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Zimbabwe budget: Finance minister warns elections will slow growth to 5 percent in 2013

By Associated Press, Updated: Friday, November 16, 3:56 AM

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe’s finance minister forecasts a slower economic
growth rate caused by political tensions as the nation prepares for
elections next year.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti said when presenting the national budget to
parliament Thursday that Zimbabweans must brace for a “gnashing of teeth” as
economic growth forecast at 9.8 percent for 2012 will decline to 5 percent
in 2013.

Biti allocated $3.8 billion to government spending with more than half going
to civil servants’ salaries.

He warned against violence in the upcoming elections that could lead to a
collapse of the “economic foundation” achieved by the four-year-old
coalition between Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF and the
Movement for Democratic Change. He said political uncertainty has scared
away foreign direct investment.

Biti is a former opposition politician in the coalition.

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Biti: Zim Economic Outlook Bleak

Harare, November 15 2012 - Zimbabwe’s minister of finance Tendai Biti has
set the country’s 2013 budget at $3.8bn, up from the revised $3.5bn in 2012.
Of the amount, $2.6bn will go towards civil servants’ wages, leaving very
little and not enough” to aid development.
Presenting his 2013 budget on Thursday afternoon, Biti said 2013 looks bleak
as the country battles with global recession, financial instability and a
poor business climate.

Biti said the 2013 budget is demand driven, with people calling on
government to address issues with regards to the country’s political and
economic environment.

He also revised 2012 gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates further
downwards to 4.4%, from his earlier revision to 5.6% from 9.4%. In 2013 GDP
is expected to grow by 5%.

“We need to come up with policies and new reform measures that stimulate
growth and follow them if economic growth is to improve,” said Biti.

Biti said the budget’s success hinged on rainfall patterns, but the biggest
risk was a violent election similar to what transpired in 2008

“If that happens it will be a case of making two steps forward and 20 steps
backwards,” said Biti, who said the budget, was the last under the
Government of National Unity.

Biti said growth momentum will be underpinned by expansion in finance,
mining, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing and transport sectors.

The Finance minister said imports remained very high for a small economy
like that of Zimbabwe.

Biti also made provisions for the country’s referendum, and elections
scheduled next year.

He further emphasised the need for political stability in the country saying
the absence of the rule of law puts a damper of the country’s prospects of
realising total economic growth.

Budget Highlights:

• Bonus tax free US$1000
• No banks charges if bank balance is US$800 and below.
• Life expectancy now 41 years
• 150 million kg of tobacco is targeted.
• 17 000 metric tonnes of wheat expected from 100 000 metric tones
• Mining industry capable of raising US$14 billion dollars annually.
• Police road block too much in Zimbabwe and the issue need to be
urgently reviewed
• Loan to deposit ratio at 75 percent
• Roads need attention
• Workers over-taxed
• Civil servant salary to be reviewed in line with inflation.
• Government to promote E-tourism.
• 20 million dollar line of credit to SMEs

News 24/Radio VOP

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Tough choices as Biti presents 2013 budget

14/11/2012 00:00:00
by Gilbert Nyambabvu

FINANCE Minister Tendai Biti presents his 2013 national budget Thursday
under pressure to fire-up a stagnating economy as well as find money for
elections and other pressing expenditure demands on an increasingly sparse
government purse.

If it’s any comfort however, the treasury chief will address a nation
decidedly low on expectations when he makes his stand before Parliament.

His 2012 budget went off the rails midway through the year while the
economic recovery of the last few years has suddenly hit the skids.

Key economic sectors such as industry underperfromed, hamstrung by a myriad
of problems, among them the lack of capital as local financiers either
lacked the capacity or just couldn’t be bothered and external credit lines
proved impossible to secure.

Agricultural output also took a huge hit from inclement weather conditions
with the World Food Programme (WFP) estimating that some 1.6 million people
would need food aid between now and the next harvest.

As such, not many were surprised when Biti was, last week, forced to concede
that GDP growth would be nowhere near his initial 9.4 percent forecast
saying: "New information shows that the growth rate of 5.6 percent earlier
announced in the mid-May review will likely be revised downwards to around
4.0 percent.

Revenue projections for the year were also pegged back to US$3.6 billion
from about US$4 billion with the minister announcing that the government was
staring at a US$400 million budget black hole in the period leading to the
end of the year.

Tourism and mining were among the few bright spots with the latter expected
to grow by 16.7 percent, up from the initial forecast of 15.9 percent
although productivity continues to be affected by unreliable power supplies
and unending liquidity problems in the economy.

Company closures

Industry and other productive sectors however, remain in desperate need of
capital to boost capacity utilisation. Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries
president Kumbirai Katsande said companies were struggling to stay afloat in
an increasingly difficult operating environment.

“We see it in these companies folding up, declining capacity utilisation and
declining employment levels. You just have to talk to NSSA, they will tell
you how many companies are winding up,” Katsande said Wednesday.

But the CZI chief and his colleagues will know that there is little prospect
of relief from Biti.

The minister will, again, be forced to commit most resources to recurrent
expenditure with the state wage bill alone accounting for more than 60
percent of government revenues.

He has also pledged to pay bonuses to state workers this year but a proposal
to offer them inflation-linked wage increases in 2013 drew fire from the
estimated 260,000 civil servants who spent most of this year sniping at the
government for a near-doubling of their current salaries.

Even so, civil service salaries may not be the most immediate of Biti’s
worries. More significant are matters political; in particular the $219
million tab for a constitutional referendum and fresh elections expected to
be held in March.

According to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the referendum, which
President Robert Mugabe says should be held this year, will set the country
back a hefty $104-million, while the elections will require about

Election finance

Biti has since warned Cabinet colleagues that there was no money for the
referendum and the new polls and proposed that the country must look to
foreign donors for assistance or consider deferring both processes

The suggestion was emphatically shot down by Zanu PF, with politburo member,
Jonathan Moyo, insisting that: "Zimbabwe is not in the pockets of donors.
The money for elections is there. We are going to have the elections once
the President proclaims the dates.”

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa also said Wednesday that Biti had to
“ensure an adequate budget for the holding of harmonised elections next

Zanu PF insists new elections must be held to end what it now describes as
an unworkable coalition arrangement with the MDC formations, blaming
unending disputes and disagreements on policy and other differences.

Forced on the parties by the regional SADC grouping after violent but
inconclusive elections in 2008, the unity government was expected to help
ease political tensions in the country and put the economy on a path to
recovery and growth after a decade-long recession.

Once the political and econmic situation had stabilised and a reforms
implemented to help ensure an indisputable election, new polls would then be
held to elect a substantive government.

Political tensions have since eased significantly despite fears of renewed
clashes as campaining begins for the March elections.

But, on the economic front however, the coalition administration has little
to show for its three years in office.

The decision to ditch the Zimbabwe dollar for much more stable foreign
currencies helped put a stop to world record inflation.

Zanu PF however claims credit saying Chinamasa introduced the measure as
acting Finance Minister before the coalition government assumed office.

Again, while the economy has recorded consistent, if marginal, recovery and
growth since 2009, this has not translated into new jobs and unemployment
remains very high with the large majority of Zimbabweans still struggling to
put a meal on the table.

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New US envoy meets Mugabe, to 'listen and learn'

15/11/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
Upbeat ... Ambassador Wharton
BARACK Obama’s new top envoy to Zimbabwe assumed office on Thursday with a vow to “listen and learn”.

Bruce Wharton, who has previously worked at the United States embassy in Harare as a Public Affairs Officer, presented his credentials to President Robert Mugabe at State House and “delivered President Obama’s greetings”.

The new United States ambassador takes over from Charles Ray, whose stint in Zimbabwe was less dramatic than those of the previous two ambassadors - Christopher Dell and James McGee - who presided over a deterioration in relations between Harare and Washington.

If career diplomat Ray oversaw the lowering of rhetoric, Wharton told Mugabe he sought to “engage in a dialogue that is respectful”.

Citing US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s comments last August that they would meet “action for action” in their relations with Zimbabwe, Wharton said: “American policy toward Zimbabwe is not static, and will respond positively to Zimbabwe’s progress on the roadmap to constitutional reform and elections.”

Mugabe, who is subject of a United States travel and assets ban, has previously used encounters with American diplomats to call for the lifting of personal sanctions as well as trade embargos imposed on state-owned companies including diamond mining firms.

Wharton said: “President Mugabe and I had a good discussion of where our relationship has been over the last few years, and how we would like it to develop in the coming years.

“I... expressed the US government’s sincere desire to find common ground to enhance the bilateral relationship.

“I pledged to President Mugabe our continued support to the people of Zimbabwe and their efforts to build a more just, prosperous and healthy society. The government of the United States and the government of Zimbabwe share this desire for a better future for the people of this great nation.

“When we differ on the best means of achieving those goals, I will seek to engage in a dialogue that is respectful and that seeks to uphold the universal values and rights that Zimbabweans fought so hard to gain 32 years ago.”

