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Five arrested after police raid NGO

By Alex Bell
05 November 2012

Five people were arrested on Monday after an NGO that offers counselling
services for victims of torture and abuse, was raided by at least 20

A group of about 10 plain clothed policemen and a truckload of riot police
officers stormed the Counselling Services Unit (CSU) offices early Monday
afternoon, armed with a search warrant. The police, led by Detective
Assistant Inspector Henry Dowa and Detective Assistant Inspector Murira,
said their raid was aimed to recover “offensive and subversive material”
from the organisation’s offices in Harare.

According to the search warrant, the police were searching for any material
that “defaces any house, building, wall, fence, lamp post, gate, elevator
without the consent of the owner or occupier thereof,” in contravention of
section 46 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

CSU staff were barred from leaving the building during the raid, which saw
the police officers lay siege to the premises for several hours. Eventually
police arrested five CSU staff members and confiscated some documents and a
computer. The police also briefly apprehended a photojournalist from the
Daily News who was trying to take pictures of the police action. According
to the Human Rights NGO Forum, the photojournalist was released after his
camera was confiscated.

The arrested CSU staff members are Fidelis Mudimu, Zachariah Godi, James
Zidzimu, Tafadzwa Gesa and Penn Bruno who were taken into custody at Harare
Central Police Station. According to SW Radio Africa’s Harare correspondent,
Simon Muchemwa, it was not yet clear by late Monday afternoon what the
arrested group would be charged with.

Muchemwa explained that there is growing fear that the raid is part of a
worsening crackdown on human rights groups and other NGOs in Zimbabwe, ahead
of elections expected next March. He said the raid highlights that there
have been no significant changes to the security sector since the 2008
elections, and the same intimidation and harassment that helped ZANU PF
cling to power then is still feared now.

These concerns were also echoed by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
group on Monday, who said the raid on the CSU was part of a wider crackdown
against the NGO community in Zimbabwe. The group explained that the Gays and
Lesbians of Zimbabwe offices were raided twice in August, after the police
claimed that the organisation and its leaders were in “possession of
pamphlets and fliers with information that promotes homosexuality for

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Gold rush turning Zimbabwe into wasteland: Coltart

Bare surface ... A gold panner uses a metal dictator to search for gold in Shangani

05/11/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
Wasteland warning ... David Coltart

EDUCATION Minister David Coltart has warned that Zimbabwe faces “long term ruin” from the activities of gold panners – barely a week after President Robert Mugabe announced plans to decriminalise goal panning.

Mugabe, opening Zimbabwe’s fifth parliament on Tuesday last week, declared: “For the illegal panners, steps are on the way to decriminalise and allow them to work in a legal way.”

The plan to legalise gold panning by small scale miners, usually working as individuals, was first mooted in May by Mines Minister Obert Mpofu.

At the time, Mugabe voiced support for the move but also sounded caution, saying: “Mpofu gave you the right to korokoza, but let us do it properly. This is our country so we should not leave gullies everywhere or kill our rivers.”

But Coltart has expressed grave concerns about the environmental impact of free-for-all gold mining.

The minister visited Shangani – a small, largely rural outpost between Bulawayo and Gweru – where the discovery of alluvial gold deposits has triggered a massive gold rush.

Here, Coltart says he found “widespread burning of Zimbabwe's bush” by panners who use metal detectors to find gold.

“They cannot operate the detectors in thick bush because obviously grass and bushes get in the way and prevent them from placing the detector a narrow distance above the surface of the ground,” Coltart said.

“I saw the practice 90km from Bulawayo on the Gweru road, near Shangani opposite Fountains Farm... The entire area has been burnt out, as have hundreds of thousands of hectares in Zimbabwe this spring.”

Coltart warned that the burning of the bush would end in large swathes of the country “desecrated”.
“Unless this practice is brought to an end, Zimbabwe is going to be transformed into a wasteland and desert,” he warned.

“Whilst I sympathise with young men who are out of work, we simply have to control this practice as their short term gain is going to be the long term ruin of our beloved nation.”

