The ZIMBABWE Situation
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Robert Mugabe blames sanctions for Zimbabwe's woes
Click Telegraph link to see video.

Speaking at the U.N. summit in New York, Mugabe claimed his government are unable to meet Millennium Development Goals to reduce poverty because of 'illegal' sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States and European Union.

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WOZA condemns police as 83 activists denied food in jail

by Irene Madongo
21 September 2010

Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) has condemned the police for barring their 83
arrested members from receiving food and for holding them in filthy cells
for a second night. There is also concern for the condition for one of their
members' who the organisation says was seriously assaulted in police

The activists from WOZA were arrested at the end of a march to Parliament
buildings in Harare, to mark International Peace Day on Monday. Police
rounded up people as they were dispersing, following the peaceful march by
over 600 of their members, who included men. The aim of the protest was to
highlight community safety issues and police behavior in communities.

After initial talk of charging them with public disorder, the group are now
to be charged with obstructing traffic. Police had tried to make the group
pay admission of guilt fines, but they refused, insisting on being taken to
court. It is hoped that they will be taken to court Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday Jenni Williams, founder of WOZA, said: "Our support team were
attempting to feed our 83 colleagues because there is no food in the cells.
They were denied the right to take the food in at lunch time today. They
were told we are not allowed to take the food unless a lawyer is present,
which is not within standard operating procedures. We are seeing this as
another delaying tactic."

WOZA also said a Men of Zimbabwe Arise member, Lazarus Mandondo, was
severely beaten with baton sticks by police officers during a routine
counting exercise last night. It is unclear why he was beaten but there is
some concern for his welfare as apparently the beating was severe and
witnessed by all detainees.

W illiams said the ill-treatment of their members further highlights how the
police continue to violate all standard operating procedures. She said
Police Commissioner Chihuri has ignored their request for a meeting and she
appealed to co-Home Affairs Minister Theresa Makone to take action.

On Monday Makone claimed ZANU PF was 'virtually holding the Zimbabwe
Republic Police captive,' in response to weekend reports that police did
nothing to stop ZANU PF supporters from the violence that disrupted outreach
meetings in Harare. Makone excused the police by saying that they were just
as paralysed as most victims of political violence.

On Tuesday 1,200 members of WOZA marked International Peace Day with a
peaceful protest to Southampton House in Bulawayo in the morning. The aim of
the protest was to hand over a set of demands to the Police Commissioner and
the co-Ministers of Home Affairs.
Other groups in Bulawayo also marked International Peace Day on Tuesday.
Zimrights, Habbakuk Trust and the Zimbabwe Victims of Organised Violence
(ZIVOV) arranged a march from Bulawayo City Hall.

SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme said a group of about 50
people heard victims of the organised violence in 2002 recount their
ordeals. Those who spoke included Themba Ndlovu, who was ambushed by ZANU PF
thugs at his home and badly beaten, and Sidumiso Moyo, whose house was burnt
by ZANU PF thugs.

Saungweme said a former Green Bomber also spoke at the event. "He said he
wanted to thank God, because God had changed his heart. He said at the
training he got at the national military camps (run by ZANU PF) he was
taught to hate and he prided himself in violence," Saungweme said.

Saungweme added that the National Healing Organ was invited to the march but
did not attend, saying they were too busy with their work elsewhere.

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Two students killed by security guards at Bindura University

By Lance Guma
21 September 2010

Two students from the Bindura University are said to have died after being
brutally assaulted last Friday, by security guards determined to stop those
who had not paid their tuition fees from attending a graduation ceremony.

Two weeks after Higher Education Minister Stan Mudenge said no student
should be barred from sitting exams, harassed or victimized, for failing to
pay fees, Brian Chirume and another as yet unnamed student lost their lives
because they tried attending a graduation ceremony without having paid their
tuition fees.
According to Kudakwashe Chakabva, the spokesperson of a faction of the
Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU), 16 other students were seriously
injured when the college security guards went on a rampage trying to bar a
significant number of students from graduating, because they had not fully
paid up their tuition.

Chakabva told SW Radio Africa the college security guards were assisted in
the indiscriminate assaults 'by reinforcements of unknown assailants' who
beat anyone within reach and 'it is from injuries of this brutality that the
two students were killed and sixteen more injured,' he said. The union is
still piecing together the full details of what happened in Bindura last

'It is not the first time Bindura University has witnessed such barbaric
conduct by the security details. In 2006 police descended with the same
vigour after an explosion at the faculty of commerce department and a group
of AK47 wielding riot police took siege of the university campus,' Chakabva
The incident at Bindura University has re-ignited memories from 2001when
University of Zimbabwe student Batanai Hadzidzi was murdered in cold blood,
by rogue riot police units who battered him to death in his room following a
demonstration there.

'ZINASU joins the families of the lost comrades in mourning and calls for
the rest of the country to join hands in condemning this vile act. It is our
belief that barbarism can and shall not freely subjugate the right to life.
We therefore call upon the Tsvangirai-Mugabe led government to establish an
inquest into this horrendous event. We demand that justice be employed and
those responsible be exposed and brought to book.'