Zimbabwe is due to hold a referendum on the new constitution, shortly to be followed by general elections. Wharton said the two events were a watershed moment in Zimbabwe’s history and could define the two countries’ relations going forward.

“We support the democratic reform process underway since the start of the Global Political Agreement and, along with SADC and other friends of Zimbabwe, we will stand by the people as this process reaches its conclusion,” he said.

The United States had spent over $1 billion over the last decade on health and humanitarian assistance in Zimbabwe, the ambassador said, adding: “I am also personally interested in supporting women’s empowerment, education, conservation, freedom of expression, and the rights of all people.”

Wharton will begin his term "by listening and learning about the goals of the Zimbabwean people, and how the United States can be a good partner. As I learn, I will begin to add my own ideas in support of what is clearly best for both our nations: a strong, prosperous, just and healthy Zimbabwe,” he added.

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Education Minister says government spending priorities misplaced

By Tererai Karimakwenda
15 November, 2012

Education Minister David Coltart has strongly criticized the coalition
government’s spending, saying their priorities are completely misplaced.

The comments came after Coltart compared the total budget for his Education
Ministry for 2012, which was $8 million, to the exorbitant $100 million
recently spent on the military college. The funds to build this college came
from a $98 million loan granted by China, in exchange for diamonds from

Coltart also pointed to the fact that $6 million is being spent on the
construction of a new conference hall for ZANU PF in Gweru, which is to be
completed by the beginning of December, in time for their annual convention.

It is believed that money being spent on these projects accounts for the
diamond revenue that is not being submitted to the national coffers by the
ZANU PF and the military elite who control the Marange diamond fields.

“It’s not just the diamonds. This year so far we have imported something
like $8.4 billion worth of goods. But we have only managed to raise customs
duty of around, about $200 million, which indicates we are losing a vast
amount of revenue at the border posts,” Coltart explained.
He added: “It is very clear to many of us that because of corruption at the
border posts, we are getting insufficient revenue coming into the system.”
Minister Coltart explained that only 39 pence per child had been spent in
the education sector, and this was unacceptable. He said more money needs to
be channeled toward rehabilitating schools that have deteriorated.
Coltart also complained about government spending on foreign travel, which
was exposed last year by the Finance Minister Tendai Biti. He also
criticized the principals in government for spending too much on foreign
travel, saying they had blown at least $20 million last year.

It appears government is determined to spend fortunes on unnecessary
construction. The Minister for Local Government, Ignatius Chombo, recently
confirmed plans by government to move the capital city from Harare to Mt.
Hampden, in Robert Mugabe’s rural home of Zvimba. A new parliament building
is already being built at the site, with shopping malls and a posh
residential area to follow.

Meanwhile, desperate civil continue to plead with government for a decent
wage, as most are earning salaries below the poverty datum line. It is the
ordinary Zimbabweans that continue to suffer while the few elite pursue
lavish lifestyles.

$8 million on education, $20 million on foreign travel. Who in their right
mind could think that was a good idea?

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Zimbabwe, Donors Meet to Revive Education Sector

Gibbs Dube

Representatives of the Ministry of Education, the World Bank and United
Nations Children’s Education Fund held a crucial meeting Wednesday in
Kadoma, Mashonaland West Province, to find ways of funding Zimbabwe’s $4.5
billion five-year Education Medium Term Plan launched in May this year.

Education Minister David Coltart said there are high hopes that these
organizations will fund the plan designed to fully stabilise Zimbabwe’s
education sector crippled over the years by lack of money.

Coltart said the World Bank and UNICEF are assisting his ministry in
formulating a proposal for funding to be submitted to the Global Partnership
for Africa, a coalition of international donors.

Zimbabwe’s Education Medium Term Plan will lead to the construction of 750
secondary schools, refurbishment of 24,000 classrooms by the year 2015,
restoration of the professional status of teachers and promotion of
electronic learning, among other issues.

Coltart said this can be achieved with the help of the World Bank and
UNICEF. “Once the Global Partnership for Africa meets next year, we expect
that line of funding to start flowing into Zimbabwe,” he said.

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Zanu PF threatens JOMIC pull-out

14/11/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

ZANU PF threatened to pull out from the Joint Monitoring and Implementation
Committee (JOMIC) on Thursday, claiming foreign donor interference with the
body which monitors a power sharing pact between the GPA parties.

Established as part of the 2009 unity government pact and comprising four
senior members from Zanu PF and the two MDC formations JOMIC’s principal
function is to ensure the implementation of the GPA agreement as well as
help establish trust and understanding between the parties.

But on Wednesday, Zanu PF’s Nicholas Goche expressed concern over the
influence of donors in the operations of the body citing, in particular, the
South Africa-based Zimbabwe Institute (ZI) which manages JOMIC’s finances on
behalf of donors.

Goche, Zanu PF’s JOMIC co-chairman, said ZI’s involvement in the
organisation had extended to areas that had nothing to do with its remit of
sourcing and managing donor funds. He claimed that ZI had become the de
facto secretariat of JOMIC adding that this was “unacceptable”.

“Zanu PF is very sceptical and suspicious that the ZI Director, Isaac
Maphosa, seems to have kept close association with the MDC parties,
especially the formation led by Welshman Ncube,” Goche wrote in a letter
presented to a JOMIC meeting this week.

“Zanu PF thinks this assertion is correct and therefore sees Maphosa’s job
and that of the ZI as heavily compromised as the two are now perceived as
partisan to other parties in Jomic against Zanu PF.

“With elections looming Maphosa and ZI are increasingly being seen as
fronting the interests of foreign donors who are known to be driving the
regime change agenda through the MDC formations to remove Zanu PF from

Goche claimed that ZI had moved most of its staff from its South Africa base
to offices shared with JOMIC in Harare adding that Maphosa was “heavily
involved in crafting JOMIC programs” with the authority to approve any of
its work “under the pretext of holding the key on whether the money for the
programs is there or not”.

“Maphosa and his deputy Nkanyiso Maqeda have a long and very strong
background with the MDC. The two were founding members of the MDC and worked
as directors at the MDC Headquarters at Harvest House until the party split
in 2005,” Goche said.

“After the split the two moved away with the formation led by Welshman Ncube
after which they went silent for some time until their 2009 link with Jomic.
It is believed that during this period they were in South Africa where they
later emerged as Directors of the Zimbabwe Institute.

“In the circumstances, ZI and JOMIC must be completely delinked and the
JOMIC secretariat should fully control and run Jomic programs under the
direction of the full JOMIC committee failure of which Zanu PF will find it
extremely difficult continue to cooperate with or work through JOMIC.”

MDC secretary general and current JOMIC chair, Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga, said they would discuss Zanu PF’s concerns at their
next meeting.

"We will sit down as Jomic co-chairpersons and we will report back to the
full committee meeting after discussing the issues raised by Zanu PF," she

Since it was establishment, JOMIC has been accused of failing to deal with
alleged violations of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) with critics
insisting that the will of the principals, especially President Robert
Mugabe, always prevail and recommendations from JOMIC are largely ignored.

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JOMIC Investigates Torching of Houses in Mash East

Irwin Chifera, Chris Gande

The Zimbabwe unity government’s Joint Monitoring and Implementation
Committee (JOMIC) is investigating the torching of two houses belonging to
an activist from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party in Mutoko East
constituency, Mashonaland East, by suspected Zanu PF supporters last Friday

David Chamanga of Ward 17 in the Mushimbo area lost property worth
thousands of dollars when his two houses were burnt by people suspected to
be Zanu PF activists, among them Forbes Karonga and Kapitau Kazingizi.

Jomic officials in Marondera said it was too early to tell whether the
incident was politically motivated as investigations are in progress.

But Chamanga, who escaped unhurt, as he was sleeping in another house, told
VOA Studio 7 that prior to the attack, he had clashed with the suspects
during the day.

He said these were the same people who harassed him several times during the
2008 elections.

Chamanga said no arrests have been made even though he filed a police report
and also informed the village head and local chief, who have not taken any

Mashonaland East provincial spokesman Graham Nyahada of Mr. Tsvangirai’s
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) said the police behaviour is

Jomic officials this week visited the area and interviewed Chamanga and
other villagers but no arrests have been made.

MDC-T provincial chairman, Piniel Denga said police should have acted
swiftly as they were given names of the five suspects.

Zanu PF deputy provincial chairperson Stephen Chiurayi confirmed the
incident but distanced his party supporters from the incident.

Meanwhile, as political violence resurfaces in some parts of the country
ahead of the crucial general elections, questions are being raised about the
effectiveness of JOMIC in monitoring incidents of political violence in

Independent political commentator Joshua Mhambi, who is also the director of
policy and research in the MDC formation led by Industry Minister Welshman
Ncube, said people expect too much from JOMIC which has no arresting powers
but is only a monitoring body.

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Madzore not bitter after one year of wrongful imprisonment

By Tichaona Sibanda
15 November 2012

After serving 13 months incarcerated without a conviction MDC-T youth
assembly President Solomon Madzore has expressed no bitterness after his
long ordeal inside the notorious Chikurubi maximum security prison.

