Thursday, November 27, 2008

Police disrupt peaceful demonstration

from SWRadioAfrica:

Scores of NCA activists took to the streets of Harare Wednesday, to call for the setting up of a transitional government to address the urgent needs of the population. The activists also want a people driven constitution, that will pave the way for a fresh elections.

The pressure group said 700 people heeded their call to participate in the peaceful protest. Our correspondent Simon Muchemwa said he saw protesters marching from the city’s Nelson Mandela Avenue and Leopold Takawira Avenue, towards parliament. They were singing and holding placards but were violently dispersed by anti riot police when they reached parliament....

Botswana suggests sanctions

from SWRadioAfrica

One of Robert Mugabe’s fiercest critics, the Botswana Foreign Minister, on Wednesday launched a stinging attack on the ZANU PF leader, suggesting that the Southern African region should close its borders in an attempt to bring him down.
.... Skelemani said leaders should tell him to his face ‘look, now you are on your own, we are switching off, we are closing your borders.' He added that if no petrol went into Zimbabwe for a week, Mugabe would be gone.

Leaders from Botswana and Zambia have been lonely voices in the region against Mugabe’s regime and Botswana's President Ian Khama, has emerged as one of Mugabe's harshest critics in Africa. The regime has hit back at Botswana, accusing Khama of interference and of training MDC insurgents to destabilise Zimbabwe. A claim strongly denied by Botswana.

Skelemani also said his country would be willing to shelter Tsvangirai, if he ever asked for protection.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

UN Ban wants talks to continue

from AFP:

UN chief Ban Ki-Moon called on Zimbabwe's politicians to quickly strike a power-sharing deal to address difficulties plaguing the country, faced with a serious humanitarian and health crisis.

"The Secretary-General is alarmed that the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe is now desperate and will worsen in the coming months," a United Nations statement said.

"Distressed at the collapse of health, sanitation and education services, and the consequent rapidly escalating cholera outbreak," Ban "urges all parties to support and provide humanitarian assistance leaving political considerations aside."

Ban supports the humanitarian initiative of the Elders, the statement said, adding Ban was disappointed by the Zimbabwean government's refusal to cooperate with the group of senior statesmen that includes ex-United Nations chief Kofi Annan and former US president Jimmy Carter.

Tuesday, the Zimbabwean regime accused Annan and Carter of participating in a conspiracy by the West to depose President Robert Mugabe, according to statements carried by the official daily The Herald.

The two men, accompanied by Nelson Mandela and human rights activist Graca Machel, were denied entry to Zimbabwe where they had planned a humanitarian mission at the weekend.

The regime and the opposition have met since July in talks facilitated by former South African president Thabo Mbeki to find a solution to the political stalemate. They relaunched talks on Tuesday in South Africa to revive a power-sharing agreement signed in mid-September that has not yet been implemented, a negotiator told AFP.

Ban called on the parties "to rapidly reach an agreement on the formation of a new Government consistent with the letter and spirit of the 15 September agreement."

"The people of Zimbabwe cannot afford another failure by their political leadership to reach a fair and workable agreement that would allow Zimbabwe to tackle the formidable challenges ahead."

A cholera epidemic affecting more than half of Zimbabwe's territory has killed more than 53 people and affected 1,600 new victims in a single day, the UN announced Tuesday in Geneva, stating that the epidemic cause 366 deaths and 8,887 new cases since August.

Beyond its debilitating political crisis, Zimbabwe also faces over 231 million percent hyperinflation, 80 percent unemployment and an inactive production sector. The UN estimates almost half of the population will need food assistance in January.

©2008 AFP

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Carter, Annan refused entry into Zim

from Reuters Africa:

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe has barred former U.N. secretary general Kofi Annan, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and other prominent figures from visiting the country to assess the humanitarian crisis, the group said on Saturday.

They were denied travel visas to Zimbabwe despite the intervention of former South African president Thabo Mbeki, who is mediating the political conflict between President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

"We had hoped to go to Zimbabwe this morning but we had to cancel because the government has made it clear they will not co-operate," Annan told a press briefing in Johannesburg.

Annan, Carter and Nelson Mandela's wife, Graca Machel are part of a group of prominent figures and former statesmen called The Elders.

"Our purpose in coming here was never to be involved in the political issues that have been so controversial in the establishment of a new government in Zimbabwe, but only to help with the humanitarian issue and we will continue to do that," Carter said....

