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Late July it is...


    May 15 2008 at 07:44PM


Harare - The presidential run-off between President Robert Mugabe and
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai will be held by July 31, election
officials said - but the opposition insisted Thursday that it should be next

An official government notice issued late Wednesday extended the
deadline for holding the run-off to 90 days - beyond the legally required 21
days -after the release of election results, The Herald newspaper, a
government mouthpiece, reported Thursday.

Tendai Biti, secretary-general for Tsvangirai's Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), called that decision "irresponsible."

"This country cannot afford 90 days" of more violence and instability
and deteriorating economic conditions, he said Thursday.

The electoral commission notice said Justice Minister Patrick
Chinamasa is empowered under election laws to extend the original 21-day
period for a runoff to 90 days. The original 21 days would end May 24. The
opposition has called for a runoff on May 23.

Tsvangirai claims he won the March 29 presidential race outright,
beating Mugabe and two other candidates. But official results released May
2, more than a month after the poll, show he did not win enough votes to
avoid a second round against Mugabe.

The opposition and local and international human rights groups have
accused Mugabe's party of using delays to mount a campaign of violence and
intimidation against opposition supporters.

Biti, speaking to reporters in Johannesburg, South Africa, said
violence was intensifying and now affecting "some of the key pillars of our
structure." His party said in a statement Thursday that 33 of its supporters
and activists had been killed in postelection violence.

In a statement Thursday, Amnesty International Zimbabwe researcher
Simeon Mawanza expressed particular concern about people in remote rural

"The situation for these victims of violence is dire," Mawanza said.
"Humanitarian organizations and local non-governmental organizations are
being targeted for helping victims, who are being blocked from receiving
medical assistance."

Biti called on the Southern African Development Community to hold an
emergency summit to address the opposition's call for a runoff by May 23 and
for the regional organization to guarantee security, fairness and freedom of
the vote.

He noted recent attacks on Zimbabweans and other foreigners in South
Africa, saying they had shown Zimbabwe's turmoil was a regional issue.

Zimbabweans appear to be the target of recent xenophobic attacks in
and around Johannesburg, which has seen the greatest influx of Zimbabweans
as the situation in their country declines.

South Africa, the region's economic powerhouse, has drawn immigrants
from elsewhere on the continent for decades. The influx has been accompanied
by sporadic violence against foreigners, and the number of such attacks has
risen as South Africans grow frustrated by unemployment and lack of

"The Zimbabwe crisis has to be resolved so that the
every slum in South Africa can go back to Zimbabwe where they can start
their new lives," Biti said.

He said the opposition remained determined to participate in the
runoff. He also said he and Tsvangirai, who have been out of the country
since shortly after the March 29 election, would soon be returning to

Biti noted that this weekend, his party planned a campaign rally and a
caucus of members elected to parliament, indicating Tsvangirai would be in
Zimbabwe for those events. He said he would return some time after

Tsvangirai's party won control of parliament in legislative elections
held alongside the presidential vote. It was the first time since
independence that Mugabe's party lost control of parliament.

The US state department reiterated its call for a free and fair vote.
"It will be up to us, as well as, in particular, friends and neighbors of
Zimbabwe in the region, to keep the pressure on the Zimbabwean electoral
commission and officials in Zimbabwe to create the atmosphere that will
allow for a free and fair runoff," spokesman Sean McCormack said in

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's central bank unveiled a new half-billion
Zimbabwean dollar bank note Thursday.

The new bill and three others for 5-billion, 25-billion and 50-billion
Zimbabwe dollars, called "special agro" checks intended for purchases and
sales involved in farm production, were going into circulation next Tuesday,
the central bank said.

Earlier this month, the bank floated the local currency exchange rate
through commercial banks, where a single US dollar sold Wednesday for around
240-million Zimbabwe dollars, slightly higher than the dominant black market
rate for hard currency.

That change saw prices of goods soar, with unofficial estimates
putting annual inflation at more than 700 000 percent.

Official inflation was given in February at 165 000 percent, and no
further official figures have been released.

"Prices are now doubling every week instead of every month, and it is
hard to see how we can survive to the end of June or how an election will be
feasible at all if things continue to deteriorate at this pace," Harare
economist John Robertson said.

The central bank said the "agro" checks, similar in appearance to the
nation's existing range of bills, will be accepted by retailers and banks up
to the end of the year.

The previous highest denomination bill was for 250-million Zimbabwe
dollars (US$1), enough to buy about two loaves of bread. - Sapa-AP

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Zim opposition furious at run-off delay

Mail and Guardian

Fanuel Jongwe | Harare, Zimbabwe

15 May 2008 02:20

      Zimbabwe's opposition reacted furiously on Thursday to the
prospect of a run-off poll being delayed until the end of July, accusing
authorities of flouting the law to help President Robert Mugabe cling to

      As the government confirmed the second round of a presidential
election would not take place next week as scheduled, the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) feared the delay would be used to intensify a
campaign of violence and intimidation after Mugabe's first-round defeat.

      Under the terms of the electoral law, the run-off between MDC
leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Mugabe should take place within three weeks of
the announcement of results from the first round, which came on May 2.

      However, according to an extraordinary government gazette due to
be published on Thursday but read out to Agence France-Presse by a source
close to the printers, the period has been extended from 21 days to 90 days.

      The move means the run-off can now take place as late as July 31
rather than by the scheduled May 23 deadline.

      The MDC's deputy secretary for legal affairs, Jessie Majome,
said the extension was a ploy to perpetuate Mugabe's 28-year stay in power.

      "This is rigging taking place and it's blatantly unlawful,"
Majome said.

      "All these are tricks being used by Zanu-PF to hold on to power
and continue what they are doing in their offices, and whatever they are
doing they are up to no good.

      "Zanu-PF will use the 90 days to maim and kill and this
extension is an extension of the suffering of the people of Zimbabwe."

      The MDC says at least 32 of its supporters have been killed by
Mugabe followers since the first round took place on March 29.

      'There is no legal remedy'
      While the elections themselves passed off peacefully, there has
since been a steady rise in the levels of violence, which the United Nations
warned this week could reach crisis proportions.

      Much of the violence has been in the countryside, a traditional
stronghold for Mugabe but where he did worse than expected on March 29, and
the MDC fears voters will be too scared to cast their ballot in the event of
a lengthy delay.

       Tsvangirai, who beat Mugabe in the first round but fell just
short of an overall majority, said last weekend any election held after May
23 would be illegitimate.

      However, one of Mugabe's senior lieutenants said that the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) -- whose leadership is appointed by the
president -- was acting within its rights by pushing back the run-off.

      "It is lawful and the ZEC has the authority to extend any period
of an election in terms of the law and not what is being claimed by the
MDC," Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa was
quoted as saying by the state-run Herald newspaper.

      Lovemore Madhuku, a leading constitutional lawyer, said the
delay had no legal basis but the opposition could do little about it.

      "It's unlawful, it's very unlawful ... but there is no legal
remedy," he said.

      "If you take them to court, the court will likely take 90 days
to determine the matter."

       The commission took nearly five weeks to announce the results of
the presidential election, held on the same day as parliamentary polls in
which the MDC wrested control of the House of Assembly from the ruling
Zanu-PF for the first time.

      The 84-year-old Mugabe, Africa's oldest leader, has ruled the
former British colony since independence in 1980.

      Seen as a post-colonial success story in the first
decade-and-a-half after independence, Zimbabwe's economy has been in
freefall since Mugabe embarked on a land-reform programme, which saw
thousands of white-owned farms expropriated.

      Eighty percent of the workforce is unemployed while the official
inflation rate is 165 000% -- the highest in the world.

      The extent of the chaos was underlined on Thursday with the
introduction of a new Z$500-million banknote in a bid to tackle cash
shortages. -- AFP

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MDC demands regional summit on Zimbabwe; says 40 killed leader arrested

Monsters and Critics

May 15, 2008, 16:42 GMT

Johannesburg/Harare - Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) on Thursday called for an urgent summit of the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) to hash out conditions for a run-off
presidential election.

Accusing the 14-nation southern African grouping of failing to provide
leadership in Zimbabwe's post-election 'madness' MDC Secretary-General
Tendai Biti said a summit would allow SADC to show that African institutions
can solve African problems.

Biti was speaking in Johannesburg a day after the state-controlled Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission, by way of a government gazette, announced a more than
two-month extension of the period within which an election run-off must be

The run-off was called for after no candidate took more than 50 per cent of
the vote in the first round of voting for president on March 29. MDC leader
Morgan Tsvangirai, 56, took 47.9 per cent to 84-year-old President Robert
Mugabe's 43.2 per cent.

Since the election youth militia and soldiers loyal to Mugabe have gone on
the rampage in rural areas, attacking scores of opposition supporters for
'voting wrongly.' Isolated incidents of MDC violence have also been

The MDC said Thursday 40 of its members had been killed in the violence,
including MDC youth activist Better Chokururama, whom the party said was
abducted on the road north-east of Harare and whose body was discovered
bearing a gunshot and knife wounds.

Scores of MDC supporters, trade unionists and journalists have been arrested
in a crackdown on dissent since the polls, nut usually released after a few

Raymond Majongwe, secretary-general of the Progressive Teachers' Union of
Zimbabwe, was detained Thursday. His organization had published a list of
post-election attacks on its members.

The MDC accuses Mugabe, who is trying to clinch a sixth term in office, of
brutalizing its supporters to try to boost his chances of re-election.

Under Zimbabwe's election laws a run-off should be held within three weeks
of the announcement of the first-round results on May 2, that is to say by
May 23.

ZEC on Wednesday extended that period to 90 days (July 31).

Biti blasted the postponement as 'unconstitutional and illegitimate.'

'Extending the run-off period means further extending Mugabe's illegitimacy
for a further four months. In short, ZEC's decision cements the coup against
the constitution,' he said.

Earlier, SADC executive secretary Tomasz Salomao expressed confidence in the
ability of ZEC to organize the run-off.

'If there were free and fair elections on March 29, there's a good chance
that the run-off will also be free and fair,' Salomao said in an interview
in Mozambique's capital, Maputo.

The MDC has accused ZEC of being biased in favour of Mugabe over its
month-plus delay in announcing the results of the first round.

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Zimbabwe opposition warns of 'rivers of dead people'

Ottawa Citizen

Nelson Banya, Reuters
Published: Thursday, May 15, 2008
HARARE - Zimbabwe's main opposition party on Thursday rejected a delay in a
run-off election which could unseat President Robert Mugabe, and called for
an urgent meeting of countries in the region to avoid "rivers of dead

Zimbabwe's electoral commission said on Wednesday the presidential run-off
could be delayed until the end of July -- four months after the disputed
March 29 elections. The date would be announced on Friday, state television

Authorities banned a rally on Sunday at which opposition Movement for
Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai was to open his campaign for the
run-off, the MDC said.