His release from prison for a murder he says he did not commit will
certainly set off a fresh wave of self-examination by the legal profession
in Zimbabwe about the dangers of faulty testimony, which can result not just
in wrongful incarceration but possibly also the execution of the innocent.

Savouring his freedom on the second day of his release, Madzore said: ‘I can’t
be angry. I’m not bitter at all. That is not going get me nowhere. I have to
move forward.’

Madzore was arrested in October last year, five months after the murder of
police inspector Petros Mutedza in Glen View. He is one of 31 MDC-T
activists charged with the cop’s murder.

Speaking to SW Radio Africa’s Hidden Story program Madzore said he knew
nothing about the crime until he read about it in the newspaper a day or two
after the fateful incident. He told authorities he was at a doctor’s surgery
in Highfields when Mutedza lost his life during the disturbances in Glen

‘I spent the morning visiting a friend, Stewart Mukoyi in Kuwadzana, who was
recovering from injuries sustained during a police beating. Around midday I
rushed home to pick up my wife who had suffered a miscarriage and drove her
to our family doctor in Gazaland, Highfields.

‘I was there until 5pm when I went back home. I was nowhere near the scene
and we have witnesses who corroborated that. The police knew the truth and
they still know I’m innocent but they were acting on instructions from ZANU
PF to keep me inside,’ claimed Madzore.

‘Therefore I cannot feel angry. I put all that in God’s hands. I have to
think about my family and God, friends and colleagues who visited me in
prison who inspired me to move forward.’

Asked if he was mistreated in prison, the youth leader said he was never
abused or assaulted at anytime but complained about the state of the
facilities and food.

‘The food is awful and the complex is generally grim, unsanitary and full of
diseases. Yet, despite all the privations that I suffered, bouts of
debilitating disease all I’m waiting for now are the last hurdles of seeing
the murder charges being dropped to bring an end to the ordeal in which we
have been falsely blamed for the death of Mutedza,’ he said.

Madzore thanked his lawyers, for their work on the case so far. ‘Over the
course of the year we’ve had many, many bail hearings – not all that
successful,’ he said. ‘It would have been easy to lose hope. But I firmly
believe, whatever your persuasion, there’s something greater than us out
there that can help us get through these trying times.’

During the year in prison, Madzore said he missed seeing his family grow,
and his freedom. When asked what he was going to do next, the youth leader
replied: ‘Keep fighting until we win the next elections.’

Madzore admitted that he still hasn’t figured out why he was targeted for
Mutedza’s murder.

‘If it was a mistake that they arrested me, they would have quickly realized
it from my alibi, so maybe the intention was there to deliberately target
me, but we will wait for the truth as the trial is ongoing,’ Madzore said.

Commenting on Madzore’s ordeal, US based political analyst Dr Maxwell Shumba
said no amount of persecution of MDC members will derail the people’s
project to bring real change to Zimbabwe.

‘Madzore and others who have been to Chikurubi symbolize what the fight for
freedom and democracy is all about,’ Shumba said.

The full interview with Madzore can be heard on our Hidden Story program on
Wednesday 21st November.

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Presidential inputs hijacked by ZANU-PF youths

Wednesday, 14 November 2012 20:01
Shame Makoshori, Senior Reporter

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s recently launched agricultural inputs scheme has
run into problems in Mashonaland West where ZANU-PF youths have hijacked the
On Saturday, The Financial Gazette witnessed ZANU-PF youths in Hurungwe
distributing the inputs along party lines and chasing away widows, children,
the elderly and orphans from distribution points after interrogating them.
When the US$20 million Presidential Well-Wishers’ agricultural inputs scheme
was launched recently, President Mugabe pledged transparency during the
distribution process and underscored the importance of prioritising
extremely needy cases.
The scheme is meant to benefit close to one million people countrywide
during the 2012-2013 agricultural season.
But over the weekend, party officials grabbed the bulk of the seed maize
delivered at Chivakanenyama School while at least 3 000 villagers who had
converged at the school left empty-handed.
Some of the elderly people were labelled sellouts and accused of being moles
of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
ZANU-PF youths could be seen flushing out some of the villagers in long
winding queues, claiming they were not attending party meetings.
Some frail and ailing villagers who had travelled over 40 kilometres to
Chivakanenyama School hoping to collect the seed maize being distributed for
free could not hide their disappointment.
A grandmother taking care of her seven unemployed children and grandsons
could not hold back her tears as she narrated how she had been confronted by
hostile youths who questioned her commitment to ZANU-PF, adding she was
labelled “a sellout” despite her long-standing loyalty to the party.
“They told me that even though I attend meetings regularly, my loyalty to
the party was questionable,” the elderly woman, whose identity is being
protected due to fear of victimisation, told The Financial Gazette.
“My hopes are shattered. I have no money for inputs. I had hoped that I
would be saved by the Presidential Inputs Scheme. But they were distributing
the seed among themselves,” she said.
Similar confrontations occurred in other centres across Hurungwe but there
were no reported incidents of violence.
So dire is poverty in Hurungwe that even MDC supporters stampeded among the
3 000 villagers who rushed for the 10-kilogramme packets of maize.
This week, ZANU-PF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo said the stance taken by
supporters in Hurungwe was against orders given to provinces by the party
“We are very clear on this,” Gumbo told The Financial Gazette on Tuesday.
“This thing is designed for vulnerable groups. The programme should give
priority to widows, the elderly, child headed households and other
vulnerable members of the community. This is in the circular that I sent out
to them,” Gumbo said.
The Presidential Inputs Scheme is the latest in a series of electioneering
strategies adopted by ZANU-PF.
ZANU-PF has also rolled out community share ownership schemes in the mining
sector to help lift millions of peasants into corporate boardrooms.
The empowerment schemes have courted controversy, with many complaining that
only President Mugabe’s inner circle had benefitted.

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Mozambique's ageing ex-guerrillas regather arms

Back to the bush ... Afonso Dhlakama at his new base in the Gorongosa mountains

14/11/2012 00:00:00
by Jinty Jackson I AFP
Re-orientation ... Renamo prepares for war

GORONGOSA, Mozambique — The marching begins before dawn at a revived Cold War-era guerrilla base nestled at the foot of Mozambique's remote Gorongosa mountain range.

Former anti-communist fighters who laid down arms 20 years ago at the end of a devastating civil war are again preparing to fight.

They are angry, believing the peace dividend that has swept Mozambique has passed them by.
Straining, they kick up the dust as their former commanders bark orders to run faster.
In the years since the war, both Mozambique and the fighters have changed markedly.
The average age in the camp is around 40, but many are considerably older.
"A soldier cannot go three days without running or we would get fat and lazy," explains sweating ex-fighter Armindo Milaco.
When the war began in 1977 Milaco was barely 17 when Renamo came to his village and forcibly conscripted him.

He was a victim of the rebels' infamous system of "Gandira", which saw civilians in Renamo-controlled zones forced to produce food and courier goods and ammunition.

Women were press-ganged to become sex-slaves. An estimated one-third of Renamo forces were child soldiers.

"Some didn't understand the objectives at first but, after receiving lessons the person ends up understanding there was a reason for this war," said the 44-year-old, who is now Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama's right-hand man, and in charge of recruiting new members nationwide.

He is also the only person at the base other than Dhlakama authorised to speak directly to the press.
Given the passage of time it is not surprising the fighters need a refresher on how to assemble a gun.

"We have had to do a mini-review of everything we used to do during the war," says Milaco. But, he says, "it is easy to remember. It is in the blood."

Several hundred men and women are at the camp, but he says he can easily summon more if needed to force their former enemies, now in government, to cede money and power.

Some appear to be itching to rekindle hostilities -- perhaps as much out of nostalgia as political fervour.
"All of us miss it. We have to wait a little but we are waiting for the moment we can finish what we started," Milaco said.

The way the Renamo rebels see it, their 16-year war against the leftists of Frelimo was aimed at installing multi-party democracy, but they never reaped the benefits of that system.

Frelimo agreed to hold multi-party elections in 1994, but Renamo has lost every election since. While still the official opposition party, their support has dwindled.

Renamo's frustration at what they see as their exclusion from the country's wealth and discrimination against them on the part of the powerful ruling party is palpable.

"I have had it up to here!" spits senior Renamo member Pedro Chichione, who complains his children have lost out on job opportunities because he is a Renamo lawmaker.

There is an eerie sense of expectation in the camp. Even the chickens perched on makeshift wooden benches appear to be waiting for action.

A few kilometres (miles) down the dirt track that leads to the camp, a single vehicle belonging to the government's elite "Rapid Response Force" is parked, evidence that authorities are keeping an eye on Renamo's activities.

The ex-guerrillas told AFP they thought some 60 special police were in the area.
The would-be born-again-fighters see the elite police squad as Frelimo's military wing and their sworn enemies.

When they are not doing military drills, the former fighters vanish into the thick bush where they patrol in circles tens of kilometres wide.

