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ZANU PF officials expected to join Tsvangirai on US & EU tour

By Violet Gonda
3 June 2007
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is embarking on a three week long trip to
the United States of America, Europe and Scandinavia, starting early next
week. The Prime Minister's spokesperson, James Maridadi, said the tour is
part of his 100 day plan to re-engage with the international community,
after years of isolation from western countries. Maridadi said a high level
delegation of government ministers from all three political parties will be
traveling with the Prime Minister.
The spokesperson could not disclose the names of the officials traveling
with the Prime Minister, saying these will be announced at the end of the
week. However SW Radio Africa is reliably informed that the group includes
ZANU PF Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi, MDC-M Regional Integration and
International Co-operation Minister Priscilla Misihairabwi Mushonga and
Elton Mangoma, the MDC-T Minister of Economic Planning and Investment
ZANU PF Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengengwi and MDC-T Finance
Minister Tendai Biti are expected to join the team in Brussels, although it
is still not clear if Mumbengegwi will get a visa since he is on the
European travel sanctions list.  An MDC source, speaking on condition of
anonymity, also said: "Obert Mpofu, ZANU PF's Minister of Mines is supposed
to join the group in the United Kingdom to address the Chamber of Mines in
London from the 20th June, but it is highly unlikely he would get a visa
because of the extreme corruption and looting of the mining sector by ZANU
PF, including by the Minister himself."
Scores of ZANU PF officials, including Robert Mugabe, were slapped with
travel restrictions by western governments as a result of gross human rights
abuses, electoral fraud and for plundering the economy.
On his first overseas trip Mr. Tsvangirai is expected to meet senior
government officials to try to influence them to restore economic aid to the
new government. Western governments have continued to provide humanitarian
assistance to Zimbabwe in the form of food aid, health services and for
water sanitation.  But they have been hesitant to provide developmental aid
or budgetary support directly to the new government, unconvinced that the
MDC is being treated as an equal partner.
However, the MDC has been on a relentless campaign urging western powers to
support the bankrupt unity government. The Finance minister warned recently:
"If this experiment fails, we have no cheaper alternative, no cheaper
option. I speak as one who knows. The only thing the struggle has not done
to me is kill me. I can write a guide book on Zimbabwe prisons. If the west
doesn't come in, the price of undoing the mess will be much higher, like
Liberia, Sierra Leone. Look at the cost of Somalia. how will anyone ever
reconstruct Somalia?"
Analysts believe the Prime Minister is traveling to the USA and Europe to
convince these countries that he is in charge and that his intentions are
clear. But many observers warn that Mugabe is still clearly in charge and it
would be a mistake to not recognize this fact.

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Tsvangirai Visit Poses Dilemma for US Officials

By Howard Lesser
Washington, DC
03 June 2009

Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai arrives early next week in
Washington, hoping to influence the US government's guarded attitude about
restoring economic aid to his fledgling unity government. Mr. Tsvangirai is
expected to encounter a sympathetic, but hesitant reception in Washington,
trying to convince congressional leaders and US aid officials that providing
budgetary support will strengthen proponents of change in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe-born history professor Ken Mufuka of Lander University in
Greenwood, South Carolina says that Washington may not yet be ready to shift
policy and play a decisive role in Zimbabwe's recovery.

"Our problem is that the countries in the west, particularly Britain and the
United States, are afraid to give money to the unity government because the
treasury, the governor of the bank, and of course, the president of the
country are still ZANU people who have abused their authority in the past.
And they have abused the finances of the past and they have brought the
country to where it is. So the problem for Mr. Tsvangirai is to convince the
western world that he is in charge of the government and that the monies
will not be wasted," he said.

Mufuka says that US policymakers would like to back Mr. Tsvangirai, who has
championed electoral and human rights freedoms for Zimbabweans. But they
remain fearful that President Robert Mugabe and hard-line segments of his
ZANU-PF following are still possibly in position to renew their hold on

"That is the predicament in which they are. If they respond, then they will
strengthen his (Tsvangirai's) hand in the government. But Mr. Mugabe is a
very tricky person. If, suppose help begins to flow to Zimbabwe. The fear is
that he could turn around next year, dismiss Mr. Tsvangirai, and perhaps
hold elections which are fraudulent, which he has done before at least
twice," suggests Professor Mufuka.

He says the dilemma of the United States government is that if they don't
help Mr. Tsvangirai, then they face the predicament that if he fails, Mr.
Mugabe will still have the upper hand.

Washington continues to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in
humanitarian assistance to Harare for food, health services, water
sanitation, and the fight against HIV/AIDS and cholera. But US leaders
continue to wait for evidence of Mugabe supporters' full cooperation with
the MDC before it considers lifting economic sanctions imposed in 2002 and
2003.  Professor Mufuka notes that American suspicions about how Zimbabwe
disposes of the humanitarian aid have sometimes been justified.

"The US had some problems when the money which was given for AIDS relief was
taken over by the Zimbabwe government and the US ambassador had to certify
it with the Zimbabwe government for its return - it was about $7 million,"
he recalls.

Earlier this week, the United Nations boosted its appeal for urgent
humanitarian aid for Zimbabwe to about $720 million. On Tuesday, the
European Union (EU) authorized $11 million in humanitarian help for medical
supplies and parts to repair water treatment plants while Zimbabwe endures a
chronic cholera crisis.

The EU continues to impose financial and travel sanctions against President
Mugabe and ZANU-PF associates who it accuses of human rights abuse. But the
$11 million aid package will be distributed in Zimbabwe through
non-governmental aid groups, the UN, and the International Red Cross.
Professor Mufuka suggests that US aid to help the Tsvangirai government
could follow the European model in the way it is disbursed.

"Sweden has given us a way of doing it. What the Swedes have done is they
have set up a system whereby they can help, let's say, the teachers directly
rather than go through the treasury so that the money is not budgeted by the
Zimbabwe government. The money is paid directly to the teachers. So the
Swedes have a way of directly controlling their expenditures and making sure
that they go to the right people," he points out.

Prime Minister Tsvangirai leaves Zimbabwe over the weekend for the United
States and Europe. In Washington, he will meet with members of Congress,
including ranking Republican member of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, Richard Lugar, and members of the US Congressional Black Caucus
and will hold talks with US diplomatic and foreign aid officials.

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Independent Constitutional Commissions to be in place by July

By Tichaona Sibanda
3 June 2009

The powerful 'Parliamentary Standing Rules and Orders Committee' will next
week place adverts in both the electronic and press media, asking potential
candidates to send in their applications to be considered for the new
independent constitutional commissions.

The Standing Rules and Orders Committee met in Harare on Monday and adopted
recommendations from its sub-committee on how commissioners to the bodies
should be selected.

Tongai Matutu, the MDC-T MP for Masvingo urban, and chairman of the
sub-committee, said the four new bodies to be implemented under the Global
Political Agreement are the Zimbabwe Media Commission (that seeks to
reconstitute the Media and Information Commission), the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission, the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Zimbabwe Human Rights

Matutu, a lawyer by profession, told us only people of integrity and
experience in their respective fields, and who are not compromised, will be
considered for these full time jobs as commissioners. Each commission will
have eight members.

At the end of the interviews and short-listing process, the Standing Rules
and Orders Committee and its sub-committee will send the final list of
candidates for each commission to the president, who will then officially
appoint them. Matutu said the law is clear that the president will not
outsource the process and nominate people from outside the list provided by

'Parliament is going to take charge. This is going to be a democratic
process. No party is going to take monopoly in terms of deciding who is
going to be in these commissions,' Matutu.

'Parliament will conduct the interviews. The interviews will be conducted in
public---in full view of members of the public and the press such that at
the end of the day there is no manipulation in terms of who is going to make
it,' the legislator added.

What happened in the past was that Robert Mugabe only appointed
commissioners with strong links to his ZANU PF party, like those in the
Zimbabwe Election Commission, which is staffed by former military personnel.

Matutu said to do away with this practice the Standing Rules and Orders
Committee adopted a resolution that bars all parties from recommending or
nominating candidates for the posts.

This process will effectively outlaw people like Tafataona Mahoso, the
controversial and vitriolic former chairperson of the Media and Information
Commission, from being considered. Dubbed 'the media hangman' he was
replaced by Chinondidyachii Mararike in early 2008 when a judge determined
that he was unfit to perform his duties as the chairman of MIC because he
was 'politically biased.'

Nonetheless much concern remains over the fact that the final decision, is
made by Mugabe.

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MDC Activists Re-abducted

HARARE, June 3 2009 - Three Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
activists, Terry Musona, Lloyd Tarumbwa and Fani Tembo who were abducted in
Banket by State security agents in October last year, were on Tuesday
forcefully taken from their homes by three State security agents.

In a statement, the party said trio was abducted and taken to the
Attorney-General's (AG) office in Harare and told that they should testify
against other MDC activists who are to face trial next week on
trumped-charges of banditry or they would face unspecified consequences.

"At the AG's office, the three were ordered to testify as State
witnesses when the trial of other MDC activists kicks off on Monday. They
were ordered to testify against their colleagues in accordance with the
instructions that they were given by the police or risk facing serious
unspecified consequences.

"The three were released this morning and told to go to their
respective homes but to come to court next week," the MDC said.

Musona, Tembo and Tarumbwa were arrested in October last year and
spent four months in illegal detention. They were never charged or brought
to court and were released from their illegal detention in February 2009
following a High Court order.

Meanwhile, MDC lawyers have prepared an urgent High Court application
to stop the State from using Musona, Tarumbwa and Tembo as witnesses.

Tembo is a Councillor for Ward 22, Zvimba South and MDC district
organizing secretary, Tarumbwa is a coordinator for the same ward while
Musona is the Mashonaland West provincial vice secretary.

The three activists were part of over 40 MDC and civic society
activists including two year-old Nigel Mutemagawu who were abducted between
October and December last year and were only released from illegal detention
in February after spending more than four months.