A statement from the MDC said the delay in the run-off "demonstrated beyond
reasonable doubt that the regime in Harare does not intend to surrender
power and will do anything legally and extra-legally to hold onto the same."
"We would like to express our great outrage at that disregard of Zimbabwe's
laws and the people's will," MDC Secretary General Tendai Biti told
reporters in South Africa.

Biti said his party insisted on a run-off by May 23, in line with laws which
say the vote must be held within 21 days of the election results, which were
announced on May 2.

But he stopped short of saying Tsvangirai would only participate if the
timeline was upheld.

Zimbabwean police prohibited the MDC's rally on Sunday in Zimbabwe's second
city Bulawayo at which Tsvangirai planned to launch his run-off campaign.
Tsvangirai left Zimbabwe over a month ago and has been touring the region to
garner support.

"They wrote to us saying 'you can't proceed with the rally'. They can't give
a reason. Our lawyers are seeking an order to stop police from interfering
with our rally," MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said.

The United States condemned the ban on the rally.

"It is consistent with their past behavior to try to thwart the activities
of the opposition parties and it does not . . . portend well for proper
conditions for a free and fair electoral run," said State Department
spokesman Sean McCormack.

The MDC accuses the government of intimidating and attacking its supporters
in an effort to rig the second round vote.

The government denies the charges and accuses the MDC of instigating the
violence, in which the opposition says 40 of its supporters have been

Biti said the SADC group of southern African nations "needs to act now
before there are rivers of dead people."

Human rights group Amnesty International said violence had reached crisis
levels in Zimbabwe.

"We are particularly worried about people living in more remote rural areas,
where violence is taking place away from the spotlight," Amnesty said.

Police arrested the secretary-general of the anti-government teachers' union
outside the High Court, civic activists said.

Raymond Majongwe of the Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe was held as
he attended a bail hearing of labor leaders arrested earlier this month,
activists said.

Official results showed that Tsvangirai beat Mugabe in the election, but not
by enough votes to avoid a run-off.

In the parliamentary vote, ZANU-PF lost its majority to the opposition for
the first time since independence from Britain in 1980. The new parliament
has not yet convened.

Regional states fear that turmoil and instability in Zimbabwe could hurt
them too. An economic meltdown in Zimbabwe has triggered inflation of
165,000 percent, 80 percent unemployment, chronic food and fuel shortages
and a flood of refugees to neighboring states.

SADC, which will monitor the polls, said this week the political environment
in Zimbabwe was not yet suited for a secure and fair run-off.

Biti said the MDC was open to what he called a government of "national
healing," but ruled out following Kenya's example for power-sharing, which
involved keeping the incumbent as president and making the opposition leader
prime minister.

With files from Paul Simao.

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Amnesty International: Violence reaches crisis levels; youths forcibly recruited

Date: 15 May 2008

Amnesty International today warned that the violence in Zimbabwe is reaching
crisis levels, and revealed that ‘war veterans’ are forcibly recruiting
local youths to attack perceived supporters of the opposition MDC (Movement
for Democratic Change).

‘Those who refuse to commit violence are assaulted and accused of being MDC
supporters by the ‘war veterans,’ said Simeon Mawanza, Amnesty International’s
Zimbabwe researcher.

Eyewitnesses told Amnesty International that large numbers of ZANU-PF
supporters and ‘war veterans’ are assaulting perceived MDC supporters in
Mberengwa district in Midlands province and Mazowe district in Mashonaland

In Mberengwa, a large gang of ZANU-PF supporters -- most of them youths
forcibly recruited by ‘war veterans’ -- are going around attacking homes of
people suspected of voting for the MDC in the 29 March 2008 elections. A
similar gang was reported by an eyewitness in the Chiweshe area in Mazowe

Police appear to be unwilling to stop the violence, only acting to arrest
MDC supporters suspected of carrying out attacks on perceived ZANU-PF

‘We are particularly worried about people living in more remote rural areas,
where violence is taking place away from the spotlight,’ said Mawanza. ‘The
situation for these victims of violence is dire. Humanitarian organisations
and local non-governmental organisations are being targeted for helping
victims, who are being blocked from receiving medical assistance.’

Victims of attacks in rural areas are walking long distances to escape the
violence and increasingly seeking refuge in towns and cities.

Some schools in rural areas have been forced to close as teachers perceived
to be supporters of the MDC flee from the state-sponsored violence.

Amnesty International fears for the safety of Tonderai Ndira, a supporter of
the MDC who was reportedly abducted from his home in Mabvuku, a low income
suburb of Harare on 14 May in the early hours of the morning. Reports
indicate that nine armed men in plain clothes assaulted him before driving
him away while he was still naked in a white Toyota truck. He has not been
seen since.

Tonderai Ndira is one of the 32 MDC members who were tortured by state
agents while in detention in 2007. He was detained for more than two months
in Harare Central Remand Prison before the charges against him were dropped.

Amnesty International has also received a report of the alleged abduction of
Sinoia Pfebve (79) and his wife Serena Pfebve (76) on 13 May by people
believed to be ‘war veterans’ in the Mukumbura area in Mt. Darwin district,
Mashonaland Central province. They are believed to have been taken to
Nyakatondo Primary School where the abductors are camped. The Pfebve family
have political connections to the MDC: the couple’s son was an MDC candidate
in the parliamentary election in 2000 and a by election in 2001.

At least 22 people have been killed while over 900 have been treated for
injuries sustained from the violence since the elections took place. Several
hundreds have been hospitalised. Hundreds of families have been forced to
flee their homes after they have been burnt by gangs of ‘war veterans’ and
ZANU-PF youths.

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) reports that its observers have
been attacked in Mt. Darwin in Mashonaland Central province. They had their
homes vandalised and property looted. Six were hospitalised after sustaining
serious injuries. Several families were forced to take shelter in
surrounding hills and bushes.

Amnesty International today called on the Zimbabwean government to:

- Publicly denounce all acts of violence by ZANU-PF supporters, ‘war
veterans’ and soldiers, as well as by any other party, and work with other
political parties to end political violence immediately.

- Ensure that police arrest all suspected perpetrators of human rights
abuses, including those who are instigating the violence. Police should
operate in a non-partisan manner in executing their duties.

- Ensure that access to humanitarian assistance, including medical care,
shelter and food supplies, is not restricted.

- Immediately invite international human rights monitors to investigate the
current human rights violations.

- Immediately set up an independent and impartial body to investigate all
acts of political violence. The investigation’s findings should be made
public. Suspected perpetrators should be brought to justice in proceedings
that meet international standards of fairness and victims should be awarded
full reparations in accordance with international standards.

For more information please call Amnesty International's press office in
London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566 or email:

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Another trade unionist arrested in Zimbabwe

Mail and Guardian

Harare, Zimbabwe

15 May 2008 06:00

      A Zimbabwe teachers' union leader was detained by police on
Thursday after his organisation publicised a list of attacks on its members
since March's disputed elections, his lawyer said.

      Raymond Majongwe, secretary general of the Progressive Teachers'
Union of Zimbabwe, was picked up at the Harare High Court where he was
attending a case of fellow union leaders arrested last week and was now
being held at the central police station, said his lawyer Alec Muchadehama.

      "He has not been charged but the police have recorded a
statement from him asking him to explain how his union obtained the
information published in the press about teachers who are being victimised."

      There was no immediate comment from police on his arrest but the
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) said it was believed to be linked
to announcements posted in the country's only independent Sunday newspaper,
the Standard, chronicling the numbers of teachers who have been victims of
political violence.

      "We are not sure on what charges he is being [held] ... but
suspect he is to be questioned on press adverts he placed in papers of
teachers who are being beaten and harassed at their workplaces during the
current wave of political violence," the ZCTU said in a statement.

      According to the two main teachers' unions, schoolteachers in
some parts of the country have been targeted by ruling party militias
accusing them of contributing to the ruling Zanu-PF party's failure to
garner enough votes to retain power in the March 29 elections.

      Zanu-PF lost control of Parliament at the elections while
veteran leader Robert Mugabe also lost the first round of a simultaneous
presidential ballot and now faces a run-off against opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai. - AFP

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Trade unionists in detention at risk of torture

Posted: 15 May 2008

Amnesty International supporters are urging authorities in Zimbabwe to
immediately release two leading trade unionists who have been detained
solely for peacefully exercising their basic human rights.

The President and Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions (ZCTU) - Lovemore Matombo and Wellington Chibebe respectively - are
believed to be in grave danger of torture after they were arrested on 8 May.

The two men handed themselves in to police after officers searched for
them at their homes.  They were brought before a magistrate on 12 May and
charged with 'communicating falsehoods prejudicial to the state', in
connection with speeches they made during May Day celebrations in Harare on
1 May. The magistrate refused them bail and remanded them in custody until
23 May.

They are currently held at Harare Central Remand Prison.  They are
believed to be at risk of torture while in custody.  They were severely
tortured when they were previously in police custody in September 2006.

Amnesty International considers these men to be prisoners of
conscience as they have been detained solely for exercising their rights to
freedom of expression, association and assembly.

Amnesty International's Trade Union Manager, Shane Enright, said

'These arrests are yet another example of the flagrant persecution of
rights activists and trade unionists across Zimbabwe at the moment.'

The arrests of Lovemore Matombo and Wellington Chibebe are part of a
wider crackdown on human rights defenders, trade unionists, lawyers,
journalists, election observers and opposition activists in the wake of the
parliamentary and presidential elections of 29 March.

Shane Enright continued:

'These two men have been arrested for exercising their basic human
rights. This is absolutely unacceptable and they should be released
immediately. We will work tirelessly, alongside the global trade union
networks to achieve this end.'

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Judge Defers ZCTU Leaders' Bail Case Saying It's Too Difficult

SW Radio Africa (London)

15 May 2008
Posted to the web 15 May 2008

Tererai Karimakwenda

Justice Ben Hlatshwayo of the High Court judge has deferred until Monday the
bail ruling on the case involving the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions

Their lawyer Alex Muchadehama said Secretary General Wellington Chibebe and
President Lovemore Matombo are being accused of communicating falsehoods,
when they allegedly told workers during May Day celebrations this year that
two teachers had been murdered at Kondo School in Guruve. Both deny that
they ever said this.

Muchadehama said even if they had done so, it is not a crime. The judge said
the case was "too complicated" and he needed more time.