Free for all ... Gold panners dig up gold in Shangani

According to Mpofu, a third of gold deliveries this year came from small scale miners commonly known as omakorokoza.

The proposals to reform mining laws have not been published, but Mpofu indicated last week that the gold panners would be issued with free operating licences.

Conservationists worry that it would be difficult to police the gold panners to force them to adhere to operating guidelines.

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Civic groups and MDC dismiss Mugabe call for March elections

By Tererai Karimakwenda
05 November 2012

The three political parties in the Government of National Unity (GNU) are
headed for a deadlock over the date for the next harmonised elections,
following more statements by Robert Mugabe that the elections would be in
March next year, with or without a new constitution.

Mugabe made the comments at the ZANU PF headquarters in Harare on Saturday,
where he launched the 2012/2013 Presidential Well Wishers Special
Agricultural Inputs Scheme. He also announced that his party would reveal
their position on the COPAC draft constitution next week.

The election date has already been rejected by the MDC formations and civic
groups in the country, who say more time is needed to implement key reforms
that were agreed to in the Global Political Agreement (GPA). Facilitated by
regional leaders, the GPA laid out the roadmap towards elections and a new
constitution is part of it.

The COPAC draft has already been adopted by the MDC formations and civic
groups, who are pushing for a YES vote at the referendum. But ZANU PF have
been pushing for a NO vote, insisting the draft does not represent what
Zimbabweans want.

Mugabe further complicated matters at the 2nd All Stakeholders Conference
last month. In his address to delegates he said the principals would have
the final word on the draft constitution. Mugabe also repeated this when he
opened the fifth session of parliament last week.

Thabani Nyoni from the Crisis Coalition, which represents 350 member
organisations, told SW Radio Africa that there is a general consensus among
the groups that the environment in Zimbabwe is not conducive to holding
elections. He said no talk of elections should even begin before the key
reforms, agreed on by the political parties, are implemented.

“We feel that this talk of elections is part of that process of frustrating
the progress in making key reforms because people are being perpetually
subjected to an electioneering mode, which does not allow sober engagement
or critical reforms to take place,” Nyoni explained.

Regarding Mugabe’s comments that the principals have the last word, Nyoni
said: “We had problems initially with the constitutional process being moved
from people to parliament. We have even more problems with it being moved
from parliament to executive. We feel that it is an affront to the ideals of
constitutional participation in Zimbabwe.”

Seiso Moyo, the MDC-T secretary for elections, agreed. But he told SW Radio
Africa that he doubts that Robert Mugabe would hijack the process, since he
and the other party leaders were consulted throughout the negotiating
process and gave their consent to what was agreed on.

“The people have spoken and they will speak again at the referendum. So I
don’t see how at this stage the principals can all of a sudden become the
people and go against the draft. It is already a negotiated document. The
principals had their input and they provided leadership to the negotiators,”
Moyo said.

Both Nyoni and Moyo dismissed the March date for elections that Mugabe has
repeated, saying there needs to be a drastic change in the atmosphere on the
ground and legislative changes that help create that environment. Both
agreed March is too early.

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Teachers ‘disappointed’ with salary increase promise

By Alex Bell
05 November 2012

The country’s main teachers’ union has said it is disappointed with the
government’s plans to increase civil servants wages next year, saying the
plan will not benefit state workers.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti announced over the weekend that civil servants
are set to get an “inflation-related” salary increment in January next year.
Speaking during a parliamentary pre-budget seminar in Victoria Falls on
Saturday, Biti said the wage increase was a top priority for government next
year. He did not provide the actual figures for the pay hike.

“We have decided that there must be a cost of living adjustment for civil
servants and it should be inflation related. It should come into effect in
January next year,” he said.

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has now called for the
increase to reflect the poverty datum line and not inflation. The union said
Monday that Biti’s wage plans, “will not significantly improve the plight of
the under-paid government workers who are still a long way below the
consumer-indexed basket of six currently at more than US$568.”

