Monday, November 28, 2005

Early polls say Mugabe wins


Partial results from Saturday's vote gave President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front at least 49 of 66 seats in the Senate.

Voting was marked by a record-low turnout blamed on voter apathy and the main opposition leader's call for a boycott.

Independent monitors predicted a turnout of between 15 and 20 percent of eligible voters, the lowest in any national election since Zimbabwe won independence in 1980.

Of course, the article didn't mention the "no vote for us, no food" aspect of the election...

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Election farce



And it's worse than a farce: LINK official of Gutu rural district council, who declined to be named because he is not authorised to speak to the Press, insisted that the distribution of maize had nothing to do with the by-election saying it was planned well before anyone knew there would be an election in the area. However, well-known MDC supporters in the area said they were being denied the maize as punishment for backing the opposition party....

Hmmm...wonder where it went?


Harare - The government's Central Mechanical and Engineering Department (CMED) cannot account for more than 600 000 litres of fuel it purchased for various state departments last year and internal auditors believe it could have been diverted to the illegal black-market.

Those made homeless are dying...


Yup...if you make people homeless, and send them back to villages with no money, and the villages have little food, you tend to have people die....

Friday, November 25, 2005

Gateway Pundit: US Slaps Sanctions on Mugabe Regime

Gateway Pundit: US Slaps Sanctions on Mugabe Regime

Sanctions on Mugabe?

See details at GatewayPundit...

He links to this ALERT about the lack of food...
The World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that more than four million people in Zimbabwe - almost one-third of the total population of the country - are likely to face severe food shortage in the coming year. ACT members Christian Care, and the Lutheran Development Services are planning to support people who are facing potential acute food shortages ....

My friends write that there are many problems, but don't elaborate...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Hunger calling

....Meteorologists forecast that the wet season would start at the beginning of October, but three weeks into November only intermittent drizzle has fallen in drought-prone Masvingo, rather than the downpours the farmers need."We would not be walking empty-handed if things were normal," one of the women in the single file commented. "Surely the gods have cursed us."....

Government promises of providing subsidised food to rural areas through the state-run Grain Marketing Board have been largely unmet. Most villagers who expected assistance were still waiting to be fed, and deliveries were few and far between. When food assistance was delivered, villagers were unsure when they would get the next consignment.

"It is erratic - the last time we received grain from the government was five months ago," said Maketo. "We used to receive food from donor agencies but I am not sure what happened. The villagers cannot sacrifice the little they have for mourners.

"Rural communities were also bearing the extra burden of hosting the funerals of relatives who died in urban areas but could afford to be buried there because costs of burial plots has soared astronomically.Next year is likely to be even worse, aid workers warn. A lack of fuel and spare parts has reduced the number of tractors available for land preparation, while the cost of fertiliser is well beyond the reach of many in the rural areas.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Spying? Who me?


South Africa denies spying on NGO's...

"It must be remembered that the Zimbabwean government's current understanding of human rights and legitimate comment and criticism is grossly dysfunctional," he said."They regard even the mildest criticism as being treasonous, and President (Robert) Mugabe is notorious for making hysterical accusations that foreign-funded NGOs are trying to overthrow his government."South Africa must not fall into that trap. People and organisations have the fullest right to operate within the bounds of our constitution and our law, and if they are critical of the Zimbabwean government, this is probably a plus factor rather than a negative.

"The prospect of South Africa sharing intelligence on NGOs with Zimbabwe was made "even more dismal" in that it followed on remarks by President Thabo Mbeki N in particular his claim that some NGOs had been funded to "challenge the ANC on this issue or that issue", echoing Mugabe's own conspiracy theories....

Zim and S.A. spy on NGO's

I almost didn't read this article, since I don't really care if Zim and SA share spy information...then I wondered: What is worth spying on? Do they have WMD? (SA had the bomb in the bad old days, and now Zim has uranium...)...

