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Zimbabwe rival parties return home with no sign of deal

Yahoo News

by Fanuel Jongwe Sun Aug 31, 9:47 AM ET

HARARE (AFP) - Zimbabwe's rival parties have returned home from talks in
South Africa, officials said Sunday, with no sign of a power-sharing deal to
resolve the country's bitter political crisis.

Negotiating teams from President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF and both
factions of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) returned
home after holding separate talks with South African President Thabo Mbeki
on Friday.

The South African president's spokesman told AFP on Sunday that the talks
would continue, but silence from the parties about the way forward pointed
to tensions.

MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa confirmed Sunday that their negotiators had met
with Mbeki Friday and had since returned to Zimbabwe.

"We remain cautiously optimistic that the dialogue is going to be
successfully concluded, " he told AFP Sunday.

He added that a collapse of the dialogue would be "catastrophic" for
Zimbabwe and would "catalyse suffering" in a country with the world's
highest inflation rate and major food shortages.

"This is why we feel as MDC we have to be committed to the success of the
dialogue," Chamisa said.

A Zimbabwe state daily reported on Sunday that Mbeki was expected to give a
position on the way forward and said it was not known when this would take

"The meeting was convened because the facilitator wanted to search for a way
forward," The Sunday Mail quoted ZANU-PF's chief negotiator, Justice
Minister Patrick Chinamasa, as saying.

Mbeki's spokesman Mukoni Ratshitanga told AFP that the talks would continue
but did not comment on when.

"Of course the talks continue ... there isn't a timeframe and we are not
going to be obliged to impose timeframes."

"For us, the most important thing is that these talks must continue and we
must find a solution. It's not a PR exercise. We are not going to walk like
beauty queens on a catwalk. We have never done that. It's not in our

Friday's meetings followed last week's reconvening of parliament and
Mugabe's announcement that he will form a new cabinet, which were seen as a
blow to the talks which aim at forming an inclusive government.

In an unprecedented move, opposition lawmakers heckled and jeered Mugabe as
he gave his opening speech in parliament.

The MDC reacted with outrage to Mugabe's plans to unilaterally form a new
government, calling it a "declaration of war against the people".

The two sides have remained divided in the negotiations over how Mugabe, 84,
and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai would share power in a national unity

Zimbabwe's state media on Saturday reported that Mugabe's ZANU-PF had
rejected a "new but absurd suggestion" from the MDC that the country's
cabinet be co-chaired by Mugabe and Tsvangirai.

"ZANU-PF dismissed the suggestion, not just as insolent, but also stunning
ignorance on how government works," state daily The Herald quoted a source
by Mugabe's ZANU-PF as saying.

A Zimbabwean analyst called the talks "dead".

"The talks are long dead," Lovemore Madhuku, a constitutional law lecturer
at the University of Zimbabwe and political analyst, told AFP.

"There is nothing coming out of those discussions. They are just wasting
time. They should just go public and say that the talks have collapsed."

The power sharing talks followed the signing of a memorandum of
understanding between ZANU-PF and the two factions of the MDC on July 21.

In power since 1980, Mugabe was re-elected in June in a one-candidate
presidential run-off.

Tsvangirai boycotted the run-off despite finishing ahead of Mugabe in the
March first round, citing rising violence against his supporters.

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Zimbabwe's MDC says no accord in power-sharing talks


Sun 31 Aug 2008, 10:36 GMT

By Nelson Banya

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's main opposition party said on Sunday the
latest talks on power-sharing with the ruling ZANU-PF that resumed on Friday
in South Africa did not reach agreement.

"All the negotiating teams are back. Nothing was achieved in the latest
round of engagement in South Africa to break the deadlock. We remain where
we were," the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) spokesman Nelson Chamisa
told Reuters.

Negotiators from ZANU-PF, the main MDC and a smaller breakaway MDC faction
on Friday separately met South African President Thabo Mbeki, who is
mediating the talks.

Mbeki's spokesperson Mukoni Ratshitanga told Reuters on Sunday that the
dialogue would continue, but declined to give details.

"It is a continuous process, not a single event," Ratshitanga said.

The power-sharing talks have stalled over how executive power should be
shared by President Robert Mugabe and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who
refused to sign an agreement that would have made him prime minister two
weeks ago.

Tsvangirai has protested against the proposed deal, saying it did not give
him enough executive powers in government.

The opposition leader beat Mugabe in a March 29 election but fell short of
enough votes to avoid a run-off vote, which was controversially won by
Mugabe after Tsvangirai pulled out citing violence and intimidation against
his supporters.


ZANU-PF officials were not immediately available to comment on the matter,
but state media reported on Sunday that Mbeki would soon "chart a way
forward" in the talks.

"I can confirm that we went to South Africa for separate bilateral
discussions with the facilitator," state media quoted Justice Minister
Patrick Chinamasa, ZANU-PF's chief negotiator, as saying.

"The meeting was convened because the facilitator wanted to search for a way
forward," Chinamasa added.

The MDC has accused Mugabe of flouting a framework agreed by the negotiating
parties not to convene parliament or appoint a cabinet.

The veteran ruler, who was last week jeered and heckled by opposition
lawmakers as he officially opened parliament, has said he would soon appoint
a new government.

"Mugabe is showing no respect for Southern African Development Community
(SADC), no respect for the dialogue," said Chamisa, adding that the MDC
would lobby the African Union (AU) and the United Nations not to recognise
Mugabe as Zimbabwe's president.

"As far as we are concerned, to the extent that the dialogue has not been
concluded, there is no legitimate government in Zimbabwe so he should not go
to the UN and AU posing as the President of Zimbabwe. We will be taking up
this matter with these organisations (UN and AU)," Chamisa added.

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Zim: Zanu optimistic, MDC cautious


August 31 2008 at 12:03PM

South African President Thabo Mbeki is to chart the way forward in
stalled talks for a power-sharing government in Zimbabwe after meeting
representatives from the main political parties, Justice Minister Patrick
Chinamisa said in a state newspaper article published on Sunday.

"I can confirm that we went to South Africa for separate bilateral
discussions with the facilitator," Chinamasa, who is one of the chief
negotiators for President Robert Mugabe, was quoted as saying by The Sunday

"The meeting was convened because the facilitator wanted to search for
a way forward," he added.

It was still unclear when Mbeki would make a pronouncement on what
will happen next, after meeting negotiators from the Zimbabwe parties in
South Africa on Friday.

MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa confirmed that their negotiators had
met with Mbeki on Friday and returned to Zimbabwe Sunday.

"We remain cautiously optimistic that the dialogue is going to be
successfully concluded, " he said on Sunday.

He added that a collapse of the dialogue would be "catastrophic" for
Zimbabwe and would "catalyse suffering".

