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Zimbabwe says reviewing mine fees after industry uproar

Wed Apr 4, 2012 2:46pm GMT

By Nelson Banya

HARARE, April 4 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe is looking into complaints by the
mining industry that steep hikes in its fees and taxes will seriously hurt
miners by taking 60 percent of every dollar they earn, an official said.

"The ministry is presently reviewing the impact of these fees on the mining
sector," Prince Mupazviriho, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of
Mines, told a mining conference in Harare on Wednesday.

He offered no details on whether the ministry might reduce the fees.

The southern African country hiked pre-exploration fees for most minerals by
as much as 8,000 percent in January. Registration charges for platinum and
diamond claims rose to $2.5 million and $5 million, respectively, in a move
it said was meant to curb the speculative holding of mine titles.

Miners also must now pay annual ground rentals ranging from $500 per hectare
for chrome to $3,000 per hectare for diamonds.

President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party also is forcing foreign mining
companies to hand over majority stakes to Zimbabweans, which analysts say is
a way to bolster the party's coffers ahead of an election expected next

In February the Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines told a parliamentary committee
hearing that fees and royalty increases of 7.5 percent for gold and 10
percent for platinum announced in the 2012 budget would hit miners who have
yet to fully recover from a decade-long economic crisis.

"It's estimated that 60 percent of every dollar earned in revenue goes to
the government, making Zimbabwe one of the most expensive countries to
mine," the chamber's vice president, Allan Mashingaidze, told the committee.

Zimbabwe's mining industry has overtaken the troubled agriculture sector as
the main foreign exchange earner, contributing $2.6 billion to its $4.4
billion total export earnings in 2011.

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Progress made on contentious issues in draft constitution

By Tichaona Sibanda
04 April 2012

The MDC formations and ZANU PF have brought their positions closer over a
new constitution following differences on some contentious issues, a COPAC
co-chairman said on Wednesday.

The final draft of this new charter is expected to be unveiled next week.
Douglas Mwonzora, who is also the MDC-T spokesman, said partners in the
constitutional making process had reached a breakthrough in negotiations to
resolve the impasse on dual citizenship, devolution and the death sentence.

‘We came up with solutions on the three issues that were in dispute. However
this tentative solution is pending approval of the management committee. But
as COPAC we have agreed on all the issues and we are now producing the final
constitution,’ Mwonzora said.

The MDC-T MP for Nyanga North was careful to point out that the document
will only be final if the management committee gives it the green light.
Work on the constitution is already running 18 months behind schedule.

Drafters have targeted September for a referendum on the charter. Public
consultations began in 2009 after the unity government was sworn in, but the
process has been repeatedly disrupted by bickering between the political

Asked to elaborate on how they managed to bridge their sharp differences,
Mwonzora told SW Radio Africa that ‘it (agreement) is consistent with what
the people of Zimbabwe want.’

‘In our view on citizenship, the people of Zimbabwe do not want Zimbabweans
by birth to be prejudiced…and we have tried to incorporate that.

‘On the issue of devolution we reached a fair compromise where the
(provincial) governor will be elected by an electoral college. The
provincial government will have limited powers specified in the
constitution,’ Mwonzora said.

On the death penalty, the MP said it has been outlawed except where it
involves aggravated murder. Aggravated murder is intentionally or knowingly
causing the death of another person.

‘We are otherwise happy and satisfied at the progress of the draft,’ he
said. A new charter is required before the next elections can be held.
Robert Mugabe wants the elections held this year while the MDC formations
are looking at March 2013, once other reforms have been carried out.

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Violence Likely At the Second Stakeholders Conference: CSOs

Bulawayo, April 04, 2012 - As the tension around the constitution making
exercise mounts – especially around the issues of devolution of power -
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have expressed fear that the Second All
stakeholders Conference set for late April or early May could turn violent.

CSOs challenged Copac to put up measures to secure a violence free

Copac has announced that the conference to discuss the draft of the new
constitution – to be subjected to a referendum later this year – will be
held in Harare in May, but will be preceded by provincial conferences.

Addressing members of the CSOs at a public meeting organised by Bulawayo
Agenda last weekend, the Matabeleland Constitutional Reform Agenda (Macra)
director, Effie Ncube, said there is a likely possibility of mayhem at the
conference in May.

“From the fact that the conference will be held in the context of looming
elections, there is likely to be political intolerance. Copac will have to
engage political parties because it is important to secure their agreement
that the event will be a non-violent function.

“They will have to get an agreement from Zanu PF, MDC-T and MDC. They will
also have to get agreement from the police to provide non partisan security
at the function,” he said.

There was mayhem, bordering on violence, during the first stakeholders
conference in 2010 as the parties clashed on ideological grounds.

The National Association of Non governmental Organisations (Nango) Western
Region chairperson, Godwin Phiri, said the tensions around the constitution
making process meant that the conference is likely to be violent.

“We are aware that tensions are high in the country around the constitution
making process. We hope that there will be maturity by all political
parties. Based on what happened in the first all stakeholders’ conference,
we hope that political parties won’t bring partisan issues into the
conference,” he said.

Copac has announced that it will have provincial conferences in order to
reduce the number of people attending the bigger conference in Harare.

Mwonzora said, during the provincial conferences, stakeholders will have an
opportunity to interrogate the draft constitution.

“This has been necessitated by the fact that we want to reduce the number of
delegates coming for the second all stakeholders’ conference. Instead of 4
000 we will only have 2 500 delegates and we will meet other stakeholders in
their provinces,” he said.

Mwonzora said a small crowd at the second all stakeholders conference will
be manageable to minimise chances of mayhem that characterised the first all
stakeholders’ conference.

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Divisions Rock Zimbabwe's ZANU-PF Party as Factions Position Themselves

03 April 2012

Army General Constantine Chiwenga is reportedly the leader of the third
group in ZANU-PF that is positioning itself to take over in the event of Mr.
Mugabe giving up political office. Sources in the party say the former
liberation fighter has presidential ambitions

Jonga Kandemiiri | Washington

Rifts are widening in Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party with
a third faction emerging as the fight to take over from the veteran leader

Army General Constantine Chiwenga is reportedly the leader of the third
group in ZANU-PF that is positioning itself to take over in the event of Mr.
Mugabe giving up political office. Sources in the party say the former
liberation fighter has presidential ambitions.

Two prominent factions have existed in ZANU-PF for years now, one led by
Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and the other by the late army General
Solomon Mujuru. His wife, vice president Joice Mujuru, is now the Godmother
of the faction following her husband’s mysterious death last August.

Former Information Minister and Tsholotsho North Member of Parliament,
Jonathan Moyo, is Chiwenga’s chief strategist, sources say.