The defense lawyer said he had filed an application on Monday this week for
the court to treat this case with urgency, because Secretary General Chibebe
was due to write some exams this week. This was ignored.

The two leaders will now spend another weekend in police custody. It appears
that the court is playing the same delay game that has been used to keep
other activists and opposition officials in police custody for longer
periods that is necessary. This is usually done when there is no evidence to
support the state's case. The time served becomes the penalty.

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Assaults And Re-Education By Army Not Getting Support for ZPF

SW Radio Africa (London)

15 May 2008
Posted to the web 15 May 2008

Tererai Karimakwenda

Reports from around the country indicate that the army is at the forefront
of the violence against innocent civilians and opposition officials.

Not only have army officers been instructed to vote for Robert Mugabe in the
runoff election, they are also being used to intimidate the electorate at
huge gatherings that they call "re-education" rallies. Each army violence
unit has been assigned a group of over 30 youth militia, who are now
reported to be uniformed and are being paid for their brutal deeds. But
voters around the country say no amount of violence or intimidation will
ever make them vote for ZANU-PF.

Farmer and activist Gerry Whitehead has been monitoring incidents in the
Chiredzi and Zaka areas. He reported that army officers are gathering huge
groups of farm workers in order to conduct these 're-education' rallies. At
the gatherings a few chosen individuals known to be opposition supporters or
officials, are beaten severely in front of the locals as an example of what
could happen to them.

Whitehead said a 31-year old opposition activist in Zaka was recently beaten
so badly that he had many broken bones and had to be hospitalised. Others
that were beaten at the same rally are living with serious injuries because
they cannot afford to pay for transportation or medical treatment.

The outspoken activist also described how there has been no production in
the sugar-growing lowveld area. Most of the farm workers are unemployed and
have relocated to the nearest towns, or even further. The shops are empty
and hunger is widespread.

Whitehead confirmed that thee rallies are not producing the desired effect
the ruling party would like and he says the violence is definitely turning
people even further away from supporting the ruling party. He said: "I think
ZANU-PF has made a serious error. The people are more determined now. You
can take our cattle. You can burn our houses, but you can't take our hearts.
We will not vote for you, ever. That is the message I'm getting."

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Political Killings And Abductions of MDC Activists Escalate

SW Radio Africa (London)

15 May 2008
Posted to the web 15 May 2008

Tichaona Sibanda

The brutal murder of MDC activist Beta Chokururama in Murehwa on Sunday and
the abduction of Tonderai Ndira from Mabvuku on Wednesday highlight the
country's spiralling crisis of political killings and kidnappings.

Chokururama was abducted with three other activists' 10km after Juru growth
point on his way to Ngwerume village in Murehwa, to say goodbye to his
mother. The group had planned to flee the country the following day and seek
refuge in South Africa.

The four activists were driving in a car when it was sandwiched by two twin
cabs carrying about eight men, believed to be state agents. They were forced
to stop and in a desperate bid, locked themselves in the vehicle.

Wise Mayengeza, an MDC activist who decided at the last minute not to travel
with the group to Murehwa, said the state agents smashed the windscreen and
windows and pulled them out of the car.

'They were blindfolded and taken to different places. One of them who
managed to escape under the cover of darkness, was taken to a torture camp.
He only managed to get to Harare Tuesday where he explained what had
happened,' Mayengeza said.

Chokururama's body was discovered not too far away from where they were
abducted. He had a gunshot and four deep stab wounds to his back. The other
two activists are still missing and believed dead.

'We understand there are two bodies that fit their descriptions at a
hospital mortuary in Murehwa. We're making plans to travel there and
investigate if the bodies are that of our friends,' Mayengeza said.

Shockingly Chokururama was abducted and tortured and left for dead, three
weeks ago. State agents told him then that he was number 17 on their
hit-list of influential activists from Harare and Mashonaland East province.
At the time of his murder he was still trying to recover from this serious

He had also spent four months in prison during the 2007 government crackdown
on the MDC.

On Wednesday heavily armed and masked men abducted the MDC's security
secretary for Harare province, Tonderai Ndira, from his Mabvuku home.

Ndira, who has been arrested 35 times and badly beaten on countless
occasions, was abducted from his home in Chizhanje, Mabvuku by nine armed
men. The group included a policeman based in Goromonzi identified by an

He was assaulted, then driven away naked in a white Toyota single cab truck,
Registration number 772-224T. Ndira was number 34 on the hit list, according
to Mayengeza. His colleagues and family said they are very concerned about
his safety.

The MDC has said the attacks on it's activists and supporters are mostly
carried out by known state agents, militias and soldiers, who shoot or stab
the victims before escaping in cars. No one has been arrested or prosecuted
for the over 33 deaths reported so far.

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Matabeleland violence update


14 MAY 2008

All police officers and their families should vote for Robert Mugabe in the
election for the Presidency since Tsvangirai was sure to sack them when he
got into office. This was said at a meeting in Gwanda last Friday (9 May)
where Senior Assistant Commissioner Muderedzwa, the officer commanding
Matabeleland South Province was addressing senior officers. The audience
included Officers Commanding Gwanda, Beitbridge and Bulilima-Mangwe
Districts, all superintendents in the province, officers in charge of
stations, sections and their deputies
During the packed meeting which the informant termed a ‘rally’, Muderedzwa,
a war veteran, read extensively from the so-called Biti document which has
already been proven to be false. In the document, it is claimed, when MDC
took over, all senior officers would be fired from the force. It was
therefore incumbent on them and their families to vote for Mugabe in order
to keep their jobs. He revealed that this time around all police details
would vote through the postal ballot system and would cast their vote in
front Assistant Commissioner Mlilo and Chief Superintendant Ndlovu (CID) to
make sure they voted correctly.
A team comprising Superintendants Sigauke from Plumtree and Abraham (from
transport) would go round stations ‘educating’ people how and where to vote.
A similar exercise headed by Sup Mukombero would cover police officers’
wives as well.
It is reported that the mood among police officers is that of defiance, with
some saying that they would not be intimidated by the move to force them to
vote for a particular candidate. They said that they would vote whoever they
chose even if it was in front of their superiors. Mureredzwa was accompanied
by Assistant Commissioner s Benge and Mlilo, both war veterans

Five women and six men arrived in Zvishavane today after fleeing from
Chingechuru Village in Ward 33 under Chief Mudavanhu where war veterans have
laid siege on MDC supporters. The people responsible for the violence are
war veterans Tavarisa Banga, Jinara Banda, Collen Mangena and youths
identified as Mikload Nkomo, Andreas Nkomo. Shopowners Inzwirashe Manhiri
and Margarate Ngwenya are hiding in Zvishavane.
Nkosinathi Mangena, a ZIMCET Peace educator in Zvishavane was taken in by
CIOs and interrogated for 8 hours on last Friday. They wanted to know about
the activities of Zimcet, Crisis in Zimbabwe and ZESN. He now fears for his

Noel Muguti, The MDC parliamentary candidate for Gokwe Nembudziya fled his
home this morning after rampant assaults on opposition party members in the

A man who was assaulted by Zanu PF youths at Manama is admitted at Gwanda
Hospital with serious head injuries.

13 MAY 2008

There was drama this morning at TM supermarket, Fife Street as till
operators were forced to vacate their work stations to join a huge crowd of
shoppers who were queuing for sugar outside the supermarket. Distribution of
sugar was supervised by suspected war veterans. These war veterans demanded
that shoppers produce proof of residence before they could be allowed to
purchase the scarce commodity. Not surprisingly, the only shoppers who
managed to get sugar were police officers and their spouses.

ZANU PF militia and CIOs are said to have left Hwange this morning to back
up their colleagues in Binga who were last week chased away from Binga by a
group of organised villagers. This group of militia had been originally sent
to Binga to root out and deal with any opposition supporters. The youth
militia and CIOs from Hwange have been sent to discipline those Binga
villagers who were involved in last week’s clashes.

Police and locals in Gokwe clashed yesterday after members of the police
force beat up some members of the public. The locals retaliated by burning
down a ZANU PF base which had been set up in the area. Meanwhile, police
from Gweru were deployed this morning to assist their colleagues in Gokwe.
The situation is tense in Gokwe as residents have said that they shall fight
any form of intimidation and violence to protect themselves.

Lupane Agenda organised a consultative meeting on Sunday. The meeting was
addressed by Bulawayo Agenda Executive Director, Gorden Moyo. Mr. Moyo later
visited victims of violence in the Shabulana area. The meeting was attended
by over 200 villagers. As a result of the meeting, ZANU PF officials,
together with CIO officers in Lupane are reported to be planning a raid of
the Lupane Agenda offices to look for the organisation’s membership
register, t-shirts and Freeplay radios.

War veterans went on a rampage over the weekend in Silozwe ward, Matobo,
confiscating Freeplay radios from members of Matobo Agenda and
They accused the villagers of listening to anti-government propaganda. Six
of the radios were confiscated from Matobo Agenda committee members. The war
vets, who have camped in Silozwe, threatened the members with unspecified
action for distributing radios to the community. Meanwhile, the Silozwe
MDC-Tsvangirai ward councillor, Ethel Nyamkuta, is in hiding as she fears
that her life is in danger.

Seven people, (two teachers and five locals), were yesterday severely beaten
up with iron bars at Chief Bvute area in Mberengwa North. The seven were
accused of being MDC supporters. They have since received medical attention
at a local hospital.

There are reports of increased political violence in Nkayi. Cleopas Zololo,
an activist, and his father, both from Gonye village which is 18km from
Nkayi Business Centre, have been seriously assaulted by war vets and ZANU PF
Cleopas was stabbed in the chest while his father has a broken arm. The two
have since been admitted to hospital in Nkayi.

Information has been received that ZANU PF officials are after Plumtree
Chairperson Edwin Ncube. He is being accused of having helped the MDC win in
the March 29 election. He is also being accused of campaigning for Morgan
Tsvangirai in the run-off Presidential election. A sympathetic police
officer advised Edwin to be careful in his movements as there were plans to
abduct him.

CIO officers ,war veterans and soldiers yesterday visited the Zimbabwe
National Water Authority (ZINWA) in Victoria Falls at 9am and asked to
address the employees. The director of ZINWA who happens to be a war
veteran, refused and told them to seek clearance from ZINWA head office in
Bulawayo. After a brief altercation at the ZINWA offices, the group then
proceeded to Busy Island, a curio market, where they addressed vendors and
shoppers. They told the vendors that they were not making any consultations
but wanted to tell them that the people of Victoria Falls had not voted
properly on March 29. They further threatened that if people voted for
Morgan Tsvangirai in the run-off, there would be bloodshed in the country.

