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Showing posts from November, 2008

Here's Obama's Blog: First President In History to Blog!

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Here's proof that Barack Obama's internet skills were not just an election gimmick. He now has a blog! It has a countdown to the day he will be inaugurated, a section where ordinary Americans can apply for a job in his new administration, an announcements section and then, what I think is the niftiest feature: a section where ordinary Americans can write in with suggestions about what needs to be done and even just bringing their own personal and community problems to his attention.

The man is clearly an avid techie and truly believes in the power of the Internet to help him connect with the American masses.

Here in Zim, of course, we are not at that level yet. Our Internet is dominated by the intellectuals and 99% of our voting public have no interface with this medium. It is a useless tool when it comes to mobilising votes. However, most leaders (community and national) do have access and if they did not abuse the Internet to push their own views at the expense of the views of…

Thai Riot Police Flee From Protesters - An Unthinkable Thing In Zimbabwe

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"Thai riot police fled their checkpoint outside Bangkok's besieged international airport on Saturday when they were attacked by several hundred armed anti-government protesters.
Some 150 officers stationed half a mile down the expressway leading to Suvarnabhumi airport's terminal piled into their vehicles and left as a convoy of demonstrators drove towards them.
As the police vehicles passed, the protesters hurled firecrackers at them and took swings at their windscreens with iron bars.Yesterday 2,000 riot police were deployed around the airport, suggesting they were about to evict members of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) who have occupied the terminal since Tuesday. The occupation has forced the cancellation of all flights.
An estimated 2,000 protesters have barricaded themselves into Suvarnabhumi airport and Bangkok's second airport, Don Muang.
Thousands of stranded passengers are waiting in nearby hotels for the four-day-old standoff to end, but Thailan…

Some US Dollar Bills Now Being Refused In Zimbabwe

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Almost all shops and traders are now refusing to accept American dollar bills from the 90s, exactly like the one pictured here, someone just told me. And I have confirmed it with two supermarkets and one trader. The bills are still legal tender in the United States, but, according to one supermarket in the city centre, the banks in Zimbabwe are refusing to take them.
So don't accept any change or to be paid in dollar bills older than 2002

Skype from Zim

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Are there any readers in ZIm using Skype. I know some of our readers are already skyping each other after hooking up on the chatroll on this page, but are there anyZimbos in Zim using skype? Is it reliable from here, do you need any special software etc. Put your answer in the comments section below and help out our visitors. They also need to know if they can send SMS to Zim mobiles using skype once they install it.

Zimbabwe Police Versus The Zimbabwe Army - Is this War?

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Only minutes ago I witnessed three policemen being kicked, yes kicked, by a group of soldiers near the main bus station in Harare city centre. The bus stop is close to the Main Police Station in the capital. The three policemen, one of whom was already bleeding, were thrown into the back of a Puma truck, an armoured vehicle used by the army in Zimbabwe. The truck sped off along Kenneth Kaunda Avenue with the policemen in the back. Immediately afterwards, a group of policemen came out of the Main Station and I asked one of them, a reserve force member (they wear the greyish uniform) what was happening. I asked if they had provoked the soldiers. He did not stop as he answered me, but I think his answer is revealing. He simply said, "Ah, ndezvenyika izvi..", meaning, "It's about politics..." He was told to shut up by one of his fellow officers, who was wearing the reflective sleeves of the traffic police.
I am definitely going to follow this one up. I need to get…

Thabo Mbeki Versus Morgan Tsvangirai - The Inside Story

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The biting 4000 word letter from Thabo Mbeki to Morgan Tsvangirai contains a single sentence that holds hints to the real reason behind this discharge of cold fury by the Zimbabwe Facilitator.  That sentence, referring to "South African formations",  is the real reason why Mbeki lost his cool. Regular readers know that I have said Tsvangirai saw Mbeki's ouster as a godsend, a chance to reverse the whole "loathsome deal".
In this, he was even more encouraged by the Zimbabwean popular delusion that the new South African president was only a front for Zuma, a man Zimbabweans had covinced themselves would be much tougher on Mugabe. We did point out the facts to the contrary, but there is no state of bliss higher than that which chooses to believe in its own fantasies.  So, just over two weeks ago, Tsvangirai approached Jacob Zuma and the new South African president. He sought to get Zuma and Motlanthe to basically fire Mbeki. Motlanthe, as Chairman of SADC, said Tsva…

