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Blood reserves dwindle as road toll snowballs

27/12/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

THE upsurge in road accidents that have killed 143 people and injured 788
others in the past 12 days has triggered a high demand for blood across the
country, leaving the national reserves critically depleted.

The National Blood Services of Zimbabwe (NBSZ) revealed on Thursday that it
is only left with less than a week’s supply of the life-saving fluid in its

But the agency sought to allay fears of a national crisis saying its workers
were on the ground doing refills.

“At the moment we are sitting on less than a week’s supply of blood, but it
is not something very serious because we are in the process of re-boosting
the blood bank,” said NBSZ public affairs manager, Esther Masunda.

She attributed the high demand for blood to the increase in injuries on the

“What normally happens is that major hospitals collect the more blood from
our bank during this time of the year, but due to the high demand some have
also been forced to collect more from us.

“At the moment we have managed to meet their demand and in fact we are happy
that we have managed to service them well despite the pressure,” Masunda

Harare, which has experienced the highest number of crashes since December
15, leads all provinces in the demand for blood, followed by Bulawayo.

“There has been a lot of activity in Bulawayo and Harare in terms of blood
movement from the bank since cities have some of the largest referral
hospitals in the country.

“Under normal circumstances our blood bank should have 2, 500 units of
blood, but sometimes the demands tends to be higher,” said Masunda.

A total of 147 people were killed during the entire festive season last
year - which runs from December 15 through January 15 - while 1, 304 others
were injured.

Manicaland Province has so far incurred the highest number of casualties
with 28 deaths from 74 accidents. During the same period last year, only
five people died from 53 crashes.

Mashonaland East is second with 24 deaths from 41 smashes compared to 18
loses last year.

The single deadliest crash yet occurred near Mutare on Sunday where a
haulage truck crammed with 63 people veered off the road and flipped over,
killing 18 passengers.

On Monday another accident involving a commuter omnibus killed eight people,
six of them family members.

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Zimbabwe's Economy on Recovery Path

Sebastian Mhofu
December 28, 2012

HARARE — Zimbabwe's Finance Minister says his country’s economy is on the
path to recovery after decades of decline and will meet all its financial
obligations for this year. .

Cars speed along in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital city. The formation of a
coalition government in 2009 by President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai has led to the sound of constant activity in the city.

There is life!

Before, the city was almost dead as was the country’s economy.

Tendai Biti was appointed Zimbabwean Finance Minister in 2009 when almost
every commodity was in short supply. Inflation was running wild then, but
is now the lowest in the southern Africa region.

“By the end of the year we would have reduced our primary balance to zero,
in other words our books will balance and we are not going to carry a
deficit in 2013," Biti says when speaking of 2012. "For a finance minister
this is pleasing because we are eating what we are killing. ”

That zero primary balance only applies to domestic debt. The African country
has a $10 billion foreign debt.

In September, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised concerns over the
failure by Sudan, Somalia and Zimbabwe to honor their commitments to pay
their financial debts.

The finance minister says he would ensure the foreign debt remains in check
and he will not commit where the country cannot sustain the obligation.

“It is bad economics and we do not practice bad economics,” Biti says.

One of the big economic problems facing the country is the funding of
elections and a constitutional referendum in 2013.

Recently Biti told journalists that funding of the polls was giving him a
headache as 2012 ends.

“2013, the biggest challenge is funding the elections and the referendum,"
says Biti. "t is clear that our resources are not going to be enough. It is
quite clear that the international community has to come in for assistance.”

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission wants nearly $200 million for the
elections and the referendum.

African leaders want a new constitution in Zimbabwe to ensure free and fair
elections. On several occasions President Mugabe has threatened to hold
elections under the current constitution.

Lovemore Madhuku, a professor from the University of Zimbabwe, thinks time
is running out for President Mugabe who turns 89 years old in February. Mr.
Mugabe will be the Zanu PF party presidential candidate running against
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) candidate, Prime Minister Tsvangirai
who is 60 years old.

“If we delay elections four, five months after that [February 2013], the
mentality would be that the president is now 90 years. And those kind of
things would work against him, I see an election coming as soon as possible
more like around end of March," says Madhuku. "If he does not do that means
he has totally failed to have an election according to his own plan and the
MDC would have won there. He might not want that.”

Zimbabwe’s agricultural-based economy took a nosedive in early 2000 when
Mugabe embarked on a chaotic and violent land reform exercise targeting
white commercial farmers. But now the economy has improved since the
creation of the unity government in 2009 but it still has to figure out a
way to pay for the constitutional referendum and elections planned for 2013.

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MDC Factions Express Desire for Electoral Pact in 2013

Blessing Zulu, Violet Gonda

As Zimbabwe prepares for elections in 2013, leaders within both major
formations of the Movement for Democratic Change have expressed at least
tentative interest in a pact to help them defeat ZANU-PF and President
Robert Mugabe.

Secretary General of the MDC-Tsvangirai formation, Finance Minister Tendai
Biti, as well as MDC-Ncube formation member and Education Minister David
Coltart, have said recently that a coalition or electoral pact between the
factions is a worthy goal, though both acknowledge that reaching the goal
would not be easy.

The two MDC formations split in 2005. Repeated attempts to re-unite them
have failed. Would another attempt end any differently this time? Speaking
in London early this month, Biti stated confidently that Mugabe would lose
against a coalition of opponents. He said if the opposition parties had
been united in 2008, Mugabe would already be history.

In 2008’s presidential poll, Tsvangirai received 47.9% of the vote to Mugabe’s
43.2% and Simba Makoni’s 8.3%. Because none of the candidates secured more
than 50% of the vote, there was a runoff, which Mr. Tsvangirai abandoned
citing violence and intimidation of his supporters by Zanu PF.

