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Who is bankrolling Mugabe?


Zimbabwe makes first facebook arrest.

China builds state intelligence complex for Mugabe

For Zimbabwean journalist Saize, the absurd is routine.

MDC says violence, arrests and abductions on the rise
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US$1 billion Marange diamonds looted
Lawmaker arrested for 'insulting' President Mugabe
Zimbabwe Government Bans 'Offensive' Paintings- Artist Charged
Kezi man jailed for " I Hate Mugabe " remarks
Art Exhibit Stirs Up the Ghosts of Zimbabwe’s Past

Gwisai’s trial: Cop ‘unmasks’ CIO agent

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

By Tendai Kamhungira, Court Writer
Thursday, 02 February 2012 14:13


HARARE - A senior police officer yesterday “unmasked” a suspected Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO) agent after identifying him in pictures
presented in court.

The suspected CIO operative claims to be a police detective sergeant under
the name “Jonathan Shoko” and has denied being the man in the pictures.

Lawyers representing labour activist Munyaradzi Gwisai and five others
accused of plotting violence at a meeting held last February are insisting
that “Shoko’s” real name is Rodwell Chitiyo, a CIO operative.

“Shoko” is a star witness in the case against Gwisai after claiming that he
attended the meeting as an undercover policeman.

Prosecutors allege Gwisai and his accomplices convened a meeting at Zimbabwe
Labour Centre in Harare, where they connived to commit and incite acts of
violence in the country.

“Shoko” an undercover police who told the court he was part of the meeting
that led to the arrest of Gwisai and five other social activists has
previously denied knowledge of a person who was on the pictures presented in
court by Gwisai’s lawyer Alec Muchadehama.

Muchadehama told the court that Shoko disguised his real identity.

He said Shoko’s real name was Rodwell Chitiyo and that he was a member of
the CIO on a mission targeting members of civil society as part of CIO
“covert and overt operations”.

Testifying in court yesterday, Charles Ngirishi, a chief superintendent and
Harare’s officer commanding law and order section, confirmed that the person
on the three photographs produced in court was “Shoko”. “I can recognise
detective sergeant Shoko. I know him. He is exactly the same person,” said
Ngirishi.

“You were shown pictures by the defence. Are you 100 percent sure that the
person you identified is detective sergeant Shoko?” asked prosecutor Reza to
which Ngirishi confirmed that the pictures were a true reflection of Shoko.

When “Shoko” testified in court on several occasions last year and this
year, Muchadehama produced copies of Chitiyo’s identity card, passport and
birth certificate and photographs showing his resemblance since the time he
was in high school at St Faith Mission in Rusape and an extraction of his
Facebook picture.

Muchadehama also told the court that “Shoko” was popularly known at school
by the nickname Pinocchio, because his nose was similar to that of the
cartoon character.

Shoko denied knowledge of all the identity particulars. Ngirishi, who said
he assigned “Shoko” to Gwisai’s meeting, failed to identify Shoko on a group
photograph taken while “Shoko” was at St Faith Mission.

When Shoko testified in court, he said he was the one who had information
about the meeting and had been following its progress since the beginning of
February last year.

Muchadehama yesterday told the court of his intention to apply for
discharge, which he said he will submit in written form.

“Given the nature of the questions given in court and the overall
circumstances, we feel we need to apply for discharge at the close of the
state’s case,” said Muchadehama.

Prosecutor Reza told the court that the state was strongly opposed to the
application.

Magistrate Kudakwashe Jarabini is expected to give his ruling on the
application on February 15. He ordered both counsels to file their written

submissions by February 10.


Rohr official arrested

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

Restoration Of Human Rights Zimbabwe (ROHR) Vice Chairman and Spokesperson
Sten Zvorwadza has been arrested this morning on allegations of ‘posing a
threat of future violence’. He is being held at Matapi police station where
he had rushed seeking refuge from 50 rowdy ZANU PF youths.
28.01.1202:10pm
by ROHR

"Sten Zvorwadza had sought intervention from police over a dispute that
erupted when over 50 ZANU PF youth militia besieged his business premise in
Mbare harassing workers and ordered the close of the premise . The youth
militia allege that Zvorwadza is a supporter of the Movement for Democratic
Change and should not operate in Mbare," according to a statement issued by
the organization.

Representatives of ROHR Zimbabwe spoke to Zvorwadza’s employees who were at
the premises at the time of the attack and subsequent arrest of Mr
Zvorwadza. The employees complained that ZANU PF youths were being violent,
and threatened to assault them if they continued working. They were seeking
the closure of business alleging that Mbare constituency is a ZANU PF
stronghold, hence any business entities owned by suspected MDC supporters
are illegal and should be shut down.

Zvorwadza went to seek the protection of Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) as a
complanaint who turned around and arrested him accusing him of agitating the
youths and in their own words ‘posing a threat to future violence. ROHR
Zimbabwe is in the process of engaging lawyers to seek his release.

"ROHR Zimbabwe condemns the arrest and the lack of objectivity exhibited by
police in combating political violence. We also rebuke the on-going
violation of independence of private business from political partys’
influence, the infringement of private property and personal rights of
individuals regardless of their alleged political affiliation and choice,"
said the organisation's spokesperson.

Education in crisis

http://www.financialgazette.co.zw/

Friday, 06 January 2012 12:54

Clemence Manyukwe, Political Editor

AS schools open next week, the education sector finds itself in a dilemma
after the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture was forced to suspend
some of its programmes due to funding constraints.
Eighty-nine percent of the ministry’s funds which were allocated through
Treasury in the 2012 National Budget would go towards employment costs,
leaving the other competing expenditure heads to share the 11 percent
balance.
There is therefore very little going towards funding crucial departments
such as the Zimbabwe Schools Examina-tion Council and the National Library
and Documentation Centre, which are facing hard times.
Each year, ministries submit their expenditure bids to the Ministry of
Finance in line with their strategic plans for consideration in the National
Budget. Under normal circumstances, the bids are taken on board without
major alterations, but due to the liquidity crunch rattling government
operations, Treasury is imposing expenditure targets on line ministries.
In the case of the Education Ministry, Treasury is said to have issued a
circular barring the ministry from redirecting any amount from one
expenditure head to another. This has left the ministry unable to channel
resources to areas that it deems critical.
Initially, the ministry had been allocated about US$72 million for education
development and capital transfers, but the figure had to be re-adjusted to
about US$79 million following a meeting between officials from Treasury and
the ministry in November last year.
On the overall, the education ministry was allocated US$707 million,
representing only 17,7 percent of the total budget against the Southern
Africa development Comm-unity benchmark of 30 percent for education.
However, the bulk of the US$707 million budget allocation is for employment
costs, which cost about US$628 million, accounting for 89 percent, leaving
only 11 percent for education development and transfers. According to
parliamentarians, the education ministry has an approved staff establishment
of 138 950 with 101 027 members in post as at November 30, 2011.
“While the impression and painting of the budget proposal create a picture
of the ministry receiving the biggest allocation, the real facts clearly
show that primary and secondary education is not on the top priority sector
areas of the Government Work Programme,” said the committee.
Inadequate funding has therefore minimised the ministry’s effectiveness in
discharging its mandate, which inc-ludes provision of quality early
childhood development, primary and secondary education, sch-ools
psychological services and special needs education.
The committee also proposed a number of reforms to be instituted in the
education sector.
One of which is that the Basic Education Assistance Module — an educational
fund catering for orphaned and vulnerable children — must be administered by
the Education Ministry and not the Ministry of Labour and Social We-lfare as
is the present case.
It was also recommended that a separate Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture
be created to put more emphasis in these crucial aspects.
The committee also recommended that the budget allocation for arts, sport
and culture be improved.

ROHR to elect new UK Executive – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 7th January 2012

The Vigil was informed that a meeting has been called in London next month to help elect a new UK Executive for the Vigil’s sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR). A CIO-inspired attempt to subvert the organisation has prompted the Founder and President of ROHR, Ephraim Tapa, to dissolve the Interim Executive. 

 

Mr Tapa said malicious accusations of corruption leveled at him had been comprehensively rebutted by the production of all relevant financial records (see: http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/Latest-News-from-ROHR-in-the-UK/new-year-message-from-rohr-zimbabwe-founder-ephraim-tapa.html). 

 

The London meeting will be held at the Strand Continental Hotel, 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA at 1 pm on 4th February.  It will be followed at 6.30 pm by a forum of supporters of the Vigil, ROHR and the recently-formed Zimbabwe We Can movement to exchange views. (Members of the CIO will, as usual, be in attendance!) It is planned that the three organisations will hold a regular joint forum on the first Saturday of each month after the Vigil (see Events and Notices for more details).

 

Other points

·         As we held our first Vigil of 2012, leaders of the ANC were gathering for celebrations in Bloemfontein marking the organisation’s 100th anniversary. Sadly, we feel unable to congratulate them as the ANC has betrayed those seeking freedom in Zimbabwe and allied itself to repressive regimes around the world.

·         Talking about repressive regimes. ZBN News have uploaded a video on youtube (see: Weeping North Koreans inspire Vigil Demonstrators to Show Grief for forthcoming Death of Mugabe –  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPJVC1NY0fM) of Vigil supporters ‘practising weeping hysterically for the forthcoming death of Mugabe’ as reported in our Christmas Eve diary (http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/355-dictatorial-grief-zimbabwe-vigil-diary-24th-december-2011).

·         Following this week’s diary you will finds the first part of our annual summary of the Vigil’s activities during the past year. The second half of last year will be covered next week.

 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.

 

FOR THE RECORD: 56 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·         The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.

·         ZBN News. The Vigil management team wishes to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News.

·         The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit: www.imusicafrica.com and to watch the video check: http://ourvigil.notlong.com. To watch other Zim Vigil band protest songs, check: http://Shungurudza.notlong.com and http://blooddiamonds.notlong.com.

·         Free Zimbabwe Global Protest. Saturday 21st January from 2 – 6 pm. Venues: Outside the Zimbabwe Embassy and outside the South African High Commission. The MDC UK is joining the Vigil to target South Africa for failing to get Mugabe to honour the Global Political Agreement. Protesters will move from the Zimbabwe Embassy to the South African High Commission at 3 pm and try to present a petition to the South African High Commission at 3.30 pm.   

·         ROHR meeting to elect its UK Executive. Saturday 4th February from 1 – 4 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel, 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. Directions: The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It's next to a newsagent.  Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

·         First Joint ZimVigil, ROHR and Zimbabwe We Can Forum. Saturday 4th February from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel, 143 The Strand, WC2R 15A. For directions see above entry. Future joint forums to be held after the Vigil on the first Saturday of each month.

·         Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.

·         Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.

·         ‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe.  To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to ngwenyasr@yahoo.co.uk and send a cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe.

 

 

Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2011 (Part 1)

 

Saturday 15th January: We had to call for police help for only the second time in our eight years outside the Embassy. This time it was a demented pro-Mugabe Caribbean shouting abuse.  The last time we had to call for police help was when Tsvangirai’s uncle Hebson Makuvise, now Ambassador to Germany, tried to hijack the Vigil.

 

Saturday 22nd January: Vigil supporters were overjoyed by news that management team member Luka Phiri has been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK. His face told everything: a beaming smile.  Luka has had a long struggle to get his papers, mostly because he arrived in the UK on a Malawi passport.

 

Saturday 5th February: Today we were visited by members of the Zimbabwe Diaspora Focus Group: Thamsanga Zhou, Lucia Dube and Martin Chinyanga.  Thamsanga stressed how important it was to attend the Vigil and said that all Zimbabweans in the diaspora should work together for an end to human rights abuses in Zimbabwe and for free and fair elections.

 

Saturday 12th February: As Egyptians celebrated the triumph of people power, the Vigil marked the second anniversary of Zimbabwe’s Government of National Unity (GNU) with posters expressing our disgust at how the agreement has rescued Zanu-PF and emasculated the MDC. We are still bewildered why MDC leaders signed up to such a flawed document. ‘Two years forward for GNU – two years backward for MDC’ read one of our posters. With the quasi-legitimacy conferred by the GNU, Zanu-PF is making further inroads in the UK. The Guardian newspaper reported recently that 32 suspected Zanu-PF war criminals are believed to be in the UK. 

 

Saturday 19th February: The mystery of Mugabe’s whereabouts as his 87th birthday approached was solved when he suddenly arrived at the Vigil to launch his planned two million person petition against the illegal sanctions which as you all know have done so much damage to our country by beating up innocent people, raping and starving them etc and generally sanctioning them with the aim of illegal regime change. The Commander-in-Chef and Head of Everything, Robert Mugabe (Dickson Munemo in our Mugabe mask) emerged tottering on walking sticks from Rymans Stationers next to the Vigil. He had apparently mistaken it for the optician’s shop on the other side of the Embassy.

 

Saturday 26th February: The illustrious leader, icon, beacon, legend and philanthropist with “telescopic foresight” can’t keep away from the Vigil. Tearing his illustrious self away from his adoring fans at his birthday celebrations, Mugabe (played by Dickson Munemo) suddenly materialized outside the  Embassy dressed in the robes of an Arab sheik to show his solidarity with his Libyan friend Gaddafi, who is apparently running short of power at the moment. Of reports that a plane stuffed with gold was ready to take Gaddafi to Harare, the beacon and philanthropist said the great Libyan philosopher and prophet only wanted to visit his Ethiopian brother Mengistu Haile Mariam, who has been sheltering in Zimbabwe for many years, to discuss how ungrateful people are to their despots. 

 

Tuesday 1st March: President Mugabe was strung up from a tree outside the Embassy  at a Vigil in support of an attempt to stage an anti-Mugabe demonstration in Harare. We were joined by a Reuters news team, apart from other journalists, and passers-by stopped to take photos with their mobile phones. Bus drivers hooted in solidarity as Terence Mafuva in our Mugabe mask and a white shroud dangled from the branch of a maple tree (discreetly supported by a small stool). The Vigil was pleased to get a message of encouragement from Passop, the Zimbabwe support group in South Africa, who were holding a solidarity demonstration outside Parliament in Cape Town.

 

Monday 21st March: Zimbabwean exiles in the UK and supporters demonstrated outside the Zimbabwean Embassy and the South African High Commission in London in protest at the growing violence as Mugabe’s Zanu PF prepares for new elections. Amid drumming and singing, over a hundred demonstrators outside South Africa House carried banners reading ‘Zuma where is our road map?’, ‘Blood on Zuma’s hands’, Mugdafi stop selective justice now’, ‘Zuma publish election dossier now’, ‘AU act now’, ‘Zanu PF game is up’, ‘Mugabe stop torture, false arrests’, ‘Bloody SADC where are you? – wake up’, ‘Chihuru, Chiwenga, Shiri – Hague is waiting’, ‘Bloody Zuma – ungunthakathi’ and ‘No violence in Zim? Ask Gwisai’. A deputation was sent to the Home Office to deliver a petition protesting at new moves to send home failed Zimbabwe asylum seekers.

 

Saturday 2nd April: The Vigil celebrated the imminent ousting of another illegal president – Laurent Gbagbo of Ivory Coast – whose clinging to power after losing the election last November has cost countless lives. As Ouattara's forces closed in on Gbagbo in Abidjan, Vigil supporters played the West African drama out in front of the Zimbabwe Embassy.  Fungayi Mabhunu, wearing our Mugabe mask, welcomed his Ivorian friend with the poster ‘Zimbabwe – world of wonders: Mugabe, Mariam, Gbagbo? Gaddafi?’ Gbagbo (played by Stanford Munetsi) bore on his back the poster ‘G’bye G’bye G’bagbo’. Trailing behind the former Ivorian President was another Mugabe ally – Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi – played by Paul Mathema in Arab robes. The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit website: www.imusicafrica.com.

 

Saturday 9th April: Vigil supporters were encouraged by indications of a change of attitude to Mugabe by SADC leaders meeting in Zambia. Have they been given the jitters by what is happening in North and West? Mugabe’s arrival by ‘golf cart’ at the Livingstone meeting with a huge entourage of 60 (including a large medical team) clearly exposed both his increasing frailty and the big-man arrogance of Zanu PF. (Zuma was accompanied by only 12 people.)  Thanks to Fungayi Mabhunu for playing the role of Mugabe arriving at the Vigil on a municipal bicycle propped up by Godfrey Madzunga and Ronald Nxumalo.

 

Saturday 16th April: Vigil supporters are disappointed that Mugabe’s Ambassador to London has been invited to the Royal Wedding on 29th April. But the presence of Ambassador Machinga might be entertaining as he goes around Westminster Abbey soliciting signatures supporting the 2 million person anti-sanctions petition. Zim Vigil regular, Swazi national Thobile Gwebu took a stronger line when she heard that King Mswati of Swaziland would be present at the wedding, travelling to London with an entourage of no less than fifty to stay at the super expensive Dorchester hotel. Thobile, who launched a Vigil outside the Swaziland High Commission in London modeled on our own protest, was able to reach a large audience by being interviewed on the BBC TV Newsnight programme which looked at the brutal repression of the recent unrest in Mbabane.

 

Monday 18th April: Some 150 people gathered outside the Zimbabwe Embassy to protest on Zimbabwe’s Independence Day against increasing Mugabe violence. Vigil founder member Ephraim Tapa summed up our mood on the 31st anniversary of independence: ‘we have nothing to celebrate’, he said. An anniversary card was delivered to the Zimbabwe Embassy calling for an immediate end to the violence, free and fair elections and justice for the people of Zimbabwe.

 

Wednesday 20th April: Following comments in the Vigil diary on 16th April, the London Evening Standard took up the matter of the invitation to the Zimbabwean Ambassador to attend the Royal Wedding. After some research the newspaper concluded that the UK would be justified in withdrawing the invitation so the Vigil sent the following letter to the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague.  ‘Exiled Zimbabweans in the UK represented by the Zimbabwe Vigil wish to express their disappointment that the Zimbabwe Ambassador Gabriel Machinga, has been invited to attend the Royal Wedding. President Mugabe and his corrupt coterie have rightly been placed under EU sanctions for their human rights abuses and Mr Machinga has always made it clear that he represents Mugabe and not the people of Zimbabwe or even their coalition government . .

 

Tuesday 26th April: ZimVigil supporters had to search Mayfair when Swazi despot Mswati and his entourage of 50 failed to turn up at London’s deluxe Dorchester Hotel to stay for the Royal Wedding. About 80 demonstrators had gathered outside the hotel to support the Swaziland Vigil which had arranged a picket of protest against Mswati’s oppressive rule – only to find that the Swazi freeloaders had gone to the nearby Four Seasons Hotel.  Mswati had obviously got the message as members of his entourage at the Four Seasons were overheard talking about our demonstration which had attracted much media attention with protesters carrying posters such as ‘Swazi King parties while country starves’ and ‘Royal Wedding guests are human rights abusers’.

 

Saturday 30th April: Vigil supporters ended another busy week by picketing the farewell reception given by Swazi King Mswati. Guests appeared uncomfortable when they saw the protest. The Swaziland High Commissioner Dumsile T Sukati jumped out of her car and hurried into the building. Despite the failure of our appeals to the British government to withdraw the invitations to the Royal Wedding extended to Mswati and the Zimbabwe Ambassador Gabriel Machinga, we were compensated by the widespread publicity for our joint human rights cause. The Foreign Office said in a letter to the Vigil ‘Thank you for your letter of 20th April 2011 about the invite of the Zimbabwe Ambassador Gabriel Machinga to the Royal Wedding. Representatives from all countries that the UK has working relationships with have been invited to the Royal Wedding . . .’

 

Saturday 14th May: The demand for change is steadily moving down Africa judging from the reception given to Mugabe and other African leaders attending the installation for another term of Ugandan perpetual President Museveni. Their motorcade was assailed by stone-throwing protesters shouting ‘Go to hell dictators’ and ‘You dictators: we are tired of you’.  These messages were reflected in posters displayed by Vigil supporters.  The traditional English dancers the Morris Men made their annual visit to us and gave us a good show. Vigil management team member Fungayi Mabhunu drew a laugh from them when he said ‘it was good to see Englishmen dancing like Zimbabweans’.

 

Friday 20th May: Zimbabwe Vigil dancers performed at a Community Event for Adult Learners’ Week at City and Islington College in North London.  Thanks to Dumi Tutani, Farai Marema, Wendy Ziyambi, Edna Mdoka and Moses Kandiyawo for a lively and much appreciated performance that helped to spread the awareness of Zimbabwe’s human rights abuses.

 

Saturday 21st May: To help focus the minds of SADC leaders the Vigil has been pushing the British government to suspend aid to countries supporting Mugabe. Britain is one of the very few countries – if not the only one – to honour the Gleneagles Agreement of 2005 under which the world’s richest countries committed themselves to giving 0.7% of their national income in foreign aid. In Britain’s case this will amount this year to £8.1 billion (rising to £11.5 billion in 2014 /15). All this is at a time of stringent budget cuts at home. Here is a letter the Vigil has sent to the Defence Secretary, Dr Fox. who wants a more nuanced approach to how British government aid is allocated. ‘The Zimbabwe Vigil notes with interest your recent comments and fully supports demands for a more flexible approach to the UK’s overseas aid . . . Of particular interest to us is budgetary aid given to member countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), amounting to many hundreds of millions of pounds a year. SADC has betrayed the people of Zimbabwe by pandering to the odious Mugabe regime for the past decade . . . Take, for instance, the notoriously corrupt regime in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which will feature among the top 10 recipients of UK spending in direct aid for 2012 / 2013 at £165 million. Or take Malawi, which although this year is receiving £90 million of British budgetary aid, has recently expelled the British High Commissioner for criticising President Mutharika for being intolerant of criticism. Mutharika has made no secret of his admiration for Mugabe, naming a new highway after his idol, who in turn has given the Malawian leader a stolen farm.’

 

Saturday 4th June: One of Britain’s best-known poets Benjamin Zephaniah joined us at the Vigil and condemned Mugabe and his betrayal of Africa. Zephaniah, born and brought up in the UK of West Indian parents, spoke to us of his disillusionment with Mugabe. He said ‘I am friends with Mandela. I have only seen him angry once and that was about Mugabe when he spoke about failure of leadership in Africa.’ (The Vigil remembers the occasion well because Mandela’s comment followed a campaign by the Vigil and others to urge him to reject Mugabe when he visited London to celebrate his 90th birthday.) The Vigil welcomes Zephaniah’s support particularly highly because we have had such difficulty getting our message over to our Caribbean brothers. It has been difficult to convince them that Mugabe the liberator has turned into Mugabe the monster. It was great to have Vigil team member Patson Muzuwa with us again with a party from Leicester. He was most appreciative of the support Vigil members gave him on the recent death of his mother. But we were alarmed to hear that her funeral was invaded by two truckloads of Zanu PF who disrupted the proceedings. We understand this was a direct result of Patson’s involvement with the Vigil. 

 

Saturday 11th June: Vigil founder member Ephraim Tapa has been elected President of the new Zimbabwe ‘Yes we Can’ Movement. Ephraim is also President of our partner organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe.

 

Saturday 25th June: Few Zimbabweans have much respect for the UK Home Office . . . What prompts this comment is a letter from a Home Office official to a lawyer acting for one of our supporters who is seeking political asylum. The official said this about a letter from the Vigil supporting the asylum claim: ‘Objective evidence from www.nehandaradio.com raised public awareness that the Zimbabwe vigil was exploiting asylum seekers in the UK and would on the payment of a fee issue a letter to state attendance at the vigil. Therefore, no weight is attached to the production of this letter’.   Our supporter’s lawyer asked for our comment on this ‘objective evidence’. Here is the response of one of our Vigil Co-ordinators. ‘I attach a doc with the history of why Nehanda Radio wrote the article decampaigning the Vigil. As you will see on 20th June 2009 Morgan Tsvangirai addressed the Zimbabwean diaspora in the UK and was booed off. The Vigil was accused of orchestrating this  and we wrote this riposte in our diary of 27th June "But Vigil supporters were too fired up about another matter – the silly allegations on some loud-mouthed Zimbabwean exile websites that the Vigil and ROHR were behind the booing of Morgan Tsvangirai when he spoke to the UK diaspora in Southwark Cathedral last week. Anyone looking at videos of the occasion will see that the angry response was prompted by Mr Tsvangirai’s remarks and was spontaneous and could not possibly have been planned."  You will see that we also outline our policy on asylum letters in this particular diary - and our policy is still the same now. Nehanda Radio's article of 30th June 'ROHR & ZimVigil exploiting asylum seekers' is in retaliation for this. Even though we didn't mention them by name they recognised themselves. We are not an organisation set up to help asylum seekers: we campaign against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe and all we can write about asylum claims by our supporters is their visibility as activists because they attend our protests – the more they come the more visible they are. We are entirely self-funding: the charge of £10 for our letters is for admin costs to cover paper, envelopes, print cartridges, phone calls, postage etc. Anyone who works for the Vigil does so voluntarily - nobody is paid.  For people who are good attenders the admin fee for letters is not charged.’ For our policy on administrative costs for letters, check: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/171-zimbabwe-vigil-diary-27th-june-2009.

 

Sunday 26th June: The London chapel of John Wesley – one of the founders of the Methodist Church – resounded to the sound of drums and African singing and dancing as exiled Zimbabweans and supporters gathered to mark the UN international day in support of victims of torture. The Vigil supplied the choir and drummers, who were energized by management team member, Patson Muzuwa, himself a survivor of torture.  Our host at the Methodist world’s ’cathedral’ was the Reverend Jennifer Potter who is Methodist ‘companion’ for Zimbabwe, visiting there every year. Jennifer prayed for a new dawn in Zimbabwe and reached out to Anglican friends in Zimbabwe who, she said, seemed to be particularly persecuted. The service was addressed by two visitors from Zimbabwe: Irene Petras, Director of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Kudakwashe Chitsike of the Research and Advocacy Unit (Zimbabwe).

 

Monday 27th June: Vigil supporters provided the backbone for a protest by Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) against violence in Zimbabwe. The Embassy refused to accept 1,300 cards ACTSA had collected calling for an end to the violence.  The Embassy (as usual!) was closed so we stuck one of the cards under the door signed ‘Zimbabwe Vigil’ and listing our address as ‘outside the Zimbabwe Embassy’.

 

(Part 2, covering the last half of 2011, will be published next week.)

 

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 in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.

 

Zimbabwe Legislator Freed on Bail After Calling President Gay

http://www.voanews.com/

December 28, 2011

Peta Thornycroft | Johannesburg

A legislator from Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change was released
from jail Wednesday after being charged with accusing President Robert
Mugabe of being gay.  She had to spend Christmas in a police cell even
though she had been granted bail last week.

There was jubilation at a crowded court in Mutare in Zimbabwe’s eastern
Manicaland province, when the state did not file arguments to prevent
lawmaker Lynette Karenyi from being freed from jail.

She had been granted bail of $200 on December 20, but the state invoked a
law, used frequently against MDC party members in recent years, which allows
detention for up to seven days after bail is granted.

Karenyi’s lawyer David Tandire explained to supporters outside the court
this is not the end of the legal battle.

“So she can now be released after paying bail," he said. "On 12 January that
is when trial resumes.”

Karenyi is accused of undermining the authority of, or insulting, the
president. She allegedly told party supporters at a rally earlier in the
month that President Mugabe practiced homosexuality with a fellow member of
the ZANU-PF politburo and a former president, Canaan Banana, who was jailed
for two years for sodomy in 1997.

An MDC supporter outside the court Wednesday said that Karenyi was treated
differently from other detainees for political reasons.

She says since Karenyi’s arrest, the lawmaker was barred visitors even
though others in the prison were allowed visits. The MDC supporter says she
is afraid that with elections approaching, it will be difficult for women to
contest.

Homosexuality may end up being a significant issue in Zimbabwe's next
elections.

The question of gay rights has been contentious in drafting a new
constitution ahead of the elections, as homosexual acts are now illegal in
Zimbabwe.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC party leader, has been careful to
make clear that he does not support homosexual behavior but recognizes
homosexuals as human beings.

President Mugabe, on the other hand, says gay people “destroy nationhood"
and that allowing gay marriage as in some Western countries was “insanity."

Zimbabwe’s Law Society says a new constitution should recognize the human
rights of all people.

The issue is likely to be raised again in a few weeks when lawmaker Karenyi
appears for her trial on charges she accused the president of committing
illegal homosexual acts.

Zanu PF cracks down on social media

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/

Thursday, 15 December 2011 16:33

Paidamoyo Muzulu

ZANU PF’s doublespeak was exposed at its annual conference in Bulawayo last
week when it passed a resolution ordering a crackdown on social media, such
as Facebook, Twitter, My Space, among others. The resolution is contrary to
the party central committee’s recommendation proposing the increased usage
of new media for Zanu PF to reach its membership in the Generation 40
campaign.

In the report tabled by President Robert Mugabe during the conference, the
party’s science and technology department said: “If platforms for
disseminating information about the party and its policies are not in sync
with modern trends, the party may not strike a chord with the majority of
the electorate who are under 40 years of age. Rallies and gatherings as a
source for disseminating information are now very limited and limiting the
scope and geographic spread.”

However, Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs Emmerson Mnangagwa read out the
conference resolution to tighten screws on the use of social media,
highlighting that the Arab Spring revolutions were driven by new media.

The Arab Spring swept away the long-serving dictatorships of Tunisia, Egypt
and Libya through mass uprisings mainly coordinated through Twitter and
Facebook.

Mnangagwa said social networks had been used with devastating results in the
United Kingdom riots and the ongoing Occupy Wall Street campaigns in the
United States and should, therefore, be further controlled if peace was to
be guaranteed in the country.

The party’s science and technology department’s observations are in sync
with the mobile penetration rate in Zimbabwe where more than seven million
people are connected.

Zimbabwe has witnessed an increased usage of data services after Econet,
Telecel and NetOne introduced the service enabling people to access the
Internet on their mobile phones.

The mobile penetration has been further boosted by zero rate customs duty on
imported mobile phones and accessories and the availability of Chinese made
cheap low-end market smartphones.

Ironically, Zanu PF youths and technology savvy MPs have opened Twitter and
Facebook accounts where they engage with their constituencies. Noticeable
among them are Youth, Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Saviour
Kasukuwere, his brother Tongai  Kasukuwere, Tourism minister Walter Mzembi
and outspoken MP Edward Chindori-Chininga.

Former Information minister Jonathan Moyo has become a prolific blogger on a
number of websites where he espouses Zanu PF policies and denigrates its
opponents, particularly MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

The central committee report ominously warns that for the party “to remain a
political giant and retain competitiveness, Zanu PF has to take ICTs
seriously for political mobilisation”.

Zanu PF has maintained a media stranglehold since Independence as evidenced
by its decline to license private broadcasters in the past 31 years,
enactment of draconian legislation, such as the Public Order and Security
Act, Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the
Interception of Communication and Information Act.

Party deputy national spokesperson Cain Mathema said Zanu PF expected the
coalition government to implement its conference resolutions.

“It does not matter we are in a coalition government. The government has to
implement the conference resolutions just like any other coalition operates
for instance in Israel and the United Kingdom,” Mathema told the Zimbabwe
Independent this week.

CIO in dagger fight



By Gift Phiri, Senior Writer   
Sunday, 04 December 2011 11:49 Dailynew.co.zw

HARARE - In a spell-binding case, two suspended senior Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operatives have dragged the dreaded spy agency to court, demanding re-instatement on the basis that there is no law in Zimbabwe governing the operations of the organisation.


The extremely rare case is likely to re-ignite national debate around the security sector, as well as the desperate need for reforms in these shadowy and much abused structures.

CIO chief administration officer David Nyabando and chief transport officer Ricky Manwere were suspended in 1998 from the spy agency over a Z$17 million fraud that they allegedly committed.

The CIO alleges that Nyabando and Manwere defrauded the state of cash that was supposed to be used for building “safe houses”.

On their part, the two officers insist that they built the safe houses but were pushed out of the spy agency in controversial circumstances.

Nyabando and Manwere were jointly charged with Lovemore Mukandi, the former deputy director-general of the CIO — who was arrested at the airport in September this year after his deportation from Canada.

Mukandi has since been freed by the courts.

Mukandi and his boss, Shadreck Chipanga, former Zanu PF MP for Makoni East, were dismissed from the spy agency in 1999.

They were replaced by the current director-general Happyton Bonyongwe and Retired Brigadier Elisha Muzonzini, respectively.

Bonyongwe is the first respondent in this case.

Following their suspension on October 6, 1998, the spy agency failed to call the officers for a hearing.

The two officers approached the High Court in 2005 seeking a declaratory order that their suspension from duty was unlawful, null and void and that the inordinately long time it had taken authorities to hear their case breached provisions of section 18(9) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which states that: “Every person is entitled to be afforded a fair hearing within a reasonable time.”

They also want to be re-instated to their posts and be paid all salaries and benefits due to them with effect from the date of suspension.

The CIO served the two officers with a convening order on December 25, 2005 stating that a board of inquiry had been set up to look into their allegations.

The two officers turned up with their lawyer Albert Nyikadzino of Musunga and Associates.

But the hearing never took place.

The two officers’ lawyer subsequently wrote to the CIO bosses again on June 9, 2006 to seek clarity on the matter and was advised that the disciplinary hearing would now take place on July 6, 2006.

At that hearing, Nyikadzino stated that it was unconstitutional for the two to be charged for misconduct in terms of the Public Service (Disciplinary) Regulations “because Section 14(e) of the Public Service Act, Chapter 16:04 specifically excludes members of the CIO from the Public Service,” the High Court papers say.

The papers also state that Section 113 (10) of the Act clearly states that members of the CIO are not part of the Public Service and cannot be disciplined under any law in Zimbabwe.

The CIO board of inquiry, headed by the director of administration, disagreed and postponed the hearing so that the two officers could make an application to the Supreme Court to ascertain if that was the correct position at law.
The Supreme Court, sitting as a constitutional court, concurred that the CIO was not regulated by any Zimbabwean law.

“It is, therefore, clear beyond any doubt that the applicants, being members of the CIO, were not part of the Public Service and were not governed by the Act and the Regulations,” says the October 15, 2007 Supreme Court ruling.

“Accordingly, the disciplinary procedure set out in the regulations did not apply to them. Consequently, the board set up by the CIO, purportedly in terms of the regulations was not covered by the expression ‘other adjudicating authority established by law’ in Section 18(9) of the Constitution, as it was not set up in terms of any law governing the members of the CIO.”

The officers’ lawyer then wrote to the Civil Division of the Attorney General’s Office stating that the effect of the Supreme Court ruling was that the operatives were still in the employ of the spy agency and were supposed to be paid all their salaries and allowances from the date of the suspension.

Despite the unequivocal position at law, the CIO again advised on January 12, 2009 that there was to be another disciplinary board of inquiry that had been scheduled for Chaminuka Building on February 5, 2009.

The CIO officers’ lawyer wrote back stating it was practically impossible for Nyabando and Manwere to be dragged before a disciplinary board of inquiry which is illegally constituted.

The two CIO officers then simultaneously turned to the courts again seeking to interdict the spy agency from convening the board of inquiry.

On October 26, 2010, the two officers approached the High Court seeking a final draft order to be re-instated, saying their suspension was null and void and that the CIO was not entitled to hold any inquiry into the alleged acts of misconduct.

The CIO director-general, Bonyongwe, delegated his deputy Mernard Muzariri, now late, to sign the opposing affidavit.

The officers’ lawyers then threatened in a letter to the Civil Division of the AG’s Office that the CIO affidavit created a basis for filing criminal charges against what they said was “forging or misrepresentation of the affidavit”.

The AG’s office wrote to the CIO on 13 December, 2010, to pursue an out of court settlement.

Instead of pursuing an out of court settlement as advised by the government lawyers, the CIO filed a second set of opposing papers in the High Court, this time the deponent being Muzariri.

But again the papers did not bear Muzariri’s signature.

The CIO was again advised on January 27 this year, that the papers they had lodged had “forged signatures” as well.
The CIO waited until Muzariri died.

After Muzariri died, they filed an application to say they were seeking condonation to allow them time to file a third set of opposing papers.


US ambassador Ray’s e-mail hacked after Charamba ‘threats’

Published: December 12, 2011 

HARARE(ZimEye)US ambassador Charles Ray’s e-mail has been hacked, a day after President Robert Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba wrote in an anonymous column denouncing him.

The ambassador confirmed on Facebook Monday that his entire address book had been deleted.

“Whoever hacked my Yahoo email also deleted my address book, so I’m having to use Facebook and LinkedIn to inform people. Sorry to all for the inconvenience, and if I ever get my hands on the hacker, I hope he’s religious, because I plan to send him to a dark and hot place!” Ray said in a terse statement.

Hacked...Ambassador Charles Ray

Earlier, Ray had posted musing over how Charamba, who writes as Nathaniel Manheru in the pro-Mugabe, state-run Saturday Herald had misquoted him over comments he made to a news paper. Ray accused Charamba of having nothing useful to say, hence he resorted to “name-calling”.

Ray wrote: “I get a kick out of reading the weekend papers here. Nathaniel Manheru, or whatever his real name is, takes issue with my comments that were misreported in the press in today’s Herald, and he dips into what I’ve noted is common in people who really have nothing useful to say, name calling. I will not re-enter the fray by repeating what was said or not said, but I would call his attention to the fact that there has been inconsistency in how this whole mess has been characterized: is it a public or private matter? And, further, does the constitution provide freedom of thought and speech, or not? Just musing folks.”

In another post on December 5, Ray took issue with comments published in The Patriot, a newspaper published under the direct supervision of a Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operations director, Alexander Kanengoni, who also poses as a writer. Kanengoni was responsible for wrecking The Mirror stable, once run by anti-Mugabe academic and former Zanu (PF) official Ibbo Mandaza.

Said Ray: “Partial congratulations to my friends at the Patriot who, as usual, told only part of the story. “Good roots make strong branches: Where you come from matters,” only tells part of the story. Where you come from does matter, but less than where you’re going. Strong branches also come from reaching for sunshine; after all, a tree doesn’t remain a seed or a sapling.”
Although it could not be established who hacked Ray’s e-mail, the ambassador has become the target of Zimbabwean state agents following revelations by Wikileaks that US officials had met with top Zanu (PF) officials without Mugabe’s knowledge. The officials, including Vice-President Joice Mujuru, were described as spies.

Zimbabwe has installed state-of-the-art spying facilities at the Robert Mugabe School of Intelligence in Mazowe, with equipment reportedly supplied by Chinese technology giant Huawei. Diplomats, politicians and government officials are major targets of cyber attacks on characters perceived to be opposed to Mugabe. (ZimEye, Zimbabwe)


Madhuku denied trial again

http://www.swradioafrica.com

The trial of Platform for Youth Development Director, Claris Madhuku has for
the umpteenth time been postponed to the 19th of December 2011 despite an
October ruling that the case be tried on his next court appearance (5
December 2011.)

The prosecutors continued to behave awkwardly as they could not appear in
the first and second seating only to appear in the third requesting for the
postponement of the trial to 19 December 2011. The court had to break thrice
as the prosecutors dealing with the case could not be located anywhere near
the court building. This raised eyebrows as to the forces working behind the
scenes to deny Madhuku his freedom.

Madhuku’s appearance at the Chipinge Magistrate court was his seventh time
since his arrest on April 4 2011 on frivolous charges of organizing and
addressing a public gathering without notifying the regulating authority
under the draconian Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

Police officers in Chipinge have grown a tendency of frequently and
suspiciously calling Madhuku even in the middle of the night requesting
meetings with him. Despite repeated ploys to deny him his freedom, Madhuku
remains adamant that justice will see the day. “I see these tricks as
baseless plans to silence me and my organisation. We will continue to demand
justice for the people of Chisumbanje,” he said.

Information and Communications Dept
Youth for the Youth


Police beat up commuters and vendors in Bulawayo

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

By Tichaona Sibanda
6 December 2011

Kombi drivers, commuters and vendors at the Basch street terminus in
Bulawayo had to flee for dear life on Monday night, after anti-riot police
went on a rampage beating up people indiscriminately.

The unprovoked attacks, on the eve of the ZANU PF conference that started in
the city on Tuesday, took place between 5 and 6pm when the terminus,
popularly known as Egodini, was it its busiest.

Our Bulawayo correspondent, Lionel Saungweme, told us the area around
Egodini resembled a ghost town, as it was deserted following the brutal
rampage by the police.

‘It was as if a curfew had been imposed in Bulawayo because the streets
around the Egodini terminus, which is opposite Ross camp police station,
were virtually empty. The attacks were also unprovoked so people are just
speculating that the security services are intimidating people not to do
anything while Robert Mugabe is in the city for the conference,’ Saungweme
said.

As late as 11pm, soldiers had joined up with the police to patrol the
streets of Bulawayo. The situation was however calm on Tuesday but there
were dozens of ZANU PF vehicles roaming around the city.

Anger grows as another media rights group member detained

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Alex Bell
06 December 2011

Anger was growing on Tuesday after a fourth member of the Media Monitoring
Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ) was picked up by police and detained, amid worsening
harassment of the media.

MMPZ Project Coordinator Andy Moyse was picked up on Tuesday morning by a
team of five police officers from Harare’s Law and Order Section, led by
Detective Assistant Inspector Phiri. According to the MMPZ, the officers,
armed with a warrant, went on to search their offices for “material which
comprises of compact discs containing Gukurahundi information.” The police
allege that MMPZ members may have acted in breach of section 31 of the
Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, that is, “publishing or
communicating false statements prejudicial to the state.”

“Whilst the police officers indicated that (Andy) was not formally under
arrest, MMPZ is concerned that the police may detain him to investigate a
matter whose circumstances and gravity do not at all warrant pre-trial
detention. MMPZ urges the police to grant Moyse all his pre-trial rights and
not to harm his physical and psychological person for the entire period he
is in their custody,” MMPZ said.

Moyse’s detention comes as MMPZ advocacy officers Fadzai December and Molly
Chimhanda, and the Gwanda chairperson of MMPZ’S Public Information Rights
Forum Committee Gilbert Mabusa, remain in custody at Gwanda police station.
They are all being charged under POSA, in connection with a civic education
meeting held in Gwanda last month. The three are also being charged under
the terms of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for
“participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence,
breaches of the peace or bigotry.”

By Tuesday afternoon, key legal and civil society groups had expressed their
outrage over the arrests, including Article 19 in Kenya, the International
Commission of Jurists, Freedom House, the Youth Forum, the Voluntary Media
Council, Veritas, the Pamberi Trust and others. The MDC-T also condemned the
arrests saying: “The MDC expresses revulsion over the continued arrests,
detention and persecution of journalists at a time when the country is
supposed to be working hard to open up space for freedom of expression,
assembly and communication.”

The detention of the MMPZ members follows the recent arrests and
intimidation of local journalists. The Daily News editor, Stanley Gama and
reporter Xolisani Ncube were arrested last week on the instructions of ZANU
PF’s Minister of Local Government Ignatius Chombo. They were charged with
criminal defamation after exposing Chombo’s alleged ill-gotten wealth. Last
month Nevanji Madanhire, the editor of The Standard plus reporter Nqaba
Matshazi, were also arrested after reporting on the business of another ZANU
PF sympathiser.

Dewa Mavhinga from the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition condemned the arrests,
saying it “points to a growing pattern of unwarranted harassment against the
media and civil society by a very partisan police force.”

“We do not have a democratic, independent police force. We have an
institution that has been taken over by subversive, partisan elements.
Clearly Zimbabwe is not ready to hold election,” Mavhinga told SW Radio
Africa.

Njabulo Ncube, the Chairman of the media rights group MISA Zimbabwe, agreed
that the country is not ready for another poll.

“These arrests give credence to our assertion that as we draw closer to an
election, we will see more attempts to stifle media freedom and access to
information,” Ncube warned.

Zimbabwe’s diaspora: reasons and lessons



A SPEECH BY ROY BENNETT,
TREASURER GENERAL OF THE MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE,
TO THE LONDON INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS CONGRESS,
23 NOVEMBER 2011

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen

At first glance, the decision to invite me to speak at this conference
might seem somewhat unusual. The theme of the conference—
immigration and integration in an age of austerity—is a theme that
ostensibly focuses on the impact of migration in the West in this
time of global economic stress. But on closer examination, my
participation is not so strange. I come from Zimbabwe; indeed, like
many of my countrymen, I am a political exile living in the West—
and so I can speak with some authority about the other side of the
equation. I can provide some insight into push factors, some
insight into the reasons why people leave places like Zimbabwe
and come in numbers, both legally and illegally, to countries like
Britain.

In other words, it is not my objective to engage substantially in the
debate over multiculturalism—what it means and how to manage
it. That is to talk about the end product or the last link in a chain of
events and processes. Rather, I want to take a step backward and
look at some of the origins. I do not pretend to reduce all migration
issues to the type of experience that Zimbabweans have faced.

International migration is, of course, a complex phenomenon. But
the Zimbabwean experience is the one I know and—apart from its
own importance in terms of scale—I believe there are a series of
lessons to be learned from Zimbabwe that apply to many countries
and situations around the world.

So, to Zimbabwe. Zimbabweans are, by and large, reluctant
migrants. It is critical to grasp this point. Of the millions of
Zimbabweans who have left the country over the last 10 years, the
majority have done so because they felt they had to, not because
they wanted to. Most Zimbabwean migrants live in South Africa.