"This is why we feel as MDC we have to be committed to the success of
the dialogue," Chamisa said.

The negotiations reached a deadlock two weeks ago after Mugabe and
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai
failed to strike a compromise over the sharing of executive powers.

Zimbabwe's state media on Saturday reported that Mugabe's Zanu-PF had
rejected a "new but absurd suggestion" from the MDC that the country's
cabinet be co-chaired by Mugabe and Tsvangirai.

"Zanu-PF dismissed the suggestion, not just as insolent, but also
stunning ignorance on how government works," state daily The Herald quoted a
source by Mugabe's Zanu-PF as saying.

The power sharing talks followed the signing of a memorandum of
understanding between Mugabe's ZANU-PF and the two factions of the MDC on
July 21.

In power since 1980, Mugabe retained office in June after a
one-candidate, presidential run-off after the withdrawal of Tsvangirai who
cited violence and intimidation against his supporters in the lead-up to
vote. - Sapa-AFP

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MDC says ZANU PF plotting to reverse opposition majority

by Jameson Mombe Monday 01 September 2008

HARARE - Zimbabwe's opposition said at the weekend that it had unearthed a
plot by the Attorney General's office and state intelligence agents to
convict some of its MPs on trumped-up charges in a bid to reverse its
parliamentary majority.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party spoke amid reports that
power-sharing talks between the opposition party and President Robert Mugabe's
ruling ZANU PF party that resumed on Friday had hit a snag over proposals by
the MDC that its leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Mugabe jointly chair Cabinet
in a government of national unity.

ZANU PF rejected the proposal which the MDC reportedly made during a meeting
with talks mediator, South African President Thabo Mbeki. The talks hit
deadlock two weeks ago over who between Mugabe and Tsvangirai should control
a unity government that is seen as the best way to end Zimbabwe's political
and economic crisis.

The MDC said despite agreeing to negotiate Mugabe was clandestinely seeking
to cause the conviction of five of its Members of Parliament in a desperate
bid to reverse the opposition party's slender majority in the key House of

"Deputy Attorney General, Johannes Tomana is leading the plot in which the
ZANU PF regime is planning to secure convictions and lay more trumped-up
charges against MDC MPs to reverse our majority in Parliament," the
opposition said in a statement.

Tomana was not immediately available for comment on the matter.

The police are holding four MDC MPs for allegedly committing political
violence, murder and rape. The police say they want to question at least 10
other opposition MPs on a number of charges.

The Tsvangirai-led MDC won 100 seats in March in the important House of
Assembly to end ZANU PF's decades old domination of Parliament. Mugabe's
party won 99 seats while a breakaway faction of the MDC took 10 seats.

None of the three parties can push legislation through the lower chamber
without help from at least one of its two rivals. But ZANU PF firmly
controls the Senate which has powers to block legislation coming from the
House of Assembly. - ZimOnline.

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MDC should not wait for collapsed state

August 31, 2008
Jupiter Punungwe

It is a well-known fact that if Zanu-PF continues governing the country the
way they have been doing for the last 10 years, their governance is headed
for eventual collapse and, most likely, a fiery demise. Their laden handed
attempts to manage the economy over the past four years have visited the
scourge of permanent shortages on the hapless people of Zimbabwe.

Zanu-PF is a party that carried the hopes of a people previously brutalised
by a colonialist, supremacist and racist oppression. The level and extent to
which those people have been disappointed by the descent of Zanu-PF into an
equally, if not more brutal, cronyist, corrupt and excessively greed-driven
pogrom of oppression, cannot be measured.

The pain with which all of us patriotic Zimbabweans have watched our beloved
country drop off the radar of notable countries and sink to the murky depths
of basket case banana republics can never be imagined by a living soul. The
pins of hurt that stab our hearts as we are forced to put up with snickers,
innuendos and mockery about poor trillionaires, are more fatal to the spirit
than the stab of an assegai to the body. The silent gloats of those who have
long claimed that blacks cannot run a country are louder to the eardrums of
the soul than the discharge of a canon.

Many Zimbabweans I know have lost livelihoods and material wealth in the
nosedive of fortune that Zanu-PF has visited upon our economy. Many more
have never lost hope that things will one day get better again.

One would think that no Zimbabwean in the world would want the situation to
get worse than it is. One would also be very strongly tempted to question
the mental capacity of any Zimbabweans who hope to profit from a worsening
of the situation.

Unfortunately the chorus of predictions that the situation would deteriorate
so much that Zanu-PF will be unable to run the country anymore is clear
testimony that such Zimbabweans are plentiful. No more than three months we
are being told. Never mind that such predictions surfaced in the 90s.

The more important question is: do these people understand what it means for
a country to collapse to a point where a strongman can no longer run it?
What makes people think that once a soldier has revolted against Mugabe,
somebody else can walk into State House and order that same soldier into the
barracks overnight? The collapse of governance is like an earthquake. The
tectonic plates move forever and nothing can ever really bring the situation
back to where it was.

Africa's recent history has some notable examples of countries which
collapsed to a point where a dictator could no longer maintain an iron grip.
What is also notable in each of the cases is that no one, soon after the
dictators had gone, was able to establish 'normal' control of the country in
a short period.

Perhaps the example that sticks out the most is Somalia. Soviet-backed
Mohammed Siad Barre misruled until his country was ungovernable. Almost two
decades after he was deposed, the country is still ungovernable. Those who
had fought him hoping to take over have been swallowed by the mists of
history without leaving any notable mark on the governability of the

Closer to home, we have the example of Mobutu Sese Seko's Zaire. For a long
time Zaire seemed like a paragon of stability ruled by a strongman heavily
supported by the West. When the house of cards came crashing down, most of
us were taken by surprise. To this day, long after the maggots have
forgotten the taste of Mobutu's body and that of his successor, Laurent
Kabila, nobody has been able to re-establish complete control over the
former Zaire.

At this point it should be clear to all of us that waiting for Zimbabwe to
deteriorate to a point where Zanu-PF cannot keep control, is not a
particularly clever strategy for anyone to follow. At that point, anyone who
follows after them will have extreme difficulty re-establishing control.
While I find it difficult to imagine a Somalia-like situation holding sway
over the tranquil plains of my Manyene rural home, it is sobering that I
never imagined that I would be a quadrillionaire one day.

If the MDC are to take power from Zanu-PF, they should cross their fingers
that it happens on a willing-giver-willing-taker basis, as was the case in
South Africa. The 'collapse' route that they seem so fixated with will not
be a walk in paradise for them either, especially after the 'collapse' has

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Zimbabwe doctors' advice: Don't get sick

Yahoo News

By ANGUS SHAW, Associated Press Writer Sun Aug 31, 11:59 AM ET

HARARE, Zimbabwe - The advice of doctors to Zimbabweans is, don't get sick.
If you do, don't count on hospitals - they're short of drugs and functioning

As the economy collapses, the laboratory at a main 1,000-bed hospital has
virtually shut down. X-ray materials, injectable antibiotics and
anticonvulsants have run out.