If Tsvangirai and Makoni had joined forces, some analysts have said, their
combined votes would have defeated Mugabe in the first round.

While there is no guarantee that an electoral pact would succeed in
defeating Mugabe next year, assuming such a pact could even be successfully
negotiated, it would certainly improve the odds.

Coalitions and electoral pacts in Zambia, Kenya, Lesotho and other African
countries have successfully united opposition groups, at least long enough
to defeat incumbent leaders.

Mr. Coltart, who first publicly revived the issue, tells VOA’s Blessing Zulu
that a pact would not be easy, but agrees it is worth pursuing.

The leader of the MDC-N himself, Welshman Ncube, agrees a pact is worth
trying, but says he is not optimistic it can happen.

Meanwhile, reporter Violet Gonda reached out to the spokesmen of the two MDC
formations in government, Nhlanhla Dube (Ncube) and Douglas Mwonzora

Mr. Dube says an electoral pact is desirable in theory, but forming one in
practice is full of challenges. Mr. Mwonzora stated that so far, no
discussion of a pact has happened officially, but if MDC supporters want the
formations to cooperate in the coming elections, this is what the formations
should do.

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Electoral pact: Ncube the pessimist Vs Coltart the optimist

27/12/2012 00:00:00
by Welshman Ncube l David Coltart

Following a report on this site last week that MDC leader Welshman Ncube and
Senator David Coltart were at odds over need for an electoral pact ahead of
the 2013 elections, the two have sought to play down their differences, yet
doubling down on their positions.

Some people are calling on Ncube and Morgan Tsvangirai to bury the hatchet
and forge a coalition to boost the MDC’s prospects of dethroning President
Robert Mugabe in the next polls. The following are brief statements issued
by Ncube and Coltart on social media Thursday.

Coltart wrote:

Welshman Ncube and I are not in fact at odds on this issue. Both of us agree
that in an ideal world we should have a single united opposition against
Zanu PF but we both recognise that that is well-nigh impossible. In the
circumstances we should strive to agree on an electoral pact so that we do
not split the vote as happened in 2008.

We both know this will be very difficult and if there is any disagreement
between us it is in how we rate the chances of obtaining an electoral pact.
He is very pessimistic that this is possible whereas whilst I am also fairly
pessimistic I think it is still possible. My views in this regard should not
be taken as any fundamental disagreement between us or any loss of faith by
me in his leadership.

Ncube responded:

David Coltart is correct. We all believe that it would be easier to defeat
Zanu PF if we had a united democratic opposition to Zanu PF and that such a
democratic united opposition is desirable and necessary.
We differ only in respect of whether conditions for the creation of such a
united democratic opposition to Zanu PF exists in Zimbabwe today and on
whether given the objective conditions on the ground it is possible to
achieve such a position. I believe that the reunification of the MDC is
impossible for reasons too numerous to detail here.

I also believe that given the things which divide the two MDC formations and
what has gone on between the two parties since the split, it is equally
impossible to construct any coalition agreement that would receive the
support of the respective National Councils of the two parties.

More importantly, having regard to where the two parties stand in relation
to each other today, any honest assessment will show that there just is not
sufficient appetite for any coalition within the decision-making bodies of
the two parties.

In 2008 the MDC National Council authorized negotiations for a coalition and
later endorsed the agreed coalition agreement but the MDC-T National Council
rejected that agreement. Today, I doubt if the MDC National Council would
even authorize any negotiations on the matter given the general sentiment in
the party. I believe the same situation prevails in the MDC-T.

We are, however, a democratic part, those who want to try to construct such
a coalition agreement as might be possible are free to do so. Some of us
will continue to focus on implementing the MDC Congress resolutions which
inter alia require us to focus on the rebuilding and rebranding of our party
and preparations for contesting every electoral seat at the 2013 general

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Thanksgiving service hails new beginning for Zimbabwe's Anglicans

Posted: Friday, December 28, 2012, 13:08 (GMT)

Anglicans in Harare are looking forward to a new year in their own church
buildings after they were returned to them following a protracted legal

St Mary and All Saints Cathedral and other properties had been occupied by
Dr Nolbert Kunonga, a former bishop who was excommunicated from the Anglican
Communion in 2007 over his support for Robert Mugabe.

The properties were finally returned to the Church of the Province of
Central Africa after the Zimbabwean Supreme Court found in its favour.
The court victory was celebrated by a historic thanksgiving service in
Harare attended by a thousand worshippers.

The Bishop of Harare, the Right Reverend Chad Gandiya said: “All those five
years we were driven from our churches and went into exile, life was not
easy but God was with us. We survived and found grace in exile.”

He called upon Anglicans to work together in rebuilding the diocese, saying
that many of the churches and schools were in need of renovation after years
of neglect.

“As we journey from the past, pressing on towards the goal together, there
is a lot of work to be done in the area of rebuilding our diocese,” he said.

The Primate of the Province, Archbishop Albert Chama, said, “You are going
back to your churches to worship God in dignity as it was intended to be. Be
strong as you are a testimony to the rest of the church.

"Continue and never relent because wherever we are we say we are learning
from the church in Zimbabwe.”

A message of congratulations was sent to the Diocese of Harare from the
Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams.

In it, the Archbishop praised the way in which they had persevered through
the many difficulties of the last five years.

“You have faced threats of violence and arrest and yet your faith has not
weakened, rather it has grown stronger,” he said.