The others including Zimbabwe Peace Project director, Jestina Mukoko
and the MDC Mashonaland West provincial Women's Assembly chairperson,
Concilia Chinanzvavana were later brought to court on trumped up charges of
banditry and recruiting MDC youths for terrorism training in neighbouring

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Army units deployed in rural areas last year, are still there

By Lance Guma
03 June 2009

Over 200 senior army officers, deployed countrywide to help secure the
violent re-election of Robert Mugabe in last year's one-man presidential
run-off, are still deployed in the villages. The MDC, who 3 months ago
entered into the coalition government with ZANU PF, raised their concern in
a statement issued after their 9th annual conference over the weekend.

Scattered across all 10 of the country's provinces, the deployed commanders
presided over a brutal campaign of retribution, targeting all those
suspected of voting for the MDC in the first round of elections in March
last year. Over 130 people were killed, thousands tortured and tens of
thousands displaced from their homes. The operation was sanctioned by the
notorious Joint Operations Command and spearheaded by army general
Constantine Chiwenga, with funding from the Reserve Bank, under Gideon Gono.
It is the maintenance of this structure of violence and intimidation in the
villages which is worrying the MDC. For example each senior army officer
commanded a team of soldiers comprising so-called war veterans and ZANU PF
militants in the area. Buhera West MDC MP, Advocate Eric Matinenga, last
year successfully sued in the High Court to have the rampant army units
removed from his constituency. On the day he went to serve them the court
order he was arrested for allegedly inciting violence. He was eventually
acquitted last week but has vowed he would not forgive his accusers.
Some of these commanders, like Major General Engelbert Rugeje deployed in
the Masvingo Province, forced people to attend ZANU PF rallies. 'We are
soldiers. We do not ask for things; we force things. On Friday (June 27) we
are going to make sure that you go and vote, not for any person of your
choice, but for President Mugabe. I am not asking you to do so but we will
force you to go and vote. As soldiers we enjoy war,' he infamously said.
Newsreel spoke to co-Home Affairs Minister Giles Mutsekwa, and he confirmed
they had intelligence reports that the army units are still living within
the civilian communities. He said they wanted the army out of those areas
and back into the barracks. Mutsekwa said they will be approaching the Joint
Monitoring and Implementation Committee to tackle the issue. Another route
would be to urgently convene the newly constituted National Security
Council, that is meant to replace JOC, but which Mugabe is yet to approve.
With a coalition government in place it is worrying that these army officers
are still deployed in the provinces. Meanwhile SW Radio Africa listeners
living in Bindura and Mt Darwin have written in to complain about ongoing
violence in their areas. Youth Minister Savior Kasukuwere is accused of
sponsoring most of this violence, which involves the raping of girls and
looting of property. Kasukuwere's thugs include people like Dickson Mafios,
Martin Dinha and someone known only as Mujambajecha.
In a show of how things have not changed, 3 MDC activists, Terry Musona,
Lloyd Tarumbwa and Fani Tembo, were abducted from their homes by 3 state
security agents on Tuesday. This is the second time the trio has been
abducted, because in October last year they were abducted in Banket. They
spent 4 months in illegal detention before being released without charge.

An MDC statement said that in this latest abduction the trio was taken to
the Attorney-General's office in Harare and told they had to testify against
some of their colleagues, who are facing trumped up banditry charges, or
face unspecified consequences. They were later released Wednesday morning
and told to come back to court next week. The MDC have filed an urgent High
Court application to block this bid to use the trio as witnesses.

Last year over 40 MDC and civil society activists, including a two year old
boy, were abducted from their homes and kept at secret locations before
legal pressure forced them to be brought to the courts. Several were to
spend over 4 months in custody. The formation of the unity government has
not stopped the ZANU PF regime from pursuing what a have been described as
dubious charges.

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Zimbabwe not adopting Rand, says Biti

2nd Jun 2009 23:03 GMT

By a Correspondent

FINANCE Minister Tendai Biti has dismissed reports from South Africa this
week that Zimbabwe would adopt the South African Rand as its official
currency before the end of this year.

Speaking with Voice of America's Sandra Nyaira, Biti says such reports are

The Times newspaper was first to carry the story quoting the Finance
Minister as saying the adoption of the Rand was imminent and could be
implemented before the end of the year. Some other media took that to mean
"randisation" was on the cards.

"That's nonsense.that's absolutely a lie. It's a completely fictious story
with no foundation at all,' he said.

"I spoke to the journalist and I told him it's a fictious story. The debate
on what happens post the current regime of multiple currencies has not
started. The Zimbabwe government has several options, either return the
Zimbabwe dollar full scale and float it, either return the Zimbabwe dollar
and control it - have a managed exchange rate as we used to have in the past
or return the Zimbabwe dollar but re-denominate it one for one with the Rand
and then enter the Rand monetary union or tentatively dollarize fully in the
proper economic sense or randisize fully in the proper economic sense or
continue with the regime of multiple currencies."

He continued: "All these are options that are available to us and that
debate has not started. As we said in STERP, we will only review this
situation at the end of the year. However, when I carry out my mid-year
fiscal review, I will give indications of how our economy is performing
because the performance of the economy will determine the solution that will

Bitis says Zimbabwe will look at the size of its industrial capacity, the
size of its exports and 'if those are performing well and can sustain the
return of a currency then we will consider that so where this nonsense is
coming from, I have absolutely no idea".

He adds: "There are advantages of joining the Rand monetary union and there
are disadvantages, there are advantages of dolarising and there are
disadvantages, there are advantages of re-denominating and there are
disadvantages so we will not be rushed to do anything and we have to do this
very carefully."

"The key issue here is what is the performance of our economy, how is our
economy performing, can it sustain a currency and that will be the sole
issue for the return or not return of the Zimbabwean dollar

The South African Rand is in wide circulation in Zimbabwe along with the US
dollar and other hard currencies in line with the government's adoption of a
multi-currency regime.

Economist Prosper Chitambara of the Labor and Economic Development Research
Institute says many would welcome the adoption of the Rand. However, South
Africans would be wary of the monetary consequences of expanding the Rand
zone with problems Zimbabwe has suffered in the past and could still suffer.

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High hotel rates scare away Fifa

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

By Isdore Guvamombe

SPIRITED efforts to cash in on the 2010 World Cup soccer fiesta have hit a
brick wall after Fifa representatives abandoned Zimbabwean hotels for
allegedly charging exorbitant rates of up to US$3 000 per night.

The tournament's official accommodation company, Match Events Services, has
turned its back on the Zimbabwean hotels and instead signed an agreement
with Botswana after local hoteliers refused to append their signatures on
its pricing regime.

A team from Match Events, led by Ms Vivian Voets, was in the country last
week and offered hotels, twice the current room rate plus 16 percent.

That would leave most five-star hotels at around US$500 per night but
hoteliers, especially in Victoria Falls, rejected the offer, demanding
between US$1 000 and US$3 000 per night.

Yesterday Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive Mr Karikoga Kaseke said
the hotels' actions were tantamount to "sabotaging the inclusive

He said he was shocked by "this level of greed".

"This is the greatest mistake of our time. We have lost out due to greed.
Match Event was here last week to endorse us as official accommodation
providers but they turned their back on us after the hotel industry demanded
to charge at least US$1 000 and others even demanding $3 000 per night from
soccer tourists.

"This is ridiculous. Yes, I mean up to US$3 000! This is purely subversion
influenced by a desire to sabotage the economy and the inclusive Government.

"The industry is naïve. We do not have a contract with Match Event and
therefore we are not going to host the Fifa family. The endorser was Match
Event; it has now endorsed Botswana who have agreed to the same hotel
charges that we are rejecting. Even the Saxon Hotel in South Africa, that
has seven stars, does not charge that."

Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe president Mr Lewis Chasakara was not
available for comment as he was reportedly attending the Comesa summit in
Victoria Falls.

Mr Kaseke said after the endorsement of Botswana as a Fifa approved
accommodation provider, New Zealand which wanted to camp in Zimbabwe for the
Confederation Cup has moved to Botswana.

"The Fifa family will be accommodated in Botswana and they will fly in and
out of Victoria Falls and we will not benefit anything. New Zealand has now
moved to Botswana and they are trying to attract another team which is not
in its group to that country for practice, when we are busy with this price

"It is a shame: The hotel industry is shooting itself in the foot. Tourism
for us should be volumetric because we are rebranding,'' he said.

Mr Kaseke said Zimbabwe was just another option to the 2010 attraction, yet
South Africa is the real attraction hence charges must be reflective of our

"It makes us wonder whether awards that some of our hoteliers have won are
not dubious. We expect them to show maturity and reasoning.

"Match Event has since 2007 approved us as 2010 tourist destination but they
cannot have a contract with Kaseke and Minister Walter Mzembi. They want
contracts with the industry itself,'' he said.

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Luke Munyadu Tembani vs Government of Zimbabwe (SADC tribunal in Windhoek, Namibia)


The Legal Assistance Centre in Windhoek, Namibia will tomorrow (Thursday 4
June) argue the case of Luke Munyadu Tembani against the Zimbabwe Government
in the SADC Tribunal.

Luke Munyadu Tembani was one of the first indigenous commercial farmers in
independent Zimbabwe.  Mr Tembani, now 71 years of age, and his entire
family stand to be evicted from the land on which they have been residing,
and he farming, for the last 27 years.

The reason for the imminent eviction is the realisation of a debt by an
organ of the Government of Zimbabwe without recourse to the courts.  The
value of the debt is less than half of the value of the farm from which they
stand to be evicted.

To protect his family and himself from the devastating effect of such
eviction, Mr Tembani relies in this application on protection granted in
terms of international law.  These legal standards are rendered justiciable
by this Tribunal in terms of article 4(c) and article 6(1) of the SADC
Treaty and Protocol.