Carter is a self righteous A**h***...who essentially let Mugabe throw out Muzorewa and run the government way back when...and now he runs around telling people how to do things....

Friday, November 21, 2008

South Africa blocks Zim aid

from ABC (Australia)

South Africa says it will withhold desperately needed aid until Zimbabwe enacts a power-sharing agreement.

This is the first sign from South Africa that it is prepared to get tough with its neighbour.

The South African Government says it is extremely concerned about Zimbabwe's failure to implement a power sharing deal that was agreed to more than two months ago.

It has criticised Zimbabwe's political leaders for putting their interests ahead of the lives of ordinary people.

South Africa will withhold more than $30 million in agricultural assistance until a unity government is formed.


translation: They will punish the people for the tyrant's sins....

Ah, peaceful solutions....which end up killing more people than a quick coup using SAfrican soldiers...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Zapu reborn?

from the BBC:

Five senior officials from Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party have resigned amid attempts to revive a defunct liberation movement, Zapu.

The officials are from Matabeleland in the south, the base for Zapu until it merged with President Robert Mugabe's Zanu to form Zanu-PF in 1987.

The five are teaming up with former Interior Minister Dumiso Dabengwa.

He resigned from Zanu-PF in March and is trying to revive Zapu with war veterans from his Ndebele ethnic group.

"I am leaving Zanu-PF and I'm going back to my roots, which is Zapu," Effort Nkomo, one of the five who are resigning, confirmed on Wednesday..

Mr Nkomo was the information chief of the party in Matabeleland and his resignation from Zanu-PF has left the party on the verge of collapse in the province, says Zimbabwean journalist Themba Nkosi.

Fifth Brigade

Among the others to resign are Andrew Ndlovu and Tryphine Nhliziyo, the Zanu-PF's deputy information and publicity secretaries in Matabeleland.....

doctors protest failing health system

from the ZimbabweMail:

HARARE - Truckloads of riot police were deployed outside Harare's main hospital on Tuesday to prevent scores of doctors and nurses from marching in protest at the state of Zimbabwe's collapsing health system.

Many of the group of about 100 health professionals took off their shoes to dance and sing in the parking lot of Parirenyatwa Hospital, vowing to stay away from work until a recent outbreak of cholera is brought under control....

Health service on the verge of collapse

from the ZimbabweMail

HARARE - Zimbabwe's health services, once regarded among the best in Africa, are "in a state of collapse" with its main hospitals closed and a cholera epidemic raging, a leading medical body said Wednesday.

The country's four main hospitals, in the capital, Harare, and the western city of Bulawayo, were "virtually closed", while smaller district hospitals and municipal clinics "are barely functioning or closed", the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) said.

"Sick people in need of attention are being turned away."

Harare's two big state hospitals have withdrawn maternity services, meaning that women needing to deliver by Caesarean section "will needlessly die in childbirth", the doctors' association said....

(the medical school has also shut down)

Mugabe government blamed for Cholera epidemic

From the NYTimes

A group of doctors blamed President Robert Mugabe’s government on Wednesday for a cholera epidemic sweeping through Zimbabwe, saying the spread of the disease had been severely underreported. The group, the Zimbabwean Association of Doctors for Human Rights, also said dysentery was becoming increasingly prevalent. “This cholera epidemic is man-made,” Dr. Douglas Gwatidza, the head of the group, said in a telephone call with reporters. About 160 people have died of cholera in Zimbabwe in recent weeks, independent aid organizations said.

Hungry in Zimbabwe

from MSNBC

At a school for villagers visited by The Associated Press, enrollment is down to four pupils from 20. The teachers still willing to work in this once thriving farming and mining district 160 miles northeast of Harare, the capital, say parents pay them in corn, cooking oil, goats or chickens. One trip by bus to the nearest bank to draw their government salaries costs more than teachers earn in a month.

Political paralysis
Meanwhile, the country is in political paralysis following disputed elections in March. A power-sharing deal signed two months ago has stalled over the allocation of ministries between Mugabe's party and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change.

Shingirayi Chiyamite is a trader from Harare who brings household goods to the countryside to barter for crops. He says a 12-inch bar of laundry soap exchanges for 22 pounds of corn. He crisscrosses the land in search of the few villages that have corn to spare, hauls his purchases to the highway and hitchhikes back to the city. Some of the corn will feed his family, the rest he sells. He is constantly on the move....

ah yes, again we see the non judgemental "Disputed elections" and "power sharing deal has stalled"....

