Showing posts from November, 2009

Farm Invasions Intensify As South Africa Signs Agreement With Mugabe

Zimbabwean white farmer Tom Bayley is taunted by singing and jeering ZANU PF supporters at his farm as he rode to an abandoned house to use as a shelter. Farms in Chegutu, which is in Mugabe's home province, have seen an upsurge in invasions and intimidation since Friday, when South Africa signed an agreement with Harare to protect the investments of its citizens in Zimbabwe.

Harare, Zimbabwe, 29 November 2009
Just as news arrives that South African and Zimbabwe have signed a new Bi-lateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement which expressly excludes all farms currently under dispute and/or invaded, we learn that farm invasions have taken a new intensity in Mugabe's home province, around the town of Chegutu.
The BIPPA was signed on Friday despite court applications by Agricultural pressure groups in South Africa.
Just as it was being signed, at least three farms in the Chegutu area were being invaded afresh. One of them, Umvovo Farm, owned by Thomas Beattie, first got in…

Diamond Miner Loses Another Battle To Mugabe

Small fish are out at the Marange Diamond Fields in Zimbabwe, as the government of Mugabe and Tsvangirai races to loot them (professionally) before being compelled to hand them back to Africa Consolidated Resources (ACR). Right now, the battle is still at the courts, with ACR getting a setback this last week on very shaky and legalistic grounds that ignored the laws of natural justice and even common sense.

Harare, Zimbabwe, 29 November 2009
The British-based diamond-mining company Africa Consolidated Resources (ACR) last week lost the latest round in a battle against President Mugabe's government in Zimbabwe when the High Court refused to entertain the company's application to have government evicted from the disputed Marange Diamond Fields.
The High Court, in a case handled by the same judge who is presiding over the Roy Bennett trial, ruled that an earlier victory by ACR at the High Court, confirming their ownership of claims at the Marange Diamond Fields, did not mean that th…

Tsvangirai Offers Mugabe Deal On Outstanding Issues

Robert Mugabe, seen here with the FIFA World Cup Trophy, has turned down a proposal from Morgan Tsvangirai that would have seen the issues of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono and Attorney General Johannes Tomana resolved. Mugabe is now instead saying the approach by Tsvangirai signals that the MDC-T realise that they are on a back foot and can not win the fight they have got into with Mugabe and ZANU PF. ZANU PF hardliners are over the moon

Harare, Zimbabwe, 29 November 2009
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is offering to drop opposition to Gideon Gono's continued tenure as Governor of Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank in exchange for the scalp of Johannes Tomana, the Attorney General who is seen as vindictively pursuing MDC-Tsvangirai officials and activists.
The proposal is said to have found no favour with Mugabe. Instead, he is using the approach by Tsvangirai to tell his crew that this is evidence the MDC is on a back foot and can not sustain their calls for the firin…

Mugabe's Governor Bans Aid Organisation From Operating In His Area

Gideon Gono and Robert Mugabe are seen here examining farming aid (tractors, seed, fertiliser and so on) that Mugabe used to dish out to farmers through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Now one his Governors in the rural areas of Zimbabwe says he has banned an Aid organisation for assisting people he says are from opposition parties. What is good for the goose, it appears, is not good for the gender!

Harare, Zimbabwe, 28 November 2009
Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) has been banned from operating in the gold mining area of Mazowe in Harare by Advocate Dihna, a ZANU PF Provincial Governor, on the ground that they were interfering in the internal affairs of Zimbabwe.
This is normally a clue that the organisation was sensitizing people to their democratic and human rights.
Ironically, DAPP originally helped ZANU PF freedom fighters and refugees in Mozambique during the liberation struggle of the 1970s. They provided assistance aid to help refugees become self-sufficient and also  h…

Mugabe Renews Pressure On Tsvangirai To Fire Tendai Biti

Tendai Biti is sworn in as Minister of Finance by Mugabe in February this year in this photo. The smiles are long gone now, after Biti went after one of Mugabe's favourite persons, Gideon Gono. Now there is a concerted effort to get rid of him, with Mugabe launching a fresh campaign to first discredit Biti as someone who is working against the economic recovery that he is supposed to spearhead. Mugabe will now ask Tsvangirai (for the second time) to fire Tendai Biti as Minister of Finance and reassign him to another post in a reshuffle. The tactic is to distract the MDC relieving pressure that Mugabe now feels keenly on the "outstanding issues".