The application involves the validity of section 38 of the Agriculture
Finance Corporation Act [Cap 18:02] of Zimbabwe ("the AFA").  The AFA
sanctions extra-curial, unauthorised and unsupervised sales in execution of
agricultural land.  It furthermore excludes subsequent judicial remedies. It
represents self-help of a kind struck down under a number of constitutional
dispensations, including at least one in SADC, and inimical to international

The specific human rights protected under the SADC Treaty and relied upon in
this application are the right to protection of law; the right against
arbitrary deprivation of property; the rights not arbitrarily to be evicted
or subjected to interferences with family life; and rights incidental

The background is as follows:

1.  In 1983, after many years of experience as a commercial farm manager, Mr
Tembani acquired a lease with an option to buy in respect of a commercial
farm of 1265 hectares in Zimbabwe, called the Remainder of Minverwag (which,
it may be noted, is Afrikaans for 'little expected') of Clare Estate Ranch,
in Nyazura District ("the property").  He then exercised an option to buy
the property and became the registered owner in 1985.  Thus what could
hardly be expected before Zimbabwe's independence three years before was
realised: a black person was a freehold farmer of a commercial farm.

2.  Ever since he has been farming and residing with his family on the
property.  They are all to this day solely dependent upon it for their home
and livelihood.

3.  Mr Tembani, appropriately as a successful large-scale commercial farmer,
has over the years invested considerable time and resources on developing
the farm's irrigation, improving his employees' housing and founding a first
primary school for 320 children living on the farm and in the surrounding
area, a church hall, and numerous farming facilities.

4.  To finance these and other farming ventures, he took loans from the
parastatal bank, now named the Agricultural Bank of Zimbabwe ("ABZ").  In
terms of the loan agreements, Mr Tembani's farm has been pledged as security
for his debts.

5.  Since 1997, when the Zimbabwean economy started experiencing a steep
inflation curve, interest rates rose rapidly.  To ensure his ability to
honour his debts despite the economic difficulties, Mr Tembani successfully
requested authorization from ABZ to subdivide the farm. This was to enable
him to sell an uninhabited smaller portion of the farm if necessary.
Approval for subdivision was also obtained from the relevant planning

6.  Due to exorbitant interests rates coupled with the in duplum rule and
other circumstances, it was particularly difficult for Mr Tembani to
ascertain the balance of his loan account with ABZ.  Apparently even the
bank's own officials were at a loss to gauge the balance, because despite
repeated requests, they could not satisfactorily verify the amount.
Estimations ranged from Z$4 million to Z$15 million, and later from Z$5
million to Z$11 million.

7.   Mr Tembani disputed the evaluations, but never received a detailed
account from ABZ.  Despite the uncertainty over the balance of the loan
account, and despite his steps to ensure funds to settle it, the ABZ invoked
section 38(2) of the AFA.  It purported to take the farm in realization of
the debt, without any court process.  On 29 November 2000 it sold the entire
undivided property in execution for a mere Z$6 million. But, to the
knowledge of the officials of ABZ, this sum only equaled the
market value of the smaller, uninhabited portion divided off.  Henceforth Mr
Tembani persistently protested against the sale in execution and its
sequelae.  He immediately appointed an independent sworn valuator, who
estimated the property's forced sale value at Z$15 million at that time, and
instituted legal proceedings.

8.  This led to his initial success in the High Court.  However, on appeal
the Supreme Court - each member of which bar one, it was not disputed in the
proceedings before the Tribunal in the Campbell matter, is the recipient of
one or more 'redistributed' farms - on 19 November 2007 eventually upheld
the execution sale.  It held that Zimbabwe's municipal (domestic) law
authorises a summary and forced sale of property to meet any alleged debt
and ousts the courts' jurisdiction to hear a disputed debt.  The Supreme
Court specifically held that such sale was not in violation of any
fundamental right protected by the Constitution of Zimbabwe or any other

9.  During the protracted court process, Mr Tembani made numerous settlement
proposals in vain efforts to avert losing everything.  These would have
secured the identical financial result of a sale in execution to both ABZ
and the buyer (who has throughout been fully apprised of all relevant
information regarding the true market value of the property, the
subdivision, the forced sale and Mr Tembani's objections), while not
depriving Mr Tembani and his family of their home and livelihood.  But these
proposals were all rejected.  Then, while the appeal to the Supreme Court
was still pending, ABZ unilaterally transferred the farm despite Mr
Tembani's protest.

10.  In spite of this, Mr Tembani and his family have remained in occupation
of the farm and he has precariously to date continued farming activities
(although on a reduced scale).

However, eviction proceedings have now been instituted against him, his
family and employees resident on the farm.  The Tribunal on 21 May 2009
ordered that the Government of Zimbabwe should not proceed with action to
evict Tembani and his family pending the finalization of this substantive
application, which will be heard tomorrow (4 June 2009).


Norman Tjombe
legal assistance centre
p o box 604
4 körner street

skype: normanlalatjombe
tel: +264    61 223356
cell: +264 811 223356
fax: +264-88-61-3600

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Summary of the Campbell-Morrisons land case

2nd June 2009

Last week, on the 27th May, my husband, Ian-Guy Campbell-Morrison, and his
company, Vumba Coffee Estates (Pvt) Ltd, were found guilty, sentenced to
12months in prison and fined US$800 for contravening Section 3(3) of the
Gazetted Lands (Consequential Provisions), Act, Chapter 20:28.. His crime,
"occupying state land without a permit (very few of which have been given to
white farmers) from the lawful authority". His trial started in March 2009
and was heard by magistrate Mr Billard E. K. Musakwa and State prosecutor,
Malvern Musarurwa. This all when the government of national unity (GNU) has
said it wants farmers to prepare for the coming winter season and the
country is appealing for food aid.

The State prosecutor (Musarurwa) blatantly read from a paper called
"Handling Land Cases" written by the Chief Magistrate, Mr H Mandeya on 30th
January 2009. This is the outline for how all land cases should be handled,
what evidence can be permitted and what will be considered and what
questions to ask the accused. There is a chapter called "lawyer's tactics".
Included here is " Reports received show that the following tactics have
been used to delay finalisation of prosecutions under Chapter 20.28 and to
confuse courts" It is frightening enough that the Chief Magistrate can be so
blatant as to write and distribute a paper like this but there are comments
in it like.. "An uphill struggle indeed!" and "Another trick is to refer to
case law which properly speaking is distinguishable on the facts of the case
at hand. Watch out!" The State case clearly followed the paper and no other
defences were considered

Prosecutor Musarurwa  got very agitated when the lawyer brought up the fact
that these cases are racial and that according to Amendment number 19 all
citizens, no matter what race, creed or religion should be treated equally
and allocated land. He said there were no "white" people unless they were
sick and no "black" people unless they were dead. The magistrate agreed with
him and they had many giggles about this.

Mr Musakwa appeared rather confused on several occasions. The prosecution
had been talking about Amendment number 17 (upon which the whole land
eviction is based) and then our lawyer mentioned Amendment number 19 and
Musakwa said  "Why are you now talking about number 19 when we are only
considering Amendment 17?" And the lawyer had to politely say that number 19
superseded 17 (a basic understanding of the law!). After many mentions of
the Beattie case in Musakwa's final summing up he talked about the Beetle
case! Does he not even remember the proper case names. After finding my
husband guilty he put him in the holding cell at the court till after lunch
for the sentencing. After lunch, in a packed courtroom (a lot of our friends
were there) he said he had not had time to work out the sentence and that we
should return the next morning for sentencing and in the meantime my husband
was to spend the night in remand. Now this is not part of the law and there
were several lawyers in the court (including a human rights lawyer) who were
horrified with this unnecessary action by Musakwa. It is not a requirement
of the law and was designed to frighten us and to send a clear message to
the other 3 farmers facing trial for the same "crime" in Mutare with Musakwa

That one night in remand was an awful experience for him. He was shackled to
another criminal at the court, taken in the back of an open bakkie to the
remand prison where he was put into a filthy cell with about 80 other
criminals. The cell was designed to hold 30-40 people. They had to line up
to sleep and turn over at the same time as there was very little space. The
ablutions were disgusting, the cell full of lice and the food uncooked
mealie meal and very little of it. The next morning I had to pay $30 to the
area prosecutor to use his bakkie again to collect the prisoners from the
jail as the jail had no transport. My husband spent most of the next day
inside the holding cell at the court until he was returned to remand to be
released. The prison officers were very polite and helpful.

From 2000 when the land reform programme started our family has lost 900ha
of land in the Vumba and were left only with 100ha property known as
Eggardon Hill. No compensation has been paid by the govt for the
developments on any of these properties.

Musakwa's judgement also comes after the SADC Tribunal ruled in Windhoek in
November 2008 in favour of Mike Campbell (Pvt) Ltd and 78 other farmers that
joined him. SADC declared that the Zimbabwean government may not continue
with the eviction of white farmers, must pay them compensation for farms
taken and also declared Amendment no 17 (and thus the basis of the land
grab) illegal. It also declared the Fast Track land Reform Programme racist.
The Deputy AG Prince Machaya acknowledged before the SADC tribunal that the
treaty was binding to the Zimbabwean government, but the Acting Attorney
General,  Johannes Tomana, has chosen to ignore this

It was against this background that we went into court on 20th March 2009.
Our lawyer asked for the case to be recused from Magistrate Musakwa and
Prosecutor Musarurwa as they had both attended a meeting (along with the
state witness, Nixon Kutsaranga) at 3 Brigade army barracks in Mutare on
10th Feb 2009. Although Mr Musakwa did not commit perjury by denying he was
at that meeting, he did say it was pure speculation and hearsay and he could
not recuse the case on these grounds. The lawyer also asked if the case
could be referred to the Supreme Court (denied by Musakwa) and deferred
awaiting a ruling of a similar case (Thomas Beattie (Pvt) Ltd) which was
before the Supreme Court, case SC 32/09 (also denied by Mr Musakwa). Trial
commenced on 23rd March 2009.

The State called Nixon Kutsaranga as their witness. What proceeded was a
frightening display of acting between this witness, Magistrate Musarurwa and
Prosecutor Musakwa. It was as though they had all rehearsed together what to
say and how to act out a comedy. Lots of giggling, sneering, jeering and
rubbing together of fat hands. Kutsaranga mentioned the "former owner,
illegally occupying state land" whenever he could. The State tried to prove
that the property in question was indeed gazetted in Oct 2003 and that
despite it being withdrawn by the government in August 2004 (thereby setting
aside all previous gazettings), Amendment number 17 meant it was declared
state land. No argument from our lawyer was entertained here.