PTUZ Secretary General Raymond Majongwe told SW Radio Africa on Monday that
the “technicalities” of matching salaries to reflect inflation would only
leave them with a an increase of roughly six dollars. He said this is not
nearly enough, and the offer is insulting,

“We don’t want cruel generosity from the government. It is not like we don’t
deserve this. We are opposed to anything that paints us like beggars,”
Majongwe said.

Biti’s promise to increase salaries comes after he also promises to pay
civil servants bonuses, amid fears the government did not have enough money
to make this payment. Majongwe however said Monday that this was no reason
to celebrate.

“We will never celebrate the payment of bonuses, because we are entitled to
it,” Majongwe said.

He meanwhile said that it is only the end of Zimbabwe’s ongoing political
crisis that will usher in real change for the civil service, saying their
demands are getting lost in the ongoing “political bickering in the unity

“There are lots of grey areas that must be addressed before there is any
meaningful change, The political fighting must come to an end and a solution
must be found urgently,” Majongwe said.

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Biti pegs back 2012 growth forecast

05/11/2012 00:00:00
by AFP

FINANCE Minister Tendai Biti has cut the country's 2012 economic growth
forecast to 4.0 percent, mainly owing to lower than expected agricultural
production, local media said on Monday.

"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," Biti told lawmakers and business leaders in Victoria Falls ahead
of the presentation of the annual budget for 2013.

"Due to drought, we have lost a third of maize production," the Daily News
said in reference to one of the country's staple crops.

Last year, Biti said the economy was expected to grow by 9.4 percent in 2012
with help from revenue from the sale of diamonds, but in the middle of this
year he slashed that forecast, citing weak earnings from gem sales.

Agriculture, the backbone of the economy, had been projected to grow by 11.6
percent this year but that estimate has been thrown out and officials now
think that the sector will contract by 5.8 percent, Biti said.

Many farmers lost their crops following a long dry spell in the middle of
the farming season.
Farming was also hampered by lack of fertiliser and seed, while some new
farmers failed to buy enough of each to cover their cropland.

On a brighter note, Biti said that the mining sector was expected to grow by
16.7 percent, an increase from the former forecast of 15.9 percent.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's domestic debt stood at $300 million.
The state owes the power company Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority
(ZESA) $30 million, and the fixed telephone operator TelOne $60 million.
Seed and fertilizer companies are owed $40 million.

"This is a crisis," Biti acknowledged. "When you fail to pay creditors you
create a gridlock."
He went on to say that the value of imports was projected to reach seven
billion dollars while another five billion would be needed to revive the
manufacturing sector.

Zimbabwe's economy is nonetheless showing some signs of recovery from a
nearly 10-year downturn during which inflation officially peaked in 2008 at
231 million percent, after which the national statistics agency stopped

The economic situation and political tension in the aftermath of a bloody
presidential run-off election forced President Robert Mugabe to accept a
power-sharing government with rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

The authorities have also discarded the worthless local currency and
approved use of foreign currency, mainly the US dollar.

Biti said tax revenue collections to September were $2.5 billion, lower than
a government target of $2.8 billion.
He said that it would cost $14.2 billion to repair the country's road,
railway and power generation networks, which have suffered from years of

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Parties blasts Mugabe's savage attack on Biti

