Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas in Harare

the ZimbabweMail:

In his first Christmas message since he was appointed as Zimbabwe’s premier last February, Tsvangirai called on Zimbabweans to work together to ensure the success of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), a power-sharing pact that paved the way for the formation of the coalition government.

“Each one of us has a role to play in building this future by abiding by the rule of law, shunning corruption and embracing the concept of peaceful transition within the framework laid out in the GPA,” Tsvangirai said.

He implored Zimbabweans to ensure that 2010 would be a year of consolidating gains made during the first 10 months of the coalition government.

“By working together we will set an example for the region and the world that will illustrate what can be achieved by a people united by their belief that democracy will deliver development and that peace will bring prosperity,” he said.

thirty children of cult died from measles

from the VOA:

At least 30 children have died in eastern Zimbabwe where members of the Johanne Marange Apostolic Faith church have refused to allow their children to be vaccinated against the deadly communicable disease.

World Health Organization Country Representative Custodia Mandhlate said it is tragic that children are dying of a preventable disease. The outbreak is also affecting other provinces with 340 cases of measles reported.

Health Minister Henry Madzorera told VOA Studio 7 reporter Sandra Nyaira his ministry has been frustrated by the denial of access to children for vaccination by members of the Apostolic Faith Church and other religious sects.

thirty children of cult died from measles

from the VOA:

At least 30 children have died in eastern Zimbabwe where members of the Johanne Marange Apostolic Faith church have refused to allow their children to be vaccinated against the deadly communicable disease.

World Health Organization Country Representative Custodia Mandhlate said it is tragic that children are dying of a preventable disease. The outbreak is also affecting other provinces with 340 cases of measles reported.

Health Minister Henry Madzorera told VOA Studio 7 reporter Sandra Nyaira his ministry has been frustrated by the denial of access to children for vaccination by members of the Apostolic Faith Church and other religious sects.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Police stop worshippers at Anglican Service

from SWRadioAfrica

despite a court order they were stopped

Bishop Gandiya took over from Bishop Sebastian Bakare at a time the Church of the Province of Central Africa was locked in a dispute with Kunonga, the excommunicated pro-Mugabe bishop. Kunonga was sacked in 2007 after he attempted to unilaterally withdraw the Diocese of Harare from the Central African Province. Using police and ZANU PF militia he has been able to defy the mother church and continue holding onto Anglican property. This is also despite him claiming to have formed his own church and having appointed his own priests and bishops.

On Thursday Bishop Gandiya told us pro-Kunonga police units went around most of the Anglican parishes in the high density areas of Harare threatening parishioners who were trying to attend services on Christmas Eve. ‘They drove people out and stopped those that were trying to get in,’ Bishop Gandiya said. Those planning on attending services on Christmas Day were also threatened with arrest. All this despite an emergency court hearing in chambers last week Saturday which reconfirmed earlier court orders that property should be shared, until the matter is fully resolved in court.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Zim rivals clash over IMF Cash

from Al Jazeera:

The two main factions in Zimbabwe's unity government have clashed over how to spend half a billion dollars from the International Monetary Fund, in a dispute that could create further tensions in the already shaky coalition.

The country's finance minister, Tendai Biti, of the Movement for Democratic Change, has earmarked about $50m of the funds for agriculture,,,.

But farmers, many of whom support the Zanu-PF party of Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's president, say the government should spend the bulk of the funds on assisting new farmers.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Invisible suffering of farm workers

from Kubatana (archive):

It represents the views of only a small section of the 1.8 million people that lived and worked on Zimbabwe's commercial farms. However, the continued gathering of data means that in time we will be able to paint a detailed picture of the lives of farm workers across the country, as they struggled over the last nine years with State-sponsored invasions, torture, violent assaults, murders, rapes, evictions and other violations of the law and their rights. For the moment, though, the data presented here makes no claim to be statistically representative.

Nevertheless, what emerges makes sobering reading. The prevalence of human rights violations recorded by the sample in this survey is disturbing. The data also shows that earlier estimates by farmers of the violations experienced by their workers appear to be largely consistent with estimates made by the workers themselves. This lends further credibility to extremely high figures of violation prevalence. The fact, for example, that 1 in 10 of the present respondents report at least one murder amongst fellow farm workers, and that 38% of respondents report that children on the farms were forced to watch public beatings or torture, shows the extent to which Robert Mugabe's regime is responsible for an extensive series of crimes that were both widespread and systematic: the very definition of crimes against humanity.,,


The reason I posted this link was the end of the previous article mentioned Mugabe's land reform, describing it thus:

Mugabe's seizure of white-owned commercial farms to resettle landless blacks has been blamed for ruining the southern African country's once prosperous economy.

The veteran leader, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, denies the charges, saying the economic crisis was caused by Western countries opposed to his land reforms.