“I want to commend particularly the leadership of Bishop Chad Gandiya and
Bishop Sebastian Bakare before him, as they have embodied authentic
Christian servant-hearted leadership. Through all this, your faith has been
a beacon of light to the rest of the Anglican Communion.”

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Zimbabweans in SA Hope 2013 Elections Will Bring Them Home

Benedict Nhlapho

Most people in South Africa say 2012 has been full of challenges. The year
was marred by violent strikes in the transport and mining sectors, while
unemployment increased in a nation where an estimated two million
Zimbabweans live in South Africa.

Most of them would agree that 2012 was a difficult year, but many are
optimistic that elections in Zimbabwe in 2013 will bring stability, so that
they may return and settle permanently back home.

Ugly scenes of violent striking miners and truck drivers singing and
wielding traditional weapons dominated South African news in 2012. The
events of August 16, when police opened fire using live ammunition and
gunned down 35 striking miners, were perhaps the bitterest reminder that
economic conditions for both the employed and the unemployed are tough.

For many of the estimated two million or more Zimbabweans living in South
Africa, 2012 has been no easier. With the recent census revealing that six
million South Africans are jobless, Zimbabwean Sipho Moyo says finding
work—especially without proper documentation—was especially challenging.

“Zimbabweans in South Africa are still facing a lot of challenges,
especially on jobs, unemployment in South Africa,” Sipho Moyo says.

“What we have seen is that in South Africa now those jobs are now scarce,
there are no jobs. People come here with the hope for a better life, but it
turns out the life becomes even more harder when you are here in South

Arthur Ncube, a Zimbabwean artist living in South Africa, submitted a number
of proposals requesting funding for his acting, music and dance projects,
but none of them was accepted.

He is concerned by what he terms increased ill-treatment of Zimbabweans by
the South African police in 2012.

“We still suffer this word that I can quote as ‘a foreigner coming from
Zimbabwe to come and grab my stuff here’, so, mostly we were just people who
were left out. And there is still lots and lots of people who have got
xenophobic attitudes. So, definitely all things were closed out for people
like us,” says Mr. Ncube.

However, Butholezwe Nyathi believes the year wasn’t all bad for Zimbabweans
living in South Africa.

He says he saw slight improvement of economic conditions and the
availability of basic commodities back in Zimbabwe brought some relief to
those in the Diaspora who previously had to provide from South Africa
virtually everything their families back home needed.

According to Mr. Nyathi, the issuance of work, study and business permits to
many Zimbabweans who applied during a special dispensation in 2010, was the
greatest relief in 2012.

“We saw people using their permits that they were given here in South Africa
to go in and out of Zimbabwe, to settle in jobs where they are employed and
to access their income properly through banks and all the stuff and they
were able even to support people in Zimbabwe properly, so I will say it was
a better year,” says Mr. Nyathi.

Regardless of how 2012 was, most Zimbabweans agree that the national
Zimbabwean elections in 2013 are their greatest hope to enjoy normal lives
back home.

Although they still hope South African authorities will work on creating
more jobs and improving the lives of both locals and foreign nationals, they
want elections next year to pave the way for their return to Zimbabwe.

Arthur Ncube sees the South African economy slowing and says he would prefer
to return to his homeland.

Mr. Ncube says, “A lot of strikes happening in here have actually crippled
the whole economy and I for one see that it’s more or less following the
Zimbabwean channel. This is what happened way back home. We don’t know.
Only the clock knows the answer.”

Sipho Moyo says she is also eager the elections next year. “I’m looking
forward to change in Zimbabwe, like politically we are hoping that there
will be an election in Zimbabwe that will bring economic and political
stability. In that sense then we will have hope of coming back home.”

Butholezwe Nyathi is also hopeful that the 2013 elections can provide those
suffering in the Diaspora with a chance to return. “It’s a year when people
must decide on a government that they want.They need to choose a political
party that will gain legitimacy and govern with the people’s mandate. And
govern properly, so that we create pull factors, so that our people who had
left the country may go back to Zimbabwe and settle in their country. It’s
not nice to exist next door.”

The economic and political future of Zimbabwe and the southern Africa region
is unclear, but one thing is plain: Zimbabweans in South Africa yearn to
return home.

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MDC MPs fight over parly seat

Friday, 28 December 2012 14:52

HARARE - Fissures have appeared in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC in
Mashonaland East's Chikomba district as bigwigs compete for political space
ahead of primary elections set for early next year.

The province’s chairperson Piniel Denga who is also Mbare House of Assembly
member wants to challenge incumbent Chikomba Central Member of Parliament,
Moses Jiri.

In a letter dated December 17, 2012 addressed to party national organising
secretary Nelson Chamisa, a copy of which is in possession of the Daily
News, Jiri complains of being attacked, humiliated and having his political
space invaded by Denga.

Jiri said Denga had abandoned his Mbare constituency to fight him in
Chikomba since his election as provincial chairperson last year.

“I write to you complaining about serious attacks and humiliation on my
person which I have to endure from the Mashonaland East provincial

“Since 2006, when I defeated him in the primary election, he keeps fighting
me and is not relenting.
“Consequently he has neglected his constituency and became Mash East
chairperson to give more vigour to his fight…,” wrote Jiri.

Jiri has reportedly lost support of the party’s rank and file both in the
constituency and in the province.

In the letter, Jiri also complains that Denga used his position as
provincial chairperson and close association with Tsvangirai to force
himself into district meetings without invitation.

“I was surprised to see the provincial chair at one of our meetings and the
district executive queried why he had attended without their knowledge and
the meeting was cancelled.

“He came back for another meeting with a dubious circular that gave him the
mandate to supervise our programmes which the provincial organising
secretary denied any knowledge of.