Emergency resuscitation equipment is out of action. Patients needing casts
for broken bones need to bring their own plaster. In a country with one of
the world's worst AIDS epidemics, medical staff lack protective gloves.

Health authorities blame the drying up of foreign aid under Western
sanctions imposed to end political and human rights abuses under President
Robert Mugabe. A power-sharing agreement aimed at bringing the opposition
into the government could open the gates to foreign aid. But negotiations
have stalled over how much power rests with Mugabe.

Meanwhile, the economic meltdown is evident in empty store shelves, long
lines at gas stations - and hospitals where elevators don't work and
patients are carried to upper wards in makeshift hammocks of torn sheets and

Jacob Kwaramba, an insurance clerk, brought his brother to Harare's
Parirenyatwa hospital, once the pride of health services in southern Africa.
Emergency room doctors sent Kwaramba to a private pharmacy to buy drugs for
his brother's lung infection. He returned two hours later to find his
brother dead, he told the AP in the emergency room.

"I couldn't believe it. It wasn't a fatal illness," he said.

Another family said a relative dying of cancer was sent home, and no
painkillers could be found in Harare pharmacies. Relatives abroad were able
to pay for morphine, but by the time import clearance was obtained from the
state Medicines Control Authority, the man had died in agony, the family
said, requesting anonymity for fear of government retribution.

A report by six independent Zimbabwean doctors indicates the scale of the

"Elective surgery has been abandoned in the central hospitals and even
emergency surgery is often dependent on the ability of patients' relatives
to purchase suture materials from private suppliers," it said.

"Pharmacies stand empty and ambulances immobilized for want of spare parts
... this is an unmitigated tragedy, scarcely conceivable just a year ago."

The doctors who compiled the six-page report for circulation among aid and
development groups withheld their names because comments seen as critical of
Mugabe are a punishable offense.

In an interview this year, Health Minister David Parirenyatwa said lack of
foreign currency due to sanctions was hindering efforts to maintain
equipment. But political violence has added to the burden. The human rights
group Amnesty International said hospitals ran out of crutches for victims
of attacks blamed on Mugabe's forces.

The independent Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum, an alliance of human rights
campaigners, said doctors and medical staff were chased from rural clinics
to keep them from helping opposition supporters, while many city hospitals
couldn't cope with the number of patients injuries sustained in beatings and
torture blamed mostly on militants of Mugabe's party and police and

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change says at least 200 of its
supporters died in the violence, with thousands more beaten and made

No data is available on how many lives have been lost because of the medical
crisis, but the report said hospital admissions declined sharply because of
the cost of treatment and transportation over long distances to clinics and

In recent years, 70 percent of births took place in health facilities; now
it's under 50 percent, the report said.

It said that a decade ago Zimbabwe had the best health system in sub-Saharan
Africa. But with the economic crisis worsening, 10,000 Zimbabwean nurses are
employed in Britain alone, and 80 percent of Zimbabwean medical graduates
working abroad.

The main Harare medical school, once renowned for the quality of its
graduates, has lost 60 percent of its complement of lecturers, and an
unprecedented 30 percent of its students failed this year's final

The report said despite the troubles, health professionals still manage to
run clean and well ordered facilities.

"The pharmacy may be empty and most equipment out of order, but they will be
striving to provide some sort of service," it said.

Health Minister Parirenyatwa estimated the public sector had only half the
doctors it needed. The main Harare hospital is named after his father, one
of the first blacks to qualify as a doctor before Zimbabwe won independence
from Britain in 1980.

The elite go for care abroad, mostly to South Africa, but also to Asia.
Mugabe regularly has checkups in Malaysia.

But the doctors said that if there was a plane crash or similar disaster,
victims who might otherwise be saved by prompt and well-equipped care would
likely end up as "dead meat."


Associated Press Writer Clare Nullis contributed to this report.

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A new by-election - and the terror begins again

Zanu-PF gear up for another fearsome campaign

Units of Mugabe's shock troops are moving into the Matobo constituency in
Zimbabwe's Matabeleland South this week, threatening a new wave of
intimidation, beating and death. The reason - the by-election caused by the
election of the sitting MDC member as Speaker in parliament.

Last week when parliament was recalled, the Movement for Democratic Change
MP Lovemore Moyo was surprisingly elected to the Speaker's chair. This meant
his legislative seat became vacant, and while no date has yet been set for a
new poll, and no new candidates named, Zanu-PF are wasting no time.

Party youth groups and so-called "war veterans" began moving into the area
only 24 hours after the parliament vote, and by yesterday, Sunday, the area,
which is some 50km from our second city of Bulawayo, was virtually sealed

Sources within Zanu-PF confirmed that two army commanders from Mbalabala
Barracks have been despatched to oversee the new terror campaign, and some
residents have reported that the harassment of MDC members has already

Moyo's election has left Zanu-PF and the main MDC faction delicately poised
in parliament, each with 99 seats. So the result of the by-election will be

An MDC spokeswoman in Matabeleland South said: "The situation here is
suddenly very tense. War veterans and youth groups have set up camps, just
as they did during the elections earlier this year. It is obvious that
Zanu-PF intends to unleash its dogs of war again."

Moyo himself commented that the MDC would not give up the seat easily. "We
will defend it at all costs," he said.

The constituency is where the grave of Cecil Rhodes, the man who engineered
the colonisation of what became Rhodesia, is to be found. The MDC are
determined it will not also become the grave of its hopes for the future.