At the perimeter there is a constant line of people, waving mobile phones in the air. The majestic Mount Gorongosa looming above them cuts out all but the faintest signal.

The sound of children's laughter rings through the groves of mango trees that overhang the camp. Huts belonging to the local community are barely 300 metres (yards) away.

Renamo claims local people are happy to see them and voluntarily donate food. However, their presence next door is an uncomfortable reminder of the price civilians paid during the civil war.

Although Renamo agreed to enter civilian life 20 years ago, and became the country's official opposition party, the movement is still run in a military-style, top-down manner. The rebels idolise Dhlakama, and armed guards watch him around the clock, fearing Frelimo is plotting to hire mercenaries to assassinate him.

As the country celebrated twenty years of peace on October 4 this year, Dhlakama began distributing new uniforms to his former fighters and talking war once again.

Despite agreeing to demobilise and hand in its weapons in 1992, Renamo says it is not short of arms today.

Besides Dhlakama's armed guards, the only weapons brandished at the camp for now are used for training. The rest are hidden away somewhere, the movement says.

Renamo claims it has plenty of bazookas, mortars and even landmines left over from the war.

"As soon as the shooting starts, everyone knows where to grab them," Milaco told AFP.

Preparing for war ... Renamo fighters undergoing military training in the bush

Mozambican police say they do not believe Dhlakama will make good on his threat to return the country to war. Responding to Dhlakama’s threat that he will provoke a fresh bloodbath if the government does not share the country’s ever-increasing wealth and reform the electoral system, the authorities said they trust he will not take up arms.

“Dhlakama is not a child. He is an adult, and an adult thinks of the consequences of his actions. That is why we think he will not do anything. He has children and a wife,” police spokesman Pedro Cossa said.

“We don’t believe he will go to war because he has promised several times that he will not make war, that he wants peace. We don’t believe he can change his mind from one moment to the next and say he wants war."

Cossa said the Rapid Intervention Force which has been deployed to the Gorongosa area where Dhlakama is camped out was there to ensure Dhlakama’s safety.

“We don’t want any problems to occur involving his safety or his health so, if anyone does anything against him, FIR will be called in to assist,” he said.

“The police of FIR do not have the intention to attack the Renamo leader. We will wait until he wants to go back to his house in Maputo and accompany him.”

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Zuma mediation on the back burner

Wednesday, 14 November 2012 20:04
Tinashe Madava, Senior Reporter

MEDIATION on Zimbabwe’s political crisis is lurching from one hurdle to the
other as South African President Jacob Zuma — the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) point man in the local political dialogue —
faces an uncertain future ahead of the ruling African National Congress
(ANC)’s elective congress next month.
Zuma is facing a sterner test as the ANC heads for a crucial congress at
Mangaung next month where his deputy, Kgalema Motla-nthe, is expected to
spring up a challenge for the presidency.
The uncertainty has forced the embattled South African leader to shift his
focus from Zimbabwe in order to fight for survival. With Zuma on the ropes
within the ANC, fresh turmoil has erupted in Zimbabwe over the draft
constitution and unresolved issues in the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
With ZANU-PF insisting on its 266 amendments to the Parliamentary
Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) draft, it emerged this week that the
two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) now want Zuma to
urgently intervene to ensure the country holds the next polls under a new
constitution and other requisite reforms.
There is however, concern that Zuma has frozen his mediation due to his
political woes in South Africa.
His predecessor, Thabo Mbeki was removed from power under similar
circumstances at a conference in Polokwane, which explains why Zuma could be
having sleepless nights as Mangaung approaches.
This week, Motlanthe got nominations from key ANC branches across the
country, an indication that the heat could be on for Zuma.
As a result, Zuma has been mum on a number of issues bedeviling the
coalition government north of the Limpopo River, particularly his stone-cold
silence on the absence of political reforms critics claim are necessary
before the country stages fresh polls whose outcome would be universally
Zuma’s international relations advisor and spokesperson of the mediation
team, Lindiwe Zulu, was evasive this week when asked whether her boss still
has time for Zimbabwe given the fast approaching Mangaung conference.
“President Zuma always has time for the mediation process. He wants to know
what is happening. It’s not about him coming to Zimbabwe,” she said.
When probed on whether Zuma would be coming to Zimbabwe as part of his
mediation role before the end of the year, Zulu could not commit her boss to
such a schedule.
“I really cannot say that he will come before the end of the year but at the
moment I cannot confirm. I cannot say whether it will be before the end of
the year,” she said.
Zulu said Zuma’s position was that there must be full implementation of the
GPA before elections.
President Robert Mugabe has not said anything about such reforms. He even
ducked the issue when he set out the legislative agenda for the fifth
session of the 7th Parliament two weeks ago. The session is expected to be
the last for the legislature before elections.
Ever since Zuma took over from his predecessor in 2009, he has struggled
with his mediation. He has rarely been seen in the country, preferring to
send his facilitation team of Charles Nqakula, Mac Maharaj and Zulu.
The facilitation team has also failed to nudge ZANU-PF and the MDCs into
honouring the GPA possibly because of lack of clout and the obvious
limitations it has especially when it comes to engaging at the highest
This year, the South African President only came to Harare once, in August
prior to the SADC Maputo summit where, after briefing the regional leaders,
ZANU-PF mellowed its stance on the new constitution.
The Open Society Foundation for South African Foreign Policy Initiative is
of the view that Zuma’s mediation has lacked both the urgency and direction
required to correct the deteriorating political situation in Zimbabwe.
“His has become more of an observatory role, through the facilitation team,
than mediation,” the Initiative concluded. With Zuma’s mediation technically
on the backburner, COPAC hit another brick-wall this week in attempts to
forge ahead with finalising the draft constitution.
A constitutional referendum that had been expected in January now appears
highly unlikely as disagreements persist, over the draft charter.
The draft still has to pass through Parliament after getting endorsements at
all lower stages. President Mugabe has also demanded to have the final say,
triggering the current storm between ZANU-PF and the two MDCs formations,
which insist that the Executive should not interfere with the
constitution-making process.
The MDCs have already sounded out Zuma’s mediation team on the latest
While the mediation team is aware of the latest problems in Zimbabwe, they
have not yet received any written communication from the bickering partners.
“We have not received anything from the MDCs but we know that there are
problems with what happened after the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference,”
said Zulu.
Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, the secretary general of the MDC led by
Welshman Ncube, this week said the people of Zimbabwe would be the ultimate
arbiters of the draft constitution.
She said the COPAC report from the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference
showed there were a wide range of opinions on the current draft such that
there was no hope of reconciling the various positions.
“We have no choice now but to write to SADC as the guarantors of the GPA,
and President Zuma as the appointed mediator, to try and make ZANU-PF play
ball,” she said.

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ZANU PF old guard planning to block young turks

By Tererai Karimakwenda
15 November, 2012

Regulations proposed by a ZANU PF committee, headed by the secretary for
administration Didymus Mutasa, could create more divisions within the party
as they seek to block the younger members from contesting in the primaries.

According to Newsday newspaper, the proposed regulations on primary
elections would bar those members who have served the party for less than
five consecutive years, from contesting. This would prevent many of the
so-called “young turks” in the party from challenging the veterans in the

The proposed regulations are scheduled to be discussed at a meeting of the
ZANU PF politburo on December 4th, according to Mutasa, speaking on ZBC. He
said the regulations were “expected to be tabled before the politburo, and
if adopted will then be made public and the dates for the primary elections
will be set.”

The aspiring candidates planning to challenge the ZANU PF old guard include
several provincial chairpersons who were recently re-admitted into the
party. The group was accepted back in 2009 after being accused of plotting a
revolt against Robert Mugabe, which became known as the Tsholotsho

This group includes former information Minister Jonathan Moyo, Mike Madiro
from Manicaland, Daniel Shumba from Masvingo, July Moyo from Midlands
province and businessman Phillip Chiyangwa. Having served less than 5 years
consecutively, they would be barred from standing in primaries if the
proposed regulations are approved.

Blessing Vava from pressure group the Committee for the People’s Charter
(CPC), said: “ZANU PF has been a party of old madharas, a party that does
not uphold democratic principles. It is a party known to impose candidates
who are not popular with the electorate. This is why they lost the last

He added: “This also shows the greediness of these old guys. They have no
clear agenda of what they want to do for the people. All they are interested
in is self-perpetuation in power and further accumulation of resources. This
is why they don’t want to lose power. They would die in office.”

The proposals have raised many questions about the old guard’s intentions,
not only within ZANU PF, but in the context of Zimbabwe in general. Some
observers have warned that this signals a desire by the veterans to keep a
strong eternal grip on power, a prospect the MDC formations should seriously

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Zim Civil Society Lobbies SADC On Zimbabwe Polls

Harare, November 15, 2012 - Zimbabwe civil society has undertaken a
week-long lobby mission to Zambia as it pushes the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) to ensure the country holds free and fair
The lobby mission to Lusaka, coordinated by the Crisis in Zimbabwe
Coalition, comes hard on a similar mission a few months ago to Tanzania.