There are an estimated 3–5 million Zimbabweans who have set up
camp within the borders of our southern neighbour. That figure
represents somewhere between 20 and 30 percent of Zimbabwe’s
total population, including the diaspora. During my own time as a
refugee in South Africa, I have spoken to hundreds of
Zimbabweans and nearly all of them want to go home. South
Africa is not their place; they feel like strangers and are treated as
such. Often they meet with open hostility and sometimes with
violence. Further abroad and in more comfortable settings,
Zimbabweans have perhaps become more ambivalent. Some want
to return, others don’t. Some have created new lives and new
opportunities and have lost the hunger to go home. Yet even those
in the West—and these are the minority—initially left under
compulsion.

What are these powerful push factors? What caused Zimbabweans
with homes and families to leave these things behind and cast out
into unchartered waters? Demographers typically like to make a
distinction between economic and political migrants, but the
distinction is somewhat artificial in the case of Zimbabwe and
Zimbabweans. The root cause of Zimbabwean migration, even
where it seems to be economic, is political. The great Zimbabwean
migration of the 21st century is directly and indirectly political.
Many Zimbabweans have fled under direct threat to life and limb;
others have been forced to leave as a consequence of systemic
collapse, but it is a collapse that has occurred for political reasons.
Allow me to provide some background. The Zimbabwean state is
the result of a long history of inequality, racism and exploitation.
The authoritarian, repressive and violent structures and groups that
we now have are the logical outcome of such a history. If you plant
the seedling you will grow the thorn tree. Zimbabwe is now ruled
by a mafia—a criminal syndicate that dresses itself in elaborate
forms of propaganda, but make no mistake, it is a criminal
syndicate. This lot, Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party, strut around
in the vestments of anti-colonial liberation, but they are a bunch of
felons, pure and simple. Zanu-PF is the operatic performer among
Africa’s Cosa Nostra. All frills and shrills but at heart a common
crook and criminal, no less. She must be dragged kicking and
screaming to the penitentiary.

But I digress. Zimbabwe became independent in 1980. The
authoritarian strands of black nationalism and white supremacy
were interwoven beneath a Zanu-PF government led by Mugabe.
The most obscene kinds of violence and brutality soon surfaced
during the drive for a one party state, culminating in a massacre of
the Ndebele people in 1983 and 1984. The first major postindependence
dispersion of Zimbabweans occurred in this period.

Tens of thousands were internally displaced, fleeing to the second
city of Bulawayo, while others left for Botswana and South Africa.

Yet this crime against humanity was forgotten by the world as
quickly as it had arisen. Riding on the coat-tails of the international
anti-apartheid movement, Mugabe was viewed by many as the
poster-boy of the so-called Frontline States and it was years before
reality set in. Sadly, it took the brutalisation of the white
community in Zimbabwe to awaken the Western media to a
problem that had begun in 1980. It is shameful that we should
remain unmoved by black-on-black violence, beginning only to
make noise when whites are involved, either as victims or
perpetrators. I will return to this point a little later. For now it is
enough to note that Zanu-PF nailed its true colours to the mast
decades before the globally-publicised land invasions of 2000.

Another element that allowed Mugabe to retain a sanitised image
in the West was the strength of the economy he inherited. For
many years, corruption and human rights abuses sat alongside
relative economic prosperity. The white-dominated engine room of
the economy, principally built around commercial agriculture and
agri-processing, was left intact—and violence was also
geographically confined to the Matabeleland provinces of the
southwest. The beast in the basement, though busy, was out of
sight and out of mind. Internationally, the racial element also came
into play in the economic sphere because most Western economic
interests were left intact. Not only was the white community being
left alone, it was making money, as were the subsidiaries of
Western companies. And it was not only whites abroad who were
guilty of ignoring the screaming next door. These were the years
when whites in the north referred to Mugabe as ‘good old Bob’,
the Great Satan of the war years who had turned out to be their best
friend. Or so they thought.

The catalyst for the second major Zimbabwean migration occurred
in 1997 when the economy went into a rapid downward spiral. I
say ‘catalyst’ because it was not an isolated event; it had been a
long time coming—and it also set off a domino effect that will take
a generation to overcome, if we are lucky. First, the context. The
events of 1997 were all the more devastating because they
occurred against a backdrop of grand corruption and nepotism that
had sapped the nation’s economic strength. The coup de grace was
both a decisive moment and a symptom of a bigger problem. Black
veterans of Zimbabwe’s independence war, joined by a motley
crew of opportunists, engaged in a series of aggressive
demonstrations against the government, saying that they had been
living in poverty since independence while the top dogs had
become rich. When Mugabe capitulated to their demands for
gratuities and pensions—payouts that the fiscus could not afford—
the economy went into freefall. Ironically, the chairman of the war
veterans association, Chenjerai ‘Hitler’ Hunzvi, was later
prosecuted for embezzling from a war victims compensation fund
that allowed veterans to claim for disabilities suffered during the
war. Hunzvi had been paid out $43,000 (US) for a rating that put
him as 117 percent disabled. Brain dead would be more accurate.
Under this scheme, Mugabe’s brother-in-law had been awarded
$70,000 for a 95 percent disability that derived from a scar to his
left knee and alleged ulcers. The current Commissioner of Police,
Augustine Chihuri, was granted about $10,000 for ‘toe dermatitis
of the right and left foot’, while current Vice President Joice
Mujuru took around $35,000 for ‘mental stress disorder’ and ‘poor
vision’.

Those Zimbabweans who had wanted to forget about the country’s
politics after the war—and that was most of us—could literally no
longer afford to ignore the problem. As inflation, taxation and
unemployment began to rocket out of control, Zanu-PF had
become too expensive for those in the formal sectors of the
economy. A political opposition began to coalesce rapidly and
organically. But we were about to re-learn the lessons that had
been learnt by some during the war—that arbitrary and egregious
violence was the Zanu way—a lesson that the Ndebele had had
banged into them after 1980 while the rest of us preferred not to
know. This was to be no polite debate over the economy, followed
by a democratic change of government. To threaten Zanu-PF’s grip
on power was to threaten their raison d’etre—power and the things
that come with it are the very essence of their existence. The
enormous scale of the second Zimbabwean dispersion is a direct
function of the extremes to which Zanu-PF is prepared to go to
retain power and to plunder the nation’s wealth. These extremes
have been truly radical in nature. Many have few parallels in
modern history. The land invasions that began in 2000—
effectively a government-sanctioned looting spree—were a
desperate election ploy in reaction to the rapid rise of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change, or MDC. Zanu-PF
was prepared to annihilate the vital organs of the economy to win
an election. Agricultural productivity declined by 80 percent
between 2002 and 2008. There were three years of national food
deficit in the 20 years from independence until the beginning of the
land invasions—and these three years were years of severe
drought. In the other years, the country had maintained an export
surplus. Since 2000, there have been 11 consecutive years of food
deficit.

This pattern of megalomania and pathological self-centredness was
repeated in almost every sphere of national life. Our infamous
hyperinflation—which is thought to have reached 89.7 sextillion
percent—was not simply the result of a collapse in productivity
and poor monetary policies. The regime actively used the printing
press to generate enormous fortunes for a small elite in a way that
they knew was destroying the remnant of economic life for normal
Zimbabweans. Money was pushed on to the black market by the
Reserve Bank and used to buy gold and foreign exchange for a
privileged few. This was money for jam if ever there was. Paper
and ink was the only cost to those with their hands on the levers
and they received vast quantities of gold and real cash in return.

The cost was borne by others. For everyone else, the value of life
savings and pensions was entirely wiped out and most of the
businesses that had survived the knock-on effects of the land
invasions went to the wall. Wage payments, banking and other
transactions that are usually taken for granted became completely
impossible. It is no exaggeration to say that many Zimbabweans
were driven back to the stone age. Barter took over and 80 percent
of our people were out of a job and out on the streets. Accountants
and school teachers traded cigarettes for tomatoes—and sweets for
matches. Others dabbled in the black market, much of which was
controlled and fed by those who had created the problem. Some
simply starved and died quietly in huts and shacks. The budgets of
public institutions were wiped out by hyperinflation within days of
their announcement. Hospitals and schools shut down because
there was no money for equipment and no money for wages. Most
of our public servants, those who supposedly had jobs, did not go
to work because the cost of a trip to the office was more than they
would make in a day or even a month. And Zanu-PF watched on—
and continued to loot.

These people drove over the ever-increasing potholes in their
Mercs and Hummers—and were unmoved by the sight of the
country falling down around their ears. Patriotism and pride meant
nothing to these people. But it was their hardness to human misery
that was most telling and most disgusting. And what misery it was.

Life expectancy plunged to the lowest in the world—37 years for
men and 34 for women. An estimated 3,000 people were dying
weekly of AIDS because they were not provided access to antiretroviral
drugs. There are now one million AIDS orphans out of a
resident population of around 12 million. One child in four has lost
one or both parents to AIDS. Meanwhile, up to 500,000 of the one
million farm workers booted off white farms died of a combination
of malnutrition and inadequate health services. Water supply and
sewage systems fell over and one of the largest outbreaks of
cholera in world history occurred in late 2008, infecting 100,000
people and killing over 4,000. Mugabe blamed the outbreak on the
British and airily advised the populace to avoid shaking hands. The
country’s jails became concentration camps. I know—I spent 8
months there in 2005 and an horrific 40 days in 2009. For many, a
petty offence or a false conviction became a death sentence. In
2009, six people starved to death in cells around me during my
stay as a guest of government. When queried over the state of the
jails and the prisoners dying like flies, Mugabe replied laughingly
that those who had been sentenced were getting what they
deserved.

Is it any wonder that Zimbabweans fled this tsunami? And I have
not yet described the violence unleashed during every election
since 2000. Political violence in Zimbabwe usually waxes and
wanes in relation to the electoral cycle. It accelerates during
campaigning and reaches a crescendo before the vote. Then it is
often reduced during voting days when observers and the media
are on the ground. Afterward, it is brought to another peak as
revenge attacks are made on those who have voted the ‘wrong’
way. The reason it follows such clearly identifiable patterns is that
it is carefully orchestrated and planned by the state. Mugabe’s war
veterans and plain-clothed state agents coordinate militia groups
that consist mainly of unemployed youth and trained thugs. In the
four elections since 2000, these groups—often numbering in the
hundreds—have terrorised the rural population, setting up torture
bases, raiding villages and attacking opposition rallies. Candidates
and activists for the Movement for Democratic Change have been
prime targets. Many have been savagely beaten and maimed; many
have been killed. In April 2000, two MDC officials, Tichaona
Chiminya and Talent Mabika, were stopped in their car and burnt
to death by state agents. These were two of the early tragedies—
and there have been scores since. At least 35 people were
murdered during the 2000 parliamentary elections and 60 were
killed in 2002’s presidential election. Observers noted that the
2005 elections were less violent than their predecessors—but they
spoke too soon. A few months later, 700,000 people had their
homes flattened or livelihoods destroyed by government
bulldozers—that is a UN figure—as retribution for urban support
for the MDC. This operation occurred in the middle of winter—the
poorest of the poor, tens of thousands of men, women and children
driven out into the elements. It is unknown how many died. More
faceless victims of the Zanu-PF killing fields.

The most recent elections—2008—were worse again. Zanu-PF had
written off the MDC, believing that a series of internal ructions had
discredited and disordered the party. So they toned down their
militia in the lead up to parliamentary elections which were timed
to coincide, for the first time, with a first round of the presidential
election. They received a rude shock. MDC defeated Zanu in the
parliamentary vote—the first time the ruling party had officially
been beaten since independence—and Morgan Tsvangirai gained
more votes than Mugabe in the presidential race, though he did not
receive more than 50 percent (at least according to the electoral
commission) so a second round of presidential voting was called.

This is when the dogs were let loose. Using polling station results
to target areas of opposition sympathy, huge groups of militia
roamed the countryside, beating, burning and killing people at
random. Torture bases were established, nightmarish holes where
the innocent were afflicted for days at a time. In this period, more
than 200 were killed, thousands beaten—hundreds of whom now
have lifelong disabilities—and tens of thousands were displaced.
This was revenge and pre-emptive action rolled into one. The
message was literally driven home that people had a choice
between Mugabe or death in the second round of the vote. Rightly
or wrongly, the MDC decided to pull out of the election with a
week to go, hoping to spare the people further suffering.

Since then, the MDC has entered a temporary shotgun marriage
with these serial abusers—and, of course, the abuse continues.
Mugabe’s security apparatus retains full control. MDC leaders and
activists continue to be arrested on trumped-up charges. As we
speak, the party’s Youth Assembly Chairperson, Solomon
Madzore, is being denied bail after he and 28 other MDC activists
were charged with the murder of a police officer. And in the
streets, the people are being harassed and beaten by Zanu-PF
militias that masquerade as common criminal gangs. These groups
are financed and coordinated by Zanu-PF—and they are becoming
increasingly active ahead of elections that may occur in 2012. We
are still some way from achieving peace and democracy.

To recap—these, then, are the primary causes of the Zimbabwean
dispersion. They are internal and political and are wholly manmade.
I have sketched them in some detail to highlight their
fundamentally domestic and political character—and to show how
deep and how powerful they have been. These home-grown causes
must remain at the front and centre of any analysis of Zimbabwean
migration over the past 10 years. Yet there are external factors that
have exacerbated the crisis. Some of these have been acutely
damaging because they have reinforced the core elements of the
problem. It is these reinforcing factors that I will focus on now. In
doing so, I do not excuse or minimise the fact that the abuse of
Zimbabweans by other Zimbabweans is the principal cause. But
outsiders have, in a variety of ways, played a particularly negative
role by giving succour (both intentionally and unintentionally) to
those maltreating their own people. Thus, to some extent, the size
and time-scale of the diaspora has been expanded by the actions of
outsiders.

The worst example of these destructive outside influences was the
administration of former South African president Thabo Mbeki. A
supposedly neutral arbiter, he sided with Robert Mugabe time and
again—and then he put massive pressure on the MDC to
consummate a unity government in 2008 after Zanu-PF and
Mugabe were shown the exit by the electorate. Mbeki was
supported by his kleptocratic and autocratic allies in the region.

How dare he second guess the people of Zimbabwe? How dare he
put personal loyalties and prejudices before democracy? Always
first to shout about outside interference when the West expresses
an opinion, Mbeki and his ilk have been the quintessential
imperialists when it comes to Zimbabwe. It is now for President
Jacob Zuma to deliver on his promises to create the conditions that
will allow Zimbabweans to finally choose their own leaders and
get on with rebuilding the nation. The Mbeki legacy means that
millions of Zimbabweans remain in South Africa and they are
placing severe strain on infrastructure, services and an already
tenuous social fabric. Zuma must now help South Africa by
helping Zimbabwe.

A second negative outside influence has been a group that should
have been the first to help. This group have been a negative
influence by their absence. Those who formed the backbone of the
international anti-Apartheid movement in the 1980s and 90s have
gone missing in action during the Zimbabwean crisis. Full of moral
outrage back then, they have done little or nothing in the face of
equally unspeakable black-on-black violence and oppression in
Zimbabwe. It is very difficult to avoid the conclusion that for many
of these people the struggle in South Africa was a fashionable
moral appendage rather than an enduring set of principles. Time
has shown them false. Many times I have spoken to the doyens of
this movement and received, frankly, little more than calloused
disinterest. They trade on an outdated reputation and do nothing.
Today, I want to challenge those who made much of Apartheid to
examine their consciences—and to prove to themselves and to us
that it was more than an exercise in self-righteousness. There is a
ready-made opportunity for them to get involved through the
newly-formed Global Alliance for Zimbabwe, or GAZ, of which I
am the chairman. GAZ has been modelled on the international
anti-Apartheid front and looks to mobilise funds and political
pressure for a democratic transition in Zimbabwe. More
information can be found online at globalallianceforzimbabwe.com

I move on now to Western governments. In some ways I am
hesitant to do so when many of these governments have
consistently supported the democratic cause for over a decade. It is
also true that democratic forces in Zimbabwe have often been a
disappointment in their disorganisation, their contradictions and
their failure to deliver. As such, I will try to speak with some
humility and as a friend. But I will be candid nonetheless. In my
view, the greatest weakness in Western policy toward Zimbabwe is
that assistance is often ill-targeted and it is too often symbolic
rather than substantial.

Western countries have given hundreds of millions in humanitarian
aid to Zimbabwe. We are grateful for this. Thousands owe their
lives to this generosity. But a sizeable portion of this aid should
have been directly targeted at political change. It is a false
economy to pour billions into aid over an extended period when a
fraction of those resources could be used to deliver change in a
fraction of the time.

The rub, of course, is that many Western governments are petrified
of the neo-colonialist tag. Yet I make no apologies for the call to
directly empower opposition groups. Zanu-PF and its supporters
will shriek and wail about imperialism and regime change, but this
is about empowering normal Zimbabweans to make or break
governments when they want. We must never be ashamed of
democracy or principle. Neither will we roll back the frontiers of
autocracy on an lasting basis by pussy-footing around and
tinkering at the edges. The groups capable of confronting
authoritarian regimes must be directly funded and resourced. Many
countries have a tradition of not funding political parties—but
times and needs change. No tradition is sacrosanct. Whether the
democratic change agent is a civil society movement or a political
party is immaterial—resources must go to the most effective
quarter. It should have been bleedingly obvious to any observer
that the MDC has enjoyed majority support in Zimbabwe and has,
till now, been the group most capable of overthrowing the regime.
And yet the MDC has been starved of resources while millions
have gone toward band-aid solutions. If a judgement is made that
the MDC is no longer capable of delivering democracy, then
fine—resources should go elsewhere. But all-too-often the criteria
for directing aid is not broad-based effectiveness, long-term valuefor-
money and long-term self-interest but the dictates of outmoded
traditions and the fear of short-term diplomatic fallout.

To put it differently, a by-product of these weaknesses is that we
end up with the politics of symbolism as opposed to the policies of
positive change. These symbolic interventions go beyond
overblown humanitarian aid budgets. The deficiencies of sanctions
on Zimbabwe are a case in point. I am all for sanctions that avoid
punishing normal people for the sins of those standing on their
backs. But smart and targeted sanctions can be much smarter and
better-directed. Prominent figures in the regime have been hit with
asset freezes and travel bans since the early 2000s, but this
intervention has remained frozen in time. Adaptation has been
needed—and it hasn’t really happened. Here, one of the glaring
issues is that nationals of countries that have applied the
sanctions—both individuals and companies—have continued
merrily supporting the regime and nothing has been done about
them. Therefore, you have the British and others punishing Zanu-
PF while failing to police their own citizens and—more often than
you would care to imagine—neglecting activities that are going on
in their own countries. Companies like Old Mutual were allowing
Zanu-PF functionaries to externalise huge quantities of funds
through share swaps between the Zimbabwe and London Stock
Exchanges. Always keen to make their filthy little fingers dirtier
again, Old Mutual also have joint ventures with the Government of
Zimbabwe—and this occurred before the formation of our pathetic
unity government—and yet nothing is done. What is more, these
are investments that are directly connected to gross human rights
abuses. Old Mutual has shares in a joint venture on the diamond
fields where over 200 panners in rags were gunned down from
helicopters in order to clear the decks for investors. There are also
numerous reports of ongoing abuses. And Old Mutual have the gall
to claim that any regrettable events pre-date their involvement!

Shame on them. Their corporate responsibility claims are a
catalogue of lies. And spitting in the other eye, they remain
invested in a number of Zanu-PF-controlled newspapers, filthy
little propaganda tools that spew out hate speech day-after-day. I
wonder that they didn’t invest in Adolf Hitler’s ‘Der Sturmer’. Old
Mutual has raised the skull and crossbones and kept them there in
spite of repeated warnings. Pirates in suits, we will not forget or
forgive them.

These corporate hypocrites are far from being alone. We had
CAMEC, a mining company led by former English cricketer Phil
Edmonds (what a fine ambassador he is)—in 2008, this mob
purchased from government a chunk of land extorted from another
mining company and in doing so poured tens of millions into the
pockets of the regime at a time when it needed election resources.

Like many other foreigners, they also cooperated with Zimbabwe’s
white trash—in this case a long-time supporter of the regime, Billy
Rautenbach. This scoundrel and their ilk continue their dirty work,
dining out on corrupt relationships with Zanu-PF identities, while
riding roughshod over anyone unfortunate enough to be in the way.

Then we have foreigners resident in Zimbabwe who are involved
in all sorts of vice and crime, but who remain under the radar. For
example, we have an Australian citizen who has been deeply
involved with Zanu-PF groups that were plundering the treasury
and assisting the militia to inflict massive violence during the 2008
elections.

Part of the problem here is that foreign ministries, treasuries and
other organs of state in the West do not have the resources to
police all these reprobates. The answer is to give them those
resources. A small investigative team on Zimbabwe could, in many
cases, be paid for by cutting or re-directing a fraction of
humanitarian aid. It is, again, a question of efficiency and
prioritisation. Given that many of these companies and individuals
have played a crucial and very practical role in keeping the regime
afloat, measures against them would be a genuinely effective way
of assisting the democratic process.

Drawing all this together, what are the basic reasons and lessons
that can be gleaned from a study of Zimbabwe’s diaspora? We
have seen that the overwhelming cause of this migration has been
internal and political. Zimbabweans have reluctantly left
Zimbabwe because of a regime that has raped, beaten and killed a
people and an economy in the pursuit of power and money. This
situation has been further exacerbated or elongated by outsiders
who have either failed to engage effectively or who have
deliberately supported the regime.

There seem to me to be a number of lessons that can be drawn
from the Zimbabwean problem and applied more generally—
including by policy-makers and thinkers in the West:

(1) Much international migration continues to have its roots in
misgovernance and oppression. Even so-called economic migrants
are, in effect, often political refugees given that they are commonly
running from the devastating impact of systemic collapse caused
by abusive regimes. Combining governance violations with
political violence, these regimes are a major driver of migration
flows and associated problems.

(2) In this day and age of globalisation, most people still want to
live and prosper in the land of their birth. Dealing with migration is
not simply a question of keeping undesirables at bay. Undoubtedly,
there will always be people who are temperamentally mobile, but
most people in most places want to stay at home. The best way of
giving them what they want—and of easing the burden of
migration on Western economies and societies—is to help them to
choose and change governments whenever they want to.

(3) It is incumbent on neighbouring nations to recognise that their
own self-interest lies in providing such help. Sacrificing such
common sense on the alter of personal loyalty, ideology or partisan
political gain will only serve to exacerbate core problems and
increase migration flows and the serious difficulties these cause in
their own countries. In Africa, solidarity among autocratic elites is
still a key reason why vicious regimes survive and export human
misery to the rest of the world.

(4) The West requires moral consistency and a clear-eyed longterm
vision of self-interest. Here, the choices are not simply
between soft and hard power. We often hear of the use of force
versus the provision of aid, as if these are the only alternatives.

More needs to be done to explore the use of what might be termed
‘the hard edge of soft power’. Indigenous and effective democratic
change agents must be given resources to remove authoritarian
governments. Cancer is not removed by massage, nor are brutal
elites pushed out by drilling boreholes or conducting seminars.
Committed people on the ground who are prepared to bleed for
freedom are the only ones capable of doing that job. Far too often,
they are neglected and sidelined in favour of compatriots whose
roles are palliative or completely useless. For as long as this
neglect continues, the West must continue to expect a poor return
on their investment across the developing world and increased
migration pressures at home. Put differently, the West must
jettison traditions and practices that are symbolic but insubstantial
and inefficient. To the extent that wisdom is about long-term self
interest, I question the wisdom of assistance that is geared to
showing that ‘we are doing something’, or the wisdom of gearing
99 percent of aid to development and humanitarian issues, or the
wisdom of placing short-term diplomatic relations before
democracy, or the wisdom of adhering rigidly to age-old
conventions such as a prohibition on political funding. Western
foreign policy is too often incapable of adaptation and innovation
in a world that is changing rapidly. It is good and right—and, over
the long haul, expedient—to stand for what is right, but it is foolish
to become methodologically inflexible.

Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you for taking the time to listen and
hope that some of it has been useful

Colonel revives torture bases

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

A Zimbabwe National Army colonel, Charles Muresherwa, has allegedly been
resuscitating torture bases here which were used by Zanu (PF) during the run
up to the bloody June 2008 presidential run-off.
18.11.1104:59pm
by Zwanai Sithole Harare

Villagers who spoke to The Zimbabwean this week accused Muresherwa of
setting up semi-military bases at Mhakwe, Biriwiri, Nhedziwa and Shinja
primary schools where Zanu (PF) youths are being indoctrinated.

“Muresherwa is moving around the district in army uniform setting up Zanu
(PF) youth bases. One famous base is at Mhakwe primary school where youths
spend the whole night singing pro-Zanu (PF) songs and denouncing the MDC,”
said a teacher at Mhakwe primary school who refused to be named for fear of
victimisation.

The villagers said the army colonel was working closely with Zanu (PF)
youths who terrorised villagers during the previous election.

“It seems this exercise is well co-ordinated and sanctioned by the party
because Zanu (PF) chefs such as Joshua Sako are often seen at these bases,”
said another villager.

Muresherwa is aspiring to be a Zanu (PF) MP in the area. 


Magistrate acquits Mugabe ‘insulter’

http://www.dailynews.co.zw/

By Pindai Dube
Saturday, 19 November 2011 15:25

BULAWAYO - Bulawayo magistrate,Victor Mpofu acquitted a 76-year-old white
commercial farmer and miner, Mike Van Royen who was arrested in July this
year  on charges of insulting President Robert Mugabe.

Van Royen who runs Cynthia Mine and Asher Estates in Matobo district in
Matabeleland South province was arrested after a group of Zanu PF youths
attempted to grab his properties.

Lennon and Rodney are claiming to be rightful owners of Asher Estates saying
that the properties were left in their hands by their late parents.

Van Royen was charged under Section 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and
Reform) Act.

After hearing both submissions from Van Royen’s lawyer Nathan Tawanda
Mashayamombe and state witnesses Lennon and Rodney, magistrate Mpofu
acquitted Van Royen.

Van Royen has been running the mine and the farm for the past 36 years.

Allegations against Van Royen are that sometime in July he was phoned by
Bulawayo Zanu PF secretary for security Joe Tshuma over the farm and mining
business and he told him “to go and hang together with Mugabe.”

There are currently less than 200 white commercial farmers left out of at
least 4 500 white commercial farmers who used to farm in Zimbabwe until the
year 2000 when Zanu PF embarked on land grab.

The land grabs programmes which were led by militant war veterans in that
year resulted in several white farmers losing their land and fleeing the
country.

Mugabe says the violent land grab exercise was meant to correct historical
imbalances.

Farm equipment and materials were also grabbed by the new farmers as well as
livestock and crops which were later harvested and sold by the land
invaders.

Government said it will compensate the improvements that were made on the
farms by the white farmers, whose land was compulsorily acquired.

Mugabe has vowed that the land reform will not be reversed.

In July this year, a Sadc tribunal ruled in favour of two white commercial
farmers, Louis Fick and Michael Campbell that they can stay on their farms
and continue with their farming.

The Zimbabwe government, however, said it does not recognise the tribunal as
the country and most Sadc members are yet to approve that the tribunal
rulings be effective.

Angry SA justice minister demands answers on 'death handovers' to Zim

http://www.timeslive.co.za/

SUNDAY TIMES INVESTIGATIONS | 06 November, 2011 03:22

South African Justice Minister Jeff Radebe is demanding answers on the Hawks
conducting illegal "renditions" of people from South Africa to Zimbabwe.

And, in a move that puts him on a collision course with cabinet colleague
and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, he said the renditions "fly in the face
of our [SA's] constitution and its values".

Radebe's comments follow an exposé in the Sunday Times on how top
investigators from the elite crime-fighting unit were fingered in sending
several Zimbabwean nationals to their deaths in Zimbabwe. Radebe is
demanding answers from the justice cluster to "map a way forward".

Radebe said the rendition claims were "very worrying", especially
considering the allegations "were levelled not only against organs of state,
but one that is responsible for law enforcement and security".

This week more cases surfaced, in which the Hawks and members of the SA
National Defence Force were accused of arresting people and handing them
over to Zimbabwean police - and where they were either murdered or tortured.
Their actions flout the Immigration Act and breach a government moratorium
on deportations to Zimbabwe as well as the UN Convention Against Torture,
which South Africa ratified in 1998.

Radebe's comments are in opposition to those of Police Minister Nathi
Mthethwa, who on Friday told the Sunday Times "there is nothing in front of
[me ]" to warrant an investigation. He said the claims of rendition
involving the Hawks were "baseless and imaginative".

This is despite a paper trail, published by the Sunday Times, confirming
that a number of individuals were arrested as "illegal immigrants" by the
Hawks and taken through the Beitbridge border, where they were handed over
to Zimbabwean police. At the time Hawks boss General Anwa Dramat confirmed
they had "deported" three individuals - Witness Ndeya, Gordon Dube and
Pritchard Tshuma - but said this was done "properly".

Ndeya died of "multiple gun shot wounds" on November 20 - two weeks after
his arrest in South Africa - while in police custody in Bulawayo, according
to his death certificate. Tshuma and Dube are believed to have met a similar
fate.

Now more details of a number of other cases have emerged. In one, John
Nyoni, 33, was arrested on January 26 by the Hawks and deported . In another
case, Gift Nhadzi - a former organiser of the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) - detailed how he was arrested by members of the SANDF, who then
handed him over to Zimbabwean police officers in plain clothes. He was then
tortured in front of villagers.

"While they were torturing me they said: 'This is how a sell-out and a
terrorist is treated'," he said. "My wife was four months pregnant. They
said they wanted to skin her alive because there is a sellout in her womb."
Nhadzi said after begging for mercy, they beat her belly, and she then
suffered a miscarriage. Nhadzi has since fled back to SA.


GPA on verge of collapse: PM

http://www.dailynews.co.zw/

By Gift Phiri, Senior Writer
Tuesday, 08 November 2011 14:51

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has dispatched an 11-page
dossier to facilitator President Jacob Zuma warning him that the inclusive
government is teetering on the verge of collapse.

He urged Sadc to urgently intervene to avert the situation from degenerating
into anarchy.

The dossier, seen by the Daily News, lists seven key issues the party warns
could be detrimental to the continuity of the inclusive government as well
as political and economic stability in Zimbabwe.

The dossier expresses the MDC’s frustration with unresolved disputes with
Mugabe and urges the Sadc facilitator to urgently remove obstacles in the
unity pact.

The damning report lists state-sponsored and sanctioned political violence,
the breakdown in the rule of law, closure of democratic space, the partisan
reporting in the public media, allegations that Zanu PF is running a
parallel government, non-implementation of the agreed issues and security
sector realignment.

“The political and security situation in Zimbabwe is deteriorating at an
alarming and scaring pace and the MDC calls on Sadc to intervene to ensure
the GPA does not collapse,” reads part of the dossier.

“It is now 32 months after the consummation of the inclusive government.
Despite the economic gains made thus far, the political situation still
remains precarious with the potential of degenerating into anarchy.”

Bitter rivals Tsvangirai and Mugabe formed a unity government in February
2009 to end a political and economic crisis, but have been feuding over
implementing the Sadc brokered pact.

The report says violence and intimidation are the biggest challenge to a
free political environment in Zimbabwe.

Since the formation of the inclusive government, the cycle of political
violence has not been broken and politically motivated, state sponsored and
sanctioned violence has not abated contrary to the provisions of the GPA.

The report says a self-styled Zanu PF militia group known as “Chipangano” is
at the behest of many atrocities of violence against MDC supporters in
Harare.

The report claims the police are at the centre of the breakdown of the rule
of law in direct contravention of Article XI of the GPA, an assertion denied
by police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka yesterday.

The report says Zanu PF has disrupted the Parliamentary process of public
hearings into the Electoral Amendment Bill and the Human Rights Commission
Bill, the first body tasked with investigating rights abuses.

“The hearings have been marred with violence at the instigation of Zanu PF
members,” the report says. Zanu PF supporters disrupted the Parliamentary
hearings on the Electoral Bill on October 17 in Marondera, on October 18 in
Mutasa, on October 19 in Masvingo, on October 20 in Gweru and on October 21
in Bulawayo. The report warns Zuma that the democratic space in Zimbabwe
continues to shrink.

Police have proscribed MDC rallies and political activities, says the
report.

“Recently, the Prime Minister toured some parts of the country to assess the
levels of poverty as well as the state of development as well as the needs
of the people ahead of the budget, but was prevented from venturing into
some parts of Mashonaland by Zanu PF.

“In Marondera, Mudzi and Murehwa, the Prime Minister failed to tour clinics,
market stalls and business projects in these areas amid threats of violence
and physical harm targeting the Prime Minister and members of his
delegation,” says the report.

Tsvangirai also says the veteran ruler is undermining the agreement through
the arrest of several MDC lawmakers.

The report says since January 2011, more than 600 MDC officials, members and
activists have been arrested on clearly political cases.

The dossier also points to looting of state resources.

“This is manifested in the generation and expenditure of state resources
outside government treasury rules and regulations,” the report says.

“Of note is the continued sale of State resources such as diamonds without
the knowledge of the Treasury. There have over five diamond auctions to date
and only two have been accounted for by the Treasury. The resources accrued
are not known and have been used to facilitate the operations of this
parallel government.

“Clearly, this remains why some elements in government have refused the call
for transparency and nationalisation of diamonds in Chiadzwa. It is also
possible that these diamond resources are now being used to perpetrate
violence against civilians in Zimbabwe. This is also very plausible as
security forces remain active in the extraction and selling of diamonds in
Chiadzwa.”

The document also says the running of the parallel government has also been
capitalised by the non-remittance of police spot fines, toll-gate fees,
vendor fines and small-scale business fines.

“The intransigence of the police and other security agencies against the MDC
shows that the parallel government is fully operational. Tsvangirai’s MDC
accuses Mugabe’s Zanu PF of failing to honour an agreement to implement 24
issues agreed by the negotiators."

The negotiators of the GPA presented their final report to the Zimbabwe GNU
principals and to Zuma on April 6, 2010.

The GPA principals then met on the 8th of June 2010 and agreed on 24 issues
out of the 29 presented by the negotiators.

“The sad reality is that of the 24 issues agreed, none has been implemented
to date,” says the report. (see table).

Zanu PF has, in turn, charged that the MDC has not fulfilled its pledge to
condemn sanctions imposed by Western governments on Mugabe and his inner
circle.

The report says state security agents were now at the epicentre of the
perpetration of violence, intimidation and the selective application of the law.

Statement by Mr. E G Cross

Statement by Mr. E G Cross

 

Member of Parliament for Bulawayo South Constituency

 

30th October 2011

 

On the 25th of October I tabled a motion in the House of Assembly, calling for the diamond mines at Marange to be nationalised. In my subsequent presentation to the House I detailed the background to the situation prevailing at Marange, the geological basis of the discovery and previously unknown production and sales figures. The conclusions reached were that production and sales in 2010 were in excess of US$4 billion and that the State had been prejudiced of USD2,7 billion dollars in the process.

 

In the subsequent debate Members did not question the basic facts and some colleagues provided additional information. This revealed widespread human rights abuse and the actual names of some beneficiaries.

Following the debate, the Motion was put to the House on the 27th of October at 16.00 hrs and adopted. Following this development and immediately after the House was stood down, I was approached by a Member from Zanu PF who said to me “we will investigate and come after you”. I assumed that was a threat.

In the following three days I have had several threats and warnings, but today, Sunday the 30th of October, I left Harare to return to Bulawayo to attend to my Constituency affairs after an absence of two weeks on Party and Parliament business. My wife and I drove out of Harare at 04.30 hrs and proceeded to Umvuma Town in the Midlands.

We stopped just outside the Town to have breakfast at 07.00 hrs and a car, an unmarked, rather battered Sedan, Registration number ABL 7794 passed and turned into the same location where we were having breakfast. Three men and a woman got out of the vehicle and approached us. The woman greeted me by name and walked past to the toilets nearby, one of the men carrying a beer bottle and very much under the influence, came to the vehicle and spoke to my wife who handed him two newspapers and a copy of the MDC news letter Changing Times. This is our standard practice in small rural centers like Umvuma.

 

He then walked to where the others were standing and handed them the front page of Newsday dated the 28th of October in which my presentation to Parliament was shown on the front page of the paper. He read the article and pointed it out to his colleagues. With the rest of the papers in hand he returned to the motor vehicle and spoke directly to me for the first time.

 

He stated in the hearing of my wife that “he was from the CIO, the Presidents Office in Harare and that I was being monitored”. His language became more abusive and threatening and my wife asked him not to use such language. He ignored her and then told me that he came from (the name of a very senior Zanu PF Minister) and that he could do anything he wanted to me including to “snipe” me, at any time. I took that to be a direct threat to shoot me from a hidden location.

 

At no stage were we abusive ourselves or even angry. Certainly we exhibited no sign of fear at these remarks. I asked him for his name and force number and he duly gave it to me claiming that his name was Nyoni and his force number was 329741X. I asked him where his home was (Kumusha) and he replied Mwenezi District.

 

At this time my wife suddenly realized that we were being threatened and I became concerned that we might be detained. I also thought that in his present state the CIO officer was unpredictable and difficult to manage. I showed him my Parliamentary ID and he said that he knew who I was. He then asked my wife to explain why she was handing out newspapers and “this” he said, pointing to the Changing Times. She responded that we did that all the time and he said that this was illegal. He then turned back to me and said, “Zimbabwe is black and born in blood”, and repeated his threat to “snipe” me. I was polite to him and said that we were leaving.

MDC supporters arrested for Gaddafi “insult”

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

Two MDC supporters here have been rounded up by police for allegedly
likening President Robert Mugabe to the deposed like Libyan leader Muammar
Gaddafi.
28.10.1103:54pm
by Brenna Matendere Munyati

Alexander Tigere, an MDC-T ward committee member and Rangarirai Foyo the
party’s youth Chair for Gokwe Central District were picked up at different
points and detained at Gokwe police station.

Police sources say the two will be charged for criminal insult of the
president. Tigere and Foyo are in trouble for allegedly saying Mugabe would
meet the same fate of Gaddafi who was killed by his countrymen after a
four-decade dictatorship. The two are reported to have made the statements
at the burial of party supporter Moses Chokuda slain by Zanu (PF) supporters
including son of Midlands Governor Jaison Machaya.

Abraham Mutshena, the MDC Midlands North spokesperson, bemoaned the arrests
and said they came at a time when his party’s supporters countrywide are
worried about the conduct of police.

Sources told The Zimbabwean that Gokwe police, who were accused by High
Court Judge Justice Nicholas Matonsi last month of trying to suppress the
case of Chokuda, were frustrated that they had been exposed and their
efforts foiled.

“The police saw the case of Chokuda as an embarrassment especially now that
the Governor has agreed his son murdered him and made compensations. They
now want to fix everyone,” said a source
.

Zimbabwe's espionage crackdown nabs three

http://www.africareview.com/

By KITSEPILE NYATHI in HararePosted Saturday, October 29  2011 at  14:08

A Zimbabwean court has charged three prominent businessmen with espionage
after they allegedly installed equipment to spy for the United States,
Canada and Afghanistan.

The trio is accused of illegally setting up satellite communication
equipment and leaking confidential government data to foreign countries.

Two executives at communications company Africom, Simba Mangwende and Farai
Rwodzi, together with Harare businessman Oliver Chiku, appeared in court
shackled in leg irons on Friday.

Prosecutors told a Harare magistrate court that Mr Chiku facilitated a
meeting between Mr Rwodzi and a Canadian company called Juch Tech.

The meeting allegedly led to Juch Tech providing communications equipment
capable of transmitting information to the Internet protocol at Africom’s
Harare offices.

The equipment allegedly installed in July was used to send messages to the
US, Canada and Afghanistan, the prosecutors claimed.

The lawyers for the three did not make bail applications and the case is now
expected to continue on Monday.

If convicted under the country’s Official Secrets Act, the businessmen face
up to 25 years in jail.

Report: Zimbabweans 'sent to die'

http://mg.co.za

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - Oct 23 2011 07:46

Senior officials of the Hawks and the SA Police Services are conducting an
illegal "rendition" with their Zimbabwean counterparts, the Sunday Times has
reported.

The newspaper reported that the government agencies arrest "suspects" and
illegally send them across the Beit Bridge border to be murdered.

Hawks boss Anwa Dramat confirmed that at least three individual identified
by the Sunday Times were in fact taken across the border by the police.

He said they were properly deported, but was unable to provide the newspaper
with proof.

Rendition is the illegal kidnapping and transfer of prisoner from one
country to another.

The paper described the case of Zimbabwean, Witness Ndeya, 26. He was
suspected of shooting a police officer and was reportedly renditioned by the
Hawks and then murdered, apparently by Zimbabwean police. This after he was
arrested as an illegal immigrant, but instead of being detained, was driven
to the Beit Bridge border by police. A few days later the Zimbabwean police
told the family "that Witness Ndeya was killed by other police officers",
according to another man who was arrested with him and later released.

Ndeya's death certificate confirmed he died at "Hippo Valley Farm" in
Bulawayo on November 20, with the cause of death listed as "multiple gunshot
wounds".

Dramat confirmed that Ndeya and his companions were "all arrested as illegal
immigrants" and were "deported ".

But he denied these were illegal renditions, saying everyone "followed
protocol", whereby deported individuals must be handed over to an
immigration official from Zimbabwe.

His spokesperson, McIntosh Polela, said: "At no point did we simply hand
over people to authorities without [an immigration official present],
because that would constitute rendition."

The alleged incident is a contravention of the Immigration Act. It also runs
contrary to a "special dispensation" by the government at the time that
prevented Zimbabweans from being deported from South Africa.

Dramat said: "We are not aware of what happened to them in Zimbabwe. It is
not our mandate to do follow-ups on deported [people]."

Zimbabwean police spokesperson Oliver Mandipaka said he "can't confirm or
deny that Ndeya was arrested or killed".

The Sunday Times said it was aware of several other individuals who have
also been renditioned to Zimbabwe. -- Sapa and staff reporters

Mujuru death saga deepens

http://www.dailynews.co.zw/

By Nkululeko Sibanda, Senior Writer
Thursday, 20 October 2011 08:44

HARARE - Investigations into the death of retired army commander Solomon
“Rex Nhongo” Mujuru have taken a new twist with police seeking a court
inquest to help determine circumstances that led to Mujuru’s demise.

Mujuru died at his Beatrice farmhouse two months ago and it is not clear
whether he died before the fire or was killed by the inferno.

The family, friends and the public suspect foul play.

Police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri told the state-run Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) on Tuesday that they had now handed over the
probe to the courts for an inquest.

An inquest is a judicial investigation in common law jurisdictions,
conducted by a judge, or government-appointed official.

Legal experts said yesterday the matter could have been taken to the courts
as part of efforts by the police to avoid being blamed for whatever is the
outcome of their probe.

“The police might refer the matter to the magistrate or the courts so that
the enquiry into the death of an individual is probed at that level without
them being at the centre of implicating any particular person as behind that
death or incident.

“In that case, a magistrate or judge can then order, after listening to the
evidence provided that there was foul play in the particular case or there
is need for further thorough investigations into the matter. Due to the fact
that the Mujuru death is highly political, if for instance the police found
no evidence that he was murdered as what many people would want to believe,
they just decide to run it through the courts so that they are not blamed
for covering up,” explained one senior lawyer.

He said the court can direct the matter to the attorney general if they feel
that there is a case to answer or direct the police to investigate further.

“If the courts feel there is no foul play, they just dismiss it,” said the
legal expert.

One such inquest was launched after Joanna Mafuyana, wife to the late
veteran nationalist, vice president, and father Zimbabwe, Joshua Nkomo died
in July 2003.

It was suspected there had been foul play in her death and an inquest was
held.

Police spokesperson assistant commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena recently said
the police investigations into the Mujuru matter had been completed.

Acting senior police spokesperson Oliver Mandipaka also confirmed to the
Daily News yesterday the matter was now in the hands of the courts.

“What the police commissioner-general (Chihuri) said when responding to ZBC
questions is adequate.

“There is and there shall be nothing to the contrary. The
commissioner-general was very clear and whatever he said is the position.
The matter is now with the courts,” said Mandipaka.

Family members and sources close to the family said recently they were
convinced the police investigations would draw blanks given the lack of
capacity in the country’s police force.

It is feared the investigations into Mujuru’s report were hampered by lack
of requisite infrastructure and equipment that could facilitate the
production of proper results into what could have happened to the late
retired general.

The late army commander died in what is suspected to have been an inferno
that gutted the family farmhouse in Beatrice.

However, police details are said to have arrived at the scene of the
incident late when some of the people who were first to arrive at the scene
of the incident had apparently tampered with the scene of the incident.

This effectively means that some of the vital information that could have
helped the police to get to a conclusion on the matter had already been
removed when the police arrived.

The scene was also not cordoned off to stop people from tampering with the
scene and evidence.

According to informed sources, the police investigations’ outcome was at
serious variance with the one produced by an independent investigator who
was hired by the Mujuru family to get to the bottom of the matter.

Vice President Mujuru has since the death of her husband been clamouring for
“the true facts” of what happened.

She once told a delegation of the Mighty Warriors that went to comfort her
at her Chisipite home that what had been given as an account of the
circumstances of her husband’s death was not convincing.

“We have not been told what happened between 8pm when he arrived at home
until the next morning when the fire was discovered. We are just
told that he was killed by a fire and that is it. There is nothing else that
is said,” said the Vice President.