They haven't figured out all it takes is one sociopath to cause the problem...

doctors on strike

WSJ photos of the day

The hunters are hunted

from the LATimes

As Robert Mugabe's grip on power has slipped, the thugs who carried out preelection terror in his name find themselves in the cross hairs of those they tormented.
By Robyn Dixon
November 19, 2008
Reporting from Harare, Zimbabwe -- The "green bomber" dropped into Club M5 the other day to get a bottle of Lion beer to go, but he wasn't fast enough. Right away he was surrounded by five members of the opposition, people he used to beat up, in a township bar where he used to be king.

"They just surrounded me. They started accusing me of this and that. They just wanted revenge. They said: 'Now we got you alone. You used to trouble us during your heyday. Now it's our day.' "....
The green bombers were the ruling party's shock troops, thugs who killed and terrorized in the name of President Robert Mugabe before elections this year. Just a few months ago, the thought of challenging one of them was unthinkable in Harare's townships, stagnant and hopeless places where young men hung around sharing cheap beer in plastic bottles and waiting for the "Old Man" to die.

But after Mugabe was forced into a power-sharing deal with the opposition in September, there was a quickening: People were impatient, exuberant, hopeful and fearful of betrayal all at once. Now that the deal has collapsed, the frustration in the capital's townships is palpable, and the specter of spiraling violence looms over their shabby streets.

People want justice -- and without it, some warn darkly, they'll take matters into their own hands...

go to link for full story...

even a small snake has a tooth...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New constitution

AFP via IC publications:

Zimbabwe's rival parties have drafted a constitutional amendment creating the post of prime minister, which opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is supposed to fill under a power-sharing deal, the government said Tuesday.

Information Minister Sikanyiso Ndlovu said the amendment was sent to former South African president Thabo Mbeki, who has mediated Zimbabwe's political standoff between veteran President Robert Mugabe and Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

"Constitutional amendment number 19, key to the formation of an inclusive government, is now complete and has been sent to the mediator in South Africa for scrutiny," Ndlovu said on state television.

"The draft bill will then be gazetted according to law. After gazetting, the draft will have 30 days waiting period for the public, clergy churches, stakeholders to scrutinise and to make their own observations", he said....

The MDC wrested control of parliament from Mugabe's ZANU-PF party for the first time in general elections in March....

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Influx of Zim refugees affects Botswana's economy

from the Zimbabwean


HARARE, November 13 2008 - Botswana says Zimbabwe’s political crisis is weighing down on its economy as it is spending close to 1,2 million Pulas on Zimbabwean refugees every month, RadioVOP can reveal.

A document compiled by the Botswana government on the refugee situation and seen by RadioVOP, quotes vice president Lieutenant General Mompati Merafe as having said that the political stalemate in Zimbabwe had led to increasing numbers of Zimbabweans seeking refuge in that country and was weighing down on its economy.

He indicated that starting 2005, Zimbabweans numbering 175 000 had been deported from that country and that Botswana had since constructed shelters to accommodate Zimbabwean refugees at the cost of 52 million Pulas.

He noted that since January this year, more than 12 000 Zimbabweans had been involved in crime in that country....

Botswana denies training youth militias

from the Zim Times:

GABORONE - Zimbabwe’s neighbour, Botswana, has vehemently denied accusations by officials in Harare that Botswana was training MDC youths for purposes of effecting regime change in Zimbabwe...

Opposition says Mugabe can't form government alone

AP via the IntHTrib


Thokozani Khupe, vice president of the Movement for Democratic Change, told reporters that if Mugabe unilaterally formed a new government, the opposition would not be part of it.

The opposition would "peacefully, constitutionally and democratically mobilize and campaign against the illegitimate government," the party said in a statement.

Southern African leaders had called on Zimbabwe's politicians to form a unity government quickly and suggested that the opposition share control of the police ministry with Mugabe's party, a recommendation the opposition rejects....

However, some observers fear that Zimbabwe's leader of 28 years will not make any real concessions to the opposition as it has been nearly two months now since the power-sharing agreement was signed. Last month Mugabe claimed control of the police ministry when he unilaterally published a Cabinet list.