Analysts say factionalism in ZANU-PF cost President Mugabe votes as his
party's candidates won more parliamentary votes than him in the bloody 2008
harmonized election.

ZANU-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri
he's not aware of the divisions in his party. But he concedes there are
"fierce" debates in ZANU-PF on issues affecting the country and how the
party can strategize and win elections President Mugabe wants this year.

Policy and research director Charles Mangongera of the Tsvangirai MDC
formation, said ZANU-PF should put its house in order or face a repeat of
the 2008 elections scenario where it was forced into a coalition government
after failing to win enough parliamentary seats

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ZANU PF thug threatens villagers in Zaka

By Tererai Karimakwenda
04 April 2012

A ZANU PF thug who allegedly tortured MDC supporters during the 2008
elections has threatened villagers in the Zaka Central district of Masvingo,
warning that they will experience worse violence after the next election if
they vote for the MDC-T.

SW Radio Africa received reports that former torture base commander Cephas
Ganyaka force marched Zaka villagers to a meeting at Chimunjanja Primary
school on Wednesday and told them elections will be held this year on a date
set by Robert Mugabe.

The meeting was also addressed by the ZANU PF former chairman for ward 18,
Daniel Mativenga, who also reminded villagers of the serious violence that
took place in Zaka in 2008. However, it was Ganyaka who allegedly made it
clear that voting for the MDC would bring worse violence this time.

According to trusted sources Ganyaka has banned all political activity by
other parties in Zaka Central and is threatening MDC activists with
unspecified action if they do not comply.

Harrison Mudzuri, the MDC-T spokesman for Masvingo, told SW Radio Africa
that Zaka residents know that ZANNU PF is using intimidation, based on
violence from 2008. But he said the fear factor will not translate into
votes for ZANU PF.

Mudzuri said the threats simply encourage the MDC-T and their supporters to
make sure that there is no repeat of the violence that gripped the country
after the MDC defeated ZANU PF in 2008.

The MDC has estimated that at least 500 people were brutally murdered during
ZANU PF’s a violent campaign against the MDC in 2008. Tens of thousands were
tortured and raped and hundreds of thousands were displaced.

A report released this week by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, which
covered the month of March, concluded that the political environment “is
filled with tension” due to in-fighting in the political parties and also
because the different parties are “testing each other’s muscle” ahead of

ZESN said their observers reported limited physical violence, but reports of
intimidation and harassment “continue to pose a real threat to citizens’
psychological wellbeing”.

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Confusion over wedding ‘ban’

By Alex Bell
04 April 2012

Many Zimbabweans have been left confused by new measures to curb ‘sham’
marriages in Zimbabwe, with weddings being cancelled across the country.

The suspension placed on weddings has been the result of fresh regulations
from the Registrar General’s office, which has unveiled new marriage
certificates as part of its attempts to clamp down on ‘marriages of

Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede last week said the new certificate is more
detailed and unlikely to be forged, requiring finger prints, photos of the
couple and full details of witnesses. He also stated that the new law came
into force with immediate effect, and in the days that followed all old
marriage certificate books were withdrawn, awaiting replacement with new

Mudede’s announcement last week was accompanied by a threat to marriage
officers, who he said would be punished with arrest if they conduct any
marriage ceremonies without the new certificates. This was despite the new
certificates not yet being made available, resulting in scores of weddings
being cancelled over the weekend.

“We are fighting this nuisance of marriages of convenience. Marriage
officers will have to comply with this and, if you don’t, the jail is
waiting for you,” Mudede warned.

The new regulations have been met mainly with confusion, while other
observers dismissed the news as a joke. Some SW Radio Africa readers said
the wedding ‘ban’ was an April Fool’s Day joke. Other observers meanwhile
said the new regulations were suspicious.

SW Radio Africa correspondent Simon Muchemwa spoke to a local registrar’s
office this week, and he explained on Wednesday that the fresh certificates
have not yet been issued and some are only available directly from the
Registrar General’s offices in Harare. He said this has left even more
weddings being cancelled, with most people too scared to risk arrest by
continuing with their marriage plans.

“Churches have been inundated with people trying to get the right
information, but the Registrar General’s office has not been forthcoming,”
Muchemwa said.

SW Radio Africa was unable to get comment from the Registrar General’s
office, but it is understood that weddings can only go ahead with the new
certificate, meaning fresh applications are required. Muchemwa meanwhile
said that only weddings approved by Mudede’s office will be allowed until
then, “as long as they don’t involve foreigners or are deemed suspicious.”

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WOZA’s Jenni Williams wins Amnesty International award

Tichaona Sibanda
04 April 2012

The 2012 Ginetta Sagan Amnesty International USA award has been given to
WOZA founder and national coordinator Jenni Williams.

Williams becomes the second Zimbabwean woman to receive the award in four
years. Girl Child Network founder, Betty Makoni won it in 2008 for her work
in training girls to succeed in school, thrive in the home and society and
resist sexual abuse and rape.

Amnesty International says winners of the award are recognised for their
work to protect the liberty and lives of women and children in areas where
human rights violations are widespread.

The award carries a grant of $10,000 and is named after Ginetta Sagan, a
former honorary Chair of the Board of Directors of Amnesty International
USA, who devoted her life to defending the rights of those who were unfairly
persecuted by repressive governments.

Williams will pick up the award at a ceremony in Washington, USA on

Since 2003 she has led peaceful protests involving thousands of women and
men, and they have all endured harassment, arrests and violence for
demanding social and political reforms in Zimbabwe under the brutal rule of
Robert Mugabe.

WOZA also encourages women and men to speak out about issues they may be too
fearful to raise alone, including domestic violence and rape.
A statement from Amnesty International said WOZA has inspired tens of
thousands of women and men to stand up for their rights to free speech and
assembly and the fulfillment of basic needs like food and education.

The statement went on to say: ‘In nearly a decade of struggle and hundreds
of protests, more than 3,000 WOZA supporters have spent time in police
custody. Williams herself has been arrested 40 times including most recently
in February during a demonstration to mark WOZA’s 10th anniversary. She has
been beaten, imprisoned without food or medical supplies and threatened with

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Makandiwa prophesies political chaos in Zimbabwe

By Lance Guma
04 April 2012

Popular evangelist Emmanuel Makandiwa has prophesied the imminent death of
someone he says has deprived people of their freedom in the country. The 34
year old founder of the United Family International Church (UFIC) also said
the country will be plunged into political chaos and urged people to start

Makandiwa said this during a church service on Sunday, the same day Nigerian
‘prophet’ Temitope Balogun Joshua (TB Joshua) repeated his prophecy that
“the death of an old African president” is imminent. In February T.B Joshua
announced that an African leader would die within 60 days, but did not
mention the country.