But actually the story is worse than that...they are spying on NGO's....
Zimbabwe’s intelligence service is spying on aid organisations and “comparing notes” with South Africa in terms of a year-old pact. Zimbabwe’s Director of Intelligence, Aggrey Maringa, said in an interview this week that some non-government organisations were under the microscope of his agency. “It’s not every NGO. It’s some NGOs that we have identified,”...
Mutasa said after Thursday’s inaugural meeting of a joint commission on defence and security that foreign NGOs and journalists were the greatest threats to Zimbabwe’s stability. “We would like Europe please to keep your NGOs to yourselves,” he said.Hassen Lorgat, of the umbrella South African National Civics Organisation, said a “paranoia psychosis” was developing in Africa towards NGOs....


There has been a lot of scattered reports of anthrax in Zim, mainly in animals or skin anthrax...

The link is to an Angolan press story about some deaths.

Masvingo`s provincial veterinary officer for the province, Charity Sibanda, said six districts in her area had been hit by the anthrax outbreak, which authorities were failing to bring under control due to lack of vaccines. The three deceased persons are suspected to have eaten infected meat. Masvingo and several other provinces in Zimbabwe have repeatedly suffered from anthrax and foot and mouth, affecting the country`s beef exports.

LINK is to the CDC site about Gastrointestinal Anthrax, which you get by eating contaminated meat....I've never seen a case (anthrax spores cause occassional outbreaks in rural USA) but after seeing the photos, I suspect that most cases in the US would be treated by a dumb GP with an antibiotic and cured and not diagnosed...(most Anthrax is sensitive to penicillin and to cipro)...

Mugabe's ministers loot scare maize for resale outside country


In what could be the most callous and shocking abuse of power yet by Zimbabwe's ruling elite, some ministers in President Robert Mugabe's Cabinet, top ZANU PF officials, the party's Members of Parliament (MPs) and state security commanders used their political clout to buy maize from the GMB at heavily subsidised prices.
The politicians later resold the maize at highly inflated prices or exported it mainly to neighbouring Mozambique where there is a thriving black-market for the staple grain

Mugabe and uranium


Uranium: It's not just for export any more

Mugabe, who has close ties with two countries with controversial nuclear programs, Iran and North Korea, made the announcement Saturday, the radio station reported.It was not clear how Mugabe intended to use any uranium deposits since the country does not have a nuclear power plant.The president announced plans in the 1990s to acquire a reactor from Argentina, but nothing else was ever heard about the proposal."Zimbabwe will develop power by processing uranium, which has recently been found in the country," the radio quoted Mugabe as saying."The discovery of uranium will go a long way in further enhancing the government rural electrification program," he was quoted as saying.Zimbabwe was not previously known to have any workable deposits of uranium.South Africa has the region's only nuclear power station at Koeberg.Zimbabwe has been plagued by a chronic shortage of foreign exchange since Mugabe's seizure of 5,000 white owned farms and the collapse of an export-oriented agricultural industry. It currently has a daily 400 to 450 megawatt generation shortfall on requirements of 2,100 megawatts.Zimbabwe has had great difficulty meeting bills from Mozambique, South Africa and Congo for imports from the regional electric power grid.Newstex ID: 6444101

Sunday, November 20, 2005

the South Africa/Zim link

Michelle Malkin blasts the close friendship between Mbeki and Mugabe

South African  Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils
Minister Ronnie Kasrils apologised for questions about Zimbabwe's human rights record

After the signing, South Africa's intelligence minister scolded a journalist who raised questions about Zimbabwe's record on human rights.

Details of the deal were not released but Zimbabwe's secret police is accused of torturing opposition activists.

South Africa is a key player in attempts to negotiate an end to Zimbabwe's political crisis.

President Thabo Mbeki has been criticised at home and abroad for not putting more pressure on President Robert Mugabe's government to end abuses.

Zimbabwe prayers

"This week's historic meeting further consolidates a long-standing socio-political and economic relationship between our two countries," South African Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils said at the signing of the agreement in Cape Town on Thursday.

Robert Mugabe (left) and Thabo Mbeki
President Mbeki (r) has been criticised for taking a stronger line with President Mugabe (l)
After the signing, a journalist asked Mr Kasrils how South Africa, with a "good human rights track record", could sign agreements with Zimbabwe, which had a "poor human rights record".