“He boasted of having the backing of the president and accused me of not
properly accounting for Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

“How can a fellow MP audit another MP’s CDF,” part of the letter reads.

The letter was also copied to the party president , secretary-general and
national chairperson.

Jiri admitted he authored the letter but refused to discuss the issues
saying it was party business that could not be discussed with the press.

Contacted for comment, Denga said there was unity in the province but
castigated Jiri for neglecting his people only to blame him when the same
people rejected him.

Denga said he was invited to the constituency by the people there because
they wanted his leadership and that he had a cordial working relationship
dating back to the 2000 and 2005 elections.

“There are no divisions in the province and we are as united as ever. Jiri
only has himself to blame for his predicament.

“He orphaned his constituency by not coming back since he was elected — the
people tell me as chairperson and they have demanded an account of how he
used his CDF allocation but he becomes abusive to them,” said Denga.

“I am a servant of the people and when they ask me to provide leadership
like they are doing in Chikomba Central, I have an obligation to answer the
clarion call to duty.

“I however, will have to first say goodbye to the people of Mbare whom I
also have a good relationship with and that is in the pipeline,” he added.

Meanwhile, in Chikomba East the battle is even more intriguing as Tsvangirai’s
acting spokesperson William Bango who narrowly lost to Zanu PF’s Edgar
Mbwembwe in 2008 will most likely battle it out with Zimbabwe Economic
Society president Lovemore Kadenge who is reportedly eyeing the same

Although he has not officially declared his interests in the constituency,
Kadenge spent the whole Christmas holiday with the party structures at
Warikandwa, Matove and Maware, dishing out Christmas presents.

Bango was non committal about his continued interest in the constituency
saying he would make a decision when the time comes.

“We will see the colour of the sky when the clouds clear,” was all he
said. - Mugove Tafirenyika

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Kunonga priests go two months without pay

on December 28, 2012 at 12:36 am

By Zvamaida Murwira

PRIESTS of the Archbishop Nolbert Kunonga-led Anglican Church of the
Province of Zimbabwe have gone for two months without pay.

The ACPZ recently lost a Supreme Court case which forced it to cede all
church property to the Chad Gandiya-led Anglican Church of the Province of
Central Africa Harare Diocese. Some of the priests yesterday told The Herald
that they last received their October salaries in November.

Church authorities however dismissed the allegations saying the priests are
owed a month’s salaries. ACPZ spokesperson Reverend Admire Chisango said: “I
have checked with our accounts people, their paymaster, we only owe them one
month wages.”

“It is normal in every institution that people might not get their wages on
the day when they are due (and) it is not peculiar to us alone.” He accused
a group that split from the ACPZ of peddling falsehoods.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the priests said they had since started
looking for alternative employment. Others have defected to the newly formed
Anglican Reformed Church of Zimbabwe-led by Dr David Kunyongana, formerly of

Dr Kunyongana announced recently that he was splitting from ACPZ to form the
ARCZ. He took with him a number of priests, including Reverend Simeon
Makove, who used to be head of security for ACPZ.

Rev Makove was also security adviser to Archbishop Kunonga owing to his
military background. The priests said Archbishop Kunonga convened a meeting
at his Mount Hampden farm early this month.

“He told us that we are free to look for alternative employment because we
are going through hard times. The Archbishop also said he would assist those
with residential stands with building materials such as cement. Our worry is
that we have not been getting our wages pegged at US$150 per month.”

Archbishop Kunonga has since announced that he will continue with God’s work
using alternative premises after CPCA won the right to control church
properties. ACPZ has over 30 stipendiary priests while it has also enlisted
the services of more than 70 non-stipendiary priests.

Stipendiary priests are on monthly wage while non-stipendiary priests do
voluntary spiritual work and are employed elsewhere.

Some of these non-stipendiary priests have been using their colleges as
worshipping places. The source said some non-stipendiary priests have since
secured alternative premises to worship. One of the priests running several
colleges in Chitungwiza uses one of the learning institutions as a place of

“Since the court judgement, there has been uncertainty, one parishioner
repossessed his vehicle that he had donated to a priest after the court
ruling,” he said.

The Supreme Court ruled last month that Archbishop Kunonga had no right to
continue holding on to church property after withdrawing from the ACPCA. He
however launched another court battle at the High Court which he lost but
has now approached the Supreme Court on appeal. The superior court is still
to rule.

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Zanu PF primary elections set for February

on December 28, 2012 at 12:09 am

By Staff Reporter

Zanu PF will conduct primary elections in February next year to select
candidates to represent it in harmonised polls scheduled for next year after
completing drafting rules and regulations to govern the conduct of the

There is intense speculation that new rule changes will see Zanu PF
politburo member Jonathan Moyo being barred from standing using a
requirement that only members who have served the party for five consecutive
years are eligible. Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa

“We are considering holding primary elections in February. However, we
cannot disclose the criteria that we are going to use now. Everything will
be made public in February,” he said.

Last month Moyo dismissed reports he would be excluded saying “These good
for nothing fools should know that what is important about rules is not
their dogma but how they bend,” Moyo said.

“The fact is that all rules have exceptions in order to avoid breaking
because a rule or ruler that does not bend breaks!”

“As a member of the party’s leadership, I fully and unequivocally support
the rule in question because it is right for the party and in fact has
always been there sometimes in spirit and other times in letter. Now the
idea is to have it both in letter and spirit,” he explained.