On Friday an estimated 100,000 UFIC church members are set to converge on
the National Sports Stadium for what has been billed as ‘Judgment Night’.
Eerily the theme of the service is ‘Your Enemy is Going to Die on that Night’and
Makandiwa said “lots of things are going to happen.”

“Because of our environment, I will not give much detail, but as prophets,
we choose what to say and what not to say. For now, all I can say is pray
for Zimbabwe. Judgment Night has already created its atmosphere and our
enemies are ready to die. We can’t reverse it, unless they repent before the
night,” he said.

The charismatic evangelist issued a chilling warning saying: “They are
dying. Somebody has to die on that Friday morning so that you will be set
free. Some people may blame the church, but God is ready to make changes.
Are you ready to be blamed? An angel of death shall be released.”

Makandiwa also predicted that his church would be persecuted as a result of
his prophecies, saying: “I see a group of professionals in Zimbabwe
spearheading attacks against the ministry. I will not give you their names,
but these are going to come from sectors with these initials: the D and the
M and the J”.

The young prophet has surprised many with his pulling power. His services
easily fill up the 60,000 seater National Sports Stadium in Harare. His
wealth has also come under increasing scrutiny after he bought a Lexus 570
sports utility vehicle and a 61-piece Italian-made PA system worth

Makandiwa is also building a multi-million-dollar 30,000 seat church in
Chitungwiza. Questions were raised about the deal that saw him get the land,
with the local MP and some residents alleging corruption.

Makandiwa preaches what is known as the ‘prosperity gospel’, a doctrine
which claims that financial blessings are the will of God and that faith,
positive speech and donations to Christian ministries will always increase
one’s material wealth. In one service he boasted that when he crashed his
Mercedes Benz S320 it was quickly replaced by a brand-new S600.

Last year Makandiwa showered a Waterfalls couple, and one of the Mahendere
Brothers gospel singers, with a house and a Mercedes Benz vehicle as gifts
for their wedding.

This wealth concept has tapped in to the high unemployment levels and
poverty in the country with thousands of followers rushing to join his

The young preacher has cashed in by getting donations from rich and poor
people alike and selling ‘spiritual airtime’ vouchers. Last month he was
given a licence to begin publishing a monthly magazine called ‘The Family’.
It’s also reported he might be launching a newspaper very soon ‘to grow his
following and reach.’

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Accused diamond ‘smuggler’ to sue Zim cops for theft

By Alex Bell
04 April 2012

An Israeli man accused of smuggling diamonds out of Zimbabwe has stated his
intentions to sue the local police for ‘theft’, accusing them of stealing
‘his’ stones.

Zimbabwean lawyer Jonathan Samkange who is representing the accused, Shmuel
Kainan Klein, told the court Tuesday that his client will sue the police for
stealing some of the diamonds confiscated last month.

Klein is facing charges of smuggling after he was arrested at Harare airport
shortly before boarding a flight to Johannesburg last month. Security
officials at the airport allegedly found more than 1,400 stones, weighing
1.7 kilograms, in his hand luggage. The diamonds are said to be worth an
estimated US$2 million.
Klein has insisted that he was in transit and was “framed” by someone known
to him.

Last month he was given US$5,000 bail and charged with unlawful possession
of the diamonds and this week the State wrapped up its case against him.

But his lawyer has applied for the case to be discharged, with Samkange
stating that the evidence provided by the investigating officer contradicted
what the previous five State witnesses had told the court. Samkange also
stated that the police need to be investigated, claiming they stole about
2,000 carats of the confiscated diamonds.

“We are going to order for an investigation to ascertain what happened to
the missing diamonds,” Samkange told the court.

The case will continue next week.

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Zimbabwean Women Seek Access to Rich Alluvial Diamond Fields

03 April 2012

Women in Mining, which includes women in small to medium mining enterprises,
says the government should allocate claims in Chiadzwa, in the eastern part
of the country, to women. The group says calls for access Marange and other
major mining concerns have so far fallen on deaf ears

Tatenda Gumbo | Washington

Zimbabwean women are demanding concessions in the Marange diamond fields as
they continue to call for economic empowerment and advancement.

Women in Mining, which includes women in small to medium mining enterprises,
says the government should allocate claims in Chiadzwa, in the eastern part
of the country, to women. The group says calls for access Marange and other
major mining concerns have so far fallen on deaf ears.

The government has partnered with companies from South Africa, China and
others in joint ventures that many say have largely short-changed locals,
including women.

Vice president Christina Matika of the group Women in Mining says members
want shares not only in Chiadzwa but in all sectors of the economy.

"If we cannot have concession then the government should ensure that
proceeds from diamonds are allocated to the development of women's
projects," said Matika.

The Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines and the Zimbabwe School of Mines recently
rolled out an affirmative action program allowing more female students at
the institute to learn about mining.

Less than 10 percent of women on Zimbabwe are miners in an industry largely
dominated by men.

Chairwoman Virginia Muwanigwa of the Women’s Coalition says women's groups
in the country are united in calling for more empowerment initiatives, but
she adds the government’s response has been disappointing so far.

"It is true whatever support is availed to people in a country depends on
the resources of that country to the extent that resources may be available
that determines if people access those resources," said Muwanigwa. "But we
would agree to say that more could have been done to avail resources to

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Zim delegation for KP meeting

By Taurai Mangudhla, Business Writer
Wednesday, 04 April 2012 12:31

HARARE - A Zimbabwean delegation is expected at the Kimberly Process (KP)’s
June intercession meeting in Washington, KP chairperson Gillian Milovanovic
said yesterday.

“We have every expectation that Zimbabwe will have a delegation here and we
look forward to it,” she said in a live webcast.

“I might add that I also had an opportunity to speak with Zimbabwean
officials who were present at the Mining (Indaba) in Cape Town maybe about
six weeks ago when I was there and we had a good conversation and certainly
we expect that Zimbabwe will be here for the intercession,” added

Asked how KP is dealing with the “controversy surrounding Zimbabwe being a
part of the global diamond body”, Milovanovic vowed to ensure monitoring of
the southern African nation’s gems is above board.

“For my part and as KP process chair, I look to the future and to bringing
the entire KP family together and that includes Zimbabwe. As I have also
said on a number of occasions, you know, I am here for everyone because I’m
the chair and that’s how I intend to conduct my work so as far as Zimbabwe
is concerned my role is to ensure the regular processes of the Kimberly
process that the monitoring visits are handled appropriately, which they
have been,” she added.