Moreover, Mujuru said it was not clear how Mujuru could fail to escape the
fire through the windows when they were not even secured by burglar bars.

“Our two grandsons used to come into our bedroom when we were sleeping using
those windows. They could simply come through into the room. Now one wonders
why a man with military training… a military man could fail to escape
through those windows,” she said.

Jailed MDC activist collapses in court

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/

Rebecca Musarurwa, one of the eight MDC members in remand prison today
collapsed in court at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts and had to be rushed to
hospital. The reasons of her collapsing and her current condition are still
unknown.
20.10.1103:31pm
by The Zimbabwean Harare

When she was arrested by the police in May, she was seriously assaulted by
the police while in custody at Harare Central Police Station.

Musarurwa who has been in remand prison for over five months, is part of 28
MDC activists who are facing trumped-up charges of murdering a policeman in
Glen View, Harare in May.

The 28 activists were in court for the second day since yesterday for a
ruling after applying for refusal of further remand.

Due to Musarurwa’s health, Magistrate Donald Ndirowei was forced to postpone
the ruling to tomorrow, Friday.

Among those in remand prison is Solomon Madzore, the MDC Youth Assembly
chairperson who was denied bail at a separate ruling at the High Court today
after Justice Hlekani Mwayera ruled that he was a flight risk.

Others in remand prison are; Councillor Tungamirai Madzokere of Ward 32 Glen
View, Rebecca Mafikeni, brothers Lazarus and Stanford Maengahama, Phineas
Nhatarikwa and Stanford Mangwiro.

Lawyers Name And Shame Police Torturers

http://www.radiovop.com/

Harare, October 20, 2011 - Human rights lawyers have named and shamed eight
police officers for masterminding the torture of Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) youth leader, Shakespeare Mukoyi.

Gift Mtisi, a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights identified the
police officers from Glen Norah police station as Inspector Kwiyo, Assistant
Inspector Dube, Constable Cherengo, Constable Muponya, Constable Willie,
Constable Marimira, Constable Ncube and Constable Muhonde.

Mukoyi, the youth chairperson for the MDC Harare province was assaulted and
tortured by the police in April after his arrest and detention at Glen Norah
police station.

The MDC youth leader was arrested on 9 April 2011 during a church service
organised to pray for peace that was suppressed when police stormed the
church hall during prayer and swooped on congregants and a clergyman. Mukoyi
was charged with contravening Section 89 of the Criminal Law (Codification
and Reform) Act for allegedly assaulting Emmanuel Jeketera, a police officer
with clenched fists and booted feet all over his body at Chitubu Shopping
Centre in Glen Norah suburb.

As a result of the assault and torture Mukoyi sustained injuries all over
his body and suffered a broken neck that had to be supported by a cervical
collar.

Mukoyi is demanding $200 000 from the Ministry of Home Affairs as well as
police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri and eight of his officers for
unlawful arrest and torture. The litigation follows Mukoyi’s recent
acquittal on the charges.

“Our client was unlawfully assaulted and tortured by Inspector Kwiyo and
other officers whose force numbers are not known by our client on 9 April
2011 being police officers stationed at Glen Norah.

During the suppression of the prayer meeting, the police indiscriminately
fired tear gas canisters at residences and churches surrounding the venue of
the church service while children who were within and outside the parameters
of the church were affected by the tear smoke.

The church service was organised by a coalition of churches under the theme
“Saving Zimbabwe… the unfinished journey”.

The church service was aimed at presenting an opportunity to pray for peace
in Zimbabwe as part of the process of finishing the journey to save the
country.

More CIO offices and torture centres exposed: Part 2

 
Posted by Lance Guma on Thursday, October 20, 2011

By Lance Guma
20 October 2011

CIO list of offices 2008

SW Radio Africa continues exposing more offices and torture centres used by the notorious Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) countrywide.

Last week we published a 2008 list on our website containing addresses of over 76 offices and buildings, including some 759 telephone and extension numbers.

The justification for the exposure is that some of the buildings have been used to interrogate and torture abducted opposition activists. Hundreds of perceived ZANU PF opponents have been and continue to be abducted by CIO agents and taken to these offices to be tortured. Some have been killed.

This week we look at an addresses in Highlands and Avondale, Harare where SW Radio Africa listeners report hearing what they suspected to be torture sessions. We have been alerted to a house in Natal Road, in Avondale where there is a large square white double story house at the corner with Second Street extension.

In 2008 neighbours reported hearing ‘blood curdling screams’ coming from the house during one evening. On another night they reported smelling burning flesh. Another house said to be used by the CIO is along Enterprise Road, next door to the Highlands Presbyterian Church. Again the building is a large white double story house with heavily burglar barred windows.

In Masvingo the CIO has an office at 10153 Lundi Star Drive in the city’s Rhodene suburb. Deployed there is a notorious middle ranking CIO officer known as Nick Maunze. Last year he threatened journalist Godfrey Mutimba with unspecified action over a story he wrote for a local paper. Maunze even bragged that he once forced former MDC MP Job Sikhala to drink urine during a torture session in 2003.

Referring to Sikhala, Maunze said: “I am the one who forced Sikhala to drink urine when he was arrested and it is not hard for me at all to deal with an even smaller fish and useless reporters like you. What will you do to me?” Maunze, who is reported to run a supermarket at Yeukai Business Centre, was also implicated in the murder of an MDC-T activist in Chivi.

Not all abductions result in CIO operatives taking their victims to their offices for interrogation and torture. The agency also has a habit of taking victims to abandoned farms, killing them and dumping their bodies there. In March 2007 freelance cameramen Edward Chikomba, a former employee of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, was found dead in Darwendale outside Harare.

Chikomba was kidnapped from his Glen View home at gunpoint by 4 suspected CIO agents who forced him into a 4×4 vehicle and drove off. According to his wife who witnessed the abduction, Chikomba said he knew he was in danger when he saw the four men arrive at their house and said: ‘I am dead’. It’s alleged that Chikomba’s ‘crime’ was that he provided film footage of a badly beaten Tsvangirai to foreign news media.

In another example Abigail Chiroto, the wife of Emmanuel Chiroto the MDC-T deputy Mayor of Harare, was also abducted from her home in June 2008. A mob of ZANU PF militants, including CIO agents based at the Hatcliffe office, descended on the Chiroto home. On seeing Chiroto was not there they destroyed the house using a petrol bomb then they abducted Abigail and 4 year-old son Ashley.

Fortunately for Ashley the mob decided to dump him outside a police station but his mother was not as lucky as they took her to a nearby farm. Two days later on the 18th June Abigail was found brutally murdered. She was discovered 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.

The use of farms as a dumping ground for murdered activists is a trend all too familiar with the CIO.

Minister Accuses NGOs of Destabilization in League With West

http://www.voanews.com

17 October 2011

National Association of Non-Governmental Organizations Secretary General
Godwin Phiri said such attacks on NGOs have long been a feature of
Zimbabwean politics

Tatenda Gumbo | Washington

Zimbabwean Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo has accused civic
groups of working with the West to promote instability and an agenda of
regime change.

Chombo, of the ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe, was speaking late
last week in Zaka district, Masvingo province, at a ceremony handing over
food aid under the government’s Zunde Ramambo ("Chief's Granary") program.

He said non-governmental organizations should seek to complement government
efforts rather than, as he charged, trying to destabilize it with the help
of Western nations.

Chombo said all non-governmental organization programs should be approved by
relevant government authorities or face closure.

National Association of Non-Governmental Organizations Secretary General
Godwin Phiri said such attacks on NGOs have long been a feature of
Zimbabwean politics.

He said it is time ministers avoided such rhetoric as Zimbabwean
non-governmental organizations are making a critical contribution to
national development.

ZANU-PF politicians have often accused International and Zimbabwean
non-governmental organizations of pursuing hidden agendas, especially in
electoral periods. Before the 2008 elections President Mugabe's government
of the time issued directives barring most field activities of
non-governmental organizations.

CIO offices and torture centres exposed countrywide

 
 

The 2008 list of CIO offices around ZImbabwe

By Lance Guma
12 October 2011

CIO list of offices 2008

SW Radio Africa has published a list on our website containing countrywide addresses of over 76 offices and buildings from which the notorious Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) work. The 2008 list includes telephone and extension numbers.

The justification for the exposure is that some of the buildings have been used to interrogate and torture abducted opposition activists. Hundreds of perceived ZANU PF opponents have been and continue to be abducted by CIO agents and taken to these offices to be tortured. In coming weeks we will continue to highlight the abuses that have been committed in some of these places.

In July SW Radio Africa published a list from 2001, exposing by name some 480 CIO agents working in and outside Zimbabwe. This newer document, dated 2008, contains around 759 telephone extensions and 76 different offices and buildings. We believe the number of telephone extensions shows that the organisation has grown in size over the years.

In Marondera is Hurudza House which is found in First Street. SW Radio Africa reported how MDC-T District Chairman Bakayimana and a youth organizer called Kainos were abducted on the 22nd May 2008 and taken to this building. These and other abductions were conducted by the CIO and other state security agencies in the run up to the June 2008 one-man presidential election runoff.

Last year a remorseful ZANU PF militant confessed publicly at a bus terminus: “We tortured them at Hurudza House for weeks, before taking them to various secret locations. We wanted to use them as bait to lure Ian Kay (local MP) and Farai Nyandoro (local Mayor) to our killing grounds.”

Dressed in ZANU PF regalia the woman known as Chikanya also claimed she and CIO Deputy Intelligence Officer Farai Machekanyanga led a gang in the town that assassinated suspected MDC-T supporters and dumped their dead bodies in shallow graves and dams.

Chakanya added: “We even forced the captives to make distress phone calls for help from Kay and Nyandoro. When the plot failed, we had no option but to assassinate them and dump their corpses in Wenimbe dam. This is a ZANU PF tried and tested solution for dealing with betrayers, dating back to the liberation struggle,” she said. Chakanya was later also found dead in the Wenimbe dam.

On 67 Tenth Avenue in the Bulawayo City Centre is Magnet House. The rightful owner of the building is the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) and its former military wing ZIPRA but the Mugabe regime seized this and other properties during a crack down against the late Joshua Nkomo and his party. Magnet House for years has been used as the Bulawayo headquarters of the CIO.

Four ZANU PF youths were in 2004 abducted by CIO agents and taken to Magnet House for allegedly supporting a ZANU PF faction opposed to notorious war vets leader Jabulani Sibanda. The youths approached the late Vice President Joseph Msika at his home and narrated their torture ordeal. They removed their clothes to reveal serious injuries to their private parts and bruises over their bodies.

In March 2009 SW Radio Africa reported how a man was thrown out of the 4th floor of Magnet House, at lunchtime. Huge crowds of shoppers converged on the scene as the man, identified as bank clerk Tawengwa Mavhunga, lay motionless on the road, covered by a red blanket. A Bulawayo City Council vehicle rushed the seriously injured clerk to the United Bulawayo Hospital.

The state owned Chronicle newspaper claimed Mavhunga lied to his mother that he had been abducted by the CIO when in fact he had slept at a girlfriend’s house. Our sources however said he was abducted after a clash with CIO officers making ‘dubious’ withdrawals from the bank where he worked. Mavhunga is thought to have asked too many questions about the transactions and become a target.

Curiously CIO agents are deployed at the Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC) in Harare on Alpes Road, Hatcliffe. Our list shows 39 telephone extensions suggesting a large number of agents are probably deployed there. The SIRDC mission statement says the organisation is there “to provide Zimbabwe and the region with technological solutions for sustainable development.”

The strangest deployment has to be in Harare at the Furniture Discount Centre. A single phone number is listed there, begging the question, what would be of interest to the CIO at such a location.

The most notorious torture centre used by the CIO is found in Goromonzi and is conspicuously absent from the list. SW Radio Africa understands it’s a prison complex at Goromonzi Police Camp, 40 km east of Harare. Evidence from the testimony of abducted former ZBC TV news presenter Jestina Mukoko suggests that she might have been taken there.

In December 2008 Mukoko was abducted in the early hours of the morning by six men and a woman who did not identify themselves. In her testimony she said they forced her into a Mazda Familia vehicle and ordered her to lie low on the seat of the car.

“Immediately a woollen jersey was put across my face, covering my eyes, nose and mouth (and) as a result I had problems breathing and almost suffocated,” Mukoko said. Once at the torture base Mukoko said they put her in solitary confinement for 19 days while trying to force her to admit recruiting youths for military training in Botswana to dislodge Robert Mugabe from power.

“Firstly I was assaulted underneath my feet with a rubber-like object which was at least one metre long and flexible, while seated on the floor. Later I was told to raise my feet onto a table and the other people in the room started to assault me underneath my feet. This assault lasted for at least five to six minutes. They took a break and then continued again with the beatings,” she said.

The Goromonzi torture base is so infamous that even a report on torture compiled by the Crisis in Zimbabwe coalition was titled ‘Cries from Goromonzi – Inside Zimbabwe’s Torture Chambers’.  The report contained 23 harrowing testimonies from individuals tortured between 2000 and 2009.

The Crisis Coalition said their report exposed the “pervasive use of torture and imprisonment of citizens in secret detention camps in Zimbabwe to extract information, stifle public dissent and determine political processes and electoral outcomes.’

SW Radio Africa believes the list of offices and buildings it has published might help shed some light on where some of these abuses are committed and remove some of the fear that this secretive organisation has created in the minds of all Zimbabweans.

Chipangano attack leaves three MDC activists in hospital

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Tichaona sibanda
10 October 2011

Three MDC-T supporters were on Friday admitted to a private clinic in Harare
after they were attacked in the capital by the violent Mbare based
Chipangano gang.

The weekly Zimbabwe Standard said in its latest edition that ten other MDC-T
supporters were injured in the attack. About 50 members of the ZANU PF
terror squad waylaid the MDC-T activists along Simon Mazorodze road and
robbed them of their cash and mobile phones.

The paper said ten of the activists were treated and discharged from the
clinic but three, who could barely speak, were hospitalised. The paper named
two of the victims in hospital as Vengesai Chigoriro and Prince Mwenezhi.

‘The three are being treated for injuries ranging from broken ribs, brokens
legs and a suspected fractured skull. They were stabbed with screw drivers
and struck by stones, iron bars and sticks,’ the paper said.

The infamous Chipangano is a violent political gang which has caused mayhem
in Harare since the beginning of the year. It has unleashed violence on
unsuspecting victims, most of them people perceived to be anti-ZANU PF.
Recently, the MDC-T’s organising secretary, Nelson Chamisa, dared Robert
Mugabe to the stop the shadowy group from terrorising Harare residents, to
prove he is sincere in his calls for peace. Two weeks ago the Bulawayo East
MP for the MDC-T, Tabitha Khumalo, told party supporters in the UK that the
pattern of political violence being waged by Chipangano seemed to be highly
systematic, deliberate and well planned.
‘There are four branches within Chipangano. There is Chipangano one, two,
three and four. Chipangano one identifies MDC activists. Chipangano two
carries out surveillance and monitors individuals and structures of the MDC.

‘Chipangano three approaches our members and verbally warns them of dire
consequences of supporting the MDC. Chipangano four is the deadliest of all
the groups. This group beats the hell out of you,’ said Khumalo.

Tsvangirai preaches peace

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/

Saturday, 01 October 2011 19:30

BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
BULAWAYO — Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday reiterated his call
for an end to political violence that has now spilled into major cities. “We
all want a new era in this country where knives, machetes, knobkerries, guns
and booted feet as instruments of violence and repression are no longer
fashionable,” Tsvangirai told a prayer meeting for his deputy Thokozani
Khupe.

“As a country we have been forced to walk the painful road of violence and
hatred and we are not prepared to walk it forever more.

“We have seen state agents actively engaged in shameful acts of violence and
the unbridled violation of the people’s rights and freedoms.”
He said the unity government he joined in 2009 had given Zimbabweans
breathing space and the reforms it had introduced would lead to a better
democracy.

However, he vowed not to support the Human Rights Bill in its present form
saying it proposed that “victims of violence and human rights abuses cannot
seek recourse or justice and that perpetrators are left to go scot free.”

“The bill seeks to undermine the basic human rights that it seeks to
address,” he said.

US Embassy slams Zimbabwe police over violence; group reports cases of assault, intimidation

http://www.washingtonpost.com

By Associated Press, Published: September 30

HARARE, Zimbabwe — The U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe on Friday criticized police
and judicial officials for failing to stop escalating political violence, as
a human rights group said it had documented more than 20 cases a day of
assault, intimidation and torture.

In a statement, the embassy said that militants backing longtime President
Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party had created a climate of fear and
intimidation, particularly in the western Harare township of Mbare. The
militants there are “unrestrained” by police and are extorting local
traders, it said.

“If left unchallenged, actions such as these lend credence to public
perceptions of ZANU-PF as a party committed to violence and intimidation
unconstrained by the laws of the land,” the U.S. Embassy said.

The independent humans right group Zimbabwe Peace Project, meanwhile, said
85 percent of the violence it had documented in August was perpetrated by
Mugabe supporters. The group’s researchers detailed assaults, intimidation
and torture, as well as politically motivated theft and looting.

About 10 percent of 702 violations in the period under review were blamed on
activists of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party. Tsvangirai, a
longtime opposition leader, joined into a power-sharing agreement with
Mugabe in 2009 that continues to fray.

Mugabe has called for elections in March to end the coalition formed after
disputed, violence-plagued elections in 2008.

Tensions also have been rising within the ZANU-PF party itself following the
death of party powerbroker Gen. Solomon Mujuru, the Zimbabwe Peace Peace
Project bulletin said. Mujuru died in a a fire at his home almost two months
ago, renewing rivalries over who will succeed the 87-year-old Mugabe.

Police have refused to release details of investigations into the fire that
burnt Mujuru beyond recognition. His burial at a national shrine outside
Harare was by far the biggest funeral since independence in 1980, attended
by some 50,000 mourners.

Many Zimbabweans believe the fire was intentional, and it’s feared political
unrest could erupt if it emerges the popular former guerrilla leader was
murdered.

Mugabe vetoes Blackberry service

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

President Robert Mugabe, fearing agitated citizens calling for regime
change, is refusing to licence the BlackBerry service in Zimbabwe.
28.09.1109:29am
by Staff Reporter

Zimbabwean citizens are tech-savvy and emboldened, a fact that has raised
fears okaying the Blackberry service could result Egypt and Tunisia-style
uprisings. The Canadian mobile phones have flooded the country, but it looks
as though the BlackBerry internet service will never see the light of day.

Government sources say the Joint Operations Command, a group of top security
generals, has sternly warned against it, although Twitter and Facebook are
allowed.

ICT minister Nelson Chamisa reportedly approved the service, but has been
stonewalled by Mugabe.

"It’s securophobia mutating into technophobia," minister Chamisa told The
Zimbabwean. He declined to comment further, saying the matter was still
before Cabinet.

There has also been a crackdown on journalists and Zanu (PF) opponents in a
bid to forestall anti-Mugabe protests.

The regime has stamped out any attempt at mass pro-democracy protests, and a
university professor and other social activists accused of plotting to
organise Egypt-style protests have been viciously tortured, jailed and
released on bail.

The CIO is believed to be watching all networks connected to the world's IP
routing system - meaning data access routes into or out of Zimbabwe are
under strict surveillance through the Interception of Communications Unit,
whose administration has been taken away from Chamisa and given to Zanu (PF)
Transport minister Nicholas Goche.

"There is severe censorship going on. It’s like modest Internet
manipulation. Essentially the government has realized it cannot stay one
digital step ahead of its population, and has simply thrown the off-switch
on the lackberry service. The infrastructure is there," said one systems
analyst in Harare.

Even the SMS service across the nation is monitored, and it also appears
that mobile phone services are being tapped.

Zimbabwe Government Threatens to Shut Down Under-funded Institutions

http://www.voanews.com

26 September 2011

Permanent Secretary Washington Mbizvo of the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary
education told reporters recently that institutions with a critical shortage
of lectures would close

Chris Gande

The Zimbabwean government has said it will close universities or university
programs that are inadequately funded because they compromise the quality of
education.

Permanent Secretary Washington Mbizvo of the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary
education told reporters recently that institutions with a critical shortage
of lectures would close.

The ministry recently suspended doctoral programs at the National University
of Science and Technology in Bulawayo due to a shortage of lecturers.

Zimbabwe has 13 universities, nine state-run, the others private.

University of Zimbabwe Vice-Chancellor Levy Nyagura told Parliament recently
that his instituiton was hiring expatriate lecturers and bringing back
former staff members.

Many university lecturers, like other Zimbabwean professionals, have left
the country in droves to seek better paying jobs in neighboring countries.

Education expert Isaac Mpofu told VOA Studio 7 reporter Chris Gande that the
government must give a higher priority to education before shutting down
programs.



More activists arrested in Bulawayo

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Tererai Karimakwenda
21 September, 2011

Just days after ten youths from the MDC-N were arrested and tortured for
distributing flyers in Bulawayo, police have arrested 20 more who were
peacefully conducting a voter registration exercise.

The activists were from the Youth Initiative for Development in Zimbabwe
(YIDEZ), assisting voters who may have problems with documentation and
registration procedures. The programme was jointly organized by the Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights.

SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme, said the youth activists
were arrested Wednesday morning in Bulawayo city centre. They are currently
being held at the Bulawayo Central Police Station and have not been charged
yet.

"A policeman was heard saying they might be charged for blocking the
pavement," Saungweme said, adding: "It looks like a broad strategy of
electioneering by ZANU PF to make sure other political parties are not
active on the streets".

He explained that the Mugabe regime has always used violence and
intimidation as political weapons ahead of elections in the past. But that
strategy will not be acceptable this time around, with regional leaders
insisting on a peaceful poll and monitoring the SADC facilitated GPA.

"SADC appears to be seeking a fair election and Robert Mugabe now has to
conceal his venom," Saungweme said.

The ten MDC youths arrested on Saturday had been abducted by soldiers for
distributing flyers in Sauerstown. They were accused of "throwing" flyers
over the fence at State House, which serves as home to Robert Mugabe in
Bulawayo, and were tortured before being turned over to the police.

Campaigning and electoral education are not supposed to be illegal in
Zimbabwe, but police continue to arbitrarily ban political activities not
affiliated with ZANU PF.

Minister: Zimbabwe to pull licence of media that "denigrate" Mugabe

http://www.monstersandcritics.com
Sep 13, 2011, 12:06 GMT

Harare - Zimbabwe will cancel the licences of newspapers and radio stations
that 'denigrate' 87-year-old President Robert Mugabe, the information
minister said Tuesday.

'We are not against criticism but no vilification. They are forcing us to
take measures and they must stand warned,' Webster Shamu of Mugabe's ZANU-PF
party said.

The minister, who was quoted in Tuesday's official Herald newspaper, said
media houses and 'pirate radio stations' - a reference to stations beaming
into Zimbabwe with reporters based in London, the US and the Netherlands -
had 'intensified their vitriolic attacks and the use of hate language on the
person of His Excellency the President.'

Mugabe's side of a shaky two-and-a-half-year-old coalition government has
been angered by reports coming from leaked US cables in the last 10 days on
the president's state of health, which has long been a closely guarded
secret.

In words calculated to shock, the independent Newsday headlined an article a
week ago: 'Mugabe dead by 2013' in reference to reports alleging the
87-year-old had prostate cancer and had been given just three to five years
to live back in 2008.

Zimbabwe's stifling press laws, introduced in 2002, make the southern
African country one of the most repressive for reporters. Foreign
journalists are not allowed to work here permanently and all newspapers must
be registered with a state-appointed media commission.

But Shamu said Britain and the US were hypocritical in their criticism of
Zimbabwe's press laws. 'These two countries have got some of the most
draconian media laws on earth,' he claimed.

Violence Reported in Harare as Mugabe Calls for Peace

 
 
September 06, 2011

Peta Thornycroft | Harare

  • Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe (C) leaves after opening the 4th Session of the 7th Parliament in Harare September 6, 2011.
Photo: Reuters
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe (C) leaves after opening the 4th Session of the 7th Parliament in Harare September 6, 2011.

President Robert Mugabe opened a new session of Zimbabwe’s parliament Tuesday saying there should be no more political violence. But shortly before he spoke, members of his ZANU-PF party were beating up members of the public, as well as a freelance journalist and a city councilor, in a small park opposite parliament.

President Robert Mugabe arrived at parliament accompanied by a traditional cavalcade of mounted soldiers and the presidential guard to open a new legislative year.

As he was getting out of his vehicle, crowds of his ZANU-PF supporters, some dressed in party regalia, were throwing stones and beating up some members of the public walking through the central park, called Africa Unity Square.

A few streets west of parliament, the Movement for Democratic Change party, which is in a difficult 30-month-old inclusive government with ZANU-PF, decided to close the steel entrance gates to its  headquarters to protect party officials inside.

A member of the security team protecting the party leadership, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was in the city center monitoring the violence.

"What I saw there it was actually terrible, people were being harassed in the park, Africa Unity Square by ZANU-PF people,” he said.

He said the violence continued against civilians as Mugabe and his wife Grace arrived outside parliament.

“They were singing party songs and slogans and if you failed to answer the slogan then they will start beating you, even stones they were throwing, everything,” he said.

Since the unity government came to power in 2009, several months after disputed and violence-plagued elections, MDC officials, legislators and party supporters have suffered from recurring attacks and arrests, usually at the hands of state security forces.

Despite protests to Mugabe and police chiefs, the violence continues, although at a lower level than after the 2008 elections won by the MDC.

The MDC says the Zimbabwean police is a partisan force which does not protect people unless they are members of ZANU-PF.

Uniformed and plainclothes detectives were posted throughout the city center before the opening of parliament.

"Police were there, the whole town, the police were there but they were doing nothing," he said. "They were there. The way I see it we will have so many people being hurt, when people are actually throwing stones it means something very bad, that is not good, they do not have to do that, we are in an inclusive government so I do not see the reason why should be fighting. “

Police spokesmen were not available for comment Tuesday. 

Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, a ZANU-PF member, said he did not see people being beaten up outside parliament and asked for video proof of the violence.

Meanwhile, Mugabe told parliament foreign investment is safe in Zimbabwe as long as the country’s laws are obeyed. The laws demand that 51 percent of all companies be sold to black Zimbabwean shareholders.

Mugabe also said the inclusive government is drawing up a new constitution before new elections.

Last week, for the first time, Mugabe conceded elections would not take place this year. At ZANU-PF’s annual conference last December, the party resolved new polls would be held in 2011 to end the inclusive government.

Since then the MDC and ZANU-PF have been negotiating a roadmap towards elections.

Mugabe also repeated what he has said several times this year, that there should be no more political violence in Zimbabwe.

 

Libya's ambassador expelled from Zimbabwe to return home Wednesday

http://www.monstersandcritics.com

Aug 31, 2011, 8:58 GMT

Harare - Libya's ambassador to Zimbabwe is to leave the country Wednesday, 
following his expulsion for denouncing Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi and 
siding with the rebels, state radio reported.

A week ago, ambassador Taher Elmegrahi hoisted the rebel flag at the embassy 
building in Harare, after a jubilant crowd of demonstrators tore down the 
Libyan flag as rebels stormed Gaddafi's compound in Tripoli

On Tuesday, Zimbabwe's Foreign Ministry handed Elmegrahi a note verbale, 
saying his actions were 'not acceptable' and gave him 72 hours to leave the 
country.

Zimbabwe does not recognize the Libya's rebel Transitional National Council. 
The rebel flag on the embassy has since been replaced by that of the African 
Union, which does not recognize the rebel authority.

Megrahi was quoted on state radio Wednesday as saying he was arranging to 
leave the same day with all his staff. 'I respect the decisions of this 
government and the people,' he said.

'It's our interior business. It's in Libya, not here,' he aded however.

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, a long-time ally of Mugabe, has 
condemned the NATO intervention in Libya, saying the West wants to seize 
Libyan oil. 

Zanu-PF sent spies to infiltrate expatriate communities in the UK

http://bulawayo24.com 22/08/11

A BBC radio report that alleges that the Zanu-PF government has sent spies to infiltrate expatriate communities in the United Kingdom has led to a call to have aid to Zimbabwe cut.

The British Broadcasting Cooperation (BBC) current affairs Channel 4 programme Exiles in Fear aired last Sunday.

The presenter Jenny Cuffe said: "Rwanda and Zimbabwe are sending spies to the UK to stifle opposition, sometimes even to kill. We also hear claims they are using the asylum system to infiltrate refugee communities here. Both countries receive huge amounts of aid from Britain."

The aid to Zimbabwe is channelled through various charities. And now a minister in the UK government has suggested that it may be time to cut off that financial support.

Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Lord David Howell, responded by saying that if there was a grain of truth in the allegations Britain would have no choice but to stop its funding of programmes in Zimbabwe.

Cuffe said the reason aid was being sent through charities was largely because there were gross human rights violations in the country.

An unidentified source from Zimbabwe interviewed on the show gave graphic details of how a "spy" was sent into the community in the UK.

Exiled Zimbabwean journalist Admore Tshuma, said people are no longer safe in the UK because they are being watched. "It is something really shocking. It is something which will send genuine exiles and asylum-seekers underground. We don't trust each other anymore, " he said.

Morgan Mutasa, the chairman of the Bristol branch of the MDC-T, said: "We have been calling up the authorities telling them that the MDC in the UK is infiltrated by the CIO and there is great danger for our people if they are returned to Zimbabwe, because they have been exposed to these people and their lives have been put at risk."

Source: timeslive


Zimbabwe To Have Its First Military University

http://www.radiovop.com/

Harare, August 10, 2011 - A military college being built by the Chinese on
the outskirts of Harare along the Harare-Bindura highway will become the
country’s first military university, President Robert Mugabe told a
gathering to commemorate the defence forces day in Harare on Tuesday.

The National Defence College is being built by the Chinese following the
agreement between China and Zimbabwe of a $97 million loan meant for its
construction.

Mugabe told the gathering at the National Sports stadium that the military
college, which will be used as a centre for strategic military and
intelligence studies, will be accorded university status.
“Currently the Zimbabwe Defence Forces are actively engaged in the
construction of a National Defence College which, with a university status,
is going to be the highest institution of academic and military
 instruction,” said Mugabe adding that the college is almost complete.

The $97 million dollar loan was signed by Finance Minister Tendai Biti on
behalf of government on March 21 this year and bonds Zimbabwe to a 20-year
deal of using Marange diamonds to pay off the loan.

The deal was however, met with mixed feelings from different sectors of the
economy who hoped the money could have been invested into something
productive, considering the harsh economic conditions that are currently
prevailing in the country.

Under the arrangement, the Chinese provided Zimbabwe with a $97 million loan
for the construction of the state-of-the-art defence college located on the
outskirts of Harare.

Zimbabwe has undertaken to offset the loan using proceeds from diamond
mining ventures involving the Chinese.

The Chinese will also provide specialist manpower for the project, although
unions such as the Zimbabwe Construction and Allied Trades Workers’ Union
(ZCATWU) say even some of the general labourers are being shipped from the
Asian economic giant.


Soldiers beat up ROHR activist after prison release

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

By Lance Guma
01 August 2011

A member of a local human rights group was savagely assaulted over the
weekend by about five soldiers hardly 48 hours after being released from
police custody.

Cosmas Ndira and 12 other activists from the Restoration of Human Rights in
Zimbabwe (ROHR) group were released on Friday, after being arrested at the
High Court on Wednesday for taking part in a protest against the continued
detention of eight Glen View residents charged with the murder of a
policeman.

On Sunday at around 8pm Ndira “was heavily assaulted by a group of more than
5 people identified as members of the Zimbabwe National Army,” ROHR said in
a statement. The attack, which took place in Mabvuku on the outskirts of
Harare, saw Ndira sustaining serious head injuries and losing a lot of
blood.

ROHR said “he is currently battling for his life at a local hospital.”
Efforts by the Ndira family to report the assault at Mabvuku police station
were fruitless as the police there are said to have refused to open a docket
for unspecified reasons. The incident highlights once again the selective
application of the law in the country.

ROHR spokesperson, Stendrick Zvorwadza condemned the assault as an act of
“brutality against civilians’ by the security forces. A statement by the
group said an ‘unreformed security sector’ is the biggest threat to peace
and stability in the country.

Three youths being prosecuted for possessing Mugabe cartoon.

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

A Bulawayo Magistrate has decided that September 8, 2011 is the trial date
for three youths who are being prosecuted for laughing at a cartoon. Gift
Mlalazi, Mpumelelo Donga and Kevin Ncube, all members of the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC-T) and residents of Nkulumane Township, are charged
with contravening Section 33 (2)(a)(ii) of the Criminal Law Codification
Act, Cap 9.23 “Causing Hatred, Contempt or Ridicule of the President,”
29.07.1104:35pm
by Staff Reporter

The state alleges that Kevin visited Sauerstown suburb on February 20, where
he was arrested for allegedly being in possession of a cartoon that the
police claims ridicules President Robert Mugabe, First Lady Grace Mugabe and
Reserve Bank Governor, Gideon Gono.

After further interrogation, Kevin is alleged to have disclosed to police
that Gift initially discovered the comic strip on some tarred road in
Nkulumane Township. It is alleged that Gift picked up the caricature and
showed it to his two friends who laughed. From then on, Kevin is alleged to
have kept the drawing, which Sauerstown police reportedly found on his
person.

The trio is represented by Lizwe Jamela of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
Rights (ZLHR). As part of their bail conditions, they continue to report at
Nkulumane Police Station every Friday between 6am to 6pm. They are remanded
out of custody on $50 bail each. Jamela argues that, “Picking up the
caricature on the tarred road does not constitute an offence.”


Zimbabwe guard faces jail for alleged Mugabe slur

Associated Press

By ANGUS SHAW, Associated Press – 30 July 2011

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — A security guard faces up to 12 months in jail
because of remarks on the Zimbabwe president's health and a taunt over a
snack of biscuits and a fruity milk drink, his lawyer said Friday.

After years of acute shortages of food and confectionary, the guard
allegedly told a colleague that President Robert Mugabe ruined the economy
and empty store shelves were only restocked by the former opposition party
with cookies and soft drinks that his pro-Mugabe colleague ate for lunch.

Attorney Jeremiah Bamu said Friday the guard is charged with "undermining
the authority" of Mugabe and goes to court Aug. 12.

He said no witnesses overheard the remarks that include an alleged reference
to Mugabe's likely death from illness. It is the latest case in a spate of
charges and arrests over alleged presidential insults that carry a maximum
penalty of a year in prison and have drawn in ministers and lawmakers of
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's party.

Bamu said guard Zebediah Mpofu, employed at a private security firm, was
reported to police by his colleague, a known supporter of Mugabe's ZANU-PF
party.

He said an increasing number of reports came from the workplace,
conversations eavesdropped by plain clothes security agents on commuter
buses and even from authorized political rallies.

"It is an attempt to gag political views," he said.

The independent Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights group has identified one
man, Gift Masuka, as already serving a yearlong sentence for cursing Mugabe
with obscenities in southeastern Zimbabwe, where two students have also been
accused of illegally downloading an animated video showing a fictional
Mugabe assassination.

In the second city of Bulawayo on Monday, a court freed on bail two property
owners, also to reappear in court in August, on allegations they told
officials and militants of Mugabe's party who inspected their land for
seizure to "go and hang together with Mugabe."

Since Mugabe called for early elections to bring the shaky 28-month
coalition to an end, rights groups have reported a surge in political
violence and intimidation.

At least five people in eastern Zimbabwe have been charged with insulting
Mugabe by changing the words of songs used by his loyalists, saying in one
of the songs: "Let's work hard to remove this old man and install
Tsvangirai."

In May, a police officer was detained for two weeks for using a toilet
reserved for Mugabe at a trade exposition. The next month a minister in
Tsvangirai's office was arrested for allegedly calling Mugabe a liar over
his accounts of a crucial summit on Zimbabwe by regional mediators that
Mugabe said had cleared his party of obstructing democratic reforms under
the coalition.

A senior Tsvangirai lawmaker is still facing insult charges after he bowed
to a portrait of Mugabe, compulsorily displayed in all public buildings and
commercial businesses, and said: "How is your health, how is your eye?"

Mugabe's office said the president had traveled to Singapore for an
operation to remove an eye cataract but four later trips there this year
were reportedly for further medical care.

Zimbabwe's military chiefs have refused to salute Tsvangirai, a former labor
leader who did not fight in the guerrilla war that swept Mugabe to power in
1980. According to the defense ministry, generals who have openly vowed
their allegiance to Mugabe's party are not compelled to salute civilians,
but Mugabe remained as their commander in chief.

"The regulations are unclear. We've never had a coalition before.
Traditionally, we have always saluted civilians at ceremonial occasions,"
said Zimbabwe defense analyst Michael Quintana.

He said police and security services' active role in defending the image and
stature of Mugabe and his party was common in Africa, China and nations of
the former Soviet Union.

"It is not modeled on Western concepts of the impartiality of the military
and state institutions," Quintana said.


ROHR Zimbabwe Statement on the arrest of its Activists

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

ROHR Zimbabwe strongly condemns the arrests of its activists on Wednesday.
The arrests are a despicable, barefaced and appalling show of discriminatory
policing.
28.07.1106:39am
by Staff Writer Zim Office

Just days ago hooligans got away with stone age like beatings, muggings,
theft as well as defilement of the August house while peaceful human rights
activists are wantonly arrested ,beaten and detained for harmlessly carrying
placards and merely reminding that justice is a right to any persons whether
facing allegations or note.

The Police’s behavior is both unparalleled and unimaginable in this century.
We challenge the Police to move away this unacceptable, despicable and
shameful policy of heavy handedness, selective policing and human rights
abuse.

We therefore demand the immediate unconditional release of the thirteen ROHR
Zimbabwe activists without further delay. Justice, equality and freedoms
cannot be taken away or denied on political grounds. Furthermore, the
sovereign police force must be there to serve Zimbabwe without fear of
favour.

It is regrettable that this country has had an unfortunate heritage of
pleasure arrests where the arresting of any opposing figure massages the ego
of police commanders. Illegal arrests, detentions, intimidation and torture
seem to stand out more like state policy. Human rights activist, lawyers;
journalists, political activists and political leaders have been among those
who have fallen victim to this Iron Age Headman type of silencing dissent.

Understanding that these wanton arrests causes serious physical and
psychological irreparable damage, ROHR Zimbabwe notes with concern that in
cases in which the state is accused of carrying unlawful arrests and
detentions on members of the public, the victims have stood no chance of
restitution even when they are vindicated by the law as always is the case.

We demand a fundamental Policing shift from this medieval macho man style to
modern day professional conduct.

ROHR Zimbabwe challenges the inclusive government to guarantee the right to
freedoms of speech and after, freedoms of expression and movement and to
ensure basic human rights are observed and religiously upheld.


Zimbabwe man charged with insulting Mugabe in joke

http://www.monstersandcritics.com

Jul 25, 2011, 15:49 GMT

Harare - Harare court officials on Monday ordered a 52-year-old Zimbabwean
man to stand trial for allegedly telling a work colleague that President
Robert Mugabe's death was imminent in an apparent joke that misfired.

Zebedia Mpofu allegedly mocked a colleague, informing him that a soft drink
and packet of biscuits he was having for lunch came courtesy of Zimbabwe's
economic policies under Mugabe's main rival, Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai.

Mpofu, a general labourer at a private security firm in Harare, has been
charged with undermining the authority or insulting the president.

'He went further to say that President Mugabe had ruined the country and
that he was going to be dead by December 2011. Then Morgan Tsvangirai would
take over as President of Zimbabwe,' according to the state case, which
ordered Mpofu to report to court.

Jeremiah Bamu of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights successfully asked
the court to move the trial date to August 11 to have time to prepare a
defence.

Mpofu joins several other Zimbabweans, from politicians to ordinary
villagers, mainly from Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change party,
who are facing charges of insulting or undermining Mugabe.

White farmer arrested for insulting Mugabe

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

By Pindai Dube
Monday, 25 July 2011 13:04

BULAWAYO - Police have arrested a 76-year-old white commercial farmer and
miner, Mike Van Royen, in a move viewed as meant to facilitate the grabbing
of his farming and mining business by Zanu PF officials.

Van Royen was arrested on Friday in Bulawayo on charges of insulting
President Robert Mugabe.

He runs Cynthia Mine and Asher Estates in Matobo district in Matabeleland
South province, which was a scene of earlier clashes between a group of Zanu
PF youth and his workers.

Van Royen told the Daily News that the youth were led by Zanu PF Bulawayo
provincial deputy secretary for transport Joel Tshuma, who could be eyeing
the businesses.

Before Van Royen’s arrest on Friday, Tshuma led a group of Zanu PF youths to
Asher Estates Farm and Cynthia Mine on Monday and locked all gates and
threatened Van Royen’s workers, according to the ageing farmer.

They subsequently barred Van Royen from entering the farm and mine, which he
has been running for the past 36 years.

Charges against Van Royen are that last week he was phoned by Tshuma over
the farm and mining businesses and he told the Zanu PF activist “to go and
hang together with Mugabe”.

He is being charged under Section 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and
Reform) Act.

Van Royen’s lawyer, Tawanda Mashayamombe of Mashayamombe and Company
confirmed the arrest. He said he had already secured a High Court order
granted by the High Court Judge for his client’s release.

“He is facing charges of insulting the President but the High Court has
already granted an order for his release on medical grounds. He is suffering
from a heart problem. So as I am speaking to you I am at the Bulawayo
Central police station and police have released him into my custody until he
appears in court on Monday (today),”said Mashayamombe.

Contacted for comment, Tshuma said: “I know Van Royen but all other things
which people are saying, that I beat his workers are lies. They just want to
tarnish my image.”

There are currently just over 200 white commercial farmers left out of at
least 4 500 white farmers who used to farm in Zimbabwe before land invasions
began in 2000.

Mugabe has repeatedly defended the often-violent land reforms as necessary
to correct historical imbalances.

Critics say the land reform went overboard and effectively turned into a
grab-and-loot exercise by the ruling elite and their connections.

War Veterans Disrupts Human Rights Public Hearing

http://www.radiovop.com/

Masvingo, July 22, 2011 -A public meeting on the bill of human rights led by
Senate thematic committee on human rights failed to commence at the Civic
Centre here after hired rowdy war veterans disrupted the chairperson.

The chairperson of this committee is Zaka’s member of parliament from the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) led by Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai.

Senate is moving around the country’s major cities gathering the views of
the people on the proposed bill as a way of consulting the public before it
is taken to Parliament and senate for debate but rogue war veterans led by
retired Colonel Claudius Makova blocked Marava from starting, ordering him
to do the bill reading in shona  as it was in English version.

The war veterans with the help of a few  female supporters from Zanu (PF) ‘s
Women’s’ league disturbed Marava from  a second attempt to read in English
demanding him to do it in shona. They suddenly broke into song and dance
belting “zvemadhisinyongoro Zanu yaramba’’.

The hall turned into a circus as the war veterans started to shout
obscenities to Marava accusing him of leading the committee of human rights
in a bid to push western countries agenda. They howeverattempted to attack
members of the MDC party in the committee who included Marava and Gutu
Senator, Emperor Makamure but were restrained by officials.

The committee members were later forced  out of the hall to their Parliament
bus where they hurriedly left fearing for their lives as there were threats
to beat up them.

In an interview with VOP Marava said the behavior by war veterans and Zanu
pf was a disgrace to the progress of business in Senate, Parliament and
government.

“This was a planned thing by Zanu (PF) actually it hired these thuggish war
veterans to disrupt the meeting. This is dangerous to the progress of both
government and the house of assembly as you can see we have aborted the
meeting how could we go ahead with the people doing this,” he said.

He said Zanu pf planned the issue because it is trying to block the issues
of 20008 political violence and Gukurahundi from being discussed by the
people.

“They are afraid about their dark past, issue of human rights will include
violence in 2008 and Gukurahundi so Zanu pf is afraid that the people will
call for justice to the perpetrators that’s why they
are blocking it but this is a disgrace to the party,” Marava said.

The committee has also been blocked in Chinhoyi and Kwekwe by the same party
as Zanu pf intensifies effort to block the bill that is set to end its
culture of violence if it succeeds.


Zanu terror in SA – MDC

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/

The mainstream MDC in South Africa says it has unravelled a plot by
President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) party to target members of the former
opposition party exiled in neighbouring South Africa.
22.07.1105:48pm
by Mxolisi Ncube

The MDC told the media in Johannesburg that Mugabe’s party had deployed its
operatives in South Africa, where they were allegedly stalking known MDC
supporters and officials.

“We have received information that these rogue Zanu (PF) elements have been
deployed in their hundreds, if not thousands and are well financed,” said
Giyani Dube, SA chairman of the party’s Youth Assembly.

“These agents have resorted to following our members in their residential
areas, and they fail to produce their identity documents whenever they are
asked to do so by relevant residential authorities.”

Having infiltrated the SA police as volunteers, the CIO’s plan is allegedly
to pick up targeted individuals, mix them with those earmarked for
deportation and divert them to the Beitbridge border post for political
torture.

“Our security department is still gathering more details on this operation
and we will keep the media updated.”

Violence in Mbare Township: Testimonies from the Victims

By Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe (CCJPZ)

Compilation Date 14 June 2011

These testimonies do not reflect the views or the political position of Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe (CCJPZ). In fact, they were reproduced from the victims as they wrote them, save for a few editorials. CCJPZ is a non-partisan Catholic Organisation that promotes justice and peace.

