3 million,
only enough for the initial launch.

ZEC sources told VOA that they need about US$8.5 million for buying new
motor vehicles, US$3,8 million for hiring vehicles and an additional US$11.4
million for voter education and election-related materials.

ZEC deputy chairwoman Joyce Kazembe told VOA that the exercise is still on

Finance Minister Tendai Biti says the initial exercise will need a few more
million dollars.

In 2011, the independent Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) said the
voters roll was in shambles. ZESN said anomalies in the roll opened the way
for “double voting and other rigging intentions”.

In its research, the group found some 2,344 voters between the ages of 101
and 110 still on the voting rolls, despite the fact the average life
expectancy in the country is just 44.

The report also found that more than 500 dead voters had all been given the
same birth date - January 1, 1901.

ZESN director, Rindai Chipfunde-Vava, urged government to avail money to
allow the ZEC to kick-start the voter registration exercise.

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Minister’s Mugabe Insult Case Postponed

Violet Gonda

Energy Minister Elton Mangoma failed to appear before a Bindura magistrate,
Friday, to face charges of insulting President Robert Mugabe because the
presiding officer was involved in a car accident.

A statement issued by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Formation of
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said the charges against Mangoma are

Addressing MDC supporters in Mt. Darwin last year, the minister allegedly
shouted, "‘Chibva Mugabe chibva. Chifa Mugabe chifa’ (Go Mugabe go. Die
Mugabe die)".

Mangoma is quoted in the state-controlled Herald newspaper denying the
charges but admitted he did urge the president to leave office without
insulting his name and person.

The MDC says the charges are “nothing but an attempt by Zanu PF of using the
state agents and the public media to frustrate and disrupt the operations of
senior MDC officials in government.”

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights is said to have represented at least
50 individuals in the courts this past year arrested for allegedly calling
Mr. Mugabe names.

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Power tender sparks furore

Friday, 04 January 2013 00:00

Lloyd Gumbo Herald Reporter
THE signing of a contract between Zimbabwe Power Company and SinoHydro, the
winning bidder for the expansion of Kariba South Power Station, has sparked
a furore amid indications that the deal breached procurement regulations.

This could delay the expansion of the power station that was expected to
increase power generation by 300 Megawatts as the State Procurement Board
might be forced to investigate the matter, sources said yesterday.

The SPB recently awarded SinoHydro of China — a sole bidder for the
project — the tender for engineering, procurement and construction of the
Kariba South Power Station expansion project.

This was after the firm tendered a bid for about US$368 million, which was
reduced to US$355 million after Government resolved to scrap excise duty for
the importation of equipment.

However, ZPC signed a contract with the Chinese firm last month for US$390
million, without consulting the SPB on the new changes.

SinoHydro representative in Zimbabwe, Mr Wu Yifeng, yesterday confirmed
there had been a variation to the original price.

“The actual contract was for US$355 million, but the total price that we
signed the contract for was US$390 million, including contingencies,” said
Mr Yifeng.

He said there was nothing wrong with the variation because both SinoHydro
and ZPC had approved it.
“It is the final price that was approved by both sides. ZPC put variations
for the contingencies. We did not include the contingencies in our bid
because they had not requested for it,” he said.

He said the contingencies were to be agreed upon during contract
However, a well-placed source said this was in breach of the procurement

“Section 26 of the procurement regulations states that in the event of any
variations, it should be approved by the SPB. Contingencies should be
sanctioned by the SPB but in this case they (ZPC) sanctioned it on their
own. Besides, the bidder should have indicated their contingencies in their

“This is a breach of the procurement regulations because the ZPC usurped the
powers of the SPB. We will obviously act to address that anomaly because
laws are laws,” said the source.
Efforts to get a comment from ZPC managing director Mr Noah Gwariro were

Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma yesterday said he had
not yet received communication from the SPB on the latest developments.

“I have not received any correspondence from the State Procurement Board if
they have any concerns with regards to that. At this stage I am not aware of
any additional issues to be sorted out.

“But let me say contracts for such big projects require an understanding of
issues that are different. Timing comes into play because delay or fast
tracking of the project will result in prices either going up or down,” said
Minister Mangoma.

He said Government set conditions for the contract in the implementation of
the project.
“We have told them that we don’t want them to blast into the rock like they
were doing on the Zambian side (Kariba North). We don’t want to weaken the
foundation of the dam wall. The geology of the rock on the Southern side is
different to the geology on the Northern side. We have agreed that they
should not blast because the rock here is softer compared to the Zambian
side,” said Minister Mangoma.