Mr Kutsaranga did admit to the court that the company had not been
compensated for the developments on the property and that the state was at
fault here as this was a condition of  acquisition. He did not however see
it as a problem and said " Our door is always open, .this matter can be
followed up later with our Compensation Department. They will be paid.." We
are not sure how a broke government can pay farmers compensation when it can't
even pay its civil servants wages.

Mr Kutsaranga was presented with letters from the District Administrator
(DA), Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) recommending that the
Campbell-Morrisons stay at Eggardon Hill Farm. Kutsaranga said these were
mere recommendations and the magistrate agreed with him and so they were not

In 2005, a lands officer, Mr Simon Matendera, had verbally told my husband
that if he gave up our farm and home (Sub-division A of Witchwood) that the
state would leave us with Eggardon Hill. This was denied by Kutsaranga and
he said it was not binding anyway as the State had now decided it required
Eggardon Hill for resettlement purposes. This is despite taking 900ha
already, none of which are being farmed commercially. Of the 6 new
beneficiaries on our farms, none of them live here, 1 has died, 2 have left
and handed over to other people, 1 has disappeared and left the country and
none are doing anything worthwhile or viable. The roads are barely passable
due to no maintenance being done on them, the building are falling down,
doors and roofing have been stolen and also pumps, motors, electrical cables
and switches, doors, metal tanks, taps, etc

Eggardon Hill is already partly occupied by a Julias Tobaiwa on an illegal
subdivision the government came up with. He has most of the arable land, we
being left with only about 10ha of ploughable land which we used for
pastures, grazing and a bit of maize. The real prize on this property is the
house, a magnificent homestead built by an American in the 1950s with the
most amazing views. The acquiring of this property has nothing to do with
the land but is all about the house.

Mr Musakwa refused the lawyer's appeal for the proceedings to be taped and
he only took detailed notes when the defence brought up points which
favoured the State and were against us. When we said things to prove that we
had been told to stay on the property by several high ranking government
officials, including the DA and Governor Chigudu (Provincial Lands Committee
Chairman) and Flora Boka (deputy Minister of Lands), he conveniently
neglected to make notes so he could not recall these facts in his summing up
and judgement. I took copious notes of each days proceedings which Musakwa
did not like and in fact told me on judgement day that I was not allowed to
take notes in court unless I was an accredited journalist. This according to
the lawyers is not at all correct.

The courtroom was filthy and dusty, the windows dirty, no light worked when
it got dark, prison officers ate their lunch in there. The chairs were
broken. The policeman or woman meant to be guarding was generally asleep
during proceedings. Cell phones went off inside (even Musakwa's) and were
used outside the courtroom despite signs saying they were prohibited.

The State prosecutor, Malvern Musarurwa, was something else. He is and
ex-policeman with almost no knowledge of the law. He talked over the
magistrate, interrupted him, argued against his rulings especially when it
came to trial delays and was downright rude to him It was only after our
lawyer had asked them both to a meeting in the magistrate's chambers that he
started to follow court procedures. It was a disgraceful disregard for the
law and it made a mockery of the court. It also clearly showed that the
magistrate was prepared to let him get away with this behaviour as long as
it was against the accused (my husband).

After being found guilty, Musakwa and Musarurwa discussed "a hefty sentence
and fine for this horrendous crime". You would think my poor husband had
murdered someone! They talked about a level 11 fine AND a jail sentence and
eviction from the farm. They then had a good giggle when the magistrate
pointed out that if my husband was in jail he could not be evicted from the
farm. In his final judgement he fined my husband US$400, his company US$400
and gave him a 12 month suspended sentence on condition he vacates the farm
and does not occupy state land for the next 5 years. This final statement is
totally unreasonable as it means he cannot farm in Zimbabwe for the next 5
years. This at a time when the country needs experienced qualified farmers
to try fed the nation.

We were lead to believe that a young government doctor, Nduna, was the so
called new beneficiary. He has no farming knowledge and already owns a
smallholding just outside Mutare on the Vumba road where he keeps pigs. We
were told by certain government officials that he had not gone through the
proper channels to receive his so called "offer letter", the document that
gives you the right to occupy a farm. The saga took a new twist when the
local press the Manica Post (29th May-4th June) on reporting the story of my
husband's case (under "Former white farmer fined"), said Mr Nixon Kutsaranga
has been allocated the farm. Now he is the Chief Lands Officer Manicaland
and was the state witness in the case!

Farmers all over Zimbabwe are being prosecuted in a similar manner but most
of the magistrates are deferring the cases as they see it is not right or
are frightened to go against the SADC ruling. I believe there is a pending
"contempt of SADC Tribunal" court case being prepared against the likes of
Musakwa and Musarurwa and the people on the ground evicting farmers from
their homes and farms. I hope it can be done and implemented soon before
even more chaos ensues.

There is also a strong calling for AG Johannes Tomana to be dismissed and
all his rulings to be reviewed. If this does not happen my husband will
forever have a criminal record for merely trying to stay on his farm.

The government of national unity and their GPA (Global Political Agreement)
promised an immediate land audit to assess the situation on the ground as
they realised there has been huge abuse of the allocation system and that
not much is happening on the ground. However, this has been ignored by AG
Tomana and his colleagues in an attempt to get rid of the few remaining
white farmers and to grab what little remains on the commercial farms in

My husband is second generation Zimbabwean and I am third. This is our home
and we have nowhere else to go. We have no intention of going anywhere else
but the Zimbabwean government is making sure we cannot stay to farm. We have
lost 2 homes now and have had to seek employment outside of agriculture to
survive. We are both qualified and experienced in agriculture in Zimbabwe.

We also had a viable tourist business on Eggardon Hill Farm with 2
self-catering holiday cottages and horses for trekking. This has all been
lost as well and at a time when the ZTA is trying very hard to revive
tourism, a valuable money earner for Zimbabwe, especially in time for the
World Cup soccer in 2010.

We have applied for land to farm under the government's A2 scheme in which
one receives an offer letter but despite our qualifications, knowledge and
experience have not been allocated land by the government. We are clearly
the wrong colour!

Our case is not unique although my husband is one of only a few farmers to
actually be sentenced and evicted by the court. (most other forced evictions
have been by the thugs on the ground). We have not had the horrific
intimidation, beatings and threats, and the vandalisation of other cases,
but it was frightening in that it all occurred in the open, in the
courthouse under the name of the law. We have appealed against the sentence
to the High Court. This will have the effect of stopping the eviction but
not the jail sentence, an anomaly in itself because if we stay my husband
goes to jail anyway!.

We have moved off the farm as my husband cannot spend a year in jail.
Already some people from the land's office in Mutare, some thugs from the
War Veterans Association to protect them and 2 policeman (1 high ranking)
have visited the farm (on Monday 1st June) and climbed over the security
fence into the homestead yard. They told an employee that "they came to see
if we had vacated and to make sure we had not vandalised the property".
According to our appeal, as per the law, they and the new beneficiary
(whichever one) should not enter the property. So it is clear that not even
the police have any regard for the laws of Zimbabwe.

A very sad day for our beautiful Zimbabwe!

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Thugs return for a tough old farmer's land
Farmer's family, beaten, Zimbabwe
Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi / For the Times
Mike Campbell, left, with daughter Laura, her husband, Ben Freeth, and their two children in 2007. Campbell, who was born in South Africa, says his family's roots in the region date back to the early 18th century. "We're not British or Scottish or anything," he says. "We're African."
The 75-year-old Zimbabwean was severely beaten last summer by marauders who wanted his farm. He and his wife live through a second invasion in spring, but their grip on the homestead is slipping.
By Robyn Dixon
1:54 PM PDT, June 2, 2009
Reporting from Chegutu, Zimbabwe -- Possession is nine-tenths of the law. That's Mike Campbell's bitter motto.

"The moment you move off, you're finished," is how he puts it.
The thugs who want his farm almost finished him. They beat the 75-year-old so badly last July he hasn't been quite the same since. They broke his wife's arm. But the Campbells weren't finished yet. Ignoring their nightmares and their forebodings, they went home to their farm.

Returning to the land where he'd lived for 36 years, Campbell had prepared himself for the empty closets, the looted farmhouse.

But he wasn't ready for the sight that greeted him, driving in the gate that August day: All the farmworkers had gathered in welcome.

"It was quite an emotional time. They were shaking hands. I even got some hugs, which no one would believe. But I did," he says, sounding almost surprised.

Relieved to be alive and back home, Campbell got on with his job. But when he sat down to calculate how much fertilizer to spray on an acre of crops, the numbers mocked him. He tried again. And again. But a simple sum he'd done all his life was beyond him.

"I just can't work it out. It's like a closed book," he says.

He forgot things or lost his way in the middle of a sentence, as if he'd aged overnight. He felt useless and depressed. His doctors say he sustained brain damage in the beatings. "I'm very much slower than I used to be. My brain doesn't work," he says over a cup of tea.

"It does. A little bit," his wife, Angela, insists gently.

"A little bit," he frowns. "But not much."

Hardened after years of loss and disappointment, the old farmer can be a little gruff at times. Angela Campbell (nowadays gently correcting anything misremembered) has always been the soft, idealistic one, the foil to his tough, cynical side.

Whenever she sees their ancient chestnut horse, Ginger, standing patiently on the veranda outside the window, she hurries to feed him slices of bread. It is she who picks the ticks off him, and carefully washes the cancerous growth on his eye.

It is she who worries about him now.

Thousands of farmers were forced off their land when President Robert Mugabe told war veterans to invade white-owned farms in 2000. The seizures destroyed agriculture and the economy, ultimately undermining the entire public sector, including health and education.

A top ruling party official was determined to get Campbell's lush 3,000-acre citrus and mango farm, Mount Carmel, about 60 miles south of the capital, Harare. But Campbell clung on.

Even after last year's beating, Campbell, bruised and frail, was unbowed. In an interview for an earlier story on the tenacious farmer, he said: "I don't think we would ever have given up."

In a sense, Campbell outlasted Mugabe: He lived to see the president forced to agree to share power with the opposition last September.

Then Campbell and 77 other farmers won a landmark case in November challenging the farm evictions. Southern Africa's highest court, the Southern African Development Community tribunal, ordered authorities to protect farmers against eviction or harassment and demanded compensation for past evictions.