ZINASU also had a dig at co-Home Affairs Minister Theresa Makone. 'Instead
of following criminals to police cells, we invite Theresa Makone's
ministerial leadership in pursuit of justice.' The statement was an apparent
reference to Makone's recent visit to police stations in Harare, allegedly
to try and free the arrested son of ZANU PF Minister for Presidential
Affairs, Didymus Mutasa.

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Richard Branson urges world to invest Zimbabwe

September 21 2010 , 6:48:00

Billionaire Richard Branson urged people yesterday to invest in Zimbabwe,
saying the world was wrong to wait instead of helping the politically
volatile, impoverished southern African nation revive itself.

Virgin Unite, the philanthropic arm of Branson's Virgin Group, has helped
create Enterprise Zimbabwe, a nonprofit group connecting philanthropists and
commercial investors with business and social development opportunities.

Zimbabwe has struggled to attract foreign aid and investment because of
President Robert Mugabe's policies, which include a plan for local blacks to
acquire 51% shares in foreign-owned firms, including mines and banks.

Talks to improve Zimbabwe's ties with the European Union have stalled over
slow political reforms in Harare while US President Barack Obama said last
month he was 'heartbroken' by Zimbabwe's decline.

"Zimbabwe is a magnificent country that has had a really rough few years and
either the world can continue to wait and see and not invest ... or the
world can help Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and the coalition government
get Zimbabwe back on its feet," Branson told reporters in an interview.

Zimbabwe struggles

"The idea of Enterprise Zimbabwe is to have a sort of safe haven for people
to invest through," said Branson, whom Forbes magazine estimates is worth $4

Zimbabwe's once-vibrant economy has been shattered by Mugabe's policies,
particularly the seizure of white-owned farms for the resettlement of
landless blacks. Mugagbe has been in power since the country's independence
from Britain in 1980.

A unity government by Mugabe and his political rival Tsvangirai appears to
have halted the economy's decade-long free-fall, but the country is
struggling to restore productivity, feed its people and repair its ruined
infrastructure. Unemployment is estimated at over 90%.

About 85% of Zimbabwe's 12.5 million people live on less than a $1 a day and
annual per capita income is less than $400. - Reuters

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ZANU PF lashes out at British billionaire over investment

By Alex Bell
21 September

ZANU PF has lashed out at attempts by a British billionaire to encourage
foreign investment in Zimbabwe, saying they will not tolerate "backdoor
entry by 'vultures' disguised as angels."

Billionaire Richard Branson, who heads the Virgin business group, has urged
international investment in Zimbabwe, saying on Monday that the world was
wrong to wait, instead of helping the country revive itself.
Virgin Unite, the philanthropic arm of Branson's Virgin Group, has helped
create Enterprise Zimbabwe, a non-profit group aimed at connecting
philanthropists and commercial investors with different opportunities in
Zimbabwe. Branson said ,that the idea is to provide a 'safe haven' for
people to invest through.

"In life, people have got to take risks. If everybody waits on the sidelines
it will be the people who suffer," said Branson. "The present state of
politics in Zimbabwe is by no means perfect, but it's a great deal better."
"Zimbabwe, of all the African countries, it's got the best chance of getting
back ... it just needs a bit of help being kick-started," he said.

ZANU PF however sees Branson's intentions as a late attempt to take
advantage of Zimbabwe's resources. Tendai Midzi, the son of a ZANU PF
chairman, wrote on Tuesday that Branson is attempting to counter "the power
of China. Zimbabwe does not need investments disguised as 'philanthropic
work' now," Midzi wrote "The international community has now realised that
this jewel we call Zimbabwe, having discovered the largest deposit of
diamonds, in now able to lift itself out of the poverty that the West helped
create in the first place."

Details about how Branson's investment 'safe-haven' will be created have not
been clarified and there are doubts that it can be achieved. Robert Mugabe
has insisted that the controversial business indigenisation programme will
go ahead, which will see foreign companies in the country forced to hand
over 51% of their shares to pre-selected Zimbabweans.

At the same time, the illegal seizures of commercial land have continued,
despite most properties being protected by court orders. Many farms are also
meant to be protected by Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion
Agreements (BIPPA's) signed between Zimbabwe and other countries. But these
are also being completely ignored, allowing Mugabe's loyalists to seize as
much land as possible.


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Reuben Barwe gets US visa despite state media claims

By Lance Guma
21 September 2010

ZBC Chief News correspondent, Reuben Barwe, was granted a visa on Tuesday to
travel to the United Nations General Assembly in New York. This is despite a
report in the state owned Herald newspaper claiming Barwe and CIO boss
Happyton Bonyongwe had been denied visas by the US embassy in Harare, when
they were due to travel with Mugabe to the UN summit.