 

Martha (Female)

I am 42, have 4 children and 4 grand children and I am on ARVs. I have been forced to attend Zanu PF meetings which I didn’t.  But they (ZANU PF youths) would come and take my daughter to join the toyi toyi (revolutionary street singing and dancing).  I told them to stop taking my daughter. However, I was threatened. The youths promised to come and take me for a beating.  I fled to a safe house.  I am not very healthy, and living in safe houses wasn’t easy.  When I came back I could not continue with my roadside vending for fear of my life. I don’t have enough food, cannot afford rent and I am staying with my sister in law. The harassing by the youth continues and I am not at liberty to collect my ARVs at Carter House in Mbare where the youths are camped. If I could have a residential stand to stay away from the harassment of Mbare, probably I will have more years to survive.

 

Mavis (Female)

Zanu PF youths would come to my house and chant war songs. I was frightened. I was afraid they would destroy my house or attack one or all of us. I fled to Highfield where I lived with my relatives. When it seemed calm I came back. But I am still living in fear because the meetings are now held so close to my home.  The youths are using entrance to my house as their singing venue.

 

Jairos (Male)

I am 21 years old. I was on my way to deliver a church message to a church   member when toyi toying youths forced me to join them. I explained I was delivering a church message, but they could not listen. At the end we had a heated argument and they started attacking me. I was forced to join them and to deliver the church message later.  However, I failed to deliver the church message because of serious injuries.

 

Susan (Female)

I am 42 years old. I was ‘sold out’ by my landlord and the ZANU PF youths came to collect   me at night. But I was alerted and I used the back exit where I was rescued by a passing vehicle that took me to a safe house. Currently, I don’t have a place to stay with my children. I am seeking for any assistance to help me survive a decent life.

 

Mercy (Female)

I am a 42 year old widow with six dependents. I was thrown out of my rental home because ZANU PF youths were looking for me.   The landlord threw my property out. My children were harassed and they are currently staying with a relative.   Currently, I don’t have a home. I need accommodation and food.

 

Sheila (Female)

It was in February when they came to my house in numbers. When they tried to enter my house, I sneaked through the back door. I was given shelter at a safe house. Every time, the ZANU PF youths would be looking for me. Living in Mbare has become very difficult for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tatenda (Female)

 

I was at my house in Mbare when a big group of ZANU PF people came. They started hitting our gate. We were shocked and decided to disappear using the back door together with my aunt. We slept at my parent’s place. However, we were later offered temporary accommodation at a safe house. We are not yet free and still struggle to survive.

 

 

Gift (Male)

I have written this report in connection with what transpired to me in Mbare.  I was visited by about 80 Zanu PF youths who were chanting slogans.  I could hear them saying politics was more important than the law and order as they looked and searched for me. Fortunately, I escaped and went to my friend’s house to hide.  However, they broke the door of my house, looking for me and my wife. They did not find us, but they collected blankets and clothes including my wife’s clothes and my child’s clothes. Our shoes were also taken. Unfortunately they severely beat up my twin brother whom we had left at home. I made a report to Stodard Police Camp. The accused were arrested but later on released without charges. I also made a report to Jomic.  They wrote a report but they haven’t assisted me yet. I am no longer staying at my place. I can’t live together with my family because of Zanu PF youths.  The directives to harass people in Mbare are coming from a Jim Kunaka and Gore.

 

 

Maria (Female)

I am a 37 year old single parent with four children. It was in February when ZANU people arrived at our house. We started to hear a lot of noise outside. We peeped through the window and we saw a big group of people. We realised they had come for us. I jumped through the back door and hid in a maize field. When I realised they had gone, I walked through the night to my daughter in law’s house where I slept. Later, I was accommodated at a safe house for a month. Now they are promising to beat us. We are in a very difficult situation. We don’t have a comfortable place to live because they always come to sing and dance at our house entrance.

 

Rhodea (Female)

I am a 77 year old granny. This happened in February when Zanu PF youths came in their numbers at night. They started by grouping quietly at my gate so that they could not be heard. We were in our bedrooms, but we were still awake. We peeped through the window when they started knocking the gate. We did not open. My kids managed to escape to our neighbour using the back door. Before they got there, I heard them crying. In the process, I managed to get out of my house with the help of my son. I couldn’t put on clothes. Instead, I escaped in my undergarments. I survived by a whisker. I escaped during the night and was later given one month accommodation at a safe house. I don’t have peace at my house. Every time they pass through my place, they promise to beat us up.

 

Albert (Male)

Due to the death threats we received, we ran away with my wife and left the children all by themselves.

 

Miriam (Female)

I stayed in Mbare until I was threatened out of my home.  Zanu PF youths came to my home and told me to leave accusing me of being an MDC activist and also because I had participated in the constitution making process.  They told me if I did not leave, then they would deal with me. I was forced to leave my house together with my family.  I have been moving from one place to another because I am scared the youths can spot me for a kill if they know my permanent resident.  My vending / market table was also seized and now I am struggling to feed my two kids. I can’t afford proper shelter, school fees and even clothing for myself and the kids.  I need all the help I can get.

 

Regina

I am 35 years old with 2 children. I am always threatened for supporting MDC. One day, I was confronted directly and told to vacate my home that very night.  They came in the evening and destroyed my bed and wardrobe.  I ran away, leaving the kids with their father at a relative’s house.  I went to live at a safe house. Days after, our house was illegally occupied by another family. I reported the case to the police but little has been done. The new occupiers were summoned to the Police Station. But they said Zanu PF district gave them the house.  I am stranded with my children. My husband is a vendor and my flea market table was taken.  I don’t have a stable source of income for shelter or food and need help.

 

Jonas

The Zanu PF youths knocked one night at our door and ordered us out of our house.  We left the following morning for a safe house. We left our property in a friend’s garage.   After our departure from the safe house, we had nowhere to go except to our house.  We discovered that a ‘youth militia’ had occupied our home. We were brave enough to remove the property of the youth militia and put ours. This did not last. We were attacked at night and our property was removed from the house. I reported the case to the police and JOMIC.  We moved our property back in the house in the presence of the Police and JOMIC.  However, fear is still with us especially as we live in this house. But we don’t have anywhere else to go.  We need assistance in food and shelter.  

 

Sarah (female)

At one time, my life was in danger.  I was pregnant at the time and they threatened to ‘operate’ me with a bread knife to take out the baby out of my womb.  They came and sang war songs on my doorstep one night.  My condition did not allow me to leave for safe houses and so decided to live with my friend.  I was stressed all the time because I feared they would trace and follow me.  Due to high blood pressure and stress I conceived a still born baby in March.  I am still living at a friend’s family house and need help.  My children are living with my mother, but she is not only too old to take care of them, but her source of livelihood, a flea market table, was seized.

 

Alice (Female)

Since I was given a post in the MPs office, the youths have been on my heels. One day the youths attacked and destroyed our office but luckily I had not reported for duty.  After hearing this, I knew they would come for me at home.  I shifted to another place.  However, I am still living in fear and looking for a safer place to live together with my daughter who is commuting everyday from Chitungwiza to attend school at St. Peters’ Primary in Mbare.

 

Fiona (Female)

I was forced to attend Zanu PF meetings and I refused. They planned to beat me and force me out of my home. But I was tipped earlier and I ran away and moved into a safe house.  I left my kids with their aunt, who lived with them till I came back.  When I returned, I realised my flea market table had been given to someone else.  Although I am at my house, I am afraid I may be attacked any time. I have no source of income and struggle everyday to raise a meal.

John (Male)

I was harassed and forced out of my house. I left my property in the house and went to live in a safe house.  After I had left, my house was occupied by a Zanu PF youth who now refuses to vacate. I am not employed and I don’t know where to get food and shelter for my family.

 

Lazarus (Male)

I was threatened by Zanu PF youths both at home and at Siyaso where I work.  I had nowhere to run to except to move into the safe house.  My wife and children stayed behind.  Now, I can’t openly go back home. I have been sneaking to see my family like a thief. 

 

Lucia (Female)

I have been receiving threats for some time. When they attacked me, I ran away and settled at a safe house. But I left my property inside and my children with relatives.  As soon as I left, the youths broke into my home and broke my property. They stole 4 cell phones the family had left behind when they were running away. Some days later, my sons came and forcibly put back their belongings in the house.  They haven’t come back, but I am not settled. I can be attacked any time. I have to take care of some orphans, but it’s impossible when you are always trying to avoid being attacked.

 

Philip (Male)

I was threatened by Zanu PF youths who promised to beat me hard.  As old as I am, I fled with my wife to a safe house where we lived and left our children in the house all by themselves.  We lived and shifted with other victims from one safe house to the other especially after police raids.   However, we came back to our place, but I can’t be involved in vending because that is where most of the youth who are after me operate. I can’t provide anymore for my family and I am struggling every day.

 

Amanda (Female)

The Zanu PF youths broke into my mother’s house where they were sitting as a family. They started throwing property from the third floor of the building to the ground.  The family fled, leaving the youth in the house. They took a computer, home theatre and a fridge which they carried in a truck and drove away.  They promised to come back for my mother, but she joined others in the safe houses.  She left her children with a relative and the youths went on to seize her flea market table where she got some income. She is unemployed and struggles to feed the children. She did not recover her confiscated property. The case was reported to the Police. The chief culprit was arrested but later released on bail.

 

Nomsa (Female)

I was accused of being an MDC activist. Consequently, most of the people residing at Mbare’s Matapi flats turned against me.  Most wouldn’t talk to me or greet me. I smelt a rat and ran into a safe house.  I took my two children because I had nowhere to leave them.  I am back in my house, but I am living in fear. I don’t know what may happen to me anytime. I had survived on selling small things on the flat’s entrance, but when I came back I was told the place was out of use for people who support the opposition.  I am now finding it difficult to feed my children or pay rent.

 

 

Hosea (Male)

I was threatened and thrown out of the family house.  With memories of 2008 when I was also beaten, I fled with my wife and infant son. We settled in a safe house. When I decided to go out of the safe house to collect my income from my employee, I was abducted by the youths. A witness who saw what was happening reported the incident to the police. But the youths could not be moved. They took me to a building under construction and beat me thoroughly under my feet and in the head. Later, the police arrived. I was released, but no arrests were made.  When I got back to the safe house, I was taken to hospital and I recovered.  Now I am living in the same block of flats, but in fear. But I want to emphasize that although most of us ran to safe houses, the Police raided us, accusing us of stirring violence. They also accused us of being trained to cause war.  My group moved to three safe houses before the members went back to their houses.  But most of us now live like beggars and in so much fear of our lives because the perpetrators have not been brought to book.  We need assistance like accommodation, food and even clothing and school fees since most of us no longer have any means to raise income. I, for example, was dismissed because I had spent too much time in safe houses without reporting for work

 

Gift (Male)

I was threatened by youths and I fled leaving behind my wife with a relative.  But the youths broke into our house and destroyed some property. My cell phone was stolen.  My flea market table was taken and now I am struggling to make ends meet.

 

 

 

Simon (Male)

I have been accused of being an MDC supporter and therefore I have experienced constant harassments. One day when I was coming from my flea market, I was tipped the youths were looking for me. I fled to a safe house.  I can’t be involved in vending anymore and I am living a hard life as a young man. 

 

Noah (Male)

In March, the youth from Magaba followed my wife to where she is staying with her sister in Mbare flats. They beat them up so they would tell them where I was. At that time, I had been thoroughly beaten by the youths and was recovering in the Avenues Clinic. They demanded to finish me. Their aim is to get rid of me because I know all the people who are terrorising us in Mbare. 

 

Samson (Male)

Sometime in February 2011 Zanu PF youths used to knock at my house forcing me and my school going daughters to attend their meeting they held near my place.  Indeed, they always hold their meetings at the roundabout near my place.  When I ran away for a month, they kept on knocking at my door, forcing my daughters to attend meetings.  I instructed my daughter to tell a senior ZANU PF member in Mbare that they needed time to study. I had been surviving on selling chickens and beer at my house, but when my daughters asked why they were forced to attend the rallies, I have not been allowed to carry on with my survival strategy.  Whenever I try to sell something they always come to disturb me. 

Shawn (Male)

On 04/03/2011 at around 2030hrs, Zanu PF youths were busy attacking me.  These youths were staying at what they called bases and office in Nenyere Flats. They knocked at my door shouting to us to open the door saying they are Comrades.  These youth are Martin Matinyanya,Tacler Makwarimba, Shutto, Tawanda, Clever Chabuka, Sailas, Paul Chingwende, Bongani Chipudza, Briton Chinake, Rain Gigisi, Phinius, Muchaneta Matinyanya, Peter Matinyanya, Fabian Sanyika, Baba D. Matowo and Mupositori and others.  All of these people stay in Nenyere Flats.  They dragged me out of the house. They hit me with a log in the head, in my back and my jaws. I fell down, but they continued to assault me until I lost consciousness. When I got up, I realised I was at Matapi Police Station. I saw Blessing Ngoromani, Briton, Teaboy with Shoko, the Member in Charge.  The Member in Charge told me that if I was an MDC member it was unfortunate because he did not want to see any MDC members in Mbare. He said we should go to Britain because there is no place for us in Zimbabwe.  He then told the police officers who were there to detain me in the cells.  I was locked in the cell from 2100hrs – 0330hrs. Some in mates periodically called the police because I was struggling to breath. They took me to a public hospital where I was not attended for almost 9 hours. However, I was later transferred to the Avenues Clinic where I received medication for a week. But my jaw is permanently broken. However, on 14/04/2011 Shoko locked me in cells again, accusing me of unlawfully escaping from the cells the day I was taken to hospital.  On 30/05/11 I was beaten up at Nenyere flats by ZANU PF youths who live at Carter and Paget Houses. They used iron bars. I was rescued by a Police officer who was passing by. No one has been arrested to date. My property was looted, including the stuff which I sold at the market.  They also took my $US500 and a cell phone Nokia 6600.  They are chasing us every day at our working places. They are saying they don’t want any MDC people to do anything in Mbare to raise income.   My family is broken up because my wife is staying with her sister and I don’t have anywhere to stay. They took my house and gave it to a neighbourhood police officer who works with Matapi Police Station. When I asked about this, I was beaten on Monday.  I am not employed and I am not selling anything. I don’t have anything to help my family.

 

Enos (Male)

I was beaten on 02/06/11 at my flea market table because of the name MDC. In addition, they took away all the things I sell at my flea market table. I am asking for any assistance to help me start life again.

 

Killian (Male)

On 02/06/11 I survived by running away. Our wares for sale were confiscated and they no longer want to see us on our flea market tables.  Our lives are in danger and we don’t know where to begin. We are asking for any kind of help. Yours who is being harassed, Killian

 

Judith (Female)

My son, who was a Security Guard at Harvest House died on the 19th of October 2010. But they started the war on 20 October. They beat up the mourners and poured sand into the pots that were cooking mourner’s food.  They also hailed stones, hitting several mourners. They destroyed our furniture, confiscated 11 big and small pots, 24 cups, 4 two in one blankets and a DVD player. They also took sugar, cooking oil, mealie-meal, salt and firewood. The door, the coffee table and the dining chairs were destroyed. It has become difficult to live in Mbare.


 


Lawyer charged of Mugabe 'insult'

by Tendai Kamhungira I Daily News 9 July 2011

A HARARE lawyer who had a procedural misunderstanding with a prosecutor is in the dock for allegedly insulting President Robert Mugabe.

Gift Nyandoro of Hamunakwadi, Nyambuya, and Nyandoro Legal Practitioners is being charged with undermining the office of the president.

It is the state’s case that on December 15 last year, Nyandoro was at Harare Magistrates’ Courts where he was representing a client, Yemba Pauni Mulamba, who was being charged for illegally possessing ivory, a firearm and a forged passport.


The court heard that a misunderstanding ensued between Nyandoro and then prosecutor Phillis Zvenyika on how to proceed with the case, an issue that the lawyer did not take kindly.


Nyandoro is alleged to then have said, “Hazvisi zvejunta, hazvisi zvaMugabe izvi (this is not for junta, this is not for Mugabe).”


State papers say, “Accused had no lawful right whatsoever to insult or undermine the office of the president.”

In his defence, Nyandoro admits having an altercation with Zvenyika but says the allegations of insulting Mugabe are a “clear fabrication bent on malice”.

Nyandoro appeared before magistrate Tayengwa Chibanda and will be back in court on July 26.

Mutinhiri Farm Invaded

By Bridget Mananavire, Staff Writer   
Sunday, 10 July 2011 15:50

HARARE - Tracy Mutinhiri, the Zanu PF deputy minister for Labour and Social Welfare, says she is marked for death, as hundreds of people she described as “Zanu PF militia sent by Sydney Sekeramayi” invaded her farm yesterday.


Over 20 police officers in riot gear and armed with AK47 rifles protected Mutinhiri from the mob.

Mutinhiri told the Daily News on Sunday she had become enemy number one within her party because her comrades were jealous of her good fortune and closeness to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

The Daily News on Sunday sneaked into the farm compound through a back entrance and watched the drama.

The militia took camp at the entrance of Mutinhiri’s Tapiwanashe farm singing and dancing to Zanu- PF songs denouncing the deputy minister.

Japi Madzudzo, one of Mutinhiri’s farm workers, told the Daily News on Sunday that leaders of the militia informed him that they had been sent by Sekeramayi to take over the farm and loot the farm produce.

Mutinhiri said this was not the first time her life had been threatened.

“I was almost abducted at Marondera Hotel about two months ago and the perpetrators had sprays with them. That is when we started taking caution on the farm,” said Mutinhiri.

Mutinhiri said things could have turned nastier had the police failed to urgently respond to her emergency call for help.

The defiant Mutinhiri said she was not going to vacate her farm because she had invested millions of dollars on it.

“I believe that this is the best empowerment a woman can be given. I own this land in my own right and nobody has got a right to take it away from me. I am one woman who has proved that we can do it. This is not good for our country because they will say ‘oh look they are now chasing each other again’.

“My committed staff and I now live in fear and our operations have been disturbed. These people who supposed to be at their farms working and producing are singing and dancing outside, waiting to take over what I have worked so hard for,” added Mutinhiri, who was dressed in black tracksuit.

The combative politician is known to oppose Sekeramayi, who together with Vice President Joice Mujuru are the longest serving government ministers, having worked for President Robert Mugabe in cabinet since independence in 1980.

This makes them among the natural candidates to take over from the 87-year old.

Mugabe, who says he will run in the next election, has previously admitted that internal jostling for his post by top ministers has often turned nasty hence his hesitancy at retiring.

Mutinhiri’s problems in Zanu PF, particularly in her Mashonaland East province, have been mounting since she attended the burial of her brother Innocent Muzuva, an MDC supporter who died in a car crash in September last year. She spoke glowingly about the MDC at the event.

“I’m humbled by the leadership of the MDC-T for such an honour, especially the party-assisted funeral,” she said then.

Yesterday, Mutinhiri said internal rivals buried her fate within the party when she accompanied Tsvangirai on a working trip in Mutare late last month.

She says her “enemies” are using her comfortable association with Tsvangirai, a hated figure by Zanu PF hardliners and military-generals, to justify their actions. Mutinhiri’s former husband, Ambrose, is a retired brigadier, former cabinet minister and diplomat.

“Last week I travelled to Manicaland with the Prime Minister for the drought mitigation programme and when I came back, I heard that Sekeramayi held a meeting to invade my farm,” she said.

“It is not fair to brand me because only last week, Saviour Kasukuwere (Youth Development Minister) went to Gweru with the Prime Minister. So why am I being targeted?” Mutinhiri questioned.

She said she would not budge.

“I am brave. I am not shaken,” said Mutinhiri, prancing around the farm yard and showing the Daily News on Sunday crew a healthy tobacco crop.

It was not possible to get a comment from Sekeramayi as his phone was switched off last night.

Our news crew had to use a side farm strip to sneak into the farm compound as the militia had blocked the main entrance.

Madzudzo, the farm worker, said the militia had at first threatened a guard manning the main entrance. But they later claimed to have been sent by Sekeramayi after armed police were summoned, according to Madzudzo.

“They said they were not going to leave with anything. They also said there were going to loot and burn what was in the barns and in the fields.” Madzudzo said.

“And for what?” chipped in Mutinhiri.

“I have to service my loan and if they take these things how am I going to repay the bank. This land is not for the party. I am being branded but I am still Zimbabwean with a plan to make this land productive,” said Mutinhiri.

Mutinhiri said she was busy grading her tobacco before the invasion.

The militia had lit bon fires in a sign that they were preparing for a long fight when the Daily News on Sunday left the farm last night.


Tsvangirai blasts Junta for violating people’s rights

http://www.swradioafrica.com/news220611/mtblasts220611.htm

By Tichaona Sibanda
22 June 2011

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has continued with his blistering attack on the country’s securocrats, describing them as ‘a small, parasitic clique’ at the helm of institutions violating people’s human rights in Zimbabwe.

“The challenge in Zimbabwe is that even after forming the inclusive government, some state organs and state institutions have failed to respect the new dispensation,” the Prime Minister said on Wednesday.

He added: “A small clique of top officials in the police, the army and the intelligence services have vowed that they support Robert Mugabe and ZANU PF and will not allow anyone else to govern the country, even if that person wins an election.”

Speaking in Barcelona, Spain at the World Justice Forum, the MDC-T leader moved to exonerate the rank and file of the country’s armed forces for the crackdown on innocent Zimbabweans. He instead apportioned the blame on the brutal atrocities committed mainly against his supporters on the military elite.

Members of the army, police, militia, war vets and the CIO have been implicated in regular acts of intimidation and violence against ordinary citizens since the formation of the inclusive government in 2009. All these institutions are led by a tight circle of securocrats, who sit on the Joint Operations Command (JOC), now believed to be exercising executive power in the country.

These powerful junta figures include General Constantine Chiwenga, the overall military chief; Augustine Chihuri, the police commissioner-general, General Paradzai Zimondi, the commander of the prison service, Air Marshal Perence Shiri, the commander of the Air Force and Happyton Bonyongwe, the CIO director-general.

All five fought in the ZANLA army during the war against white rule in the 1970s. Each has publicly proclaimed their support for the ruling ZANU PF party. They have also benefited from Mugabe’s controversial seizure of white-owned land, with farms and business concessions falling into their hands, allowing them to amass considerable wealth.

“In our case (Zimbabwe), the problem has never been the ordinary soldier or the ordinary police officer. It has always been a small, parasitic clique at the helm of these institutions that is at the forefront of systemic violation of the people’s fundamental rights and freedoms,” Tsvangirai said.

He castigated the Junta for being overtly partisan and seeking to undermine the civilian authority, adding that everyday they are dabbling in politics, even seeking to influence the date of the next election.

“When the Police Commissioner-General and the Attorney-General state publicly that they support a particular political party in an inclusive government, as in our case, the rule of law becomes perverted and people lose confidence in the institutions they lead,” said Tsvangirai.

On Sunday at an MDC rally in Mkoba, Gweru, Tsvangirai challenged the security chiefs to leave the military and join the political ring if they so much wanted to be politicians.

“Some say we don’t support Tsvangirai and we will not support him. But let’s wait and see what happens after the elections. Why can’t we cross the bridge when we get to it?” he said.

The Prime Minister added: “If you want politics, remove the uniform and we will show you what politics is. It is not guns. Stop intimidating people, convince Zimbabweans to vote for you.”

MDC chairman for Hertfordshire branch in the UK and retired army colonel, Bernard Matongo told SW Radio Africa that the Prime Minister has every right to remind the Junta to serve all Zimbabweans and not one political party.

“Soldiers swear their allegiance to the state and every soldier must be told upfront and recognise that he or she must follow unquestioningly the orders of the civilian government of Zimbabwe and the laws that it enacts,” Matongo said.

He added: “If they cannot, then they must be designated as rogue elements who are not allowed to serve.”

 



Top MDC-T official dies after collapsing during party rally

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Tichaona Sibanda
20 June 2011

Prominent academic and MDC-T secretary for economic affairs, Dr Mfandaidza
Hove has died after he collapsed at a rally that was addressed by party
leader, Morgan Tsvangirai at Mkoba stadium in Gweru on Sunday.

The 65 year old’s death has shocked many party officials, members and
activists as he appeared healthy at the rally. During Tsvangirai’s address,
and unknown to many in the stadium, Hove started vomiting and collapsed
before he was rushed to a local hospital where he died soon after admission.

A statement by the MDC said Hove, a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe,
represented the party as a candidate for parliament in the volatile
Mberengwa district from 2000.

“After the formation of the MDC, Dr. Hove showed an unwavering commitment to
the people of Zimbabwe when he braved a violent ZANU PF campaign carried out
in Mberengwa on a massive scale,” the MDC statement said.

“Zimbabweans will recall the handiwork of ZANU PF supporters and war
veterans in the area, led by Wilson Kufa Chitoro alias “Biggie Chitoro” and
Elias Masenda who systematically targeted MDC supporters for punishment and
murder. Against all odds, Dr. Hove remained resolute and continued to fight
for the poor in Mberengwa,” the statement added.

The party said funeral arrangements would be announced in due course. He is
survived by his wife, Eunice, three children and four grandchildren.

Over 2 000 graduate nurses jobless

http://www.herald.co.zw/

Monday, 13 June 2011 23:04

By Peter Matambanadzo

OVER 2 000 graduate nurses countrywide bonded by the Government after
training remain jobless becau-se health institutions have frozen
recruitment.
More than 500 nurses graduate from mission and Government hospitals
annually.

Government has frozen about 400 nurses' and doctors' posts nation wide since
June last year.
The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare said the Ministry of Finance had
unfrozen 205 posts for registered general nurses, 115 State certified
nurses, 17 primary care nurses and 42 doctors.

According to records, 8 056 nurses are employed throughout Zimbabwe against
an establishment of 7 688.
This is a clear indication that all nurses who are graduating from nursing
schools cannot be absorbed into available health institutions.

This has forced the graduate nurses to petition the Ministry of Health and
Child Welfare demanding to be released from the bonds and be allowed to seek
employment elsewhere.
Health and Child Welfare Deputy Minister Dr Douglas Mombeshora recently said
the Government was aware of the nurses' plight.

"We are currently engaging the Ministry of Fina-nce to assist us. So we
should be able to inform them of any latest developments soon," Dr
Mombeshora said.
He said Government was "tirelessly" working towards addressing the issue.

He could not disclose details of a meeting he had with Permanent Secretary
Dr Gerald Gwinji on the matter.
The nurses' group representative, Mr Norest Makanga, in a letter to the
ministry, said they had raised concerns with the ministry on several
occasions with no joy.

"We are qualified nurses since December 2010 and we have not been employed
up to now. We are seeking your response to our issue. We went to all
departments responsible for employment, that is human resources and public
service who just say the posts are frozen due to lack of finance.

"We approached the permanent secretary in the form of a written letter
asking for our diplomas so that we seek employment elsewhere within the
re-gion but all was in vain," Mr Makanga said.
He said they wanted Government to respond to their plight and inform them
how they were going to deal with the increasing number of jobless nurses.

"We understand we are about 2 000 nurses countrywide who are qualified and
are yet to be employed. When we reported to the various institutions that we
were assigned, we were turned away as we were told that the posts have been
frozen due to lack of funds," he said.

He said another problem was that when they enrolled at the training schools,
they signed contracts that stated that they had been bonded for three years
post-qualifying.
Nurses train for three years for a registered general nurse's course.

"The idea of keeping us bonded is a clear indication of us being employed by
your ministry. We need money to pay rent, food, water and electricity bills,
pay school fees and even taking care of our fami- lies.
"Most of us are parents and things are hard for us without employment," he
said.

 

"Arrest machemedze," Hoey

http://www.dailynews.co.zw/

By Ray Matikinye, Assistant Editor
Tuesday, 14 June 2011 13:14

HARARE - A British paper has revealed that ex-Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO) officer Phillip Machemedze, who won United Kingdom (UK)
asylum on the grounds that he was endangered if deported, was still on the
dreaded spy agency’s pay roll until recently.

Justice Archer gave Machemedze a reprieve, saying if chucked out of Britain
he faced “the highly likely prospect of torture and execution without
 trial.”

But former UK Member of Parliament Kate Hoey is pressuring the Home Office
to arrest the confessed killer.

According to the Daily Mail, Machemedze — also known as ‘Kim’ — has
repeatedly lied to the authorities ever since arriving in Britain 11 years
ago, again on the pretext that he was disgusted and disillusioned by working
for the CIO.

“Far from repenting and turning his back on his brutal secret work for
Mugabe, he has, in fact, remained in the employment of Zimbabwe’s security
services since entering Britain on a six-month tourist visa in 2000.”

Intelligence records passed to the Mail show that Machemedze has been paid
thousands of pounds by Mugabe’s intelligence network to identify the regime’s
enemies living among Britain’s 200 000-strong Zimbabwean community. He has
even had £300 monthly school fees for his two children left in Zimbabwe paid
out of CIO coffers.

The paper also said one senior member of Mugabe’s security apparatus alleged
this week that Machemedze had been on the official CIO payroll until just a
few weeks ago, when his handlers in Harare first learned he had revealed
details of their operation in the course of his asylum hearings.

The Mail was shown documents — including birth certificates and secret
internal communiqués about Machemedze — which shows that he was still
working for the CIO until April.

One document titled: “Warning of Blacklisted Security Source’ and circulated
to all police and intelligence units in Zimbabwe states that all officers
must destroy all files relating to ‘‘officer number 002676 Chief Inspector
Phillip Machemedze’’. This was to erase all records of his involvement in
torture and murderous activities.

In trying to disown Machemedze, the state media countered initial
revelations about Machemedze’s CIO links saying he merely worked as a clerk
in the Ministry of Public Construction.

In the UK, he worked for a Bristol clinic for people with mental disorders
and addictions. Using false papers, he was allowed to stay in the UK.

Although lowly-paid, he threw lavish parties and on one of his birthdays he
feted 100 guests with food and drink. He was also a regular at bars and
clubs for African immigrants, the paper claimed.

“Wherever you went, Kim would turn up,” one of his former associates said.
“He was at every party, but he acted like royalty and often walked straight
in without paying at nightclubs. Everyone knows him.”

A Zimbabwean exile also revealed that ‘‘friends’’ of Machemedze have
threatened anyone with a beating or worse if they speak out about his life
here or in Africa.

“If he can’t be sent back, he should be tried for murder here,” they were
quoted as saying.

One of Machemedze’s victims said she tested positive for HIV after
Machemedze and three of his colleagues repeatedly gang-raped her in January
2000, just two months before he arrived in Britain.

“I made a police report — I will always remember the official police report
number, OB 3171/00. But nothing happened. Nothing.”

Just recently, Hoey ratcheted up pressure on the Home Office to act on
Machemedze, saying she knew of other UK asylum seekers with suspected CIO
links.

“Machemedze is clearly a dangerous man. He poses a risk to both Zimbabweans
in the UK in particular and to the British public in general,” she says.

“I call on the police to arrest him on the grounds that torture is an
offence of universal jurisdiction under international law, and that his
actions wherever they were perpetrated are liable to prosecution in the UK.
The Home Secretary should intervene to make sure this happens,” she added. —
With Daily Mail

NCA Fires MDC-T

http://www.radiovop.com/

7 June 2011

Harare, June 06, 2011 – The National Constitutional Assembly NCA has
dismissed the mainstream Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan
Tsvangirai (MDC-T) from being a member following its participation in the
parliament led constitution.

“The resolution, which was unanimous, was made at the NCA’s National
Consultative Assembly meeting held at the NCA’s Headquarters in Harare
(Sunday). The decision was made after the realisation that the MDC-T’s
participation and involvement in the  COPAC (Constitution Select Committee)
process is in total deviation from the principles and vision of the NCA,
whose vision is a new democratic people driven constitution,” reads the
statement.

NCA has been condemning the parliament led constitution since its inception
two years ago arguing that the supreme law of the country should be
spearhead by an independent body. It has embarked a No Vote Campaign for the
referendum on the new constitution.

The move, to expel MDC-T and other civic organisations which participated in
the government led constitution making process from NCA was adopted by NCA
Taskforce on Sunday.

In an interview with Radio VOP on Monday NCA spokesperson Madock Chivasa
said they were yet to formally inform MDC-T and other organisations which he
said expelled themselves from NCA because of taking part in the parliament
led constitution making process and defaulting meetings.

“Yes I can confirm that development but I want you to know that it’s not
only the MDC-T which has expelled itself but several organisations which
were affiliated to the NCA. We have not yet officially informed these
organizations of their expulsion as the decision was reached at yesterday
(Sunday) but we are going to write to them very soon.

It was also noted that the MDC-T had not been attending NCA Taskforce
meetings since 2009.

MDC-T at the weekend admitted that the ongoing constitution making process
was flawed and promised to rewrite a perfect one when they get into power, a
statement which NCA dismissed as 'nonsensical'.

“Who told them that they will get into power any time soon and who are they
to tell people that a constitution will be rewritten? As NCA we insist that
politicians should not dictate who when and how a constitution should be
written. For how long has MDC-T been in politics and not getting the chance
to rule the country and what guarantee do they have that they will get into
power soon?”Chivasa questioned.

The meeting which endorsed the expulsion of MDC-T from NCA was attended by
the NCA Taskforce, Provincial Chairpersons, and constituency
representatives.


Chinese Accused of Extending Mugabe's Hold on Power

http://www.radiovop.com/
06 June 2010

Harare, June 05, 2011- A $98 million Chinese loan approved by parliament has
been castigated by analysts as crucial in extending President Robert
Mugabe's hold on power as it is meant to build a special purpose military
academy on the outskirts of Harare. The academy will be funded from proceeds
of the country’s diamonds.

Minister of Finance Tendai Biti signed on behalf of the Government of
Zimbabwe while Li Ruogu Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank of
China appended a signature on behalf of the Chinese investment bank. As part
of the deal, Zimbabwe will offset the loan using proceeds from Anjin
Investment (Private) Limited , a Chinese mining firm in a joint diamond
mining venture with the Zimbabwean government.

Article 9 of the agreement document made public after the presentation in
parliament says AFEC will garnish Zimbabwe’s diamond proceeds from Anjin’s
operations in the industry, with the deal stipulating that China will be the
preferential primary supplier of materials to be used during construction.

To cement benefits accruing to the Chinese, part of Article 2.5 of the
agreement reads:

“The goods, technologies and services shall be purchased from China
preferentially (and) also from Zimbabwe where this will benefit the Project
and End User,” the agreements states.

The deal brokered and spiritedly defended last week in parliament by
Minister of Defence Emmerson Mnangangwa and later confirmed by Minister of
Finance Tendai Biti, will see all construction materials and essential
manpower sourced from Beijing. Under the deal signed on March 21, 2011
between the Government of Zimbabwe and the Export –Import Bank of China, the
Chinese will provide seed money to build the purpose.

Although the deal looks very much in China’s favour,  Mnangangwa told senate
last year in his defence of the deal launched by Mugabe in 2007 that it
comes with massive benefits for the country, among them employment creation
and benefit to local downstream industries.  “The military facility will
serve as a premier defence education centre in Zimbabwe especially training
in the field of national security,” he said.

Zimbabwe will pay 0.5 percent management and commitment fees to the Chinese.
Ironically President Mugabe hastily recalled parliament this week to approve
the loan. The haste recall came at a time when a delegation of about 30
senior Chinese military officers was visiting the country. The delegation
was led by Chief Air Marshal Xu Qiliang. It was not clear why they were in
the country. "China is a great friend of us in many ways. To us all,
citizens of China are our great friends," Mugabe said after meeting the
Chinese military men.

Security experts have in the past described it as “a techno-spy and
communication base” whose purpose will be to spy on communications in and
outside the country.

A  Harare based economic commentator said the loan shows just how misplaced
the priorities of government are. “When we expected them to spent money in
social services they are busy splashing it in things that we don’t need now.
Why a military college, we are not under threat from anyone. Not even one of
our neighbours would think of attacking us, this probably has more to do
with something else rather than state security,” said economic commentator
John Robertson.

Minister Mnangagwa says the academy will also be used to select the military
and civilian officers from the various segments of the society to represent
the country in various capacities. In addition he said it will also act as a
think tank for providing research, military, defence and national security
studies for the national Security Council, ministry of defence and other
national institutions.

Chinese government, businesses and individuals have invested heavily in
several sectors in Zimbabwe including in textile, retail, mining and the
food sector. Several Zimbabweans now eat, dress, ride, fly and live Chinese.
The country has bought buses and planes from China but most of the buses are
no longer on the road while two of the three planes bought in 2003 are now
grounded. The University of Zimbabwe has also since set up a Department for
Chinese mandarin language.

‘Elections are on this year’ - Gumbo

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/

Written by Fungi Kwaramba
Wednesday, 01 June 2011 13:18

HARARE - Adamant that elections will be held this year, Zanu (PF) has
started canvassing for support across the country with soldiers in suits
leading the campaign and teaching people new slogans.
Several rallies have been held, especially in the rural areas where the
former ruling party claims to have a stronghold. The party’s spokesperson,
Rugare Gumbo, confirmed to The Zimbabwean that his party is indeed on a
campaign spree.
“Obviously we are preparing for elections. Elections are on this year,” said
Gumbo before cutting off his mobile phone.
In President Robert Mugabe’s home province, Mashonaland West, soldiers held
a series of rallies during the weekend where a new slogan “chete chete
vaMugabe narinhi”(Only Mugabe forever and ever) was introduced to the masses
who
had been forced to attend by zealous youth militias.
The MDC has ruled out elections this year while SADC is insisting that a
plebiscite should only be carried out after a clear election road map has
been fulfilled.
However, Zanu (PF)’s preparations seem to be a signal to the regional body
that the Mugabe may go for elections alone. With the party deeply divided on
elections, preparations have now fallen into the hands of the commissariat
led by Henry Muchena, who was removed from the air force to mastermind the
campaign.
“Mugabe’s intention to have elections this year has further divided the
faction-ridden party. Some of his lieutenants are reluctant to go into  an
early poll as they fear losing their seats. This has forced him to rely on
trusted soldiers,” said the source.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party says Mugabe no longer has the
unbridled power to go it alone.
“No single political party has the authority to unilaterally declare
election dates outside of national and SADC consensus,” said MDC
spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora.


Update on Mwonzora case and Facebook arrest

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

24 May 2011

On Monday Nyanga North Member of Parliament, Douglas Mwonzora, and 32 Nyanga
residents, were granted permission by a magistrate to take their case
against the state to the Supreme Court. The group claim they were wrongfully
arrested and mistreated by the police earlier this year and this was a
violation of their rights.

In February they were arrested and charged with public violence, after
disturbances in Mwonzora’s consituency where he had addressed a rally. The
MDC-T say it was pure police harassment. They were held in filthy cells in
Nyanga and Mutare but in March were released on bail.

This month they filed a constitutional challenge, arguing that the
authorities violated their rights to liberty and protection from inhuman and
degrading treatment as enshrined in the Constitution. The state had
dismissed this claim, stating that it was frivolous.

However on Monday, a Nyanga magistrate granted the group’s application to
refer their case to the Supreme Court to determine if their rights were
indeed violated.

In another update of MDC harassment; on Tuesday the MDC-T announced that 27
activists and mourners who were being held for assault have been released on
$20 bail each. They are expected to appear in court again on 7th June.

The group was arrested last Thursday in Warren Park, at the funeral of
MDC-T activist Jack Ndeketeya who died in a car accident. They included
MDC-T activists, Ndeketeya’s elderly and ailing father, his mother, a pastor
and other mourners. They were held at Harare Central Police Station and
charged with assault and theft. Over the weekend, Ndeketeya’s parents were
released.

The MDC-T had complained that the charges were trumped up because the police
would not say they who they are alleged to have robbed.

And next month a man will appear in court to face allegations that he posted
a message on Facebook, saying the pro-democracy protests in Egypt were worth
emulating.

The state alleges that in February Vikas Mavhudzi posted a message on Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Facebook wall, encouraging him to take a cue
from the uprisings.

“I’m overwhelmed, don’t know what to say Mr PM,” Mavhudzi is alleged to have
written, “what happened in Egypt is sending shockwaves to all dictators
around the world. No weapon but unity of purpose. Worth emulating hey.”

Mavhudzi, is believed to be the first person to be arrested in Zimbabwe for
posting comments on Facebook. In February, 46 Zimbabweans were charged with
treason for discussing the mass protests in Egypt. Although 38 were freed,
the remaining six were detained and totured, before being released on bail.

Pastor, Mukoyi And Mourners Wallow In Detention

http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/may24_2011.html

27 mourners including a Pastor, who were arrested and charged with public violence last week, on Monday 23 May 2011 spent their fifth night in detention after Mbare Magistrate Reward Kwenda postponed his ruling on their bail application to Tuesday 24 May 2011.

Pastor Dominic Dziwedziwe (36) of Kuwadzana, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Harare Province Vice-chairperson Shakespeare Mukoyi and 25 other mourners appeared in court on Monday 23 May 2011 for their initial remand, where their lawyers Gift Mtisi of Musendekwa and Mtisi Legal Practitioners and Tarisai Mutangi of Donsa-Nkomo and Mutangi Legal Practitioners, who are members of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights applied for their admission to bail.

In his bail application Mtisi argued that his clients were mourners who were travelling to Kuwadzana high density suburb after burying their colleague at the graveyard.

But Magistrate Kwenda postponed the bail hearing to Tuesday 24 May 2011 to allow State Prosecutor Sidom Chinzete to respond to the bail application after he indicated that he was not in a position to file some submissions in response to the bail application, although he indicated that he would oppose bail.

Chinzete alleged that the 27, Charged with contravening section 36 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 for public violence were arrested on Thursday 19 May 2011 while coming from burying the body of an MDC activist Jack Ndeketeya at Granville cemetery, who had passed away early last week.

He alleged that the mourners alighted from their vehicles at Boka Tobacco Auction Floors and assaulted some farmers and other people by throwing stones at them and tore some ZANU PF posters and banners pasted at the tobacco auction floors.

The prosecutor accused the mourners of throwing stones at some tobacco farmers who were waiting to sell their tobacco crop at the auction floors forcing them to flee for safety while leaving their goods at a flea market unattended.

Chinzete claimed that the mourners stole clothes, a mobile phone handset and a sim card valued at $339 before they were arrested by the police near Kuwadzana suburb.

Police seized the five vehicles which were ferrying the mourners to Kuwadzana suburb and intend to use them as exhibits together with MDC regalia, which include a red and white cap, a red vuvuzela and a wrapping cloth.

Chinese to pay for spy centre

Sunday, 15 May 2011 10:39


HARARE - The Chinese are pumping $98million into the completion of the military intelligence 
base being built at Chitamba Farm in Mazowe Valley. 
Defence minister Emerson Mnangagwa has told Parliament that the Chinese would
challenge the money through Treasury for the completion of the Robert Mugabe School 
of Intelligence. 
He told the Senate this week that the "$98million loan" was "for the construction of the 
college which is ideal for addressing the current global challenges”. It is not clear how and 
when the money is to be repaid by the government of Zimbabwe.
“The college will provide senior military officers with intellectual tools to address complex 
defence and national security challenges which in turn will contribute to national security,
” said Mnangagwa.
“Construction of the National Defence College is now underway and we hope to complete 
the project in the next three years. This college will act as a think tank for providing research
 on military, defence and national security for the National Security Council, Ministry of Defence
 and other government organizations.” But he also said only invited candidates would be
 enrolled – which is  unsurprising given Zanu (PF)’s penchant for absolute control of all forms 
of power and information. 
Construction started in 2007.
A mid-ranking intelligence source told The Zimbabwean that the College, which will recruit
 from the entire SADC region, would produce Cryptologic Linguists, Signals Intelligence Analysts, 
Human Intelligence Collectors, Military Intelligence (MI) Systems Maintainers and Integrators, 
Counter intelligence Agents, Imagery Analysts, Common Ground Station (CGS) Analysts, 
Intelligence Analysts, Signals Collectors or Analysts. And all this expertise will be provided by 
Chinese instructors.
Mugabe has said in the past that the country can no longer afford to rely on "mediocre officers" 
to counter the "growing threat" to his rule.
The College will reportedly offer a Bachelor of Science in Intelligence and a Master of Science
 in Strategic Intelligence and is poised to annually award both graduate and undergraduate 
degrees in Intelligence. It will work closely with the Political Administration division at the University
 of Zimbabwe.
The loan underlines China's growing foothold on Zimbabwe, where it is heavily involved in
 mining diamonds and chrome, as well as in the retail sector.

Dispute settled, Zimbabwe returns to preparing constitution

From Columbus S. Mavhunga, For CNN
May 14, 2011 -- Updated 1914 GMT (0314 HKT)

(CNN) -- Zimbabwe's efforts to write a new constitution resumed Saturday

 after the two parties now sharing power reached an agreement on how to weigh 

comments gathered from the public, officials said. Earlier in the week, 

the constitution process came to a standstill after the power-sharing 

leaders became divided over what methodologies to use in analyzing 

public comments collected last year. "We have resumed work after we found 

some common ground, and the process is back on track. We are optimistic 

that it remains flowing," said Douglas Mwonzora, spokesman for Prime 

Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The 

constitution-making process reached a stalemate when the prime minister's 

party accused President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF of trying to game the process.