Mr Kasrils apologised to his Zimbabwean counterpart, Didymus Mutasa, for the question.

"We have very strong ties with our neighbour and we are indebted to our neighbour for achieving freedom and liberty," Mr Kasrils said.

Mr Mutasa suggested praying for the journalist.

"Lord forgive him for he does not know what he is saying," Mr Mutasa said.

Murder? What murder?

I am more concerned with rural people (including those "cleansed" from Hatfield etc) dying quietly of famine related disease, but there have been few articles documenting actual murder...

In the previous link, we saw this statement:

About 300 people have died in political violence since 2000 and thousands of cases of politically motivated assaults, kidnapping, rape and torture have been reported by human rights groups. -

And here is a report of one murder:


A ZIMBABWEAN deputy minister and top police chief on Thursday faced accusations of orchestrating a farm labourer's murder.

Home Affairs Deputy Minister, Reuben Marumahoko and Assistant Police Commissioner, Innocent Matibiri, have been linked to the murder at Springs Field Farm in Mashonaland West.

The farm is owned by controversial sports trainer, Temba Mliswa, who seized it from a white commercial farmer at the height of violent government-sponsored land grabs three years ago.

Violence erupted at the farm on Thursday in an ownership dispute over a fuel service station located on the farm, resulting in the murder of one person, police confirmed.

Cricket association protests, but African governments are silent


The African Commission human rights body is scheduled to meet in Banjul in the West African nation of Gambia next week, ahead of a summit of the continent-wide African Union in January.

The alliance said Zimbabwe authorities continued to harass charities, voluntary organisations and independent journalists and restrict fundamental rights of freedom of movement, free expression, equal protection of the law and access to the nation's courts for redress.

"Almost none of the African Commission's recommendations have been implemented," said the alliance.

It's not cricket

I am always amazed at all the Google headlines on Zim about cricket and European type football...

Now even the cricket association has noticed that there are problems in Zim:


When a national captain is forced into hiding by threats made against his family by someone who has been brought in as some kind of enforcer by the national board, then it should concern the ICC. When all the provincial chairmen of a country produce a detailed document highlighting some serious governance and financial issues, then it should concern the ICC. When almost all the professional players of a Test-playing country are prepared to stand up and accuse their own board of intimidation and demand the resignation of the chairman and managing director, then it should concern the ICC.

That it doesn't is a source of considerable frustration inside Zimbabwe. And, let's remember, speaking out in Zimbabwe often has serious consequences. It takes bravery to buck the system. The shame is that the ICC appears to lack similar courage.

Problems of third world blogging

Sorry for the lack of posts...our phone line which carries the internet has been down for two weeks...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Trade unions to hold protest

Mlamleli Sibanda, spokesman for the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) said demonstrations were scheduled to take place in six towns and cities, despite the fact that police have refused them permission in most of the cases."As far as we're concerned, the police don't have the right to stop us," Sibanda said in a telephone interview on Monday.Marches in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Mutare, Chinhoyi and Masvingo are intended "to remind government and employers that workers are hungry, angry and tired," a statement from the labour body said.

UN Food envoy to visit Zim in December


US embassador to Zim to be expelled?


Sunday, November 06, 2005

Donor nations to Zim: admit there is a crisis


Harare - Fourteen Western embassies challenged the Zimbabwean government on Saturday to acknowledge it faced a humanitarian crisis following a campaign of evictions and the demolition of thousands of homes, shacks and markets across the country.

The Western nations said that they shared the deep concern expressed earlier this week by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on the plight of tens of thousands of people made homeless in the May-June urban clean up campaign, known in the local Shona language as Operation Murambatsvina, or Drive Out the Trash.

"We share the UN's dismay at the rejection by the government of Zimbabwe of offers of UN assistance to the most vulnerable groups, in particular in relation to the provision of temporary shelter," the 14 embassies said.