On Tuesday SW Radio Africa spoke to Sharon Hudson-Dean, a spokesperson at
the US embassy in Harare, who told us; 'They were not denied visas and in
fact, as of today the 21st September, both of them have their visas. Mr.
Bonyongwe's visa was issued on Friday 17th September as part of the official
delegation. Mr. Barwe's visa was issued today.'

Hudson-Dean said; 'Their visas did take some time for administrative
processing because of the number of visa applications (80 people) from
Zimbabwe for the UN General Assembly. We were not able to complete all of
the processing immediately. Barwe's visa took a bit longer because he is not
part of the official delegation, but he did receive it today.'

So why did the Herald newspaper report that Mugabe's regime had made a
formal complaint to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, alleging the denial of
the visas was a violation of international law by the US? The paper also
said this was the 'second successive year that members of the President's
delegation to the UN have been denied visas by the US embassy, following the
denial of a visa to Herald Deputy Editor Caesar Zvayi and Retired
Major-General Bonyongwe last year.'

'I think it is unfortunate that nobody called us or called me before the
story ran. We would have been very happy to try and explain the situation.'
Hudson-Dean said the visas take a longer time to process because travel by
certain Zimbabweans who are on targeted travel restrictions is vetted by
multiple agencies in the United States before the embassy is given the green
light. 'That is what happened in Barwe's case, the administrative process
took longer.'

But why is the US government giving visa's to members of the Mugabe regime
who it placed under targeted travel and financial restrictions? Hudson-Dean
said despite a presidential proclamation from the US restricting certain
government officials from traveling this 'also contains an exception to
permit the US to meet its international legal obligations such as those
under the United Nations headquarters agreement.' Because the UN
headquarters are in the US, they are obliged as the host country to issue
the visas.
NB: The full interview with the US Embassy spokesperson in Harare Sharon
Hudson-Dean can be heard on our Behind the Headlines programme this
Thursday. Lance asks her if there is any point to the targeted travel
restrictions if there are to be exceptions like travel to the UN?

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Cops raid Bennett's home

    September 21 2010 at 08:14AM

By Basildon Peta
Mercury Foreign Service

Roy Bennett, the Zimbabwean opposition politician who has been persecuted by
President Robert Mugabe's regime, is in trouble again.

Police have raided Bennett's home in Harare three times over the past two
weeks and indicated that they wanted to arrest him on unspecified charges.
But Bennett, who has not been seen in public in the past couple of months,
is believed to be outside Zimbabwe for medical reasons.

Efforts to get comment from the Zimbabwe Republic Police on why its officers
were hunting down Bennett have been fruitless.

Bennett's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) yesterday slammed the visits
to Bennett's home, saying it was worrying that police would not say why they
wanted to arrest him.

"But it is obvious that the intention to arrest Senator Bennett is a
malicious plot hatched by certain rogue elements in Zanu-PF, including
disgraced attorney-general Johannes Tomana, who are against the swearing-in
of Senator Bennett as deputy agriculture minister two years after the
signing of the Global Political Agreement," it said.

Bennett was recently acquitted of treason and terrorism charges over
allegations that he had hoarded arms to assassinate Robert Mugabe. But
Mugabe still refused to swear him into government.

Bennett was jailed for almost a year over a scuffle with Justice Minister
Patrick Chinamasa during a parliamentary debate in which Chinamasa branded
Bennett's white ancestors as "thieves", "rapists" and "looters".

After his release, Bennett went into exile as the police hunted him down
over the allegations of hoarding arms to kill Mugabe.

After a near three-year exile, Bennett returned to Zimbabwe on the strength
of South African government promises that he would not be arrested again in
the wake of the signing of the agreement in September 2008.

But he was arrested. After a long trial, Judge Chinembiri Bhunu acquitted
him, having found that the state had no case against him.

    * This article was originally published on page 2 of The Mercury on
September 21, 2010


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Constitutional Meetings In Harare Declared Null And Void

21/09/2010 11:01:00

Harare, September 21, 2010 - Constitutional Parliamentary Select Committee
(COPAC) co-chairperson Douglas Mwonzora has declared null and void meetings
held on Monday in some parts of Harare to solicit people's views for
Zimbabwe's new constitution.

Some COPAC members convened meetings at St Peters, Stodart Hall, Mai Musodzi
Hall, Netball Grounds all in Mbare and at Moth Hall in Braeside.

But Mwonzora said such meetings were immaterial because COPAC officials had
been informed not to proceed with the meetings.

"They (meetings) are a nullity. They are irrelevant because we send the
COPAC teams word but they didn't listen," said Mwonzora.

The Movement for Democratic Change legislator said the COPAC officials could
have proceeded with the meetings in order to reward some of the people who
were ferried by President Robert Mugabe's Zanu (PF) PF party to participate
and dilute urbanites views at venues where they do not reside.

"You must appreciate that some people were bused," said Mwonzora.

The COPAC co-chairperson said the management committee COPAC resolved on
Monday to suspend all constitution outreach meetings for Harare after
violence and chaos marred the exercise in the capital city and in
Chitungwiza over the weekend.