The delegation left Harare on Sunday and is expected back Saturday.

On Wednesday the Zimbabwe delegation met the Zambia Minister of Foreign
Affairs, Given Lubinda, his Deputy Minister Dr. Lungu and Chief of Protocol
in the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Phillian Zamchiya, the regional coordinator of the Crisis in Zimbabwe
Coalition, who is part of the delegation, said the Zimbabwe Civil Society
delegation urged the Zambian government to persuade its counterparts in the
inclusive government in Zimbabwe to work towards the full implementation of
critical issues in the Global Political Agreement (GPA).

“We also made a plea to the Zambian Government to continue working within
the SADC framework and influence positive decision-making in SADC and the AU
for a sustainable solution to the Zimbabwe crisis,” said Zamchiya.

In response, the Zambian Foreign Affairs Minister Lubinda reportedly said
that 'the Zambian government is committed to a free and fair election in

However, he is said to have opined that ‘there are some reforms [in the GPA]
that were included which you might not be able to attain before the next
election. You need to prioritise reforms especially in pursuit of holding
elections such as the constitution and electoral reforms.’

The Foreign Minister is said to have emphasised that this is the position of
President Michael Sata. The Zambian Minister was optimistic that Zimbabwe
can hold a credible election.

“Zambia doesn’t doubt the ability of Zimbabwe to hold credible elections,
that is why we convinced the world that we can co-host the United Nations
World Tourism Organisation General Assembly in the same year that Zimbabwe
will be holding the next election’, he said.

The Minister also encouraged Zimbabwe’s civil society to continue engaging
with African Governments and to also pass the same message to ordinary
Zimbabweans so that they can be a shared vision, owned by the people, to
hold a free and fair election in Zimbabwe.

Zamchiya added: “We will continue to engage the Zambian government to use
its influence positively through its government to government engagements,
SADC and the AU to aid a democratic transition in Zimbabwe.”

President Robert Mugabe wants elections held in March but the two formations
of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) are pushing for them to be held
after June, the time when the term of the president and parliament
officially ends.

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Zanu PF launches terror campaign

Thursday, 15 November 2012 12:20

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party warned yesterday that the
arson attack on the home of a member of the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) — allegedly by ruling Zanu PF supporters — signalled the start of a
violent general election campaign.

The burning of two houses belonging to David Chihwai Chamanga, the MDC
organising secretary for ward 17 in Mutoko, about 130km north east of the
capital, Harare, marked the beginning of President Mugabe’s violent campaign
to stay in power.

With a climactic presidential election due next year, Tsvangirai’s party
alleged Mugabe was moving with consummate guile to eliminate every last
possibility of defeat.

Nothing is being left to chance.

Tsvangirai’s party alleged army personnel have been deployed in Masvingo and
Manicaland, mostly in civilian clothes and some masquerading as members of
the militant ruling party’s youth brigade or war veterans, to frighten
voters ahead of crucial elections Mugabe wants in March.

The MDC claims over 30 soldiers are now camped at government offices at
Range office in Chikomba West, where they are alleged to be intimidating
villagers ahead of the coming referendum on the new constitution. The army
has denied that allegation.

Militant war veterans have vowed to blockade ruling party strongholds in
Mashonaland ahead of the poll, barring access to MDC campaigners.

Partisan police officers have shown contempt for Tsvangirai and memories of
a brutal 2008 terror campaign, waged through the length and breadth of
Zimbabwe, has left MDC supporters traumatised by fear.

In Chivi, police last month rounded up district organisers who had arranged
a rally at Makovere Business Centre, and detained them for days at Mashava
Police Station.

The Mutoko arson came hard on the heels of another attack on MDC Midlands
North provincial treasurer, John Kinnaird and his wife Jackie at their
Kadoma residence when Zanu PF youths, in party bandanas, broke into their
residence at night last month and attacked John with wheel spanners and
metal rods while one grabbed Jackie around the neck and dragged her to the

The Zanu PF youths freed them after they offered $2 000 cash and two cell
phones. Hospital authorities said he suffered multiple lacerations from the
machete-wielding assailants and received dozens of sutures in his head and

In Kwekwe, the so-called Al Shabab militia loyal to Zanu PF is wreaking
havoc in the mining town. Reports suggest it is bankrolled by a senior Zanu
PF politburo member and a local businessman Owen “Mudha”.

Meanwhile, Zanu PF has indicated it wants to disengage from a government
conflict resolution group Jomic.

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo declined to comment on the allegations

Tsvangirai said the fact that police have failed to deal with the Mutoko
arson and Midlands attack even though their mandate is to protect property
and citizens from perpetrators of such heinous crimes was clear indication
of complicity in the whole crime.

The MDC said it was obvious now that Zanu PF is not going to retreat from
its campaign of violence as Zimbabwe heads towards the elections.

“Mugabe kicked off his re-election drive last month.

“Of note is the recent raiding of the Counselling Service Unit (CSU),
arrests of MDC leadership like Elton Mangoma, arrests of independent
journalists, deployment of military personnel in Masvingo and Manicaland who
are intimidating people to vote in favour of Zanu PF in the coming
referendum and plebiscite in 2013,” MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said.

“This is the beginning of a well-calculated plan by Zanu PF to create mayhem
and a bloodbath, before, during and after next year’s election. We are aware
that this trend will increase and become more intense as we approach
election time.”

He was referring to last week’s police raid of Harare-based legal clinic
CSU, where detectives and anti-riot officers rounded up staff and
confiscated medical records of victims of 2008 election atrocities.

Pro-democracy activists believe at least 200 people died in politically-
motivated violence in that election.

Earlier this week, police refused to play the national anthem at the launch
of the government’s Medium Term Plan (MTP) review programme at the Rainbow
Towers officiated by Tsvangirai, in a move calculated to undermine him.

Mwonzora said Tsvangirai had directed Home Affairs minister Theresa Makone
to ensure the officers are sent back for refresher courses.

“The (MDC) president was unfazed by this act of barbarism and advised the
responsible authorities to send the officers for further training especially
on how to conduct themselves at state functions since these officers cannot
distinguish between government and party functions,” he said.

There are escalating fears the situation would “definitely deteriorate” as
elections approach, amid fears violence and intimidation would spread from
the rural areas into the MDC’s urban strongholds.

Tsvangirai’s warning of more violence comes as everyone else is facing
entirely new requirements for voter registration, carefully constructed to
bear most heavily on MDC supporters.

In the cities, voters will have to produce a plethora of documents before
they will be entered on the voters roll: proof of address in the form of
title deeds, rental agreements or utility bills will have to be shown.

In the countryside, village chiefs will have to vouch for everyone who

On October 12, chiefs and headmen in Bikita received a circular from the
local district administrator, Edgar Seenza advising them to attend a meeting
at 4 Brigade army headquarters in Masvingo town.

The army also met chiefs from Manicaland at Chief Murahwa’s homestead on
October 27, while a similar meeting was held at Chief Mugabe’s residence in
Masvingo the same week.

The military has reportedly sternly warned the chiefs at the meetings of the
possibility of war if Zanu PF lost the forthcoming election. - Gift Phiri,
Political Editor

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Moyo, Chiyangwa in-illegible [sic] to stand for Zanu PF in general elections

Staff Reporter 11 hours 1 minute ago

FORMER Information and Publicity minister Jonathan Moyo is one of the
biggest casualties of Zanu PF’s proposed regulations on primary elections,
which will bar members who have served the party for less than five
consecutive years from contesting.
The regulations — cobbled up by the party’s mobilisation committee led by
secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa — are seen as a way of blocking
the so-called “Young Turks” seeking to challenge the old guard in the Zanu
PF primaries.
Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo last night refused to speak to NewsDay on
the matter, saying he was not happy with a story the paper carried at the
weekend revealing that the party’s structures were in shambles.
But earlier Mutasa had told ZBC that under the proposed regulations, set to
be discussed at a party politburo meeting on December 4, only card-carrying
members who have served the party for five or more consecutive years, would
be eligible to stand.
“We met with the mobilisation committee which gave us feedback on the rules
and regulations governing the conduct of primary elections,” Gumbo said.
“These were expected to be tabled before the politburo, and if adopted will
then be made public and the dates for the primary elections will be set.”
If adopted, the move would be a fatal blow to aspiring candidates,who
include retired soldiers and members of the Central Intelligence
Organisation who have been positioning themselves to challenge the Zanu PF
old guard in a number of constituencies.
Moyo only rejoined Zanu PF in 2009, four years after his expulsion for
standing as an independent candidate for Tsholotsho North.
Earlier, he had been accused of leading a revolt against President Robert
Mugabe, which is now infamously known as the Tsholotsho Declaration.
The alleged revolt claimed the scalp of six provincial chairpersons, among
them Manicaland’s Mike Madiro, Masvingo’s Daniel Shumba and Midlands’ July
Moyo. They were accused of allegedly spearheading the plot that would have
elevated Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa into the presidium.
Moyo went on to win the Tsholotsho seat as an independent candidate in 2005
and again in 2008 before reapplying to rejoin Zanu PF in 2009.
Besides Moyo, other senior politicians to be affected by the Zanu PF primary
elections regulations include Madiro, Shumba, July Moyo and businessman
Phillip Chiyangwa who were harbouring parliamentary ambitions in their home
provinces. The politicians were recently re-admitted into the party.
Several bigwigs in Zanu PF are reportedly facing challenges from the Young
Turks who are calling for leadership renewal and regeneration of the
party. - NewsDay