“That the KP receives in the normal course of events the reports which
Zimbabwe needs to send, which it has been getting and that is the extent to
which I focus on Zimbabwe because I feel that it is important that we move
now to everyone being a member of the KP family and we look to the future
and we all work together.”

Zimbabwean gems, believed to constitute 25 percent of world diamond
deposits, are expected to contribute $600 million in revenues and up to $2
billion to the country’s fiscus annually.

The estimates are underpinned by increased production and favourable prices
on the international market.
However, a reputable Russian diamond mining company Alrosa said Zimbabwe’s
ability to increase sales from last year’s eight million carats is limited.

According to the diamond firm, rough-diamond prices are unlikely to repeat
the volatility of last year, when they jumped as much as 50 percent during
the year on speculative demand, before retreating to end 24 percent higher.

Diamond companies operating at Chiadzwa through joint ventures with
state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation include Anjin, Marange
Resources, Mbada diamonds and Diamond Mining Corporation.

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Zimbabwe carrying out Geological Mineral Survey

IN an interesting twist of events the Government of Zimbabwe says it is
carrying out a Geological Mineral Survey to ascertain the quantum and
potential value of mineral resources in the country.
by Ngoni Chanakira Harare

This comes almost one year after the Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA)
dished out a pamphlet to international investors informing them of the
quantum of minerals in the country. It now turns out that that document was
not done professionally.

"The University of Zimbabwe (UZ) does not have geological professionals
right now and I really wonder who gave them that information about minerals
in the country," a UZ professor said in an exclusive interview.

That document had alleged that Zimbabwe has 13 million tonnes of gold, 2,8
billion tonnes of platinum, 930 million tonnes of chromite, 4,5 million
tonnes of nickel, 26 billion tonnes of coal, 16,5 million "tonnes of
diamonds", 30 billion tonnes of iron ore, 5,2 million tonnes of copper and
various quantities of methane.

However, the UZ professor said diamonds were not measured in tonnes and so
the document could be fake.

"Zimbabwe is endowed with abundant natural resources which, if managed
prudently, will contribute significantly to the realisation of the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the MTP targets," Tendai Biti, the
Minister of Finance, said.

He said the Geological Mineral Survey would establish a framework which
incorporated development funds for the benefit of communities especially in
areas where mining activities were being undertaken.

It would also involve a thorough verification process using a comprehensive
Geological Survey which would be necessary for the validation of Zimbabwe's
mineral resources and reserves.

"This process, however, requires a considerable amount of technical, human
and financial resources, which the country will have to mobilise," Biti

"This verification process is key for assisting the country to avoid
financial prejudice and investor's under-estimation of value of underground
mineral resources, and ensure proper planning in the utilisation of mineral
resources for the benefit of the economy and future generations through the
creation of a Sovereign Wealth Fund."

Biti said in addition, the exploitation of such mineral resources required
that government launches an intensive investment drive in the mining sector.

"Combined with the pursuit of sound macro-economic policies and debt relief,
this initiative will ensure that the country is able to generate sufficient
foreign exchange resources to attain sustainable and inclusive growth," Biti

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Loan scheme for marginalized areas ignores Bulawayo

By Tererai Karimakwenda
04 April 2012

A government subsidized loan scheme, meant to benefit businesses in
marginalized areas, has been criticised for failing to help needy companies
and individuals in Matabeleland and other provinces.

The Distressed Industries and Marginalized Areas Fund (DIMAF) was
established by government in response to serious criticism that some areas
of Zimbabwe had been ignored since independence and were still
underdeveloped. CABS Bank was designated as a partner in the scheme.

SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme said he has copies of 216
applications that were processed by CABS under the DIMAF scheme, and only
one company that received a loan is in Bulawayo. The rest are in Mashonaland
and none are in the distressed Midlands and Manicaland provinces.

“There were 215 disbursements from CABS Bank averaging about $2,000 each
that were given to distressed businesses in other provinces. The one company
in Bulawayo got a little under $3,000,” Saungweme explained.

It is not clear exactly how many applications were received by CABS in total
during the period in question, but the results point to a continuation of
the problem the scheme was supposed to address, distressed areas being

CABS bank has also been criticized for setting strict conditions for loan
applicants under the DIMAF scheme, making it difficult for companies that
need the help to qualify.

Saungweme said the Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube, and the
Minister of State Enterprises Gorden Moyo, championed the scheme and should
be making sure it serves businesses that need help and areas that are

“This is why there has been a loud chorus of voices on the issue of
devolution of power. Residents in Matabeleland and in Manicaland say the
resources in their province, like the Chiadzwa diamonds, should also benefit
the people who live there,” Saungweme said.

We were unable to contact the Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube
for comment.

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Zimbabwe legal action
Faith-based charity USPG is supporting the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe
as it takes legal action to retain church property confiscated by an
ex-communicated bishop.
Please go to the website to read the whole article

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Resist Mugabe’s Poll Calls : Makoni Urges Citizens

Harare, April 04, 2012 - Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (M.K.D) leader Simba Makoni
says Zimbabweans should flatly refuse to participate in elections under an
environment which does not guarantee a free and fair outcome.

Makoni, who contested the 2008 presidential election and polled more than
300 000 votes, in a statement to the media said Zimbabweans should be
vigilant of President Mugabe’s political machinations.

“Let us all be wary of the machinations of President Robert Mugabe who is
intent on leading this country into yet another bloodbath reminiscent or
worse than the run up to 27 June 2008 election run-off,” he said.

“We demand a satisfactory explanation as to what the Inclusive Government
(IG) of Zanu-PF, MDC-T and MDC-N has been doing since constituted in
February 2009, with regards to the issue of putting in place necessary
electoral reforms.

“One of the main issues the shaky Coalition Government was supposed to
tackle is readying the country for the holding of free and fair elections
among a host of other issues,” he added.

Makoni charged that the three leaders in the inclusive government must
justify to the people of Zimbabwe the “unnecessary’ waste of taxpayers’
money through funding operations of a bloated government which he said does
not deliver results at the end of the day.

“This is another straight case of political fraud committed in broad
daylight by the IG leaders. It is now evident that the coalition government
has failed dismally to prepare the country for a free and fair poll,” he

Makoni, a former Zanu-PF politiburo member and finance minister, implored
leaders of the three political parties in the power-sharing arrangement to
acknowledge failure, apologise and resign, paving the way for the setting up
of a Transitional National Authority (TNA).

He said the TNA would, among other things, carry out a genuine national
healing and reconciliation programme feeding into creating an environment
suitable for the holding of free and fair elections.

“The TNA should exclude all leaders of political parties and have a lifespan
of twelve (12) months. Mavambo will only participate in elections conducted
in an environment that guarantees a free and fair outcome.