Analysts say the new rules are designed to protect the Zanu PF old guard
against ambitious ‘young turks’ who are challenging them. Commenting on the
rule changes and other candidates campaigning in advance Mutasa said:

“As an organisation there are so many people who want to be considered as
MPs and be leaders. They should know that by the end the day the party is
led by a few people and not the whole gamut of people.

“In a constituency they should know that there will be only one MP. By the
end of the day the losers should accept defeat and be ready to be led by the
winners,” he said. Mutasa said Zanu PF was working hard to deal with
factionalism ahead of the elections next year.

“The people leading the so called factions are people who do not accept that
there are three people who are leading the party and these are President
Mugabe, Vice Presidents Joice Mujuru and John Nkomo.

These are leaders of Zanu PF now. The people should observe the rules of the
party and those leading the factions are wrong. My advice to them is they
should observe the rules,” he said. President Mugabe has also spoken out
strongly against factionalism arguing that it was destroying the party.

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Police Detain Manicaland Villagers For Tilling Macdom Land

Jonga Kandemiiri

Police on Thursday detained 40 villagers from Chinyamukwakwa in Chisumbanje,
Manicaland, for almost four hours at Chisumbanje police station on
allegations that they tilled land that belongs to Macdom Investments and the
Green Fuel Ethanol Company.

Claris Madhuku, a member of the Joint Ethanol Plant Implementation Committee
set up to promote co-existence between the company and the villagers, said
the police used Green Fuel Ethanol Company vehicles to transport the
villagers, who were later released without charge.

Madhuku, who also heads the Platform for Youth Development Trust, tells VOA
that the villagers should not have been arrested, as they have the right to
work in the fields.

He said that was the directive from the inter-ministerial committee headed
by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara which was set up by Cabinet to
look into community and social issues threatening the ethanol project.

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Makoni says he is "World Class Leader"

Staff Reporter 19 hours 11 minutes ago

FORMER Finance Minister and leader of the Mavambo Kusile Dawn paty Dr
Simbarashe Makoni a candidate in the March 2008 presidential election has
described himself a "A World Class Leader" in a YouTube video interview.
The euphoria of the much talked about 2013 presidential elections that has
gripped the entire nation, particulary those jostling to have a big say in
the Presidential race. Elesewhere The Zimbabwe Mail has an article about
South African-based Zimbabwean businessman and academic, Mutumwa Mawere,
raising throwing the gauntlet over his Presidential campaign bid as leader
of the newly formed United Movement for Democracy Party (UMDP)

Meanwhile, Dr Makoni has blast government over a project supposed to have
been spearheaded by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara as the leader of
the tasked Inter-Ministerial Committee.
The US$600 million Chisumbanje Ethanol Project became a smoldering edifice
and the DPM descended into silence after this project taken over by
government two months ago proved disastrous.
From a promising venture, the project has suddenly become a hardly-discussed
ghost venture as its life and promise have died natural deaths. With
hundreds of displaced families and lots of injected capital, Makoni is
fuming over the lack of proper leadership initiative to get the project up
and running so that it benefits the local folks and the economy at large.
Makoni who became Zimbabwe’s Minister of Industry and Energy Development at
Independence has revealed that there is a cloud of falsehood around the
failed project that has caused a sweeping mass destruction of villagers’
homes and various other private properties. To add to that compensation
issues over the displaced families remains up in the air as they have been
left to figure out their own mess.
The project spearheaded by ZANU PF-aligned businessman Billy Rautenbach
would have influenced 5% mandatory blending of all petrol countrywide, but
Mutambara’s promises have proved futile.
Since the beginning of the year the current Minister of Energy, Elton
Mangoma has refused to force parliament to pass special legislation to
impose mandatory blending for the company to survive. He has argued that the
company received excessive government support and yet failed to do proper
marketing to customers to opt for the ethanol blended petrol.
It also became clear Billy Rautenbach failed to accomplish standard tasks
such as media advertising opting for more strenuous and burdensome marketing
methods involving stationing crowds of employees at petrol stations across
the country for advertising purposes.
The project was a flop. It was only after Mutambara stepped forward
claiming he could resurrect the company that government agreed to pass
legislation for mandatory petrol blending.
Too many secret with Zimbabwe's Green Fuel....Simba Makoni
Nine months after its closure, the Inter-Ministerial Committee under
Mutambara has however failed to resolve the constraints facing the plant.
Such a situation has seen more than 4000 workers languish in abject
It is a secret project
But MKD President Makoni has said there is very little known about the
project to date as he raised concern that it was a rushed commercial
venture without any peoper planning.
Informing said the people are not being told the truth about it, Makoni
vented out saying the project has remained a mystery to date. He told ZimEye
in an exclusive interview:
“There is very little known about this project. It has been kept close to
the chest of a very few people. I also don’t think that your
characterisation of this is a government project.
“The big problem is that the people are not being told the true issues about
this project. When I was a minister of energy at independence, we inherited
from the Rhodesians the fuel blend which had 15% ethanol and 85% petrol.
“And we continued to use that blend. It was not unsuccessful until the price
of oil and refined products on the stock markets fell; and the price of
ethanol on the international market…it became more beneficial for the
country to earn foreign currency from exporting ethanol and conserve foreign
currency by importing petrol at a lower price.
“That’ s how the ethanol based at Triangle was moved. It wasn’t because it
didn’t work. It was used in Rhodesia.
“But we formally and officially commissioned that ethanol plant in Triangle
in 1981 when I was the energy minister. And we continued to use it well into
the 80s until the international price of oil plunged and it became cheaper
to import full petrol and use it wholesale on our engines,” said Makoni.
Rautenbach had claimed the country would save US$120 million per month on
fuel imports, but this has not materialised as the uptake of ethanol blend
was limited owing to lack of proper legislation to support the project.