Mwonzora said all meetings in Harare had been suspended pending the outcome
of a probe into the violence that marred the weekend meetings where several
people were assaulted while others were turned away from the meetings by
supporters loyal to President Robert Mugabe. The management committee,
Mwonzora said, demanded a report of detailing incidents of violence.

"They want to nullify the centres where violence took place," said Mwonzora.

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Zimbabwe's CIO officers declares war on police - Report

21 September, 2010 03:30:00    by Alice Chimora

Zimbabwe police and the dreaded Central Intelligence Organization have
declared war on each other after a round of fatal shootings over the weekend
left at least two high ranking security agents dead and many others wounded

The agents gunned down each other in the southern part of the country,
Bulawayo in two separate incidents in a space of 24 hours sparking a tense

CIO and senior bosses at the secret service outfit were demanding
explanations after one of the dead CIO members was identified as a bodyguard
of Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi.

The tragic incident came amid a heightened state of alert by the police
after a senior police officer was killed and a detective and four members of
the public wounded early Saturday morning.

On Monday, police boss Augustine Chihuri reiterated the police's
"shoot-to-kill" policy during a funeral service organized for the dead
senior police officer, Chief Superintendent Lawrence Chatikobo.

He said he was so angry at the murder that he was praying that the criminals'
lives would be cut short.

"I even appeal to God and my prayer is: 'Lord, may you shorten the lives of
these criminals'," but people at the service said he directed the message to
the CIO.

"Let me warn people who harbour criminals that the long arm of the law will
catch up with them," Chihuri said.

However, citizens say Cheshire's comments are misplaced as countless
innocent civilians have been gunned down by police who later claim that the
dead were "victims of mistaken identity".

One of the witnesses of Saturday's shooting said: "Mohadi's bodyguard
followed the instruction together with everyone else, but they (police) shot
him while he was trying to explain who he was."

CIO sources say their dead colleague was shot at point-blank range and this
has angered the intelligence department who have expressed their dismay with
the conduct of the officers who are suspected to be from the homicide

"There is a feeling that police should have exercised caution in this case,"
said the intelligence source.

However, those inside the CID homicide section argued that while it was
regrettable that the shooting had resulted in the death of a member of the
security forces, the lives of the officers who shot at the operative were
also at risk. - Afrik News

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Speaker Challenge: Supreme Court Reserves Judgement

21/09/2010 18:25:00

Harare, September 21, 2010 - A full Supreme Court bench has reserved
judgement in a matter in which Independent Tsholotsho MP Jonathan Moyo and
three others are challenging the election of Movement for Democratic Change
chairman Lovemore Moyo to the post of Speaker of Parliament in 2008.

Professor Moyo appealed to the Supreme Court his application was thrown out
by High Court Judge Justice Bharak Patel in March this year saying it lacked
merit and failed to establish any justification to nullify the election.

The full bench comprising Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, his deputy,
Luke Malaba, as well as Justices Wilson Sandura, Vernada Ziyambi and
Paddington Garwe heard oral submissions from Professor Moyo's lawyer
Terrence Hussein as well as those from the respondents Clerk of Parliament
Austin Zvoma and Speaker Moyo who is cited as the
second respondent.

Chief Justice Chidyausiku said the bench would need time to go through the
papers and the submissions made in court and "the therefore the judgement is
accordingly reserved".

Zvoma was represented by Choice Damisa, counsel to Parliament while the
Speaker was represented by South African constitutional lawyer Mathew
Chaskalson who was being instructed by Chris Mhike of Atherstone and Cook.

Lawyer Hussein told the bench that Justice Patel had erred in finding that a
proper election for the speaker of Parliament had been conducted in terms of
the constitution.

He said the election should have been held by a secret ballot but the clerk
of parliament failed to stop the election after some MPs openly displayed
who they had voted for in the election that was contested by the current
speaker Moyo and former MP Paul Themba Nyathi in a clear violation of the

"There was no compliance in terms of the constitution. The misbehaviour by
the named MPs tainted the whole election," argued Hussein.

"The judge erred in finding that the participants' exposure of their
completed ballot papers was not a violation of the secret ballot," Hussein

"He also erred in finding that a secret ballot took place. The judge erred
in interpretation section 39 (2) of the constitution as read with ordinance
6 of the house of assembly standing orders as directory and not peremptory
(he interpreted the constitution and law as if it
gave him discretion when in fact it does not give him discretion).

Wherefore appellant will pray that the appeal to be allowed on any one or
more or all of the grounds of the appeal and that the decision of learned
Judge Patel can be set aside."

However Damisa on belhalf of the Clerk of Parliament said there was nothing
wrong done by Zvoma since he had provided an environment that allowed for
the holding of an election by secret ballot.

"There were no elections irregularities of high magnitude that can warrant
the nullification of the whole process. Trivial deviations should not lead
to the setting aside of an election. The said deviations are only a mere
irregularity but they do not amount failure of holding a secret ballot as
enshrined in the constitution," said Damisa.