"I thought we'd reached the end of the road," Campbell says.
When the unity government was sworn in early this year, it seemed Campbell had won. He'd held on just long enough.

But within weeks, Zimbabwe's High Court -- largely stacked with Mugabe allies and recipients of former white-owned farms -- rejected the judgment of the SADC court. Dozens of farms were invaded.
As leader of the appeal, Campbell was a prime target.

The invaders, led by a war veteran named Chimbambira, arrived at Mount Carmel on April 3. There were about 10 young thugs, armed with pellet guns.

But about 150 farmworkers, afraid they would lose their jobs if Campbell left the farm, confronted the invaders and chased them away.

The next morning, a phalanx of riot police arrived and beat or arrested many of the workers. That night the invaders were back, on the Campbells' veranda, singing war songs.

"They were beating on the door and I heard the grindstone going, as if they were sharpening something," Campbell says. "Then they smashed the kitchen door and got into the kitchen."

Piercing screams drifted from the workshop, where the thugs were beating up a worker.

Campbell stood, terrified, in the hall, listening to the invaders on the other side of a locked door. He remembered the moment last June when he was hit on the head by other ruling party thugs and knocked out cold. He knew he couldn't survive another beating.

"I decided I was going to shoot anyone who came through that door. I said, 'Look, if you come through that door, I'll shoot you. You'll be a dead duck.' Otherwise they'll hit you on the head and you're dead."

The couple radioed their family, who live on the neighboring homestead. Their son-in-law, Ben Freeth, and a friend crept through the garden to the other side of the house, where Angela Campbell let them in.

"Once they realized we had reinforcements, they backed off," she says. Police initially refused to come, but eventually arrived about 4 a.m., warned the invaders to be quiet and left.

Late the next afternoon the Campbells returned from lunch at their daughter's neighboring house. The thugs surrounded the house, shouting threats and firing pellet guns.

"Just as it was getting dark they started to become very threatening," Angela Campbell says. "The threats became worse and worse. They built a huge fire near the house."

Family and friends came over to help defend the farm. But because Mike Campbell was such a target for arrest, the family decided that he and Angela should leave until things settled down. They feared he would not survive a jail stint: Farmers, especially ones involved in the SADC appeal, have been recently arrested and jailed for being on their own farms.

At first, Campbell resisted.

"I have always agreed with the theory that if you are seen to move, that's the end," he says. "But they were so threatening, and we'd been beaten up nine months before.

"I don't know what I was thinking. I thought it would just be for one night or two nights."

But a few days went by. And then a few days more.

The realization crept up like a cat padding silently into a room. If Campbell was right, if possession really was nine-tenths of the law, then after years of struggle and resistance, they had finally lost the farm.

Visiting Freeth's house, I take an evening walk with him to the edge of Mount Carmel farm. A tractor putters, harvesting the last of the Campbell's $600,000 mango crop. Youths mill about.

But when they see us on the border of the land, they shout furiously and give chase.

"Come here!" one orders. "Come here! I'll shoot you! I'll cut your neck." We leave, steadily walking back to Freeth's house. I follow Freeth, trying not to break into a run.

The farmer and his wife cannot get close to the eight cows and their calves, who rely on them and their workers to fill the water trough. No one knows the fate of Angela's two cats. No one knows how the old horse Ginger is doing.

"He won't make it through the winter," says Campbell, gruffly.

Campbell has not given up. Not yet. But he's close.

"But Mike is a pessimist, by nature," Angela says softly. "I'm optimistic."

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British Embassy Press Release





                                                                                         02 June 2009

It is disappointing that, amidst the debate on creating a free media environment in Zimbabwe, The Herald continues to peddle gross distortions and misinformation.  Its front page article on 2 June – “Sanctions hit local British pensioners” – blames imaginary “western-imposed economic sanctions” for the plight of ordinary people in Zimbabwe.  In fact:


-   There are no United Kingdom or European Union economic sanctions against Zimbabwe.

-   Current EU measures are carefully targeted against 243 individuals and organisations responsible for the worst excesses of the previous regime, in terms of human rights abuses, political violence, corruption, hate speech and undermining the rule of law.

-   These measures have no adverse effect on ordinary people.

-   The economic collapse of Zimbabwe and its infrastructure is the result of the ruinous policies of the previous regime.


The United Kingdom’s Resettlement Scheme is not an “airlift”. It is a voluntary programme intended to help older and vulnerable British people who can no longer support themselves in Zimbabwe and who are unable to move to the UK without assistance.  The suggestion that British policy is racially motivated is offensive and inaccurate.  This year, the United Kingdom is running its largest ever aid programme to Zimbabwe, worth £49 million ($74 million).  British funding has supported a comprehensive set of programmes for all Zimbabweans, including food aid and health. Our assistance has helped:


-    avert widespread hunger through the provision of timely food aid;

-    support over 2 million people to grow more food and improve their harvest yields;

-    enable 1 million people get access to clean water and home based care for the chronically ill;

-    assist 700,000 urban poor  with food vouchers, shelter and access to education;

-    treat people with HIV and reduce the rate of infection.


The United Kingdom is fully committed to helping the Inclusive Government implement the democratic and economic reforms essential to improve the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans.  The Herald’s obsession with bogus issues is not the road to the future.


For further information, please contact: Keith Scott, First Secretary Political/Communications, British Embassy Harare, Tel: 0912 125 160-167

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EU begins Zimbabwe reconciliation process

The first step in restoring relations between the European Union and
Zimbabwe begins today with a visit of a Swedish delegation.

Swedish officials, whose country currently will assume the rotating EU
presidency in July, are due to assess Zimbabwe's ongoing reform process.

On the three-day visit are director general of international development and
cooperation in the Swedish ministry for foreign affairs, Jan Knutsson.

Mr Knutsson will be accompanied by the head of southern Africa in the Africa
department of the Swedish ministry, Pereric Hogberg.

"The visit is related to the forthcoming Swedish presidency of the EU.
Zimbabwe is a high priority for the EU and for Sweden," Christina Weibull,
the first secretary for political affairs in the Swedish embassy in Harare
told in an interview.

"It is a visit to assess the situation in Zimbabwe and to encourage the
reform process of the transitional inclusive government."

Zimbabwean prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai and a host of Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) figures are due to meet the delegation.

However, no meeting has been scheduled with president Robert Mugabe,
Zimbabwe's ruler since independence in 1980.

President Mugabe and Mr Tsvangirai formed a coalition government in February
charged with reversing a decade long economic decline mirrored by
hyper-inflation blamed on the former's ill-advised policies.

Western governments and donors, the EU and the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) have set benchmarks like political reforms and a return to the rule of
law before assisting the unity government with direct financial aid.

"The EU is following Zimbabwe closely. We are hoping that we will be able to
normalise relations between Zimbabwe and the EU," Ms Weibull added.

Relations between Zimbabwe and the EU soured in 2000 following policy
differences, resulting in the bloc imposing sanctions.

The sanctions, against Mugabe himself and his close allies, include a ban on
travel to the EU and a freeze on any assets they hold in the 15-nation bloc,
as well as an arms embargo.

President Mugabe blames for the collapse of the country's once model African
economy soon after the national attained independence.
© Adfero Ltd
03 June 2009 11:54 GMT

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Madhuku Hits Out At Civic Society Groups

HARARE, June 3 2009 -  The chairperson of the National Constitutional
Assembly (NCA) Lovemore Madhuku has criticised civic society groups for
pandering to the whims of political parties, accusing them of blindly
following the government's constitutional making process.

The NCA has rejected a government's constitutional making process
currently underway, saying it does not include the people. The process is
being spearheaded by parliament.

"Civic society must be separate from the political parties," said
Madhuku at a debate with the Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary
Affairs, Eric Matinenga at the journalists' drinking hole at Quill Club in
the Capital.

"If the job of the civic society is to simply pander to political
party interests then that's wrong," said Madhuku. " I don't believe civic
groups should just blindly follow the constitutional making process, it's
not people driven it's a political party driven process."

Madhuku said even the inclusion of his own organisation's
constitutional draft of 2000 will not change their stance.

In 2000 NCA successfully campaigned against a constitution drafted by
government which was rejected at a referendum.

"It is a very good thing to include the NCA draft but the NCA is not
there to give a constitution to Zimbabweans , it is there to push for a
process which allows Zimbabweans  to write their own constitution."

"Even if you can give us our own draft we will reject it, that is not
the whole purpose, we want the opportunity that's why we are about process."

"We are not about opportunities or window to write a constitution,
let's get a proper opportunity to write a constitution for our country and
that's what we stand for and we will not be persuaded at all that there is
anything called a window in this process, it is a defective one and we will
not support it," said Madhuku.

"A truly independent body along the lines of South Africa's
Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) should be set up and it should be
detached from the influence politicians. That should be the starting point."

Madhuku further stated that even if he was to be asked to chair the
parliamentary process, he will not accept it.

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ZANU PF official harassed for supporting farmer

By Alex Bell
03 June 2009

A senior ZANU PF official has found herself on the receiving end of state
sponsored intimidation and harassment, after testifying in court in support
of a commercial farmer.

Celina Pote, a ZANU PF politburo member and the former legislator for
Chiredzi North, has been called in as a defence witness in a case against
Chiredzi farmer Digby Nesbitt. Nesbitt is being prosecuted as part of the
countrywide wave of farm attacks, which have seen more than 140 farmers
being charged with occupying so-called state land 'illegally'.

In Nesbitt's case, he has been forced to share his land and home with the
officer commanding Matabeleland North, Senior Assistant Commissioner Edmore
Veterai, who has led the invasion on the Nesbitt land since last year.
Veterai and three war veterans involved in the invasion, have since hauled
Nesbitt before court for refusing to vacate the property.

Pote and several other ZANU PF heavyweights have ironically rallied behind
the commercial farmer, arguing that as political leaders they had agreed
that Nesbitt was allowed to stay on the land. During her court appearance on
Tuesday, Pote explained that the decision had already been made last year,
because of several community development projects started by Nesbitt that
have benefited people in Masvingo. Even the then Minister of Lands, Land
Reform and Resettlement, Didymus Mutasa, agreed that Nesbitt be allowed to
remain on the farm.