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PM's office restructuring unsettles Zanu PF

Staff Reporter 20 hours 13 minutes ago

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has co-opted law expert Mr Alex
Magaisa as his chief legal and Constitutional law confidante and brought
back media veteran William Bango, a move that has riled Zanu PF and its
loyalists in the Public Service Commission’s knowledge, sources said.
Mr Magaisa assumed duty as the Prime Minister’s secretary. He took over from
Mr Ian Makone. Sources yesterday said Mr Makone would be in charge of
economic and transition issues.
Former spokesperson Mr William Bango bounced back. He was appointed a
director in the PM’s office.
Ms Abigail Gamanya who has been in the structures, has assumed Mr Luke
Tamborinyoka’s duties as director for information and communication in an
acting capacity.
Mr Tamborinyoka is in hospital following an accident a fortnight ago.
Mr Bango’s duties were not yet clear by last night.
Sources said the PM’s Office has already communicated the changes to the
MDC-T sources said Mr Magaisa was now in charge of the PM’s Office on
constintutional and legal matters.
He would, however not be be responsible for party activities.
It is understood that PM Tsvangirai made various changes in his office that
had diluted roles and duties of his former secretary.
Mr Makone would be in charge of Government business in the PM’s Office.
“By virtue of being a civil servant, Mr Makone remains in the PM’s Office,
but his brief is now confined to implementation of Government programmes run
through the PM’s Office,” the sources said.
Mr Makone was in charge of the PM’s diary spanning from party business and
Government duties before his “redeployment”.
Minister of State in the PM’s Office Mr Jameson Timba refused to comment on
the changes.
“There are more than 260 000 employees in Government, why are you asking
about Magaisa only?
“I do not speak about staff changes in the Prime Minister’s Office. Talk to
the PSC! I am a policymaker. I make policies in Cabinet and the Council of
Ministers,” he said.

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Glenorah police detain 10 MDC activists

Police in Glenorah (Harare) have detained 10 officials and activists from
Welshman Ncube's MDCwho were on a recruitment drive in the district. The ten
were accused of engaging in door to door campaign without police clearance.

by The Zimbabwean

" The MDC once again views this as a clearly orchestrated plan by the some
police details to frustrate the efforts of creating a just and a fair
Zimbabwe. We once again wish to make known publicly that MDC will not be
intimidated by these actions of desperation. The pursuit of a just and
affair Zimbabwe is in full swing and has undoubtedly become the road sign to
a democratic Zimbabwe.

'When the MDC made a resolution to mobilise in every valley, village and
suburbs of this country, we were aware of such elements, and we know very
well that the determination of the people will bring down the walls of this
dictatorship. We also wish to warn those that have allowed themselves to be
used as instruments of oppression that the end of this regime is nigh and
all the collaborators of this diabolic rule will be brought to account for
their actions," Said Kurauone Chihwayi the party's Deputy National

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Zanu (PF) threatens coup, again

War veterans and collaborators will not readily accept an MDC-T victory,
according to Zanu (PF) spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo.

by Tarisai Jangara

In an interview with The Zimbabwean, Gumbo said that the war veterans and
collaborators, most of whom are Zanu (PF) sympathizers, were likely to block
Tsvangirai’s ascendancy to power in the event of an MDC-T victory in the
next elections. Gumbo’s sentiments confirm long held fears among Zimbabweans
that a smooth transition of power in Zimbabwe was uncertain.

“We have people who fought for the country, the war veterans, and you think
they would just smile. What about the land that we acquired? We want to keep
the farms. Honestly, the situation will be messy if MDC is to win in the
upcoming elections. It will be chaotic I tell you. This is a very serious
issue,” he said.

Gumbo’s remarks come barely a month after he publicly declared the
possibility of a coup if Tsvangirai was to win, saying the military would
not accept him. “We will be asking for too much from our guys (the military)
to accept these people who we all know fought against them and were
responsible for the deaths of many comrades,” he told e-News Channel Africa.

A week earlier, the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, Patrick
Chinamasa, also told the BBC that Zanu (PF) and the military would not
accept a “foreign-sponsored” victory for Tsvangirai. “Young people
participated in the liberation struggle to gain control over our resources.

Many friends died and are buried in unmarked graves. Now if anyone is going
to say: ‘When I come into power I am going to reverse that,’ they (the
military) have every right to say: ‘Please - you are asking for trouble. You
will be asking for trouble,” he said.

Gumbo accused the MDC formations for being immature, saying they had failed
to bring development to the country.

“The problem with MDC is that it has a mentality of fixing and scoring
points rather than focusing on serious issues. Thus, they are always looking
for faults within Zanu (PF) instead of focusing on developmental issues,” he
said. However MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora dismissed Gumbo’s

“That’s the problem with Zanu (PF); they want to remain in power forever.
They are panicking because they know that their time is up but we are not
moved by their threats.”

Commenting on the recurrent coup threats by Zanu (PF), a political analyst,
Pedzisayi Ruhanya said: “When the people make a decision, there is no amount
of intimidation that can derail their desire to free themselves from

Another political analyst, John Makumbe, said: “I am not surprised because
Zanu (PF) is violent in nature and when you hear them passing such comments,
they already have a rigging plot in place.”

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What happened to $50m from Mugabe?


by Clayton Masekesa

There is widespread looting of funds and lack of transparency in the
management of the Marange-Zimunya Community Share
Ownership Trust, according to The Zimbabwe Natural Resource Dialogue Forum.

The trust was set up as part of the government’s nationwide project to
empower local communities. In an exclusive interview with The Zimbabwean
last week, the Manicaland Coordinator of ZNRDF, Freeman Bosvo, expressed
serious concern over the initiative.

“It is nearly five months after President Robert Mugabe handed the Trust a
$50 million cheque from the mining companies. As ZNRDF we are concerned that
it is not clear whether the money has been handed over to the Trust or not,”
he said.

Bosvo complained there was no transparency in the selection of trustees.

“The opaqueness and secrecy in which the Community Share Ownership Trust is
operating raises more fears of corruption and nepotism,” said Bosvo. “We
note the glaring exclusion of elected Members of Parliament, Councillors,
Community Organisations and Civil Society in playing an oversight role.”

He said ZNRDF was also interested in hearing the position of those who were
relocated to ARDA Transau and what they stand to benefit from the money
presented to the Trust.

“We are convinced that if the Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership
Trust is a genuine developmental initiative it must address these issues as
failure to do so will substantiate claims of ulterior motives by the Trust.
It will also give leverage for speculation that these schemes are a smoke
screen for political motives,” he said.

Political analyst John Makumbe has said the community trust concept does not
guarantee the empowerment of communities, adding that only a few individuals
would corruptly benefit.

“The money is likely to be used and abused by the various ministries
involved in development and the communities are unlikely to benefit much
from this,” Makumbe said.

The Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment
Savior Kasukuwere has said the trust funds should be run by local boards
comprising chiefs, councilors, a lawyer and an accountant, who is the
custodian of the scheme.

“The community benefits through construction of infrastructure like roads,
clinics, schools and water facilities,” he said.

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Deep corruption in the ZRP

There has always been corruption police force and things will only change
when the government stops treating people according to their war credentials
and political affiliation, *Willard Chirume, a former sergeant with the
Zimbabwe Republic Police, said recently.

by Staff Reporter

Responding to allegations of internal corruption within the Augstine
Chihuri-led force, Chirume said the information was not new to him, as he
lived through 15 years of graft in Bulawayo.

“You know how this country is being run and in trying to report such issues,
you may end up being killed, so we thought it wiser to remain silent and
whisper among ourselves.”

Farms for officers

According to him and several retired and serving members, junior members
suffer the most. Apparently, the age-old graft worsened when the government
promoted war veterans without examinations in 2000, in return for them
dovetailing junior members into supporting Mugabe’s party.

“State funds were diverted to senior officers’ personal use, with most of
them burning state fuel as they drove to their new farms with truckloads of
state equipment,” added Chirume.

Internal sources say police commanders in the ranks of Inspector and more
senior ones were given A2 farms, which they spent most of their working
hours attending to, using state resources.

Chihuri, who corruptly claimed 20 per cent disability and got a fortune from
the war veterans gratuity fund, drove the corruption train. The police
commissioner-general, a self-proclaimed supporter of Mugabe’s party, is said
to have built himself three mansions in and around Harare wholly from state
funds. Some officers who joined in the 1990s said they had to endure forced
deductions from their salaries for having eaten in the police canteens.

