No, we are also not aware of any White Zimbabwean Policemen attached to the Riot Squad. Interesting, isn't it? These riot policemen wait for Jestina Mukoko to emerge from court so that they can whisk her away again.
The red VW minibus with South African Plates, which is ferrying the activists between court and prison is seen above. This time, the police were careful to drive it into the underground parking at the court so that no pictures of Jestina and her fellow prisoners in leg-irons and handcuffs could be taken by waiting photographers
Before we do anything else, let me just tell you that we have had to take down the story that was immediately below this one. That is the the story about a "request" to restrict access to the blog only to "members" who have passwords.
Now then, imagine my shock when I was told by a ZANU PF minister (no names, but for the in-crowd, he lives in Mt Pleasent, between Arundel Shopping Centre and Groombridge), that some of his comrades have been looting all manner of things in the sure knowledge that they will not be getting any appointments in Zimbabwe's new Inclusive government which will have MorganTsvangirai as Prime Minister.
Computers (including four laptops this minister knows about) have been removed from storage at just one government building along Third Street in Harare. They are even taking desks homes (one specific culprit on this is a well-known loudmouth in government, very visible in Masvingo during the March 2008 election). Another minister requested and was given twenty-two brand new tyres for his twin-cab. He retained his seat in the last election but is unlikely to be appointed to the new cabinet and the twin-cab truck is not even government-issue, it's his personal property.
There have also been requests for fuel in extraordinary quantities in the period before Christmas, with the Zimbabwe "ministers" saying they will be visiting constituencies or projects all over the country. The fuel dispensed so far could be as much as 50 000 litres just on these "claims" by Zimbabwe's caretaker ministers. This is
excluding fuel that one specific minister has looted from the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO), which he is using to fill up his own local and long-distance bus fleet.
But the cake has to go to two ministers who apparently have been able to get foreign currency from the Reserve Bank this Christmas for foreign holidays, including one who got almost US$15 000 to "visit his son at university." The
minister never went anywhere and was actually in Harare throughout the holidays. With his son, the one who is at the university the father was to visit for Christmas.
Sadder still, however, is the revelation that the Reserve Bank has doled out brand new pick-up trucks, all white in colour, all Nissans, plus all-terrain motorbikes to a vast number of sitting "ministers" and ZANU PF MPs. My source says he is not aware of a single MDC member of parliament who got these cars or bikes, even though the Zimbabwe Reserve Bank says this is "farm aid" handouts, open to all farmers.
There are even groceries and bills from drinking it up at hotels and pubs that are being foisted on Zimbabwe's treasury by these outgoing ministers. All the ministers are still on their salaries, apparently, together with their expense accounts. Senior civil servants, meantime, have had to return their government-issued vehicles in preparation for the new government.
Jestina Mukoko Latest News
The human rights activist has been refused bail by a Harare magistrate and will stay in jail throughout the whole process. Despite hysterical reports you may have heard of "death sentences" and the like, the "bandit-trainers" are not going to face the death sentence if convicted. The most would be life sentences.
The danger for them would be the conditions in Zimbabwe's appalling prisons. The prison system in Zimbabwe is notorious for laying a Grim Reaper hand on the shoulder of anyone who passes through it. Criminals emerging alive from it routinely only last six months or so outside before dying, having contracted one disease or another in the overcrowded jails.
It is not news to you that Mugabe has taken personal charge of this case while maintaining silence in public. The aim is still the same and the plan remains in place. Apparently, the silence from SADC on this "insurgency case" has to do with Mugabe insisting to them that he is "respecting the rule law" by not interfering. The SADC presidents have taken this explanation and excuse, apparently.
A week and a half ago, Mugabe is said to have told the South Africans that the noise that had just reached fever-pitch back then was because Britain, US and the EU, whom he is accusing of funding the insurgency through Botswana, were panicking because their plan had been rumbled by these arrests. It appears SADC have bought this line.
Finally, about the post we have had to take down: Who knows, there may be copies of it floating around it on Facebook, for example, where people routinely post articles from this blog!