Tuesday, June 30, 2009

MDC boycott cabinet meeting

from the Zimbabwe Mail

...But Khupe said Mugabe continued to violate the political agreement, including failing to swear-in senior MDC official Roy Bennett as deputy agriculture minister, while the national security council had never met because "a few elite securocrats do not recognise the authority of the new order".

She said ZANU-PF was frustrating media reforms while MDC legislators and civil society members continued to be victimised and arrested.

The MDC has already asked the regional Southern African Development Community to mediate in a dispute over the appointment of the central bank governor and attorney general.

"For a long time we have remained the polite and subservient upholders of the GPA (global political agreement)," said Khupe.

"Whilst we remain fundamentally committed to the GPA in the interests of our people, it is our constitutional right to consider disengagement," she said, without elaborating.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Harare is the worst city to live in

From the Harare Tribune

Vancouver is the world's easiest city to live in, while Harare, Zimbabwe is the toughest, a new survey finds. While many European and North American cities placed near the top of the list, African and Asian locales typically finished closer to the bottom. (according to a survey in the Economist).

...Rounding out the bottom three are Algiers, Dhaka and Harare, as Zimbabwe struggles to emerge from an economic meltdown and President Robert Mugabe's iron grip over the country.

State abducted activist

from the NYTimes

A prosecutor admitted during a Supreme Court hearing on Thursday that state security agents illegally abducted and detained Jestina Mukoko, a human rights advocate, in December. Ms. Mukoko, who led a civic group that documented the murder and torture of opposition activists, is seeking to halt the state’s attempt to prosecute her on charges of aiding an effort to topple President Robert Mugabe from power.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

MInister denies diamond field killing

SWRadioAfrica via All Africa:

Deputy Mining Minister Murisi Zwizwai has denied there were any killings in the eastern Marange diamond fields last year, telling a meeting of the Kimberley Process in Namibia on Wednesday that claims were a result of 'unsubstantiated reports'.
There have been widespread accounts of killings in the Chiadzwa area, which has been the centre of controversy since last October when the army was called in to disperse thousands of illegal diamond hunters. But Zwizwai told Wednesday's meeting of the Kimberley Process, the international scheme to curb the sale of 'blood diamonds', that the situation in Marange had been brought under control.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Will the Green Revolution ever hit Africa?

from NYTimes Freakanomics blog:

go to link...I'll try to post excerpts when I go to the office computer later today

Saturday, June 20, 2009

WOZA members released

via All Africa.com:

The seven members arrested in Bulawayo on Wednesday have finally been released on bail of USD 20 each. They have been remanded out of custody to 3rd July and have to report to their nearest police station every Friday.... Fortunately Kossam Ncube, the defence lawyer, was able to secure their release by late afternoon. All were beaten prior to being arrested and have needed to seek medical attention for deep tissue bruising.

The four members in Harare have also finally been able to go home having received medical treatment. One woman has a broken finger, whilst another two are on crutches as they are unable to walk unaided. Maria Majoni has to return for further medical treatment for injuries to her ear. All have severe deep tissue bruising.

Police assault news photographer

from the Zimbabwean:

Regis Nyandima, a chief photographer with the state-controlled national daily The Herald was on 18 June 2009 assaulted by police in Harare while covering a demonstration by members of the pressure group Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA).

Nyandima was arrested and assaulted by some of the policemen who disrupted the demonstration saying it was illegal. He was bundled into a police Mazda B1800 truck and subsequently assaulted. According to The Herald, a senior officer at Harare Central Police Station apologised to the newspaper for the assault and said they would look into the issue.

hmmm...the state controlled media is starting to report news...sounds like a good sign.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Local SA firms lend money to Zim

From Bloomberg via africasources:

South African companies were willing to provide Zimbabwe with a R2.75 billion credit line once the ailing country had signed an investment protection accord, Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Tendai Biti said at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa in Cape Town on Friday.

South African companies wanting to enter Zimbabwe included Netcare and FirstRand's FNB, Biti said. The investment accord should be signed by the end of this month.

Are Angry ancestors behind those car accidents?

The LATimes has an article about car accidents and the idea that the angry ancestors might be behind them...

Much of the article is good, but even I got confused about the part of "traditional leaders" and failure to do rituals...but the ending is about right.