Staff Reporter 11 hours 19 minutes ago

THE two MDCs have lashed out at President Robert Mugabe for castigating
Finance minister Tendai Biti over government’s failure to provide money for
agricultural inputs, saying accusing Biti of sabotage was nothing more than
political grandstanding on the part of the Zanu PF leader.
In interviews with NewsDay yesterday, the two MDCs said Mugabe as Head of
State and Government had approved every National Budget by Biti and was,
therefore, liable for the shortcomings of the budget.
Mugabe lashed out at Biti when he officially launched a $20 million
agricultural input scheme in Harare on Saturday, questioning how the
government could be ever be broke when it could borrow money.
Mugabe said: “They say we don’t have money, but they are the ones in charge
of the Finance ministry. If it were a Zanu PF government, without these
other partners, do you think you can tell that to the people? A government
can dare not say we have no money to give people to grow food for the
country. We can’t say that. We must have the capacity even to borrow. No
government does without borrowing from others.”
MDC leader Welshman Ncube yesterday said Mugabe was proffering lame excuses
and blaming the wrong people for his own failures as President of the
“This is the deliberate, uninformed attitude that got us to the worst
inflation when Mugabe ordered Gideon Gono (Reserve Bank governor) to print
money. It’s a philosophical point. It is untrue that government can have
unlimited resources.
“President Mugabe is Head of Government and whatever happens requires his
approval. He cannot, therefore, blame anyone.
Minister Biti reports to Cabinet and funding priorities are agreed at
Cabinet level, approved by Mugabe. There is no way the President can
distance himself from Biti’s budgets,” said Ncube.
Mugabe also attacked fertiliser-manufacturing companies for failing to
produce and dole out fertilisers to farmers even though they might not have
been paid for previous supplies.
“The fertiliser-producing companies do not have the fertilisers (and) it is
not because they are failing to produce the fertiliser, but they have folded
their arms saying the government should first pay for the supplies that we
gave it last year . . . If our credit has not been repaid, what good is it
to supply more fertiliser? That is the way they have seen it,” Mugabe said.
Education minister David Coltart (MDC) earlier on Saturday had posted on his
Facebook wall that Mugabe, who raised $20 million for the agricultural input
scheme — $12 million more than the annual Education budget — should disclose
the source of the funding.
“The source of the inputs fund may be legitimate, but Zimbabweans will only
know that if the President is candid about its source. Transparency,” said
Coltart in a statement that could give credence to accusations of parallel
government structures as alleged by the two MDCs.
Zanu PF has been repeatedly accused of creaming off the country of diamond
revenues from Marange to run a “parallel government” and build a war chest
for elections.
Mugabe’s input scheme came soon after the party had reportedly bought over
500 vehicles worth around $14 million for election purposes.
MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora weighed in, challenging Mugabe to
disclose his donors or risk being accused of benefiting from illegal
dealings in the Marange diamonds, whose exact revenue remains unclear.
Mwonzora said it was illogical for Mugabe to ask Biti to borrow money when
it was a Zanu PF administration that destroyed the country’s
“Mugabe should not blame other people when it’s his regime that destroyed
Zimbabwe’s creditworthiness,” Mwonzora said. - NewsDay

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Farmer claims he’s being intimidated for being MDC

By Tichaona Sibanda
05 November 2012

An MDC-T branch chairman in Makoni South said his farm has been illegally
occupied, as punishment for supporting Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s

Clever Maramba told SW Radio Africa on Monday that senior ZANU PF officials
in Makoni district have vowed he will not get his property back unless he
ditches MDC-T and joins the former ruling party.

His four-hectare farm at Mutanda resettlement scheme was last week taken
over by Muringani, a ZANU PF activist who masquerades as a war vet. Maramba
said Muringani was being used by certain individuals out to fix him for
being MDC-T.

Maramba has since filed a complaint with the police and the Makoni rural
district council. Council officials promised they would visit the farm on
Thursday to carry out investigations.

‘Before they come this Thursday they asked me to purchase a permit worth
$205 that shows I’m the owner of the family. Right now I’m in Rusape trying
to sort out the paper work.

‘I have no faith in the system because these ZANU PF people have no respect
for authority, they will simply ignore the documents and refuse to vacate
the farm,’ Maramba said.

The MDC-T MP for the area, Pishai Muchauraya said it is the usual modus
operandi from ZANU PF to intimidate and threaten their supporters ahead of a
crucial poll expected next year.

‘As I said before I strongly condemn this abuse of human rights and call on
ZANU PF to stop invading people’s properties simply because they do not
subscribe to their scorched earth policies.

‘They have ruined the agriculture sector and you just wonder why they still
need more land which they have failed to utilise after their disastrous land
reform program,’ Muchauraya said.

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Cop murder trial resumes

By Tererai Karimakwenda
05 November 2012

The trial of 29 MDC-T officials and activists, accused of murdering a Glen
View cop last year, resumed at the High Court Monday, following
postponements delays by the judge who had claimed to be ill.