Chaskalson on behalf of the Speaker described Professor Moyo's actions as
opportunism only found individual who would have lost an election.

He said the right to the secret of the ballot lied with the voters
themselves and not the presiding officer.

"There is no MP out there who can openly say that my ballot had been
compromised by the display by the six members. The role of the presiding
officer and in the case the first respondent was to provide an enabling
environment for the attainment of the secret ballot. Rights to a secret
ballot vest in the individual voter," said Chaskalson.

He said the four MPs who are challenging the election should have raised
their objections with the Clerk of Parliament before seeking the court's

"The affected MPs should have used internal remedies to resolve disputes.
Jonathan Moyo as an election agent for Paul Themba Nyathi had the greatest
opportunity to raise objections if there were any serious irregularities to
warrant nullification," said Chaskalson.

He mentioned the principles of the separation of powers between the two arms
of government that is the legislature and the judiciary and therefore the
application should not be allowed.

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Zimbabwe Plans to Force Miners to Sell 10% of Diamonds to Local Processors

By Brian Latham - Sep 22, 2010 2:39 AM GMT+1000

Zimbabwe's government has proposed a regulation requiring the three diamond
miners operating in the country to sell 10 percent of their gems to local
processors and polishers.

"We are now looking at the modalities of implementing the new regulation,"
Secretary for Mines Thankful Musukutwa said today in a telephone interview
from the capital, Harare.

Closely held River Ranch (Private) Ltd. digs the gems near Beit Bridge in
southern Zimbabwe. Murowa Diamonds in Zvishavane, also in the south, is
owned by Rio Tinto Plc and RioZim Ltd. A third deposit in the eastern
Marange fields is mined by Mbada Mines (Private) Ltd. and Canadile Miners
(Private) Ltd. in joint ventures with the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining
Development Corp.

All stones cut and polished in Zimbabwe will have to be certified by the
Kimberley Process, Musukutwa said. Six licenses have been awarded to
Zimbabwean cutters and polishers for a $20,000 fee, the mines secretary

The Kimberley Process is an initiative by governments, industry and
civil-society groups to certify diamonds as "conflict-free," according to
its website. So-called conflict diamonds are rough gems that have been
traded by rebel movements to finance wars against governments, including
those in Angola, Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra

New York-based Human Rights Watch alleged in June 2009 that Zimbabwe's
military may have killed as many as 200 informal miners working at Marange.
The campaign group had called for a ban on Marange diamonds unless Zimbabwe
adheres to Kimberley Process standards.

Diamonds from the Marange fields were sold at auction with Kimberley Process
certification for the first time on Aug. 12.

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Dabengwa ropes in retired 5th Brigade soldier as his deputy

21 September, 2010 08:25:00    By Energy Bara

MASVINGO - Former Zanu PF Masvingo provincial spokesman who had a stint with
the Simba Makoni 's Kusile / Mavambo project retired major Kudzai Mbudzi
claims that he has been approached by the revived Zimbabwe African People's
Union Zapu led by Dumiso Dabengwa to take up the vice president's post.
Mbudzi, who broke ranks with Makoni's Mavambo/Kusile Project following a
misunderstanding over the alleged abuse of  campaign funds by Makoni
yesterday said that although he was not yet a Zapu member, the party had
approached him to take up the vice president's post.

Dabengwa was elected  president at the party congress last month but the
post of vice president is still vacant.

"It is true that the party Zapu has approached me to take up the Post of
vice president but I am still thinking about it," said Mbudzi.

"I feel the combination of myself and Dabengwa will click and I have no
problems in deputising him. He is a good leader and as I said I am not yet
their member," said Mbudzi.

Although no official comment could be obtained from Zapu, some sources
confirmed that they were hunting for a candidate for the post of  vice

"We are looking for a vice president and obviously he should not come from
Matabeleland," said a highly placed source within Zapu.

"Although I am not aware of the names of people who have been approached but
the truth is we are hunting for a credible vice president with a national
appeal," said the source.

Mbudzi was booted out of Zanu PF after he openly opposed the nomination of
President Robert Mugabe as the party's presidential candidate ahead of the
2008 elections, arguing that he is now too old.

Mbudzi, a war veteran, joined Makoni's Mavambo project and was the
parliamentary candidate for Masvingo West constituency where he was trounced
by MDC-T's Tachiona Mharadze.

The outspoken Mbudzi later broke ranks with the Mavambo project accusing
Makoni of abusing campaign funds.

Makoni has deneied ever abusing the project funds. He fired Mbudzi from the
project but Mbudzi has approached the courts challenmging his dismisal from
the project.

Zapu President Dabengwa  also supported Makoni's Mavambo project during the
2008 elections but has since revived the party (Zapu) which was formerly led
by vice president Joshua Nkomo.

Dabengwa said he pulled out of Zanu PF over difference in  the leadership
style of Makoni and has said that the unity accord signed between PF Zapu
and Zanu PF in 1987 no longer exists.