Neighboring Botswana also rejected the ministry sharing proposal. Botswana's Foreign Affairs Minister Phandu Skelemani, told his parliament Thursday that such an arrangement was "unrealistic, impractical and unworkable."

Botswana has been one of the few countries that have criticized African leaders for not putting enough pressure on Mugabe to share power with the opposition....

Saturday, November 15, 2008

New Abductions

from theBBC

You used to have to be very secretive - hiding in your car, and what-what, going undercover. Not any more

One of my colleagues confirmed it was true - people in the rural areas are disappearing in the night, she told us.

She had travelled to her family rural area over the weekend and said everyone was talking about it. She said it is becoming a real worry for the rural folk once more and if we were to have new elections, then how much worse could things get.

I was talking about it to my cousin, who is a human rights activist, to find out if it was true. He also said it was, further confirming my fears....


the rest of the article is about the supermarkets carrying items for foreign currancy and the black market that exchanges cash

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mugabe set to form his own government

From AFP

HARARE (AFP) — Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe will form a new government "as soon as possible" and discussions are underway between his ruling ZANU-PF party and the main opposition, a cabinet minister said on Thursday....He also called on the United States and the European Union to lift sanctions on Mugabe's ruling elite saying they were hurting ordinary citizens.

Ndlovu had said Wednesday: "President Mugabe is going to implement the SADC resolution. We must form an inclusive government... The president is going to invite the MDC to submit names of its would-be ministers. It's premature to say they've refused."

translation: Mugabe will form his own government. Tsvangirai will have no power. If he wants to cooperate he can suggest people for a few minor government positions who may or may not be allowed to take office by Mugabe.

Mama Africa, rest in peace

from the SATimes

Loading ... Loading ...

Legendary South African musician Miriam Makeba’s remains arrived at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo airport. Makeba died in Italy on Sunday after suffering a heart attack. Her family, as well as Minister of Arts and
Culture Pallo Jordan arrived at the airport to receive her remains.

Zim talks must succeed despite Mbeki

from the Times (southAfrica) allow these talks to sink will be a terrible mistake by the SADC because this appears to be the only solution to the Zimbabwe problem, considering that other logical means, such as widening sanctions and new elections, will clearly never work.

For as long as Mugabe controls the police and the war veterans remain immune to prosecution, a free and fair election will never be possible in Zimbabwe.

Those who call for another election either underestimate the war vets’ threat, or [believe in] the myth that international observers will ensure a peaceful election....

The mediator we have for the talks has a questionable record. At a time when the world was appalled by the gross human rights abuses by Mugabe, [former president Thabo] Mbeki casually commented that there was no crisis in Zimbabwe. Now Mbeki will pat Mugabe on the back while arm twisting Tsvangirai to accept whatever share of power he is offered.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

More people succumb to cholera

from SWRadioAfrica

A reports from the north east border town of Nyamapanda says that bodies are being buried in very shallow (1 meter) graves, in council land adjacent to the mortuary in the town.

An eye witness who had just travelled from Nyamapanda said: “Flea market operators who go and set up stalls from Harare are sharing accommodation with unburied corpses.” A commentator added that it seems as if ‘Robert Mugabe is quite content to turn the country into a giant death camp.’

The former chairperson of the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) Mike Davies, speaking in his private capacity, said people would not be dying from cholera if there were adequate resources, but the continuing deaths are a symptom of the failure of the regime to address the basic social needs of the citizens.

Prevention of the disease is relatively easy with adequate water supplies and proper sanitation practices, but Zimbabwe has now become a breeding ground for this infectious disease. There is no clean water in most parts of the country, resulting in many desperate people scrounging for water from unprotected wells and streams, in spite of the cholera outbreak.

With the collapse of the health industry and most hospitals now being shut, many people are just dying at home, making it very difficult to come up with statistics. The government has also been downplaying the extent of the crisis. Furthermore the fact that there is still no government in place in Zimbabwe makes the situation even more abnormal.

On Wednesday the Herald newspaper could not hide the extent of the crisis. The paper wrote: “The Harare City Council yesterday remained mum as cholera continued to take its toll. Yesterday afternoon The Herald witnessed two trucks ferrying bodies of cholera victims from Budiriro Polyclinic to Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital mortuary.”