Posted on Sunday, 31 August 2008 at 16:32

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Zanu militia, war vets seal off Matobo ahead of by-election

Thursday, 28 August 2008 13:34

. Residents harassed, homes raided . Zanu thugs declare no-go area for

In a desperate bid to reverse Zanu (PF)' s defeat at the March 29
election and its further defeat in parliament this week, the military junta
has sealed off Matobo constituency in Matabeleland South which fell vacant
following the election of MDC national chairman, Lovemore Moyo, as the
Speaker of Parliament.
Moyo, the popularly elected legislator for Matobo, was elected the new
speaker of parliament on August 25, making him the first non-Zanu (PF)
speaker since independence in 1980. This makes him the fourth most senior
person in government, after the president and the two vice-presidents.
The election of Moyo left his seat in Matobo vacant and by August 26,
just 24 hours after the seat became vacant, Zanu (PF) youths from Bulawayo
and government secret intelligence services had been deployed in the
constituency, just 50km from Bulawayo, to campaign for the party
by-election. No candidates have been selected for the election and the date
is not yet known. Militias had already started harassing and raiding homes
belonging to MDC supporters and they declared the area no-go for MDC. Some
MDC supporters speaking to The Zimbabwean from Maphisa growth point in
Matobo said war veterans had set up bases by the evening of August 25 when
news that Moyo had been elected the Speaker of Parliament. They said Zanu
(PF) youths spent the night singing liberation songs at the growth point.
"The situation in Matobo has suddenly turned tense after news that our
local MP has been elected was
received and war veterans had already set up bases like what happened
towards the June 27
elections," a top MDC official in Matebeleland South said.The official
also said that on Monday
night all the residents of Maphisa growth point in the constituency
were summoned to a meeting by war
veterans.Moyo' s election has left the MDC and Zanu (PF) each with 99
seats in Parliament, making this by-election absolutely crucial to the
delicate balance."There is so much at stake here, it is obvious that Zanu
(PF) is determined to unleash its dogs of war to ensure a Zanu victory in
the ensuing byelection,"
said a political observer.

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary - 30th August 2008

Once again we had loads of South Africans passing by. They happily signed
our petitions until they read them. Then they were outraged at our call to
move the 2010 World Cup from South Africa so crossed their names out. We
explained our position that South Africa is responsible for allowing the
situation in Zimbabwe to deteriorate to the extent that it will endanger the
people attending the World Cup. They (with one late exception) didn't seem
to care.

One passer-by spent several minutes signing our petition and we noticed he
took up five lines. He had come from the Disability Festival, Liberty, held
in nearby Trafalgar Square. We were grateful to have his support.

At the end of a generally wet and overcast August, the sun came out and even
Zimbabweans wilted in the humidity. As always, there were newcomers and
they were particularly welcome as some of our regulars went to help out at
Zimfest, an annual music and sports day in South London.

We were glad to have with us Louise Cameron, an artist and journalist, who
was working on an installation for the Slade School of Art. She interviewed
us as refugees and asked us to write a word on Zimbabwean flags to sum up
our feelings. Peace, Harmony, Democracy, Disgraceful, Suffering, Hardship,
Justice were among the words used. We will keep you posted when this
artwork is on view. (Louise unfortunately got a parking ticket and perhaps
this will be part of the installation!)

Founder Vigil member Ephraim Tapa took a Saturday off to go the Scotland to
support the Glasgow Vigil. We will update you on this visit in the next

The Vigil has been asked to publicise the following. If anyone can help,
please contact this organisation directly (Nick Donovan, Head of Campaigns,
Policy and Research, Aegis Trust,, mobile + 44 7990 555
756, office + 44 207 613 5258).

"The Aegis Trust runs the Kigali Memorial Centre in Rwanda and the Holocaust
Centre in the UK and conducts some campaigns about genocide and crimes
against humanity - including for Darfur, Sudan. At the moment we're leading
a push to tighten UK laws on genocide, war crimes and crimes against
humanity. We're uncovering a fair number of possible Rwandan, Sudanese and
West African suspects present in the UK. I wondered whether you were aware
of any suspected Zimbabwean perpetrators rumored to be living in the UK or
elsewhere in Europe? Or perhaps suspects who have simply visited the UK
recently - whether for surgery, for a holiday etc? They should be suspected
of any of the following crimes against humanity and war crimes - systematic
attacks against civilians including: murder, enslavement, deportation or
forcible transfer, false imprisonment, rape or other sexual crimes,
persecution of a national, ethnic, religious, cultural, gender or political
group, apartheid, enforced disappearance, acts which cause great suffering
to mental or physical health, the intentional denial of access to food and
medicine, hostage taking, excessive destruction of property, pillaging a
town, killing or wounding prisoners of war, intentionally attacking
humanitarians or peacekeepers, attacking hospitals, schools, churches,
mosques, temples etc and historic monuments. Please feel free to contact me
in confidence if you're aware of any such individuals."

For latest Vigil pictures check: .

FOR THE RECORD: 116 signed the register.

Next Glasgow Vigil. Saturday 13th September 2008, 2 - 6 pm. Venue:
Argyle Street Precinct. For more information contact: Patrick Dzimba, 07990
724 137.
Zimbabwe Association's Women's Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30
am - 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton
Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury
Park. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355
(open Tuesdays and Thursdays).

Vigil co-ordinators
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place
every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of
human rights by the current regime in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in
October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair
elections are held in Zimbabwe.

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No sadza no peace: Zimbabwe's Agriculture balance sheet

Saturday, 30 August 2008 21:20 Phil Matibe
Maize is a strategic crop that is necessary for the maintenance of social
tranquility. Without the staple food Sadza- chibataura, Zimbabwe will
descent into chaos. Hunger will cause men to take desperate measures in
order to feed their families.
"Land is a national asset that cannot be allowed to be in the hands of any
member of the opposition," a ZANU (PF) declaration as it embarked on
dispossessing land and other assets from its perceived enemies. Today only
persons who support ZANU (PF) and its divisive prehistoric policies are
still farming in Zimbabwe.

Modern agriculture is a science and an art acquired through agricultural
education and apprenticeship. The incessant regurgitation of nauseating
political bovine excrement by politicians who harvest bumper yields through
rhetoric at political rallies and yet reap "sora" beans on these highly
productive farms will cause a massive man-made famine this year.

Tobacco - The Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) of Zimbabwe has
released its latest national tobacco sales figures, 36 332 098 kilograms
(kgs) of tobacco sold thus far fetching US$116 183 389. We are at the
halfway point of the tobacco selling season and if agricultural reform had
been done properly 120 000 000 kgs would have been sold by now fetching
US$382 800 000.00. However, this figure would have been higher for the
quality of the leaf would be better. By the end of 2000 Zimbabwe had become
the world's third largest producer of flue-cured tobacco, producing 267
million kgs and over 700 000 families were supported by this industry. If
these levels of production had been maintained and the current world price
applied Zimbabwe would have earned at least US$1 billion dollars.

A fully functional Zimbabwean economy consumes 900 million litres of diesel
per annum and the proceeds from tobacco alone would have been enough,
leaving extra change for the purchase of other essential commodities.

Maize - This season 2008, Zimbabwe is only harvesting 575,000 metric tonnes
(MT) of maize - 28% lower than last year's yield a shortfall of 1.2 million
MT. This shortfall has to be imported at a cost of US$260 per MT excluding
transport and handling charges. Thus Zimbabwe has to fork out US$312 000
000.00 in order to feed the starving masses.