Pote told the court on Tuesday that all the invaders should leave the farm,
only to find herself facing verbal harassment by war veterans and ZANU PF
supporters during the court's break. One of the war vets reportedly labelled
Pote 'a sell out', and threatened that if she testifies against war
veterans, "you are going to see what we are capable of doing." Nesbitt's
lawyer then revealed that Pote had already been subject to harassment, with
'rogue elements' following her home recently and threatening to beat her for
her support of Nesbitt.

The deep polarisation that exists within the unity government over the land
issue has been brought into sharp relief by the Nesbitt case. The government
meanwhile is yet to take any action to stop the wave of farm attacks and
fast-track prosecution of farmers, with Robert Mugabe openly condoning the
actions and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai downplaying the severity of the

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Cholera cases in Zimbabwe near 100,000 as 'Twin Disaster' continues

HARARE, Zimbabwe, 3 June 2009 - Zimbabweans continue to suffer through the
worst cholera outbreak in Africa in fifteen years.  According to a new
report by the Red Cross, nearly 100,000 cases of cholera have been reported
throughout the country, and over four thousand people have died.

UNICEF Zimbabwe Communications Officer Tsitsi Singizi says the 10-month-old
epidemic has been driven by two major collapses in the country's
infrastructure: social services and health care.

"Last year we had a near collapse of basic social services," Ms. Singizi
said.  "Municipal services were not providing clean water anymore and they
were not collecting refuse anymore.

"There was also a collapse of the health delivery system, so if you went to
the clinic and you were affected by cholera you would not be attended to."

Rainy season makes things worse.

Without a major overhaul of Zimbabwe's social and health infrastructure,
health crises like the current cholera outbreak will continue.

Ms. Singizi is concerned that the upcoming rainy season will mean even more
cases to come.

"We might have another spike in the number of cases once we have our first
rain," she said.  "because cholera is waterborne and the contaminated water
will be flowing towards open sources and people will be drinking from
unprotected wells.

"So, before it ends - it will start again."

Even those who avoid getting sick are still affected by the crisis. Children
are missing school or kept from their homework while they search for clean

The sight of children carrying 25 litre buckets of water over many
kilometres is common in urban areas these days, according to Ms. Singizi.
Mothers are also affected.

"In terms of time spent doing productive things, it's very limited for a
mother who's running a household.  Instead, they're wasting their time
looking for safe water," Ms. Singizi said.

Boreholes, hygiene education

At the moment, the number of cases is dwindling, so UNICEF has focused its
response towards averting another outbreak. Along with its partners, UNICEF
has drilled over 140 boreholes in cholera-affected areas.

"We have done something that is supposed to address the outbreak
medium-to-long-term," said Ms. Singizi.

"We've also done a lot of hygiene education just to make sure in those
communities there won't be a resurgence of an outbreak."

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Health delivery system far from restored

June 3, 2009
Abigail Mphisa

I HAVE been in Zimbabwe's second largest city of Bulawayo since Sunday, May
24. The reason for my visit has to do with a very seriously ill close
relative. She is currently hospitalised in the private wing of United
Bulawayo Hospitals.

During the MDC annual conference on Saturday, May 30, Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai appealed for patience, arguing that though the MDC was in
government, his party was not the government hence was in no position to
implement changes as fast as desired.

In listing the positive changes that have occurred since the formation of
the government of national unity, the PM included the restoration of the
health sector. In expressing happiness over the issue of those previously
under detention (presumably Gandhi Mudzingwa and company), he made no
mention of the seven still missing. Could he have already forgotten about
them? But that is a story for another day.

To my mind, a restored health sector would necessarily involve functioning
hospitals where patients are either nursed back to health or receive
palliative care. In light of the PM's assertion, I would like to inform the
readers of The Zimbabwe Times of my experiences since mum was admitted to
hospital on Sunday May 24.

Mum is 74 years old. When taken to hospital the doctor on duty ordered
immediate admission. Once a bed was allocated in the women's general ward,
my brother in law was shocked when told the family had to provide all the
linen that was required. The hospital could only afford a bed and a
mattress. They were also advised to bring warm water every day for her bath.
We arrived in Bulawayo too late to visit mum on her first day in hospital.

We visited on Africa day, May 25.  The first thing that struck me was the
overgrown grass around the hospital grounds. There is litter everywhere in
the form of empty plastic bottles, cans, banana and orange peels, and papers
flying around freely.

In the ward there were more student nurses than qualified ones. The two
qualified nurses were no more than 25 years old.  We were advised that the
doctor did his rounds at 8 am every morning and he was the only one who
could provide answers to the questions we had raised. There was no one in
the office usually manned by a sister in charge. At least one patient slept
on a mattress on the floor.

Looking around the ward, I was struck by the multicoloured blankets on every
bed. I recalled a conversation I had had more than a decade ago with a nurse
at Parirenyatwa hospital in Harare. Back then I had decided to take an extra
blanket to a sick aunt. I was advised my aunt should merely have requested
for an extra blanket as it was unacceptable to bring unsterilized linen into
the hospital. She explained at length how such linen could be a source for
all sorts of bugs and gems which could infect not only my aunt but other
patients as well. I understood completely and apologised for my ignorance.

At United Bulawayo Hospitals, the need to keep patients warm overrode the
need to keep the hospital free from bugs and gems. One of the nurses told me
that hospital linen had not been replaced in over a decade. In one of the
storerooms, she pointed to mountains of torn bed sheets and blankets. I
asked why they just did not get rid of the useless hip of rubbish.

She responded that the order had not yet been issued.

Some of the stuff that was happening around the ward was really gross. I
noticed a woman three beds from mum's trying to catch vomit with her bare
hands. Her intention was to prevent the vomit from messing up the blankest
since it would mean another trip home to bring clean ones, provided there
would be spare ones back home. She was calling out for help but all the
nurses were occupied with other patients.

I also noticed that it was difficult for patients to get nurses to attend to
them because none of the buttons on the bed sides that patients could press
in order to call for assistance were working. It means patients either have
to shout to a passing nurse or, if it is during visiting hours then the
relatives have to find a nurse to attend to whatever problems arose. It left
me wondering what happened outside of visiting hours. The whole thing is a

The doctor advised that he wanted to check mum for diabetes but could not do
so because the very basic kits needed for the test were not available at the
hospital's medical stores. He advised that we should procure the kit which
he believed was available across the counter from any pharmacy. We visited
every single pharmacy in the city of Bulawayo but failed to secure the
diabetes testing kit. He also prescribed medication that we had to buy
because the hospital had none in stock.

We eventually contacted my sister in law who works in Botswana. She brought
the kit the following day. In the meantime, we arranged for mum to be moved
to a private ward.  The big advantage was that she was away from a
depressing environment where some patients simply died around her. Among the
stuff that we were requested to buy for the private ward was a light bulb. I
wondered what they did with the bulbs since patients hardly ever stay in
hospital for as long as the life of a light bulb.

The other big improvement is that there is warm water in the private ward
and we do not have to bath mum ourselves. We however have to provide soap
and towels. The sister in charge told us that if we had complaints regarding
the kind of care mum was receiving, we could approach whoever was in the
duty office.

Because the visiting hours at the private ward are longer, we witnessed
firsthand what the patients are fed on.  For breakfast they serve black tea
in a plastic cup and a slice of bread without any form of spread. Both lunch
and dinner consist of the most unappetising piece of sadza, (the type that
immediately disintegrates upon coming into contact with soup or water) the
tiniest piece of meat I have ever seen and a desert spoon full of boiled

We therefore have to take food at every visit - morning, mid-day and
evening. The food comes with a narrow wooden spatula instead of folk and
knife. Apparently all the eating utensils disappeared from the hospital over
the last five or so years and have not been replaced. We also had to get
matches and candles on the third day of mum's stay in hospital because of
power cuts.  The hospital itself does not provide such luxuries.

Mum's private room has a balcony. It is on the first floor. I looked down
the basement on the day that she was moved. There is a pile of garbage in
the form of papers, plastic bottles and empty cans. As evening approached,
mosquitoes could be seen swarming into the room. We had to rush home to
collect repellents. It really is quite unbelievable.

By the fourth day, it had become increasingly obvious that the doctor's
visits were few and far between. We then decided to pay the consulting
physician a visit at his rooms. For a hefty fee, he agreed to take mum on as
one of his private patients. Since then the level of care has significantly

Here are the questions that inevitably arise. When the PM talks of restored
heath services, what exactly is he referring to? Of course the doors of
United Bulawayo Hospitals are now open. The problem is there is no
medication, linen, or even food for patients. There are also serious staff

Given the fact that a hospital is meant to provide care even to those
without family, it is difficult to see how such patients could survive.
Sure, the hospital could provide torn linen, but who would feed such
patients given the fact that what the hospital currently provides is far
from adequate? How can a hospital that does not provide nutritious meals and
has no medication for patients be called a hospital?

One of the biggest problems is that family members cannot afford even a
single visiting hour where no one visits a sick relative. Failure to do so
will mean that the patient will not be fed. How practical is that state of
affairs? How can relatives who travel on public transport be expected to
bring warm water for bathing the sick? It is heartrending to witness people
with no training in health care trying to bath a sick relative or clean up
those who will have soiled themselves and doing so without protective

It is obvious United Bulawayo Hospitals reopened its doors with no
medicines, linen, equipment or adequate staff. A patient could end up
contracting malaria during their stay in hospital given the fact mosquitoes
are permanent residents of the hospital. Because of frequent power cuts, the
stairs have been painted white on either side so that both visitors and
patients can find their way in the dark. That is the sad state of affairs
that I have witnessed firsthand.

I do believe that every fair-minded individual does appreciate that the mess
created by the Zanu-PF government is going to take a long time to be
cleared. No one in their right mind expected that health service delivery
was going to happen in a jiffy. It is however totally uncalled for for Prime
Minister Tsvangirai to paint a misleading picture regarding the health
delivery system. Judging by what is happening at United Bulawayo Hospitals,
one cannot talk of a restored health sector.