Dabengwa has  also said that all former Zapu cadres who are still working
with Zanu Pf are doing so on their own volition and therefore are not
representing the party's interests.

The former party's intelligence supremo Dabengwa has vowed to challenge
President Robert Mugabe and prime minister Morgan Tsvangirayi during the
next presidential elections expected to be held  next year. -Daily News

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Harare deputy mayor comes face to face with wife’s killers

By Tichaona Sibanda
21 September 2010

The deputy Mayor of Harare, Emmanuel Chiroto, on Sunday came face to face
with some of the crazed killers of his wife, whose gruesome murder in 2008
is yet to be investigated by the police.

While almost all of Abigail Chiroto’s killers are known to the police, no
arrests have been yet been made, 27 months after she was found brutally
murdered on June 18th at a farm near Borrowdale on the outskirts of Harare.

On the night of June 16th Chiroto’s house in the suburb of Hatcliffe was
petrol bombed and destroyed by ZANU PF supporters. Abigail, and his then
four-year-old son Ashley, were taken away by the attackers.

The assaliants dumped Ashley outside a police station on the day of
abduction but went on to kill 26 year-old Abigail, whose cold bloodied
murder was covered extensively by local and international media.

She was found with a gunshot wound to the head and a deep cut on her
stomach. A post-mortem report showed she had been savagely assaulted and her
limbs broken.

It was a political killing that left the intended target, Emmanuel Chiroto,
grief stricken. But to his horror, the deputy Mayor came face to face with
four of the killers during disturances that marred the constitutional
outreach meetings in Hatcliffe on Sunday.

‘Four of the people who were part of the group that abducted and later
killed my wife were in a group that disrupted meetings in wards 18 and 42 of
the Harare north constituency. They were so menacing to a point they even
threatened to finish me up because they couldn’t do so in 2008,’ Chiroto

‘They were armed with iron bars, sticks and stones and at one time wanted to
smash my car because they could not stomach my presence at the meeting. But
what struck me most was their audacity to refer to my wife’s murder and
their boisterious threats to do the same with me,’ he added.

‘I maintained a safe distance from the rowdy ZANU PF crowd but the four
(killers of his wife) kept charging towards me feigning to whip me with
their weapons. At this juncture there was a major confrontation between two
sets of supporters which forced the abandonment of the meetings. To our
surprise two of our MDC officials from the area were arrested by the police
but none from ZANU PF was picked up,’

The two MDC officials are still locked up in police cells at the Harare
Central police station. They are expected to appear in court facing trumped
up charges of assaulting police officers.

Chiroto said even as he made his way to the police to follow up on the
arrest of their officials, the four thugs briefly trailed him, before making
a u-turn. He told us the whole episode on Sunday brought back sad memories
of the madness of the 2008 violence.

‘To think that these guys would have the nerve to confront and insult me
after what they did to my wife is pushing their luck. Mhosva hairovi (a
crime does not go away) I want to believe these guys are well aware of that,
because God is not for one man but for all of us,’ Chiroto said.

In a related incident a statement from the MDC said four MDC cadres in Mbare
were arrested after they had gone to Mbare Police Station to report that
they had been assaulted by ZANU PF supporters during a COPAC meeting at Mai
Musodzi Hall on Sunday.

Godfrey Cotton, Edmore Manyofa, Shingi Gorekore and Paul Majarifa have since
been transferred to Harare Central Police Station’s Law and Order Section
but no charges have been brought against them. The MDC said the four are
being denied treatment although some of them have injuries that need urgent
medical treatment.

Meanwhile COPAC teams were on Tuesday forced to abandon outreach meetings
after ZANU PF supporters, state agents and soldiers, unleashed terror in
Makoni South constituency, Manicaland province.

The MDC MP for the area, Pishai Muchauraya, said the disturbances forced the
cancellation of meetings at 21 centres in the constituency. He said the well
coordinated disruptions bore the hallmarks of the military running the

‘These disruptions are so organised that ZANU PF people are getting orders
from the same source. It’s like 2008 again and most villagers in the
constituency are now scared of attending these meetings,’ Muchauraya said.

In Bulawayo, 11 outreach meetings that were abandoned after ZANU PF COAPC
members failed to turn-up, have been set for 22nd to 28th September.

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Donors Sought To Clear Raw Sewage

21/09/2010 11:02:00

Chinhoyi, September 21, 2010 - Deputy Health Minister Douglas Mombeshora is
seeking donor funds to clear raw sewage which continues to be discharged
into Manyame river, the only source of water for Chinhoyi residents.

Chinhoyi town situated 115 kilometres north-west of Harare is the
Mashonaland West provincial capital.

Mombeshora told Radio VOP: "Raw sewage is being discharged into Manyame
river...the  local authority has no funding capacity to treat water for its
residents. It's a health hazard and death trap for us all."