SPB chairman Mr Charles Kuwaza said his office was yet to receive
communication on the latest development.

Mr Yifeng said the project that is expected to take four years, would start
as soon as the Export-Import Bank of China, the financers of the project,
release the money.

This, he said, would be expedited if the Zimbabwean Government settled its
US$27 million debt to the bank.

“The Ministry of Finance has already requested ZPC to pay the money, but
they have a challenge in raising that money.

“They, however, agreed to talk to our head office in China to see if
SinoHydro can help for the project to start soon,” said Mr Yifeng.

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Japanese interest importing coal from Zimbabwe

1 hour 58 minutes ago

A senior Government official said that Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National
Corporation is interested in importing coal from Zimbabwe.

Mr Gift Chimanikire deputy minister of Mines and Mining Development said
that JOGMEC, which is responsible for securing a stable supply of oil,
natural gas and mineral resources for the island nation, plans to import as
much as 15 million tonnes of coal annually, much more than Zimbabwe is
currently producing.

Mr Chimanikire said that "We met in December and they are looking at 15
million tonnes annually. What is important now is to capacitate Hwange
Colliery and ensure that all special grants that we issued in 2010 are

He said that "Obviously, we are going to have a big challenge but they are
prepared to work with us on the production side and also enhancing the
railway system to have the product move faster to the Beira port in

Zimbabwe has an estimated 20 billion tonnes of unexploited coal reserves. It
was expected to produce 2 million tonnes last year compared with 2,5 million
tonnes a year earlier.

Hwange Colliery, the country's largest coal mining company, produces an
average of 225 000 tonnes of coal a month, but plans to double output after
securing a USD 22 million mine equipment supply deal with a Chinese firm.

Zimbabwe's coal industry needs at least USD 1 billion in new investment, the
Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines told a local weekly paper in November last year.

The chamber said that the 25 special grants issued by the Government would
significantly improve coal production but this would depend on the company's
ability to raise capital.

Source – All Africa

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More Than 20 Villagers Hospitalized With Anthrax After Eating Contaminated Meat In Makoni District

More than 20 villagers from the northeastern Zimbabwe village of Masvosva,
Makoni District have contracted the bacterial disease, anthrax, after
butchering and eating infected livestock, according to a Manica Post report

According to the report, sources at Rusape District Hospital confirmed more
than 20 hospitalised cases of anthrax. Fortunately, there were no

District Medical Officer Dr Mohammed Khaled has advised the public to
abstain from eating meat from animals whose causes of deaths are unknown.

The outbreak was discovered by veterinary authorities after villagers sought
medical care for their infections. The Makoni district veterinary officer Dr
Kupa Hwana said because farmers did not report the death of cattle, it
became too late for vaccine intervention.

Dr Hwana dissuaded farmers from slaughtering sick animals, adding that dead
ones must be properly buried to avoid the spread of the disease.

Anthrax is a pathogen in livestock and wild animals. Some of the more common
herbivores are cattle, sheep, goats, horses, camels and deers.

It infects humans primarily through occupational or incidental exposure with
infected animals of their skins.

Anthrax is caused by the bacterium, Bacillus anthracis. This spore forming
bacteria can survive in the environment for years because of its ability to
resist heat, cold, drying, etc. this is usually the infectious stage of

When conditions become favorable, the spores germinate into colonies of
bacteria. An example would be a grazing cow ingests spores that in the cow,
germinate, grow spread and eventually kill the animal.

The bacteria will form spores in the carcass and then return to the soil to
infect other animals. The vegetative form is rarely implicated in

There are no reports of person-to-person transmission of anthrax. People get
anthrax by handling contaminated animal or animal products, consuming
undercooked meat of infected animals and more recently, intentional release
of spores.

There are three types of human anthrax with differing degrees of
seriousness: cutaneous, gastrointestinal and inhalation.

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Congestion back at Beitbridge Border Post
Saturday, 05 January 2013 00:00

Numerous vehicles queued at Beitbridge Border Post yesterday as South Africa-based Zimbabweans trooped back to work after the festive season.

Mashudu Netsianda Beitbridge Bureau
THERE was pandemonium in Beitbridge Border Post yesterday following an increase in the volume of both human and vehicular traffic passing through the border post into South Africa. The Herald observed

winding queues of heavy and light vehicles, mostly South African registered cars and buses lining the road leading to the border. The queue stretched for about 5km.

Police, immigration officers and New Limpopo Bridge Company employees had a torrid time controlling the queues as they tried to reduce congestion at the country’s busiest inland port of entry.