Zanu PF preferred a quantitative method as opposed to a qualitative method in weighing the public comments.

The MDC balked, saying the Zanu PF proposal would mean rural areas 

would prevail over cities because of a numerical advantage.

Munyaradzi-Paul Mangwana, an appointee of Mugabe's Zanu PF on the 

constitution committee, said the two parties agreed that both methods 

would be used in the data analysis.

"We hope we will not encounter more hiccups," he said.

Zimbabweans hope the new constitution will guarantee human rights, 

strengthen the role of parliament, and curtail the president's powers, as well 

as guaranteeing civil, political and media freedoms. The writing of the 

constitution is part of the requirements of the power-sharing deal that Mugabe 

and Tsvangirai brokered in 2008.

The new constitution will replace the current Lancaster House Constitution 

written in 1979 before the country's independence from Britain.

The charter has been amended 19 times since independence in 1980, and 

critics contend that most of the amendments have been to further entrench 

Mugabe and his party's hold on power.

The government-appointed constitutional committee is now targeting September 

for a referendum on the draft constitution. That referendum had been initially set 

for last November.

Mugabe, a guerrilla leader who was hailed as a hero of Zimbabwe's freedom 

struggle when he came to power three decades ago, has established himself 

over the years as one of Africa's most ruthless dictators. However, his 

power eventually weakened, evidenced in the 2008 election.

Mugabe's rival, Tsvangirai, won that vote but Mugabe refused to cede power.

 He agreed to form a unity government with Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister

 Arthur Mutambara after African regional leaders refused to recognize the

legitimacy of a runoff. The coalition government, however, has 

been marred by serious disagreements between Mugabe and Tsvangirai. 

Many believe that an election is the only solution, and Western powers 

have pressured the country to create conditions for a democratic vote.

CNN's Michael Martinez contributed to this report.

 

Police detains 21 peaceful protesters

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/

Written by ROHR Information Department
Thursday, 12 May 2011 07:42

ROHR Mashonaland Central treasurer, Peter Mabika and 20 others members were
arrested today in Bindura following a peaceful protest organized by ROHR
Mashonaland Central province. The 21 activist were detained by the police
for three hours and released with no charge after they were picked at
Bindura magistrate courts.

The protest comes as a result of the continued agitation by the Bindura
residents on the continued undermining of the equality of all citizens
before the law for political precedence. Protesters expressed disapproval on
the failure by the security forces to enforce state security for all
citizens in the face of growing harassment and intimidation springing from
political violence.

ROHR director Tichanzii Gandanga, condemned the arrest and pledged that
there is no going back on peaceful protest until the voices of the people
were heard. ‘’It is regrettable that there are still some political parties
refusing to accept that Zimbabwe has since moved from being a one party
state to a multi democracy’’ said Gandanga.

Among the demands put forward for the Bindura protest were the upholding of
The Rule of Law, an end to impunity, an end to selective application of the
law, reforming of the security sector to meet the provisions stated in the
GPA for a multi party democracy and a stop to the arbitrary arrest of
activist.

ROHR Information Department
For Peace, Justice and Freedom

Mugabe in a fix

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/

Friday, 06 May 2011 17:45

Dumisani Muleya

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe, plagued by serious health problems, old age and
with his political plans collapsing around him, is sinking deeper into
political trouble amid revelations that even those close to him –– except
his military diehards –– think he has now reached a dead-end.
This comes as details obtained from high-level sources close to Mugabe’s
office show that he has been advised by a key top confidant to at least
announce when he would be retiring and sort out his divisive succession
issue.

A recent detailed “advisory note” to Mugabe from his close advisors has
implored the president to take advantage of his history and incumbency to
put his house in order and announce when he would be leaving, sources said.

The sources said Mugabe (87) is now in a quandary and his advisors were
gravely concerned because of a series of circumstances which include his old
age, health problems, Zanu PF infighting, the succession crisis, collapse of
his election plans, growing impatience by Sadc leaders, events in North and
West Africa and the hardening of international opinion against his 31-year
rule.

The “advisory note”, the sources said, was written against a backdrop of his
deteriorating health and advanced age. Mugabe’s wife Grace is also said to
be ailing.

A few weeks ago one of Mugabe’s key pillars of strength, CIO deputy director
Mernard Muzariri, died of liver cancer. To make matters worse, another key
Mugabe ally, the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander, General Constantine
Chiwenga, going through a nasty divorce, was recently taken to China for
urgent medical attention, apparently after suffering food poisoning.

Mugabe himself has of late been shuttling between Harare and Singapore in a
bid to contain his health failure. Informed sources say Mugabe would have to
import one of his Asian doctors to come to Harare during elections to keep
him under constant medical observation due to his straining political
activities.

What could probably help, sources said, if the elections are held in 2013,
would be that he might not need to frequent Asian countries for checkups as
the Chinese are building a huge military complex on the outskirts of Harare
which would have VIP medical facilities.

The recent “advisory note” to Mugabe was reportedly informed by all these
problems around him, sources said. Power struggles within Zanu PF which now
threaten to unleash a wave of political instability and chaos if he
unexpectedly retires or dies are a major factor. Mugabe himself has said,
albeit for self-serving reasons, that Zanu PF would disintegrate if he goes.
The party, fractured and weakened by protracted infighting, is likely to
break up along its regional and ethnic fault lines.

“Pressure is mounting on the president to at least say when he is retiring
and resolve his succession predicament. It would be better if he retires, at
the very least he must start now the process of his succession or
retirement,” a senior official close to Mugabe’s office said. “Even those
surrounding him are getting increasingly jittery and impatient. Some are
genuinely concerned and that’s why they wrote an advisory note urging him to
be pro-active and to timely resolve the situation.”

Mugabe’s position is seen by those close to him and in top Zanu PF echelons
as vulnerable after his skirmishes with Sadc leaders following their
decision at a recent summit in Livingstone to rein him in.

The sources said the only people remaining steadfast in support of Mugabe
are state security service chiefs who are behind his strategy to go for
early elections.

Grouped under the Joint Operations Command (JOC), which brings together
army, police and intelligence chiefs, state security bosses are determined
to retain Mugabe in office to secure his, and concomitantly their, future.

Insiders say this is why they took a crucial decision to deploy a top Air
Force of Zimbabwe commander, Air Vice-Marshal Henry Muchena, who has
supposedly “retired”, to spearhead the Zanu PF election campaign. Muchena is
working with former CIO director-internal Sydney Nyanhongo and other
security agents to campaign for Mugabe and Zanu PF.

Top army commanders want Mugabe to stay for security of tenure and material
comfort. Fearing Mugabe was going to be defeated during the 2008 elections,
the commanders, including Chiwenga and several top generals, issued menacing
remarks bordering on coup threats warning they would not allow their
commander-in-chief to be removed even through democratic elections.

Prior to that, in the run-up to the hotly-disputed 2002 presidential
election has also made similar remarks and helped to retain Mugabe. During
that election senior army commander Brigadier-General Douglas Nyikayaramba
was deployed to campaign for Mugabe amid misleading claims he had resigned.

A senior Zanu PF official said Mugabe’s problems are getting worse because
his election plans have now collapsed. Mugabe has been pushing for elections
this year but has been thwarted by party political negotiators in the
ongoing political dialogue.

Although he was chosen as the Zanu PF candidate in the next presidential
elections at the party conference last December in Mutare, Mugabe is set to
lobby for reconfirmation since elections are no longer going to be held this
year. This means Mugabe has yet another gruelling task to convince his
restless party in December to endorse him as the candidate. In 2007 an
extraordinary Zanu PF congress had to be held to sort out Mugabe’s disputed
candidacy. This led politburo heavyweights Simba Makoni and Dumiso Dabengwa
to quit in protest.

Tsvangirai: Zimbabwe will hold elections in 12 months


By 
the CNN Wire Staff

April 28, 2011 -- Updated 1415 GMT (2215 HKT)

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (CNN)
 -- Zimbabwe's prime minister hursday said the country will hold an election in "12 months" and he wants an outcome that can't be contestedIn 12 months time we have an election in this country. Let it be free and let it be peaceful," said Morgan Tsvangirai, speaking in Bulawayo -- about 450km south-west of Harare -- to his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party supporters ahead of a congress set for Friday.At the congress new MDC leadership will be elected to prepare for general elections in which Tsvangirai will lock horns with President Robert Mugabe.


Tsvangirai predicted the MDC will win, ending the coalition government that has ruled Zimbabwe since 2009.

"We are the next government of this country responsible to deal with unemployment which is over 85 percent. We have to resuscitate the economy and make it one of the best in Africa," added Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai and Mugabe formed a fragile coalition government in 2009 after a disputed, violent election in 2008. But the coalition has been marred by disagreements between the former political foes.

"People's will must be respected (in the next elections). The outcome of the polls must not be contested," said Tsvangirai.

"Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF took this country to its knees in 30 years. We have a duty in the next government to bring it back," added Tsvangirai, critical of his coalition partner and his party.

Zimbabwe experienced a decade of negative economic growth before the formation of the coalition government, he noted.

Mugabe has indicated that he wants an election this year to end the coalition government. But earlier this week, the country's finance minister said the economy was not performing well enough to finance an election this year.

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga is expected to attend the MDC congress on Friday as "the guest of honor".

Odinga, a fierce critic of Mugabe, was Kenya's opposition leader before joining President Mwai Kibaki in a 2008 power-sharing deal following contested elections that sparked tribal violence in that country.

A similar deal was later agreed to in Zimbabwe by Tsvangirai and his long-time rival Mugabe.

This will be the first time that Odinga has visited Zimbabwe since being appointed prime minister


http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/04/28/zimbabwe.elections/index.html


Zimbabwe: The Road to Reform or Another Dead End?

Harare/Johannesburg/Nairobi/Brussels  |   27 Apr 2011

The situation in Zimbabwe is deteriorating again under a new wave of political violence organised by Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party, and the country faces another illegitimate election and crisis unless credible, enforceable reforms can first be implemented.

Zimbabwe: The Road to Reform or Another Dead End?the latest report from the International Crisis Group, examines the limitations of the much delayed reform process that threatens to derail the 2008 Global Political Agreement (GPA). President Mugabe’s call for early elections has increased fears of return to the unbridled violence of that year. Attacks have already intensified against those deemed to be enemies of  his long-time ruling party, and Prime Minister Tsvangirai, the leader of the main wing of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T), has appealed for help from the region.

A 31 March troika summit of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) responded sharply to the lack of progress in GPA implementation, as well as rising levels of violence and intimidation, with a communiqué that laid out steps that must now be taken to address the situation.  This is a significant development that illustrates an unprecedented public hardening of attitudes and increasing frustration within the regional organisation toward the GPA signatories, in particular ZANU-PF.

“The next few months will determine whether SADC  can follow up its words by securing action that advances the reform agenda and prospects for a sustainable transition”, says Piers Pigou, Crisis Group’s Southern Africa Project Director. “That in turn will indicate whether the conditions necessary for credible elections exist. It will be important for the West, including the UK, the European Union and the U.S., to give SADC, its South African-led facilitation team and the African Union strong support”.

The GPA was signed in September 2008 by the three parties - ZANU-PF, and the two wings of the former opposition,  MDC-T and MDC-M - after Mugabe was “re-elected” in an uncontested run-off following violence that caused Tsvangirai (who led the first round) to withdraw. It was meant to provide a legitimate foundation for response to the multiple political and economic crises and did lead to an inclusive three-party government. But ZANU-PF, in partnership with the unreformed security sector leadership, continues to thwart any reforms that could facilitate a democratic transfer of power. The state media remains grotesquely unbalanced, and the criminal justice system is still used against ZANU-PF opponents.

The inclusive government should cooperate fully with SADC recommendations and enable a process that allows citizens to campaign for or against the draft constitution under preparation without fear. It must support the Constitution Parliamentary Affairs (Select) Committee’s (COPAC) constitutional reform process and other legislative measures to advance rule of law and overcome the legacy of political violence and impunity.

The full memberships of SADC and the African Union (AU), as GPA Guarantors, need to endorse the 31 March communiqué to give its recommendations even greater weight. They should also initiate a comprehensive assessment of violence and related matters to determine whether conditions are conducive for free and fair elections, as set out in the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.

“It remains to be seen whether further tangible reforms will be secured through either the COPAC process or measures agreed to in the GPA”, says Comfort Ero, Crisis Group’s Africa Program Director. “These reforms must be more than marginal, otherwise there will be a need to ask hard questions about what conditions will be in place when elections are held”.

http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/publication-type/media-releases/2011/africa/zimbabwe-the-road-to-reform-or-another-dead-end.aspx



MASS GRAVE BODIES IN ZIMBABWE MUST BE EXHUMED BY FORENSIC EXPERTS 

Bodies recently discovered in northern Zimbabwe, have been shown on television

Bodies recently discovered in northern Zimbabwe, have been shown on television

© ZBC TV


6 April 2011

Hundreds of bodies found in a mass grave in Zimbabwe may never be identified unless professional forensic experts carry out the exhumations, Amnesty International warned today. 

Bodies recently discovered in the Mount Darwin area in northern Zimbabwe, have been shown on Zimbabwean television being bundled into plastic bags and old sacks to await re-burial increasing the risk that evidence of serious human rights violations could be lost.

“This is a crime scene and exhumations require professional forensic expertise to enable adequate identification, determination of cause of death and criminal investigations,” said Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s deputy director for Africa.

”Families of the victims expect the bodies to be identified and to be given decent burials in line with traditional and religious practice.  As such, these bodies cannot simply be consigned to history without proper forensic tests to determine who they are and how and why they died.”

In early March 2011, the state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation Television (ZBC-TV) reported the exhumations of hundreds of bodies from a site in Monkey William Mine/Chibondo Mine in Mt. Darwin district. 

ZBC-TV claimed the bodies are those of people killed by the Rhodesian forces in the 1970s during the country’s war of independence. 

Exhumations were initially carried out by members of the Fallen Heroes Trust, a group linked to President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party, before government officials took over.  

On 27 March, the co-Minister of Home Affairs Mr Kembo Mohadi told ZBC-TV that the government was taking over the exhumations from the Fallen Heroes Trust.  

However, given the scale of human remains discovered so far and the failings of the government to immediately secure the site, Amnesty International is concerned that international best practice on exhumations is not being adhered to. 

“The Zimbabwe government must ensure that exhumations are professionally conducted according to international standards to properly establish cause of death, ensure proper identification and, where possible, to return remains to family members,” said Michelle Kagari. 

”If the Zimbabwe government does not have the capacity to undertake these exhumations properly it must ask for international co-operation and assistance to ensure that forensic experts can undertake the exhumations.”

Mishandling of these mass graves has serious implications on potential exhumations of other sites in Zimbabwe. Thousands of civilians were also killed in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces in the mid 1980s and are allegedly buried in mine shafts and mass graves in these regions.

http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/mass-grave-bodies-zimbabwe-must-be-exhumed-forensic-experts-2011-04-06

ZIMBABWEAN HUMAN RIGHTS LEADER CHARGED AS CRACKDOWN CONTINUES

1 April 2011
The Zimbabwean police authorities must end the systematic harassment and intimidation of human rights groups, Amnesty International said today after an NGO leader became the latest activist targeted with politically motivated charges.

Abel Chikomo, director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, was on Wednesday charged with running an illegal organization.

“The charges against Abel Chikomo appear to be part of an orchestrated strategy by the Zimbabwean police and other state security organizations to silence critics of their human rights record," said Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s deputy director for Africa.

"The charges against him must be dropped immediately."

Since the beginning of February, Chikomo has been under police investigation and subject to regular interrogation, mainly on his organization’s work on transitional justice.

The police have alleged that he has been managing and controlling the operations of an illegal Private and Voluntary Organisations (PVO) - charges he denies.

Organizations registered as common law associations, as provided for under Section 89 of the constitution of Zimbabwe, are supposed to be exempt from registration under the PVO Act.

“Police and other state security organizations in Zimbabwe are obliged to observe the country’s obligation to respect the rights of human rights defenders provided under international law," said Kagari.

The charges against Chikomo follow a recent increase in the numbers of human rights activists facing arbitrary arrest and unlawful detention for conducting their legitimate work.

In February, 45 activists were charged with treason for watching videos clips of events in Egypt and Tunisia. Thirty-nine of the activists were later acquitted but the remaining six who were released on bail could face the death penalty if convicted.

In Bulawayo, the leaders of the activist organization Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu, have been forced to go into hiding following threats of arbitrary arrest and prolonged detention. 

  • http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/zimbabwean-human-rights-leader-charged-crackdown-continues-2011-04-01
  • State Blocks Mthwakazi Leaders' Release

    http://www.radiovop.com/

    24/03/2011 15:45:00

    BULAWAYO,March 24,2011 ---Three Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF) leaders
    facing treason charges will continue wallowing in remand prison despite the
    granting of bail by High Court after the state blocked the bail today
    (Thursday).

    On Thursday morning Bulawayo High Court Judge Justice Maphios Cheda who was
    standing in for Justice Nicholas Ndou granted US$2000 bail with strict
    conditions to the three MLF senior executive members Charles Thomas, John
    Gazi and Paul Siwela who are facing treason charges after arrested three
    weeks ago in different locations in the city for distributing party flyers.

    However soon after  the bail granting the state  prosecution team  led  by
    Whisper Mabhaudi and  Martha Cheda told the  judge that there invoking
    Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (CPEA)  to suspend
    the MLF leaders’ release claiming investigations on the treason case were
    still on.

    This means the three MLF leaders will remain detained at Khami Maximum
    Remand prison where there are being kept in solitary confinements for the
    next seven days.

    Speaking to journalists after the court ruling Matshobana Ncube one of the
    lawyers representing MLF leaders said there were disappointed   by the
    blocking of the bail by the state.

    “As the defence team we are very disappointed by the state‘s latest move.
    But we are not giving up, were now going to Supreme Court,” said Ncube.

    On Monday the state prosecutors had pleaded with High court not to grant MLF
    leaders bail describing them as a bunch of criminals who have criminal
    records dating back to 1982.

    The militant and radical MLF was launched in January this year and is
    advocating for the independence of the Matabeleland region located in the
    southern part of Zimbabwe saying the Ndebele speaking people of have been
    marginalised by the government for too long and also face discrimination
    every day at work places and tertiary institutions.

    The call for Matabeleland secession from Zimbabwe appeared to have been
    encouraged by events in South Sudan where people there voted overwhelmingly
    to break away from mainland Sudan in a referendum.

    High Court appeal in facebook case

    http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/

    Written by MISA-Zimbabwe
    Tuesday, 22 March 2011 14:04

    Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights on 17 March 2011 filed an appeal  with the
    High Court challenging  a Bulawayo magistrate’s denial of bail to Vikas
    Mavhudzi who is facing charges of attempting to overthrow the government
    through comments posted on Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s facebook wall.
    According to the heads of argument filed by Lizwe Jamela who is representing
    Mavhudzi, magistrate Gideon Ruvetsa erred  when he denied the accused bail.
    He said the state had not proved how a simple and unsophisticated man could
    pose  a threat to the safety of the public and security of the state which
    had security structures at its disposal nationwide.
    Jamela argued that the court had no reason to assume that his client was
    going to continue sending messages to people encouraging them to revolt
    against the government.  Jamela told MISA-Zimbabwe that the state had since
    filed its opposing papers on 21 March 2011.
    Mavhudzi who was arrested in Bulawayo on 24 February 2011, was remanded in
    custody to 25 March 2011.

    Background
    Through the facebook posting, Mavhudzi  is alleged to have "unlawfully or
    suggested” to Tsvangirai the taking over or attempt to take over the
    government by unconstitutional means or usurping the functions of the
    government.
    He had thus allegedly sent an email to the Prime Minister saying: “I am
    overwhelmed, I don’t want to say Mr or PM what happened in Egypt is sending
    shockwaves to dictators around the world. “No weapon but unity of purpose
    worth emulating, hey.”

    Zimbabwe Makes first Facebook arrest

    www.newzimbabwe.com
    04/03/11

    ZIMBABWEAN police have made the first Facebook arrest after a Bulawayo man was charged with “subverting a constitutional government” over a post he made on the social networking site.

    Vikas Mavhudzi, 39, of Old Magwegwe, posted a message deemed offensive on the "wall" of a Facebook account purpotedly belonging to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

    Mavhudzi briefly appeared before a city magistrate on Thursday and was remanded in custody to March 9 after the state opposed bail.

    His alleged crime was to post a comment saying: “I am overwhelmed, I don’t want to say Mr. or PM what happened in Egypt is sending shockwaves to dictators around the world. No weapon but unity of purpose worth emulating, hey.”

    The post was in apparent reference to the recent mass protests in Egypt which succeeded in toppling long-serving President Hosni Mubarak.

    Prosecutor, Jeremiah Mutsindikwa claims Mavhudzi was “advocating or attempting to take-over government by unconstitutional means”.

    The court heard that a police officer received an anonymous call on February 24 claiming that Mavhudzi had sent a security threat through his mobile phone.

    Mavhudzi was then arrested and upon sifting through his phone, the policeman discovered the “offending” message in the sent messages folder.

    The message was allegedly sent to Tsvangirai’s Facebook Wall on February 13 at about 2pm.

    China Helps Build State Intelligence Complex for Mugabe

    Date Posted: Friday 04-Mar-2011
    http://www.africancrisis.co.za/Article.php?ID=91740&

    By Tichaona Sibanda

    Construction of the government's secret electronic eavesdropping complex just outside Harare is moving at a 'very fast pace' SW Radio Africa learned on Thursday.

    It's believed the complex will, amongst many other things, be used to monitor internet use and telephone calls in Zimbabwe. The 'snooping' project, according to a source, is to become the government agency that monitors communications around the whole country.

    Robert Mugabe officiated at the launch of the building site in 2007.

    He said then 'the role of defending Zimbabwe cannot be left to mediocre officers incapable of comprehending and analytically evaluating the operational environment to ensure that the sovereignty of our state is not only preserved, but enhanced'.

    It's believed the current system used by the CIO is able to monitor e-mails, phone calls and internet use for only a small number of high profile opponents of Mugabe, like the entire leadership of the two MDC formations.

    An information analyst told us the Chinese, who are constructing the complex, are capable of equipping the snooping project with a programme called Mastering the Internet (MTI). This program enables most security agencies to 'spy at will' on emails, website visits, social networking sessions, and telephone calls made over the internet on a massive scale.

    Reports in the media said the complex, along the Harare to Bindura highway, is also an intelligence academy that will be operated by the CIO and local military intelligence.

    SW Radio Africa talked to multiple sources who confirmed the site is just a kilometre away from the Marlborough police station along the Mazowe road before Christon bank.

    'The actual construction began six months ago and is situated at the old University of Zimbabwe farm. The complex is huge and there are a lot of Chinese builders on the site. They first erected a massive durawall, that anyone passing through the area will not see anything inside,' a source said.

    An MDC councillor in one of the wards in Christon bank near the complex said there have been conflicting reports about the nature of work that will be done at the site when construction work is completed.

    'We are told its going to be a military school, while others say it's going to be a SADC intelligence academy. But whatever it is its massive, looking at the space used for the project,' the councillor said.

    It has been described as the biggest spend on military infrastructure in Zimbabwe in decades.

    While most governments have 'spy agencies' that are primarily used as interceptors and decrypters of communications, they are however subject to rigorous scrutiny by their lawmakers.

    They operate within a legal framework where the interception of information is normally allowed only in cases of national security, safeguarding economic wellbeing and the prevention and detection of serious crime.

    But in Zimbabwe such operations are out of the radar of parliamentarians and normally target political opponents of the former ruling ZANU PF party. With the heads of the security and military services answerable only to Mugabe, this is unlikely to change.

    Original date published: 3 March 2011

    Source Url: http://allafrica.com/stories/201103040062.html?viewall=1

    For Zimbabwean journalist Saize, the absurd is routine

    http://www.cpj.org/

    By Shehnilla Mohamed/CPJ Africa Staff

    For 37-year-old Zimbabwean freelance journalist Sydney Saize, left, enduring
    arrest and assault has become absurdly routine--and the circumstances
    routinely absurd. Take his most recent detention, in February. Saize was
    reporting on a mundane criminal case in Mutare, capital of the diamond-rich
    Manicaland province, when the story suddenly turned dramatic.

    "I was at the court covering a story of five suspects accused of armed
    robbery when the suspects attempted to escape," he told CPJ. "I started
    taking pictures of the attempted escape and managed to get a shot of one of
    the suspects being gunned down as he tried to escape." Saize was doing his
    job--except that in Zimbabwe, draconian media laws and police repression can
    make that nearly impossible. "I was immediately surrounded by officers from
    the prison service who seized my camera equipment and my audio recorder,
    handcuffed me and took me to Mutare police station for questioning," he
    said.

    Saize was interrogated for seven hours before he was charged under the
    Criminal Nuisance Act, forced to sign an admission of guilt, fined US$20,
    and released, according to the Media Institute of Southern Africa. What was
    he interrogated about? "Basically everything under the sun--my family
    background, where I lived, who I worked for, etcetera, etcetera. And this
    went on and on and on," recalled Saize.

    Compared to other encounters with law enforcement and ruling party
    officials, Saize believed he got off relatively lightly this time. "They
    released my camera equipment and audio recorder, but only after I deleted
    all the photographs I had taken. It is really absurd." It's hardly the first
    time, though, that Zimbabwean authorities have turned criminal justice
    coverage upside down. In March 2010, freelance photojournalist Andrison
    Shadreck Manyere was arrested for taking footage of prisoners outside a
    courthouse in Harare. The prison guards accused Manyere of taking footage
    "without the permission of the Commissioner of Zimbabwe's prison service."

    Saize himself has been arrested or attacked nearly every year since 2006,
    according to CPJ research. He had his first brush with authorities in
    January 2006, when he was arrested for "reporting without accreditation"
    under Zimbabwe's media licensing law, and for "reporting falsehoods." Saize
    spent three nights in police cells before a judge dismissed the charges for
    lack of evidence. Then, in 2008, he was beaten by people accusing him of
    being a "sell-out" for writing stories critical of the ruling ZANU-PF
    government. In 2009, while covering the burial of a ZANU-PF legislator, he
    was attacked by assailants who seized his recording equipment. To add insult
    to injury, police at Mutare Central detained him for nearly an hour,
    questioning him about his activities and whom he worked for, before
    releasing him without charge. Finally, in November 2010, while reporting on
    a local ZANU-PF-PF fund-raising event, he was assaulted by several men who
    accused him of "writing negative stories" about their party.

    "Trying to do your work as an accredited journalist in Zimbabwe is a real
    challenge because you never really know what to expect from the
    authorities," Saize says. "But what can you do? You have to work." Arrests
    and assaults, of course, are designed to intimidate the entire press corps.
    Saize says he is undeterred and has a duty "to be there for the public dying
    for alternative news coverage rather than the daily propaganda from state
    papers, TV and radio stations."


    Gwisai, six others severely tortured

    http://www.dailynews.co.zw/

    By Thelma Chikwanha, Staff Writer
    Thursday, 24 February 2011 18:55

    HARARE - Former Member of Parliament Munyaradzi Gwisai and six others, who
    were among a group of activists arrested for alleged treason, were severely
    tortured by the police while in detention.

    The group appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court on Thursday and told
    harrowing stories of  how they were assaulted by security agents for holding
    a meeting which police say was meant to topple President Robert Mugabe.

    A dishevelled- looking but high-spirited Gwisai told the court how the
    police had called six members of his group to a room where they assaulted
    them.

    “Whenever I gave an answer that was not satisfactory, I was told to lie on
    my stomach and I was given lashes,” Gwisai said. “ (It was)indescribable
    pain. It is sadistic.”

    He said his torturers tried to beat him into admitting  that he had said
    “Abasha Mugabe”, which is Portuguese for “down with Mugabe” and that he must
    go.

    Gwisai alleged  that he was lashed 15 times and was finding it difficult to
    sit and walk.

    He told the court that even though Mugabe was an elected president, people
    could still revolt against him.

    “This is the reason why people went to war and died to ensure that people
    govern.”

    Among the people arrested  on Saturday were HIV and Aids activists, some of
    who are living positively with the disease.

    Magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi was told those living with Aids Aids were
    denied medication whilst in police custody and this had violated their
    medication cycle.

    Gwisai and 44 others have been charged with attempting to topple Mugabe and
    circumventing a sitting government.

    Both charges carry a lengthy prison sentence or the death penalty.

    But the former MP for Highfield and law lecturer at the University of
    Zimbabwe told the court that the meeting was called for by the International
    Socialist Organisation to discuss the question of democracy and
    constitutionalism taking into account recent events in Egypt and Tunisia.

    “The meeting was also called to draw lessons for the working class in
    Zimbabwe and Africa,” said Gwisai.

    Their lawyer, Alec Muchadehama, pleaded with the court that his clients be
    given medical attention by independent doctors.

    Mutevedzi said the Zimbabwe Prison Service was in a position to give medical
    attention to those requiring it but should they fail to do so
    satisfactorily, the accused should inform the courts on Monday when the
    hearing will resume.

    Mugabe secretly arms Ivory Coast’s usurper president


    http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/world_news/Africa/article519387.ece

    A giant chartered Antonov An-22 cargo plane with Angolan markings delivered
    tons of weapons from Harare to Gbagbo

    Jon Swain

    Published: 23 January 2011

    Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe, is secretly arming Laurent Gbagbo,
    whose refusal to accept defeat in the presidential election in the Ivory
    Coast has brought his west African country to the brink of war.

    A giant chartered Antonov An-22 cargo plane with Angolan registration
    delivered tons of weapons from Harare to Gbagbo over Christmas and the new
    year, highly placed intelligence sources in Zimbabwe’s capital revealed last
    week.

    The aircraft took off from Manyame airbase outside Harare. The exact
    quantity of arms is not known but the Soviet-built Antonov can carry up to
    about 80 tons of cargo. Zimbabwean military and intelligence officials
    accompanied the weapons on the flight.

    Earlier, the sources said, the plane had flown into Manyame with a
    consignment of small arms, mortars and rockets from China — Mugabe’s chief
    arms supplier — for the Zimbabwean army.

    On Mugabe’s instructions, part of this shipment remained on board and was
    supplemented with more armaments from the stocks of Zimbabwe Defence
    Industries, the state arms maker. A few hours later the plane flew to the
    Ivory Coast where the cargo was secretly unloaded.

    Sources in Harare said that Mugabe, 86, had authorised the arms shipment
    after an appeal from Gbagbo for military assistance in return for oil. The
    sources said that a mysterious Chinese businessman — identified only as Sam
    Pa — had played a pivotal role in organising the shipment so that it could
    not be traced back to Mugabe.

    Sam Pa uses a variety of aliases. His main business interests are in oil in
    Angola but he has lately expanded into diamond-rich Zimbabwe, where he has
    established commercial relations with some of the most powerful figures in
    Mugabe’s inner circle.

    The clandestine arms delivery pits Mugabe against the United Nations, west
    African leaders and the African Union. The UN has 10,000 peacekeepers in the
    Ivory Coast and has had an arms embargo in force since 2002.

    International pressure is mounting on Gbagbo to hand over power peacefully
    to his rival, Alassane Ouattara, the would-be president, who won last
    November’s presidential election run-off, according to UN-verified results.

    Economic sanctions and diplomatic measures are favoured to get Gbagbo to
    step down but force has not been ruled out as a last resort.

    In the Ivory Coast, the army is the one part of the state machinery that has
    remained intensely loyal to the beleaguered Ivorian leader throughout the
    crisis.

    Arrangements for face-to-face talks between the two rivals have twice failed
    because the army has refused to lift a blockade around a luxury hotel in
    Abidjan, the commercial capital, where Ouattara is holed up. If fighting
    does break out, the arms sent by Mugabe could be a crucial boost for the
    troops willing to try to keep Gbagbo in power.

     

    Zimbabwe goes for elections
    Friday 28 January

    FRANCISTOWN: President, Robert Mugabe, and Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, of Zimbabwe are going to the presidential run-off this May but many have expressed concern about safety guarantees.


    Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980 and some political analysts believe the upcoming national election in Zimbabwe could usher in a fresh wave of politically motivated violence.

    "International bodies want to see change in Zimbabwe especially regarding violence. But the problem that we see now is that SADC does not have the capacity to deal with Zimbabwe. SADC member states are friends with Zimbabwe and so they want to give the international community an impression that things are well in Zimbabwe.

    "The main reason why SADC countries and other African countries are reluctant to take appropriate steps against Mugabe is that they (African states) are not clean because they also have weaknesses, so they choose to remain silent," says Log Raditlhokwa, a political commentator from the University of Botswana.

    He added that SADC is now toothless: "There was once an expectation that Botswana would team up with the United States and take appropriate action but now no one expects Botswana to be radical about Zimbabwe as evidenced by President Ian Khama's sudden change of views on Zimbabwe".

    Raditlhokwa cited the issue of land redistribution in some SADC countries as an area of weakness. He said what SADC now hopes is to keep quiet and wait for Mugabe's death.

    "I think they say, it's better to let him die than to cause more problems for the people of Zimbabwe and the entire SADC region. The other thing about Mugabe is that he is able to manipulate systems such as the Zimbabwean Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the media and civil society in general. These are credible institutions and they must be independent from government interference," outlined Raditlhokwa.

    He added that this makes it difficult for international bodies such as the African Union (AU), SADC, the European Union (EU) and others to take action.

    "Obviously the upcoming elections will be characterized by violence. Mugabe is going to claim that other were violent and so the need for the police to take measures. Also many Zimbabweans are going to leave the country for fear of violence. Currently, Mugabe is carefully observing what action is being taken against the self-declared President Laurent Gbagbo of Ivory Coast," said Raditlhokwa.

    On December 2010, the IEC released results in Ivory Coast showing that the opposition leader, Alassane Ouattara, had won the presidential election against the incumbent President, Gbagbo.

    However, the Constitutional Council declared Gbagbo the winner, though Ouattara has the support of the international community.

    Meanwhile, Themba Joina of MELS is of the view that the upcoming election in Zimbabwe will only trigger violence and lead to more loss of lives in Zimbabwe: "The only solution for now is to continue with a unity government for up to five years. The result of that is that more illegal Zimbabweans will be coming into Botswana and the result will be the increase in crimes such as rape, murder and robberies. As of now the unity government should not be democratised.  The unity government is working and the only problem is a difference of personalities among the political leadership of Zimbabwe," stated Joyna.

    He stated that as MELS, they believe that the political sanctions against Zimbabwe must be removed in order to improve conditions in Zimbabwe. "Regional leaders must try to find a lasting solution to Zimbabwe. Should the elections come about, I see ZNU-PF and MDC neck and neck and the winner will win only with a landslide. But I am of the view that SADC does not play a vital part in the Zimbabwean conflict resolution," added Joina.

    Meanwhile, Adedeji (1999:18) in 'Comprehending and mastering conflicts', states: "Over the last decade, many African countries have been plagued by civil wars and other forms of systematic violence. This situation is engendered by protracted economic crisis, political instability and military insurgencies. The impact of these destabilising phenomena has rendered the governments of these countries increasingly incapable of ensuring and protecting the well being of their people or of creating an enabling environment for improved economic growth and sustainable development. Generally during these upheavals, especially in cases of military insurgencies, human developments pursuits are jeopardised".

    During the past national election in Zimbabwe, MDC officials and candidates faced acute danger. In April, a ZANU-PF gang in Buhera ambushed a car driven by Tsvangirai's driver, Tichaona Chiminya, setting it on fire. Chiminya and a colleague, Talent Mabika, were killed.

    Although their assailants were known, no action was taken against them. In Bulawayo, an MDC agent, Patrick Nabanyama, was abducted and never seen again, presumed murdered.

    In addition,  in the 'Power, plunder and the struggle for Zimbabwe', quotes Robert Mugabe talking about whites in Zimbabwe: "These crooks we inherited as part of our population. We cannot expect them to have straightened up to be honest people and an honest community. Yes, some of them are good people, but they remain cheats. They remain dishonest. They remain  uncommitted even to national cause and we would actually be happier if some country were to accept them".

    One Zimbabwean man, who spoke on condition of anonymity: "I don't think I will go to Zimbabwe to vote because I fear violence.



     

    Members of Zimbabwe PM Tsvangirai's Party Seek Refuge After Violence

    http://www.voanews.com

    Ronald Mureverwi, spokesman for the nongovernmental organization Restoration
    of Human Rights Zimbabwe, said increased violence in cities signals a change
    in the culture of violence

    Patience Rusere & Tatenda Gumbo | Washington  24 January 2011

    About 200 members of the Movement for Democratic Change of Zimbabwean Prime
    Minister Morgan Tsvangirai sought refuge Monday at the party’s Harare
    headquarters alleging that ZANU-PF youth were hunting them in the capital's
    Mbare suburb.

    The development followed violence this weekend in Mbare and Budiriro where
    members of the MDC said ZANU-PF youth backed by police and soldiers
    assaulted them.

    Tsvangirai MDC Harare Province Secretary Tsaurai Marima told Patience Rusere
    that the situation in the Harare suburb is tense and violence is likely to
    erupt again.

    Human rights activists surveying the violence said this and other incidents
    are of concern because such clashes, usually rural-based, are moving into
    urban areas.

    Ronald Mureverwi, spokesman for the nongovernmental organization Restoration
    of Human Rights Zimbabwe, said increased violence in cities signals a change
    in the culture of violence. He said human rights organizations have long
    been urging the coalition government to restructure security agencies in
    Zimbabwe.

    Elsewhere on Monday, 19 members of the Tsvangirai MDC arrested during Sunday’s
    skirmishes in Mbare for allegedly committing public violence were denied
    bail and remanded to custody in Harare magistrates court.

    Another 14 other MDC supporters from Budiriro, facing the same charges, were
    fined US$20 apiece and released.


    MDC Youth Leader Shot As Violence Escalates

    http://www.radiovop.com

    23/01/2011 19:50:00

    HARARE, January 23, 2011- MDC-T youth leader William Mkwari was shot and
    injured on Saturday evening allegedly by a group of uniformed soldiers who
    opened fire at dozens of party youths who were dispersing from a party
    meeting in Harare’s high density suburb of Budiriro.

    Witnesses say Mkwari, who is receiving treatment at Harare’s Avenues clinic,
    was shot in the left leg resulting in him bleeding profusely.An MDC district
    youth leader who was in the company of Mkwari when the incident happened
    told Radio Vop that the youths were forced to scurry
    in all directions during the unprovoked incident.

    “William was shot and we suspect it could have been a powerful gun,” he said
    while refusing to be named for fear of victimisation.

    “The soldiers fired several shots and we believe they were angered by the
    sight of a lot of ecstatic MDC activists filing out of a preparatory meeting
    for the forthcoming MDC congress.”

    The incident, which happened early evening, was a replica of September last
    year when soldiers were said to have shot and injured three MDC supporters
    during an abortive constitutional outreach programme in the volatile Harare
    township of Mbare.
    Saturday’s shooting of Mkwari marked a weekend of violent scenes allegedly
    perpetrated by Zanu (PF) supporters on MDC officials and activists.On
    Friday, party provincial secretary for Harare Tsaurai Marima and Sthembeni
    Chademoyo, Women’s Assembly Organising Secretary for Ward 33 in Budiriro,
    were assaulted and injured when hordes of Zanu PF
    supporters invaded the Town house and laid siege on council staff, demanding
    an explanation from the authorities as to why their maize crops were slashed
    allegedly by council workers the previous week.


    Zimbabwe in danger ….as Zanu PF embarks on coordinated violence against the people



    Sunday, 23 January 2011

    Zanu PF has begun resorting to the language they understand most, the language of violence. In Budiriro, Mbare and Chitungwiza violence has resurfaced with soldiers, police details and the youth militia descending on the people with brutality; assaulting, destroying homes and arresting perceived MDC supporters. The issue of violence began late last week when Zanu PF mobilised and bussed youth from as far as Gutu, Tsholotsho, Shamva and Bindura into Harare to demonstrate against the so-called maize slashing by Harare City council.

    Budiriro
    There has been a build up in violence since Monday with Zanu PF militia and uniformed soldiers attacking known MDC supporters in Budiriro 4 and 5.  Friday 21 January 2011-The Chairperson for ward 43, Gashirai Gurure is said to have been abducted and his whereabouts remain unknown. His wife and son were assaulted with iron bars and have since been admitted into hospital with the assistance of the MDC social welfare department. Councillor for the ward, Panganayi Charumbira’s house was, as is the case with Gurure’s house, destroyed, with the militia breaking down the doors, smashing the windows and looting property worth thousands of dollars.

    One MDC supporter, Ignatius Mhuriro was assaulted by six uniformed soldiers, and is currently in hiding as police details are said to be looking for him on allegations of assaulting the soldiers.

    Saturday 22 January 2011-William Mukuwari, the Budiriro District Youth Treasurer, has been admitted in hospital after he was shot on his leg and assaulted by the youth militia.  The soldiers went on to attack people at Sahara bar, destroyed two TV sets, smashed windows and closed down the place. Riot police are said to have sealed the place last night and made a curfew for 8pm in Budiriro.

    The Zanu PF youth causing havoc in Budiriro are said to be housed by one Mai Hokoyo at her crèche whilst the soldiers and some of the militia are being hosted at the Rambai Makashinga cooperative- a housing cooperative for soldiers, in Budiriro. The environment there is pretty tense as people are living in fear.

    Mbare
    Saturday 22 January 2011- About 400 Zanu PF youths besieged the MDC district office at research center in Mbare; assaulted 24 of the youth guarding the premises; smashed all the windows, stole three sets of computers; vandalised the office furniture before the police arrested 19 of the MDC youth. The other five had to be hospitalised, two of them with serious injuries after the attack. Barnabas Mwanaka and Shingai Gorekore are said to have sustained serious stab wounds. According to eyewitnesses, even the officer in charge Crime at Mbare, one Magauza, was present during the assault and then ordered the arrest of the MDC youth on allegations of causing public violence.

    Chitungwiza
    Sunday 23 January 2011- Unit D, Zanu PF youth assaulted Gift Nengomasha, the MDC District Executive member for Chitungwiza. His wife and lodgers were assaulted after the Zanu PF youth visited and destroyed his home late this afternoon after Nengomasha had escaped from their grip. He reported the matter to the police who refused to open a docket for him as the police are said to be under instructions not to take information from MDC supporters. In the same province, Phibion Dziva, an MDC activist was assaulted with bottles on his head and sustained serious head injuries. He was at Town Center police station where his report was thrown out as political. The MDC condemns any form of violence more so when it is happening to unarmed civilians in a non-war state.

    The Party of excellence, the MDC is extremely concerned by the lack of action by the police as well as the continued victimisation of the victims when they approach the police stations to report the various forms of assault. What is even more worrying is the fact that in the eyes of the police, any MDC supporter, even if they are victims, qualifies to be a candidate for arrest. It is clear that the repeat of June 2008 in an amplified version is inevitable.

    The MDC calls on SADC, the AU and the broader international community to take immediate actions for the protection of the people of Zimbabwe.

    Together, united, winning, ready for real change!!

    --
    MDC Information & Publicity Department

    MDC says violence, arrests and abductions on the rise

    www.swraioafrica.com

    By Tererai Karimakwenda
    14 January, 2011

    The MDC-T released a statement on Friday detailing a series of recent incidents of violence, illegal arrests and abductions of party officials and supporters around the country. The shocking list showed a sharp increase in these politically motivated incidents, especially in rural areas.
    The MDC said the crimes were perpetrated mostly by state security agents and ZANU PF supporters. “We have noted a heavy presence of army personnel in the countryside, harassing innocent villagers,” said the statement.

    The incidents started last week, when a group of soldiers from the 4 Brigade assaulted people at Mupandawana Growth Point in Gutu, Masvingo province. Dozens of people were injured.

    On Wednesday, more than 30 people were reportedly injured and shops were forced to close at Jerera Growth Point in Zaka, Masvingo after another group of soldiers attacked villagers.
    Reports were also received from Bubi and Nkayi, in Matebeleland North province, where chiefs are allegedly telling villagers that soldiers will soon be deployed as peace keepers ahead of elections.

    According to the MDC, there were disturbances at the party’s Harvest House headquarters in Harare on Thursday when ZANU PF youths attacked innocent shoppers and workers. Four councillors and five MDC youths were arrested in Victoria Falls last week and there was an abduction in Masvingo South on Saturday.

    The MDC said they condemn “in the strongest terms all acts of targeted violence and arrests against MDC officials and activists”. The party urged SADC, the AU and the international community “to take note of the crackdown on the people of Zimbabwe by lawless allies of ZANU PF ahead of the coming elections.”
    The full MDC statement can be found on our website at swradioafrica.com

    Soldiers Ban Vendors From Selling Mirror

    http://www.radiovop.com/

    16/01/2011 18:19:00

    MASVINGO, January 16, 2011 – Members of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA)
    from 4:2 Infantry Battalion in Gutu have banned vendors from selling The
    Mirror, an independent newspaper based in the town.

    Mirror newspaper agency in Gutu had to run to chief Gutu for protection when
    soldiers at Mukute Inn threatened to beat him up on Saturday.
    The Mirror editor Golden Maunganidze said volumes of newspapers which were
    supposed to be sold in Gutu were returned to Masvingo as vendors there said
    they were afraid to be seen selling the paper.