However before importing all this maize that could have easily been
efficiently grown and harvested by 3000 commercial farmers, the nation needs
to import seed , fertilizer, diesel and other farm inputs for next year's
crop and harvest. Zimbabwe's fertiliser requirements are between 500,000 MT
and 600,000 MT. Farmers have 60 days left in which to stock up with their
seasonal inputs.

With the shortage of electricity necessary to power the country's sole
Ammonium Nitrate (AN) manufacturer, Zimbabwe now needs to import AN
fertiliser and all compound fertiliser at a cost of US190 per MT which shall
drain US$95 000 000.00 from the fiscus.

Zimbabwe requires 50 000 MT of maize seed in order to plant 1.2 million
hectares and produce 2 million MT of grain in a normal agricultural season
that starts on November 15.. According to the Minister of Agriculture,
Rugare Gumbo, seed houses reported that they jointly hold stocks of a paltry
11 300 MT of open pollinated variety (OPV) and hybrid of maize seed from the
2007/08 agricultural season, leaving a national maize seed deficit of 38 700

Once again the treasury has to unearth US$178 020 000 for the importation of
maize seed from neighbouring countries at a cost of US$4 600 per MT.
Zimbabwe's seed companies have in recent years been failing to produce
enough maize seed after most of their seed-producing farms were seized.

The 1988/89 season, Zimbabwe produced a bumper crop of 2.15 million MT, of
which more than 800,000 MT came from the commercial sector. Commercial
farmers normally produced about 30 to 40 percent of Zimbabwe's corn crop,
but they accounted for up to 70 percent of output during drought years. They
also produced the bulk of the corn that was exported when surpluses are

Wheat - Zimbabwe has failed to plant the 70 000 hectares government had
earmarked for the winter wheat crop this season, managing only 8 963
hectares by May 23 2008. Zimbabwe had the irrigation capacity to irrigate 95
000 hectares of winter wheat, yielding an average of 5MT per hectare. The
450 000 MT of wheat per year required for Zimbabwe's cereal needs is now

A measly 40 000 MT of winter wheat is expected from the hectarage planted,
assuming that there is adequate electricity and that the quelea and
armyworms which have been left unchecked since the commencement of "Hondo ye
Minda" fiasco, do not have a field day with this winter crop. On a
comparative basis, the 8 963 hectares were 10 000 hectares less that the 18
989 hectares wheat farmers planted during the same period last year.Zimbabwe
needs to find forex to import 400 000 MTof wheat at US$325 per MT a total
cost of US$128 000 000.00.

According to the Reserve Bank the Zimbabwean economy is expected to earn
about US$754 000 000.00 from all its manufacturing, industrial and
agricutural sectors and yet it needs more than US$867 000 000.00 in
agricutural inputs alone for its food crops this current season excluding
fuel, chemicals, labour cost, electricity and other variable costs. Before
the season has started Zimbabwe has a fiscal deficit of US$113 000 000.00.

So persons, who were "empowered 100%" by ZANU (PF) through its land
embezzlement programme, now fail to produce 10% of what was being produced
by their fellow Zimbabweans whose land and home they illegally occupied and
whose business they brutally dispossessed. The uneducated masses that had no
modicum of understanding of rudimentary economics of an agrarian-based
economy, destroyed the country's wealth at the behest of a few elitist
politicians who now own vast tracks of land that lies idle.

The euphoria of "owning" a farm for weekend getaways has worn off, for most
land invaders reality has set in. The majority of the beneficiaries now
realize that agriculture is indeed a science and not a skill that you
acquire by merely occupying a patch of land.

If ZANU (PF) manages to produce a quarter of the previous yields from the
same land, financial and climatic conditions by which we had to farm then, I
shall eat my veldskoens, for all I've learnt about agriculture over the
years would have been turned on its head.

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Power Transfer-a tactical deactivation of the JOC

Sunday, 31 August 2008 17:52 Phil Matibe Columnists - Phil Matibe

The MDC needs to sever the umbilical cord that provides the lifeblood and
political nutrition to an illegal regime and its illegitimate head of state.

The mandate from the brave people of Zimbabwe to the MDC on March 20 2008
was lucid. The challenge now is for the MDC to transfer the electoral
authority given to it by the populace into real political power.
The MDC needs to sever the umbilical cord that provides the lifeblood and
political nutrition to an illegal regime and its illegitimate head of state.

ZANU (PF)'s military wing, the Zimbabwe National Liberation Army (ZANLA)
became the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) by merely removing "African" and
"Liberation" from its wartime name. The core elements of ZNA's command and
control have remained intact and loyal to their liberation war "high
command." They now constitute the present day JOC, the real power in

In 1980 when ZANU (PF) won 57 seats out of a possible 120 and formed the
government that has ruled Zimbabwe to this day, the real power lay in the
hands of General Peter Walls and his counter insurgency (COIN) military

In order to assume full control of the true levers of power Mugabe embarked
on a systematic purge which commenced with the removal of ex-members of the
Rhodesian Security Forces.

In February 1982 while in Marondera, the Prime Minister and Minister of
Defence, Robert Mugabe, accused the late Joshua Nkomo of buying more than 25
farms and 30 businessenterprises throughout the country as havens for
concealing weapons to start another war against his leadership. "Nkomo is
trying to overthrow the government," Mugabe said. "ZAPU and its leader, Dr
Joshua Nkomo, are like a cobra in a house. The only way to deal effectively
with a snake is to strike and destroy its head."

Later the CIO engineered "dissident" insurgency in 1983, which culminated in
all ex-ZAPU/ZIPRA officers serving in the armed forces being demoted,
dishonorably discharged, arrested and killed as part of a ZANU (PF) power
consolidation exercise. This was the precursor for the 1987 Unity accord,
which saw ZANU (PF) swallow up ZAPU and render all opposition ineffective.

Mugabe visited Kim IL Sung (the Dear Leader of North Korea) in October 1981,
and came back with war materiel and a military training team led by
Brigadier Sim Hyon Dok. The establishment of the 5th Brigade mainly from
members of ZANU (PF)'s private army, the Zimbabwe People's Militia (ZPM),
commenced shortly afterwards led by Sidney Sekeramayi.

Perence Shiri, the JOC powerbase, after commanding the 5th Brigade in the
Gukurahundi massacres that killed close to 20 000 people, was sent to the
Royal College of Defence Studies in London for further training.

With the assistance of the British Military Advisory Training Team (BMATT),
Nigeria, Tanzania, Pakistan, North Korea, Yugoslavia, China and the USA,
Mugabe created a military that remained loyal to ZANU (PF) and to himself.
Professional army officers who did not tow the ZANU (PF) one party state
policy were victimised and discharged.