Assistant regional immigration manager-in-charge of the border Mr Charles Gwede attributed the sudden increase in the volume of traffic to failure by their South African counterparts to absorb pressure on their side.

“We were forced to hold the cars up for several hours largely because our South African counterparts are failing to absorb pressure on their side, resulting in the formation of long winding queues on our side,” he said.

He said most of the people started travelling on Wednesday, a majority of whom were returning Zimbabweans working in South Africa.

Mr Gwede said they anticipated the volume of both human and vehicular traffic to increase on the exit side at the weekend.

“We are handling an increase in the volume of traffic as the number of people; mostly Zimbabweans working in South Africa have started going back following the end of the festive season.

“In fact, the numbers started increasing on Thursday and we anticipated a further increase as more people are likely to travel at the weekend,” he said.
Mr Gwede, however, said so far the situation was under control.

He said they had created separate immigration counters for buses as a way of easing congestion.
He said they were only allowing traffic to enter into the border in small batches as a way of reducing congestion.

On average the border handles about 8 000 travellers daily with the figures increasing to 20 000 during the peak period such as the festive season.

South Africa’s Border Control Operation Coordinating Committee (BCOCC) spokesperson Mr Patrick Moengs said that they were reviewing plans to address congestion at their side of the border.

"We are reviewing plans to see how best we can improve our roads as more people from neighbouring countries would be entering the country through Beitbridge border post following the end of the festive period.”

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Gwanda Residents Left Out of Community Ownership Trust

Gibbs Dube

Some residents of Gwanda, Matabeleland South Province, claim they are left
out of the local community share ownership trust scheme launched in May as
part of Zimbabwe’s black economic empowerment programme.

Gwanda North lawmaker Thandeko Zinti Mnkandla says the $10 million scheme,
which was set up by the government through sourcing funds from 20
foreign-owned mining companies operating in the region, has been hijacked by
Zanu PF.

Mnkandla also accuses the Gwanda indigenization and economic empowerment
board of implementing some projects without consulting communities.

Gwanda resident Buletsi Nyathi agrees, saying the board appears to be run by
Zanu PF functionaries.

But chief Mbiko Masuku of Matshetsheni communal lands, a member of the local
indigenization board, refutes the accusations, saying programs implemented
in the region are developed after consultations with the communities.

The Gwanda indigenization board has broad members, and includes five chiefs,
the chairman of the Gwanda Rural District Council, youths and other

Zimbabwe has launched similar community share ownership trusts countrywide
with funds sourced from foreign-owned companies that complied with the
indigenization and economic empowerment law.

The law requires foreign-owned firms to transfer 51 percent of ownership to
black Zimbabweans.

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UK TB tests for Zimbabweans

04/01/2013 00:00:00
by Nqobile Bhebhe I NewsDay

THE United Kingdom has added a compulsory tuberculosis (TB) test for
Zimbabweans and other African nationals applying for a visa to stay for more
than six months.

The requirement came into force on December 31 and applicants have to be
tested only at UK Border Agency approved clinics at a fee of $113.

The testing fee is separate from the visa application. TB is a leading cause
of illness and death for people living with HIV.

Among African nations, Zimbabwe is one of those most heavily affected by TB
as it is still ranked 17 out of the world’s 22 high-burden TB countries.

According to the UK Border Agency website, all children over 11 years old
must be tested for tuberculosis. No reasons were given.

“From 31 December 2012, if you are resident in Zimbabwe and would like to
apply for a visa to come to the UK for more than six months you must be
tested at an approved clinic and be free from tuberculosis before you apply
for a visa. You will be required to submit a TB certificate with your visa

“Applicants who submit a visa application form and pay the visa application
fee before 31 December 2012 will not need to take a tuberculosis test.
Applications submitted and paid for on, or after this date will be subject
to tuberculosis testing requirements,” reads part of the statement.

“If you are coming to the UK for less than six months you do not need to be
tested for tuberculosis. This includes people applying for two, five and 10
year visitor visas, because the maximum stay in the UK at any one time is
still six months.”

Applicants in Zimbabwe were required to undergo a 30-60 minutes test for the
whole process after making bookings with International Organisation for
Migration (IOM).

The statement said applicants with inconclusive test results “may be
required to take a sputum test (phlegm coughed up from your lungs) and the
results from this test can take up to two months to process”.

Those found not to have tuberculosis would be given a certificate, which
they should submit with visa application. The certificate is reportedly
valid for six months.