South Africa Turns On Tsvangirai

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Morgan Tsvangirai was briefly detained at Johannesaburg International Airport on Wednesday before immigration officials denied him permission to fly to Morocco to receive a democray award, it was announced on Friday.
The South Africans, whom we have previously quoted as saying they are "losing patience with Zimbabwe's leaders", say they were irked that the MDC leader was "gallivanting around the world while the people of Zimbabwe suffer as a result of the lack of a solution to the impasse." In private conversations, they also said, if it was in their power, they would have done the same with Mugabe. Tsvangirai fell victim to the laws of international travel because he was trying to fly out of South Africa on an expired Emergency Travel Document (ETD). The Zimbabwean dictator, Robert Mugabe, is still refusing to give Tsvangirai a new passport. The one he holds now has now expired, but its pages are full. The Botswana government intervened on Tsvangirai's behalf…

"Agreement Reached On Constitutional Ammendment": Has Tsvangirai Changed Tack?

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The Morgan Tsvangirai faction of the MDC today announced that an "understanding" has been reached on Constitutional Amendment No 19, the biggest stumbling block to the formation of a government of national unity, otherwise known as the Inclusive Government.Yet there was no optimism today amongst the people in Harare, where I post from. The people's patience has been tried sorely since September 15 and they now weary and wary. The question for those closely following this process, however, is whether this signals a change in strategy by Morgan Tsvangirai. You will recall that I have repeatedly stated here that the MDC regrets signing that agreement and are now seeking to reopen the negotiations from scratch. The MDC leader, I have said, is now pursuing a strategy of frustrating SADC and the African Union in order to find a doorway into the United Nations and have Zimbabwe tabled there as matter of grave international concern. It still hold true that Morgan Tsvangirai basic…

We Were Right! This Is The End Of Negotiations

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Dr Simba Makoni's statement: The Way Forward For Zimbabwe, is a bit further down on this page, please scroll down to get to it.....

Like the parrot in the Monty Python sketch in this photo, the talks are DEAD, but all our "leaders" would like us to believe that they are not. "They are just sleeping," they seek to tell us.
Let us recap the analysis we gave you two weeks ago on this blog regarding these talks (now colloquically referred to in Zimbabwe as "the jokes"). The MDC motivation and strategy, which are now tragically being played out exactly according to our analysis here, is as follows:

First, the MDC saw the ousting of Thabo Mbeki from the South African presidency as their chance to renegotiate the September 15 agreement which they have never liked.

The MDC only signed that agreement because they did not any see any other way out. Their unloved mediator, Thabo Mbeki had just taken over the Chairmanship of SADC. This meant that this regional groupi…

Three Zimbabweans Sentenced to Death In China

Dr Makoni's statement is immediately below this latest Newsflash.

I thought I should share with you the news about three Zimbabweans who have just been sentenced to death in China for drug smuggling. I suppose they were following Mugabe's exhortation to "Look East".
The three, Asaria Mushangwe, Taapatsa Lauraine Itayirufaro and EdithTugwete, are, however, unlikely to be executed. That's because their death sentences come "with two-year reprieves" according to the China Daily newspaper. This means if they are judged to have behaved well in that time, the death sentences automatically get commuted to lie sentences.
Still, it is a sad indictment on the rule of Mugabe that our people, for generations known and trusted as hardworking and honest, are being driven to crime by policies that have bankrupted the country and made people lose hope in the future. Mugabe is destroying the very future of this country through is policies, his cruelty and utter refusal to …

Simba Makoni's Statement: The Way Forward For Zimbabwe - Vision and Values

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Dr Simba Makoni is in South Africa all of this week, but he asked me today to provide you with his Statement to the Centre For Peace Initiatives in Africa.
We are especially keen to hear your thoughts, comments, suggestions (and objections) on this statement. We believe it to be an important Position paper for Dr Makoni. He would like to hear how his fellow citizens receive it and also see how your input can be incorporated into this basic platform for advocacy. I should just tell you that Dr Makoni himself denies that he is a politician. "I am an activist." That position he has always maintained from the first day we all started working with him. An activist, you see, adopts causes. An activist acts out of principle and compassion. An activist never looks at what he can get out of a cause but what he can give it. I think it important to keep this in mind as you read.

Your comments can be added using the "comment" link at the bottom of this piece. Please do not use …

What Others Are Saying About Zimbabwe

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I got this off Thought Leader, on Michael Trapido's blog. It is one of the comments during a discussion on his article, which dealt with Mugabe and the next move South Africa should take. I thought it striking for its calm and calculated assesment and realistic, if not fatalistic, observations. There is no emotion here. Just reason:

"You people just don't get it, Zimbabwe is not a province of South Africa.
Motlanthe is in no position to impose himself on Mugabe, Mswati or anybody outside the Republic of South Africa.