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Zimbabwean Journalists Want Early Voting Privileges

Irwin Chifera

With national elections looming next year, the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists
(ZUJ) says the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) should allow journalists
to vote early - that is, before polling day- as diplomats and state security
personnel already do.

ZUJ Secretary General, Foster Dongozi, tells VOA that journalists, like all
citizens, want to participate in democratic processes, including elections.

He says if journalists are not allowed to vote early, many will be
disenfranchised, as many will be working outside their constituencies on
election day.

Dongozi said JUZ discussions with ZEC so far indicate that the commission is
willing to listen to their concerns.

However, Dongozi says, early voting is not the only issue for journalists.
Another issue includes accreditation.

According to the country’s electoral laws, only journalists accredited by
the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) must also be accredited with ZEC in
order to cover elections. Dongozi says ZUJ believes this is not necessary.

He said foreign journalists are discouraged from coming to cover elections
in Zimbabwe as they are required to get ZMC accreditation before being
accredited by the electoral commission, but says they cannot get accredited
by ZEC if they do not have ZMC accreditation.

ZUJ says it has approximately 1,000 members. ZMC says it accredited more
than 500 journalists in 2011.

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Several water bottling firms banned

Friday, 28 December 2012 00:00

Felex Share Herald Reporter
GOVERNMENT has banned several water bottling companies for failing to meet
basic hygienic requirements. Fifteen out of 49 companies that had applied
for licences were registered. Ministry of

Health and Child Welfare food control deputy director Mr Freddy Chinyavanhu
yesterday said only 21 water brands from 15 companies supplying bottled
water had been certified by the Food Standards Advisory Board.

FSAB is the regulatory board that makes random checks on the quality and
safety of water for domestic and commercial use.
The board also regulates foodstuffs sold in Zimbabwean shops.

“About 49 companies applied seeking certification and out of that, 21 water
brands from 15 companies were allowed to sell water,” Mr Chinyavanhu said.

“This means unregistered bottled water brands should be removed from shelves
and destroyed.”
He said condemned firms found selling bottled water would be prosecuted.

“We have our ministry inspectors working with the city councils health
inspectors who check compliance and anyone found operating without approval
will be prosecuted.

“In conducting their duties, the inspectors will be guided by the Public
Health Act and the Food and Food Standards Act,” he said.

The purified water brands certified by Government are ZLG, Glendale, Mr
Juicy, Somerby, Schweppes, Ad-Life, Aqua A Splash, Seltzer Natural, Welpure,
Brooks, Krystal and Tingamira.
Others are Aqualite, Aqua Crystal, Spar, Born Marche, Pot-O-Gold, Rainbow
Towers, Health Harvest, Panem and Dar Eros.

Mr Chinyavanhu said the 21 water brands were certified based on
“satisfactory chemical and microbiological test results.”

“The companies’ bottling factories should also meet minimum hygienic
requirements,” he said.
“Some companies think that if they have been certified by the Standards
Association of Zimbabwe they are through with the certification process.

“SAZ is not the regulatory authority and they just authorise the companies
to use their mark.
“You find out that the water might still be contaminated despite the SAZ

He urged retailers to ensure that their bottled water has a certification
letter from Government.
Bottlers are required to keep own continuous water quality check records up
to two years.

Government last year banned 40 water-bottling firms for failing to meet
safety and quality standards.
This followed an influx of unregulated bottled water suppliers in response
to a surge in demand.

Some of the companies have premises that do not meet the required minimum
basic hygienic requirements, while others are not bottling their water at
the source as required.
Some were violating the factory by-laws requirements of municipal

Investigations have attributed the proliferation of suppliers to the alleged
poor quality of tap water and rising health consciousness by the public.

Although most suppliers indicate the mineral elements content on the label,
the quality of water is not just about mineral elements, but also
microbiological safety, among other quality requirements.

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Zimbabwe ill-prepared for rainfall extremes, farmers say

Thu, 27 Dec 2012 22:34 GMT

By Madalitso Mwando

BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe (AlertNet) - Thumeliso Matshobana knows what the
devastation of too much water looks like.

A smallholder farmer in Zimbabwe’s Midlands, he watched helplessly last year
as floods destroyed crops, livestock, homes and schools. The heavy rains, he
says, came as “a total surprise.”

The floods left a trail of destruction in traditionally dry and impoverished
rural areas of the Midlands and Matebeleland, and rebuilding has been a slow
and painful process.

“We want rain but not the kind that kills us and destroys our livelihoods.
But no one ever seems to know exactly the kind of rains we will have,”
Matshobana lamented.

That “makes it hard for us villagers to make necessary preparations,” he
said, expressing what has become a common sentiment about unpredictable rain
patterns that seem to vex even the country’s meteorological services

The Met office, as it is known in Zimbabwe, issued a flood advisory in late
November, predicting heavy downpours. But because the Met office has been
off the mark many times in the past with its weather predictions, which are
now questioned by farmers and disaster preparedness organizations, farmers
such as Matshobana find themselves with little idea what to expect or what
to do to prepare for floods.

Japhet Hadebe, a climate change researcher working with the Zimbabwe
Environment Research Organisation (ZERO) says climate change monitoring
remains “a complicated issue in Zimbabwe.”

“This is the reason why you see that each year flood warnings only come as
the phenomenon is already on its way, making it extremely difficult to
prevent any losses to life or livestock,” Hadebe said.

Zimbabwe “still lacks sophisticated weather tracking systems. That is why
many people have lost faith in the Met department,” he said.