A number of areas in the capital have been without water for several weeks and yet residents are still being forced to pay their rates. Some areas like Mabvuku and Tafara have gone for half a year without water....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

No deal expected in Zim talks

From Financial times UK

Again, the article twists the Mugabe refusal to let the police under Tsvangirai, so that he can protect his people, as being the problem...

Efforts to resolve the political crisis in Zimbabwe look set to fail, after the main opposition party appeared to reject a proposal by South Africa and other neighbouring states to share control of the home affairs ministry. The 15-nation Southern African Development Community urged Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change to "co-manage" the ministry, which controls policing and the electoral machinery.

UN agency struggles for donations

from the CBC (Canada)

The UN's World Food Programme warns that it will have to cut food rations for hungry people in Zimbabwe this month in order to make its stretched resources go further.

The relief agency reports that it will have to feed four million people in November, compared with the two million people who received rations in October, the first month it was operating on a large scale in the country during the current crisis.

Because of the cuts, each person will now receive a cereal ration of 10 kilograms per month, down from 12 kilograms, and one kilogram of pulses (a porridge made of peas or beans) per month, down from 1.8 kilograms.

Emilia Casella, a spokeswoman for the World Food Programme, says the situation will only get worse, because the agency has not received any funding commitments to cover relief for the country past December.

Police break up demonstration

from the AP

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — President Robert Mugabe's police broke up anti-government demonstrations across Zimbabwe on Tuesday, arresting some people and beating up others, according to the opposition.

The police action came as human rights lawyers were holding a news conference in South Africa to say that state-sponsored violence was increasing in Zimbabwe. They joined other independent groups in condemning a suggestion from regional African leaders that Mugabe retain some control over his police force.

Police detained human rights activist Lovemore Madhuku, who called for the protests, keeping him from a demonstration in Harare, Zimbabwe's capital, according to a spokesman for Madhuku's group, the independent National Constitutional Assembly. Police also showed up at protests in four other cities.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said pro-democracy organizations had recorded more than 1,300 cases of political violence in September, up 39 percent from the previous month. The cases ranged from property destruction to rapes and killings....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Former UN embassador reaches out to victims

from the Globe and Mail (canada):

...Over the past week, international human-rights lawyers enlisted by Mr. Lewis collected sworn affidavits from eight women, all of them supporters or organizers for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change who were raped and brutally beaten after elections this past spring.

Each of the women described how her attackers, who openly identified themselves with Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, made clear that she was to be the victim of a systematic policy of punishment because she dared to challenge Mr. Mugabe's rule....

Tranlation: They will "document" the problems, and then after a couple years take them to the World court for trial....
The slowness of the World Court in prosecuting Serbian dictators who ordered similar crimes is notorious,

Mugabe wins out in negotiations

Thanks to SAfrica's "help" in negotiations, Mugabe wins...I mean just because he wants to keep both the police and army (and of course his "green bombers") under his control doesn't mean that they won't pressure him to stop killing the opposition...

from the BBC:

In the run-up to Sunday's summit, hosts South Africa had promised to talk tough with the Zimbabwean parties and "force" an agreement.

Many observers interpreted that as a sign that the region's most powerful country was at last going to pressure President Robert Mugabe into making concessions to the opposition.

In fact, as the dust settles on the talks it is clear that the exact opposite was the case.

Despite winning the only contested election in Zimbabwe this year, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was yet again being urged to compromise by southern Africa leaders.

Tomaz Salomao, the head of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which organised the summit, announced that an "above normal" situation meant that the home affairs ministry should be "co-managed" by two ministers, one from President Mugabe's Zanu-PF and one from Mr Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Those... at the summit didn't have time to strategise and that's why they came up with this result
Judy Smith-Hohn
Institute for Security Studies

The joint share of home affairs would go alongside most of Zimbabwe's key ministries in the Zanu-PF portfolio.

Effectively SADC was instructing the MDC to accept Mr Mugabe's definition of power-sharing - that they should take a junior role in his government.

"These regional organs are state to state," David Monyae, a South African analyst, told the BBC. "The idea of opposition groups coming in and getting heard is not something they are comfortable with."...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Zim power sharing talks collapse

from the LATimes

Reporting from Harare, Zimbabwe -- Talks aimed at saving a power-sharing deal collapsed Sunday after opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai rejected a call by regional leaders to share control of Zimbabwe's police with the party of President Robert Mugabe.