12 may 2008

Bulawayo Agenda team tours areas affected by political violence
A team from Bulawayo Agenda led by Executive Director Godern Moyo, visited
its regional offices in Victoria Falls, Hwange and Lupane to meet with the
respective communities, leaders and civic society leaders and operatives.
The subject of the tour was to hold consultations following the March 29
harmonised polls and the impending presidential run-off. The aim was to
assess the political terrain and also to obtain views from the residents of
each respective area how the prevailing environment was impacting on their
day to day lives. In Lupane, the steam had an opportunity to talk to victims
of the current violent campaign being meted on citizens by war veterans and
youth militia. The tour ended with a public meeting at attended by over 200


Members of the public confirmed that military bases have been set up in
and Mashala, (Hwange) and in Monde, Jambezi, Chief Shana area, Chibondo,
Chikandakubi, Chidobe and Chisumba, (Victoria Falls). War veterans and
youths have been threatening residents with death should the opposition
emerge the winner in the run-off. Some individuals, purportedly war
veterans, have been going around the towns compiling lists of names of
members in each household.
No indication has been given as to what the lists will be used for.

The towns of Hwange and Victoria Falls are both run by local councils.
of the delay that has been taken in swearing in councillors, local service
delivery has been affected. In the meetings held, it was clear that the
political impasse was impacting negatively on service delivery and the day
to day functions of local authorities. Since March 29, elected councillors
have not yet been officially recognised. This means that councillors are
unable to perform their duties. The challenge with such a situation is that
residents feel that local authority activities should continue as usual and
are expecting the councillors to attend to them. The local authority
employees are also equally disoriented as all programmes have halted and
they have no idea who should be giving them direction so that work continues
as usual.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has lost credibility with ordinary
because of its failure to announce results on time and for the failure to
set a definite date for the run-off.

While strides have been made in the larger towns and cities to provide
for victims of political violence, the voters in the smaller towns fell they
are easy targets as they do not know who to approach should anything happen
to them.

Residents of Victoria Falls who depend heavily on the tourism sector to make
living are failing to make ends meet as the industry has been greatly
affected by the uncertain political environment. One of the largest hotels
in the town confirmed that most hotels were operating at below 10% of their
normal capacity.

Organisations providing food aid to the surrounding rural communities had
stopped from going out into the villages after being accused of being fronts
for the opposition MDC or civic society that was pushing for regime change.

On the whole, the people of Hwange and Victoria Falls were prepared to go
vote again in the run-off and no matter how badly they were beaten, they
would still vote for the candidate of their choice.


Members of the public who attended the public meeting in Lupane on Sunday
were resolute in their condemnation of the actions of ZANU PF. They said
that their lives were deteriorating by the day and that ZANU PF was not
doing anything to change this. The people of Lupane said that for this
reason, they would work very hard to see that the reign of this party comes
to an end. The district of Lupane has the background of the early eighties
atrocities and the surge of terror that the ruling party has undertaken will
not change the minds of the people of Lupane on which president to vote for.

Members of the audience stated that although the opposition vote had been
divided in the March 29 elections, this time they would make sure that they
all rallied behind one candidate.

The people of Lupane are deeply concerned about the credibility of the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and feel that the run-off election should be
heavily supervised by independent international observers if the results are
going to be acceptable. It also seemed that ZEC was acting to the beck and
call of a particular political party by deliberately depriving the
electorate of information.

The traditional leadership in Lupane was greatly criticised for its
involvement and alignment with the ruling party. The people felt that while
traditional leaders were entitled to supporting political parties of their
choice and exercising their right to vote as citizens of this country, their
participation in political party campaigns should be strongly condemned.

The people in Lupane are greatly concerned by the effect that the unstable
political situation has had on the education of their children. Zenzele
Secondary, Makhovula Primary, Ndamuleni Primary, Sibombo Primary, Ekuphakemi
Secondary and Mzola 55 Primary schools in Lupane had not opened because
either no teachers at all on opening day or because less than five teachers
had turned up. The reason given for the teachers’ absence was that they felt
that their lives were in danger after they had been accused of not having
performed their duties well as polling officers in the March 2008 elections.

Members of the audience also raised concerns over the displacement of their
friends and family members who were voters. They said these voters would not
be able to vote in the run-off as they were hiding in constituencies where
they could not vote. Members of the public were concerned that this would
affect the outcome of the run-off presidential election. Another challenge
that the audience raised was the placement of polling officers, mostly
teachers in constituencies far away to reduce their chances of casting their

The use of food as a campaign tool would not buy ZANU PF any votes. Granted,
the people of Lupane were facing hunger but they shall not vote for a party
that remembers to give them food when it wants to be elected into power.

The team is due to visit Gwanda, Matopo and Gweru on a similar mission to
consult the local communities and get a feel of the situation on the ground.
The success of the tour was indicated by the enthusiasm with which the team
was received and the change in the residents from that of fear to that of
being resolute and confident in their approach to the issues at hand.

Bulawayo Agenda
Phone/Fax: +263-(0)9-88821

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ZESN observer abducted in Mudzi

The Zimbabwean

Thursday, 15 May 2008 10:36

Alert -  A Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) observer was
allegedly abducted on Tuesday the 13th of May 2008 from Kotwa in Mudzi by
known ZANU PF supporters and is being held hostage at Muzezuru Primary
School at a ZANU PF base near the dam that is behind the school.  It has
been confirmed that the observer is in a critical condition after being
severely tortured by suspected ZANU PF youth militia at the alleged
instigation of the MP elect for Mudzi North, Newten Kachepa, a headman in
the area Chingwena and Maneto known ZANU PF activists.  ZESN has also been
reliably informed that one police inspector operating from Nyamapanda Police
Post is part of the gang fanning politically motivated violence against
suspected MDC supporters and ZESN election observers.
ZESN can further confirm that 8 of its observers in the area have had
their accreditation cards and ZESN t-shirts confiscated by the same headman
Chingwena for allegedly conniving with polling officials to ensure that ZANU
PF lost the election on the 29th of March 2008.
Given the above facts it is disturbing that the law enforcement agents
remain inactive and such inaction reinforces the assumption that
perpetrators of violence and human rights abuses in Mudzi North are enjoying
police support and protection.  Assertions by Police Internal Security
Intelligent (PISI) officers at Nyamapanda that there is nothing they can do
because the country is at war is ludicrous and unacceptable because the
question that begs for an answer is whose war and against who?
ZESN demands the immediate disbanding of the ZANU PF torture base at
Muzezuru Primary School and others around the country.  ZESN further demands
the rescue of all victims held and subsequent conclusive investigation of
all leaders implicated in the violation of human rights at the base
including the MP elect, Newten Kachepa.  In the absence of such immediate
action, ZESN reiterates that it will hold the Zimbabwe Republic Police, ZANU
PF, the MP elect for Mudzi North and all individuals that have been
implicated in the abduction responsible for anything that happens to the
The setting up of military style bases throughout the country is
illegal and a contravention of international law especially when such bases
are used for human rights abuses.
In a related event the ZESN vehicle that had been confiscated by
suspected ZANU PF supporters on Monday 11 May was recovered with assistance
of ZESN lawyers and the police from Nyamapanda.

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Zimbabwe opposition says police ban run-off rally


Thu 15 May 2008, 14:32 GMT

HARARE (Reuters) - Police in Zimbabwe have banned an opposition rally on
Sunday at which Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan
Tsvangirai was going to kick off his campaign for a presidential runoff, the
MDC said on Thursday.

"They wrote to us saying 'you can't proceed with the rally'. They can't give
a reason. Our lawyers are seeking an order to stop police from interfering
with our rally," MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said.

"The law requires us to notify the police and not to seek permission. We can
only conclude that they are scared of the MDC. They can't trust us to open
our mouth to explain the problems of this country to the people," he said.

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SADC Won't Use Force Over Crisis, Says Mwanawasa

The Times of Zambia (Ndola)

15 May 2008
Posted to the web 15 May 2008


SOUTHERN African Development Community (SADC) chairman, Levy Mwanawasa has
said the regional grouping will not use force to solve the problems being
faced by Zimbabwe.

President Mwanawasa said SADC would not use force as that would only affect
the ordinary Zimbabweans.

Addressing journalists at State House in Lusaka yesterday, Dr Mwanawasa said
the SADC would also not expel Zimbabwe from the grouping.

He said SADC would not fall in the same trap as that of the Commonwealth
when it expelled Zimbabwe from the organisation.

He said ultimately it was Britain which lost out when Zimbabwe was expelled
from the Commonwealth as it could not now effectively participate in the
affairs of that country.

"We are not going to fall in the same trap. Zimbabwe will continue to be a
member and a child of SADC. When a child makes a mistake, you cannot disown
him. We are not going to use force or arms because the people who will
suffer are ordinary Zimbabweans," he said.

Dr Mwanawasa said SADC had taken a very critical initiative to sort out the
impasse that had befallen Zimbabwe after it went to the polls in March.

He said the greatest initiative was the extra-ordinary summit, which was
held in Lusaka in April to discuss the way forward after the electoral
impasse in Zimbabwe.

He said a communiqué was issued on how SADC wanted the results to be
announced and what was to be done in case of a run-off.

Dr Mwanawasa said the grouping was persuading Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) president, Morgan Tsvangirai to contest the run-off.

Dr Mwanawasa said Mr Tsvangirai was for the idea of the run-off, but
insisted that the elections be conducted in an environment where there was
the rule of law.

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A 500mln bearer cheque (aka ‘bank note’) added to Gono’s portfolio of success


(Click on the image to enlarge). A new so-called bank note - which is actually just another of Gideon Gono’s funny-money bearer-cheques (printed with expiry dates) - has hit the streets. It has not yet been added to our display of Gideon Gono’s portfolio of past and current cheques, but I’m sure our readers will understand that it is almost as hard to keep up with him and his printing as it is to keep up with inflation!

The photograph certainly makes one think, doesn’t it?!

It’s hard to believe that the smallest note in this pile - $5 - was issued on 1st August 2006 (you can just make out the date if you enlarge the image).

1st August 2006 is a very important date: this marked the beginning of Gono’s Operation Sunrise where he knocked three zeros off our currency.

Operation Sunrise was accompanied by a big Reserve Bank Of Zimbabwe advertising campaign as well, heralding the new future of three less zeros which was supposedly about restoring value. Here is one advert to remind you (click on it to enlarge and you can see the ‘restore value’ slogan in the top right).