The trial was postponed last Wednesday after Justice Chinembiri Bhunu
summoned the lawyers to his chambers and said he had problems with his legs.
Without specifying exactly what the problem was, the judge postponed the
trial until Monday.

Defence lawyer Gift Mtisi told SW Radio Africa that the trial continued with
testimony from the investigating officer, Chief Inspector Mutinha from the
Law and Order division. Mutinha was in charge of several other officers who
were involved in investigating the murder of Officer Petros Mutedza in Glen
View last May.

Mtisi said this was the first time that he felt the trial proceeded without
any major delays. “We had just a minor delay in the morning, when we started
an hour late. But things went well today,” Mtisi said.

The defence continues cross-examination of the fficer Mutinha on Tuesday.
The defence team has been critical of the slow pace of the trial so far,
with the state and judges giving various excuses for postponement. The
excuses have included absent witnesses as well as prosecutors and judges
failing to turn up, claiming to be ill.

The MDC-T insists the delays are deliberate and meant to prolong the
detention of their officials and party members. They say officer Petros
Mutedza was killed by unknown revellers at a Glen View pub. But the state
claims he was killed by MDC-T members who held a meeting at the pub.

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Police forced accused Glen View murder suspects to wear MDC t-shirts

Monday, 05 November 2012

Some of the accused MDC activists being falsely implicated on charges of
murdering a police officer in Glen View, Harare last year were forced to
wear MDC t-shirts during their investigations.

This was revealed at the High Court today during the cross examination of
the investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Clever Ntini by the
defence counsel led by Beatrice Mtetwa.

Mtetwa told the court that when Ntini and his team took Yvonne Musarurwa for
indications they went to his house and forced her to put on MDC t-shirt
before they proceeded to Glen View Police Station where they started video
recording Musarurwa.

The police officers also forced Councillor Tungamirai Madzokere to make
indications in front of a truckload of armed anti-riot police officers.

While in police custody, Councillor Madzokere was tortured and severely
assaulted by police officers who included one Murira. The assault resulted
in Councillor Madzokere’s arm being broken.

During his initial remand hearing at the Magistrates’ Courts, the magistrate
ordered that the police should carry out investigations on the assault and
torture charges. However, the police did not carry out any investigations.

Ntini today gave various conflicting evidence leading him to confess before
the judge, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu that he was mixing up issues. Ntini also
declined to name his informers who led to the arrest of the MDC members
claiming that some of the informers were MDC members.

Before admitting that the evidence he was giving in court was conflicting,
Ntini had claimed that some undercover police officers had been deployed at
Glen View 3 Shopping Centre, where Inspector Petros Mutedza died.

Ntini had told the court that part of the undercover police officers were
Spencer Nyararai, Solomon Mushaninga, Victor Magutarima and the late

However, it was put to Ntini by the defence counsel led by Beatrice Mtetwa
that the three officers were part of the police reaction group that was led
by the late Mutedza leading Ntini to admit that there were no undercover
police officers on the day in question.

This led the defence to point out to Ntini that those who were arrested were
nowhere near the scene of the crime but only arrested through political
profiling where MDC members in police records are arrested when a crime is

Because of the police profiling more than 45 MDC members were arrested
although some were released.

Among those arrested and released were Councillor Madzokere’s wife and
sister who the police said would only be released after the police had
nabbed the councillor. Others were seriously assaulted in police cells as
the police sought to make them sign warned and cautioned statement that they
were part of the people who murdered Mutedza.

The trial resumed today after a nearly two week break after the trial judge,
Justice Chinembiri Bhunu and the State prosecutor, Edmore Nyazamba claimed
that they were not feeling well. The trial continues tomorrow.

The Last Mile: Towards Real Transformation!!!

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Banks warned over treasury bills

05/11/2012 00:00:00
by Bloomberg

FINANCE Minister Tendai Biti said lenders including units of Barclays and
Standard Chartered have a last chance to support the central bank’s Treasury
bill sales or they will be compelled to buy negotiable certificates of

The Harare-based Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe will on Nov. 6 offer $30 million
worth of 91-day Treasury bills after after two failed offerings and one
partially successful sale last month. The sales are the first since 2008,
shortly before the country abandoned its currency in favour of the dollar in
a bid to curb an inflation rate that had risen to 500 billion percent,
according to the International Monetary Fund.