Today the situation is no different, the JOC and its subordinate units are a
culpable threat to civil authority and democracy. The MDC has to seize the
initiative, outflank Mugabe, and negotiate directly with the JOC for a
permanent power transfer deal and not a power sharing agreement with Mugabe.

If the MDC addresses the personal security concerns and guarantees of the
JOC members, these generals will switch their allegiance and without the
support of the JOC, Robert Mugabe will capitulate.

The precedence for soliciting the assistance of foreign military personnel
in strengthening Zimbabwe's defence capabilities was set by Robert Mugabe.
Zimbabwe requested for Air Marshal Mohammed Azim Daudpota of Pakistan to
serve as Commander of the Air Force of Zimbabwe from July 1983 to January
1986 as a replacement for Air Marshal Norman Walsh and other Rhodesian
officers Mugabe no longer trusted.

The MDC needs to follow suit, identify distinguished military officers and
request for their attestation to a new Zimbabwe Defence Force. Together with
their support staff, these generals would lead a 3-year military transition
period that will instill professionalism in our armed forces. The
depoliticisation of our military, which is essential for a functioning
democracy, becomes the cornerstone of such an endevour.

The JOC must be disbanded and the name of our army has to be changed through

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A country kept in the dark

Comment from The Times (SA), 26 August

No news is good news for Zimbabwe's rulers, writes Moses Mudzwiti

When there is an electricity blackout, everything stops. No lights, no
water, no telephone, no petrol and no news. This is the situation in
Zimbabwe. Stuck in this jumbled existence, it is hard to make any sense of
anything at all. No one here seems too bothered about the make-or-break
power-sharing talks between President Robert Mugabe and the two factions of
the Movement for Democratic Change. Ordinary people are too busy hustling
for their next meal to expend any energy on finding out any latest
developments. Besides, newspapers are too expensive while radio and
television are, by any standards, hardly credible sources of information.
Television might as well have died long ago. The state owns the broadcasting
rights over Zimbabwe's single television channel. Without any competition,
the sole provider can subject its long-suffering viewers to endless history
lessons on how the country was colonised by the British more than a century
ago. In between the lessons, there are repeats of Korean soap operas,
complete with subtitles. This, as well as a combination of factors including
incompetent media practitioners, overpriced news products and unreliable
electricity supplies, has conspired to keep Zimbabweans ill-informed about
their country and the world around them.

If by some fluke electricity is available and you turn on the radio, more
often than not, a less than impressive radio jock will mumble something
about "crossing over to the news". The enduring local news jingle of beating
drums comes alive, followed by the voice of Mugabe declaring: "We stand by
our people. Their votes on June 27 can never be rejected." He then goes on
to thank Zimbabweans for the "faith they have reposed" in him. Then the
radio goes dead quiet. A few minutes later, the DJ proudly announces "That
was the news." No one seems to take notice of such glitches. And conspiracy
theorists could be forgiven for suspecting that the frequent blackouts are
simply a government ploy to hide information from the public. But
incompetence is largely to blame for the sub-standard broadcasting. The
state broadcaster rises to the occasion only when Mugabe makes a live
address. Perhaps it is fear of arrest that ensures that it performs for the
octogenarian. Journalists employed by the state media have learnt how to
survive. If they want to stay employed they know they have to sing the
government's praises all day long. Some citizens have adopted the government's
hostility towards the West, which they frequently accuse of imposing
crippling sanctions.

A local singer who was taking part in an all-night Heroes' Day bash earlier
this month took the anti-West rhetoric a step further. The singer changed
the word "British" to ".." in a song ridiculing the former prime minister
Tony Blair. "The only Blair I knew was a toilet," sang the young man, much
to the obvious amusement of his audience. It is hard to find anyone
genuinely interested in radio and television news bulletins. Nevertheless,
the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) dutifully continues to churn out
its pro-government bulletins. Little wonder fed up consumers have renamed
the propaganda machine "The Dead BC". All other state media make it their
business to fight against what they call the "regime-change agenda". They
devote a lot of time and space to criticising the opposition, especially the
MDC, led by Morgan Tsvangirai. "I don't watch ZBC television," Tsvangirai
revealed last month on the night he signed the memorandum of understanding
that paved the way for the power-sharing talks. Since siding with Mugabe,
MDC splinter-group leader Arthur Mutambara has enjoyed positive publicity on
radio, television and in the state-owned newspapers, the Zimbabwe Herald and
the Sunday Mail. Privately owned newspapers like the Financial Gazette, the
Zimbabwean and the Standard are more sympathetic towards the opposition. But
they are priced well beyond the reach of those who need the information the
most. Though DStv beams into Zimbabwe, ordinary people are left with no
choice but to rely on rumours.

Joining a queue for scarce items usually turns out to be a good way of
keeping abreast with the goings-on. The recent power-sharing talks were a
good example of street news editing. On Monday morning, a few nervous
glances up and down a long queue at Standard Bank in Harare was the cue for
someone to break the latest news. A nervous character told people around him
that talks had stalled in Johannesburg. "Chematama [the one with chubby
cheeks] still refuses to sign," announced the self- styled news reporter.
Everyone within earshot immediately knew that Tsvangirai had opted out. The
banking hall was stunned into silence. Some people starred at their news
"source" in disbelief. He instinctively raised his hand to make sure his
doubters could see his cellphone. "I got an SMS from South Africa," he said.
It was enough to convince his listeners. If the noose around the media is
tightened any further, word-of-mouth reporters could lose their front teeth
and have their mouths padlocked. Perhaps the lack of information accounts
for the surprising lack of angst among Zimbabweans living on a political
knife edge.

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Zimbabwean Media Website

Press Statement On Launch Of Zimbabwean Media Website

This website is an offshoot of ZimJournalists Arise which hit the internet on August 26 2006 to Feburary 2007at

This was the brainchild of a senior Zimbabwean journalist to have a website for Zimbabwean journalists and those who write about Zimbabwe, in realization that despite being abused by the Robert Mugabe regime, journalists still play an important role to deal with problems in the country and to prepare for the future of a New Zimbabwe.

Hundreds of Zimbabwean journalists have been forced into the streets or into exile for political and economic reasons, save for a very few.

Despite the obstacle of facing rentless harassment, torture, arrests, victimization of all sorts, including poor working conditions, we believe that change, as sure as tomorrow will come is Coming.

It is with that hope, that we would like to be the central point for Zimbabwean journalists. Our main functions is to link journalists with newsmakers, so that the former can actively cover events and for newsmakers to publicize their events.

We aim to facilitate this, by circulating information that journalists may find handy in their work, provide a platform for networking, no matter which part of the world we are in, to share ideas.

Our main focus is to promote well- informed and well-trained journalists, by keeping journalists up to date with of training opportunities, fellowships, awards and anything that can help a journalist in their work.