Advertising campaign

There are three things to point out here: first, the $5 note in our picture had actually been worth $5,000 in July 2006. Value was not restored to the currency, all that happened was three zeros were dropped. The advertising campaign set out to con the public that the real value of our money had somehow returned miraculously overnight; that Gideon Gono was a successful Reserve Bank Governor who had helped to heal the economy.

So the REAL figure associated with the new $500,000,000 cheque issued today is in fact $500,000,000,000.

Your eyes are not deceiving you - eleven zeros - $500,000,000,000.

The second thing to note is the price of bread. A new $500,000,000 cheque will buy two loaves of bread; but according to the government’s own campaign, one loaf cost a mere $85 in August 2006.

Translate that to the proper terms with all the zeros in place: a loaf that cost $85,000 in 2006, now costs $250,000,000,000.

The third thing to note is that THIS - the mis-management of the economy - is the biggest reason why Zimbabweans want Mugabe and Zanu PF to go. Wouldn’t you vote your government out if they did this to YOUR economy?

This via Reuters

Zimbabwe’s central bank introduced 500 million Zimbabwe dollar notes worth just $2 on Thursday in the latest sign of spiralling hyperinflation, only a week after issuing the 250 million bill.

The new highest denomination note would buy about two loaves of bread.

The central bank also introduced special agricultural cheques in 5 billion, 25 billion and 50 billion Zimbabwe dollar denominations to facilitate payments to farmers during the current selling season.

Farmers normally have to carry huge stacks of bank notes after selling their produce to state agencies, while consumers often carry large piles of cash with them for simple daily transactions.

6 Responses to “A 500mln bearer cheque (aka ‘bank note’) added to Gono’s portfolio of success”
  1. Ants
    May 15th, 2008 19:20

    At the time we left our farm in 2001 my wife and I drew a monthly ’salary’ - living money - from the business of just Z$6000 between us.  That is Z$6 of the new imporved money as at 1st Aug 2006!

    And I don’t think that would be enough for a crumb of bread now, let alone a slice.

    But don’t worry - Mbeki worships Mugabe for these rampant successes.  In the same way that Zim money has no meaning any more, I think the English language no longer has words that adequately describe these two cretins.

  2. True Grit
    May 15th, 2008 19:37

    New bank notes in a bid to tackle cash shortages = Zeros Ventured, Zero gained.
    Therefore: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    Gideon Gono quote: “The country is standing on the edge of a cliff which threatens to irreversibly take us downhill if we do not boldly move forward with speed to address most of our shortcomings.” Yes, well, er, how about:
    Old habits die hard.

  3. Mike
    May 15th, 2008 20:09

    My first job netted me $83.62c a month. That’s $0.08362 in today’s money or just over 8 cents. If a loaf of bread is 800g then I could buy 2,67 x 10^-7 grammes of bread i.e.
    0,000 000 27g. Much less than one crumb.

    Why do people choose to use this currency in place of, say, batteries or matches or cigarettes. Just about anything can be used as a unit of exchange as long as it is numerous and uniform and is perceived to be of value to someone somewhere. That’s why prison economies (and some refugee camps in the Congo apparently) work with cigarettes as a unit of exchange, while much of West Africa and other parts of the world functioned fine on cowrie shells for centuries (which had to be fetched from the Indian Ocean and had value as jewellery).

    Seriously, someone could define a cut-off date (say, the expiry date of the current notes) as the date beyond which all payments move to some new medium of exchange. It’s a consensus thing, rather like saying who the government is. Perhaps even an on-line medium based on the systems people use to send telephone airtime and fuel home, with some physical token as equivalent. That would create a virtual Zimbabwean economy well beyond the borders of the country, and linked to where the wealth generation now is.

  4. Dave
    May 15th, 2008 20:28

    The banknotes must cost more to print than their value. i don’t understand the logic. My impression is that the economy is running on barter now plus the input of Forex from the diaspora.

  5. scotchcart
    May 15th, 2008 21:15


    Check out this link. If you have a slow connection, then these are the four steps:
    Type in Zimbabwe
    Click somewhere on the applet to “get it to focus”
    Squint and look top right and select “past year”
    Squint and look bottom right and chose “time”
    Wait a little - it is doing a big search
    And you will see the press coverage for Zimbabwe as a bar chart. Mmmm, which is going up faster - the currency or the press coverage? Well maybe the currency wins but the press coverage ain’t bad.

  6. scotchcart
    May 15th, 2008 21:16

    And you want the link!

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A huge risk that has to be taken

May 15th 2008
From The Economist print edition

Africa's leaders should give Morgan Tsvangirai a chance to meet the people's

HORRIBLE scenes of government-sponsored violence are unfolding across
Zimbabwe, as President Robert Mugabe and his band of thugs and crooks set
about terrorising the people into reversing their decision, plainly
expressed at the ballot box at the end of March, to chuck the old tyrant out
of power. So the electoral odds are once again being tilted against Morgan
Tsvangirai, Mr Mugabe's challenger. Nevertheless, the opposition leader is
right to risk competing in a run-off that should not have been necessary.

It would have been understandable if Mr Tsvangirai, who officially won the
first round of the presidential election on March 29th, and who very
probably won it outright with more than 50% of votes cast, had boycotted a
run-off. Mr Mugabe is bent on brutally swinging the vote his way next time
round. Even by the massaged figures of the electoral commission, Mr
Tsvangirai beat Mr Mugabe by nearly five percentage points in the first
bout, when he was adjudged to have got 48% of the votes. The 9% collected by
the third- and fourth-placed contestants in the first round would almost all
go to Mr Tsvangirai in a fair run-off. However, if he had opted out of the
contest in protest against previous vote fiddling, he would have let Mr
Mugabe win by default. So, for all the likely shortcomings of the next poll,
including a possible disgraceful further delay for several months, he felt
bound to risk running once more. He still has a chance, albeit perhaps
diminishing, of winning.

Even Mbeki could yet do the decent thing
Much will depend on the rest of Africa, most of whose leaders, in particular
South Africa's Thabo Mbeki, have so far performed dismally out of a
misconceived solidarity with one of their continent's nastiest dictators.
The main African body meant to ensure a fair poll is the Southern African
Development Community (SADC), a club of 14 countries (including Zimbabwe),
some of whose members rarely have proper polls of their own. During
Zimbabwe's March election it ludicrously prejudged the outcome as fair and
shrank from telling Mr Mugabe's team to abide by a set of principles that
SADC had itself laid down some years ago. For instance, according to SADC's
principles, all sides should have fair access to the state media. In fact,
Zimbabwe's only daily newspapers are government mouthpieces, and state
television and radio ceaselessly vilify Mr Tsvangirai, a former trade
unionist, as a puppet of the West. This does not seem to upset Mr Mbeki at

With Mr Tsvangirai's decision to run one more time, SADC and Africa's
leaders have a chance to redeem themselves. For a start, SADC should bump up
its monitors' numbers and try a lot harder than before to scour the
countryside, where would-be opposition voters and polling-station agents run
an ever-increasing risk of being beaten up or even killed.

Mr Mbeki still seems loth to let SADC play a more robust pro-democracy role
in Zimbabwe. But several slightly braver SADC leaders, including the club's
current chairman, Zambia's Levy Mwanawasa, and Tanzania's Jakaya Kikwete,
who chairs the bigger African Union, have had enough of Mr Mugabe; they
should speak out even more loudly. It would be harder for Mr Mugabe to
continue his intimidation if the UN and the European Union were also able to
send election teams, but he has said no. His African counterparts have
failed to persuade him otherwise.

Instead, their preferred tactic has been to eschew the idea of a fair poll
in favour of trying to arrange a government of national unity, led for a
transitional period by Mr Mugabe or someone other than Mr Tsvangirai. This
would provide for Mr Mugabe's gracious exit, perhaps letting him choose a
successor, probably as villainous as himself. That is too shoddy a
compromise. Only if a unity government were led by the voters' true choice,
Mr Tsvangirai, might it offer a way out of the impasse. Mr Tsvangirai says
he would let Mr Mugabe retire in peace—a remarkably generous offer in the
circumstances. The least Africa's leaders can do, if they are to be taken
seriously, is to help Zimbabweans elect their own leader. Then the
rebuilding, with generous help from the West, can begin.

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The opposition goes for broke

May 15th 2008 | JOHANNESBURG
From The Economist print edition

Zimbabwe's opposition leader heads home to risk fighting another election

AFTER a month on safari abroad, trying to befriend leaders all over Africa,
Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the embattled opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), has decided to go home and risk contesting a
presidential election run-off. As The Economist went to press, he was poised
to fly back, having already missed at least one deadline to do so.

No one knows whether Mr Tsvangirai will be able, on his return, to move
freely around the country. No one knows, more crucially, whether people will
be able to vote freely or whether their votes will be honestly counted. Yet,
though independent observers assume Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, and
his people will do their worst on all such fronts, giving him a big built-in
advantage in the contest, there is still a chance that a groundswell of
opposition—and the courage and desperation of MDC voters—may give Mr
Tsvangirai the edge, as it did in the first round. But few are confident he
will win.

The electoral commission, which took over a month to announce the results of
the vote on March 29th, has yet to set a date for the run-off. But it now
says it may be held within 90 days after the date of the long-delayed
announcement, ie, by the end of July. That, Mr Mugabe's backers presumably
hope, should give them time to beat the opposition into submission.

Mr Tsvangirai, who says he won over 50% outright in the first round, accused
the ruling ZANU-PF of rigging the official results, which gave him 47.9%,
against 43.2% to Mr Mugabe. State-sponsored violence against suspected
opposition supporters has been steadily increasing, so it will be harder for
the MDC to contest a second round. The authorities have not excluded laying
charges against Mr Tsvangirai, who hopes to address a rally in the
Zimbabwean capital, Harare, on his return.

Repression is increasing. The editor of a prominent independent newspaper, a
well-known human-rights lawyer and several trade-union leaders were arrested
last week, as well as MDC officials. Foreign diplomats touring hospitals to
investigate the violence were interrogated at a roadblock outside Harare. A
few incidents of retaliation by opposition supporters have been reported,
but pro-government militias have carried out most of the well-orchestrated
violence, dishing out severe beatings and burning down houses.

The MDC says at least 32 of its supporters have been killed since March
29th. A doctors' association has documented over 900 cases of severe
beatings-up by pro-government militias or members of the security forces
since the election; it says the real number of victims, including women,
children and the old, is probably much higher, as only a fraction of them
reach hospitals, which are running out of basic supplies. Doctors and nurses
in rural hospitals are being intimidated, so many victims cannot get
treatment. Thousands of people accused of backing the MDC, including
teachers and polling officials, have fled the countryside. They may not be
willing or able to return to their original ward to vote in a second round,
which would skew the results in favour of Mr Mugabe.