Harare, Zimbabwe, 28 November 2009
In a move seen and even acknowledged by many in ZANU PF as a diversion tactic, Robert "The Solution" Mugabe has now renewed pressure on Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to fire Tendai Biti and has now started a campaign to "demonstrate that the Minister is working against the intere…

Mugabe Bans MDC Appointees From Entering Government Buildings

The laughter has now died between Mugabe and Tsvangirai, with the announcement today that people hired by the MDC element of the Inclusive Government of Zimbabwe will be barred from entering government buildings and handling state papers. Mugabe has unilaterally decided to resolve one of his own "outstanding issues" without any agreement with the MDC-Tsvangirai. The "parallel government" is now being dismantled.

Harare, Zimbabwe, 27 November 2009
This latest Zimbabwe news is simply shocking.
The Public Service Commission of Zimbabwe, led by Mariyawanda Nzuwa, one of Mugabe's most powerful officials, has just announced that it now bar all people hired by the two MDC formations in Government from handling Government documents and from entering government buildings.
It is an unprecedented move, especially the banning of these appointees from entering government buildings. Even a hobo, a street kid, can enter government buildings. They are the property of any Zimbabwea…

Zimbabwe Finance Minister Tendai Biti Gives In On IMF Funds

Zimbabwe Finance Minister Tendai Biti has now asked the IMF to urgently release US$50 million to fund requirements for the 2009/2010 agricultural season, basically caving in to pressure from Mugabe's ZANU PF. It is also an indication that Zimbabwe is in big trouble, because the season (which informs the April 2010 harvest) has already advanced so far that the money will not make a difference at all. Biti has also outline how he wants the rest of the US$510 million from the IMF to be used and this is basically the same plan as presented by Gideon Gono, Governor of the Reserve Bank and Biti's nemesis.

Harare, Zimbabwe, 27 November 2009
Zimbabwe's Finance Minister has given in to pressure from ZANU PF and instructed the International Monetary Fund to "urgently" release US$50 million of the US$500 million allocated to Zimbabwe a couple of months back to help the country withstand the global economic slump.
In addition to the "urgent" disbursement, Biti has als…

Zimbabwe Congo Soldier Widow Demands US$26 000 From Army

A soldier lies dead in the DRC last year when fighting erupted again. Zimbabwe had since left and the United Nations had moved in peace keepers. But there are still some Zimbabwean skeletons in the DRC, those of soldiers who died there and were never recovered. Their widows have been denied the allowances due to those soldiers by the directive of the top brass of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. The Fingaz interviewed the woman who is making noise on behalf of others.

Harare, Zimbabwe, 27 November 2009

Any army widow whose husband went missing in action in the Democratic Republic of Congo during Zimbabwe's intervention in that country is demanding U$26 000 from the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and has taken them to court.
It is basically a test case, designed to establish precedent, because the woman is not alone. There are many others who could not pitch in and launch a class action. This particular case will determine whether not they all get their dues.
Stunningly, the case, although origin…

Bennett Trial: Balance Shifts Towards Government's Case

Roy Bennett arrives at court with his lead lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa. His trial has taken a twist now, with the balance of probabilities shifting towards the State as the Attorney-General's strategy becomes clearer. Bennett faces charges related to treason and amassing weapons of war.

Harare, Zimbabwe, 26 November 2009

The latest news on Roy Bennett's trial at the High Court is rather farcical.
The prosecution, led by none other than the Attorney General himself, Johannes Tomana, has now adopted the strategy of discrediting its own star witness, arms dealer Peter Hitschman.
Hitschman signed a statement implicating Roy Bennett in the case of the amassing of weapons of war found at his farm. He was also allegedly recorded on video doing the same thing.
Yesterday, another state witness, Superintendent Arnold Dhliwayo, told the Defence lawyers under cross-examination that Hitschman recounted several statements he made only when he realised that the charges he faced carried a life sentenc…

2 000 Zimbabweans Lose Jobs

Health workers protest in Harare recently (they were told by the MDC-T Minister of Health that his job was not to sort out their problems. "My job is to concentrate on policy," he told their representatives). Now it emerges that poor pay and working conditions are the least of Zimbabwean workers' problems. Jobs are still being lost and the Inclusive Government, despite its best efforts to lie, can now no longer hide its failures

Harare, Zimbabwe, 26 November 2009
Here a shocker of Zimbabwe news.
Two thousand Zimbabwean workers have been retrenched so far this year, parliament was told yesterday by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU).
Elijah Mutemeri, coordinator for ZCTU, told a parliamentary committee that most of these were retrenchments from companies facing viability problems, while the rest were simply victims of companies that are closing down.
The ZCTU, being a body concerned with workers, has simply concentrated on ensuring that the workers get their dues, sp…