Although the prevailing media environment is hostile, governed by oppressive pieces of legislation such as AIPPA, we need to be able to be prepared for the future and also be to be able to overcome the present hurdles.

Zimbabwean journalists are talented and have a lot of potential as shown by the growing number of publications, radio stations and news websites, that have sprouted outside the Motherland.

Therefore given a chance, the Zimbabwean media can spring back to life one day and we want to prepare journa's for that day, through its growth of a media operating in a crisis environment, a post-conflict era and into a young democracy.

As a lesson from the last 28 years of repressive rule, we endeavor to have journalists who are sensitive to human rights and democracy, JOURNALISTS that are past partisan journalism. Journalists who will report fairly and objectively, without fear nor favor.

We endeavor to promote a journalists that will not discriminate on the basis of tribe, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or any other basis. This also involves reporting on opposition and democratic forces, whom we believe are also accountable to the people of Zimbabwe.

This website is for all Zimbabwean journalists whether they work for the state media, private or international media.

This is because we realise that those who are being used by the regime to churn propoganda, most of them are not doing so willingly but are doing it to survive.

Media In Zimbabwe hopes to reach out to thems, expose them to news, training programes and organisations that can help them become better journalists in a New Zimbabwe. MIZ hopes that they too will be enlightened, to the ethics and professional standards of professional journalism beyond the eyes of the ruling party.

Another area of special interest to are freelance journalists. Although there are no statistics, freelance journalists, consist quite a number of journalist, most of whom have been made jobless because of the closure and turmoil in the Zimbabwean media. Most of these freelancers, donot have access to press statements, reports etc. This is where we would like to come in to help them with some of the information they need.

We are NOT a news website, but a TOOL for journalists, potential investors or anyone who would like to get information on the Zimbabwean media.

The website has sections on the devlopments in the Zimbabwean media, Africa and International media. The website also has a list of media orgnisations, training insitutions, contacts for media in distress and a small section on only very important media developments. The website will be constantly updating and working to improve its site, to give its readers a better product and thus sugestions, coments etc o what readers and journalists think are encouraged.

We look foward to working with each and everyone of you. Those of you who have news that you want to share with fellow media workers, promotions, career moves, thoughts on a particular subject etc are more than welcome to e-mail us. At or

Newsmakers are also encourged to communicate through us, to our mailing list of the hundreds of journalists in Zimbabwe, and all over the world.

Yours In

Striving For A Better Zimbabwean Journalist

The MediaInZimbabwe Team

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Regional court to rule on Zim farmers' case

by Simplicious Chirinda Monday 01 September 2008

HARARE - The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal will
rule on an application by a group of Zimbabwean white farmers against the
seizure of their land by President Robert Mugabe's government on September
11, a senior official with the court said.

"As you already know the court was adjourned in July but it is now going to
sit to deliver judgment on 11 September," said Dennis Shivangulula, an
official with the Windhoek based regional court.

The regional court had temporarily barred the Harare government from
confiscating land belonging to 77 white farmers pending the outcome of an
application by the farmers challenging the legality of Mugabe's programme to
seize white-owned land for redistribution to landless blacks.

The white farmers want the Tribunal to declare Mugabe's controversial land
reform programme racist and illegal under the SADC Treaty.

Article 6 of the regional treaty bars member states from discriminating
against any person on the grounds of gender, religion, race, ethnic origin
and culture.

A ruling declaring land reform illegal would have far reaching consequences
for Mugabe's government, opening the floodgates to thousands of claims of
damages by dispossessed white farmers.

Such a ruling could also set the Harare government on a collision course
with its SADC allies particularly if it - as it has always done with court
rulings against its land reforms - refuses to abide by an unfavourable
Tribunal judgment.

Farm seizures are blamed for plunging Zimbabwe into severe food shortages
after the government displaced established white commercial farmers and
replaced them with either incompetent or inadequately funded black farmers.

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Zimbabwe at the tipping point?

Eddie Cross
31 August 2008

Eddie Cross writes that last week's victory for the MDC in parliament could
prove to be crucial

Have you ever noticed how small the steering wheel is in a Formula One car?
It's tiny by comparison to the conventional car, even though the power under
the bonnet is much greater and the speeds and handling are that much faster
and dangerous. Sometimes history is like that - a seemingly small incident
or event can turn the tide and signal a new development that is enormous by
world standards.

The assassination of a minor Duke in the Balkans in 1914 was one such event.
It led to World War 1. A speech by an unknown teacher of Philosophy in
German in a small University at the end of the 19th Century would have gone
unnoticed except that it led to the creation of two monsters of the 20th
Century - Social Nationalism in Germany under Hitler and the advent of
Communism under Stalin and Lenin.

The vote on Monday last week that gave MDC control of Parliament was perhaps
just such an event. Certainly it changed the way the region looked at the
crisis in Zimbabwe and gave the MDC greater leverage in dealing with Zanu PF
at the SADC sponsored talks in South Africa. The first sign of this was the
warning from the SADC to Zanu PF not to form a new government and the call
by South Africa for the talks to resume in Pretoria.

Another sign of the new importance of this process was the composition of
the Zanu delegation to the talks - did you notice, that for the first time
Emmerson Mnangagwa was there! This signals that they are at last taking the
process seriously, they know that if the region decides that power should
now pass to the MDC in the form of the Prime Minister that this would be the
beginning of the end for Zanu PF.

There are no signals coming out of the process - another indication that
this time the game is deadly serious. Zanu finds itself trapped by a process
they had thought would lead MDC into a cul du sac. They have allowed
negotiations to develop an elaborate agreement over the past 18 months which
provides for a complete overhaul of the State including a new constitution,
an agreement that if implemented and managed properly would deprive Zanu of
the very means that they have used for the past 28 years to maintain their
hold on power.

All that is left is literally one clause in this massive agreement - just a
few short lines on a piece of paper that would transfer effective control to
Morgan Tsvangirai. Zanu would continue to have influence - half of all
Ministers would be from Zanu and the Head of State would still be Mugabe,
but the steering wheel, would be in MDC hands.

So now we wait, the Herald printed a silly story yesterday about Tsvangirai
and Mugabe sharing the role of Chairman of the Cabinet - but that is
twaddle. We have no choice but to wait for the outcome of talks now under
way in South Africa. Only one person can control the steering wheel - if its
is MDC it means we are going in a new direction, if its Zanu it means we are
going nowhere.

I am convinced that Thabo Mbeki has no alternative but to get a deal.
Whatever his personal feelings are, he has to now accept that there is no
realistic alternative to giving the steering wheel to Tsvangirai. I watched
the President of Tanzania meet with George Bush this morning in Washington.
They talked about Zimbabwe. Kikwete is firmly on the side of the MDC and so
are the major western powers. SADC has little alternative but to give MDC
what it is demanding in the talks now that we have firm control of
Parliament. That was the reason for convening Parliament after all, to
decide who held the balance of power in the House.