Control of the police force, which has been used as a tool of repression by Mugabe's government for years, has been a deal-breaker for Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change, or MDC, since talks began after elections this year. Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri is one of several key backers of Mugabe who said before the first round of elections in March that he would never serve under Tsvangirai.

Police took no action during a wave of political violence in which more than 120 activists were killed and thousands more severely beaten by ruling party militias.

The proposed compromise offered by the regional Southern African Development Community, or SADC, would have left Mugabe in control of the armed services and intelligence, and sharing the police. Tsvangirai argues that unless the opposition gets full control of the police ministry, Mugabe will retain effective control of the security services.

The MDC offered its own compromise, providing regional leaders with two possible lists of Cabinet ministers, saying Mugabe could choose either one -- an approach SADC leaders rejected. Tsvangirai denied accusations by Mugabe that he was training a militia in neighboring Botswana.

Arthur Mutambara, leader of an MDC splinter party, said his group would not join a government controlled by Mugabe's ZANU-PF without Tsvangirai's party. But he said Tsvangirai should accept the compromise offered by the regional leaders.

Zim returns $7.3 million in misued charity money

From Medical world news:

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has returned $7.3 million in misused grant money to the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Global Fund Executive Director Michel Kazatchkine said Friday, Reuters reports (Williams, Reuters [1], 11/7).

The money, which was part of last year's $12.3 million grant, was not returned sooner, because officials in Zimbabwe said they lacked foreign currency. Although John Parsons, the Global Fund inspector general, did not speculate on how the $7.3 million of the grant was spent, he said it had not been used for its intended purpose (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 11/3). Local media in Zimbabwe reported that the Reserve Bank dispersed the Global Fund money to purchase tractors and televisions. However, the bank denied the allegation, and Kazatchkine said Global Fund officials have "no evidence of fraud" (Reuters [1], 11/7).

The Global Fund on Thursday had said it would not grant new funding to Zimbabwe until the misused funds were returned, the AP/Boston Globe reports. The Global Fund's board on Friday was expected to consider Zimbabwe's request for $400 million in Round 8 funding (Sharma, AP/Boston Globe, 11/7). The Global Fund's Technical Review Panel recently had recommended the funding be approved (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 11/3). ..

Friday, November 07, 2008

WOZA leaders finally released

From SWRadioAfrica:

The leaders of the pressure group Women of Zimbabwe Arise, Magodonga Mahlangu and Jenni Williams, were finally released on bail on Thursday after spending three weeks at Mlondolozi Prison. However the two outspoken activists have been put under strict bail conditions....

So, some happy news...for now.

They also report on the terrible state of Zim prisons:

The women said there is extreme hunger in the prisons and inmates fight over scraps of food. The human rights defenders said abuses are rampant and at Mlondolozi Prison male guards are allowed to wander around the female prison and can also see into washing facilities. “Prisoners in Yard Two are also stripped naked every day for inspection by prison officers as they are locked down. At least three minors (aged 15 and 16) were being kept in the same cell as Williams.”

Rising violence against opposition

From the IHT:

"ZANU-PF has unleashed a new orgy of brutality and assaults," the MDC said in a statement from South Africa before a weekend regional summit.

The opposition said 25 supporters were attacked Oct. 27, with five of them needing hospital treatment. Three days later, state security agents raided MDC homes and arrested nine members, eight of whom are still in custody, including a 2-year-old child. It also claimed supporters in rural areas were especially intimidated by Mugabe's ZANU-PF party.

There was no immediate response from police and it was impossible to verify the claims because most rural areas are inaccessible. But human rights groups like Amnesty International have also reported an increase in intimidation.,,,

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

WOZA Leaders spend third weekend in prison

from SWRadioafrica:

WOZA leaders Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu have spent their third weekend – and a total of 19 days - in Mlondolozi Prison in Bulawayo. Despite a High Court appeal on the 27th October there has still been no response from authorities. The pair have been denied bail three times in a Magistrate’s court, prompting the defense lawyer to appeal in the High Court last week.

WOZA says it is concerned about their well being as the group has been told they will now only be allowed to visit once every two weeks...