    “We have received the newspapers which we had sent to Gutu. Vendors in the
    area including agencies there said they were afraid to be seen with copies
    of the paper.The soldiers have accused the paper of tarnishing the image of
    the army in a number of articles written by the paper early this year,” said
    Maunganidze.

    In its recent edition The Mirror published an article headlined ‘ Soldiers
    Run Amok at Mpandawana ’ where soldiers beat up people on December 24 and on
    Christmas day.They also beat up a police officer and the incident was
    confirmed by both the police and the army itself.
    One of the soldiers has been sentenced to one year in prison.

    “We are shocked with this kind of operation especially at a time when the
    government should be seen introducing more newspapers in the media
     industry,” added Maunganidze.Army provincial spokesperson Kingstone Chivave
    could not be reached for comment as his mobile was not reachable.Media
    Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe, Masvingo provincial chairman
    Energy Bara said the actions of the army were highly embarrassing.
    “We condemn the actions by overzealous members of ZNA in the strongest
    possible terms.  What worries us is that the story was not cooked up, as it
    was based on research and facts. If the army feels defamed by the story in
    question, they should have taken appropriate action rather than banning
    sales of newspapers ,” said Bara.

    Meanwhile, Zanu (PF) secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa shocked
    villagers at Mutimurefu Prison grounds on Saturday afternoon when he openly
    admitted that soldiers were the ones  keeping the party intact.
    “Those who say soldiers and war veterans should not meddle in politics are
    wrong, such people are our enemies. Soldiers are the ones helping to keep
    our party intact,” said Mutasa.He was addressing villagers at a tree
    planting ceremony.


    Man beaten up at Zim consulate

    January 10 2011 at 09:04am
    By David Thomas


    zimbeating

    INLSA

    Robert Nzare, a Zimbabwean immigrant, says he was severely injured in an attack with a baton at the Zimbabwean consulate in Bellville. Nzare claims that he was handcuffed and assaulted on returning to the centre after trying to claim his passport. Picture: Gareth Smit

    A Zimbabwean was allegedly severely beaten at his country’s consulate in Cape Town - and the security employee who helped him has lost his job.

    Robert Nzara, 30, pressed charges on Saturday against the head of security at the Zimbabwe consulate in Bellville after he was allegedly handcuffed and repeatedly struck over the head and back with a baton.

    Nzara was attempting to pick up his new passport last Wednesday, when he alleges James Ketelo, 42, the Zimbabwean head of Daring Security, handcuffed and led him away to a police station.

    Police released Nzara, but told him not to return to the consulate that day. When he nevertheless returned, apparently because he needed to collect money from his brother, he was once again handcuffed before being struck repeatedly.

    “He asked the other security guy to pass him the baton. I was beaten on the head more than eight times… I fainted and fell down,” he said. “I can’t believe I’m still alive.”

    A copy of the medical report said “assault - severe injury to head, neck and back”.

    Nzara’s account was corroborated by Guy Kaniki, a 29-year-old Congolese security guard from the consulate, who worked with Ketelo for Daring Security. Kaniki said he had lost his job after freeing Nzara from the handcuffs when he realised the severity of the beating.

    “He was seriously beaten. He (Ketelo) was doing it as if he was trying to kill him. People were screaming and everyone came to try and stop him. I opened the handcuffs and told him to run.”

    Kaniki said Nzara was doing nothing wrong, and was demanding his passport in a restrained manner. Kaniki said Ketelo was returning with a handgun when he decided to free him.

    Nzara said that when he returned the following morning, Ketelo told him to go to the police station and sign an affidavit apologising to the Zimbabwean government.

    He allegedly said he could make it difficult for Nzara to return home and could dig up information about his family in Zimbabwe. He also allegedly said Nzara would not receive a passport if he did not co-operate. Nzara is now applying for refugee status.

    Ketelo denied having used excessive force on Nzara, and denied carrying a handgun.

    He said Nzara was drunk and threatened to attack officials with a gun.

    “I grabbed him and we struggled. Intentionally or unintentionally he clapped me in the head.

    “I tried to neutralise him with the baton stick,” he said.

    Ketelo admitted to having fired Kaniki for freeing Nzara from the handcuffs, saying he had abandoned his duty.

    Braam Hanekom, of refugee rights group Passop, said police would charge Ketelo with assault. - Cape Times

    Political activist assaulted and left for dead by state agents in attempted abduction

    http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

    Written by ROHR Zimbabwe Information Department
    Thursday, 06 January 2011 10:35

    ROHR Zimbabwe has received a shocking report of an act of political violence
    from an MDC political activist who was brutally assaulted by state security
    agents in a failed abduction plot.
    Julius Mutavira Gono (43)   of ward 10, Chiredzi South constituency was
    heavily beaten in broad day light, left battling for his life while his
    family and neighbors watched helplessly, a day before Christmas day. He was
    assaulted by three armed state security agents who drove at his house in
    Madzimure village, with a Nissan twin cab with unmarked plates. The incident
    is now in the hands of Chikombedzi police peace section case reference
    number 30/01/11 and the notorious CIO agents have been identified as
    Matambanadzo, Tinago and Magara all from Chikombedzi police station Chiredzi
    South constituency.
    A medical report carried out confirms that Mutavira sustained internal back
    and leg injuries, a swollen red eye and he is still in need of further
    medical attention. Mutavira told ROHR Zimbabwe that he was being targeted
    because of his political involvement with the MDC party. Matambanadzo told
    Mutavira that he was punishing him for the complaints he is receiving
    against Mutavira’s involvement in MDC affairs. Julius said he now fears for
    his life after Matambanadzo further threatened him that he will not live to
    see the next election.
    The incident took place took weeks after the visit of war veteran Jabulani
    Sibanda to Chiredzi South, who is alleged to be on a country wide campaign
    to fan criminal activities of political violence against members of the MDC
    party. Despite the fact that the case has been reported to the police,
    nothing has been done to see that justice takes its course on the
    perpetrators who are still roaming free.
    ROHR Zimbabwe is raising serious concerns to the coalition government on the
    issue of prioritization of the security of ordinary people ahead of the
    envisaged elections at the backdrop of organized criminal activities
    committed with impunity during the orgy of violence in 2008 election
    violence. As human rights defenders we are grossly disappointed by the
    brutal conduct, unprofessionalism, lack of independence of the security
    agents and uniformed forces who are supposed to be the custodians of the
    enforcement of the rule of law and guardians of all citizens regardless of
    political affiliation.
    Politicization of security forces remains a major threat to the existence of
    peace in the rural communities. Cognizant of the fact that security agents
    played a pivotal role in the wide spread state sponsored gross violation of
    human rights in the 2008 harmonized elections, ROHR Zimbabwe challenges the
    coalition government to carry out reforms to ensure the independence of
    security forces as agreed under article XIII of the Global political
    Agreement signed by the three principals.
    We hold that if elections are held under the presently constituted law
    enforcement structures widely accused of being partisan, there is a danger
    of a precedence of March – June 2008 political violence.

    Côte d'Ivoire: an omen for Africa in 2011?

    http://www.economist.com/

    Dec 30th 2010, 16:27 by J.A.

    IS THE potentially very bloody stand-off in Côte d’Ivoire between the
    incumbent president,  Laurent Gbagbo, and  Alassane Ouattara, who most
    observers feel won the November election, a bad omen for Africa?  In 2011 we
    will surely find out.

    There will be elections south of the Sahara that will include Benin, Uganda,
    Chad (part of which, admittedly, is in the Sahara), Madagascar, Zambia,
    Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Gabon—not to mention
    a referendum on January 9th on independence for Southern Sudan and the call
    by Zimbabwe’s autocratic Robert Mugabe for a presidential election by June.

    But the most important presidential election, in terms of its regional and
    international impact, is scheduled for April 9th in Nigeria, Africa’s
    biggest economy after South Africa. President  Goodluck Jonathan, is
    favoured to win, but will be lucky indeed (forgive the pun…) if his victory
    comes without outbreaks of violence and vote-rigging. The horrors of the
    Biafran war of secession of the late 1960s are long gone, but for all the
    country’s oil wealth, 80% of Nigerian workers still earn less than $2 a day;
    there are bloody tensions between the Muslim north and the Christian south;
    and, as the current issue of The Economist points out, the amnesty in the
    militant Delta region is fraying.

    In short, 2011 looks like being a difficult year for Africa.



    We Are Trained To Kill – Soldiers

    http://www.radiovop.com

    28/12/2010 14:09:00

    Buhera, December 28, 2010 – Soldiers deployed here at the beginning of the
    festive season, stunned villagers when they told them that they were trained
    to kill.

    Villagers near Sungura shopping centre who confirmed living in fear said
    they were frightened by the message.

    “What surprises us is that we are not in a war and yet we see soldiers here
    promising to kill us for no apparent reason. For almost a week now, about 15
    soldiers led by retired colonel Magirazi were camping near Chadzire Bridge
    in ward 20," said a villager.

    “They (soldiers) call for rallies from time to time,” said a villager.

    “We are not sure of what tomorrow will bring us. We live in fear that we may
    be beaten or even killed. We do not know the meaning of these threats,” said
    another villager.

    Manicaland police spokesperson Inspector Brian Makomeke said anyone who
    feels that he or her life was put under threat by the ‘suspected soldiers’
    should make a police report.

    “We normally encourage villagers to make police reports whenever they think
    that their lives are in danger,” said Insp Makomeke.

    Retired Colonel Magirazi could not be reached for comment.

    Meanwhile, Zanu (PF) has since started campaigning for Custon Mukurunge to
    be their next member of parliament for the area.

    “This time we are ready for anything. Come thunder ofr rain- we will make
    sure that victory for Zanu (PF) is certain,” Mukurunge told villagers.

    US$1 billion Marange diamonds looted

    http://www.zimonline.co.za/

    by Moses Chingoma, Owen Munemo and Mufaro Hove     Friday 10 December 2010

    HARARE -- Diamonds worth as much as US$ 1 billion could have been illegally
    mined at the Marange fields, mostly by the Zimbabwean army and the proceeds
    used to partly finance a campaign of violence to keep Mugabe in power while
    some were pocketed by members of Zimbabwe’s top military brass, ministers
    and President Mugabe and his wife.

    While the true extent of theft of diamonds from Marange and the identities
    of all involved in the looting will probably never be known in the absence
    of an independent commission of inquiry, however, extensive investigations
    by ZimOnline have shown the military at the center of a well-orchestrated
    scheme to siphon gems from the controversial fields (also known as Chiadzwa)
    for delivery on the international black market for precious stones.

    According to our investigations, including interviews with well-placed
    sources in the army, police and at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), most
    of the diamonds illicitly mined at Marange from 2006 to 2008 by the Zimbabwe
    National Army, after it evicted illegal panners and took control of the rich
    alluvial deposits were largely smuggled to India and Dubai and proceeds were
    laundered into offshore accounts and others held at the RBZ.

    The black market sales were done outside the Kimberly Process, which
    certifies diamonds for sale on the international market.

    Investigations show that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, through its governor
    and Mugabe’s private banker Gideon Gono, was central in facilitating the
    movement of proceeds from the illegal mining activities and their diversions
    into various accounts.

    After Mugabe’s ZANU PF lost the parliamentary and presidential elections in
    March 2008 to Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC, the Joint Operations Command (JOC),
    the secretive committee of securocrats running Zimbabwe convened to map a
    violent strategy to ensure that Mugabe would win the run-off presidential
    election.

    The JOC includes the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF)’s top military commander
    General Constantine Chiwenga, army commander Philip Sibanda, air force
    commander Perence Shiri, police chief Augustine Chihuri, secret service
    director general Happyton Bonyongwe and prisons commander Paradzai Zimondi.

    Electoral violence

    What followed the committee’s meeting was probably the worst electoral
    violence ever seen in Zimbabwe.

    Despite not being a military man, Gono sat on the JOC and ensured that money
    from illegal diamond proceeds was funnelled to fund a violent campaign which
    saw more than 220 senior army officers being deployed across the country to
    coordinate the campaign of violence towards the bloody presidential run-off
    on June 27, 2008 won by Mugabe.

    Two senior army officers were posted per each district to coordinate the
    violence which involved ZANU PF youths, police, and ordinary soldiers.

    The seniors were later rewarded handsomely with some getting as much as
    US$20 000 each long before Zimbabwe introduced dollarisation. Despite the
    foreign currency shortages then, plenty cash remained available to fund
    those key senior army officers central to Mugabe’s power grabbing plans.

    The ensuing violence forced Morgan Tsvangirai – who analysts had tipped to
    win the second round ballot after defeating Mugabe in the first round
    vote -- to withdraw from the presidential run-off. The MDC claims more than
    200 of its supporters were killed, some burnt alive, while tens of thousands
    were left homeless or injured.

    ZimOnline is also authoritatively informed that it was via money from the
    diamond proceeds that Gono funnelled millions of dollars to accounts held by
    Grace Mugabe in Malaysia and Hong Kong.

    Mugabe’s wife travels frequently to Hong Kong where the first family has
    invested in a lavish lifestyle including a mansion in which their daughter,
    Bona, who has been attending university there lives.  They also own
    properties in Malaysia.

    After her shopping trips to Harrods in the United Kingdom and choice shops
    in France, Italy and Spain were curtailed by European Union sanctions
    imposed over human rights abuses,  Mrs Mugabe had shifted her shopping
    sprees to Asia, particularly Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.

    Chiwenga and Shiri, one of Mugabe’s most trusted allies, Zimondi, the late
    Vitalis Zvinavashe, Chiwenga’s predecessor at the helm of the ZDF, various
    heads of key military brigades, senior CIO officials had handsomely
    benefited from the proceeds of smuggled Marange diamonds.

    “The same way the military top brass used Harare as a transit route for
    diamonds smuggled out of the Congo when Zimbabwe deployed troops there in
    the late 1990s replayed itself with Marange diamonds....,” said a military
    source, speaking on condition he was not named for fear of possible
    reprisals.

    One retired senior Zimbabwe army official is said to have moved more than
    R40 million to a South African bank from proceeds of Marange diamonds sold
    illegally in India.  This particular official and the bank concerned, one of
    the major four concerned cannot be named for legal reasons.

    But it is common cause that some ministers, particularly Mines Minister
    Obert Mpofu, who has been regularly linked to shady deals at Marange, are
    now fabulously rich owning vast properties around Zimbabwe which cannot be
    afforded by their measly salaries as government officials.

    Tendai Biti, the Minister of Finance in the unity government recently
    complained that US$ 30 million raised sales of diamonds of Marange stones
    could not be accounted for.

    But sources say the amount identified by Biti as missing was only the tip of
    the iceberg and that the Finance Minister would never be able to know the
    exact figure involved because of the sophisticated laundering that took
    place.

    Private jets

    On several occasions, private jets of wealthy Indians would land at Harare
    International Airport to pick up diamonds mined from Marange. The payments
    would then be done offshore. No documentation would be left making it near
    impossible to trace the illegal exports.

    “If you consider all the rot that Mugabe has allowed his top military men to
    get away with, it all then explains why they want him to die in power  and
    their legendary resistance to Tsvangirai,” said one source close to the RBZ.

    The looting of the Marange diamonds continued when the army started ceding
    control of the Marange fields to the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation
    (ZMDC) until the mining rights over Marange were granted to two companies,
    Canadile and Mbada Diamonds, both with no traceable credentials in the
    diamond mining trade.

    But while some ZMDC officials are now in court over their alleged looting,
    sources say Zimbabweans should not expect the senior army officials, and
    other politicians who benefited from the looting of Marange diamonds to ever
    be seen in the dock – at least not when they are still the bedrock of Mugabe’s
    power.

    The six ZMDC mining executives arraigned in court are accused of stealing
    US$10 million from Marange proceeds through fraud and misrepresentations of
    diamond sales. Another US$33 million could also have been lost in the
    process.

    These disclosures also came against a background that one of the mining
    companies in Chiadzwa, Canadile Miners, which has since been booted out of
    the contested diamond fields, has been smuggling diamonds out of Marange
    through Mozambique and selling them on the black market.

    Ironically, government blames Canadile directors for smuggling diamonds out
    of the country mainly through Mozambique to sell them in the black market in
    Dubai, India and China, the key markets  for the Marange gems.

    September fallout

    Canadile was recommended to Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC)
    executives by Mines Minister Mpofu who in turn urged Mugabe to approve its
    mining deal.

    Mugabe and Mpofu defended the company until there was a fallout over the
    control of the mining and sale of the diamonds in September between Canadile
    deputy chairman Lovemore Kurotwi and the minister.

    Mpofu was accused by Kurotwi in a meeting with Mugabe in September of
    soliciting for bribes. Mpofu acknowledged in a meeting with ZMDC officials
    on September 20 that he was accused by Kurotwi of asking for bribes, but
    tried to pre-empt speculation that he was receiving bribes and a lot of
    corrupt payments to facilitate mining deals.

    Aware that people were accusing him of taking bribes and corruptly enriching
    himself through the Chiadzwa diamonds, Mpofu himself said there was a
    “plethora of rumours, insinuations and allegations being leveled against
     him” and the ZMDC board.

    Mpofu has been on a buying spree, purchasing real estate and housing
    properties mainly in Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria falls. This invited
    suspicions from the public and members of a parliamentary portfolio
    committee which investigated the Marange diamonds affairs earlier this year.

    Mpofu has bought one of the tallest buildings in Bulawayo –York House – and
    has splashed thousands of dollars on high-value properties in Victoria Falls
    and Bulawayo.

    Two cruise boats

    A document listing Mpofu’s properties shows that he bought a supermarket in
    Victoria Falls’ Chinotimba high density suburb, three houses in a
    medium-density area, two cruise boats on the Zambezi, five houses in
    Mkhosana high density suburb, three houses in Chinotimba, two industrial
    stands, one large stand in Chisuma, one big industrial stand next to
    Chinotimba stadium, four industrial stands on the Airport road, and four
    medium density plots.

    Mpofu reportedly bought all these properties for cash!

    Even though he has a farm and supermarkets, sources close to him say that he
    has no such financial capacity to buy all these properties, especially for
    cash. Before dollarisation, he earned largely worthless Zimbabwe dollars
    after the collapse of the Zimbabwe dollar in 1997. After dollarisation
    Mpofu – like all civil servants – earns a little more than US$300.

    Mpofu has however denied he was using diamonds proceeds to buy personal
    properties. He said he got a US$1 million loan from the Commerciial Bank of
    Zimbabwe  through his company Trebo and Khays Pvt Ltd.

    Documents show that Mpofu indeed got a loan from CBZ. This is contained in a
    facility letter dated October 26 2009. Mpofu the signed a loan agreement for
    and on behalf of Trebo and Khays (Pvt) Ltd with a woman named Sikhanyisiwe
    Mpofu, presumably his wife or daughter.

    The loan agreement was signed on December 2 2009 and expired on October 31
    this year by which date all the monies due should have been repaid.

    Mpofu has reportedly repaid the loan, raising further questions about his
    sources of income which appears well beyond his means. In any event, the CBZ
    loan, now Jewel Bank, was very inadequate to enable Mpofu to purchase all
    the properties that is registered in the names of his entities and a
    plethora of others he has registered in the names of relatives.

    The purpose of the loan was given as to finance capital expenditure
    requirements. However, sources said the loan was used to mask his source of
    income because growing suspicions he was minting at Chiadzwa, together with
    other politicians and their business cronies.

    The security for the loan – which represented a line of credit - included:
    Trebo and Khays directors’ personal guarantees for all sums due supported by
    first mortgage bond for US$1,4 million over stand 12265A in Bulawayo;
    cession of insurance policy covering the mortgaged property and cession of
    revenue generated from property lease rental income valued at US$82 000.

    Mpofu gave his address of service as Stand 123, 4th Avenue and Fife Street,
    Bulawayo, a hint at the various properties he owns in the Bulawayo and
    elsewhere. Mpofu has mansions in Harare and Bulawayo, placing himself well
    above the level of prosperity of an ordinary minister and even businessman.

    Ministers have since last year been earning a paltry US$350 a month, after
    it was increased from the US$150.  Even those with farms and safari
    concessions seized from white farmers like Mpofu have been struggling due to
    lower productivity and poor management.  So there is simply no way Mpofu’s
    wealth could have been generated from any viable business he controls.

    Massive looting

    The government took over the Marange fields ostensibly to ensure revenue
    from the diamonds is channeled into public coffers. But those in the know
    say the involvement of the government and particularly the army has only
    helped to give a cover of legitimacy to massive looting of a key national
    resource.

    Independent mining executives estimate that diamonds worth more than US$1
    billion could have been smuggled out of the country and sold in the black
    market over the  years including after  the arrival of the  two dubious
    South African companies to partner government in the Marange diamond
    ventures. "Diamonds worth more than US$1 billion have been looted in Marange
    since 2006," a senior mining executive said.

    "The pillaging was done by the soldiers, the diamond exploration and mining
    companies and artisanal miners; other state security agents; politicians,
    dealers, crooks and criminals."

    Well places sources interviewed described the Chiadzwa diamond mining story
    as a tale of fraud, smuggling, bribery and outright theft. It is riddled
    with corruption, including buying-offs and paying-off of dodgy mining
    dealers, smugglers and politicians, and a scandalous waste of public funds.
    The Zimbabwean public has not benefitted in a meaningful way from the
    Marange diamonds.

    Mbada is a joint venture between the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development
    Corporation (ZMDC)’s wholly-owned subsidiary Marange Resources and South
    Africa’s New Reclamation Group special purpose vehicle, Grandwell Holdings
    registered in Mauritius.

    Canadile was a joint venture between ZMDC’s Marange Resources and South
    Africa’s Core Mining and Minerals.

    ZMDC, through Marange Resources, concluded Memoranda of Agreement with New
    Reclamation Group and Core Mining for exploration of the Marange diamonds in
    July last year. The agreements were transitory for a period of three months
    within which the investors were to mobilise money and equipment to fulfill
    certain conditions precedent.

    Even though New Reclamation and Core Mining failed to fulfill their
    promises, especially of investing US$100 million each, they were allowed in
    and continued to extract and sell the diamonds mainly for their benefit.
    Even some basic tenets of the agreements were violated such as making
    retired Air Vice-Marshal Robert Mhlanga the chairman of Mbada when the
    agreement said the chairman would come from ZMDC.

    Scrap metal dealers

    During parliamentary hearings into the Chiadzwa mining issues this earlier
    this year, it became clear that so many things, including Mhlanga being
    Mbada chairman, were imposed by government for reasons never explained.

    Despite all the information and credibility gaps of the individuals and
    companies trying to mine in Marange, the shareholders’ agreement between
    ZMDC and New Reclamation was signed on August 14, 2009, while the one
    between ZMDC and Core Mining was signed on August 14, 2009.

    The companies were given permission to mine the Marange mining title which
    covers 66 000 hectares. There is an attempt to increase the area to cover a
    vast 123 000 hectares.

    The companies initially shortlisted to partner ZMDC included Benny Steinmetz
    Group Resources Limited (BSGR), New Reclamation Group, Southern African
    Investment and Infrastructure Company and Namakwa Diamonds. Other companies
    also engaged over the diamond investment issues include Community Energy,
    WMJ Lotter Consultants and Elkhart Mining.

    However, New Reclamation and Core Mining were chosen even though Core Mining
    was not even initially on the shortlist. What was surprising was that the
    South African companies – which had no mining experience and capacity - were
    chosen ahead of several other more qualified candidates.

    New Reclamation Group is a scrap metal company which a dubious record, while
    Core Mining is a shady company whose directors have been linked to smuggling
    in Angola and Mozambique and other sleazy activities like mercenary
    operations in Sierra Leone.

    South Africa's highest competition authority, the Competition Tribunal, in
    2008 fined New Reclamation R145 million for its involvement in collusion and
    price fixing in the ferrous and nonferrous scrap metals.

    Part II: Complex plots and sub-plots

    The Chiadzwa diamond mining saga has complex plots and sub-plots. It
    involves a chain of companies and individuals with a shady past and whose
    records are difficult to trace — in some cases for that reason.

    The issue has its genesis in 2002 when South African diamond mining giant De
    Beers’ subsidiary, Kimberlitic Searches (Pvt) Ltd, was granted a four-year
    Exclusive Prospecting Order (EPO) in Chiadzwa. The EPO expired on March 28
    2006.

    Africa Consolidated Resources (ACR), which is registered in the London Stock
    Exchange, has been fighting ZMDC in the courts over the Chiadzwa diamond
    concessions. The fight has had many twists and turns and remains in the
    courts despite that in the last round that High Court judge, Justice Charles
    Hungwe had ruled in favour of ZMDC after reversing his own earlier ruling
    made last year.

    The history of the fight between ZMDC and ACR is intriguing.

    After Kimberlitic Searches’ EPO had expired, ACR proceeded to peg claims in
    the disputed area (EOP 1523) and applied for registration of numerous blocks
    of claims in the names of Canape Investments (Pvt) Ltd, Dashaloo
    Investments, Possession Investments, Heavy Stuff Investment and Olebile
    Investment.

    ACR was then granted a diamond prospecting licence on April 4 2006.  On July
    21 2006 a Mutare assistant mining commissioner wrote to ACR saying their
    claims had been cancelled because Kimberlitic Searches had already submitted
    an application for an extension of the EPO.

    On September 15 the Mining Commissioner in Harare wrote to ACR saying the
    letter rescinding their claims was incorrect and that the claims were still
    valid.

    In August 2006 the then Mines minister Amos Midzi reserved an area which
    included ACR claims.

    In September the minister wrote to MMCZ advising them that he had reserved
    an area incorporating ACR claims to prevent illegal activities. He also said
    MMCZ must facilitate investment with local and foreign companies.

    Later in the same month Midzi visited the area with MMCZ officials and
    addressed illegal miners telling them that MMCZ was the only authority
    lawfully permitted on the site.

    Boxes of diamonds

    In October he warned ACR to stop clearing and fencing the claims. In
    November the assistant mining commissioner for Mutare told ACR that he had
    been instructed by his head office to cancel their claims.

    In January 2007 ACR chief executive Andrew Cranswick was summoned to
    Borrowdale police station in Harare where police seized three sealed boxes
    containing 129 400 carats of diamonds.

    These are the diamonds the Supreme Court in January ruled should be kept at
    the Reserve Bank until the case is finalised. Police had seized the diamonds
    in violation of the Supreme Court ruling.

    Mugabe and Mines Minister Mpofu defended the move, risking criminal contempt
    of court charges.

    Mineral claims are easy to change ownership because the Mines ministry is
    riddled with corruption and EPOs are granted and cancelled sometimes
    depending on who pays the highest “facilitation fee”!

    Missing US$30 ml

    Before August last year, and particularly before government started mining
    in Marange, smuggling was the order of the day after villagers invaded
    Chiadzwa. A thriving diamond underworld market ran unchallenged there since
    the discovery of diamonds by villagers in 2006. Prior to that there were
    exploration companies on the ground which were also accused of smuggling as
    well. So smuggling has been going on for years.

    However, the situation took a new and dramatic twist since government’s
    involvement. Public officials, including politicians, are now directly
    involved supposedly to protect public resources and public interest, but not
    much has changed. Smuggling and stealing is still rife.

    There has even been controversy about the official sale of diamonds recently
    under the supervision of Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).
    Initial reports said US$72 million worth of diamonds were sold but later
    government claimed it had only sold gems worth US$56 million. It was never
    clarified why there were two different figures.

    Finance Minister Biti in July raised alarm over some US$30 million realised
    from diamonds which he said was never declared to Treasury. Mpofu tried to
    downplay the issue but it was never resolved.

    It later resurfaced during internal ZMDC after the company’s directors
    failed to account for the figure.

    Documents show that there was a recent ZMDC inquiry on the usage of US$30
    million earned from diamond sales between October 2008 and April this year.

    Biti had announced on July 14 during the presentation of his mid-year fiscal
    policy review statement in parliament that US$30 million realised from
    diamond sales was missing.

    “According to the KPCS monitor, Zimbabwe recently sold at least US$30
    million worth of diamonds from Marange which Treasury and ZIMRA (Zimbabwe
    Revenue Authority) have no record or knowledge of,” Biti said.

    KPCS has been involved in trying to ensure Zimbabwe did not trade diamonds
    outside its processes. Although the KPCS has backed Zimbabwe to export
    diamonds, Harare’s diamond sales are still conditional and monitored. The
    KPCS banned Zimbabwe from selling diamonds in May after it was discovered
    the country was exporting gems illegally, mainly to Dubai.

    Government illegally exported diamonds through the back door to Dubai,
    United Arab Emirates (UAE), in violation of the January Supreme Court ruling
    which ordered a freeze in all mining activities at the controversial
    Chiadzwa diamond fields.

    Most of the funds obtained from the controversial Dubai diamonds sales were
    also wired through telegraphic transfers and received through the RBZ, some
    through CBZ Bank and  ABC Bank in Zimbabwe while some of the money was
    simply stashed offshore.

    Evidence show that some of the beneficiaries of the diamond transactions
    were ZMDC’s Sandawana Mines and Lesley Faye Marsh Jewellers (Pvt) Ltd which
    trade as Premier Diamonds. It is not clear to whom Premier really belongs
    to.

    Hot air

    Mpofu has denied that the US$30 money had vanished and dismissed Biti’s
    statement as “hot air” but failed to produce evidence to rebut the finance
    Minister’s claims.

    Mpofu said a forensic audit of diamonds mined in the controversial Marange
    fields was under way and would prove Biti wrong.

    But investigations showed  that Biti was right after all, except that the
    figure he mentioned was only the “tip of the iceberg”, according to some key
    sources.

    ZMDC documents say the company’s management recently told board members that
    ZMDC had sold diamonds worth US$30 million between October 2008 and April
    2010.

    However, when the board demanded documents to support the assertion and
    account for the money, the records only showed revenues amounting to US$22
    584 347.11. The difference of US$7 415 653.89 was not accounted for.

    The issue of how Mbada and Canadile came into the fray has always been
    simmering.

    Documents at hand show that after a due diligence between August 4-6 last
    year by ZMDC’s select board committee, which included the company’s
    executive Dominic Mubaiwa, board chairperson Gloria Mawarire, chairperson of
    the finance and investment committee Ashton Ndlovu, board member Mark
    Tsomondo and company secretary Tichaona Muhonde, shareholders’ agreements
    were signed but so many questions remained lingering.

    Mubaiwa, Mawarire, Ndlovu, Tsomondo and Muhonde were last week arrested on
    charges of fraud relating to this due diligence exercise and other issues,
    including the misappropriation of US$10 million and potentially prejudicing
    ZMDC of US$33 million.

    Canadlie deputy chairman Lovemore Kurotwi, who is also the chairman of Core
    Mining, was also arrested for allegedly obtaining the diamond mining
    concessions in a fraudulent manner.

    Kurotwi is accused of lying that Core Mining was a special purpose vehicle
    of global mining giant Benny Steinmetz Group Resources Limited (BSG
    Resources Ltd) when it was not.

    Kurotwi was arrested after he recently accused Mpofu in front of Mugabe of
    soliciting bribes during the cutting of the controversial diamond deals.

    Minutes of a meeting between Mpofu and ZMDC board members held on September
    20 at the Mines ministry’s board room say that the minister confirmed that
    Kurotwi had personally accused him of soliciting bribes in front of Mugabe.

    This, among other grounds including fraudulent misrepresentation of Core
    Mining and Minerals’ corporate profile and investment portfolio, was said to
    be the reason behind Kurotwi’s arrest.

    Obedient Son

    Mpofu –– who signed off his letters to Mugabe as “your ever obedient son” ––
    had initially in the meeting with ZMDC board members started with a
    disclaimer that there were “rumours, insinuations and allegations” of
    corruption levelled against him and the board.

    He went on to narrate to ZMDC board members his encounter with Kurotwi in a
    meeting with Mugabe.

    “The minister noted that in his meeting with His Excellency (Mugabe), Mr
    Kurotwi made a number of allegations against him and against the board
    members,” minutes of the September 20 meeting say.

    “Mr Kurotwi alleged that the minister was being a stumbling block to the
    setting up of the Zimbabwe Diamond Technology Centre which he incorrectly
    alleges was part of the original joint venture agreement,” the minutes say.

    They also say “that board members of the (Zimbabwe) Mining Development
    Corporation were working in cahoots with the minister against Canadile
    Miners, that the minister is directing the board to work against him
    (Kurotwi), that there were attempts from the minister to solicit bribes from
    him and to divide Core (Mining) shareholders and turn them against Mr
    Kurotwi.”

    Minutes say Kurotwi had accused Mpofu of asking for bribes and trying to
    divide Core Mining shareholders and turn them against him as the main
    investor.

    Kurotwi grilled

    The minutes say instead of confronting Mpofu over Kurotwi’s sensational
    allegations, Mugabe actually turned against the Canadile and Core Mining
    executive, grilling him over many issues.

    The fallout between Mugabe and Mpofu on the one hand and Kurotwi on the
    other mostly exposed Mugabe because as he had staked his reputation as
    president in March this year, claiming the issuing of mining contracts and
    concessions to what government claimed were “approved strategic investors”
    in Marange was above board.

    When MPs tried to investigate the issue earlier this year, Mugabe in March
    intervened personally making a spirited defence and justification of the
    dubious diamond mining arrangements.

    “We had a list of companies applying. Finally two of them, Mbada and
    Canadile, were chosen. They were recommended and I was shown the papers and
    their proposals. The ministry (of mines) then decided that for now they were
    preferable to the rest. We said fine. There are the ones who there for now,”
    Mugabe said.

    However, Mugabe’s encounter with Mpofu and Kurotwi reveals that either he
    just believed what he was told and did not read the “papers and proposals”
    he said he was shown or he was hoodwinked. It is also possible that are
    other unknown reasons why Mugabe defended Mbada and Canadile.

    During his meeting with Mpofu and Kurotwi in September, Mugabe found himself
    in an invidious position.

    Documents show that after Kurotwi accused Mpofu of soliciting bribes,
    Mugabe,  instead of confronting Mpofu over the sensational allegations,
    actually turned against Kurotwi and started grilling him over issues which
    the president himself  initially claimed were above board.

    Mugabe to the defence

    Mugabe asked Kurotwi about Core Mining’s corporate profile, its
    incorporation and whether it was true that the company was backed by BSG
    Resources Ltd.

    Kurotwi approached Mpofu in March last year saying he was a representative
    of BSG Resources when he was not.

    He then wrote a letter to Mpofu saying he represented Core Mining,
    purportedly a special purpose vehicle for BSGR which wanted to invest US$2
    billion in Marange diamonds.

    Kurotwi and ZMDC officials were arrested over this issue over which they are
    accused of fraudulent misrepresentations and prejudicing ZMDC of US$10
    million and trying to defraud the company of US$33 million.

    Mugabe, according to the minutes, also asked Kurotwi about his educational
    background and mining experience. The president also asked him how he
    expected Mpofu to sanction construction of the diamond centre without
    approval from his office, showing Mugabe is closely involved in the Chiadzwa
    diamond mining activities.

    Mugabe also queried Kurotwi over the ownership of the land on which the
    diamond centre was to be built.

    Further, Mugabe asked how much Core Mining had invested and why it was
    unable to bring the US$100 million it promised, as well as why the company
    had borrowed US$1,5 million from Agribank.

    Minutes say Kurotwi did not give Mugabe “credible answers”. After that
    meeting Mugabe ordered an internal ZMDC investigation which led to the
    arrest of Kurotwi and five ZMDC officials.

    But no one in the know about the Marange affairs expects the army of the law
    to be long enough to reach, Mugabe, his wife, his army generals and CIO
    officials who sources allege looted the alluvial deposits the most. –
    ZimOnline

    Zimbabwe’s new land barons

     
     


    by ZimOnline Investigations Team Tuesday 30 November 2010




     

    HARARE --  President Robert Mugabe, his loyalists in ZANU-PF, cabinet ministers, senior army and government officials and judges now own nearly 5 million hectares of  agricultural land, including wildlife conservancies and plantation land, seized from white commercial farmers since 2000, investigations by ZimOnline have revealed.

    This means that a new well-connected black elite of about 2 200 people now control close to half of the most profitable land seized from about 4 100 commercial farmers.

    Even though Mugabe has consistently maintained that his land reform programme is meant to benefit the poor black masses, it is him and his cronies who have got the most out of it, according to our three month long investigations.

    ZimOnline can conclusively state that Mugabe and his second wife Grace, now own 14 farms, worth at least 16 000 hectares in size.

    All ministers from Mugabe's ZANU PF in Zimbabwe's coalition government and ZANU PF deputy ministers are multiple farm owners. That probably explains why Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's determined push to have a new land audit done to uncover multiple farm owners has persistently hit a brickwall.

    Mugabe's deputy Joyce Mujuru, alongside his influential husband, former army general Solomon Mujuru, and their relatives, own at least 25 farms with a combined hectarage of more than 105 000.

    Critics who have consistently dismissed Zimbabwe's emotional land reforms as a political patronage programme by the octogenarian Mugabe to reward supporters who have kept him in power are right after all.

    But the veteran leader insists the programme is meant to redress colonial imbalances and benefited the povo. Mugabe, whose agrarian reforms have been criticised by the West, says some 300,000 people have benefitted from the programme.

    However, investigations by ZimOnline have shown that while at least 150,000 ordinary people may have had access to farms, the majority own between 10 and 50 hectares each after some of the huge farms were subdivided into small plots. But these ordinary people only accessed land on the strengths of their ZANU PF party membership cards.

    With the notable exception of Welshman Ncube, the secretary-general of a small splinter faction of the MDC, no high profile civil society and MDC officials have benefited from the land seizures. 

    But some 2,200 well connected people – Mugabe, his wife Grace, their top allies, friends and relatives -- have parcelled among themselves choice farms spanning from 250 hectares to as much as 4,000 hectares in the most fertile farming regions in the country, in clear violation of the government’s own policy of capping farm sizes.

    Land the size of Slovakia

    Government documents and investigations show that Mugabe and his top allies control nearly 40 percent of the 14 million hectares of land seized from whites, which if put together are the size of Slovakia, with a population of 5.4 million people.

    Before 2000, the 4,500 members of the largely white Commercial Farmers’ Union and another 1,500 unaffiliated white farmers owned close to 15 million hectares of Zimbabwe’s most arable land and wildlife conservancies.

    A decade later, less than 400 white farmers remain on the land, with the rest expelled and their properties handed over to politically correct blacks.

    And research, including examination of various government documents and audit reports show that the biggest beneficiaries of the land reform programme remain ZANU-PF members and supporters, security service chiefs and officers and traditional chiefs who have openly sided with Mugabe and senior government officials and judges.

    Some top government officials have been fingered in three official audits as multiple farm owners, clearly thumping their noses at the government’s own failed policy of “one man one farm”.

    The 86-year-old Mugabe and his young second wife, Grace, are the chief multiple farm owners, with 14 farms in total, including seven in his home province of Mashonaland West and in the agriculture rich district of Mazowe in Mashonaland Central.

    The farms measure over 16,000 hectares – enough to build 160,000 medium density houses – and include a five-in-one 4,046-hectare property named Gushungo Estate in Darwendale near Mugabe's rural Zvimba home.

    “This is a political programme camouflaged as land reform because it is clear that land has been transferred to high profile people and not the landless,” John Worsley-Worswick from the vocal Justice For Agriculture (JAG) farmers pressure group said.

    Another of Mugabe's deputies, John Nkomo is also a multiple farm owner. He now controls the lucrative Jijima wildlife sanctuary in north-west Zimbabwe after he muscled out a fellow black farmer.

    Nkomo, who already owned another farm in Matabeleland, seized the Jijima lodge wildlife conservancy (size unkonwn) in north western Zimbabwe in defiance of a High Court order against him.

    Asset stripping

    Mugabe has not acted on the multiple farm owners, despite three government land audits which fingered top ZANU-PF officials and recommended that they return the farms.

    Investigations show that for example Edna Madzongwe, Senate Speaker and a Mugabe relative has since 2000 seized six productive commercial farms in Chegutu district, Mashonaland West province, farms which she has all but run down.

    These are Aitape, Cobun Estates, Bourne, Mpofu Farm, Reyden and Stockdale Farm, which she seized from an elderly white couple last year. The farms, which span 5,200 hectares in total, are all in Chegutu, some 100 kilometres west of capital Harare.

    “Some of this can only be described as asset stripping because if you look at the farms now they are now in a derelict state and Madzongwe keeps hoping from one farm to another,” said a white commercial farmer who lost his farm but declined to be named fearing victimisation.

    Investigations also showed that top politicians have in the past years moved from one farm to another, stripping them of equipment and selling off the produce, which has seen some of them rich overnight.

    But Madzongwe is only one of several high-ranking ZANU-PF officials who have more than one farm.

    Governor’s five farms

    The president of the Chiefs’ Council Fortune Charumbira has seized more than four farms in Masvingo measuring 6,600 hectares in total and Information Minister Webster Shamu owns Lambourne farm and Selous Tobacco Estates in Mashonaland West measuring 1,660 hectares.

    A government audit carried in 2002 showed that former Mashonaland West provincial governor Peter Chanetsa at one point had five farms spanning 4,000 hectares, former Mines Minister and legislator Chindori Chininga, Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo, former Information Minister Jonathan Moyo own or have owned multiple farms at some point.

    “It is incumbent on the government and … ZANU-PF to quickly re-align the land reform programme implementation to the national land policy in order to reassert its credibility as a just and democratic programme to equitably redistribute the land in Zimbabwe and empower the indigenous people through land ownership,” the audit report said.

    Agriculture remains the mainstay of Zimbabwe’s economy but production in the sector has plunged by 60 percent since 2000 when government-backed land invasions started.

    Exports from the sector have fallen from $1.4 billion – 41percent of exports – in 2000 to nearly $700 million last year, after falling below $500 million in 2007, blamed largely on poorly equipped new black farmers and lack of farming inputs like seed and fertiliser.

    But the downfall in agricultural output is also attributed in part to the fact that a huge chunk of some of the most productive and largest former white-owned commercial farms hoarded by senior Mugabe political allies are lying fallow either because the new owners are not that keen on farming or they simply abandoned the properties for new farms.

    Gov’t to seize excess land

    Lands and Rural Resettlement Minister Hebert Murerwa said while there were some people with multiple farms, these were very few and would be forced to give them up.

    “The fact that a handful of people may have more than one farm does not detract from the overwhelming success of the land reform where the government has created 300,000 new farmers over the last ten years” Murerwa said.

    While much has been said bout the failure of black villagers resettled on former white farms to feed Zimbabwe chiefly because they lack financial resources, little is said about the fact that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe went to great lengths  -- including employing rather questionable methods such as printing money -- to try to fund the new farmers.

    The central bank had between 2003 and 2008 pumped in $3 billion in the agriculture sector alone by printing money and raiding accounts of NGOs and exporters, to buy subsidised farming equipment, fuel, seed and fertiliser. But this has mostly benefitted influential Mugabe allies, some who are accused of selling inputs on the black market.

    Malawi in comparison, which spend half the amount to support its farmers has grown to become a net food exporter, while Zimbabwe continues to plug a food deficit.

    Political analysts say Mugabe has managed to ensure support from the key security service, including the army, police and central intelligence, by dishing out prime farms to commanders and senior officers.

    The security forces

    Of the nearly 200 officers from the rank of Major to the Lieutenant General in the Zimbabwe National Army, 90 percent have farms in the most fertile parts of the country. This is replicated in the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Zimbabwe Prisons Service, Air Force of Zimbabwe and CIO.

    In total there are 400 officers in the security services alone who are known to have farms above 250 hectares, often seized at gun point from the previous white owners while several lower ranking officers and war veterans also have smaller holdings.

    Constantine Chiwenga, the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander, who is among a cabal of Defence Forces chiefs who have publicly declared that they will only serve Mugabe, has two farms near Harare, including the 1,200 hectare Chakoma Estates, which his wife seized at gunpoint, telling a terrified white farmer that she lusted for white blood and sought the slightest excuse to kill him.

    Perence Shiri, a veteran of the liberation struggle whose record was soiled during his command of an army crack unit in an insurgency crackdown in Matabeleland in early 1980s, has two farms, the 1,460 hectare Eirin farm in Marondera, which he seized after evicting 96 landless families and the 1,950 hectare banana producing Bamboo Creek in Shamva.

    Augustine Chihuri, Mugabe’s loyal Police Commissioner General owns Woodlands Farm (size unknown) in Shamva.

    In the past year more than a dozen senior army and air force officers with have used armed soldiers to evict white commercial farmers.

    In August last year Brigadier General Justin Mujaji evicted white farmer Charles Lock from his 376 hectare Karori farm in Headlands district east of Harare and defied several High Court orders, including one meant to allow Lock to take his tobacco and maize crop and equipment.

    “Clearly there is a common thread here, where the military which is supposed to defend its citizens brazenly terrorises them in the name of land reform,”  said John Makumbe, a University of Zimbabwe political lecturer and Mugabe critic.

    Politburo and judges

    All of ZANU-PF’s 56 politburo members, 98 Members of Parliament and 35 elected and unelected Senators were allocated former white farms, all 10 provincial governors have seized farms, with four being multiple owners, while 65 percent of the country’s more than 200 mostly partisan traditional chiefs have also benefited from the land reforms.

    Sixteen Supreme Court and High Court Judges, including Chief Justice Chidyausiku, who owns the 1 000 hectare Estes Park farm in Mazowe/Concession district, also own large farms ranging between 540 to 1380 hectares.