Sadly, because clean water is still largely unavailable, the World Health
Organisation this week reported that cases of cholera are nearing the 100
000 mark. In the event that the rainy season starts before the water
delivery services are restored, the situation will be catastrophic.

There is no way the shaky health services that I have witnessed will be able
to cope.

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Maize yields expected to improve

Photo: Flickr
A better crop predicted
JOHANNESBURG, 3 June 2009 (IRIN) - The US Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) is predicting a slight increase in Zimbabwe's maize yield per hectare in the 2008/09 harvest.

FAS conducted satellite and ground surveys from 23 to 27 February, when crop growth was near the maximum leaf area index during mid-season, according to a report released by the department.

Factors working against a better harvest were dollarization, making inputs too costly for small-scale farmers, a drop of 85 percent in seed production capacity since 2000, and the poor quality of available seed, combined with shortages of all other inputs such as fertilizers, lime, pesticides and diesel.

Zimbabwe's 2007/08 maize harvest of 580,000mt was the worst on record and led to humanitarian organizations providing emergency food assistance to about seven million people. Zimbabwe's national maize requirement is 1.8 million tons.

The maize yield estimate per hectare was estimated by the FAS at 0.44 tons, a slight increase on the yield from the previous year of 0.40 tons. The joint World Food Programme/Food Agriculture Organization crop assessment for Zimbabwe is expected to be released in mid-June.

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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EC funds bring welcome relief

Photo: Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
Access to health services and safe water has sharply deteriorated
JOHANNESBURG, 3 June 2009 (IRIN) - The European Commission (EC) has allocated US$11.3 million in humanitarian aid to help people in Zimbabwe affected by the breakdown of essential health and water services.

"The new unity government has to address numerous challenges to place Zimbabwe on the path to recovery. The country ... is facing an enduring humanitarian crisis, compounded by the collapse of basic social services," Olli Rehn, the EC's Acting Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, said in a statement on 2 June.

The funds have been earmarked for medicines and medical supplies, water treatment equipment, and spare parts to upgrade water infrastructure; projects are to be implemented by non-governmental relief organizations, UN agencies and the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement.

Health system in crisis

As a result of Zimbabwe's protracted socioeconomic crisis, access to health services and safe water has sharply deteriorated, "as demonstrated by the largest cholera epidemic ever recorded in Africa," the statement noted.

Life expectancy has been dropping, maternal mortality has dramatically increased and high rates of HIV infection prevail. "It is our duty to bring timely and consistent support to assist ... at this critical juncture," Rehn said. The EU is the biggest donor to Zimbabwe's public health sector, providing at least 60 percent of essential drugs available.

Humanitarian plus

International donors suspended development assistance to Zimbabwe after elections  were found to be neither free nor fair, but the country's extensive needs prompted the humanitarian community to expand its recent request for funding in the Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) from US$550 million to around $719 million.

According to the CAP document, six million people have limited or no access to safe water and sanitation, 1.5 million children require support to access education, 800,000 people are in need of food aid, and 44,000 children younger than five years need treatment for severe acute malnutrition.

''Donors realize the importance of not only addressing the symptoms, but also the root causes of many of the humanitarian problems''
"Donors realize the importance of not only addressing the symptoms, but also the root causes of many of the humanitarian problems, such as the recent cholera outbreak and food insecurity currently witnessed in Zimbabwe," Muktar Ali Farah, the Officer in Charge at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Zimbabwe, told IRIN.

"The 'humanitarian plus' activities included in the revision of the CAP 2009 ... will provide donors with the window needed to enable them to invest in these early recovery activities that are still considered to be of a time-critical and life-saving nature."

Funding provided outside the CAP 2009 was also significant and "currently amounts to $158 million, of which $77 million is for food aid, $32 million in support of food security and agriculture, and $29 million for the cholera response," Farah said. The Southern African Development Community has provided $30 million in agricultural support directly to the government of Zimbabwe.

USAID, another major donor, has also reported funding outside of CAP initiatives, but the EC is still Zimbabwe's most important donor, having provided well over $800 million in both humanitarian and development aid since 2002.

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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Zuma yet to make a stand on Zimbabwe

By Alex Bell
03 June 2009

South Africa's new President, Jacob Zuma, has yet to make a definitive stand
on the current political crisis in Zimbabwe, despite being called on, as the
SADC chair, to intervene.

Zuma, who on Wednesday made his first State of the Nation address in South
Africa, is being closely monitored to see how his administration will deal
with the Zimbabwe crisis. His predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, has been widely
criticised for his policy of 'quiet diplomacy' towards Zimbabwe, which
involved supporting Robert Mugabe while Zimbabwe slipped deeper into
despair. With Zuma now in power, there is some slight hope that he will take
a tougher stance with his ageing counterpart in Zimbabwe.

But any stance is yet to be made, and even during Wednesday's public
address, Zuma merely made a passing mention of the plight in Zimbabwe.
During his speech, which many observers feel was an ideal platform for the
new leader to speak out on the crisis across the border, Zuma merely called
for support of the inclusive government "to achieve economic recovery." He
made no mention of the ongoing abuse of Zimbabwean refugees in South Africa
or how he, as the SADC chair, would help break the current deadlock between
Zimbabwe's political leaders.

Zuma instead focused on domestic issues, such as job losses and the success
of the 2010 soccer World Cup. Considered the poor-man's President, Zuma has
now promised half a million new jobs in 2009 alone to help combat poverty in
South Africa, saying this is his priority. He has also promised that his
government will create 14 million new jobs by 2014, but he did not explain
how this would be made possible.

Zuma also pledged to continue the fight against crime and HIV, while
promising to deliver the 'best World Cup ever' in 2010. To cheers and even a
wave from former President Nelson Mandela, Zuma announced that Madiba's
birthday will be a national holiday.

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500kg ivory intercepted at airport

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

By Tendai Rupapa

Three Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe security officers based at the
Harare Interna-tional Airport allegedly assisted a Chinese man to smuggle
500kg of ivory to his homeland.

The three officers - Edson Hara, Mary Kusuwo and Shawn Shambare - who were
on duty at the airport on January 16 this year, detected the ivory and
instead of arresting the owner, allegedly connived with three soldiers who
were escorting the ivory to let it through.

Hara, Kusuwo and Shambare allegedly connived with Cleopas Chidodo and three
soldiers - Simon Mazonde, Owen Bafana and a third only identified as Zvobgo,
who were all still at large - to facilitate the smuggling of 500kg of ivory
from Zimbabwe to China.

It is said that Hara, whose duty was to operate an X-ray machine for
scanning prohibited items, detected the ivory and instead of arresting the
owner and handing him over to police and Zimbabwe Revenue Authority
officials, notified Kusuwo and Shambare - his supervisors - of his

The three sought the owner of the ivory, who was identified as Wu Ming Quan.

They connived with the three soldiers who brought the ivory to the airport
to let it pass.

The ivory was detected on arrival at Beijing International Airport.

It could not be established yesterday whether the ivory had been sent back
to Harare or was still in China.

Hara, Kusuwo and Shambare, who face charges of criminal abuse of duty,
yesterday appeared before magistrate Ms Jackie Munyonga.

They are denying the allegations.

Ms Munyonga denied them bail and advised them to apply at the High Court,
which has due jurisdiction over such serious cases.

She remanded them in custody to June 18.

Ms Tinashe Kanyemba, who was being assisted by Ms Lethiwe Maphosa, appeared
for the State.

Meanwhile, three National Handling Services employees at the Harare
International Airport are being investigated on suspicion of being involved
in shady deals and smugg- ling.

Sources close to the investigations yesterday said the three women (names
supplied) were assisting people in evading duty payment.

It is suspected that the women recently aided some people in smuggling
ivory, which was stashed in bags, out of the country.

In some of the cases, they were reportedly paid amounts above £50 (about
US$75) and were said to be having flamboyant lifestyles.

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Foreigners Caught With Over 20 Tonnes Of Copper Cables
MASVINGO, June 3 2009 - Eight foreign nationals were on Tuesday arrested by the police at 20 kilometer peg along Masvingo - Beitbridge highway after being found in possession of over 20 tonnes of copper cables.

Image The eight, who are suspected to be four Cameroonians, one Ghanaian, and two South Africans were being assisted by Zimbabweans who could only be identified as the Bachi brothers.

The police in Masvingo have since confirmed the arrest of the eight in connection with the smuggling of copper cables. “We have since arrested them and they are in police custody assisting us with investigations. The Volvo haulage truck which they were using was impounded by the police.

“We were given a tip off that some two brothers of the Bachi family in Masvingo near Nemanwa Growth Point were also assisting those guys to steal copper cables which they were smuggling to South Africa,” said police Provincial Spokesperson Inspector Phibion Nyambo.

The police suspect that the cables were stolen from either Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) or Tel-One. The monetary value of the cables was not yet known by Tuesday.

The syndicate leader who is believed to be a Cameroonian who could only be identified as Engwegan, was staying at Great Zimbabwe’s Ancient City Hotel while his accomplices were staying at Peter’s Lodge about seven Kilometers out of town.

Four other small trucks which were being used in transporting cables from various places in Masvingo and Gokwe to South Africa were impounded.

“These people were using smaller trucks to transport such cables from different places. They were caught with 350 kilogrammes of stay wires which they had taken from  Gokwe,” added Nyambo.

The syndicate will appear in court soon.

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Zimbabwe dispatches: vanishing money

Updated on 03 June 2009

By Channel 4 News

Money in Zimbabwe is safer under the bed than in a bank after zeros are wiped from the value of currency and banks find new ways to charge customers, writes Helen.

Zimbabwe money in a cardboard box

The last time I checked my bank balance I had six trillion, three billion and 400 million dollars in my account. That was in January 2009.

I have not spent or withdrawn any of that money but when I phoned the bank recently they said all the money had gone.

The bank I am talking about is not a fly-by night, dubious, back-door operation but a reputable, international organisation.

The last bank statement I received was almost two years ago in August 2007. Despite paying no interest to their customers for a number of years, the bank said they had stopped sending statements to their clients because they could no longer afford to do so.