But on another subject - do you recall that young Senator in 2004 walking up
to the podium at the Democratic convention and then making a speech? I do,
so do a lot of Americans because it was the start of the Obama campaign for
the Presidency of the United States. A few nights ago he was back at the
Democratic convention - this time as the candidate giving his acceptance
speech. Wow, what a speech. It was deeply moving and powerful and in 10
weeks time, Americans are going to have to decide between McCain and Obama.
It will be close - but I think Obama is the man of the moment.

It all started with that minor speech in 2004. My belief in Obama is not
just based on his oratory it's also based on his record as a Senator, a
husband and a father. Of course I support him because he has African roots
but also because he embodies everything that the American dream stands for.
That a poor, mixed race kid with a single mom can rise out of obscurity and
claim the leadership of the most powerful country on earth. He also offers a
new way for America and this is a challenge that we all must grasp.

MDC has its roots in the poor of this country, not in the cloistered
corridors of power and privilege but in the back allies of our towns and
cities, the villages in the rural areas and on our factory floors. MDC was
not started in the boardrooms of this country but in the kitchens.
Tsvangirai does not have even a high school diploma; he had to leave home to
work when in his young teens to help his parents with the cost of raising
his siblings. He started out working on a machine in a textile factory and
then in a mine.

His parents live in a mud hut near the Save River and he goes home regularly
to catch up with his family. When there he sleeps on the floor like millions
of others who must struggle every day to make a living out of the ground.
Somehow this man has captured the trust and faith of millions who now depend
on us to bring them back to sanity in a world gone insane in the pursuit of
power and privilege.

We have a common heritage with Obama - we represent the dreams and
aspirations of our people, we represent the hope of a better, more just and
equitable future. It is an opportunity and a responsibility and one that we
dare not fail in. Obama may get his hands on the steering wheel in November.
Tsvangirai may get his hands on this steering wheel next week. The challenge
then will be to win the race that follows and deliver a better life to the
people who depend on us.

Eddie Cross is MP for Bulawayo South and the MDC Policy Co-ordinator

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MP who nominated Nyathi was first to celebrate Moyo's victory

Local News
August 31, 2008 | By Philip Mangena
The plot has thickened in the aftermath of the victory of MDC National
Chairman, Lovemore Moyo for the speaker position amid revelations by
Tsholotsho North independent MP,Jonathan Moyo that Lupane MP, Njabuliso
Mguni who nominated ZANU PF backed Paul Themba Nyathi was the first to
celebrate Moyo's victory.

Disgruntled Jonathan Moyo who seconded Nyathi told state media that he
seconded Nyathi's nomination after he spoke to Nkayi South MP Abedinico
Bhebhe on the night before the swearing-in ceremony who told him that the
party had nominated Nyathi for the post of Speaker.

"Bhebhe further informed me that their caucus had decided that Njabuliso
Mguni would nominate Paul Themba Nyathi in Parliament and that they had
asked Welshman Ncube to request me to second the nomination.', said Moyo

"I went with this understanding to Parliament for the swearing-in ceremony
the next day. While there and before the election of the Speaker, a rather
nervous Njabuliso Mguni confirmed to me that he was going to nominate Nyathi
and that he was expecting me to second his nomination as per the request of
his party.

"I assured Mguni that I would second his nomination because I believed it
was a good thing to do not just for the sake of democracy but also for the
sake of stabilising our country and fostering an all inclusive process of
national unity which are necessary for the much-needed economic turnaround.

"I started smelling a rat when Mguni gave a rambling and incoherent
nomination of Nyathi which, because it clearly did not come from his heart
or mind, was hopeless and pathetic," said Moyo.

Moyo said after the counting of the votes in the Senate Chamber, Mguni who
was supposed to be Nyathi's agent sprung up to celebrate along with
Kuwadzana Central MP Nelson Chamisa.

"As it became obvious that Lovemore Moyo's pile of votes was larger than
that of Paul Themba Nyathi, the MDC-T agents, started singing and dancing
together and they locked their arms together, with Nelson Chamisa locking
arms with Mguni in a musical celebration inside the Senate Chamber before
the announcement of the official result.

"I was very shocked by the fact that the very same person who had moved
Nyathi's nomination, Mguni was quick to abandon his own party's candidate
even before the counting was over. Chamisa and Mguni became an item in the
counting room and their spectacle was nauseating," said Moyo.

"Moyo also decried that some Mps showed the completed ballot papers to
Innocent Gonese and Thokozani Khupe before depositing the ballot papers in
the ballot box,"said Moyo.

Mguni has since dismissed allegations that he celebrated Moyo's victory
together with Chamisa, "Chamisa is a colleague and I have every right to
congratulate him. I don't see anything wrong with hugging Chamisa. I am not
ashamed because everything was very much in order."

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Nutritionist in a bind in Gutu District

Sunday, 31 August 2008 18:51 Tribune Staff
More than 100 patients at Gutu Rural Hospital face starvation after their
Grain Marketing Board (GMB) allocation of mealie meal was diverted to the
black market by a senior government employee.
Roy Chiruvi (34), the District Nutritionist employed by the Ministry of
Health and Child Welfare, was arrested on Tuesday after he sold 150 bags of
mealie meal he had solicited from the GMB on behalf of the hospital.
Chiruvi was still in police custody on Friday.

He allegedly sold each bag of mealie meal for SAR200, police said.

District police head, Chief Inspector Abson Sibanda, said the suspect is
assisting police with further investigations as they try to establish
whether he stole the mealie meal on his own or as part of a syndicate.

"The suspect is detained at Gutu Police station and is assisting us with
investigations to see if he was acting in isolation or formed part of a
syndicate fueling the sale of the scarce commodity on the black market, more
so an allocation meant for patients," said Chief Inspector Sibanda.

While the Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr David Parirenyatwa denied
the incident, sources at the health institution confirmed that Chiruvi had
been arrested.

"He (Roy) has not been coming to work for two days after he was detained at
the police station over the mealie meal scandal," said a senior nurse who
spoke to RadioVOP on condition of anonymity.

The nurse said the hospital had not been aware that Chiruvi had already
collected their mealie meal allocation for the month.

"It was news to us that he had already collected the patients' mealie meal
on behalf of the hospital. We wonder how we are going to feed the 120
patients admitted here," said the nurse.

Mealie meal is in short supply in the drought stricken district and anyone
who gets hold of the scarce commodity makes an instant fortune by charging
in foreign currency.-- RVOP

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