Biti and the central bank are trying to kick-start the country’s capital
“I am giving the banks sector the last chance to fully support the Treasury
bills,” Biti said in a in Victoria Falls. “If they don’t support it, I will
issue NCDs and that’s it.”

Biti and the central bank are trying to kick-start the country’s capital
markets after a decade-long recession ended in 2009 after the 15-nation
Southern African Democratic Community negotiated a settlement that ended a
political dispute.

A coalition government between President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African
National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu PF) and the Movement for Democratic
Change of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was then formed.

On October 26, the central bank offered $15 million of the securities of
which $9.9 million were sold at an average yield of 8.51 percent. The bank
rejected all bids at attempted sales on October 4 and October 24.

Barclays, Nedbank
The plan to restart the bill sales was announced in July by Gideon Gono, the
central bank governor. Zimbabwe lacks a benchmark interest rate. The
weighted average lending rate for private banks ranged from 14 percent to 20
percent in the four months through July 31, Gono said in a midyear monetary
policy statement.

Barclays is the biggest lender by market value on the Zimbabwe Stock
Exchange with a capitalisation of $62 million while units of London-based
Standard Chartered as well as Standard Bank and Nedbank, both based in
Johannesburg, operate in the country. CBZ Holdings is the biggest locally
owned bank.

Biti is also in negotiations to secure funding to recapitalize the country’s
banks and plans further regulation of the industry.

In September, Global Emerging Markets, a $3.4 billion investment comapny
with offices in London and New York, said it had proposed setting up a $1
billion fund in a venture with the finance ministry to fund banks,
especially the smaller, locally owned lenders.

“There are discussions with parties, but it’s not anywhere near the $1
billion,” Biti said. “I can’t tell you the figure but, what I can say is
that there are various negotiations taking place.”

Alongside any recapitalisation, the Finance Ministry plans to appoint a
banking ombudsman.
“We have come up with comprehensive amendments to the banking sector,” he
said. “We are introducing a banking ombudsman to ensure that the consumer is
protected and the amendments will also ensure mandatory stress tests. It’s a
plethora of amendments that are coming.”

No leadership
Biti is also in talks with South Africa’s Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in
a bid to secure funding to help accelerate the country’s economic recovery.

“The South African government is firmly committed to assist us. I can’t put
a figure on how much they would give us,” Biti said. “I spoke to Pravin
Gordhan about two days ago and I am optimistic it would come through.”

On November 2, Biti cut his forecast for Zimbabwe’s economic growth this
year to 4 percent from an earlier estimate of 5.6 percent, citing a
smaller-than-expected crop harvest.
Zimbabwe’s recession was triggered by the start of a program of seizing of
white-owned commercial farms in 2000. That slashed exports of crops
including tobacco and roses and turned the country into a corn importer.

A new program compelling mining companies to cede 51 percent of their assets
to black Zimbabweans has hindered investment in the world’s second- biggest
platinum reserves.

“There are no signs that we are providing sufficient leadership,” Biti said.
“You can’t continue doing things over and over again. There has to be a
paradigm shift or else we will continue limping.”

Government revenue won’t be able to meet annual budget requirements of $3.4
billion to $3.8 billion, he said.
‘There is so much demand against the state and its not possible to meet the
demands,’’ he said. The economy is a crumb against developmental needs of
the country.’’

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Mugabe Stop Dishing Our Wealth To Foreigners: Zapu VP

Nompumelelo Moyo Gwanda, November 05 2012, Zimbabwe African People’s Union
(Zapu) Vice President, Emilia Mukaratirwa, has appealed to President Robert
Mugabe to immediately stop dishing out land and mining concessions to the
Chinese nationals at the expense of locals.
Addressing a rally in Gwanda South, at Imbizo, Mukaratirwa said Mugabe was
distributing Zimbabwe's wealth to foreigners and his friends at the expense
of unemployed youths.