“The peace loving citizens of Zimbabwe should stand their ground and
fiercely resist being cowed into another blood-letting extravaganza. If
President Mugabe forces an election without the necessary reforms, we will
have a repeat of 2008, which will be a disastrous non-event,” he said.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and the leader of MDC, Welshman Ncube have
constantly expressed reservations over the staging of fresh polls under the
present Lancaster House constitution and without the requisite reforms
enshrined in the GPA.

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Mugabe Insulted Kabila: US Cables Divulge

Harare, April 04, 2012 - Relations between President Robert Mugabe and
leader of the Democratic Republic of Congo Joseph Kabila could have received
a knock after the long-serving Zimbabwean leader insulted the youthful
leader during his last visit to Harare.

Mugabe reportedly insulted Kabila during a meeting at State House but the
alleged incident was not made public.

Kabila was in Harare for talks aimed at saving the fragile unity government.

Kabila, then chair of the Southern Africa Development Community, rushed to
Harare in November 2009 to diffuse a dispute that was threatening the
existence of the inclusive government in Zimbabwe.

This was after the MDC-T had partially pulled out of the shaky government
protesting against Mugabe’s refusal to obey certain sections of the Global
Political Agreement, which brought about the inclusive arrangement.

Kabila met both Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai during his
visit. He appeared with Mugabe at State House posing at cameras but they
were no signs of acrimony between the men.

But the DRC ambassador to Harare Mawapanga Mwana Nanga in diplomatic
discussions with the United States ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray, said
the DRC leader was insulted by Mugabe but he remained calm.

In discussions with Ray, the DRC envoy acknowledged that Mugabe had insulted
Kabila when he visited Harare but did not disclose further details.

Mawapanga however, said unlike his father, Laurent, who was known for his
short temper, the young Kabila did not hit back.

In a diplomatic cable dispatched from Harare by the US embassy after the
deliberations with the DRC envoy, Ray said: “Mawapanga also acknowledged
that Mugabe had insulted DRC President Kabila when he visited Harare, but
the young Kabila, unlike his father, does not believe in answering insult
with insult.”

Mawapanga is reported to once have told a Western ambassador that he was
sent to Harare to defend Mugabe against Western-initiated regime change.

But Ray said since Kabila's visit to Harare, Mawapanga’s attitude and
demeanor had changed significantly and he wanted to lobby to return home as
soon as Kabila was no longer chair of the Sadc bloc.

“He has been in Harare for eight years, with his family remaining in the
DRC, and he says that as soon as Kabila is no longer President of the
Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) he plans to lobby to return
home,” Ray said.

The US top diplomat in Harare said this was probably the first time
Mawapanga had been so critical of Zanu PF in discussions with a Western

Ray said Mawapanga, who served as DRC Finance Minister before Laurent
Kabila's assassination and was thought to have a role in designing the
financial aspects of Zimbabwe's then-military support for the DRC, has been
a thorn in the side of many of the Western ambassadors in Harare, most
notably the U.S. and UK, who have often been accused of trying to overthrow
the Mugabe regime.

“Surprisingly, during our meeting he was friendly and in his criticism of
Mugabe and Zanu PF, uncharacteristically candid and blunt. He said, for
instance, that while he is against sanctions because he believes they don't
really work, Zanu PF needs to quit using them as an excuse not to govern the
country properly,” Ray said.

“As an example, he said he finds it strange that Zanu PF will complain of
the crippling effect of sanctions on the one hand, then spend millions on a
large delegation going on a trip, or claim to have US$10 million for
agricultural inputs.

Despite the alleged insult incident, Mugabe’s relations with Kabila appear
to be warm especially after the youthful leader won a controversial
presidential vote in his country.

Mugabe, the only head of state at Kabila’s inauguration last December, said
Kabila’s victory should not be questioned as the election had been

He said “any attempt to undermine that democratic government will be
resisted by Africa, [the Southern African Development Community] and
Zimbabwe, which has been a partner to the Congolese people.”

Mugabe assured Kabila that Zimbabwe would help him fight off any
interference by presumably Western outsiders.

Mugabe’s statement was interpreted to mean Zimbabwe could again intervene
militarily in the central African country as it did in 1997 when it helped
Kabila’s father Laurent quash a massive armed rebellion threatening his
errant regime.

Mugabe deployed thousands of troops backed by heavy artillery and fighter
jets in 1997 to save the regime of Kabila’s father which was on the verge of
being routed out by rebels supported by Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi.

But after helping secure the Kinshasa regime, the Zimbabwe government did
not exploit vast mineral resources of the DRC, a move that could have
incensed powerful figures in Harare.

Western mining companies reportedly partook to the mineral resources much to
the chagrin of Mugabe and his Zanu PF party who were apparently elbowed
following a damning United Nations report revealed top Zanu PF officials
were looting the DRC resources for personal gain.

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Health workers rap religious sects

By Everson Mushava, Staff Writer
Wednesday, 04 April 2012 09:11

HARARE - Health officials are having headaches over how to deal with
religious sects which do not want their members to set foot at health

With the country’s economic and political situation still far from stable,
many Zimbabweans are turning to religion resulting in growth of apostolic

Common for wearing white robes, marrying young girls and worshipping under
trees and  mountain tops, the apostolic sects are infamous for claiming that
their leaders hold special healing powers.

Members are barred from seeking medical attention at conventional hospitals,
and instead pushed to “prophets”.

Health workers yesterday told a visiting top United Nations Children’s Fund
(Unicef) official that they are cracking their heads over this phenomenon,
particularly when the country is battling acute maternal deaths and infant

Expressing their challenges to the visiting Australian United Nations
Children’s Fund (Unicef) chief executive officer Norman Gillespie at Kunaka
Hospital in Seke yesterday, community health workers said they still face
resistance from some apostolic church sects.

Gillespie was touring Seke district to assess the work of community health
workers and how best the international community can assist.

“Some people still resist going to hospitals for health care but seek help
from their churches.  We are working with the midwives from these churches
and telling them the dangers of delivering outside a hospital.

“They are however slowly getting to understand the importance of going to
hospital,” said one of the health workers identified only as Mushonga.

She said some churches, especially from Marange and Mwazha apostolic sects,
often pitched tents where they admitted sick people and pregnant mothers
awaiting delivery.

“We have approached them and we will continue working with them,” she said.

Zimbabwe’s maternal deaths and infant mortality figures are worrying.

At least eight women die every- day from giving birth, according to Unicef.

Unicef says at least 725 children per 100 000 die everyday at birth in the

Gillespie said he appreciated the work of community health workers in
reaching every member of the community and their dedication to work.