“There were some of us who never lived in police camps, but were forced to
eat 30 meals from the messes. Even when you did not eat there, the money was
automatically deducted from your salary at the end of every month and there
were no negotiations,” said a former Constable.

The Outpost

“Members were also defrauded through the police’s internal monthly magazine,
The Outpost, for which deductions kept being made every month even when the
magazine went out of print for more than three years. We were not told where
the money went and no-one would listen when we requested that our money not
be deducted.”

When the government launched Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle, meant to
provide free houses to the more than 700 000 people affected by Operation
Murambatsvina in 2005, senior officers allegedly benefited most from the new
scheme, despite police having been the destroyers of backyard shacks

“I was based at the PGHQ’s human resources section by then and we were told
to compile names and ID numbers of police officers so that they would
benefit from the programme,” said a serving member of the ZRP. “When the
list of beneficiaries was posted in various newspapers, Wayne Bvudzijena,
then an Assistant Commissioner and national head of the police press and
liaison office, was heading the list.

Other forms of corruption are said to include the nomination process for the
lucrative United Nations assignments outside the country, with spaces
apparently reserved for only those who are known to support Zanu (PF) and
Chihuri’s closest bootlickers. (*not his real name)

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Taming ‘mystery’ CIO

Human rights activist Farai Maguwu has had the last laugh after the High
Court ordered State intelligence officers to return his property seized at
Harare International Airport, since the seizure was illegal.

by The Legal Monitor

The case had dragged from September last year when intelligence officers -
without identifying themselves - pounced on the activist and confiscated his
property.The agents prevented Maguwu from travelling to Dublin, Ireland, for
an international conference focusing on rights violations.

But at the end, it ceased being about Maguwu as the rule of law emerged the
bigger winner, particularly after High Court Judge Justice Nicholas Mathonsi
trashed State Security Minister Hon. Sydney Sekeramayi’s attempts to
legalise the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) as an entity that can
operate above the law.Justice Mathonsi was particularly scathing on Hon.
Sekeramayi, whom he described as untruthful and unhelpful.

He was giving a final order following Justice Samuel Kudya’s provisional
order granted in September last year ordering the return of Maguwu’s
property.Defending the intelligence officers’ actions, Tinei Dodo from the
Attorney General’s Office, representing Hon. Sekeramayi, told the court that
the CIO should not be held accountable because “the Department of State
Security does not operate under any statute”.To this, Justice Mathonsi said:
“This argument is unfortunate indeed.”“

Zimbabwe is a democratic country which subscribes to the rule of law. The
applicant (Maguwu) is a citizen of Zimbabwe who is entitled to the
protection of the law. He enjoys certain rights, including the right to
property and free movement as enshrined in the constitution of Zimbabwe.

“If the property of an individual is to be seized such a seizure must be
under the authority of the law,” Justice Mathonsi said in a hard hitting
10-page ruling.“The Fifth Respondent (Hon. Sekeramayi) has not cited any law
under which the State agents acted in this matter. The Fifth Respondent has
submitted the State agents do not operate under any law. His submissions are
therefore exceedingly unhelpful,” he said.

The Judge then turned the screws further on the Minister for exhibiting
glaring contradictions.In an affidavit deposed in September last year
opposing Justice Kudya’s provisional order, Hon. Sekeramayi admitted that
his agents took three blank fuel cash sale slips, bank account numbers and
transaction receipts, note pads, travel insurance cover and visa application
receipt. He claimed to have returned the goods to Maguwu.He denied that the
agents had taken a laptop and accessories such as the power pack and bag, a
digital camera, business cards and bank cards as well as $2 000.Justice
Mathonsi said it was “not true” that the State agency had returned the items
to Maguwu.“

It is also curious that the Fifth Respondent was now admitting under oath
having more items belonging to the applicant when, in the letter from his
legal practitioner dated 14 September 2011, he denied having taken any of
the applicant’s property except two reports from, and compiled by the
applicant,” the Judge noted.He was not done yet.

“The Fifth Respondent has not been truthful in respect of the items that
were taken from the applicant. One cannot help observe as well that all the
valuable items which the applicant claims were seized from him have been
denied. The Fifth Respondent has been shown to be completely unreliable on
what was taken,” said Justice Mathonsi, before sending the Minister to the

It is a principle of our law of evidence that where a witness has shown to
be untruthful, as the Fifth Respondent has been demonstrably shown to be, an
adverse interference has to be drawn against such a witness. “The basis of
that legal principle resides in the fact that the witness would be
unreliable and the court would not know when the truth is told and when
not,” said Justice Mathonsi.

He tore into the Minister’s definition of subversive material which the
State suspected Maguwu wanted to carry to Ireland.“We now know of course
that the said documents of ‘national security’ other than reports, were
receipts which do not commend themselves favourably as security threats,” he
said.“In order to assess the reasonableness of the suspicion the court must
be taken into confidence as to what exercised the mind of the agents, which,
as things stand remain a mystery.

What is known however is that the State agents admit taking a number of
receipts, insurance policy, bank transaction slips and two reports compiled
by the applicant.“I am not persuaded that these items could be regarded as
subversive,” he said, adding that the manner in which the agents handled
Maguwu was “not only arbitrary but also over handed”.

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Respect for property rights vital to prosperity

Zimbabwe’s frequent appearances in the world’s news bulletins are usually
describing the unacceptable conduct of its pre- and post-independence
politicians, rather than their achievements. Have things changed enough to
suggest that its leaders are deserving of a break?

by John Robertson

Considering the advantages that these people squandered, it would be easy to
argue that they deserve nothing, but it is also easy to argue that the
millions who make up the rest of the population are casualties who do not
deserve what they are experiencing either. But if the country is thought to
be deserving of more positive treatment because of them, then very carefully
planned efforts will be needed to make certain that compassion will not go
to waste.

Even though all the politicians were elected on their promises to serve the
people, very nearly all of them were soon claiming that the people were
there to serve them. These politicians have vigorously exploited deeply
entrenched traditions that permit leaders to demand respect. Unfortunately,
when political disregard turns into contempt, as it has in Zimbabwe, and
when nothing is done in response, it becomes compelling evidence that
traditional respect for leadership trumps everything else.

If one of the best examples of successful development anywhere in the third
world can be torn down and trashed by the greed, corruption and power-lust
of a handful of politicians without generating an effective reaction from
anywhere, what hopes can there be for the rest?

If international bodies dismiss Zimbabwe’s plight as “outside their
jurisdiction”, the world’s political leaders will confirm the impression
already shared by the world’s business leaders that nobody will come to the
defence of investors if the political heavyweights in any African country
choose to dispossess them of their assets.

Again and again, the topic comes back to respect for property rights. Every
situation in which all the players respect each other’s property rights, the
patterns of behaviour become supportive of investment and development.

When initiative-takers are routinely targeted for asset expropriations, the
best of them will take their talents and ambitions to countries in which
their property rights are respected.

Zimbabwe’s progress in earlier years outpaced that of its neighbours because
its formalised property rights and laws of contract. Zimbabwe was once among
the world’s most outstanding examples of what could be achieved by a
developing country. With a little carefully directed help, it could reclaim
that status fairly quickly, but if the Government of National Unity is
prevented from delivering the civil rights and property rights reforms it
has promised, or it too is corrupted, the country’s descent into poverty
will soon start gathering momentum again.

But a large segment of the political policy plank remains the politicians’
determination to carry on blaming the former colonial powers forever. So
whether or not they misunderstand their long-term interests, and whether or
not they agree that their national pride has turned into swaggering
self-delusion, they remain determined to keep alive the claim that all the
faults of any consequence absolutely and permanently lie with the former
colonial power.

Even if the politicians in former colonising countries can be persuaded to
never stop feeling guilty and to carry on pouring aid into their former
colonies, the people will remain poor. To the people who actually matter,
the investors, these countries will remain unattractive and the continuing
weaknesses will make the current argument more compelling: the whole of
Sub-Saharan Africa should be considered suitable only for short-term
speculative high-risk, high return ventures and every project should include
a rapid exit plan.

Unfortunately, this is driven by just about every African leader’s belief
that he should always retain the right to sweep aside the property rights of
anyone within his territory if it suits his purposes to do so.

And because this leads to conduct that causes dissatisfaction, he should
bolster his security arrangements and avoid ever being held to account by
never relinquishing office.

Zimbabwe’s leadership has chosen to define the economic success of all but
its own supporters as a potential threat, so the successful business owners
had to be brought to heel somehow.

The means chosen was very straightforward: property rights can be made
forfeit by government edict. The nationalisation of all farmland was
supposed to place Zimbabwe’s biggest business sector under government

So far, all that this achieved was to turn the sector into a much smaller
producer over which government still does not have control, but it is now
too weak to be a threat. Government then turned its attention to foreign
owned companies and is trying to force all of them to relinquish 51% of
their shares.