“Honestly, citizens of the land are living in abject poverty yet Mugabe is
busy donating our wealth to his family and friends while the rest of the
country is silent about it.

“When his fellow Chinese nationals come to Zimbabwe they must follow the
investment procedures like any other investors. He (Mugabe) must stop
behaving like a king and running Zimbabwe like his family,” said

She bemoaned the state of the environment in Gwanda, saying government was
silent about the water and drought crisis, which has been faced by the
people in Matabeleland region for the past 32 years.

“The people in this area and other parts of this country were displaced
during the colonial era but to date the government has done absolutely
nothing to compensate them. They (Zanu PF) are busy diverting all the
revenue generated from the minerals mined across the country to their own
use and to fund Zanu (PF) led projects to buy votes,” added Mukaratirwa.

Addressing the same gathering, Zapu national organising secretary, Simon
Nhamo, said that his party would contest the 2013 elections.

“Zapu would field in local residents and not telephone candidates for the
next election. People are tired of new promises everyday dating back to
pre-independence,” said Nhamo.

“Children should not be used as ladders and screw drivers, people should be
free to make their own choices. If you are forced to attend rallies of other
parties please go don’t refuse to attend and if you are forced to shout
slogans please do so, if you are given food hampers or clothes, please take
in order to avoid violence,” said Nhamo.

Meanwhile Zapu Matabeleland South Information and Publicity officer, Soneni
Dube, said Zimbabwe continued to be the basket case of the region.

He also accused Zanu (PF) of vote buying saying the party's legislators were
the only ones dishing out food handouts using funds from national coffers.

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Tamborinyoka still sedated after crash

By Tichaona Sibanda
05 November 2012

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’ spokesman, Luke Tamborinyoka, is still
heavily sedated in a Harare hospital, after being seriously injured in a car
accident early Sunday.

His close friend, Kudakwashe Matibiri, told SW Radio Africa that
Tamborinyoka remained sedated and on a breathing tube as doctors sent him
for scans on Monday to determine the extent of his head injuries. Doctors
said he remains in a critical but stable condition.

A medical expert explained that Tamborinyoka’s prognosis, from what he has
been able to read from reports, is that he is seriously injured but his
injuries are not life threatening.

The Premier’s spokesman was driving a 44 Toyota Prado vehicle in Domboshava
when the accident happened. No other car was involved and the 44 is
understood to have overturned and rolled three times.

He was travelling with his two brothers, Ngonidzashe and Kelvin, and two
uncles, Milton and Cleopas. All the passengers escaped with minor injuries.
After the accident Tamborinyoka was initially admitted at Makumbe mission
hospital and was later transferred to the Avenues clinic.

‘Cleopas was admitted as well at Makumbe but later released on Sunday but
Milton is expected to be transferred to Parirenyatwa hospital anytime today

‘They are keeping him (Luke) sedated so he can rest as much as possible and
we all remain confident for a full recovery. I think he will be in a
sedative state for the next few days to allow his head injuries to heal. We
are praying that he will soon open his eyes and then we will rejoice and
pray for another milestone,’ Matibiri said.

Meanwhile the Prime Minister has said he received with shock and sadness the
news that Tamborinyoka was involved in a car accident at the weekend. In a
statement Tsvangirai said his thoughts are with Luke and his family.

‘Luke is a family man and we appreciate that this is a challenging time for
everyone who is close to him. We trust that God gives them courage. I have
known Luke for a long time and he is a passionate, capable and courageous
member of the team.

‘I know that this is a battle like no other but I know that his strength of
character, his belief and his courage will carry him through this ordeal. In
these moments, we look to the doctors for their skill and also spiritually
to God for his comforting and healing Hand. Therefore, our collective prayer
is that Luke is healed as soon as possible,’ the Prime Minister said.

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Police abuse traumatised villagers

November 5th, 2012

Ritual murders that have been on the rise in the past few months leaving a sour taste in the mouth and you would think any foward thinking person would welcome the move by police to keep vigil in the villages in order to protect villagers who are understandably living in terror from the murder of six people in a space of only two weeks.