Poor Motlanthe must now press or insist that Zanu-PF must give Home Affairs portfolio to MDC?

Motlanthe can suggest this, what if Mugabe tells him to go to hell? He just pissed on Kofi Annan and Jimmy Carter.

Lyndall you are departing from a premise that SA is holding Mugabe by his nuts, which is a little bit exaggerated. Sometimes your logic is very disappointing.
When Mbeki was president, Mugabe had the Chinese propping him up, now he seems to have very little op…

Tutu Quote

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Good old Desmond Tutu. Mugabe called him "a bitter little bishop". But he remains one of the truest moral compasses we have on the continent of Africa. I thought I should share with you a quote from him and let you ponder the fact that the advice it contains holds most true in Zimbabwe at this dark hour.

Truth cannot suffer from being challenged and examined. Unthinking, uncritical, kowtowing party line toeing is fatal to a vibrant democracy. - Desmond Tutu

Is Anyone Interested In The Talks Anymore? (Zuma Says Something....)

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That question was put to me today and is a bit misleading. It is not interest that people have lost, but hope.
Most people do not understad the intricacies of the arguments for or against the formation of a government.

So, as the talks drag on and on and as they die like flies from cholera and the unlogged effects of AIDS and other treatable afflictions (hospitals are closed), they despair that a solution will ever be found. They see the man who claims to be their "president" thumbing his nose at the world by humilating a group of eminent old people who wanted to come and see their suffering and nothing happens to that "president". So, as all eyes rest on South Africa, where it is announced that the mediator, Thabo Mbeki, will meet the parties, the people of Zimbabwe do not expect much from it. The MDC has threatened to boycott the meeting. When the agreement was signed, my mother did not sleep that night at her home in the township because of the celebrations by MDC …

"It's Your Own Fault, Zimbabweans And You Will Die A Slow, Terrible Death!"

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Our media monitoring department drew my attention today to a post in which this blog was mentioned at allafrica.com. This was in relation to the aborted visit by Jimmy Carter, Graca Machel and Kofi Annan. The article itself is a shameless and vitriolic attack on Kofi Annan, calling him an errand boy of the white man, amongst other things. We are mentioned because our analysis of Sunday's events published on this blog yesterday is officially confirmed here by Robert Mugabe's mouthpiece, The Herald. Anyway, on the comments section of the Zimbabwe story, I came across the most extraordinary posting I have seen in some time and which reinforces the view that the world is not only losing patience with our so-called "leaders" but also with the people of Zimbabwe themselves.
People out there fail to understand just how Mugabe can stay in power against the wishes of a majority. It is for this reason that some black americans will support Mugabe. It is the same reason why ot…

Odinga Calls For Peacekeeping Troops To Be Sent Into Zimbabwe

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Kenya's outspoken Prime Minister, Raila Odinga (seen in this photo with Sarah Hussein Obama, President-elect Barak Obama's grandmother at her home), said today the African Union should send peacekeeping troops into the toubled Southern African basketcase, Zimbabwe, "because there is no legitimate government in Zimbabwe." Odinga, who was sworn into office after violence that erupted in Kenya in the wake of a largely discredited election that was "won" by Mwai Kibaki, has been a consistent critic of Robert Mugabe. Today, he continued in the same vein, saying that, although Mugabe is a liberation war hero who spent years in Ian Smith's jails, "I don’t believe that when you are a freedom fighter, you acquire a title deed to own the nation”.
Odinga, together with Ian Khama of Botswana, are the most consistent critics of Mugabe and represent a new breed of African leaders who are, in my opinion, the John The Baptists of an Africa to come, just as Tony Bla…

Mugabe's Police Now Appear To Be Fighting Him - Another Bomb Explodes At A Harare Station & Why He Refused A Visa To Kofi Annan

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UPDATE: The goverment of Robert Mugabe has refused to give Kofi Annan, Jimmy Carter and Graca Machel visas to enter Zimbabwe on a humanitarian mission. The group, known as the Elders, and set up by Nelson Mandela, a man Mugabe loathes, applied for visas seveal weeks ago but the answer was no. Annan tried to call Mugabe this past week, but the Zimbabwean dictator refused to come to the phone. Carter also tried, with the same result. There were last-minute, frantic efforts that also involved the South African government, former SA president and mediator Thabo Mbeki and others in trying to make the ageing dictator see sense, but he rebuffed all of them. Last night, "a very senior official" from Mugabe's illegal government told Annan point blank over the phone that if he set foot on Zimbabwean soil, he would be immediately deported. The elders have now retreated. Petulantly, Mugabe's refusal to entertain the intervention of the South Affricans is, in his own mind, payb…