“I am amazed that you still have this touch with the people in the
community, something that the West can no longer manage. We intent to lobby
for more funds to make the primary health care programme a national
 project,” Gillespie said.

Gillespie said he would mobilise funds to buy more bicycles for the
community health workers so they can access every part of the community.

Unicef last month availed 1 500 bicycles for community health care workers
in the country. Unicef has pledged to provide 20 000 more bicycles by the
end of the year.

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Controlling the Typhoid Epidemic Plaguing Sub-Saharan Africa

By Chris Nelson

Apr 4 2012, 3:04 PM ET

The Coalition against Typhoid was established to combat this neglected
disease and advocate for the millions currently suffering from it.

Since early November 2011, there has been a surge of typhoid fever outbreaks
in central and southern Africa, affecting children and adults alike.
Unfortunately, it takes a series of outbreaks such as these in Zambia,
Zimbabwe, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), to draw attention to
this often-overlooked disease in a region plagued by many needs and few

Typhoid outbreaks usually occur when common water and food sources become
contaminated with infected human waste. Symptoms include high fever,
flu-like symptoms, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea, and even death.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) approximately 21.6 million
cases of typhoid occur each year, resulting in at least 200,000 deaths,
mostly among school- and preschool-aged children.

The recent cases of typhoid fever reported in Zambia and Zimbabwe can be
directly attributed to problems with water and sanitation. In Kikwit, DRC,
typhoid is already highly endemic. However, contamination of a local water
source caused cases to spike into the thousands, resulting in life
threatening intestinal complications and death.

Apart from the illness, severe complications, and death that accompanies
these typhoid outbreaks, disruptions of local water supplies interrupt the
daily activities of entire communities and cities. Despite this large
burden, typhoid has remained on the back burner of the global public health
agenda, allowing the cycle of endemic disease and episodic outbreaks to
continue, particularly in Africa.

To combat this neglected disease, the Coalition against Typhoid (CaT) was
established to advocate for the millions of people suffering from typhoid
fever who cannot speak for themselves. CaT supports research into
next-generation typhoid vaccines and improved diagnostics and advocates for
the use of effective vaccines that are already available and recommended by
the WHO. Our members are also working with local governments to identify
sustainable funding mechanisms for typhoid prevention and control programs,
and to improve typhoid surveillance, especially in parts of sub-Saharan
Africa where the typhoid burden is not well-documented.

Public awareness about typhoid and the areas where it is endemic is
essential for effective disease control and prevention. To that end,
researchers from CDC-Kenya have documented rates of endemic typhoid fever in
urban Nairobi that, surprisingly, are comparable to those reported from
urban slums in Asia, where the burden of typhoid was thought to be highest.
Together with the recent outbreaks, these results from Kenya add to growing
evidence of typhoid across Africa, from Ghana and Nigeria in the west to
Ethiopia, Uganda, Malawi, Mozambique, and South Africa in the east and

Recent surveillance activities have also found that multi-drug-resistant
(MDR) typhoid strains are widespread in Africa, in some areas exceeding 75
percent of all cases. Historically, typhoid has been treatable with
antibiotics, but as MDR typhoid becomes more prevalent and widespread, new
and more expensive antibiotics are required for treatment in order to
prevent serious complications and increased risk of death.

Public health experts agree that a comprehensive approach is needed to
effectively control typhoid. This includes providing safe water to the
community; improving access to basic sanitation facilities; promoting proper
hygiene, including hand washing and the safe preparation and consumption of
food and drink; and typhoid vaccination. Improved surveillance and
diagnostic tools are also needed to identify at-risk populations and prevent
delays in treatment.

To date, typhoid control efforts have focused on Asia. Emerging evidence of
high disease burden across sub-Saharan Africa will serve as the basis for
developing a comprehensive and integrated typhoid prevention and control
strategy for the region.

While recent improvements in typhoid surveillance are a step in the right
direction, much more work is needed to increase general awareness and turn
the tide against typhoid in Africa and in other parts of the world. This
falls on the international global health community, including CaT and
national governments, to develop and implement integrated typhoid control
strategies and protect these vulnerable communities from typhoid fever and
other diseases of poverty.

Christopher B. Nelson is the director of the Coalition against Typhoid at
the Sabin Vaccine Institute. Before joining Sabin, he worked as a consultant
in global health, with a focus on international organizations and new
vaccine introduction.

With Ciro de Quadros, executive vice president of the Sabin Vaccine

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War vets demand money for projects

03/04/2012 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

WAR veterans have claimed they are living in abject poverty and demanded
that the coalition government comes up with a loan facility to enable them
to start self help projects.

The independence war fighters believe they are entitled to such facilities
under the 1997 War Veterans Act.

War veterans were handed payouts of Z$50,000 in 1997 helping trigger the
so-called “Black Friday” on November 14 of the same year when the Zimbabwe
dollar lost 71,5 percent of its value and the stock market crashed 46

Experts say although the country’s economy properly hit the skids beginning
2000, the roots of the crisis could be traced to the unbudgeted war veterans’
payouts as well as Zimbabwe’s participation in the DRC civil war.

However, Retired Lieutenant Colonel Cairo Mhandu, a member of the
parliamentary portfolio committee on defence told state radio Tuesday that
war veterans were living in poverty and needed more money to start self-help

“From 1997, Ministers of Finance since then have totally ignored the War
Veterans Act. War veterans are being disadvantaged in terms of accessing
loan facilities,” he said.

“We are saying the government should make sure that we get these loans now
because since 1997 we have been waiting, the economy is recovering and
something should be done to assist us.”

Joseph Chinotimba, another war veterans’ leader added: “war veterans are for
the country, they fought for the liberation of the country.

“When the authorities deal with our issues, they must not see us as Zanu PF
war veterans as we fought for everyone, even for those who go to church.
“We are living in abject poverty yet some members of the society have access
to loans.”

Under the 1997 legislation, the war veterans are entitled to a gratuity,
settlement benefits, loans, and education benefits, medical as well as
funeral benefits.

The ex-fighters – dismissed by critics as shock troopers for President
Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party – are also entitled to a monthly state
pension which many say is inadequate.

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The MDC Today - Issue 330

Wednesday 4 April 2012 

Rhinos Musareva (37) the MDC Zaka West district secretary for Defence and Security was abducted on Saturday at Chivamba Business Centre by suspected Zanu PF thugs and war veterans led by Dunanga Bwazvo and Mupangani Chekero from neighbouring Chiredzi North Constituency.

He was handcuffed and taken to a homestead of one Mr Tsvana, a Zanu PF activist, where he was severely assaulted and dragged around the yard. Zanu PF thugs used sticks during the assault.