African leaders have called for a free, fair and peaceful run-off. The
opposition wants more international observers and peacekeepers to come for
the poll. Mr Tsvangirai wants the Southern African Development Community
(SADC), an influential club of 14 countries, at least to double its number
of monitors from the 120-odd who watched the first round and to send
peacekeepers. But the government has said Western or UN monitors would not
be let in, unless sanctions (in essence, a travel ban and asset freeze on
some 130 leading figures of the regime), which are repeatedly blamed for the
economic mess, are lifted. African observers who monitored the first poll
are to be let in again—and their numbers may even go up.

Be nice to a sweet old man
However, rather than give Mr Tsvangirai a chance of ousting Mr Mugabe at the
polls, most regional leaders sound keener to arrange a negotiated settlement
to produce a government of national unity, probably with Mr Mugabe at its
head. That would be followed by a two-year transition and a gracious
handover, perhaps to a compromise candidate within ZANU-PF.

South Africa's president, Thabo Mbeki, who remains the chief mediator for
SADC, was in Harare last week, and sent a team including retired generals to
investigate the reports of violence. It is unclear how much clout Mr Mugabe
has over the Joint Operations Command (JOC), a secretive and influential
clutch of Zimbabwe's security chiefs now chaired by Emmerson Mnangagwa, a
ruling ZANU-PF hardliner widely touted as the likeliest successor to Mr
Mugabe from within the establishment. The JOC is suspected of planning Mr
Mugabe's fightback after the shock of his poor showing a few days after the
March election and may be organising the violence.

Much still depends on the performance of SADC's observers and the attitude
of its leaders. While Mr Mbeki is still doggedly loth to squeeze Mr Mugabe
out, SADC's current chairman, Levy Mwanawasa of Zambia, and the chairman of
the African Union (AU), Tanzania's Jakaya Kikwete, have become colder to the
Zimbabwean leader, and may heed the suggestion that more monitors from other
countries in Africa under the AU's aegis as well as from SADC countries be
brought in. The head of South Africa's ruling ANC, Jacob Zuma, probably
wants Mr Mugabe out. And Mr Mugabe's Chinese friends, foiled by southern
African dockers who recently stopped a shipload of arms from reaching him,
may be keeping their distance too. He is by no means certain of victory yet.

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Kunonga: the ex-bishop who scorns the law

Politics, greed, corruption and deception appear to be the hallmarks of about seven unfrocked clerics who were once members of the Anglican Diocese of Harare, a Diocese forming part of the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA).

Nolbert Kunonga, and his small band, none of whom hold licences to preach any longer and none of whom are recognized as members of the Diocese of Harare (the Diocese) or as Anglicans. This is because Kunonga and his clerical followers, some of whom are relatives of his, rebelled against the Anglican Church and broke away from the Anglican Communion worldwide thereby breaking their vows of canonical obedience to the laws of the Church. This is a serious offence in the eyes of the Christian Church and is called schism.

Kunonga, from the time he became Bishop in about 2001, showed his contempt for the laws of the Diocese in many ways including dismissing many clergymen who merely wished to follow the ecclesiastical laws and spread the gospel of Christ in their churches. In their place, Kunonga recruited persons from his family and other acquaintances. He was not particularly concerned whether or not they had had theological training. He obtained an undertaking from them that they would do what he ordered them to do and this was the requirement for their "ordination" as priests. It is this group that scorns the laws of the Church and refuses to obey secular court orders; this is the group which supported actively or through the inaction of the Police and others, has resorted to threats, violence and the desperate measures of beating up parishioners, of locking out innocent parishioners from the Diocesan Cathedral and its precincts.

In this regard Kunonga and his men caused the harmless caretaker to be beaten up and thrown out of his flat at the Cathedral. Now it is reported that Kunonga and his wife are living in that flat whilst his band of paid and unpaid henchmen threaten and assault members of the public who wish to enter the Cathedral or step anywhere on the Cathedral grounds.
It is stressed that just a few are behaving in this unseemly, unacceptable and ungodly manner. There is hardly any support for Kunonga and his unpriestly behaviour throughout the Diocese. Only a handful of persons, mainly spouses and close relatives, attending the meetings he and his defrocked clerics hold in churches.

By contrast, Church services held by the Diocese of Harare (CPCA) under the leadership of Bishop Sebastian Bakare who succeeded Kunonga, are crowded with great numbers of parishioners. It has been estimated that about 98% of the parishioners throughout the Diocese have remained loyal to the Diocese within the CPCA and therefore loyal to its only Bishop, namely Bishop Bakare.

This is not surprising. Christian churchgoers attend Church for spiritual uplifting and to worship Jesus Christ. They seek to become better Christians. They expect their priest to be filled with faith and love, to be a good, wise, kind, patient, compassionate, just, righteous and holy person. They expect him to have a peaceful, humble, honest disposition, to be principled in conduct and worship and observe the laws; a person who always has a conscience void of offence towards God and towards man. (Acts 24: 16)

Christian churchgoers have been shocked by the increasing unspiritual, unclerical behaviour of Kunonga and his group. Christians and others do not revere or respect people calling themselves priests who threaten, sanction assaults, unlawful acts, refuse to recognise laws and the rights of others, are unjust, have no or very little compassion, understanding or love for their flock and do not focus primarily on the principles of Christ in a spiritual and righteous manner. Such persons, if linked to any church, are shunned and Christianity is brought into disrepute. The teaching of God's word must not be put into disrepute (Titus 2: 5)

Kunonga equipped with new 4x4 motor vehicles has forsaken the Church and is apparently pursuing party politics which is his passion. Whatever influence gets the better of a man becomes his master (2 Peter 2: 19). In the pulpit and at rallies while he was a Bishop he made party political statements which were unbecoming a clergyman. Now he is canvassing for a particular party, something which would have been strongly frowned upon while he was a bishop. Now that he is no longer a bishop or priest in the church he does not in any way represent the Anglican Church which is a non-party political, religious, Christian organisation.
The governing party in Zimbabwe has acknowledged by its acceptance of his political behaviour, that Kunonga is no longer a priest, a bishop, an Anglican and is not involved within the Diocese. The President of our country reportedly said, "When the Church leaders start being political we regard them as political creatures and we are vicious in that area". No steps have been taken by the Government to restrain Kunonga from his political outpourings. The reason must be that it recognizes that Kunonga is indeed a political creature but is no longer a church leader. If Kunonga had still been a church leader his political behaviour would cause him to be regarded as a political creature attracting the repercussions stated by our President.

Christian folk throughout the Diocese are aware that Kunonga has left the Diocese and is no longer their bishop. They know that Bishop Bakare has taken over as bishop of the Diocese at the request of the Bishops of the CPCA. In normal circumstances this means simply that one man has left the Diocese and another man, Bishop Bakare has taken over control of it in every respect. But this is not a simple matter. Kunonga has defied the decrees of the CPCA and has also paid no attention to, and disregarded High Court orders, maintaining that he is entitled to all the property and other assets of the Diocese. His reasoning is not understood. If a managing director of an international company with offices and other property in Zimbabwe decides to sever his ties with that company and to break away from it, he cannot say "I do not want to be associated any longer with your company and am handing in my notice. But when I leave I will still hold and control the offices and property in Zimbabwe". Just as this managing director has no legal basis on which to claim ownership, so Kunonga has no legal basis to claim ownership, control for any interest in property and assets of an organisation he has withdrawn from.

The situation should have been resolved many months ago, but has not because the secular courts have still to give judgment on who is the rightful owner of the Diocesan property and assets. This has made parishioners understandably confused and bewildered. The following points, hopefully, throw some light on the subject:-

1.   On the 21st September 2007 Kunonga wrote to the Archbishop of the CPCA expressing his personal attitude and intention and the desire to withdraw the Diocese from the CPCA.

2.   The laws of the CPCA do not allow such a withdrawal and the Diocese still remains within the CPCA.

3.   Bishop Kunonga's personal intention to leave the CPCA with immediate effect was accepted by the CPCA. Since the 21st September 2007 he has no longer been the Bishop of the Diocese or a licensed priest, or an ordinary member of the Diocese and he is no longer an Anglican.

4.   Those few priests who supported Kunonga and refused to be bound by the laws of the church have had their licences withdrawn and they are no longer employed by the Diocese. They are not recognized as Anglicans.

5.   Kunonga has been forbidden by the CPCA and should be prevented by all concerned from controlling or having any authority whatsoever over or representing the Diocese of Harare or using the funds and assets of the Diocese. This is a resolution and order of the highest Synod unanimously approved by all the Bishops in Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is recognized and accepted worldwide as binding on everyone having dealings with the Diocese.

6.   In the same resolution the bishops unanimously appointed Bishop Sebastian Bakare as interim bishop of the Diocese of Harare (CPCA). It is therefore Bishop Bakare who is the leader of the Diocese, not Kunonga. It is Bishop Bakare who is vested with the power to control and have authority over and represent the Diocese, not Kunonga.
These resolutions have the effect of an ecclesiastical edict or decree; that is, they are official public orders and commands made by the Bishops which have the force of law. They are binding upon Kunonga and the entire Anglican Church. As he is defying these, the secular courts should, with respect, as a matter of urgency order Kunonga and his small group of supporters to remove themselves immediately or have them removed from all CPCA property in the Diocese. Furthermore, the secular courts should rule that Bishop Bakare is the Bishop of the Diocese, not Kunonga.
7.   The defrocked Kunonga seems to believe that he is the owner of all Diocesan property and trusts and accounts and can do what he pleases for his benefit and that of his defrocked priests and others. The reality is he represents no Anglican Diocese whatsoever and is a lone voice seeking to keep from others what is not his. The legal position is that all property, moveable and immoveable and all monies in and due to the Diocese are beneficially held by the Diocese of Harare (CPCA) but are owned by the CPCA. This is laid down in the Articles of the Constitution and the Canons and other laws of the CPCA. These laws apply to all Dioceses including the Diocese of Harare which still forms an integral part of the CPCA. The Diocese under Bishop Bakare continues to beneficially hold the assets of the CPCA, not Kunonga.