Clearly, the people who gain control will be selected and directed by the
authorities, and even if government again finds it does not have the talents
to keep the businesses productive, it will claim success: the businesses
will no longer be run by people who the party feels might not deserve their
trust, but by people they select, all of whom will be far more easily

But millions of Zimbabweans have moved with the times and shown themselves
to be as capable and resourceful as their counterparts in developed

Zanu PF politicians are wrong to think that most people will be happy to be
forced back into the much more confining range of options that was the lot
of their forefathers.

Many have already chosen to leave for other countries where they can take
full advantage of respect for civil rights in general and property rights in

These rights did not feature in traditional society, but many were
introduced in more recent colonial years. Zimbabwe’s problem today is that
these rights are under attack and are being dismantled.

Today, the principal missing elements in Zimbabwe’s hoped-for recovery are
the security and encouragement that investors need, whether they are
Zimbabweans or foreigners.

The stepping-stones to Zimbabwe’s economic recovery and progress are simply
the basic civil rights and property rights essentials that have to be in
place to support each investor and every investment process.

The path Zimbabwe took to get into its current severely weakened state has
been chosen to deliberately interfere with the objectives of all investors
who do not show a willingness to be totally subjugated themselves to the
wishes of the ruling party.

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STATEMENT: U.S. Ambassador David Bruce Wharton meets President Robert Mugabe

U.S. Embassy Harare

Public Affairs Section

STATEMENT by Ambassador D. Bruce Wharton following his first meeting with President R.G. Mugabe

Harare, November 15, 2012: My wife Julie and I are truly delighted to return to Zimbabwe to continue the important work of building strong and respectful relations between our two great countries.

President Mugabe and I had a good discussion of where our relationship has been over the last few years, and how we would like it to develop in the coming years. I delivered President Obama’s greeting to President Mugabe and expressed the U.S. government’s sincere desire to find common ground to enhance the bilateral relationship.

My Embassy is active in supporting Zimbabwe’s health, agriculture, business, cultural, and civil society sectors. We provide ongoing support to the Zimbabwean Parliament and constitution-making process; and we have invested more than one billion dollars in health and humanitarian assistance in the last 10 years. The U.S. also promotes business linkages, encouraging American investors to look closely at Zimbabwe’s educated labor force and long-term growth potential.

I pledged to President Mugabe our continued support to the people of Zimbabwe and their efforts to build a more just, prosperous and healthy society. The Government of the United States and the Government of Zimbabwe share this desire for a better future for the people of this great nation. When we differ on the best means of achieving those goals, I will seek to engage in a dialogue that is respectful and that seeks to uphold the universal values and rights that Zimbabweans fought so hard to gain 32 years ago.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a speech in Cape Town in August of this year in which she stated the United States will meet “action for action” in our relations with Zimbabwe. We support the democratic reform process underway since the start of the Global Political Agreement and, along with SADC and other friends of Zimbabwe, we will stand by the people as this process reaches its conclusion. U.S. policy toward Zimbabwe is not static, and will respond positively to Zimbabwe’s progress on the roadmap to constitutional reform and elections.

In addition to my government’s primary policy interests of supporting strong democratic institutions, sustainable economic growth, regional security, and expanding opportunities for people and communities, I am also personally interested in supporting women’s empowerment, education, conservation, freedom of expression, and the rights of all people.

I will begin my term here by listening and learning about the goals of the Zimbabwean people, and how the U.S. can be a good partner. As I learn, I will begin to add my own ideas in support of what is clearly best for both our nations: a strong, prosperous, just and healthy Zimbabwe.

# # #

Issued the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section. Comments and queries should be addressed to Sharon Hudson-Dean, Counselor for Public Affairs. E-mail: Tel. +263 4 758800-1, Fax: 758802. Url:

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Mana Pools: Paradise embroiled in controversy

Wednesday, 14 November 2012 19:39
Nelson Chenga, Staff Reporter

LIKE savannah termites reinforcing their mound ahead of the rainfall season,
workers could be seen elaborately thatching the 12 lodges at Mana Pools,
Zimbabwe’s latest most exquisite up-market wilderness campsite. The lodges
have been craftily woven among the trees along the southern bank of the
mighty Zambezi River.
Construction of the campsite, to be named after the thickets of creeping
bush vines in the area (Vine Camp), is expected to be completed around April
next year.
The project, to cost US$500 000, has however, stroked heated controversy
because it is within an area classified by the United Nations Educatio-nal,
Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as a World Heritage site.
Zimbabwe only has four locations classified as UNE-SCO World Heritage Sites
namely the Victoria Falls, Matopo Hills, Great Zimbabwe and Mana Pools.
For a place to be classified as a World Heritage Site it must be of special
cultural or physical significance and deserving protection.
According to UNESCO’s guidelines, Mana Pools’ natural significance is so
exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and to be of common
importance for present and future generations of all humanity.
As a result, the wildlife sanctuary is of importance not only to
Zimbabweans, but to the rest of the world as a whole.
Environmentalists are thus fuming over the construction of the lodges at
Mana Pools saying the project would threaten wildlife in the area.
Described by others as an area of dramatic landscape and ecological
processes that provides shelter to immense congregations of Africa’s large
and small mammal populations and over 450 bird species, Mana Pools is indeed
a wildlife paradise whose irresistible natural charm can easily stir all
sorts of emotions.
The project promoters, however, are determined to maintain the pristine
state of Mana Pools — a 2 196 square-kilometre wildlife area.
The Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Mana-gement Authority (ZNPWMA), the
custodian of all of national parks land covering 13 percent of the country,
said it will press ahead with the project, which is a 50-50 percent joint
venture between the authority and Acis.
Acis is an Italian firm that has been involved in many other local projects
for the past 20 years or so.
Jerry Gotora, one of the ZNPWMA’s board members, said concerns around the
project were misplaced because it will not interfere with the natural
environment at Mana Pools.
“We would like to keep the park as pristinely as is possible, but you
require money to keep it in a pristine condition … They totally avoided
cutting down a bush… and this is commercialisation as recommended by the
International Monetary Fund,” said Gotora.
He said critics were being unfair to the ZNPWMA, which he said was only
trying to make the best out of Zimbabwe’s God-given natural resources.
“The world that wants to enjoy this so-called World Heritage Site is being
unfair to Zimbabweans. For us to maintain this World Heritage site,
Zimbabweans must be given credit because this place should have been
destroyed a long time ago. We are actually taking money from Lake Chivero to
maintain this place. The money we are generating here is nothing compared to
what we are generating at Chivero,” said Gotora.
“The same world that is telling us not to sell our ivory is denying us the
right to make money out of our God-given natural resource. We are trying to
create money out of a God-given natural resource without destroying it.
Zambia is now making money out of our conservation efforts… I can’t charge
you US$100 to come and sleep in your own tent under a tree,” he added.
Parks regional manager, Tawanda Gotosa, weighed in saying the area was
grossly underutilised hence the ZNPWMA had to embark on something that would
generate additional income.
While the authority was commercialised more than a decade ago, it is still
struggling to remain afloat because of the decline in wildlife-based
Its fortunes took a turn for the worst after hordes of tourists that once
flocked into Zimbabwe before 2000 turned their backs on the country due to
political instability. This was compounded by a nine-year long Convention on
International Trade of Endangered Species ivory trade moratorium.
The moratorium which ends in 2018 has since resulted in the country
generating a 50-tonne ivory stockpile worth US$12,5 million.
With little support coming from both the government and international donor
community, the ZNPWMA has very few choices to keep its head above the water.
For example, animal populations have grown out of control, putting pressure
on the available land and vegetation such as the Acacia Albida — a highly
nutritious tree for all kinds of animals that is now failing to regenerate
Mana Pools has one of the major concentrations of the world’s largest
herbivores, the elephant.
At an estimated 120 000 elephants, Zimbabwe now has three times its carrying
capacity of 40 000.
What it means is that the objections to the construction of Vine Camp could
deny the ZNPWMA an opportunity to generate resources that could have helped
absorb some of the pressures from growing wildlife numbers.
While there are potential partners that are keen on working with the ZNPWMA,
the authority has found itself torn between environmental concerns and the
need to improve its cash flows.
For instance, there are developers who have expressed interest in panning
for heavy mineral sand deposits on the river beds of two of Mana Pools’ main
arteries — Rekomichi and Chewore.
But their interest has generated a barrage of objections from stakeholders
and environmentalists.
HMSDs are commonly used as raw materials in manufacturing paints and dyes;
enhancing colour in plastics, paper and rubber; in cosmetics and
pharmaceuticals; and to produce titanium alloy metals used in aircraft,
spacecraft and medical prostheses.
Those opposed to the project said it would result in a serious decline in
the population of the endangered species and the other species of
outstanding universal value for which the property was legally established
to protect.
They cited possible severe deterioration of the natural beauty or scientific
value of the property through human settlement that would trigger
uncontrolled industrial and agricultural development including the use of
pesticides and fertilisers, major public works, mining, pollution, logging,
firewood collection as well as human encroachment on boundaries or in
upstream areas, which threaten the integrity of the property.

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