It is alleged that after the battering they took him to the home of one Chiredzi North Prophet, Hardlife Kuzonyei whom they assaulted for entertaining Musareva, who, together with other MDC colleagues some time in March, approached him for prayer. His alleged crime was that he had prayed for MDC activists in a Zanu PF territory.

Upon realising the degree of injury on the two, Dunanga, Chekero and their youths took Musareva and Kuzonyei to a woman in Wasara area, village 4 in Chiredzi North Resettlements. The woman was allegedly force-marched to a nearby Oscro Farm Police Base where the injured were handed over to Constable Moyo and accused of stealing from the woman.

The youths forced Prophet Kuzonyei to sign a statement admitting that he robbed the woman but Rhinos refused despite further punishment that was inflicted on him in full glare of Constable Moyo.

Hon Festus Dumbu, the Zaka West MP and the MDC Party structures were then informed about the abductions searched for the two only to find them at Chiredzi Police Station.

Hon Dumbu said: “When I saw Musareva I was shocked to see horrific injuries on him. His limbs were swollen and he was visibly in pain.I requested that he be taken to the hospital and Police indicated it was in their plans to take him to hospital. Rhinos has not received medical attention despite his serious injuries.”

He said, “We urge the police to arrest these known thugs if people are going to have confidence and feel secure in their own homes. People need real change. They are tired of fighting. We have had enough tears, now we just want a new Zimbabwe where all people are free to pursue opportunity and have a right to association. They must have their security guaranteed, before and after making their choices”.
Musareva sustained soft tissue injuries. The MDC has categorically stated that elections in Zimbabwe should be held in an environment free from violence and that all perpetrators of violence should be arrested.

The people's struggle for real change: let's finish it!!

MDC Information & Publicity Department

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Zimbabwe needs property rights policy - VP

    Posted on Wednesday 4 April 2012 - 11:21
    Misheck Rusere, AfricaNews reporter in Harare, Zimbabwe

    Zimbabwean Vice President John Nkomo has diplomatically admitted that
his country does not have a property rights policy that is consistent and
coherent, which is the source of investors' fears for investing in the
country. Addressing delegates at the official opening of a two day Euromoney
Investment Conference, Nkomo said there is need for the government to put in
place measure to safeguard property of investors.

    “Government needs to put in place mechanisms to protect the rights of
property in Zimbabwe so that investor feel free to put their money in the
country,” said Nkomo.

    Nkomo said the Southern African country was now ranked number three in
Africa as a preferred investment destination after Kenya and Tanzania.

    Finance Minister Tendai Biti however said one of the reasons for the
investors shunning the country was because of the ignorance of the
indigenization law and the manner in which the same law is being applied by
the government.

    “One thing that is hampering investment in this country is lack of
understanding of the indigenization policy. It is worrisome that
indigenization is pitted against investment yet the two are supposed to be
complimenting each other,” said Biti.

    Echoering Minister Biti’s sentiments African Century Limited an
investment company that is focused on building businesses in sub-Saharan
Africa co-founder Jonathan Chenevix-Trench formerly CEO and chairperson of
Morgan Stanley International based in London said there is nothing sinister
with Zimbabwe’s indigenization policy but the only worry was in the lack of
consistence of the same.

    “There are very few countries in the world maybe two or three that do
not practice indigenizations but it is all about how it is executed. There
is need for a coherent and consistent policy framework,” said

    He said Zimbabwe only needed to assure investors that their investment
is safe through a consistent policy framework.

    Euromoney Investment Conference took place from 21-22 March and was
attended by hundreds of investors. Several speakers including some from
international organizations like African Development Bank President, Donald
Kaberuka graced the occasion along with some investors from as far afield as
Europe and Asia.

    Since the formation of the inclusive government in 2009, Zimbabwe has
witnessed significant progress and improvement in the in the economic sector
and other social services sectors.

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Zimbabwe's 2012 Trade Fair Set for Success as Businesses Snap Up Exhibition Space

03 April 2012

A large number of local and international business executives are showing
interest in attending the annual business summit organized by the Zimbabwe
National Chamber of Commerce and held every year during the trade fair

Gibbs Dube | Washington

Preparations for this year’s premier commercial annual event - the Zimbabwe
International Trade Fair (ZITF) - are in full swing with 95 percent of the
exhibition space already snapped up by international and local exhibitors.

Nomathemba Ndlovu, ZITF Marketing and Public Relations Manager told the VOA
Tuesday that exhibitors are grabbing larger pavilions compared to last year
and indications are that the fair will attract high quality exhibits this

More than 800 exhibitors and over 112,000 members of the public graced the
event last year. This year’s trade fair, with only two public days, starts
on April 24.

Ndlovu said a large number of local and international business executives
are showing interest in attending an annual business summit organized by the
Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce and other organizations held every
year during the trade fair period.

The ZITF is one of the largest multi-sectoral exhibitions in resource-rich
Sub-Saharan Africa which attracted 145,646 visitors in 2011 and provides
exhibitors with the opportunity to conduct regional and international

“After decades of economic recession Zimbabwe’s economic tide is turning and
ZITF 2012 will be the place to be,” said Ndlovu.

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UN appoints rapporteur for justice


On March 23, the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) appointed Pablo
de Greiff as the first-ever special rapporteur on the promotion of truth,
justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence. De Greiff is a
Colombian national and is currently the New York-based director of research
at the International Centre for Transitional Justice. His tenure as special
rapporteur begins on May 1.

Like countless other organisations working towards post-conflict peace and
development in Africa and elsewhere, the South African Institute for Justice
and Reconciliation (IJR) welcomes the creation of the mandate to establish
accountability for serious crimes. And we hail De Greiff's appointment in
this important position. It is hoped that this development will
significantly enhance the visibility of transitional-justice issues within
the HRC and the UN system at large.

But what does the mandate of this independent expert mean for the victims of
Africa's seemingly endless conflicts? And how can civil society engage with
him? These and other questions were explored at an in-depth two-day IJR
consultation held recently with some of the continent's leading voices
working on transitional-justice issues in IJR's target countries, namely
Zimbabwe, Kenya, the DRC, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda.

Titled "African Perspectives on the Appointment and Mandate of the UN
Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and
Guarantees of Non-Recurrence", the event sought to solicit the expectations
and needs of African civil-society organisations, governments and
intergovernmental agencies, working in the field of justice and
reconciliation in Africa, on the mandate of the special rapporteur. A
comprehensive report of the event is forthcoming.