Prior to November 2002, Zimbabweans were free to travel to the UK without a
visa and this provided a route to political asylum.

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Zimbabweans to demo against UK Home Office

on January 5, 2013 at 5:10 pm

Zimbabweans living in the UK are preparing for what they hope will be a big
demonstration in Leeds on Monday against the UK Home Office, accusing its
Border Agency of stepping up deportations to Zimbabwe of failed asylum

Organisers of the demo say Zimbabweans are angry and frustrated with the UK
Home Office which is forcibly deporting many at a time when political
temperatures in Zimbabwe are rising ahead of the elections.

They say they are not happy with the way the Border Agency was handling new
asylum claims as the agency is rejecting old evidence.

“On making fresh claims, reports are coming forth where asylum seekers are
not allowed to submit old evidence that was submitted on their first claim,
but the same evidence seems to surface on reasons of refusal of the fresh

“The failed asylum seekers are threatened with inhuman treatment if they
resist deportation, some being drugged or threatened with sedation when put
on the plane home. They refuse people with right to appeal and tell people
to leave the house in three days with nowhere to go and with no relatives,”
the activists said.

The Border Agency was accused of taking too long to make decisions, leaving
many asylum seekers in financial and emotional limbo as they are not allowed
to work. Those who receive help are given vouchers which cannot be used to
pay for public transport as operators demand cash.

The organisers called on all Zimbabweans to come to Leeds and raise their
voices against what they called British injustice. The organisers said it
was wrong for failed asylum seekers to be sent back to a country where
targeted financial and travel sanctions are still in place.

“Why does it (UK) not start with the lifting of sanctions to show that you
now trust Robert Mugabe? The fact that they still stand reveals your
inconsistency in dealing with issues relating to Zimbabweans,” read the

A petition will be handed over to the Border Agency in Leeds. Demonstration
starts at 11.30am to 13.30pm

For more information contact the following:

Kevin Ngwenya: 07717206366

Herbert Moyo: 07401056973

Gertrude Kugura: 07446841318

Siphiwe Ncube: 07809671648

Sunduza Phakathi: 07787322720

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Dubious miracles

January 5, 2013, 10:32 am

Dear Family and Friends,

Happy New Year from a very wet and soggy Zimbabwe. Everyone said that our
rainy season was six weeks late and now it’s making up for it with downpours
of at least 25 mm (one inch) every day for the last ten days and in between
times producing the odd 75 ml (three inches) storms too. As a result we’re
afloat. Monster potholes are everywhere; there are lakes across roads whose
storm drains haven’t been cleared for years and mammoth piles of uncollected
and dumped garbage float along the verges and grow larger by the day at food
and vegetable markets. We’re also awash in flying ants’ wings and muddy
footprints, roofs that leak and water stains on walls and ceilings.

Zimbabwe exploded into 2013 with an orgy of fireworks that were available
for sale from any street vendors for absurdly cheap prices. Everything from
firecrackers to rockets were being hawked on the streets; all appeared to
have come from China and if they had safety instructions, these were also in

While seemingly every house in every road was letting off fireworks, thirty
thousand people gathered at an evangelical church in Chitungwiza. They had
come to hear Prophet Makandiwa’s New Year service and his predictions for
Zimbabwe for 2013. And everyone liked what they heard! “As I was praying I
saw a wind blowing and I saw gold coming to the surface. People are going to
be picking up gold without any drilling,” Makandiwa said.

Meanwhile other religious figures were accusing the new flood-tide of
multi- millionaire evangelists of using ‘juju’ to perform questionable and
dubious miracles to attract customers. One quoted an incident where a woman
apparently purchased five hundred dollars worth of goods in a Mabvuku shop
and after she had gone her bank notes in the till turned into Avocado
leaves. And people apparently believe this!

So with uncontrolled Chinese fireworks, people looking for gold nuggets
lining the streets and money that turns into leaves, we entered 2013. We’ve
got very high hopes that 2013 will see an end to our absurd, thirteen year
old ‘Zimbabwe Situation.’ We’re all so very tired of it: the politics,
propaganda, intimidation, violence and fear. As high as our hopes are for
freedom and democracy, early signs do not bode well. Hardly had the new
year begun then the jamming of SW Radio Africa broadcasts resumed. No sign
of freedom of expression here then and with a loud groan, but ever hopeful,
we ask ourselves: will this be the year when Zimbabwe finally finds freedom.
To the sound of thunder and insects hitting the lights, thanks for reading
and caring about Zimbabwe, until next time, love cathy.

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