Yet the High Courts of Zimbabwe last year refused to consider an urgent application by the CPCA to prevent Kunonga from using its assets and spending its funds. Instead the Judge decided that the case was not urgent and must run its ordinary course through the courts. The Judge may have felt that he had insufficient evidence on the papers at the time before him to rule that the matter was urgent and to restrain Kunonga from unlawfully spending money of the Diocese and representing the Diocese. But the predictable result of this approach by the Judge was that Kunonga and his cohorts were at liberty to do, and have been doing, what they wanted with assets which did not belong to them. This case has still not been set down to be heard by the courts.
A document entitled "Bishops of the Church of The Province Of Central Africa Statement On The Diocese Of Harare Issue" published after an Extraordinary Synod of Bishops held on 20th December 2007, sets out the decrees mentioned above and is signed by all the Bishops in the CPCA. This document and the evidence of the Bishops constitute irrefutable evidence of the legal position of the Diocese and the CPCA. No doubt, the courts will now take cognizance of this so that the matter of the assets and leadership of the Diocese of Harare may be put to rest urgently.
Bob Stumbles
Chancellor of the Diocese of Harare
Deputy Chancellor of the Church of the Province of Central Africa

16th April 2008

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Zimbabwe Victim Support Network



A farm labourer sits on the remains of his demolished hut in Umguzaan Farm in Nyamandhlovu, north of Bulawayo

















In order to achieve the foregoing objectives, Zimbabwe Victim Support Network will:-

  1. Advocate and fund medical expenses of politically motivated violence victims in Zimbabwe;
  2. Campaign and fund raise for the welfare of both internally and externally displaced political victims of the Zimbabwean community.
  3. encourage and promote consistent and high quality standards in the delivery of service to victims throughout Zimbabwe;
  4. Offer/advocate for provision of shelter support services to the internally displaced victims of political violence.
  5. provide opportunities for the exchange of experience, information and resources between victim service organisations in Zimbabwe;
  6. Make legal representations on behalf of victims of political violence where perpetrators of the heinous crimes are known or documented proof beyond reasonable doubt do exit to warranty prosecution.
  7. provide information and advice to individuals and groups planning to organise support services for victims of crime throughout Zimbabwe where such services do not exist;
  8. publish and distribute reports, leaflets and other literature relating to the support services required by victims of political violence at a national and international level;
  9. promote public information, research and good support practice aimed at increasing the awareness of and advancing knowledge about the issues and effects of political motivated violence on the victim, their families and the community;  and
  10. Organise conferences on issues relating to victims of political violence for members and other interested parties and to liaise with organisations, professions and interest groups whose contribution could be beneficial to political victim.

Membership of Zimbabwe Victim Support Network shall be open to:-

  1. All Zimbabweans of 16 years and above both in Zimbabwe and in the Diaspora irrespective of political affiliation.
  2. Any member willing and sympathetic to Zimbabwean Community Welfare
  3. any organisation providing services and support to victims of political violence in Zimbabwe, or involved in related policy and program developments;
  4. members shall support the purpose and objectives of Zimbabwe Victim Support Network and subscribe to its Constitution;
  5. membership applications shall be approved by the Executive of Zimbabwe Victim Support Network; and
  6. No member or delegation to Zimbabwe Victim Support Network shall engage in party political activities whilst engaged in business of the Association.



Doing nothing is not an option, join the Network. International Field Officers (Chairs) sought in USA, Australia, South Africa, Asia, UK and Europe. Become a member today.

Contact Interim Chairman: Elliot Pfebve


Mobile: +447876212446



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Flushing out the Wounded Buffalo

When hunting a dangerous enemy, especially one that has been wounded but
still has the capacity to wreak carnage if we are not careful, vigilance is
the key to success. Zanu PF has been mortally wounded, no one expects them
to last much longer but they have gone into the Jesse and apart from the
sounds of an angry bellow or two and trees being shaken by a massive head
with horns, we have seen little of the quarry since our engagement on the
29th March.

We are working hard to flush the devil out of the Jesse ­ we are beating the
surrounding bush. The SADC countries are all doing their bit except for
Mbeki who still wants us to negotiate a deal. Time is running out, the
inflation rate is bleeding the beast and if he does not move soon he will
not have the strength to do so and will die where he is in the bush. The key
is to guess ­ you can never know with certainty, where and when he will come
out with a rush and what we will have to do to ensure we get in a clean

Anyone who has hunted one of the big five in Africa will know exactly what I
am talking about. That sense of fear and anticipation; the adrenalin is
pumping and although its hot you do not notice the weather and all is
concentrated on being ready for that final contest. You have checked your
weapon, made sure your fingers know where the spare rounds are and that they
are all in good working order. Your guide is behind you with his own weapon
and you have confidence that if you do not finish off the beast, he will.

Nearly 7 weeks have gone by since this old buffalo was shot. He has had
plenty of time to work out an exit strategy and to watch his hunter through
beady eyes and allow his own internal hatred and anger build. His campaign
is made up of what he has known to work in the past ­ brute force, terrible
terror and fear and deceit and deception before that final fateful rush
where he hopes his horns can get close enough to kill.

So Zanu PF has deployed their brown shirts ­ in all sorts of uniforms and
with all sorts of weapons. They have targeted all those whom they thought
were in any way responsible for that fatal shot on the 29th. They have
beaten and raped, burnt and destroyed. Many have died and thousands are
wounded and hurt, tens of thousands have fled to safety. This old adversary
is now preparing to leave the Jesse ­ leave at an unexpected point and time
and in areas where it has the best hope of a killing thrust. This is clear
from Chinamasa¹s statement yesterday that Zanu is looking forward to the run
off and that it will be held within 90 days of the 2nd May, even though this
is illegal.

They are preparing ZEC for a final effort to rig the electoral process
hoping that by driving out of the rural areas all those who supported the
MDC and by instilling fear in the rest and then falsifying the ballot that
this will be enough to turn the tide. How close the old buffalo is to
completing this exit strategy is anyone¹s guess but the postal ballot is
under way in Police camps and this is a clear sign that we must be ready.

My own guess is that they might well try to ambush us ­ and give us a week¹s
notice of the run off. We had intelligence to that effect some weeks ago. In
which case we will have a week to campaign and organise to supervise the run
off in 9200 polling stations. An impossible task even if it is extended by a
week or two, it is still a very tough assignment.

We are advised by all and sundry that we should not participate until the
playing field is more level and the violence in the Jesse is halted and
conditions returned to normal. The hunt in Africa is not like that and
perhaps this is what makes it such a life changing experience. Hunter and
the hunted have to anticipate and react ­ fast and under deadly conditions.
This contest is no different, only the weapons are different.

On Sunday we plan a celebration rally in Bulawayo and we hope the President
will be there to celebrate our victory in March with the people who have
walked this long road together with him. I think sometimes we lose sight of
the fact that on the 29th March the people of Zimbabwe voted, almost for the
first time, on a national basis. In 1980 we were cleanly divided
Ndebele/Shona, north/south. In March we elected a Shona speaking Zimbabwean
as President and he was supported in the southwest in the same way that he
was in the north of the country.

We will celebrate our victory and look forward to the future under a new
government, look forward to a new beginning for this broken and mangled
country. We will remember all those who died in our long road to freedom ­
the men and women who died in the independence struggle, the people murdered
in Gukurahundi and those displaced and made homeless in Murambatsvina. The
many hundred who have died during the democratic struggle up to 2008.

We will celebrate our victory ­ made sweeter because it is a democratic one
and not one wrought over the innocent bodies of the people in some sort of
armed struggle, as has been the case in so many other African States.

Yesterday the Police informed us that they would not allow any campaigning ­
they said we could not hold the rally as planned. We are taking this to
Court today and are planning to go ahead anyway. What more stupidity can
these people devise next ­ weeks or even days away from an election and the
main contender is not allowed to campaign? No press access, no freedom of
association, widespread political violence against opponents, and attacks on
activists, arbitrary arrests and detention all translate into elections,
Zanu PF style.

Here we are 7 weeks after the elections and still not one town council has
taken office, not one MP has been sworn in, no Senator has taken his seat
and we continue to be governed, not by the victors but by the defeated that
remain in office illegally and continue to behave as if it was business as

A nasty feature of the present situation is the intensified control over the
distribution and sale of basic foods. Maize meal is being tightly controlled
and so is sugar. I expect that other basic foods will follow shortly. These
are being distributed on a political basis and the recipients are then on
selling at huge margins. We will take careful note of all who participate in
such activities and will take appropriate action against them when things
come right.

I have just heard that Breytentach of the Congo and other misdeeds has
bought a massive Ranch ­ over 1 million acres with huge potential in the
Southeast of the country. I also understand he is evicting all the settlers
and others who have been using the ranch. This makes a complete mockery of
the so-called land reform exercise and demonstrates that Zanu PF it totally
corrupt in its business dealings.

Keep it up guys, the gravy train you are on is going nowhere and soon will
be derailed and we will then have to pick through the wreckage to decide
what to keep and what to throw away.

Eddie Cross
Bulawayo, 15th April 2008

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Zimbabwe Business Watch : Week 20


Business is in total survival mode as it attempts to ride the storm of the post-election debacle. The RBZ governer is becoming more and more threatening and authoritarian whilst the country does not hear a squeak from the Minister of Finance.
The daily limit of cash withdrawals remains at $5 billion despite the size of the company and the fact that that equates to precisely USD15.
The new forex system whereby currency is legitimately traded in commercial banks has seen the government get their hands on more of this vital commodity. This was no doubt the objective of this liberalization and the net result is that businesses are being starved of currency which in turn has pushed the price up dramatically with the USD trading as high as 315 million (billion) to 1.
Foreign Currency Accounts (FCAs) remain blocked and are now widely believed to have been poached. Many businesses are indexing prices against parallel market exchange rates and this is resulting in all prices now being driven directly by changes in the rate of exchange. The USD on April 17 traded at 80 million to 1 which therefore translates into potential inflation of 293% since that date.
On the ground, businesses are desperately trying to pay their staff and workers who are all now placed in the executive tax bracket. The administration of employee remuneration is becoming extremely difficult as it is not permitted to dollarise such costs.
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This entry was written by Sokwanele on Thursday, May 15th, 2008 at 11:06 am. You can follow any comments on this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a comment, or trackback from your own site.
3 Responses to “Zimbabwe Business Watch : Week 20”
May 15th, 2008 12:37
Clearly, the funds are being used by the illegitimate, purported government of Zimbabwe to line their own pockets before the inevitable end.  Some time ago there was a move on this site to protest against the German company which is printing banknotes for the illegitimate regime.  I know that I certainly addressed some e-mails in German (provided by other users of the site) to the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and others.
I know that a number of suggestions were made and am sure that other readers of this site also took steps in this regard. I see that a new 500 million dollar note was launched today. Does anybody have any feedback on the “stop the German printing campaign”, did anyone receive any responses to their e-mails? Should this issue not be taken up again as the notes are in fact being used to pay the footsoldiers of the regime to continue brutalising the population for having turned against ZANU-PF.
4th Chimurenga
May 15th, 2008 17:10
A 10m Zimbabwe dollar note was issued earlier this year

The central bank has issued a 500m Zimbabwe dollar banknote, worth US$2, to try to ease cash shortages amid the world’s highest rate of inflation.
The previous highest denomination note was for Z$250m, issued 10 days ago.
May 15th, 2008 17:20
Hi Steve,
I sent numerous emails to the German company, German bank-workers’ union, German government re their providing Gono with note-paper to print his gazillions but not a single reply and no public response I’ve seen. Any ideas for further action?