"Special procedures" is the general name given to the mechanisms established
by the HRC to conduct fact-finding and/or monitoring into specific
human-rights situations in all parts of the world. Currently, there are 33
thematic and eight country mandates. Mandate-holders (individuals or groups)
serve in their personal capacity, are independent -- that is, not UN
staff -- and are unpaid. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human
Rights provides them with some personnel, policy, research and logistical
support for the discharge of their mandates.

The functions of this particular special rapporteur will include addressing
gross violations of human rights and serious violations of international law
through the gathering of relevant information relating to the promotion of
truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, and to make
recommendations to affected stakeholders on potential responses and remedial
interventions. The resolution that established the position specifies the
need for a gendered perspective and a victim-centred approach to be
integrated throughout the fulfilment of the mandate. All Special Rapporteurs
are guided by a strict code of conduct and are requested to report annually
to the HRC and the UN General Assembly.

The authors of the resolution took care to emphasise that the special
rapporteur should not take a one-sided approach to transitional justice. The
mandate emphasises "the importance of a comprehensive approach incorporating
the full range of judicial and non-judicial measures, including, among
others, individual prosecutions, reparations, truth-seeking, institutional
reform, vetting of public employees and officials, or an appropriately
conceived combination thereof, in order to, inter alia, ensure
accountability, serve justice, provide remedies to victims, promote healing
and reconciliation, establish independent oversight of the security system
and restore confidence in the institutions of the state and promote the rule
of law in accordance with international human rights law".

This all is a seemingly huge amount of work for just one person. Given that
the role is voluntary and unpaid, it requires a substantial time commitment
as well as constant readiness to respond to urgent situations as and when
they emerge. This includes two to three official country visits per year on
the basis of requests to and by governments grappling with their own
transitional-justice situations. Such visits may also include meetings with
NGOs, victims, traditional leaders and so on (bearing in mind that resources
are very limited).

As such, civil society can and should play a vital role in relation to the
special rapporteur. As explained by one participant with extensive
experience in this field, "the mandate holder will play the role that you
[civil society] enable the mandate holder to play". Feeding the special
rapporteur with succinct, reliable and accurate information on urgent
matters relating to the mandate is one important function civil society can
take on. Raising awareness about the special rapporteur and the relevant
mandate as well as how it translates into reality is equally important in
order to ensure increased participation in the broader process.

Information on urgent developments in the realm of truth, justice,
reparations and non-recurrence can be submitted by alleged victims (or
anyone on their behalf), by NGOs and other partners such as UN agencies,
funds and programmes, trade unions, professional associations, and so forth.
The special rapporteur will then process and analyse this information and,
if the issue is deemed serious enough, will take the matter up with the
relevant government and other stakeholders. Also, the special rapporteur is
at liberty to attend activities organised by civil society to raise
awareness about the respective mandates, and create and strengthen

During country presentations at the IJR consultation, it became evident just
how many of the African countries represented face urgent
transitional-justice challenges. Presentations highlighted the need for
truth-telling mechanisms in Zimbabwe and Burundi, an end to impunity in the
DRC, the need for reparations in Uganda and Rwanda, and the pursuit of
justice and accountability in all countries represented.

South Sudan, where the conversation about transitional justice remains
severely obstructed by continued fighting between north and south,
incomplete disarmament processes and severe infrastructure and governance
challenges, has the potential to dominate this mandate entirely. Add to this
the burning transitional-justice challenges that face Egypt, Tunisia, Libya
and, in due course, Syria -- never mind similarly urgent situations in the
rest of the world.

This is no small task. Now more than ever, civil society organisations need
to pull together to ensure that efficient collaboration directly impacts
this mandate holder's ability to achieve justice and reconciliation for
communities affected by human rights violations.

Friederike Bubenzer is the Acting Head of the Justice and Reconciliation
Programme at the South African Institute for Justice and Reconciliation.

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Ballot Update

Dear Colleagues

Please find the Ballot Update for February and March 2012.



This update provides an analysis of political developments as reported by ZESN observers over the period February to March 2012. The period has been characterised by police violence which culminated in the death of a civilian and the injury 11 citizens. The political environment while seeming calm is filled with tension as parties in the GNU continue with in fighting and testing each other’s muscle. There is continued electioneering by political parties which has caused the electorate much confusion.   

Observers report that political parties activities have increased significantly with political party restructuring, campaigns and meetings as parties evidently prepare for elections. While observers have reported limited physical violence, reports of intimidation and harassment continue to pose a real threat to citizens’ psychological wellbeing.

 The Zimbabwe Election Support Network remains dedicated to the promotion of democratic elections in Zimbabwe. In line with this objective, we continue to analyse the political environment in the 210 constituencies where observers are deployed. This update is informed by observations from these constituencies and broadly captures national political developments in Zimbabwe. 

For further reading please refer to the link below



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Amplats, Zimbabwe to meet on Unki indigenisation plan

By: Natasha Odendaal
4th April 2012

JOHANNESBURG ( – Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) said on
Wednesday that it would meet officials from the Zimbabwe government later
this week to discuss the indigenisation plan for its Unki mine.

The world’s largest platinum producer, led by CEO Neville Nicolau, submitted
its indigenisation plan for its first Zimbabwe-based platinum operation
earlier this week.

Spokesperson Mpumi Sithole said Amplats was unable to divulge any details
about the plan or the group’s expectations until the meetings were

She added, however, that it expected a decision by next week.

The Unki mine, near Gweru, is currently ramping up production and will reach
full production of 120 000 t/m in 2013.

Zimbabwe’s indigenisation laws require foreign firms to transfer 51% of
their assets in the country to locals. Treaty protection under the South
Africa-Zimbabwe bilateral agreement, however, committed the Zimbabwe
government to the payment of fair compensation for shares in an operation
and covered the exploration of alternative processes should compensation be
deemed unfair.

Last month, the Zimbabwe government accepted the indigenisation plan of
world number-two platinum miner Impala Platinum’s (Implats’) Zimplats

Implats reached an in-principle agreement that allowed for 10% of the
operation to be allocated to the near-mine community trust, funded through
an interest-free loan. Another 10%, allocated to Zimplats employees, would
be funded by an interest-bearing loan. Zimplats would sell a 31% fully
contributory stake in Zimplats to the National Indigenisation Economic and
Empowerment Board for cash - an independently determined fair value was
still to be agreed.

Cadiz mining analyst Peter Major said that the agreement between the
Zimbabwe government and Implats was a significant milestone, however, he
questioned whether it was a sustainable “once empowered, always empowered”

The arrangement relied on the country’s ability to honour its commitment of
paying fair compensation, as well as handling the responsibilities of such a
large ownership.

Major said that he was not certain that Zimbabwe could, in the future,
manage its portion of the capital required to grow and expand a mining
project, which could result in a share dilution for the country.

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