''I have asked the municipality to draft financial document requirements on
how much is required to rectify the problem. We can not rely on council
revenue alone but have to source funding from international donors'' he

Mombeshora's appeal comes at a time when a Non Government Organisation in
Zimbabwe, German Action Aid, recently compalined that Chinhoyi residents
were using aqua tablets meant to purify water as a detergent to soak their
clothes in.

The NGO's health promotion officer, Tendai Chinake said a survey conducted
in the town had revealed that male residents were snubbing awareness
campaigns while women were using aqua tablets to soak nappies for their
babies. Male residents were using buckets donated to them for fishing.

The organisation had been forced to turn their awareness campaigns to
schools and was currently engaging 19 687 school children to teach them on
how cholera is spread, treated and prevented.

A cholera epidemic killed over 4000 people throughout the country in 2008
after the health delivery system collapsed due to economic, political and
social instability.

Chinhoyi town was not spared by the ''man made disaster'' a situation which
prompted German Action Aid to embark on cholera awarness campaigns in the

Chinhoyi provincial hospital has been hit hard by water woes forcing
officials to demand water from patients mostly pregnant women before they
are admitted.

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Mugabe lacks leadership skills - ex-diplomat

By Energy Bara
Tuesday, 21 September 2010 16:14

MASVINGO - Former Zimbabwean Ambassador to Ethiopia and Botswana, Alois
Makamure Chidoda has attacked President Robert Mugabe for lacking leadership
skills and accused him of turning Zanu PF into a tribal party.

Now living in poverty, Chidoda, who was ambassador to Ethiopia when the
country was under the leadership of dictator Haile Mariam Mengistu says
Mugabe and Zanu PF have dumped him and other cadres in favour of people from
his home area who never participated in the struggle.

"I will never forgive President Robert Mugabe for the bad way he has treated
me. What is lacking in Zanu PF is good leadership," said Chidoda.

"We want leaders who follow the footsteps of the likes of Herbert Chitepo
and others and not the current leadership which is just amassing wealth and
discriminating people on regional lines."

"Mugabe is the worst culprit since he is only concentrating on developing
his home area Zvimba and the Zezuru people."

Chitepo was the founding chairman of Zanu-PF and died in bomb blast in
Zambia in 1975.

Chidoda said he played a very big role during the liberation struggle by
giving former freedom fighters resources but the party which he loved most
has abandoned him

The former diplomat accused Mugabe of selectively helping Zanu PF cadres on
regional and tribal lines.

"Look at the way Mugabe is looking after Chombo and others - it is amazing,"
said Chidoda.

"I played a bigger role during the war than Chombo. Mugabe just wants to
dine and wine with the Zezurus and that is what makes him strong," said

"I am living in poverty because the party that I helped has dumped me and I
heap everything on President Mugabe."

Although no official comment could be obtained yesterday from Mugabe's
office since he is out of the country, Zanu PF spokesman for Masvingo
province, Noel Mandebvu dismissed Chidoda's claims arguing that he was just
acting out of emotions.

"Chidoda had his time and to say our party has neglected him is very unfair.
He is just acting out of emotions," said Mandebvu.

Turning to the issue of how the former Ethiopian strongman Mengistu escaped
to Zimbabwe in 1991, Chidoda said that the current minister of Defence
Emmerson Mnangagwa had played a key role.

"I just remember that Minister Mnangagwa came to Ethiopia in 1991 to canvass
for support for Simba Makoni to get a job at the United Nations," said

"It was then that Mnangagwa held secret talks with Mengistu. I did not
attend the meeting but I knew something was going on. It was after this
meeting that I heard that Mengistu had fled to Zimbabwe."

However, no official comment could be obtained from Mnangagwa to verify
Chidoda's claims.

Chidoda has a small farm in the Mushagashe area of Masvingo.

"I have a small farm which I bought and not invaded, "said Chidoda.

Chidoda was barred by Zanu-PF from contesting the Masvingo mayoral post in
1995. He later went to court and lost the case.

He joined the Mavambo project in 2008 and contested the Masvingo North
parliamentary seat and lost to Zanu-PF's Stan Mudenge.


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Zimbabwe man jailed for 15 years and ordered to pay half a million

21 September, 2010 02:55:00    The Star-Telegram

DALLAS, US - Zimbabwean man, a US based tax consultant Herbert Jena got 15
years in prison and ordered to pay $485,100 in restitution for defrauding
the Internal Revenue Service and obstructing justice, the U.S. attorney's
office in Dallas said Friday.

Jena, 33, of Zimbabwe, operated Jackson Hubbert Tax Services -- not to be
confused with Jackson Hewitt, although that might have been the point -- at
Fort Worth's La Gran Plaza on West Seminary Drive and a similar business
called Montford in Dallas.

For a while, the immigrant entrepreneur did well, raking in at least
$500,000 for himself, the feds say. That was until he got caught. And Jena
didn't help himself by violating his pretrial arrangements. He has been
detained since 2008.