This was despite the fact that they charge customers for every service including withdrawing and depositing cash, use of the ATM, depositing out of town cheques and even for scribbling one’s account balance on a scrap of paper at the enquiries desk. Not to mention ledger fees, administration fees and more.

All of these normal banking activities, and abnormal charges, collapsed in March 2007 when Zimbabwe stopped using its own currency and began trading entirely in US dollars. It was inevitable that something dramatic had to happen because Zimbabwe’s money situation had reached ludicrous proportions.

In 2004 a number of banks, investment houses and building societies were closed overnight by Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono. Anyone with their life savings in one of these institutions lost everything.

Next came the removal of three zeroes from the currency in August 2006. A thousand dollars became one dollar at the stroke of a pen and again we all lost as banks raised their minimum balance requirements and then charged customers huge penalties for having insufficient funds in their accounts.

Thousands of accounts were simply closed down by the banks – no warning, no refund of remaining moneys, just gone.

In August 2008 when inflation stood at 231 million per cent, Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono took more digits off the currency but this time it was dramatic: 10 zeros were removed. 1 billion dollars became 10 cents, 1 trillion dollars became 100 dollars.

Within days banks restricted the amount of money people could withdraw from their own accounts. We had to queue for hours to withdraw the daily maximum amount allowed which was enough to buy less than half a loaf of bread.

Each time zeroes were dropped, new bank notes were introduced and the old ones gathered dust in boxes under beds as they became nothing more than worthless scraps of paper.

Range of Zimbabwe dollar notes.

Most of the banks are now facing collapse with staff on 2 day weeks or on extended unpaid leave. Old customers whose millions, billions and trillions disappeared in the zeroes debacle, are suddenly being urged to come back and open new accounts. They are called FCAs (foreign currency accounts) but already the absurd conditions are in play.

Deposit your US dollars, the banks urge, but then you can only draw out US$200 a day. There are no cheque books for US dollars, no ATM withdrawals will be allowed and you will pay US$3 for every withdrawal.

I don’t think so. The money is safer under the bed.

Zimbabwe currency, now worthless, stashed in a house.

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PEACE WATCH of 2nd June 2009 [Human Rights Defenders]


[2nd June 2009]

The Law – Instrument of Peace or Instrument of Repression?

There has been a disturbing trend in Zimbabwe of the law being used to harass and arrest political opponents, human rights activists and human rights defenders.  In the past six years, a conservative estimate of over 5 500 human rights defenders have been picked up and detained, but not one conviction has been secured by the State in these cases [Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights].  And this is still continuingNevertheless, despite harassment and persecution, human rights defenders courageously continue their vital work – vital, because peace, stability and economic prosperity can only prevail in a society that fully respects the rule of law and human rights.

International Awards for Human Rights Defender Beatrice Mtetwa

Beatrice Mtetwa, an intrepid Zimbabwean human rights lawyer, and a leading member of the team fighting for the rights of the political abductees since October last year, recently won two prestigious international awards for her defence of human rights:

·                      the Sydney and Felicia Kentridge Award, which is given annually by the General Council of the Bar of South Africa to a lawyer who has made an outstanding contribution to law in southern Africa [to be presented in July]

·                      the Ludovic-Trarieux International Human Rights Prize for 2009 [to be presented in October in Paris].  This prestigious prize is awarded to a lawyer, regardless of nationality or Bar, who throughout his or her career has illustrated, by his or her activity or suffering, the defence of human rights, the promotion of defence rights, the supremacy of law and the struggle against racism and intolerance in any form.  It is awarded jointly by the Human Rights Institutes established by the Bars of Bordeaux, Brussels and Paris, the European Bar Human Rights Institute and the Institute for the Defence of Human Rights of the Italian Bar.  Beatrice is the fourteenth recipient of the award.  She joins a distinguished company – the first recipient of the prize was Nelson Mandela in 1985.

Court Throws out Charge against Human Rights Lawyer Muchadehama

Alec Muchadehama, another leading member of the legal team defending the political abductees, was arrested on allegations of attempting to defeat or obstruct the administration of justice.  What Mr Muchadehama did was to get three of the abductees [Chris Dhlamini, Gandhi Mudzingwa and Andrisson Manyere] released from custody on the basis that the State had failed to lodge its appeal against Justice Hungwe’s order granting them bail within the 7-day period allowed by the law.  He spent the night of Thursday 14th May in a cell at Braeside police station before being released on bail the next day, when he was remanded until 28th May.  On 28th May Mr Muchadehama’s lawyers challenged the charge as baseless and applied for him to be removed from remand, i.e., for the charge to be dismissed.  That application was granted by the magistrate yesterday; she ruled that on the facts placed before the court by the State there was no reasonable suspicion that Mr Muchadehama had committed any crime.  Unless the State resuscitates the prosecution, he no longer faces trial.

Caught up in the same case, was judge's clerk Constance Gambara, who was arrested for abuse of public office arising out of her processing of paperwork for the release of Mr Muchadehama’s clients.  She spent several days in Chikurubi Prison [with her nine-month old child], after the State initially indicated its intention to appeal against her bail.  She was eventually released on 14th May when the State withdrew its appeal, and was remanded to 12th June

Lawyers’ Protest March in Harare

On 19th May a large number of lawyers joined in a lunch-hour march in Harare to protest against the arrest a few days earlier of Alec Muchadehama.  Riot police were present but did not act to stop the march.  The march started at the High Court and ended outside the Government office complex housing the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs.  In the absence of both the Minister and the Deputy Minister a petition was left at the Minister’s office.  [Electronic version of petition available on request.]

Human Rights Cases to be Heard in Supreme Court

Thursday 4th June – Jenni Williams [WOZA] Case

Women of Zimbabwe Arise [WOZA] have spent six years protesting the deteriorating health and education services in the country.  Their ethos is non-violence and their protests include a yearly Valentine’s day march during which they hand out red roses as symbols of peace and love.  Many have been beaten, picked up from their homes and threatened. They have been constantly arrested and detained, sometimes for weeks in insufferable conditions in police or prison cells.  There have been thousands of arrests but only eight cases have gone on to trial – and all eight ended in withdrawal of charges or acquittal.  On 4th June the Supreme Court will hear the case in which WOZA leader Jenni Williams challenges the constitutionality of the Criminal Law Code provision under which so many WOZA members have been arrested.   The provision criminalises participation in gatherings with "intent to disturb the peace, order or security of the public".  The court will be asked to invalidate the provision for its inconsistency with the constitutional sections protecting freedom of expression, assembly and association and movement.

Thursday 25th June – Jestina Mukoko and other abductees seek redress

The Supreme Court will hear the case brought by Jestina Mukoko and other political abductees in which they complain that their constitutional rights were infringed by their abduction, lengthy unlawful detention, treatment during detention [including torture] and the State’s failure to take appropriate action against those responsible while at the same time vigorously pursuing criminal charges against the abductees.  The court will be asked to stop the prosecution of the abductees until the case against their kidnappers has been fully investigated and prosecutions mounted against those responsible.  As a constitutional case, this will be heard by five judges.  The complainants’ legal team will be led by Advocate Jeremy Gauntlett SC of the South African bar.  Deputy Attorney-General Prince Machaya will head the State’s team. 

High Court Trial Dates for Political Abductees

[For details of the charges laid by the State see Peace Watch of 11th May.]

8th JuneFirst “recruiters” trial – State vs Concillia Chinanzvavana, Fidelis Chiramba, Violet Mupfuranhewe and Collen Mutemagau

29th June“Bombers” trial – State vs Kisimusi Dhlamini, Gandhi Mudzingwa, Chinoto Zulu, Andrison Manyere, Zacharia Nkomo, Regis Mujeyi and Mapfumo Garutsa

20th JulySecond “recruiters” trial – State vs Emmanuel Chinanzvavana, Pieta Kaseke, Jestina Mukoko, Audrey Zimbudzana and Brodrick Takawira

Recent “Political” Trials ending in Acquittals

Minister Eric Matinenga – acquitted “without a stain on his character” at the end of his trial on a charge of inciting public violence

Deputy Minister Tichaona Mudzingwa – acquitted at the end of the State case in his trial for attempting to cause disaffection among Army personnel after the March 2008 elections

Pearson Mungofa MP – also acquitted of attempting to cause disaffection among Army personnel after the March elections

Buhera public violence trial – 11 MDC-T members acquitted at the end of the State case of charges of public violence allegedly committed during the funeral of Mrs Susan Tsvangirai.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights have pointed to the Matinenga and Buhera acquittals as proving that the police continue to effect arbitrary arrests without first carrying out investigations and establishing a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed.  Other criminal proceedings against MDC-T politicians have also ended in the State case collapsing, after causing serious disruption to the lives of the individuals accused – such as Tendai Biti’s weeks in detention on treason allegations last year [case never brought to trial] and before that the treason trial of the present Prime Minister [ending in his acquittal].

WOZA and Human Rights Lawyer Tried and Acquitted

On 10th February WOZA members were active in central Harare, handing out flowers to passers-by and spreading their message of love.  Police intervened and started apprehending them.  Two Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights lawyers, Rose Hanzi and Tawanda Zhuwarara, who happened to be in the vicinity on their way back to their office, were also arrested.  The trial of the two lawyers and eight WOZA members began on 19th May in the magistrates court in Harare.  All pleaded not guilty to charges of taking part in an unlawful demonstration on 10th February.  When the trial resumed on 28th May all of them were acquitted at the close of the State case.  The magistrate concluded that the police had shown ignorance of the law and had wrongfully arrested the accused persons, and that the State evidence had utterly failed to establish the offence charged.  The magistrate also said he did not understand why the police had arrested women who were spreading a message of love. 

Journalists Covering Case of Abductees Now Awaiting Trial

Two senior journalists with the Zimbabwe Independent, Editor Vincent Kahiya and News Editor Constantine Chimakure, will stand trial in the magistrates court on 16th June on charges of undermining public confidence in law enforcement agents. They published a story naming certain CIO and police officers as being implicated in the abductions of the political abductees.  That story was based on the contents of the official trial documents served by the State on the political abductees [see Peace Watch of 6th May]. 

Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.

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