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'War veterans' are cowards


 Thursday, 15 May 2008

It is with a bleeding heart that I pen this article. I have come to a very
sad realisation. The people who call themselves war veterans in Zimbabwe are
in fact weak cowards: they fear Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC.

If indeed these people had fought dangerous wars in the bush, they wouldn't
be so scared of a mere democratic change of Government. This makes me
believe that those who parade themselves as liberators of Zimbabwe today are
likely to have been hiding while the war was raging, or at best chose to
operate in soft spots. Their mentality betrays them as people who are always
scared of changes (we have similar people in Botswana, those who scoffed
during independence "Who does Seretse think he is? Does he think he can
achieve better results than the British Empire?" after Seretse's death the
very same people said "Owaii! Gatwe Masire! Rona re ne re itse Seretse").

If we extrapolate this mentality backwards to the time of the liberation
war, such people dismissed the liberation movements saying 'Smith is the
man. What do these new people think they can achieve?' They are traitors;
which helps to explain how they survived the war without even incurring
injuries when the real martyrs perished in the bush. These are traitors who
killed worthy heroes like Josiah Magama Tongogara and Herbert Chitepo in
order to reap where they didn't sow.

As for people like the Zimbabwe National Defence Force supreme commander
Constantine Chiwenga and Augustine Chihuri, police commissioner, they are
scared of the prospect of accounting for the atrocities they committed
(including the Gukurahundi mass-killings) and their corrupt mafia dealings
(including those concerning the infamous DRC misadventure). They are not
even wise enough to realise that they cannot run away from the international
community forever. Their shenanigans are not helping their case as they
inadvertently put themselves under the hot spotlight. I wonder if their
ill-gained loot is denominated in the freefalling Zim Dollar or in foreign
accounts which can be frozen anytime. They know for sure that there is no
chance of Tsvangirai returning repossessed farms to white farmers but they
claim it is the case.

As for Thabo 'There is no problem in Zimbabwe' Mbeki, does the man still
command even an iota of credibility? I think he does not qualify to inherit
the huge throne of the great Nelson Rolihlahla Madiba Mandela- to occupy the
most prestigious political office in Africa.

Right now there is an influx of illegal immigrants into his country to such
an extent that mobs are beating up and even killing some of them for taking
their jobs, but Mbeki sees nothing happening.

I think Mbeki's mind got frozen in exile. Who can forget the third term
fiasco? Who can forget when he denied that there was a disease called AIDS
(while tens of thousands were perishing from it in his own country)? I think
he must be one of those people who can say "There is no pipe in my mouth"
while busy smoking it. One just hopes he smokes nothing more serious than

Montwedi Mozila

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JAG open letter forum - No. 535 - Dated 15 May 2008

Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.
Barbara, US
Dear JAG,
I have no political stake in your election.  I am, however very interested in your plight because I am human.  I read your papers online finding myself saddened by the utter brutality being faced by your citizens.  Mussolini, Hitler and now Mugabe joins the long list of dictators who spoil their land, exploit their people and leave destruction in their wake.  Thousands of miles from your shores am I, yet not so far that I am untouched by the brutality found with each new day in your papers.  To Mugabe, I hesitate to use the word "Mr." as there are no formalities with this self made monster, I would say, you will soon pass from this earth leaving no lasting legacy.  You will simply become a part of the soil and will no longer terrorize your people.  This will be a happy day for your country and for humanity.  Your fingerprint will be simply smudged from humankind and your people peaceful again.  Good day.
2. Trudy Stevenson
Dear JAG,
This is so true - and such a good reminder.  Perhaps we could organise a formal remembrance/thanksgiving day each year for all these farmers and their workers who have been killed and brutalised in the past 8 years? It would be wonderful to have a church service for them all.
Sheila Jarvis
Dear JAG,
Please can you help to quickly STOP this campaign. 
Ii can't imagine anything more likely to unite Africa behind Mbeki & Mugabe than trying to remove the world cup from this continent, with Zimbabwe's people just becoming even more of a political football as a result.
There are better alternatives - one being to USE football in Zimbabwe to help stop the present violence and ensure anyone injured is able to be treated - set up football camps in every area of the country spreading the message that an election must be like a football game - a sporting contest played to international rules.
Players who break such rules [or an opponent's arms /legs/heads/backbones/fingers] should expect
A.  to be sent off
B.  to see any goal their team scores disallowed;
C.   not to have their team recognized by anyone else as legitimate winners of the game
No doubt those who came up with this campaign and those who have supported it so far had good intentions; but its result is likely to be more serious harm to efforts to have free and fair elections here.
There may be a time when it is needed.
Definitely not now.
Sheila Jarvis
All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice for Agriculture.

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Anti-foreigner violence spreads in South Africa


Thu 15 May 2008, 15:51 GMT

By Phakamisa Ndzamela

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African police fired rubber bullets on
Thursday to quell anti-foreigner violence that has rattled authorities and
raised fears of wider clashes in the country's restive townships.

Two people have been killed and more than four dozen others injured since
the violence began last Sunday in Alexandra township outside Johannesburg.
Most of the attacks have been targeted at Zimbabweans and other immigrants.

While senior government officials rushed to Alexandra to meet community
leaders and victims, police fought to restore order in Diepsloot, another
township near Johannesburg, where youths threw stones, set up barricades and
looted shops.

"Nobody is dead as far as we know. There was one guy who was injured in the
head last night," police spokeswoman Captain Louise Rees said. "Apparently
some shacks have been burnt."

She added that nine people were arrested for public violence. A number of
shops were looted.

"We are taking it (our stock) because they are looting," Amir Iqbal, a
naturalised Pakistani-born shopkeeper, said as he packed up goods from his
shop in Diepsloot, one of several Pakistani-owned businesses that were

Some 50 others have been arrested in connection with the unrest in
Alexandra. They face charges of murder, attempted murder, rape and robbery
among others.

The violence, which came after a series of attacks on foreigners across the
country, renewed fears that xenophobia was rising South Africa, known as one
of the most welcoming to immigrants and asylum seekers, especially from

Some South Africans, especially those living in areas of high poverty and
unemployment, accuse Zimbabweans and other newcomers of fuelling the
country's high-rates of violent crime. The immigrants say more often they
are the victims of crime.

An estimated 3 million Zimbabweans have fled to South Africa as a result of
the economic crisis at home.

They, like others on the continent, are lured by work in South Africa's
mines, farms and homes, and by one of the world's most liberal immigration
and refugee policies.

But a perception that it is now open season on this group threatens to fray
South Africa's relations within Africa and handicap its buoyant economy,
which is straining under rising inflation, a skills shortage and a power

The ruling African National Congress has called for an end to the attacks.

"Xenophobia has no place in a democratic, free country like ours. Our people
should avoid taking out frustrations they face due to unemployment or crime
on immigrants," ANC leader Jacob Zuma said in a speech.

Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula pledged government assistance
for victims of the violence on a visit to Alexandra police station, where
dozens of African immigrants sought refuge after being attacked by mobs.

(Editing by Paul Simao and Elizabeth Piper)

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Zuma slams xenophobic riots

The Citizen

5/15/2008 20:57:26


JOHANNESBURG - ANC president Jacob Zuma has expressed “outrage” at the
xenophobic violence in Johannesburg townships.

“Xenophobia has no place in a democratic, free country like ours,” said
Zuma, who was delivering a keynote speech at the University of Zululand’s
graduation ceremony yesterday.

He continued: “Our people should avoid taking out frustrations they face due
to unemployment or crime on immigrants.”

“We urge people to leave issues of illegal immigration to government to sort
out through humane legal methods and instruments,” he told the students.

He pointed out the human rights were enshrined in the country’s
constitution, and that foreigners were also protected under the same

“The enjoyment of these rights cannot be the preserve of South Africans
only. True democrats should extend these rights to all human beings from any
part of the globe, including the African continent.”

Zuma warned against some residents’ failure to let the law run its course.

“If there are criminal elements within the immigrant community as is
alleged, such information should be given to the police. People should not
take the law into their own hands.”

He said the Alexandra xenophobic violence should be dealt with before it
spread to other areas in the country.

“With regards to illegal immigrants, a long-term approach is required to
assist our neighbours to become more politically stable and economically

Zuma said: “This will help reduce the flow of unwanted immigration into
South Africa, and at the same time create the basis for mutually beneficial
economic trade between South Africa and our neighbours. We should treat
immigrants with respect and dignity.”

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The astonishing silence of Thabo Mbeki

The Times, SA

15 May 2008, 16:41 GMT + 2
THE astonishing failure of President Thabo Mbeki to provide active public
leadership on the xenophobic violence which has plagued our country over the
last five days is not acceptable.
Yesterday cabinet issued a statement to the effect that a “task team” would
look into the problem.
This is a weak response to a fundamental assault on the values that our
country holds dear.
South Africa does not need some lowly spokesman issuing a statement about a
task team as people live in fear of rape, assault and death because of their
It needs bold, public and decisive leadership by the person charged with
running the country.
Mbeki should be on national television, calling for calm.
He should be mobilising the armed forces and sending them into the
violence-blighted areas to make a very loud statement that this country will
not tolerate discrimination.
It is poignant that it has been left to Jacob Zuma, president of the ANC, to
make a bold public statement against the attacks.
“Alexandra today, tomorrow it may be another place… foreigners have to be
treated properly,” he said.
Zuma holds no power and does not have the state’s resources at his disposal,
but at least he has offered some sort of public leadership on this
frightening development.
Zuma’s statement and Mbeki’s silence is once more playing into the hands of
those who would like to see a change in government sooner rather than later.
Zuma’s motives for wanting such an early ascension to office are obvious:
The corruption case against him would surely collapse were he to occupy the
highest office in the land.
Mbeki should know that, in politics, absence does not make the heart grow
fonder. It opens space for competitors, even those with suspect credentials
such as Zuma, to occupy.

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