"There are people who think there's spirits. There are no bad spirits. It's just the potholes in the road," he says.

He carries no talisman to ward off evil forces. But he does have one bit of insurance.

"I've been driving this road for years. I know each and every pothole and every uncertainty of the road," he says.

Chisvu, the chief metekedza, sees another solution. He believes just a little more humanity will make things right.

"We have become so politicized that we have turned on each other," he says. "There's no love."

Zim accused of continuing rights abuse

from the LATimes:

Reporting from Johannesburg, South Africa -- Amnesty International reported Thursday that serious human rights abuses continue in Zimbabwe and criticized members of President Robert Mugabe's ruling party, saying they regard violence as a useful political tool.... "Ending attacks on human rights defenders, lifting restrictions on the media and allowing public protests do not require more money. They only require political will," she said in a statement. "Progress on human rights has been woefully slow."

Amnesty International's report underscores Western concerns about the continuing power of spoilers in Mugabe's party.

"Persistent and serious human rights violations, combined with a failure to introduce reform of the police, army and security forces or address impunity and the lack of clear commitment on some parts of the government are real obstacles that need to be confronted by the leadership of Zimbabwe," Khan said.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Africa is improving

From StrategyPage:

...June 17, 2009: Africa is winning against war and poverty. While Africa is still the site of most of the word's wars, the trend since the early 1990s (when the Cold War ended) has been towards less war and more peace and prosperity. Thus while there were only five democracies in 1991, there are over 25 (depending on how you measure such things) now....

Africa is still beset by corruption, disease and poverty. But while the 1980s were a decade where everything seemed to be going wrong, the first decade of the 20th century has seen most of those trends reverse...

Internet problems

Internet off due to storms...
It is monsoon season...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Obama pledges 73 million to Zim

from the Washington Post:

President Obama announced today that the United States will provide $73 million in aid to Zimbabwe, saying the economically-wracked nation has made progress since Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai entered a power-sharing arrangement with longtime President Robert Mugabe four months ago....

The $73 million in assistance will not be going to the government but directly to services for citizens, Obama said, because "we continue to be concerned about consolidating democracy, human rights and rule of law." Obama renewed sanctions against Zimbabwe in March, in an effort to press Mugabe into making changes to improve human rights.

I apologize for lax blogging

we've had on and off electricity and on and off internet for the last week...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Death Threats continue

from the Zimbabwe Times

Sekai Holland, a member of the former opposition MDC, told the BBC opponents of the power-sharing government were drawing up assassination lists.

She said she believed the worst violence was being planned to coincide with elections due in 18 months.

Her comments echo earlier claims by PM Morgan Tsvangirai of ongoing political intimidation and abuses in Zimbabwe.

Holland, Zimbabwe’s Minister for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration, told the BBC that she and other members of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), including fellow ministers, were receiving threatening phone calls every day....

Obama looking forward to meeting Tsvangirai

from the Zim Guardian

THE US President, Barack Obama says he is looking forward to meeting Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai.

... on Friday, June 12."
...PM Tsvangirai is on a three-week state visit to the EU and US where is meeting leaders of Western nations seeking to re-engage Zimbabwe "into the community of nations".

A report in state media says the PM has been tasked by the inclusive Government to call for the removal of sanctions and seek a financial package to revive the economy.

The PM is on will visit France, Sweden, Britain, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Denmark and the US.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Central bank chief must go

from AFP:

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's party bemoaned the slow pace of change in Zimbabwe's fledgling coalition on Sunday, calling for the central bank chief and attorney general to quit immediately....Aware of the conflict and divisive effect of the issues ... conference calls that in the national interest Johannes Tomana and Gideon Gono resign forthwith," the MDC said in resolutions read by secretary-general Tendai Biti, who is also Zimbabwe's finance minister.

Tsvangirai encountered tough resistance within the MDC about entering a power-sharing deal with Mugabe in February and the resolution made clear the party is unhappy about what it sees as a lack of reform and continued intimidation of its supporters by pro-Mugabe militias.

The government must address "the slow pace of media reforms, slow implementation of the government 100-day plan, continued deployment of the military in villages and the existence of militia and ghost workers on the government payroll," it said.

Monday, June 01, 2009

more prisoners die in Zim jails

from SWRadioAfrica

970 this year, six last week.
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