Zimbabwe Parties Break Off Impasse Talks: Reality Check

Harare, Zimbabwe, 26 November 2009
I did say yesterday that the talks between ZANU PF and the two MDCs were on the verge of collapse and it now emerges that the negotiators have "suspended" the marathon talks (they started on Monday) and will only meet again on Saturday.
The reason, officially, is that some of them have to travel outside Zimbabwe on government business.
The negotiators say that all this time, they have been talking about the same issues: Gono, Tomana, pirate radio stations and sanctions.
I wonder if anyone else sees the futility of this exercise. The MDC-Tsvangirai, especially, must make up its mind whether it is serious or not here.
You see, they AGREED to include the issue of sanctions and "pirate radio stations" in the Global Political Agreement. They willingly signed off on that GPA. Yet we know, they know, everyone knows: they can not shut down radio stations based in democratic countries overseas.
They can not compel the USA and the European Union …

MDC/ZANU PF Talks On Verge Of Collapse

The talks to brea the impasse in Zimbabwe's coalition are bogged down, with ZANU PF resorting to legalistic arguments to get out of their obligations. This is despite the SADC Troika meetingstating that the talks must be held in order to meet not just the letter, but also "the spirit" behind the agreement that governs the Inclusive Government in Zimbabwe.

Harare, Zimbabwe 25 November 2009

Negotiators from ZANU PF and the two MDC formations are struggling to find common ground, it has emerged, with indications being that the talks to resolve the impasse that led to Morgan Tsvangirai "disengaging from ZANU PF" are stuck on who has responsibility for which outstanding issues.

The Inclusive Government of Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe had been given the deadline of 15 November to start talking and another deadline of November 30 to finish the talks. Jacob Zuma, the South African President had been scheduled to come to Zimbabwe to be updated on progress this week,…

Gideon Gono's ZANU PF Appointment Reversed

Gideon Gono's appointment as Finance Secretary for ZANU PF's Manicaland Province has been reversed on orders from above, making it certain that he will now not be leaving the Reserve Bank as most of us had read. Mugabe would have lost a lot of face if this had happened because he takes little things like these as demonstrations of his power. If he says "Gono is not going anywhere. He has done no wrong, I said show me the wrong he has done", he does not expect to have to go back on that publicly.Hopes dashed, then.

Harare, Zimbabwe, 25 November 2009

Embattled Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono has had his appointment to the ZANU PF Manicaland Provincial Executive reversed on the order of the "national office" of ZANU PF.

Some in Zimbabwe and elsewhere will be disappointed. The appointment (Gono had been "co-opted, not elected, to the post of Secretary of Finance) had raised hopes that the Governor will now have to go, since his being a ZANU PF official woul…

Exposed: How Zimbabwe Elections Are Rigged

A Zimbabwe voter gets his name checked (manually) against the voters' roll. The process has opened the door to cheating by parties and there is no one worried about the loopholes at all. Notice that the voter is holding his identity card and the harassed polling officer has to simply check to make sure the name is on the roll. 

Harare, Zimbabwe, 24 November 2009
There are the beatings. And the intimidation.
Everyone knows this is how Mugabe rigs elections to get elected. But something else has now come to light which should prompt the government to put in place measures that can curb an even more difficult rigging process that is almost impossible to stop right now.
Here's the deal.
With more than five million registered voters in Zimbabwe (almost six million), we always get around 3 million people only voting.
There are also people who are not registered to vote, either because they can prove residence (a house they live in and so on) or are lain lazy to do so.
Parliament has now be…

"Mugabe Forever" - Zimbabwe War Veterans

Joseph Chinotimba (above), the so-called Commander of Farm Invasions and his band of Ware Veterans have now come out in opposition to God and Fate, declaring that Mugabe should be president of Zimbabwe "forever and ever", basically declaring the Zimbabwean dictator immortal. This shaking of spears comes ahead of ZANU PF's Congress in December this year, at which Mugabe is already guaranteed continued leadership. 

Harare, Zimbabwe 24 November 2009
The Zimbabwe War Veterans Association, a mainstay of Mugabe's support base, has come out in support of him and other leaders nominated by ZANU PF provinces to the party's so-called Presidium.
Joseph Chinotimba, he of straw suits and hats, self-styled Commander of Farm Invasions, issued a statement yesterday saying he and his fellow "freedom fighters" are behind Mugabe "forever and ever."
We will have to see what God says about that.

The semi-literate statement from Chinotimba says:

"As war veterans, we…