AIDS money misused

From the NYTimes

JOHANNESBURG — The government of Zimbabwe, led by President Robert Mugabe, spent $7.3 million donated by an international organization to fight killer diseases on other things and has failed to honor requests to return the money, according to the organization’s inspector general....
Mr. Parsons said in an interview on Sunday that last year the Global Fund deposited $12.3 million in foreign currency into Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank. He declined to speculate on how the $7.3 million it was seeking to be returned had been spent, except to say it was not on the intended purpose. Civic groups and opposition officials maintain that the Reserve Bank helps finance Mr. Mugabe’s patronage machine....

actually, this is small stealing next to the latest from Nigeria, where 41 million dollars was diverted to whatever, or here in the Philippines, where the presidential election three years ago was funded by diverting a couple million dollars from the fertilizer fund for poor farmers....

Zim sells Ivory to raise money

from the AP

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) — Zimbabwe's sale of almost 4 tons of ivory Monday raised $450,000 for conservation in a country whose economic crisis has left authorities battling to maintain vast reserves and protect elephants, rhinos and other game...

Last year, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species ruled that Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe could sell 108 tons of stockpiled ivory to approved Japanese and Chinese buyers. The final sale will take place in South Africa this week.

The funds from Monday's sale will be used for elephant conservation and to help authorities better manage the country's national parks, said Morris Mtsambiwa, director-general of the Zimbabwe Parks Authority.

Zimbabwe's economic crisis, which has led to a critical shortage of food, fuel and other basic goods, has had a devastating effect on a country once known for its natural beauty and wealth of wildlife.

Endangered rhinos are being killed by poachers while the illegal trade in game meat is flourishing as hungry Zimbabweans turn to alternative sources of food.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Footprint of Roses

the play is about WOZA

part one

Zimbabwe poll violence

Amnesty International report from AlJezeerah


Fifth brigade atrocities in Gukuranhundi

Tsvangirai calls for Zim Truth commission

from AFP

BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe (AFP) — Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai called Saturday for a truth commission to examine atrocities in the country dating back to the massacres of ethnic minorities in the 1980s.

"This country has gone through a lot of traumatic experiences," Tsvangirai said at the launch of a video on the 1980s atrocities.

"What we have to accept is that in order to heal there must be justice, and in order to have justice there must be truth," Tsvangirai said....
The video documents the Zimbabwean army's bloody campaign known as Gukurahundi -- "the rain that washes away the chaff" -- when a North Korean-trained brigade is believed to have killed some 20,000 people in a counter-insurgency drive.

Tsvangirai linked the massacres of the 1980s to an operation three years ago when President Robert Mugabe's government bulldozed the homes of 700,000 people in what was officially called a slum renewal project.

"The common thing is we have a leader and a government whose main pre-occupation is power-retention," he added....

Scathing report on post election violence

from Scoop New Zealand

Amnesty International launches scathing report on post-election Zimbabwe

Voting for the wrong political party in the upcoming New Zealand election will not land you in jail or a torture camp. Nor would you expect to be beaten, or arbitrarily arrested by the police. However this is the grim reality documented in Amnesty International's report just released, along with new video footage, which graphically demonstrates the ongoing suffering of the Zimbabwean people.

"While the political parties struggle to form a new inclusive government, the most vulnerable Zimbabweans are at further risk of extreme hunger. Many Zimbabweans are now only surviving by eating wild fruit," says Simeon Mawanza, Amnesty International's Zimbabwe expert...

To download a copy of the report, Zimbabwe: Time for Accountability, visit


Sunday, November 02, 2008



Beatings, rapes and killings of dissidents have escalated in Zimbabwe because the politicians and the police who are responsible for the violence have not been punished, Amnesty International said Friday. The group called on President Robert Mugabe and the leaders of the political opposition, who are deadlocked in their negotiations over a unity government, to address the need to bring human rights violators to justice. ...

Yup. Just send them a letter saying: Can I arrest you for rape and murder, pretty please with sugar on it?

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Cholera reaches Zim capital

from GMA news (Philippines).

HARARE, Zimbabwe - A cholera outbreak has claimed its first victim in Zimbabwe's capital after causing death and illness elsewhere in a country too poor to provide clean water or clear garbage from the streets.

Health authorities reported the death in Harare Thursday and said 20 other people had been hospitalized.

Across the country in recent weeks, at least 27 people have died from cholera, mostly in impoverished districts, and hundreds have been treated for the highly infectious intestinal disease spread by contaminated food and water.

Doctors have reported at least 120 preventable deaths from the disease during the year as sewer and drainage service collapse. Infrastructure has been left to crumble for months with politicians deadlocked first over disputed elections and now over forming a power sharing government.
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