The government has said it will not accept help to provide temporary shelters for the homeless, and denies that displaced families are in need of immediate humanitarian aid....

Getting petrol the hard war


Saturday, November 05, 2005

It's all Prince Charle's fault

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's state media accused Britain's Prince Charles on Friday of lobbying the United Nations to take action against the government of President Robert Mugabe.

Friday, November 04, 2005

2 million Zim's in South Africa?


Cape Town - The movement of people from Zimbabwe to neighbouring African countries is a matter of concern in the region, South Africa's deputy foreign minister, Aziz Pahad, said on Wednesday."Of course, there is a genuine concern about the movement of people in the region. There's clearly a mass exodus of people from Zimbabwe moving into neighbouring countries," he told a media briefing at parliament."I wouldn't know where the estimates come from, but there is an estimate that we have close to two million undocumented Zimbabweans in South Africa. I'm not sure where the figures come from, but this is the figure that's doing the rounds all the time."

Bird flu could devestate Africa


Asia is quite worried about the Bird flu, if it should start jumping from person to person like happened in 1918...

Ah, but what would happen in Africa?
One shudders at the thought...

UN "misled" on Zimbabwe


'....Charamba said the UN had been influenced by recent reports from the BBC on Zimbabwe."What has prompted the statement, which purported to be coming from Mr Annan, is a documentary aired by BBC's [South Africa-based correspondent] Hilary Andersson," he said."Comrade Charamba said Mr Annan cannot rely on the BBC as a bona fide media organisation to speak on Zimbabwe because Zimbabwe and Britain has a diplomatic war emanating from the land question," the Herald added.In his statement, Annan also expressed dismay over the government's refusal of UN offers of temporary shelter to the displaced.The statement from Annan's office insisted that a "large number of vulnerable groups, including the recent evictees as well as other vulnerable populations, remain in need of immediate humanitarian assistance, including shelter".

But Charamba told the Herald the government does not want temporary shelters."If the UN and donors are keen to assist in augmenting government efforts, they should assist in constructing permanent structures and not temporary structures," he said.The government has promised to build tens of thousands of new houses over the next few years. But the ambitious programme is being hampered by reported shortages of cash and building materials....'

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Zim's poor hurt by inflation


"...I just woke up on Monday to find that prices have doubled just like that," Kenneth Manungo, a clerk at Harare insurance firm who was queuing to buy bread at a local chain store said.
"I don't know whether our employers know how much we are suffering. Sometimes you wonder is it not better to stay home, the money is too little," he told Reuters.
The government has branded inflation its number one enemy.
It stood at an annual 359.8 percent in September and analysts believe it will end the year above 400 percent -- well beyond central bank forecasts for it to reach between 280 and 300 percent by December..."

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Annan "concerned" at Zim refusal of aid


....Annan made a "strong appeal to the government of Zimbabwe to ensure that those who are out in the open, without shelter and without means of sustaining their livelihoods, are provided with humanitarian assistance in collaboration with the United Nations" and other aid agencies.
Months after the eviction campaign the UN continued to receive reports that tens of thousands of people were still homeless and in need of assistance.
"He is particularly dismayed to learn that the government of Zimbabwe's ad-hoc inter-ministerial cabinet committee has rejected offers of UN assistance," Annan's spokesman noted....

Yup...maybe he should send them a letter saying he is wery wery angwy....

More People in Zim need food


Harare - The Zimbabwean government estimate of the number of people in need of food aid has risen to 2.9 million in rural areas, an official was quoted as saying on Monday, blaming inflation for the growing demand.
The government announced earlier this month that it planned to feed about 2.2 million people, but Lameck Betera of the civil protection unit of the transport and communication ministry said more were in need. ...

The UN World Food Programme estimates that four million of Zimbabwe's 13 million people are in need of food aid.

Zim: Black farmers to blame


The problem is that we gave land to people lacking the passion for farming and this is why every year production has been declining."
He said although an ongoing drought had contributed to reduced yields, "the biggest letdown has been that people without the slightest idea of farming got land and the result has been declining agricultural output."
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