Last year, Zimbabwe’s government, in conjunction with the Climate and
Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), began researching potential climate
change policy responses in Zimbabwe as a result of growing agricultural and
economic losses from unpredictable weather. The results are expected to be
released soon.

Farmer unions however say they have continued to lose crops to sudden floods
that they have not been warned about.

“It has been extremely difficult in the past few years, especially to know
the kind of rains to expect. Floods come to us as a total surprise when we
had earlier been advised of poor rainfall ahead,” said Thokozani Jama, of
the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union.

“This has meant that farmers simply follow their own traditional planting
patterns even if rainfall is far off. When you plant and the next few weeks
there are floods, it means your crop fails despite the plentiful water. Last
year, the heavy rains came at a time when many of us were expecting that
they we should be harvesting but our crop had already been destroyed by the
absence of rain,” Jama said.

Experts say climate shifts have been especially troublesome for some African
countries such as Zimbabwe where political commitment to climate change
research has lagged despite evidence that the countries will be among the
most affected by the changes.

Tapuwa Gomo a development expert who has worked along the Zambezi River on
international flood relief efforts, says early warning systems could be one
way to save lives and property as rainfall becomes more unpredictable.

But “the best form of preparedness is raising awareness among those in the
flood-prone areas to take the necessary measures before the floods,” he

Floods along the Zambezi Valley have become an annual source of human and
livestock losses, raising concerns about whether enough is being done to
minimise the impact of climatic shifts, he said.

“In my experience working with people along Zambezi River in Namibia,
Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, the question of what needs to be done to
help them is a difficult one. The biggest challenge in these areas is that
people’s livelihoods are knit around the Zambezi River with activities such
as fishing and winter season cropping,” Gomo said.

Similarly, for farmers like Matshobana who live in Zimbabwe’s low rainfall
areas, there seems little answer to the problem of getting too little or too
much rain, particularly outside the normal rainy season.

“That’s what we have come to accept,” Matshobana said.

Madalitso Mwando is a journalist based in Harare, Zimbabwe.

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A season's greetings, and a gloomy forecast

27/12/2012 00:00:00
by Simba Makoni

THE year 2012 is coming to an end, and 2013 is drawing near. All indications
are that life will not be any better in 2013, for the largest majority of

The country faces severe food shortages, which have become chronic. As in
previous years, belatedly and grudgingly, the Inclusive Government
acknowledged the looming food crisis, and made a feeble appeal for
international assistance; without announcing their own plans to save lives.

Furthermore, there are no plans to revive agricultural production in the
current season, nor in future. Manufacturing remains depressed, with more
operations either scaling down, or ceasing altogether. As with agriculture,
there are no plans to arrest the hemorrhage, let alone restore growth.

The mining and tourism sectors showed some positive energy. However, within
mining, there are sub-sectors which are bleeding. Formal employment
continued to shrink, and almost every open space in the urban areas, has
been turned into a market. Even entrances into formal business premises are
markets for vegetables, trinkets and other wares.

The country has become one big supermarket for products from other
countries. Infrastructure continues to deteriorate. There is no light at the
end of the power supply tunnel. Potholes remain the dominant feature of both
local and national roads. To see a moving train is now a rarity, and the
national flag on tails of airplanes remains firmly anchored on the tarmac.

Services in education and health are a pale shadow of what earned the
country accolades in yesteryears. In spite of statistics showing reductions
in new HIV infections, HIV/AIDS remains a pandemic. People living with
HIV/AIDS, people with physical and mental disabilities, old people and
orphans, are leading precarious lives, on the fringes of society. What
assistance they are getting, is mainly from Non-Governmental Organisations
and international development agencies.

Local authorities are failing to provide potable water. In many localities,
people are using water contaminated with sewage effluent, exposing them to
diseases which had long been eradicated from this country. Corruption is now
endemic in all spheres of life. Throughout the year, leaders of the
Inclusive Government made half-hearted statements condemning corruption. But
they unveiled no plans, nor took any actions to deter it.

The Inclusive Government has failed to institute any meaningful political
reforms. Intolerance, intimidation and victimisation remain hallmarks of our
politics, mostly promoted by leaders. Genuine national healing,
reconciliation and forgiveness have not been initiated. The public media
remain the official mouth pieces of one political party, and leaders of
national security services continue to perform duties in favour of the one
political party.

The constitution making process is deeply mired in political contests, and
each stage it reaches is turned into a battle ground for political
dominance. Even in sport, there was no cheer; the only exception being the
budding tennis ace … who won the Zim Open and the golfer …; and the recent
victory of the Mighty Warriors over the Lady Zebras. We say to them

We also mourn the untimely and painful death of hero Adam Ndlovu, and wish
Peter speedy and full recovery.

Throughout 2012, we persevered in our endeavours to work with those in the
Inclusive Government, and others in business, the professions and civil
society; in search of solutions to the myriad of problems afflicting people
in their daily lives. We continue our efforts to build Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn
(M.K.D) into the party of service to the people.

We share the concerns of many members, supporters and sympathisers, over the
slow pace at which the party building is progressing; our low visibility and
audibility. Constantly, we are asked: `Where are you, - we don’t see you, we
don’t hear you’? Whilst acknowledging that the environment we are operating
in is hard and harsh, we are spurred on by our commitment to `Get Zimbabwe
Working Again’ and are fired up by our conviction that our values and
principles are needed to re-build our Great Zimbabwe.

We understand that after two decades of brutalisation and impoverishment,
the people are cowered and tired. But, we take comfort and courage in the
knowledge that ending our suffering is our collective responsibility. I am
inspired by the good will and encouragement I receive from many Zimbabweans,
as well as many friends of Zimbabwe.