The prosecutors alleged that Jena told employees to make up tax-credit
claims and refunds that resulted in more than $2.7 million paid out by the
IRS to 774 people.

Co-defendants Aurora Perez and Nancy Munoz, both of Irving, pleaded guilty
three years ago to a conspiracy charge and testified against Jena; they have
not been sentenced. star-telegram

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WOMEN'S WATCH - 20th September 2010 [Human Trafficking - A Women's Issue]


[20th September 2010]

Human Trafficking – A Women’s Issue

Women comprise at least 56% of the world’s trafficking victims.  The feminisation of poverty and the feminisation of migration mean that women from poorer and developing countries are particularly vulnerable and the proportion of women trafficked is higher in these countries.  Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, and ties with the illegal arms industry as the second largest, after the drug-trade.




There are more people being bought and sold at this moment than in the entire 300 year history of the Atlantic Slave Trade


Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is modern day slavery.  Its victims are men, women and children in search of better prospects in life.  Lured with promises of better jobs or education, they often end up in prostitution or forced labour.

Definition: “The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation."  Note: The consent of a victim of trafficking in persons to the intended exploitation shall be irrelevant.  Trafficking is not necessarily cross border – it can take place within a country.

Two major forms of trafficking in this region are:

·      sexual exploitation

·      forced labour

Statistics: 12.3 million adults and children in forced prostitution and or forced labour or bonded labour around the world.  [Taken from the USA Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report, 10th Edition, 2010]


The above-cited report describes Zimbabwe as a country of origin, transit and destination for men, women and children subjected to trade in persons.  “[The government] has provided anti-trafficking training to some public servants but officials make no apparent effort to proactively identify victims of trafficking.  Some members of government security services forced men and boys to perform hard labour in the diamond fields.”  According to the report Zimbabwe did not record or release information on the numbers of trafficking investigations or prosecutions, or convictions over the past year.  Public awareness seems sparse.  The media does not seem to view it as a serious threat in Zimbabwe, hence it has received very little coverage.

An activist in children’s rights told Women’s Watch that: “Until it happens to someone you know, human trafficking is something we never think of.  We fight for children’s rights to education, health and shelter among other things but we have honestly never dwelled on the threat of human trafficking.  There is no readily available information on it.  If one is privileged enough to have access to the Internet then one has chances of stumbling onto information about trafficking in persons.  We need more information and we need to know if there are any hotlines one can call if they feel they are in danger of being trafficked or if one is aware of a trafficking syndicate.”

UN Takes up The Fight Against Human Trafficking

Ten years ago the United Nations negotiated the international standards against trafficking in persons.  Since then, some countries that denied the existence of trade in humans now work to help eradicate it

The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime: This was adopted by General Assembly resolution on 15 November 2000, and is the main international instrument in the fight against transnational organized crime.  It entered into force on 29 September 2003.  

The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children: This protocol to the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime was adopted by the General Assembly and entered into force on 25 December 2003.  It is the first global legally binding instrument with an agreed definition of trafficking in persons.  The intention behind this definition is to facilitate convergence in national approaches with regard to the establishment of domestic criminal offences that would support efficient international cooperation in investigating and prosecuting trafficking in persons cases.  An additional objective of the Protocol is to protect and assist the victims of trafficking in persons with full respect for their human rights.

The United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT) mobilizes State and non- State actors to eradicate human trafficking by a three-pronged approach of prevention, protection and prosecution:

·      reducing both the vulnerability of potential victims and the demand for exploitation in all its forms;

·      ensuring adequate protection and support to those who do fall victim; and

·       supporting the efficient prosecution of the criminals involved.

What Can be Done in Zimbabwe

1.   Zimbabwe needs to sign and ratify the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children

2.   Pass legislation to outlaw human trafficking

3.   Have a clear policy on human trafficking:

·      ensure statistics are kept

·      raise awareness

·      take urgent steps to prevent it

·      provide for the prosecution of traffickers

·      rescue those who have been trafficked

Proposed Legislation against Human Trafficking in the Pipeline

The Zimbabwe Government is working on a Bill on human trafficking, but the draft is not yet available.  Women’s Watch will circulate it as soon as it is available.  It is important that the proposed Bill addresses the issue of minimum standards required to eradicate trade in humans. 

Note: Zambia has an anti-trafficking law, a Cabinet approved Plan of Action and an inter-ministerial anti-trafficking committee.

UN Minimum Standards for Governments

·      The government of the country should prohibit severe forms of trafficking in persons and punish such acts.

·      For the knowing commission of any act of sex trafficking involving force, fraud, coercion, or in which the victim is a child incapable of giving meaningful consent, or of trafficking which includes rape or kidnapping or which causes a death, the government of the country should prescribe punishment commensurate with that for grave crimes, such as forcible sexual assault.

·      For the knowing commission of any act of a severe form of trafficking in persons, the government of the country should prescribe punishment that is sufficiently stringent to deter and that adequately reflects the heinous nature of the offence.

·      The government of the country should make serious and sustained efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking in persons.


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

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