    Forty serving and former ambassadors have been allocated farms, with 70 percent of Parastatals bosses also owning large tracts of land.

    Investigations have also revealed that Mugabe’s personal banker and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono surprisingly does not own a farm given to him by government but has managed to buy four farms, including the prime 4,000 hectare Donnington farm in Norton he purchased in 2001.

    Sources said Gono, who at the time was CBZ Holdings chief executive who personally authorised loans for senior government officials, bought the farms at knockdown prices from farmers who were under pressure from invaders to leave their properties.

    "The white farmers have simply been replaced by a new black elite," said a source. But while the old white farmers regarded farming as a profession and most worked their land full time maintaining Zimbabwe as the bread basket of Africa , the Mugabe cronies who have replaced them largely fit the mould of what Mugabe himself has described as "mobile phone farmers".

    They are largely responsible for converting Zimbabwe into a basket case as they have used their land more for weekend recreation.

    Minister of State in Vice President Joyce Mujuru's office, Sylvester Nguni, himself a huge land owner, once accused his fellow ZANU PF officials of only acquiring vast swathes of land "for pride" as they had dismally failed to use their land many years after they seized it.

    While most of the seized land controlled by these top Mugabe cronies continue to lie fallow, most of the poor peasants and small holder farmers in communal and other better areas account for most of the improvements in agricultural output last year.

    In fact, the peasant farmers accounted for more than half of Zimbabwe's total maize production even before the mass evictions of white landowners who mostly focused on cash crops.

    Sources say if the land reforms had been based on a transparent poverty alleviation thresholds and properly implemented with the right beneficiaries being selected and empowered without Mugabe's patronage considerations, the white farmers would largely have not been missed.

    But even the 350 000 black farm workers, who many had thought would be among the initial targets or beneficiaries of land reforms were largely ignored. 

    Unconfirmed reports say many of the former farm labourers have died due to poverty after they were evicted alongside their former white employers. The few who remained on the farms have to content with the new black landowners who don't invest on the properties and pay them starvation wages. -- ZimOnline

    LIST OF ZIMBABWE’S TOP FARM OWNERS

     *The list is not exhaustive as district land officers who have the knowledge of farm owners in any given district were in some cases unwilling to disclose such details for fear of possible reprisals.  

     

    NAME          FARM SIZE                                    AREA

     

     

    R. MUGABE                                    Gushungo Estates 4046ha                                    Darwendale

     

    Gushungo Dairies 1000ha                                    Mazowe

    Iron MasK                  1046ha                                    Mazowe

                                                                    Sigaru Farm     873ha                                    Mazowe

                                                       Gwebi Wood                  1200ha                                    Mazowe

                                                        Gwina Farm                  1445ha                                    Banket

                                                      Leverdale Farm1488ha                                    Mazowe

                                                       Highfield                   445ha                                    Norton

                                                      Cressydale Estate676ha                                    Norton

                                                      Tankatara                  575ha                                                      Norton

                                                              Clifford                  1050ha                                                      Norton

    John O’Groat Farm760h                                    Norton

    Bassiville                  1200ha                                                      Mazowe

     

     

    S & M. MUJURU                                    Alamein Farm                  1300ha                                    Beatrice

                                 

    JOHN NKOMO                                    Gijima Lodge                   xxx                                     Hwange

     

    SIMON KHAYA MOYO                  Marula Block 36                  2034ha                                    Bulilamangwe

     

     

    CABINET MINISTERS

    Joseph Made                                    Tara Farm                   840ha                                    Odzi 

    Emmerson Mnangagwa                  Sherwood Farm                  1600ha                                    Kwekwe                     

    Francis Nhema                                    Nyamanda                  1000ha                                    Karoi

    Stanislaus Mudenge                  Chikore Farm                  760ha                                    Masvingo

    Kembo Mohadi                                    Jopembe Block                  3000ha                                    Beitbridge

                                                            Benlynian Range                  3200ha                                    Beitbridge 

     

    Patrick Chinamasa                                    Tsukumai                                    800ha                                    Headlands

                                                                      Nyamazura                  1260ha                                    Rusape

    Hebert Murerwa                                    Rise Holm                  1100ha                                    Arcturus

     

    Ignatius Chombo                                    Allan Grange                  3000ha                                    Banket                               

                                                                       Oldham                                    400ha                                    Chegutu

                                                          Shingwiri                                    1600ha                                    Chegutu

    Webster Shamu                                    Lambourne Farm                  1340ha                                    Selous

                                                               Tobacco Estate                  900ha                                    Chegutu

    Obert Mpofu                                    Young Farm                   2300ha                                    Nyamandlovu

                                                         Umguza Block 39, 40, 41 6200ha                  Umguza

                                                                  Auchenberg                  1026ha                                    Nyamandlovu

    Sithembiso Nyoni                                    Fountain Farm                  3100ha                                    Insiza

    Walter Mzembi                                      BW Farm                                    720ha                                    Masvingo

     

    Nicholas Goche                                     Ceres Farm                  xxx                                    Shamva

     

    Savior Kasukuwere                                    Conucorpia Farm                  100ha                                    Mazowe

                                                            Harmony Farm                  500ha                                    Mazowe                

    Didymus Mutasa

     

    Sydney Sekeramayi                                    Maganga Farm                  620ha                                    Marondera

    Edna Madzongwe                                    Aitape Farm                  2000ha                                    Chegutu

                                                                     Coburn Estates Plot 13A560ha                  Chegutu

                                                                     Bourne Farm                   445ha                                    Chegutu

                                                                     Mpofu Farm                  1200ha                                    Chegutu

                                                                      Stockdale Farm                  750ha                                    Chegutu

                                                                      Reyden Farm                  1340ha

     

     

     

    SECURITY SERVICES

    Constantine Chiwenga                  Chakoma Estates                  1276ha                                    Goromonzi

    Perence Shiri                                    Bamboo Creek                  1950ha                                    Shamva

                                                              Eirin Farm                  1460ha                                    Marondera

    Augustine Chihuri                                    Woodlands Farm                  xxx                                    Shamva

    Paradzayi Zimondi                                    Upton Farm                  1029ha                                    Goromonzi

    Happyton Bonyongwe                  Thetford Farm                                 

                                       

    Henry Muchena                                    Serui Drift                  1500ha                                     Chegutu                          

    Abu Basutu                                    Swallowfork Ranch                  2711ha                                    West Nicholson        

    Elson Moyo                                    Daisy Farm                  1600ha                                    Chegutu

     

    JUDGES

    Godfrey Chidyausiku                  Estes Park                   895ha                                    Concession

    Luke Malaba                                    Marula Block 35                  1866ha                                    Bulilamangwe

    Paddington Garwe                                    Faun Farm                  760ha                                    Chegutu

    Antonia Guvava                                    Harndale Farm                  1000ha                                    Chegutu

    Mafios Cheda                                    Marula Block 37                  3039ha                                    Bulilamangwe

    Ben Hlatshwayo                                    Kent Estate                   800ha                                    Norton  

    Charles Hungwe                                    Little England                  6956ha                                    Makonde

    Chitakunye Alfias                                    The Grange                  1300ha                                    Chegutu

     

    PROVINCIAL GOVERNORS

    David Karimanzira                                    Arcadia Farm                  1300ha                                    Marondera

    Cain Mathema                                    Gwayi Ranch                  4600ha                                    Gwayi

                                                                Umguza Block                  3700ha                                    Umguza    

    Chris Mushohwe                                    Kondozi Farm                  400ha                                    Odzi

     

    Titus Maluleke                                     Clipshap Farm                  3000ha                                    Masvingo 

    Thokozile Mathutu                                    Dete Valley Farm                  2800ha                                    Dete

                                                            Anthonia Extension6500ha                                    Umguza

    Angeline Masuku                                    Wollendale Farm                  3000ha                                    Gwanda

    Cephas Msipa                                    Cheshire Farm                  2100ha                                    Gweru

     

     

    ZANU-PF/GOVT HIGH RANKING OFFICIAL

    Reward Marufu                                    Leopards Vlei                  1294ha                                    Glendale

                                                                  Kachere Farm                  880ha                                    Mazowe

    Sabina Mugabe                                    Mlembwe Farm                  1037ha                                    Makonde

                                                           Longwood Farm                  924ha                                    Makonde

                                                            Gowrie Farm                  430ha                                    Norton

    Leo Mugabe                                          Diandra                                    815ha                                    Darwandale

                                                         Nangadza                                    1200ha                                    Mhangura

                                                            Journey’s End                  3000ha                                    Makonde

    Patrick Zhuwao                                    Marivale Farm                  244ha                                    Mazowe

     

    George Charamba                                    Battlefields 02                  1572ha                                    Kwekwe

    Nathan Shamuyarira                  Mt Carmel                  xxx                                    Chegutu

    Bright Matonga                           Lions Vlei                  2000ha                                    Chegutu

    Amos Midzi                                     Magudu Ranch                  10701ha                                    Chiredzi

    Dick Mafios                                Insingizi Farm                  1100ha                                    Bindura

                                                                Melfort                                    554ha                                    Mazowe

    Joseph Chinotimba                                    Watakai                                    1240ha                                    Mazowe

    Happison Muchechetere                   Burry Hill Estate                   617ha                                    Makonde

    Tobaiwa Mudede                                     Ballineety                  3147ha                                    Nyabira

    Austin Zvoma                                    Chinomwe Estates                  1432ha                                    Makonde     

    Mariyawanda Nzuwa                  Stella Burton                  425ha                                    Mazowe  

    David Parirenyatwa                                    Rudolphia                  802ha                                    Murewa

    Charles Utete                                    Rudzimi                                    3350ha                                    Lomagundi

    Paddy Zhanda                                    Chipfumbi Meadows1364ha                                    Goromonzi


    CIOs hunt newsman over Chombo story

    http://www.swradioafrica.com/

    by Irene Madongo
    30 November 2010

    State agents are understood to be after the Standard newspaper’s deputy
    editor, over a story about Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo’s
    excessive wealth. The newspaper’s editor could also be jailed as police
    continue their clampdown on the independent media.

    ZANU PF’s Chombo is being widely condemned around the country after his
    staggering wealth, revealed in his divorce battle, detailed his ownership of
    innumerable properties, plus farms, mines and hunting lodges in Zimbabwe as
    well as properties in South Africa. Opposition parties and residents
    associations want an official investigation to be launched into how he
    acquired this wealth.

    On Sunday night members of the notorious Central Intelligence Organisation
    visited the home of the Standard’s deputy editor, Walter Marwizi. They
    visited again at around 4:30 am.

    The Standard’s editor Nevanji Madanhire said: “I think it should be related.
    He wrote an article about Chombo in the Standard. It’s about Chombo’s
    property. He was just asking the opinion of civil society, what do they
    think of his wealth and they were saying he is not fit for public office and
    all that. I think this is the Chombo issue.”

    Madanhire himself was on Tuesday charged with publishing falsehoods and
    could be jailed over another story that appeared in the paper. The story
    claimed that exams for promotion in the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) were
    scrapped, so that retired police and war vets could occupy vacant top posts
    in the force to direct operations during the 2011 polls.

    The ZRP denies the allegations, and wants the paper to reveal the source
    behind the article. The newspaper says it is unethical to do so, and the
    source could be tortured if exposed.

    Nqobani Ndlovu, the journalist who wrote the ZRP story, was charged for
    defaming the police under Section 31 of the Criminal Law (Codification and
    Reform) Act. He was thrown into prison and released last Friday, after
    spending nine days behind bars. His lawyer is challenging a section of this
    law and wants it to be declared unconstitutional.

    Commentators have warned that the harassment of journalists by the ZRP,
    headed by Mugabe loyalist Augustine Chihuru, will worsen as the country
    heads towards elections.
    Another NGO ban feared as polls loom
    http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk
    Written by Vusimuzi Bhebhe
      
    Tuesday, 16 November 2010 12:37
    HARARE – A famine early warning system says the operating environment for aid agencies in Zimbabwe is likely to worsen in the run-up to next year’s general elections, reigniting fears of another ban on activities of non-governmental organisations critical of President Robert Mugabe’s policies.

    The US-funded Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWSNET) last week warned that the government was likely to block critically needed humanitarian support for the hungry and other marginalised groups as campaigning for polls gathers momentum next year.

    “If conditions become politically volatile, humanitarian agencies might be called to stop their support,” FEWSNET said.

    Mugabe’s government banned all NGO field operations in June 2008 after accusing relief agencies of using aid distribution as a pretext to carry out political work for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his
    MDC-T.

    The veteran leader, who lost both presidential and parliamentary
    elections to Tsvangirai and his party in March 2008 but survived to
    fight another day because the opposition leader just fell short of the
    required margin to take over the presidency, has in recent years
    stepped up pressure against NGOs accusing them of using food aid
    distribution as a pretext to campaign for the MDC-T.

    He has hinted on calling an early election in 2011 at the end of the
    lifespan of a two-year coalition government he was forced to enter
    into with Tsvangirai in February last year.

    Zimbabwe, once a regional breadbasket, has grappled with severe food
    shortages since 2000 when Mugabe launched his haphazard fast-track
    “land reform” exercise that displaced established white commercial
    farmers and replaced them with either incompetent or inadequately
    funded black farmers.

    Shortages of seed and fertilizer have regularly hampered planting
    since the “land reforms” started and international relief agencies
    have had to step in with food aid.

    FEWSNET also warned of a significant deterioration in Zimbabwe’s food
    security situation until the next harvest around March/April 2011.

    “Over the next six months, the most likely food security scenario is a
    deterioration of food security status across a greater part of the
    country with the exception of the central area which is traditionally
    a grain surplus region,” it said.

    An increased number of people in other parts of the country are
    “likely to become moderately food insecure throughout the lean season
    and outlook period from October 2010 to March 2011”.

    Close to a million Zimbabweans are estimated to require food aid until
    the end of the year and the number could rise by more than 40 percent
    before the next harvest.

    According to a FEWSNET report published in October, the food-insecure
    population in Zimbabwe’s rural areas is estimated at 904 463 between
    October and December, up from about 536 000 during the third quarter
    of 2010.

    It was estimated that at the peak, 1.3 million people would be food
    insecure during the 2010/11 consumption year which ends in March next
    year.

    ZANU PF hangs onto broadcasting monopoly ahead of elections

    http://www.swradioafrica.com/

    By Lance Guma
    15 November 2010

    Six months ago several independent daily and weekly newspapers were licenced
    by the Zimbabwe Media Commission, in what was hailed as progress by the
    coalition government in terms of media reforms. But back then we correctly
    predicted that ZANU PF would only let go of something that it could easily
    control and that people had limited access to (print media) and that the
    same reforms would not be extended to broadcasting.

    Last week Robert Mugabe’s ‘motor-mouth’ spokesperson and permanent secretary
    in the Ministry of Information, George Charamba, confirmed the worst kept
    secret in ZANU PF’s election strategy. He told a parliamentary portfolio
    committee that government had no intention of issuing broadcasting licences
    to private players, as stipulated by the power sharing accord, until they
    had developed the capacity to monitor and regulate the activities of the new
    players.

    Charamba was contradicting remarks made by his boss, Information Minister
    Webster Shamu, who only last month urged the Broadcasting Authority of
    Zimbabwe to urgently expedite the issuing of licences to private
    broadcasters and create a platform for community radio stations to go on
    air. Not that anyone took Shamu seriously anyway, but Charamba’s position is
    thought to reflect Mugabe’s own position, given he is his spokesman.

    Among the many flimsy excuses Charamba used was; "Our laws still need to be
    developed in regard to political advertising. Presently the law only
    regulates advertising in the election period and this is a well-defined
    period that is from the declaration of the election date to the polling day.
    The regulation is done by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. The law is unclear
    of what ZBC should do outside elections and the ministry's position is clear
    we let sleeping dogs lie.”

    The MDC-T immediately hit back saying;“ZANU PF wants to refuse these reforms
    and continue with its propaganda agenda on its failed policies and rampant
    corruption that is now in the public domain. By maintaining the status quo
    and denying the entry of private broadcasters, Charamba and his masters are
    desperately trying to prop-up ZANU PF’s declining grip through the airwaves
    ahead of elections expected next year.”

    Even though Charamba claims there are no clear regulations on political
    advertising the state owned broadcaster continues ‘churning out ZANU PF
    propaganda, bordering on hate language hourly while advertisements of
    national interests such as the Constitution making process have been denied
    space.’
    Tabani Moyo, an advocacy officer with the Media Institute of Southern
    Africa, told SW Radio Africa other countries and regions had already moved
    away from debates centred of who should be licenced. Instead they were
    focused on issues to do with digital standards in the broadcasting area.
    Moyo said it was clear there was no interest in the Ministry to open up the
    airwaves and ‘shockingly Zimbabwe wants to present a picture of uniqueness
    that there is a unique state security issue at stake” when is come to
    broadcasting.

    Meanwhile the weekly Zimbabwe Standard newspaper reports that ZBC, which is
    struggling financially, “is paying senior executives obscene salaries and
    allowances” and could soon collapse if there is no emergency capital
    injected. The paper quoted sources who say ZBC almost failed to pay workers
    last month. The broadcasters “transmission equipment and cameras are
    obsolete and constantly break down” the Standard reported.

    At the centre of their financial woes is the 60 percent drop in advertising
    after the station hiked rates to unreasonable levels. The situation is made
    worse by the broadcaster’s poor programming and nauseating ZANU PF
    propaganda which has forced many people to invest in satellite decoders to
    watch foreign stations. But this situation has not stopped ZBC managers
    giving themselves over US$200 000 each for the purchase of houses and
    residential stands.

    While most reporters are on US$350 per month, the Standard reports that
    “managers were getting as much as US$20 000 per month inclusive of salary,
    housing, transport and entertainment allowances as well as fees for their
    children and holiday allowances. On top of that they also get 1 000 litres
    of fuel every month.” The motive, the paper reports, is to keep the managers
    happy since they are at the ZBC to prop up ZANU PF and Mugabe.

    All this mismanagement and corruption has not stopped the Iranians from
    coming in to help fund the broadcaster's digitalisation programme. Via a
    loan from Iran “ZBC will refurbish its studios at Pockets Hill, Montrose,
    Radio Zimbabwe and Gweru in addition to outside broadcasting equipment,”
    according to Charamba.

    War vets demand meeting with Coltart

    http://www.thestandard.co.zw/

    Saturday, 13 November 2010 20:28

    WAR veterans have demanded a meeting with Education, Sport, Arts and Culture
    minister, David Coltart, escalating the war of attrition over the Senator’s
    statements that Gukurahundi was akin to genocide.
    The ex-freedom fighters, led by Joseph Chinotimba, gave Coltart a seven day
    ultimatum which ended last Thursday, to apologise for his sentiments but the
    minister has refused to budge.
    “They asked for the meeting,” Coltart confirmed yesterday. “I will not
    apologise, there is no need to.”
    War veterans wrote to Coltart asking him to apologise or face the full wrath
    of former fighters, who threatened to “invade” his office if he failed to.
    “Coltart, your utterances have automatically invited war veterans to your
    office and we are therefore coming to your office for explanations,” reads
    the letter signed by Chinotimba and war veterans provincial chairman, only
    referred to as Cde Mpofu. “Indeed, you owe us and all Zimbabweans an
    apology.”
    The war veterans allege that Coltart was a member of the notorious Selous
    Scouts and therefore was least qualified to speak on the disturbances that
    rocked Matabeleland and Midlands after independence.
    Coltart denies having served as a member of Selous Scout.
    “By virtue of your unacceptable background as a former active member of the
    Rhodesian Selous Scout, you are least qualified to comment on the
    Matabeleland post-independence disturbances and the so-called human rights
    violations — which in actual fact do not exist,” reads part of the letter.
    Coltart, the war veterans charged, should be grateful for the amnesty and
    reconciliation he benefited from after President Robert Mugabe took power in
    1980.
    “Why are you poking your nose in matters that concern blacks? Remember there
    is an adage which says; if an owl lives together with chickens (sic), it
    does not mean that it is also a chicken,” the letter continues.
    The former freedom fighters also accused Coltart and Roy Bennett of being
    unrepentant, jeopardising the livelihoods of white commercial farmers that
    had remained on farms.
    “Your utterances have given us second thoughts on those white farmers who
    are still on our land. It is crystal clear that some former Rhodies the
    likes of Bennett and yourself are not even apologetic of their unacceptable
    background.
    “Shame on you Coltart! We have had enough of your nonsense and we can no
    longer brook in any more (sic),” the letter states.
    On his part Coltart said he had been partly misquoted in the story but
    maintained that colonial and post-colonial human rights abuses should be
    addressed.

    BY NQABA MATSHAZI
     


    Mabhena’s life is in danger after his family spurned a Zanu PF offer

    4 Nov 2010
    www.zimtelegraph.com/?p=11383

    Mabhena’s life is in danger after his family spurned a Zanu PF offer last month to have the great late national hero, Welshman Mabhena interred at the national shrine. Norman Mabhena, a member of the MDC top decision making body, as the Secretary for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration, is brother to the late nationalist and fearless fighter for Zimbabwe’s independence and democracy who died in Bulawayo last month after a long struggle with diabetes and high blood pressure.

    In Matabeleland South, the Secretary for Local Government Hon. Sesel Zvidzai, is in the province where he is meeting councillors who are being threatened by leaders of the Arthur Mutambara group after they indicated that they wished to re-join the MDC. The councillors wanted Hon. Zvidzai to explain the policy position on floor-crossing in local government. He assured them that they were free to come back home without the risk of losing their positions as elected representatives of their wards.

    The Mutambara group has suffered mass defections in rural Matabeleland from councillors after it became clear that their unelected leadership is now part of Zanu PF. In response to the defections, Mutambara says he has banned mass defections to the MDC. What that means is unclear. That is why Hon. Zvidzai is in the region to explain the correct legal position.

    Meanwhile, Hwange Senator Jabulani Ndlovu who was involved in a car accident on Tuesday along the Hwange – Victoria Falls highway has been transferred from Hwange Hospital to Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo where he is in intensive unit.

    Together united winning, ready for real Change!


    MDC Information & Publicity Department
    Harvest House
    44 Nelson Mandela Ave
    Harare
    Zimbabwe
    Tel: 00263 4 793 250

    Civic Society Statement on the Impending Referendum and Elections

    http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

    Sunday, 31 October 2010 12:20

    ZIMBABWE ELECTION SUPPORT NETWORK

    Vumba - 29 October 2010 – The Zimbabwe Election Support Network the leading
    independent network on elections in Zimbabwe convened a conference in
    Vumba – Leopard Rock Hotel which brought together various organisations and
    partners working on elections to deliberate on electoral issues in light of
    the possible referendum on the new constitution and elections in 2011.

    The conference was held under the theme: Enhancing Mutual Cooperation and
    Interaction on election Related activities amongst CSOs.
    Ninety participants attended the conference and deliberated on Zimbabwe’s
    preparedness for a referendum and elections in which they noted that the
    environment was not conducive for holding democratic elections particularly
    considering the following;
    ?    The political environment remains highly volatile, uncertain, and
    tense. The polarized environment-does not favor holding of elections as
    violence would most likely erupt.
    ?    The GNU has not repealed repressive legislation such as the Public
    Order Security Act (POSA), the Access to Information and Protection of
    Privacy Act (AIPPA) and the Broadcasting Services Act.
    ?    These Acts have restricted people’s civil liberties and freedoms of
    expression and association and they are inimical to the holding of free and
    fair elections.
    ?    Institutions and infrastructure that support violence such as the Youth
    militia, war veterans and a partisan security force remain unreformed and
    therefore a threat to democratic elections
    ?    The safety of human rights defenders and activists remains an issue of
    concern as this curtails the oversight function of civic society.
    Civic society organisations represented therefore demanded the following;
    ?    A total end and denunciation of politically related violence and
    prosecution of the perpetrators of all forms of political violence
    ?    That SADC ensures a non violent, free and fair election that respects
    the will of the people of Zimbabwe.
    ?    That, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) be capacitated and
    resourced to improve its ability to manage elections efficiently and
    effectively.
    ?    That there is need for complete overhaul and restructuring of ZEC
    secretariat with a view to reform the institution into a professional body
    that is non-partisan.
    ?    That ZEC be in charge of all electoral processes including voter
    registration and control, compile and update of voters’ rolls.
    ?    That the ZEC be a truly independent electoral body that is accountable.
    ?    That there is need to do an overhaul review of the voters’ roll before
    the next elections
    ?    That media freedoms be restored and guaranteed particularly the
    liberalization of the state media and licensing of independent radio and
    television stations;
    ?    That police presence should be limited to outside the polling station
    where incidences of violence are most likely to occur.
    ?     That the Presidential powers and temporary measures Act be made of no
    effect during election time as it gives unfair advantage to one particular
    political party.
    ?    That, the right of assembly be restored and guaranteed;
    ?    That, the legislative framework for the elections be clarified as
    quickly as possible, while ensuring the greatest possible degree of
    consensus between election stakeholders and participation of relevant local
    and international organizations;
    ?    The elections be administered at every level in an impartial and
    professional manner;
    ?    Parties in the inclusive government look at the interests and fears of
    the security chiefs and open negotiations with them with a view of making
    sure that they do not interfere with the electoral process.
    ?    That the inclusive government ensures that a national election
    communication centre is set up and accessible to all political players and
    stakeholders and that results be announced as they come from the various
    centres before there is any possibility for manipulation by those with
    access to the process.
    ?    Civic society also demanded reforms that provide for early
    accreditation and the safety of local and international observers.
    ?    The role of inviting and accrediting of all observers should fall under
    the election management body. Adequate numbers of observers need to be
    accredited early (as soon as proclamation is done) and deployed to all areas
    of the country.
    ?    The election should be monitored and supervised by regional and
    international bodies such as SADC, the African Union and United Nations who
    are present well in advance of the polls, and post-polling day.
    ?    Emphasis was on the need for transparency in all processes of the
    elections which include; results management and announcement, transparency
    in the production of ballot materials  and processing of special and  postal
    votes
    ?    Participation of diaspora in the electoral process
    ?    Guarantee of peace and mechanisms that ensure flawless installation of
    winners into government.
    With a view of improving future elections, CSOs proposed that reforms are a
    matter of urgency and imperative before elections are held. The present
    environment does not provide a conducive environment for the holding of
    democratic elections. Nevertheless, if need be, ZESN and CSOs are ready and
    remain committed to monitor the process and advocate for minimum conditions
    before the Referendum and next elections through effective coordinated
    interventions.

    ORGANISATIONS IN ATTENDANCE
    1.    Achieve Your Goal Trust
    2.    Bulawayo Agenda
    3.    Bulawayo People Residents Association
    4.    Civic Education Trust Network
    5.    Christian Alliance
    6.    Combined Harare Residents Association
    7.    Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe
    8.    Centre for Research and Development
    9.    Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe
    10.    Centre for Peace Initiatives in Africa
    11.    Counseling Services Unit
    12.    Elections Resource Centre
    13.    Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe
    14.    Habakkuk Trust
    15.    Heal Zimbabwe
    16.    Human Rights Development Trust in Southern Africa
    17.    Law Society of Zimbabwe
    18.    Kubatana
    19.    Matabeleland Constitution Reform Agenda
    20.    National Association of Non – Governmental Organisations
    21.    Media Centre
    22.    Media Institute for Southern Africa
    23.    Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe
    24.    National Association for the Care of the Handicapped
    25.    National Constitutional Assembly
    26.    Public Affairs Parliamentary Support Trust
    27.    Progressive Teachers Association Zimbabwe
    28.    Research and Advocacy Unit
    29.    Restoration of Human Rights
    30.    Radio Dialogue
    31.    Rooftop Promotions
    32.    SAYWHAT
    33.    Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust
    34.    Transparency International – Zimbabwe
    35.    VERITAS
    36.    Women’s Coalition – Zimbabwe
    37.    Women of Zimbabwe Arise
    38.    Women’s Trust
    39.    Youth Agenda
    40.    Youth Initiative for Democracy in Zimbabwe
    41.    Youth Empowerment and Transformation
    42.    Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights
    43.    Zimbabwe Association of Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation of the
    Offender
    44.    Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
    45.    Zimbabwe Council of Churches
    46.    Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development
    47.    Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust
    48.    Zimbabwe Election Support Network
    49.    Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Right Association
    50.    Zimbabwe Peace Project
    51.    Zimbabwe Students Christian Movement
    52.    Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association
    53.    Zimbabwe Youth Network
    54.    Members of the Academia (University of  Zimbabwe)
    55.    Resource persons from Kenya

    Promoting Democratic Elections in Zimbabwe
    For Comments and further details contact:
    Zimbabwe Election Support Network
    zesn@africaonline.co.zw or info@zesn.org.zw
    +263 250736/791443/798193
    +263 712 415902 or 263 773 220370


    One Zim farmer shot, others forced off land as pre-election violence escalates

    MEDIA RELEASE                                                                                                                               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 27 October 2010

    Commercial Farmers’ Union – Zimbabwe

    One Zim farmer shot, others forced off land as pre-election violence escalates.The shooting at point blank range of another white farmer in the Selous district of Zimbabwe again highlights the deteriorating situation currently being faced in the rural farming areas.  This is a symptom of the flagrant disregard for the rule of law in these areas over the last ten years and the Commercial Farmers’ Union of Zimbabwe (CFU) urgently requests that the authorities take immediate action. Kobus Joubert, who was in his sixties and was a former president of the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association (ZTA), was killed on Monday night by unknown assailants on his farm, Scotsdale, about 95 kilometres south west of Harare. Joubert’s wife, Mariaan, was awoken shortly after midnight by a noise and went to investigate.  She was attacked by two armed men in the bathroom and shouted to her husband to warn him of the intruders.

     The men then forced her to keep quiet and she heard a single shot being fired in the bedroom. When she screamed, they assaulted her and demanded money.  They then took her handbag, searched the cupboards and pocketed a sizeable amount of US dollars in cash.  They also grabbed three cell phones and demanded that she hand over the laptop. Fortunately the power failed, causing the lights to go out and the men immediately left the house without causing further injury or taking the laptop. Mrs Joubert rushed to help her husband but he had already succumbed to a fatal gunshot wound.  Neighbours called the police, who on this occasion arrived to investigate. 

    Prior to the land invasions, Joubert farmed 500ha of land but this year, given the insecurity of the situation in the commercial farming sector, he planted just 50ha of tobacco, down from around 70ha last year.  He also grew a small crop of maize and sorghum and had a herd of beef cattle. In August 2008, Joubert, his wife and some of their farm workers were evicted from their farm by a senior Zanu PF figure, and ended up camping on the roadside in a lay-by with their few meager possessions.

    Later that month the Jouberts’ application to the High Court was successful and the illegal orders granted to the beneficiary by a Magistrate’s court were annulled, enabling the couple to return to their farm. Joubert was president of the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association, tobacco was the country’s most important cash crop and the ZTA members used to generate 40 percent of the country’s export earnings. The Joubert’s son is flying in from Australia on Friday to support his mother; his sister is already at her side.

    Elderly Nyazura farmer faced with eviction

    Tiennie van Rensburg (73) and his wife Yvonne who own Rubeni Farm in the Nyazura district east of Harare were forced by senior army officers mid month to pack up the remainder of their household goods and vacate the farm.  They are currently still struggling to gain access to the property in order to remove their farm equipment, 15 tonnes of maize and other goods. The background to their case is that during mid August, a high ranking member of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and a family member of a senior government official arrived on the farm and presented them with a set of papers claimed to be from the Ministry of Lands.  The papers stated that they had been allocated the farm jointly and that the van Rensburgs must be off the farm by November latest, despite no eviction order having been issued. Van Rensburg’s lawyer took the matter to the High Court and a restraining order was granted on September 20. However, on October 12, a colonel from 3 Brigade Army Headquarters arrived on the farm and ordered van Rensburg to vacate the property within 72 hours or face eviction by the army. After a further letter emphasizing the restraining order was issued by their lawyer, a group of eight thugs was sent to the farm around midnight to remove the owners.  They beat up van Rensburg’s guard and then, armed with his gun, gave the couple 10 minutes to vacate the property. The following week, when the van Ransburg’s returned to remove their goods after protracted negotiations, they were warned against reporting the theft of household goods, cell phones and other items to the police.

    CFU condemns new illegal onslaughtThe Commercial Farmers’ Union condemns the new illegal onslaught against these and other farmers, their employees and families. The alleged beneficiaries of the farms and their hired thugs are taking the law into their own hands, breaking into homesteads using bolt cutters and locking the owners out, leaving them with nothing but the clothes they are wearing. The refusal of the police to act against the intimidation, threats, violence, evictions and occupations signals the start of a renewed onslaught against rural communities in the build up to next year’s elections. We are concerned that the refusal by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to respect and uphold the SADC Tribunal Rulings “albeit in the interim” and to act in resolving the outstanding issues of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) that they brokered, will result in a return to a pre-election terror campaign in Zimbabwe. We are also concerned that Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (BIPPAs) and Zimbabwean High Court orders have been treated with contempt. This has resulted in thirteen former commercial farmers of Dutch origin, whose farms were seized by President Mugabe’s government, approaching a court in America in an attempt to seek compensation for their losses.

    Food shortages

    On October 25, at least 80 000 people in the Masvingo province registered to join the government’s food-for-work programme in the wake of acute food shortages. Masvingo Provincial Governor and Resident Minister Titus Maluleke has warned that in the first quarter of next year, the number in need of food aid in his province could rise to about 80 percent or one million people. It was reported earlier this month that hungry villagers in the food-deficit Beitbridge, Gwanda and Mangwe districts are resorting to exchanging livestock for maize. Small-scale farmers in Manicaland have expressed grave concern over the government’s late distribution of inputs and the acute shortages of Ammonium Nitrate (AN) fertilizer, saying it will affect the forthcoming cropping season. According to the May 2010 Zimbabwe Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) rural livelihoods assessment, an estimated 1.3 million Zimbabweans will be food insecure at the peak of the 2010/2011 hungry season early next year.

    ENDS

    Submitted by / For further information:

    Deon Theron

    President Commercial Farmers’ Union – Zimbabwe Tel:  +263 4 309 800 (CFU – Harare) Zim Cell: +263 912 246 233

    E-mail:  dtheron@cfuzim.org

    School children and teachers force-marched to ZANU PF rallies

    http://www.swradioafrica.com/

    by Irene Madongo
    26 October 2010

    Primary school children and their teachers are still being forced to attend
    pro-ZANU PF political rallies in Masvingo and the Midlands, the president of
    the Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has said.

    For the past months, the notorious pro-ZANU PF war veteran Jabulani Sibanda
    is reported to have been carrying out a reign of terror in Masvingo. In
    September the MDC said he disrupted classes at Nhema Primary School when he
    ordered teachers and school children to his rally before proceeding to Fuve
    Business Centre in Zaka, Masvingo province. There he allegedly threatened
    hundreds of villagers with violence if they stayed away from his meetings in
    the area.

    On Tuesday Takavafira Zhou PTUZ president said: "The teachers are forced to
    abandon their work to attend a political rally, that is not proper. Teachers
    have become targets of political violence, it is unfortunate. A war vet
    known as Jabulani Sibanda is well known for writing letters to several
    schools in Zhaka, Masvingo, Bikita, ordering teachers to close their schools
    and attend political rallies. This is very unfortunate taking into
    consideration what happened in terms of political violence to teachers.

    "School children lose their learning time and they are also called to attend
    the political rallies and they lose the value for learning, and it is not a
    proper environment to learn. When they arrange meetings, they call anyone,
    even from those who are in primary school as well as those at secondary
    school. There are cases where the crowd is so low, so they want to boost the
    crowd by the number of school pupils, they are then forced to attend," he
    added.

    Zhou also said it was no use reporting the matter to the police, adding that
    despite discussing this problem with the Minister of Education nine months
    ago - no action had been taken against the perpetrators.


    Gideon Gono in hiding as rumours of affair with Mugabe's wife Grace surface

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/

        * Jonathan Clayton
        * From: The Times
        * October 26, 2010 8:36AM

    THE governor of Zimbabwe's central bank has gone into hiding amid
    allegations that he has had a five-year affair with President Mugabe's wife,
    Grace.

    Sources in Zimbabwe said that the whereabouts of Gideon Gono, one of Mr
    Mugabe's closest aides, were unknown - although he was believed to still be
    in the country.

    "His life is in danger, it is as simple as that. The danger for him is that
    Mugabe's goons will now act as they think he would like," a political
    analyst told The Times.

    He said that Mr Gono, who allegedly devised elaborate schemes to allow
    members of the ruling elite to enrich themselves, was a victim of a plot by
    his political enemies, who fear he knows too much about their past misdeeds.

    "Gono knows where all the bodies are buried, but he has no power base
    himself. Mugabe and others wanted to ditch him. Rumours of this affair have
    been around a long time - why do they come out now?"

    Mrs Mugabe, 45, has been embroiled in family feuding over her husband's
    wealth as Mr Mugabe, 86, struggles with poor health and his former cohorts
    jockey for position and influence in the climate of mistrust and suspicion
    surrounding the issue of his succession. Some insiders said that the affair
    accusations were part of a campaign to discredit the President's wife, known
    for her penchant for expensive shopping trips in Asia.

    Mr Mugabe was reportedly told of the alleged affair by his sister, Sabina,
    shortly before her death about 18 months ago. Newspaper reports stated that
    a trusted bodyguard, Cain Chademana, who was present at the time of Sabina's
    death and who knew of the alleged affair, was recently found dead, believed
    poisoned.

    Mr Gono was appointed by Mr Mugabe as head of the central bank in 2003. It
    was on his watch that Zimbabwe's economy was destroyed by hyper-inflation.

    President Mugabe was said to be devastated by the revelations at his
    sister's funeral, but insiders say he is also furious that details of the
    affair have now emerged.

    Mr Gono personally raised the cash to fund Mrs Mugabe's early foreign
    shopping sprees when he was chief executive of one of the country's largest
    commercial banks. He once boasted he was being head-hunted as a future
    leader of the World Bank due to the spectacular success of his policies.

    Mr Gono's role as financier of the extravagant spending trips was exposed
    last year in a list of so-called "parallel market" deals carried out by the
    Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (now known as Jewel Bank) in defiance of
    foreign-exchange laws that Mr Gono is sworn to uphold. Opposition
    politicians have long called for his removal.

    Veteran observers of Zimbabwe's Machiavellian politics say the revelations
    against Mr Gono were intended to force him to abandon some of the lucrative
    money-making schemes which would have enabled the President's wife to have a
    disproportionate amount of power in any post-Mugabe era. "The revelations
    have to be seen in the context of the post-Mugabe power struggle now under
    way," said a former activist in the ruling Zanu (PF) party.

    South Africa and other neighbouring states are said to be concerned about
    recent developments in Zimbabwe and have made clear that they will not
    support another election victory marred by violence, intimidation and
    vote-rigging.


    White Zimbabwean Farmer Killed

    http://www.voanews.com/

    Peta Thornycroft | Johannesburg 26 October 2010

    One of Zimbabwe's most prominent white farmers was murdered in an overnight
    attack on his home Monday.

    Kobus Joubert, 67, was shot dead and his wife Mariana, was beaten up by
    assailants who also robbed them of cash.

    Two years ago, Joubert, a former president of the Zimbabwe Tobacco
    Association, was attacked by militants loyal to President Robert Mugabe.

    The couple were forced to flee their home, Scotsdale farm, in the Chegutu
    district about 110 kilometers west of Harare, and set up camp in the grass
    alongside a national highway for several weeks.

    When the police tried to move them away, the couple protested saying that
    they had no other home.

    Their roadside sojourn attracted negative publicity even from Mr. Mugabe's
    supporting media.

    A family friend said Tuesday the late vice president Joseph Msika, who had
    tried to assist several white farmers since land invasions began in 2000,
    secured a permit for Joubert to remain in his home and continue farming.

    Mike Clark, an official at the Commercial Farmers' Union who monitors unrest
    on remaining white occupied farms, said he was not sure of the motive of the
    murder. He said defining the motive for murders on farms had become "a very
    sensitive matter."

    He said Joubert had planted 50 hectares of tobacco, which in these days of
    reduced production, was a large crop.

    The farmers union said that when attackers beat up Joubert's wife Mariana
    they also took her laptop computer accusing her family of being members of
    prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change, now in a
    difficult inclusive government with Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF party.

    Even though the heat of land invasions eased in the last five years, scores
    of white farmers and their workers have been injured, invaded, robbed and
    evicted.





    MDC Treasurer's Anti-Mugabe Slur Trial Set For November

    http://news.radiovop.com/

    20/10/2010 14:50:00

    Bindura, October 20, 2010 - Magistrate Charles Murove on Wednesday postponed
    the trial of Gilbert Kagodora, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
    treasurer for Mashonaland Central Province on charges of undermining the
    authority of or insulting President Robert Mugabe.

    Magistrate Murove postponed the trial after Kagodora's lawyers David Hofisi
    and Jeremiah Bamu of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) informed him
    that the prosecutor had not served them with witness statements so as to
    fully prepare for trial.

    Kagodora will now stand trial on 10 November after the prosecutor pledged to
    furnish his lawyers with all the witness statements.

    The State accused Kagodora of contravening the Criminal Law (Codification
    and Reform) Act by undermining the authority of or insulting the President.

    Prosecutors allege that Kagodora denounced President Mugabe during an
    address to party supporters at a constitutional awareness meeting held at
    Nzvimbo Council Hall in Chiweshe, Mashonaland Central on 11 March 2010, when
    he said; "Mugabe mudenga, Grace mudenga, vabatanidzei, roverai pasi," which
    the police deduced to mean "Mugabe up, Grace up, bring them together and
    drop them on the ground."

    Apparently Kagodora was removed from remand on 25 June 2010 by Magistrate
    Ruramai Chitumbura on the same charge that he has been summonsed to stand
    trial after his lawyer Jeremiah Bamu of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
    (ZLHR) applied for refusal of further remand.

    Besides Kagodora, Epworth Member of Parliament Hon. Eliah Jembere, who was
    also charged with undermining the authority of or insulting the President
    Mugabe at the same time with Kagodora, was also removed from remand on 25
    June 2010. Hon. Jembere has not yet been served with any summons on the
    matter.

    Hon. Jembere was accused of insulting President Mugabe when he addressed
    party supporters at a constitutional awareness meeting by saying "Mugabe
    mudenga, ZANU PF mudenga, vabatanidzei, roverai roverai pasi," which the
    police interpreted as meaning to say "Mugabe up, ZANU PF up, bring them
    together and drop them down."
     

    Election commission says it’s ready to conduct elections

    http://www.swradioafrica.com

    By Lance Guma
    20 October 2010

    The acting chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), Joyce
    Kazembe, has said they are ready to conduct national elections if the
    leadership in government asks them to do so.

    This directly contradicts ZEC chairperson Justice Simpson Mutambanengwe, who
    in August said the country will not be able to conduct elections next year
    due to inadequate funding and the need to carry out reforms to make the vote
    more credible. This he said included grappling with a voters’ roll that is a
    shambles.

    With the coalition government having virtually collapsed due to Mugabe’s
    reluctance to genuinely share power, all talk by the political parties has
    shifted to a fresh election as a solution. Mugabe, who lost the last
    election in March 2008, remained President by borrowing legitimacy from the
    power sharing deal.

    Last week the 86 year old ZANU PF leader said the coalition government could
    be dissolved within 4 months, when the life of the GPA comes to an end in
    February next year. He also indicated elections could be held in the middle
    of 2011, after a referendum on the draft constitution is concluded.

    The state owned media has been on the offensive trying to portray the MDC as
    reluctant to go into an election. The Herald newspaper went as far as
    suggesting that the ‘MDC-T has been trying to scupper the holding of the
    polls and has been backed by Western-funded NGOs who claim the environment
    is not conducive.’

    MDC-T spokesman Nelson Chamisa dismissed the statements by Kazembe saying
    they sounded ‘like grandstanding, parroting and just mere politicking.’ He
    said preparing for elections was ‘serious business’ that affected people’s
    lives and future and was not like ‘picking pumpkins in the field or waking
    up to eat porridge.’ A lot he said needed to be done to prepare for
    ‘credible’ elections.

    Zimbabweans rejected Mugabe and his ZANU PF party after handing them a
    humiliating defeat in the 2008 harmonized presidential and parliamentary
    elections. With Tsvangirai winning the first round of the presidential poll
    Mugabe’s henchmen held on to the results for five weeks before releasing
    figures that purported to show Tsvangirai did not have enough votes to claim
    outright victory.

    What followed was a brutal campaign of murder and intimidation that saw over
    200 people killed and thousands tortured for supporting the MDC. Tsvangirai
    withdrew from the subsequent presidential run-off and left Mugabe to conduct
    a sham one-man presidential election. Instead of SADC and the African Union
    confronting Mugabe they arm-twisted the opposition to share power with him.

    So what happens when the GPA is dissolved in February for example and there
    is no election date yet, who runs the country? We asked Chamisa and he said;
    ‘According to the GPA the dissolution of this arrangement is done as a
    collective affair and it’s not a one man band. We have to come to a
    consensus.’

    ‘We did not insert a sunset clause in the GPA because we did not want the
    kind of speculation and politicking that comes with electioneering.’ He said
    the February deadline alluded to by Mugabe was not necessarily set in stone
    since the GPA is silent on the exact ending date.