In return, I pledge our resolve to maintain our course, towards a society
genuinely free of fear, a people genuinely empowered for self-determination
and self-reliance, and a nation in harmony within itself, and with regional
neighbours and global partners.

It is highly likely that the country will hold general elections in the
latter part of 2013. In this regard, we join others inside and outside the
country, in urging the Inclusive Government, parties to the Global Political
Agreement and SADC; to ensure that conditions are created, for free and fair
elections. To the leaders and activists of M.K.D, it is our responsibility
to prepare the party for victory in these elections.

I wish all Zimbabweans, Christian and non-Christian alike, inside and
outside the country, happiness at Christmas and better fortunes in 2013.

Simba Makoni is leader of the Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn party. He contested the
2008 presidential election and got 8.3 percent share of the vote

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Grand Opposition Coalition of Zimbabwe: Necessary and Possible

Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 28th December 2012.

Contrary to pessimism in some quarters, a Grand Opposition Coalition of
Zimbabwe is necessary and a big possibility for ending the Mugabe
dictatorship once and for all.
Recently (9 December 2012) this analyst suggested that if a Grand Opposition
Coalition of Zimbabwe (whatever it will be called) led by Morgan Tsvangirai
of MDC-T were formed, Robert Mugabe would be finished politically well
before the country goes to the polls.
It is gratifying to note the encouraging ongoing debate on that issue.
Probably, at the outset, we need to explain why an electoral coalition of
opposition parties is necessary, how it could work, its challenges and the
possible benefits to the country.
Why a grand electoral coalition?
Because of the enormity of the task of peacefully removing tyranny from our
midst, after the disenfranchisement of the Diaspora, a coalition of
opposition forces is necessary in Zimbabwe. Even Mugabe knows that such a
coalition is necessary given that his grip on power appears invincible.
Thanks to a labyrinth of oppressive and despotic laws, militarised state
structures, a partisan police force and a judiciary that stands accused of
subverting justice – Mugabe is been able to take his so-called annual 3-week
holiday in Singapore without any fear of a military coup in his absence.
How can such a coalition work?
An opposition coalition against Mugabe can work in the same way a coalition
of nationalist forces fought the liberation struggle against Ian Smith’s
racist regime through the encouragement of among others, leaders of the
Frontline States – Ndugu Mwalimu Nyerere of Tanzania, Camarada President
Samora Machel of Mozambique and Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia.
While there was no military victory or defeat, the existence of the
pre-independence coalition helped psychologically to tilt the tables against
the colonial racist regime in the constitutional talks which preceded the
1980 elections.
Petty personal jealousies of some of the leaders of parties opposed to
Mugabe, using excuses of name calling and fears of alienating supporters
have already surfaced.
But it’s their supporters (e.g. on twitter and internet forums) who are
calling for a coalition or a loose alliance under Tsvangirai to unseat
Mugabe, knowing very well that fielding multiple presidential candidates
will only benefit the tyrant with a second GNU.
Similarly, Mugabe will not make it easy for such a potentially powerful
‘tsunami’ to sweep him from power without a fight. It is common knowledge
that he has abused state assets and CIOs to great effect through bribery
e.g. using seized white farms as bait. The elusive proceeds from Chiadzwa
diamonds could be financing a parallel regime. CIO is on record of
infiltrating parties and using outright violence against the opposition
especially ahead of elections. But, that has been tried by other dictators
Lessons from abroad
There is a Shona saying that “Kuziva kugara nhaka, huona dzevamwe” roughly
meaning that we should learn from other people’s experiences if we want to
be effective leaders.
Only when opposition forces formed a coalition or an alliance have they been
effective in bringing about change as seen from the Arab revolutions
especially experiences of Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and now Syria.
Even Russia which is sympathetic to Assad of Syria has reportedly proposed
talks with the main Syrian opposition coalition, despite previous Russian
criticism of Western countries’ recognition of the group.
Benefits of an electoral coalition
Zimbabwe will benefit from a democratic change, reconciliation and national
healing if Mugabe were to be removed from power ideally through free and
fair elections. It would be easier to amend the constitution or write a new
one, also it would easier to organise a peaceful, free and fair referendum
and elections. Once a stable government is in place, Zimbabwe would be able
to attract foreign investment and people would be able to get employment.
The Diaspora would also return with investments of property, money, skills
and enthusiasm to develop their country.
Such prospects exist as long as opposition parties buried their petty
differences and agreed on a loose alliance just to get rid of the Mugabe
dictatorship from Zimbabwean soil, once and for all.
Despite the initial posturing by some leaders, there is increasingly hope of
a Great Opposition Coalition of Zimbabwe under the leadership of Morgan
Tsvangirai of MDC-T. That is what the people want. That is what commonsense
would also suggest.
The assurance needed by the present-day Zimbabwe opposition party leaders is
that the envisaged grand coalition will not necessarily mean their parties
will be swallowed by the MDC-T nor would they all stop being presidents of
their parties. No, not at all.
Looking at the pre-independence example that we have discussed, we see that
the coalition parties of Zanu, Zapu, UANC, ZUPO (Chief Chirau’s outfit)
retained their leaders. Accordingly, by accepting to form an election
alliance led by MDC-T’s Morgan Tsvangirai does not mean Tsvangirai will take
over MDC Ncube or MKD. It is just a strategy for getting rid of tyrants, a
peaceful revolution, at least for now.
Ladies and gentlemen, let us get serious and start behaving like responsible
citizens who put their country before themselves. Remember, the world is
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, is a former diplomat, doctoral candidate and a
political analyst, London,

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