However, these same police should not target the villagers who are victims of a hitherto inexplicable murder series. Instead the law enforcement agents should take time in carrying out the investigations and restore a sense of security in this otherwise restless community.

There is information that has come to me, and which I hear with disdain. The police now target the victims, and terrorise them further, for the simple act of moving during the night even in their backyards. There is no justice in arresting haunted villagers and we call upon the police not to target the victims, instead the police should get their act together and get to the bottom of the murders. We need to end the disturbing streak in a country where some people still believe in black magic.

It really defies logic that a whole village, which includes people who lost relatives and friends should now face the wrath of the police and even soldiers. Soldiers belong to the barracks and battlefronts and should not interfere with civilians, it is up to the police who sadly do not inspire confidence because of their acts.

It is little wonder that whenever people see a police officer they do not feel confident, but are scared and expect to be intimidated. It is time that Zimbabwe’s police, who are ironically still admired internationally for their professionalism, demonstrate that they are not a brute force who work against the broad public but a unit whose mandate is to protect the people.

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Vote buying — Mugabe moves a gear up

Monday, 05 November 2012 12:26

President Robert Mugabe
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s campaign trail has taken a familiar take,
one which usually creeps up just as elections are around the corner.

He has doled out land, computers, food and other goodies in the past to win
over an electorate growingly sceptical of his three decade rule, if results
of recent elections are anything to go by.

At the weekend, he rolled into gear one of his most favourite vote buying
instruments — agricultural inputs.

At the launch, Mugabe said the presidential well-wishers’ spe-cial
Agricultural Inputs Scheme would benefit Zimbabweans irrespective of
political affiliation.

Close to one million households are expected to benefit from free seed and
fertilisers and Mugabe says the timing is right given that the main summer
cropping season has begun and many farmers are hard up for finance.

Yet, one could not help noticing the farming season (October-April) is right
in the storm of the election period.

Mugabe is insisting that elections, most likely to be his last, should be
held in March next year.

His coalition partners want them pushed further but no later than June the
same year.

The choice of venue for the launch of the presidential scheme also let the
cat out of the bag.

Party bigwigs gathered at the Zanu PF headquarters on Saturday to witness
the launch, raising questions about the impartiality of the $20 million

Such schemes have in the past been used as bait to lure supporters reminding
them on how to vote in the next election.

At the launch ceremony, Mugabe could not resist the temptation of reminding
Zanu PF MPs gathered for the launch and would-be beneficiaries of the scheme
that “whether we have a new constitution or not, the elections will come in
March next year”.

“So prepare yourself for those elections,” he said.

The 88-year-old veteran politician took the opportunity to remind his
audience that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party was the real
enemy of the revival of the agricultural sector.

He launched an attack on Finance minister Tendai Biti, a Tsvangirai
appointee, whom he accused of sabotaging farmers.

“This animal (Coalition government) wants to eat, but when we say the food
comes from farming, the other side (MDC) says they are inca-pable. But the
Zanu PF side continues to say we should farm, we should get inputs. How is
this animal supposed to survive? How is the nation supposed to survive? Are
you (MDC) not getting this message?” said Mugabe.

“They say we do not have money. They are the ones in charge of the Finance
ministry? A gov-ernment can dare not say we have no money to give people to
grow food for the country. We cannot say that. We must have the capacity
even to borrow. No government does without borrowing from others,” he said.

Several organisations such as the Zimbabwe Peace Project have constantly
reported that programmes such as the inputs scheme are tainted by

Mugabe drew fertiliser companies into the political whirlwind, accusing them
of following Biti’s lead.

“The fertiliser pro-ducers do not have the fertilisers (and) it is not
because they are failing to produce the fertiliser, but they have folded
their arms say-ing the govern-ment should first pay for sup-plies that we
gave it last year,” he said.

Government is believed to owe fertiliser companies $50 million but Biti
recently said he had disbursed $20 million to fertiliser and seed companies
adding that the debt will be cleared before the announcement of the 2013
budget proposals scheduled for mid-month. - Wendy Muperi

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