    Anything can happen next year with Chamisa acknowledging; ‘Mugabe has
    violated the GPA in the past and he can do it in the future, so we are
    actually budgeting for that kind of scenario.’


    Zimbabwe's Unity Government Unloved - But Some Reluctant to Say Game Over

    Not everyone agrees Zimbabwe should go back to the polls - many Zimbabweans are loath to see the nation plunged back into the ferocious political partisanship that left more than 200 dead after the 2008 elections

    Patience Rusere & Brenda Moyo | Washington 21 October 2010


    Zimbabwe's power-sharing national unity government has probably spent as much time in crisis as it has solving the many problems facing the Southern African nation, but President Robert Mugabe's contention that it is not worth the trouble so new elections should be called next year is far from universally shared by Zimbabweans.

    Mr. Mugabe told a meeting of his former ruling ZANU-PF party's youth league last week that sharing power with the rival Movement for Democratic Change formations of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has been too problematic and will have run its course in February 2011.

    At that point the unity government based on the 2008 Global Political Agreement signed to resolve a stalemate in the country after failed elections in 2008 will have been in place for two years, its term under the GPA. The arrangement could be extended if its principals agree - but any one party to the GPA can call it off after two years.

    The unity government is now facing its most severe test to date with relations between the president and the prime minister strained to the breaking point over Mr. Mugabe's appointments of top posts including ambassadors, governors, judges and others without consulting his governing partners.

    Mr. Tsvangirai recently declared such appointments unconstitutional thus "null and void," informing the European Union and United Nations plus several countries that the envoys Harare had sent them lacked valid credentials. Mr. Mugabe rejected this argument and said the dispute showed that power sharing just wasn't working out.

    Mr. Mugabe said elections should be held by mid-2011, and Mr. Tsvangirai has also been telling his MDC wing to get ready for elections - though with the caveat that this is only on condition they will be free, fair and nonviolent.

    Not everyone agrees Zimbabwe should go back to the polls, however. Many Zimbabweans are loath to see the nation plunged back into the ferocious partisanship that left more than 200 dead after the 2008 elections, out of which Mr. Mugabe emerged with a putative new presidential mandate - but one lacking legitimacy even in his own

    Some in the the Southern African Development Community, a guarantor of the 2008 power sharing agreement, have suggested that the unity government could go on for years until its members have put in place the new constitution and electoral reforms they agreed to institute such that the country will really be ready for elections.

    Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara has also broken with his two governing partners on calling new elections, saying it is premature and accusing his fellow leaders of "grandstanding" when they know elections are ill-advised.

    (Mutambara, who has often been stranded in the middle when the president and prime minister have clashed, said in Parliament on Wednesday that the Supreme Court should decide whether Mr. Mugabe exceeded his powers. Lawyer Job Sibanda told VOA Studio 7 reporter Brenda Moyo that he believes the deputy prime minister had a point.)

    For a look at both sides of the debate VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere turned to Promise Mkhwananzi, a former president of the Zimbabwe National Students Union currently studying foreign relations in the Netherlands, and London-based political analyst Mqondobanzi Magonya.

    Mkhwananzi said elections should be held as soon as possible because the unity government is simply not getting the job done. Magonya said the environment has not yet been created for credible, nonviolent elections.

     

    Go To Top Of Page

    Kezi man jailed for " I Hate Mugabe " remarks

    http://news.radiovop.com

    17/10/2010 20:16:00

    BULAWAYO,October 17, 2010 - A 36 year old man from Kezi district in
    Matabeleland South has been sentenced to three months in jail for his " I
    hate Mugabe " statement.

    Gwanda Magistrate  Douglas  Zvenyika found Pilate Tshuma guilty  for
    contravening a Section of the criminal Law Codification Act which relates to
    undermining or insulting  the  head of state.The magistrate did not give him
    an option of a fine and sentenced him to three months in prison.
    According to the state outline,on June 4 this year,Tshuma was at Mudluli
    Bottle Store in Kezi drinking beer with colleagues unaware of the presence
    of plain clothes police officers at the same bar.

    On the day the offence was committed, Tshuma was wearing a Zanu(PF) party T-
    shirt without Mugabe,s potrait.Police officers overheard him uttering the
    words in Ndebele " ngakhipha isithombe sika Mugabe ngoba ngiyamzonda " which
    means "I removed Mugabe,s picture because I hate him."
    He  was  then arrested   by the  two  police officers  who  took  him  to  a
    police station.

    Tshuma's conviction comes less than two months after another man from
    Chipinge in Manicaland was jailed for 12 months for insulting President
    Mugabe.The man Gift Mufuka was convicted by Chipinge Magistrate Samuel Zuze
    under the same Act.
    Early this month a Bulawayo man Gareth Fury who is a company director
    appeared  in court for saying President Robert Mugabe "should go to hell"
    after he had clashed with his  co-company director  Nkululeko Tshuma,  a
    known ZANU(PF) activist.
     


    Bombing survivor accuses MDC-T of abandoning violence victims

    http://www.thestandard.co.zw

    Sunday, 17 October 2010 13:33

    A survivor of the infamous June 3 2008 militia attack on the MDC-T Jerera
    offices which claimed the lives of three activists has launched a stinging
    tirade on the party leaders for abandoning victims of political violence.
    A visibly irritated Edison Gwenhure said MDC-T had forgotten him and
    wondered whether the leaders still remembered the grassroots activists who
    propelled them to power.
    "From all the struggles I waged for the party, all I got was disability,"
    said Gwenhure, who suffered serious body and facial burns after a Zanu PF
    militia doused him with petrol.
    He made his comments just a metre away from the makeshift office which was
    petrol-bombed by five men who came in uniform.
    Gwenhure survived the attack but three of his colleagues lost their lives.
    Asked what he thought about war veteran leader Jabulani Sibanda's widely
    condemned activities in Zaka district, an area he once fiercely fought to
    defend, Gwenhure said he had lost interest in politics.
    "Why should I be involved, what do I get from it. Look at me, look at my
    face I never received any compensation for the suffering I went through."
    "I fight and get these injuries. Look at the MP (Harrison Mudzuri), he
    enjoys driving around in a double cab. People like us who endured the brunt
    of the Zanu PF militia are now like scarecrows with no one bothering to help
    us."
    Gwenhure however said, like any other Zimbabwean who had a right to vote, he
    would go the polls and cast his vote for MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai and
    the councillor for the area Peter Imbayarwo whom he said stayed among the
    people.
    "I have learnt my lesson," said Gwenhure, "I am more careful this time. Even
    for you (this journalist), I won't allow you to take my picture, you can use
    the one in your files."

    BY WALTER MARWIZI


    Murdered activist: NGO wants fresh inquest inquest

    http://www.thestandard.co.zw

    Sunday, 17 October 2010 13:42

    BULAWAYO - A human rights organisation representing victims of political
    violence has written to the Attorney General (AG) demanding a fresh inquest
    and prosecution of six surviving war veterans accused of kidnapping and
    murdering MDC activist Patrick Nabanyama in 2000.
    The Zimbabwe Victims of Organised Violence Trust (ZIVOVT) is also demanding
    that the AG's office retrieve past court records - which have miraculously
    disappeared - for the prosecution of the accused war veterans.
    Nabanyama, who was a polling agent for the Minister of Education, Sport, Art
    and Culture David Coltart in the volatile June 2000 parliamentary polls,
    disappeared after he was kidnapped by suspected state security agents and
    war veterans from his home on  June 19 the same year.
    Nine war veterans - Cain Nkala, Stanley Ncube, Ephraim Moyo, Julius Sibanda,
    Edward Ndlovu, Howard Ncube, Simon Rwodzi, a Mr Moyo and Ngoni were arrested
    in connection with the kidnapping and murder of Nabanyama.
    They were acquitted in 2001.
    Nkala was later kidnapped and killed by suspected state security agents
    after he indicated that he was ready to spill the beans as to what had
    actually happened to Nabanyama.
    Edward Ndlovu and Howard Ncube are also late.
    Nkala was buried at the National Heroes' Acre.
    ZIVOVT officials told The Standard last week that they were now pushing for
    a fresh inquest and prosecution of the surviving war veterans accused of
    kidnapping Nabanyama.
    "We went to look for the court records last week but we could not get them,"
    said Bekithemba Nyathi, ZIVOVT information officer.
    "The case was not concluded but surprisingly the records have miraculously
    disappeared. Court officials have told us that they sent the records to the
    archives."
    He added, "We have written to the AG (Johannes Tomana) seeking the records
    and demanding a fresh inquest and prosecution of the accused."
    The human rights organisation is chaired by Patience, Nabanyama's widow.
    She said, "We are pursuing the case with a view to prosecute the surviving
    war veterans. Our agenda is to pursue justice.
    "As a family and organisation, we want the arrest and prosecution of the
    surviving war veterans who kidnapped my husband. We will not rest until
    there is justice.we want to know where they took him and why they took him."
    Attorney General Johannes Tomana could not be reached for comment last week.
    The MDC-T has said over 200 of its supporters were killed by suspected
    security agents in the run-up to the June 2008 violent elections. The party
    last year forwarded names of the victims and those of the suspected
    murderers to the AG's office for prosecution but up to now no one has been
    charged.
    ZIVOVT, an organisation that seeks to assist victims of
    politically-motivated violence in Zimbabwe was launched recently in
    Bulawayo.
    It brings together all victims of political violence regardless of their
    political affiliation or gender.
    Critics say the formation of the ZIVOVT shows that victims of political
    violence are frustrated by the government process of justice, national
    healing and reconciliation which has hitherto not yielded any results.
    Victims of political violence, civic groups and the two MDC formations have
    however said that justice is a prerequisite to a successful national healing
    process for a country.
    But President Robert Mugabe recently called for a blanket amnesty to all
    perpetrators of past violence saying arresting perpetrators would derail
    efforts of the inclusive government to embark on a national healing and
    reconciliation process.

    Outbreak of swine flu in Matabeleland

    http://www.thestandard.co.zw

    Sunday, 17 October 2010 13:47

    BULAWAYO - AN outbreak of the deadly influenza H1N1 commonly known as swine
    flu has been reported in Tsholotsho, Matabeleland North where two people
    have tested positive out of the 300 cases reported.
    Themba Moyo, the Tsholotsho district administrator on Friday wrote to
    Matabeleland North provincial administrator, Latiso Dlamini notifying her of
    the outbreak.
    "We hereby report on the outbreak of influenza H1N1 in Tsholotho District. A
    total of 300 cases have been reported, seven tests done and two have been
    confirmed positive.
    Moyo said two vehicles, 600 litres of fuel, oxygen and NS fluids, among
    other things, were urgently needed to fight the outbreak.
    Moyo confirmed the outbreak to The Standard on Friday but referred all
    inquiries to Dlamini.
    "I can confirm the outbreak of H1N1 in Tsholotsho district but I am not at
    liberty to shed more light at this stage. The provincial administrator,
    Dlamini could be in a position to comment further" said Moyo.
    It was not clear by yesterday whether the two who tested positive are
    quarantined in hospitals or not.
    Minister of Health and Child Welfare Henry Madzorera and Dlamini were not
    available yesterday for comment.
    When the virus was first detected last year, all entry points to Zimbabwe
    were put on high alert.
    Early this year the United States Agency for International Development
    (USAid) donated medical supplies to fight a future influenza outbreak.
    The consignment included
    50 000 personal protective clothing kits worth US$645 000, for influenza
    preparedness for use by health care workers in Zimbabwe and throughout
    southern Africa in case of an outbreak.
    Last year, the World Health Organisation (WHO), declared swine flu a
    pandemic, making it the first outbreak to be classified as such in 41 years.
    Swine flu, which was first detected in Mexico in April last year, infected
    some 40 000 people in more than 70 countries and killed 167.
    The US Centre for Disease Control advice on combating the H1N1 says that the
    flu is believed to spread between humans through sneezing or coughing by
    infected people.
    It recommends confinement at home in order to limit contact with other
    people and running the risk of spreading the disease.
    It advises against close contact with infected people, covering the nose and
    mouth when sneezing or coughing.
    It also counsels against touching eyes, the nose or mouth after coughing or
    sneezing as this spreads germs.
    Washing hands with soap after sneezing or coughing is recommended.
    Some of the symptoms of swine flu are like regular flu symptoms which
    include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue

    BY NQOBILE BHEBHE

    World Divided Over New Scramble for African Land

    http://allafrica.com/stories/201010040147.html

    Paul Redfern

    4 October 2010

    Nairobi - A World Bank report has confirmed that 45 million hectares of land
    in developing countries were bought in 2009, a tenfold jump from the
    previous decade.

    Moreover, two-thirds of these controversial "land grabs" have been in Africa
    where critics say public and governmental institutions offer weak defences
    against western multinationals and Far Eastern state companies seeking farm
    land for food and biofuels.

    While many development agencies and African campaigners are aghast at the
    latest news some believe that good land development projects are exactly
    what the world needs to solve the food crisis as they bring investment,
    knowhow, and transport links, as well as creating jobs.

    But the morality of the global land rush is finely balanced and even the
    World Bank appears deeply torn.

    While the report endorses the Bank's open-door globalisation agenda, the
    report acknowledges "large land acquisitions come at a high cost. The veil
    of secrecy that often surrounds these deals must be lifted," it said.

    It warns of a "resource curse" that may enrich a small elite, leaving
    wreckage behind. Proposals are not properly screened. Peasants are forcibly
    displaced.

    Communal grazing lands are closed off. Some investors manipulate opinion
    with a media blitz of false promises. Nothing has been produced so far on
    almost 80 per cent of the land purchased.

    Euan Denholm/IRIN

    ... two-thirds being in Africa where ...

    Benefits are often minimal, "even non-existent." In Africa, the land rush is
    diverting effort from the core task of helping small farmers raise yields.

    The Bank implicitly questions whether it is wise to divert half of the
    world's increased output of maize and wheat over the next decade into
    biofuels to meet government "mandates."

    Theoretical reservoir

    However, the world needs more food and there is a theoretical reservoir of
    445 million hectares of unforested cropland in the world, on top of the 1.5
    billion hectares in production.

    "Productive agricultural land with water on site, will be very valuable in
    the future. And I've put a good amount of money into that," Michael Burry, a
    Western entrepreneur told the Daily Telegraph.The issue has set off a fierce
    backlash in particular in Madasgascar, where a deal with Korea's Daiwoo
    Logistics to plant corn on territory half the size of Belgium led to the
    downfall of the government in 2008. The lease was subsequently revoked when
    the new president said "Madagascar's land is neither for sale nor for rent."

    The allure of African land is obvious. The World Bank says industrial and
    "transition" countries are losing 2.9 million hectares of cultivated
    farmland each year.

    China is paving over its fertile belt on the eastern seaboard, and depleting
    the water basin of the North China Plain for crop irrigation.

    The World Bank says global food production needs to rise 70 per cent by 2050
    to meet a triad of converging demands: Extra mouths; rising use of animal
    feed from grains as Asia moves towards a more meat-based diet; and the
    biofuel drive.

    This, the Telegraph report notes "will not be easy. The great leap forward
    in crop yields is fading."

    The World Bank said rises in wheat and soya yields have declined from two
    per cent a year to zero since the 1970s in the West. Yield growth for rice
    and soya in emerging economies has fallen from three per cent to one per
    cent.

    "With few breakthrough technologies on the horizon, the scope for yield
    gains seems lower than in the past. Irrigation has contributed to past
    growth in crop yields, but water scarcity in many regions is now a major
    constraint," it said. The Green Revolution is "exhausted."

    Wheat prices have doubled since June. The World Bank said the number of
    people who go to bed hungry each night has risen from 830 million to more
    than one billion over the past three years.

    Art Exhibit Stirs Up the Ghosts of Zimbabwe’s Past

     
    Robin Hammond for The New York Times

    The work of the artist Owen Moseko was blocked from view. The artwork depicts atrocities committed a quarter century ago.

    By CELIA W. DUGGER Published: January 23, 2011
     

    BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe — The exhibit at the National Gallery is now a crime scene, the artwork banned and the artist charged with insulting President Robert Mugabe. The picture windows that showcased graphic depictions of atrocities committed in the early years of Mr. Mugabe’s 30-year-long rule are now papered over with the yellowing pages of a state-controlled newspaper.

    But the government’s efforts to bury history have instead provoked slumbering memories of the Gukurahundi, Zimbabwe’s name for the slaying and torture of thousands of civilians here in the Matabeleland region a quarter century ago.

    “You can suppress art exhibits, plays and books, but you cannot remove the Gukurahundi from people’s hearts,” said Pathisa Nyathi, a historian here. “It is indelible.”

    As Zimbabwe heads anxiously toward another election season, a recent survey by Afrobarometer has found that 70 percent of Zimbabweans are afraid they will be victims of political violence or intimidation, as thousands were in the 2008 elections. But an equal proportion want the voting to go forward this year nonetheless, evidence of their deep desire for democracy and the willingness of many to vote against Mr. Mugabe at great personal risk, analysts say.

    In few places do such sentiments about violence in public life run as deep as here, and in recent months the government — whether through missteps or deliberate provocation — has rubbed them ever more raw.

    Before the World Cup in South Africa in June, a minister in Mr. Mugabe’s party, ZANU-PF, invited the North Korean soccer team, on behalf of Zimbabwe’s tourism authority, to base itself in Bulawayo before the games began, a gesture that roused a ferocious outcry. After all, it was North Korea that trained and equipped the infamous Fifth Brigade, which historians estimate killed at least 10,000 civilians in the Ndebele minority between 1983 and 1987.

    “To us it opened very old wounds,” Thabitha Khumalo, a member of Parliament, said of the attempt to bring the North Korean team to the Ndebele heartland. “We’re being reminded of the most horrible pain. How dare they? Our loved ones are still buried in pit latrines, mine shafts and shallow graves.”

    Ms. Khumalo, interviewed while the invitation was still pending last year, wept as she summoned memories of the day that destroyed her family — Feb. 12, 1983.

    She was 12 years old. She said soldiers from the Fifth Brigade, wearing jaunty red berets, came to her village and lined up her family. One soldier slit open her pregnant aunt’s belly with a bayonet and yanked out the baby. She said her grandmother was forced to pound the fetus to a pulp in a mortar and pestle. Her father was made to rape his mother. Her uncles were shot point blank.

    Such searing memories stoked protests, and in the end the North Korean team did not come to Zimbabwe. But feelings were further inflamed months later when the government erected a larger-than-life bronze statue of Joshua Nkomo — a liberation hero, an Ndebele and a rival to Mr. Mugabe — that, incredibly, was made in North Korea.

    Last September, bowing to public outcry over the statue’s origin (and protests from Mr. Nkomo’s family that its plinth was too small), the statue was removed from a major intersection in Bulawayo. It now stands neglected in a weedy lot behind the Natural History Museum here.

    Inside the museum hangs a portrait of a vigorous and dapper Mr. Mugabe in oversize glasses. He turns 87 next month. A massive stuffed crocodile, his family’s clan totem, dominates one gallery, its teeth long and sharp, its mouth agape. The signboard notes the crocodile’s lifespan exceeds 80 years.

    Mr. Mugabe signed a pact with North Korea’s founder, Kim Il-sung, to train the infamous army brigade just months after Zimbabwe gained independence from white minority rule in 1980. Mr. Mugabe declared the brigade would be named “Gukurahundi” (pronounced guh-kura-HUN-di), which means “the rain that washes away the chaff before the spring rains.” He said it was needed to quell violent internal dissent, but historians say he used it to attack Mr. Nkomo’s political base and to impose one-party rule.

    Mr. Mugabe’s press secretary, George Charamba, said the president had called the Gukurahundi “a moment of madness,” but asked whether Mr. Mugabe had apologized for the campaign, Mr. Charamba bristled.

    “You can’t call it a moment of madness without critiquing your own past,” he said. “I hope people are not looking to humiliate the president. I hope they’re just looking at allowing him to get by healing this nation. For us, that is uppermost. Our sense of embitterment, our sense of recompense may not be exactly what you saw at Nuremburg.”

    Downtown Bulawayo has the sleepy rhythms of a farm town, but the psychic wounds of the Gukurahundi fester beneath its placid surface. At the National Gallery here, the stately staircase leading to the shuttered Gukurahundi exhibit is now blocked by a sign that says “No Entry.” But the paintings, on walls saturated with blood-red paint, can still be glimpsed from the gallery above, through the bars of balconies. The paintings themselves seem to be jailed.

    The New York Times

    Downtown Bulawayo has the sleepy rhythms of a farm town, but the psychic wounds of the Gukurahundi fester beneath its placid surface.

    Voti Thebe, who heads the National Gallery, said the artist, Owen Maseko, created the Gukurahundi exhibit to contribute to reconciliation. There was no money, so Mr. Maseko, 35, did it on his own time. He was just a boy at the time of the Gukurahundi, but he recalls the sounds of hovering helicopters and sirens.

    “The memories are still there,” he said. “The victims are still alive. It’s not something we can just forget.”

    In a large painting, a row of faces are shown with mouths open in wordless screams. In another, women and children weep what seem to be tears of blood. Three papier-mâché corpses, one hanging upside down, fill a picture window. Throughout the galleries are recurrent, menacing images of a man in oversize glasses — Mr. Mugabe.

    The day after the exhibit opened last year, it was closed down. Mr. Maseko was detained, then transferred to prison in leg irons before being released on bail. Mr. Maseko’s case awaits the Supreme Court’s attention. He is charged with insulting the president and communicating falsehoods prejudicial to the state, a charge punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

    David Coltart, a politician from Bulawayo who is arts minister in the power-sharing government of ZANU-PF and its political rivals, said he warned cabinet ministers that prosecuting Mr. Maseko could turn the case into a cause célèbre and inflame divisions. Mr. Coltart, who has long fought the Mugabe government, said he also appealed directly to Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was security minister during the Gukurahundi.

    “It is only when nations grapple with their past, in its reality, not as a biased fiction, that they can start to deal with that past,” Mr. Coltart said in a lecture delivered above Mr. Maseko’s show. He called the Gukurahundi “a politicide, if not a genocide.”

    The Bulawayo playwright Cont Mhlanga knows the costs of free expression. His play “The Good President” was shut down on opening night here in 2007 when baton-wielding riot police officers stormed the theater.

    The lead character is a grandmother who lies to her two grandsons about the death of their father. He had been buried alive in the Gukurahundi. But the boys, ignorant of the truth, become beneficiaries of the Mugabe government, one of them an abusive policeman, the other a recipient of seized farmland. The play’s title refers, Mr. Mhlanga said, to African leaders who call Mr. Mugabe a good president, “this man who has blood on his hands.”

    Mr. Mhlanga says he feels “like someone has put huge pieces of tape over my mouth,” but insists that artists must express what people are terrified of saying.

    “We live in a society where we’re so afraid, even of our own shadows,” he said. “To create democratic space in a society like ours, we have to deal with fear.”

    Gukurahundi artist Maseko receives award for bravery

    http://www.swradioafrica.com/

    By Irene Madongo
    05 October 2010

    The artist who is being harassed for his exhibition about the Gukurahundi
    atrocities committed under the Mugabe regime, has received a Human Rights
    award for his bravery.

    Owen Maseko's exhibition was displayed at the Bulawayo Art Gallery in March
    but was soon closed down and he was arrested. Maseko was placed on remand on
    charges of insulting the President. In August the government passed a law
    banning his work and in September he was dragged to court to face charges of
    'publishing falsehoods prejudicial to the State'. He could be thrown into
    prison for 20 years.

    On Thursday the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition decided to give Maseko the
    Democracy and Governance Individual Award in recognition of his bravery 'in
    giving a face and voice to the Gukurahundi massacres through visual arts'.

    Speaking about the award, Maseko told SW Radio Africa: "I have had such a
    hard time since March. It was a really great thing for me, it was a good
    thing for Crisis to recognise me."

    His exhibition has come at a great personal cost to the artist. "I am
    terribly under a lot of pressure. I am kind of living in an isolated
    environment. Even my fellow artists don't want to associate with me anymore
    and many other people around. Maybe because they are scared of sensitivity
    of my matter or they wouldn't want to associate with me in case they get
    harassed by the police. Human rights work is quite a lonely thing to do," he
    said

    He added that his family has also been under pressure, with his wife having
    to make frequent prison and court visits.

    The Gukurahundi era marks a dark time in Zimbabwe's history. Between 1982
    and 1987 the Zimbabwean government headed by Robert Mugabe unleashed the
    Korean trained Fifth Brigade on innocent civilians in the Matebeland and
    Midlands provinces, killing more than 20,000 people.

    "There is always a tribal reasoning when it comes to Gukurahundi. They
    commonly say it is a Matabeleland problem. Maybe at some point the
    government will come out there and say violation of human rights is
    violation of human rights whether they are black, white or that tribe or
    that religion," Maseko said.
    Go To Top Of Page

    Zim requires US$400m for safe water

    http://www.zimonline.co.za/

    by Sebastian Nyamhangambiri Tuesday 05 October 2010

    HARARE - A senior government official on Monday said Zimbabwe requires more
    than US$400 million to provide safe drinking water and prevent a recurrence
    of cholera, as a UN agency revealed that only a fifth of the country's
    population have access to clean water.

    "We need US$434 million to rectify the infrastructure for water and
    sanitation," Water Minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo during the launch yesterday
    of a ministerial committee formed to spearhead rehabilitation of the
    cash-strapped country's water and sewer systems and prevent recurrence of
    waterborne diseases.

    Nkomo appealed to the private sector to join the fight against disease and
    help the government provide water and sanitation infrastructure.

    Asked by journalists if the government has the capacity to fight a possible
    cholera outbreak, Nkomo said the Harare administration was prepared for any
    eventuality although he expressed fears that any future outbreak of the
    disease could get out of hand in some parts of the country.

    Nkomo said: "We are more prepared so that we have minimal outbreaks. But we
    are concerned in some areas (that the situation might get out of hand) in
    places such as Glendale and Chinhoyi."

    Addressing the same occasion, United Nations Children's Fund in Zimbabwe
    Peter Salama said a significant chunk of the country's 12 million people do
    not have toilets or safe sources of drinking water.

    "One third of the population practises open defecation and only a fifth of
    the population has access to universally safe water," Salama said,
    statistics that further highlight the huge potential risk of an outbreak of
    cholera, diarrhoea and other diseases in Zimbabwe.

    Collapsed drinking water and sewer reticulation infrastructure in Harare and
    other towns have made cholera -- virtually extinct in Zimbabwe a decade
    ago -- more common in the country where an outbreak of the waterborne
    disease two years ago infected nearly 100 000 people and claimed more than 4
    000 lives.

    Fears of a fresh epidemic are high as the rain season that begins around
    November draws closer, amid reports that at least 19 people have died from a
    fresh cholera outbreak whose epicentre is at the controversial Marange
    diamond field near the country's eastern border with Mozambique.

    The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) about two
    weeks ago said that the latest outbreak has so far affected 18 of the
    country's 62 districts compared to 54 districts at the same time in 2009.

    The Ministry of Health is working with the International Rescue Committee
    (IRC) to contain the outbreak in the area. - ZimOnline.

    'Mugabe Must Go To Hell Man' Rearrested

    http://news.radiovop.com

    03/10/2010 11:38:00

    BULAWAYO, October 03, 2010---Heavily armed police officers on Saturday
    raided a company owned by a man who once said President Mugabe must go to
    hell and re-arrested him on new charges.

    Gareth Fury managing director of Fisher Motor Engineering Company was
    initial arrested last week and appeared in court for saying President Robert
    Mugabe "should go to hell"  after  clashes  with his  co-company director
    Nkululeko Tshuma a  known Zanu PF activist.He was  released  on bail.
    However in a move suspected to have a political hand, heavily armed police
    officers raided Fury's company and arrested   him on new charges of violence
    and of calling President Mugabe a dictator.
    According to the state outline, the new charges arise from incident on
    Friday where Fury is alleged to have gone to Tshuma's office and shouted:
    "Leave my office and go and practice your dictatorship in President Mugabe's
    office and if you keep coming here your life will be in danger."
    Fury re-appeared before Sibongile Msipa and was again charged with
    contravening Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act).He was granted
    US$100 and ordered to surrender his passport to the Clerk of the Criminal
    Court and to report to Hillside police station every Friday until his case
    has been completed.Khucaca Phulu  of Phulu and Ncube Legal Practioners
    represented Fury in court.

    Zimbabwe Government Bans 'Offensive' Paintings- Artist Charged

    Peta Thornycroft | Johannesburg 30 August 2010

    "Signing the unity accord:" In 1987, after years of violence against supporters, Joshua Nkomo (Zimbabwe African People�s Union, ZAPU) signed an accord for a unity government with Mr Mugabe.  Maseko depicts this moment with blood pouring onto Nkomo's cowed Photo: Shari Eppel; Solidarity Peace Trust

    "Signing the unity accord:" In 1987, after years of violence against supporters, Joshua Nkomo (Zimbabwe African People�s Union, ZAPU) signed an accord for a unity government with Mr Mugabe. Maseko depicts this moment with blood pouring onto Nkomo's cowed head, with the ever present security forces looking on, 30 Aug 2010

    In a rare act of censorship, Zimbabwe's inclusive government has banned artwork by Bulawayo-based artist Owen Maseko that depicts violent political upheavals more than 25 years ago.  

    A special government order was issued in Harare late Friday banning art works by Owen Maseko, briefly seen by the public last march in the main art gallery in Bulawayo.

    The artworks, some of them huge murals, concentrated on political violence in the two Matabeleland provinces in the 1980's aimed at the opposition of that time, the Zimbabwe African People's Union led by the late nationalist Joshua Nkomo.

    President Robert Mugabe sent a brigade of North Korean-trained soldiers into rural areas in the two Matabeleland provinces.  Few outside those areas knew about this terror campaign, South African and British journalists exposed the atrocities in 1983.

    Human rights activists investigated and produced a detailed report years later called "Breaking the Silence", which said about 20,000 people, mostly ZAPU supporters from the minority Ndebele tribe, were killed.

    President Mugabe has never made an apology for the campaign, but once described it as an "act of madness."

    Maseko's most striking picture is his depiction of a unity accord Nkomo signed with Mr. Mugabe in 1987 that ended the violence, but also brought an end to ZAPU, which had fought the war to end white minority rule alongside Mugabe-led forces.

    "Flushing the votes:" Maseko's cynical view of elections in Zimbabwe, 30 Aug 2010 Shari Eppel; Solidarity Peace Trust"Flushing the votes:" Maseko's cynical view of elections in Zimbabwe, 30 Aug 2010

    Another painting of Maseko's view of Zimbabwe elections shows people putting their ballot papers into a flushing toilet.

    The government order banning the paintings came from the Home Affairs Ministry under the Censorship and Entertainment Control Act.  The ministry is jointly controlled in the 18-month-old unity government by ministers loyal to Mr. Mugabe and to Movement for Democratic Change leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.  

    The censorship authority says the artworks, which it described as 'offensive" are also "tribal."  The authority also complained that among the art on display at the Bulawayo Gallery in March was a picture of nude man with exposed genitals.

    Veteran political analyst Brian Raftopoulos says censorship is not widely used in Zimbabwe, because people have little access to books.  He also says Zimbabweans practice a degree of self censorship through their fear of the state.

    Shortly after the gallery opening, police stormed the building, which has large windows at street level, covered the art works with newspaper, and arrested Maseko.

    He was charged under laws that penalize anyone seen to "insult" or "demean" the authority of the president.

    Go To Top Of Page


     Mugabe's Daughter Raped

    30 July, 2010 12:49:00 African Aristocrat.com

    In a shocking exclusive, The African Aristocrat can reveal that Bona Mugabe
    has filed sexual assault charges against two Tanzanian students studying in
    Singapore.

    Tracy Guvamombe, who is actually Bona Mugabe using an assumed name, alleges
    that she was the victim of drink spiking and rape at a student party held in
    the upmarket Faber Park neighbourhood.  The accused argue they had
    consensual sex.

    One of the accused has been identified as  Patrick Azziz, the 27 year old
    son of Tanzanian business tycoon Rostam Aziz. Patrick, together with an
    unidentified co-accused, allegedly invited Bona Mugabe (known to them as
    Tracy Guvamombe) to the lavish party and plied her with spiked wines. They
    went on to have sex with her in one of the bedrooms.

    The pairs luck ran out when Bona suddenly woke up only to find one the
    suspects grovelling on top of her. She is said to have screamed alerting
    other guests who rushed in to her aide. The suspects fled but were later
    apprehended by the local police.

    Bona Mugabe unwittingly reported the matter under her assumed name but her
    attempt to avoid being recognised is exactly what led to the story breaking.
    Rupali Karekar, who writes for Straits Times, received a tip off from a
    fellow student who has since identified 'Tracy' as being the daughter of
    Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe.
    [rostam]

    Business tycoon, Rostam Azziz

    Rupali Karekar approached the police seeking details about the case. The
    police not knowing that Tracy Guvamombe was an assumed identify released the
    details of the case. Only during investigations did Bona's true identity
    come to light. Singapore police immediately applied for an injunction
    barring the Straits Times from publishing the story but this was not before
    the journalist leaked the story to the Zimbababwean opposition, MDC.

    The leak was directed by email via the Prime Ministers website,
    zimbabweprimeminister.org. James Maridadi, the PM's spokesman, was first to
    read the potentially damaging email. After reading the email he is said to
    have contacted Nelson Chamisa, a move that angered Tsvangirai who expected
    to be briefed first. When Tsvangirai heard the news from Chamisa he directed
    that email be immediately destroyed for fear that it could further strain
    the troubled GNU.

    During routine email maintence officials in the PM office discovered that
    Maridadi did not delete immediately delete the email but first forwarded it
    to close friends. Logs on Maridadi's emails showed evidence that he had
    forwarded the emails. A livid Tsvangirai, already upset that Chamisa had
    been briefed before him immediately fired Maridadi.

    Recent reports in the press that Maridadi was being fired over a series of
    gaffes was just spin on the part of the MDC to get the media of the scent.
    MDC insiders are said to have pressed the PM to reconsider his decision on
    Maridadi since any such move would only give credence to the leak if the
    news ended up being published.

    The Aristocrats source inside the Presidents office expressed ignorance of
    the Bona rape claim but admitted that this, given the sensitive nature,
    might have been deliberately kept from their view. He however confirmed that
    one of the presidential secretaries had been tasked with finding a suitable
    university in Malaysia and negotiating a course credit transfer. Grace
    Mugabe later reversed the decision arguing that there was no need for Bona
    to transfer since she was nearing the end of her course. The Mugabe's are
    said to have simply said the consideration to move her was based on concerns
    that her assumed identity had been broken.

    The Aristocrat hopes that the MDC stands by it's commitment to transparency
    and tells the Zimbabwean generality exactly what happened with James
    Maridadi.


    Coalition government in Zimbabwe still failing


    07/06

    The political logjam between Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF party and Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC, over the remaining issues in the GPA, is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, according to analysts.

    Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy Arthur Mutambara have failed to resolve the sticky issues. A document compiled by their negotiators, detailing the state of the GPA talks and providing suggestions on how to resolve the issues, was handed over to the party principals in April. But there have been endless excuses and delays as to why all three principals have been unable to meet for the past two months to discuss it.

    On Monday Tsvangirai’ spokesman James Maridadi confirmed that the Prime Minister had a meeting with Mugabe, but would not be drawn into saying what they had discussed.

    When we contacted deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara to enquire if he attended the meeting he told us he had no time to discuss the matter.

    ‘I have no time to talk about that, phone me tomorrow (Tuesday),’ then he switched off his phone.

    Analyst Clifford Mashiri said Mugabe and his ZANU PF party were the spoilers in the inclusive government and were against the full implementation of the GPA. He added that Mugabe has dragged his feet on virtually every aspect of the agreement, even where his negotiators have agreed.

    ‘I don’t think there will ever be a solution to this crisis because the
    so-called remaining issues are so fundamental to ZANU PF’s survival that if Mugabe was to give in, that would signal the fall of his party,’ Mashiri said.

    Political commentator Munjonzi Mutandiri told us there will be no movement on issues that are likely to have a significant impact on the transfer of power.

    ‘People in the MDC know very well that Mugabe will not fully implement the GPA. It is clear this is a marriage that is very unstable and will remain rocky until outstanding issues are resolved,’ Mutandiri said.

    The latest edition of the Financial Gazette reported that the South African mediation team has hinted at a special SADC meeting as being the only way forward. This is also something that Tsvangirai has requested – with little result.

    The weekly paper said the team assembled by South African President Jacob Zuma has been sitting on the fence in the hope that Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara would soon discuss the points of departure among their parties, and reach an understanding to avoid the regional instability the crisis is creating.

    ‘The facilitation team has made its own proposals on how Zimbabwe can manoeuvre out of its political quagmire, but said it would keep a tight lid on them until all else has failed,’ the paper said.

    As the negotiations go on endlessly, Zimbabweans and the international community are disappointed at the lack of progress in implementing what was agreed to in the power-sharing document, more than a year ago.

    source SWradio Africa


    Lawmaker arrested for 'insulting' President Mugabe


    04 June

    The Movement for Democratic Change formation of Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has raised an alarm following the arrest of a House member from its ranks and the severe beating of another MDC legislator by alleged ZANU-PF supporters at a public forum on the constitution in a Harare hotel.

    Spokesman Nelson Chamisa of the Tsvangirai MDC formation said the incidents have shaken the foundations of the troubled government of national unity.

    Police confirmed that Ian Kay, who represents the Marondera Central constituency some 75 kilometers east of the capital and is the only white member of the House of Assembly, was arrested early Friday.

    Police searched Kay's home in Harare's Helensvale suburb saying they were looking for arms and drugs. They said the search was ordered after Kay donated expired pharmaceuticals to clinics in Marondera and Mutoko.

    The MDC issued a statement saying Kay has been arrested on “ trumped-up charges of possessing illegal and expired drugs.” It added: “Six police officers from the Harare [Criminal Investigation Division] drugs section raided his house in Helensvale, Harare, in search of the drugs but found nothing. Ironically, they arrested him. He is currently detained at the Harare Central Police Station.”

    Kay’s wife Kerry told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that the police action shocked the family, warning that the incident indicated the cycle of violence against the opposition was starting up again.

    Elsewhere, legislator Marvellous Khumalo, legislator for the St. Mary’s constituency of Chitungwiza, a satellite town 25 kilometers south of the capital Harare, was said to have been severely beaten late Thursday at the New Ambassador Hotel in Harare during a public meeting of the Youth Agenda Trust on the constitutional revision process.

    Khumalo, a panelist at the public forum, told VOA that he was set upon by ZANU-PF youth who said he had insulted President Robert Mugabe during a discussion of Western sanctions.

    Elsewhere, the MDC said the party's district chairman for Mount Darwin North, Mashonaland Central province, had been abducted by armed ZANU-PF militia members late Wednesday and his whereabouts remained unknown.

    Mount Darwin North party information secretary George Masveta said at about 10 armed men descended upon Magonye's homestead on Wednesday night, dragged him out of his house and took him away.

    In Manicaland province, the trial of Mutasa North legislator Pishayi Muchauraya on charges he insulted President Mugabe  was put off indefinitely on Friday when the state said it was not ready to proceed.

    Authorities issued a summons to Muchauraya last week obliging him to appear before a Mutare magistrate's court for allegedly insulting Mugabe at a rally in Manicaland in 2002.

    But Muchauraya has dismissed the allegations, ‘To be frank, I cannot recall any police case against me dating back to that period. This is pure harassment by ZANU-PF using state resources




    Arrested Zimbabwean diamond researcher ‘set up’ by KP Monitor 

    3 June

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    Farai Maguwu, the director of the Centre for Research and Development (CRD), was arrested on Thursday morning after he handed himself over to the police in Mutare.

    The Chiadzwa diamonds researcher was forced into hiding after police raided his offices, his house and arrested and assaulted some of his relatives last week. The CRD has been exposing rights abuses in Chiadzwa, Marange.

    In an exclusive interview with SW Radio Africa, before he turned himself in to the police, Magawu said he believed he was ‘set up’ by the Kimberley Process (KP) monitor Abbey Chikane.

    The South African was appointed by the international diamond trade watchdog to monitor Zimbabwe to see if it had ended rights abuses in Chiadzwa, before it can be certified to sell diamonds.

    But Maguwu said problems started for him after he met with the KP monitor last Tuesday. He said he had been assured that information discussed in the meeting was ‘confidential’. In the meeting Maguwu told Chikane what his organisation had observed at the volatile diamond fields, where he said human rights abuses were continuing - including issues of illegal gold panning and the smuggling of diamonds without the KP certification.

    The CRD Director said he was shocked to hear that the day after the meeting Chikane’s emails and itinerary had been stolen. “I immediately felt insecure and the following morning a truckload full of men in suits pitched up at my home and they were armed to the teeth.”

    He said he sneaked out of the house through the window but ‘they went on to beat my relatives at home and they took one of them into custody and they kept him in the police cells, beating him for about four days’.

    “I felt insecure and felt they wanted to do a Ken Saro-Wiwa on me. So I went into hiding.”

    Maguwu said state agents were sleeping in his house and eating his food after they raided his house last week.

    The outspoken activist says he believes he is being charged with giving Chikane a state security document which was drafted by the army and that it was prejudicial to the State.”

    Maguwu said: “I did not give Chikane anything. But in the conversation Chikane himself mentioned this document and asked me about the contents in the document.”

    “Little did I know that the meeting was to set me up so that Chikane can create a story out of the meeting and resulting in all these problems that we are facing now, emanating from a meeting that I had with one person and in close confidentiality.”

    He accused the KP monitor of complicity with ZANU PF saying ‘he is part of the gravy train’ and added; “There must be something that is going on behind the scenes between Abbey Chikane and the ZANU PF officials who are plundering Marange diamonds.”

    Maguwu continued: “Even if this case goes to court he (Chikane) is going to be a witness against me, and him being an interested party means he is now working to advance the interest of one party against the other.”

    The Centre for Research and Development is a member of the Kimberly Process Civil Society coalition and Maguwu was due to travel to Israel to present his organisation’s findings on the situation at the diamond fields.

    But Maguwu said: “And this setting up and all these nefarious allegations being levelled against me are simply meant to start a long legal battle that will keep me in the country and that will also paralyse the operations of our organisation. I think that was the intention of Chikane.”

    The leaked document in question is a restricted ‘Brief’ from the security forces and is a damning report which clearly reveals that the military are still involved in illegal activities in the Chiadzwa diamond fields. It is suspected that the report was leaked by someone from ZANU PF.

    Well placed sources have said Chikane has admitted handing over the document to the authorities claiming he thought he was in possession of a ‘stolen document’ and that under the rules and regulations of Zimbabwe he had no choice but to hand it over.

    Part of the KP monitor’s brief is to investigate the militarisation of the Chiadzwa area. The ‘leaked’ document clearly details the fact that the military is still involved. An observer said; “So if this document provides evidence that this situation hasn’t changed then this should have been a document of interest to him. Furthermore if Chikane is going to hand over documents which he thinks are sensitive, who will give him anything, because he has clearly shown that when he is uncertain he is going to side with the government and the so-called rule of law and not with people who are giving him testimonies.”

    Maguwu said some civic groups emailed Chikane, asking why the CRD director was being harassed after his confidential meeting with the KP monitor. “To the surprise of everyone he (Chikane) is very arrogant. He is saying I passed a State security document and he is saying that I knew that it was a crime to possess that document, so I am 100 percent responsible for the consequences,” said Maguwu.

    Mr Chikane’s number was not reachable, but we will continue to try to get him for a comment.

    Maguwu said he had gone into hiding because he was not prepared to face the police at the time they raided his home, but had now set up a legal team to help him and had decided to hand himself into the police on Thursday morning.

    He said: “Our fight for the rights of the people of Chiadzwa and our fight for transparency and accountability in Marange diamonds is a just cause. It is a cause for which I am very much prepared to suffer any consequences.”

    “Zimbabwe is for all Zimbabweans. It is not for a few privileged people, no matter how powerful they are, no matter whatever weapons at their disposal. We need to share the cake and everyone must benefit from the resources of this country and not (Mines Minister) Obert Mpofu and the military bosses to benefit and their families.

    Maguwu’s lawyer, Tinoziva Bere, said he accompanied the activist to Mutare Central Police Station in the morning, where he was immediately charged with alleged contravention of section 31 of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act. The police allege that Maguwu communicated or published information on Chiadzwa diamond field activities to the Kimberly Process monitor, which information is alleged to be false. Farai Maguwu denies the charges.

    The lawyer said: “It’s not clear when he will be brought to court. Normally it would be within 48hours but in this country anything is possible. The police explained to us that they are unable to release him to us even though he has voluntarily presented himself.”

    Meanwhile, the Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition has called on the KP to suspend its monitoring arrangement of the Marange mine in Zimbabwe and has condemned the state-sponsored harassment and intimidation of the staff at the Centre for Research and Development.

    A statement by the Civil Society organisations, including Global Witness, Human Rights Watch, and Partnership Africa Canada said: “Civil society groups are calling upon Kimberley Process members to suspend the monitoring arrangement provided for under the November work plan, until Zimbabwean authorities give concrete assurances that people who provide information to the KP will not be persecuted and harassed by the state security agencies for their actions. Until this happens, and Zimbabwe complies with all Kimberley Process requirements, consumers cannot be confident of buying diamonds that are free from the taint of human rights abuses.”

    from  SWRadio Africa


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