The reality of course was that a lot of folks lived on those farms, and instead of giving them the farm (e.g. as a coop, with the white farmer to advise them) they were often chased off and the farm given to big shots.

Nestle suspends Zim operations

from Reuter US:

HARARE, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Swiss food company Nestle's (NESN.VX) Zimbabwe unit has suspended operations, two months after pulling out of a deal to buy milk from a farm owned by President Robert Mugabe's family, state media reported on Wednesday.

"Nestle Zimbabwe has temporarily decided to shut down its factory," the state-controlled Herald newspaper quoted a company spokesperson saying.

If Grace can't sell her Blood Milk, no one can sell milk

Mugabe, Tsvangirai Agree on Zimbabwe Commissions, AFP Says

from Bloomberg news:

Dec. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai agreed on the appointment of commissioners to oversee reforms in the media, elections and human rights, Agence France-Presse reported, citing James Maridadi, the prime minister’s spokesman.

Agreement has not been reached yet on the appointment of a central bank governor and an attorney general, the news company quoted Maridadi said. Mugabe and Tsvangirai will meet again tomorrow to discuss these appointments, it said.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Musical interlude of the day

gimmo1000 translates in the comment section: this is shona from zimbabwe she is saying lets Celebrate coz the heavens have broght mercy for us, we have been given a baby boy Jesus Christ, so that we can be dilivered from our sins lets Celebrate, lets Celebrate

Monday, December 21, 2009

Violence in SA against Zimbabweans flares

from the NYTimes:

POLOKWANE, South Africa — Men in Westenburg Township went hunting Zimbabweans. They prowled its dirt roads by the truckload as night fell recently, brandishing clubs and throwing stones....

In May 2008, South Africa’s image as a home to people of all races and nationalities took a hard knock as xenophobic violence leapt from city to city, victimizing poor Africans who had sought asylum and opportunity in the region’s richest country...

Last week, South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma, pleaded with his people to “embrace especially our African brothers and sisters, who usually bear the brunt of ill-treatment more than foreigners from other continents.” Navi Pillay, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights and a South African, this month called attacks on foreigners in her homeland “gravely alarming.”

The police here in the capital of Limpopo Province gathered up Zimbabweans that terrifying night two weeks ago and took them to the old Peter Mokaba stadium for safekeeping....

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ghost workers earn 2 million dollars a month

from the Zim times

MASVINGO – More than 19 500 ghost workers were unearthed during the initial stages of the civil service audit which ended on Friday, December 18, amid fears that the figure might double as the inclusive government gears up to get rid of ghost government workers.

Nkala denies taking part in Gukurahundi

from SWRadioAfrica;

In spite of numerous reports of his involvement the veteran nationalist lays the blame squarely on ZANU PF’s Robert Mugabe and Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Speaking on the programme Hot Seat on Friday Nkala said: “In 1985 we had elections. After those elections I was appointed Minister of Home Affairs. It was during this time that through my influence in cabinet we made attempts to stop what was happening… it was me who went around removing the curfews.”

He said: “I am not the author and finisher of Gukurahundi. That question must be put to Mugabe and Emmerson Mnangagwa who was in charge of the CIO.”
Nkala denied threatening ZAPU at a rally in Stanley Square in Bulawayo, where he is alleged to have said ‘ZAPU must be eclipsed’, and giving ZANLA forces instructions to carry out an attack. It was statements like these that allegedly led to the Entumbane fights - the first disturbances that led to the Gukurahundi.
But Nkala also denied this, although he admitted that he advocated for ZAPU’s ‘political destruction’ but not military destruction. He said he would not be living in Matabeleland if he had ordered the killings of his own people.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mugabe's workers storm Nestle

from SWRadioAfrica:

...In October this year pressure from human rights groups forced Nestle to stop accepting milk from Grace’s farm.,,,

But loyalists from Mugabe’s camp have continued their attempts to intimidate Nestle into accepting the milk. In October a group of ZANU PF youths tried to force the company to buy about 20 000 litres of milk from the farm....
Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono also entered the fray and responded by freezing the bank accounts of Nestle Zimbabwe, a week after the dairy firm stopped buying milk from Grace Mugabe...

On Thursday this week 6 employees from Grace’s farm, driving a white ERF truck, parked outside Nestl√©’s headquarters along Park Lane and demanded to see ‘whoever is in charge so that they can deliver milk,’ it was reported... Meanwhile two South African managers working for a company that sold dairy equipment to Grace Mugabe, have been forced to leave the company.

Mugabe in Copenhagen

Via ABC (Australia)

Firebrand leaders Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales and Robert Mugabe turned up the heat at the UN climate talks, dumping the blame for global warming squarely at the feet of capitalism.

In speeches greeted with occasional ripples of applause, the long-term critics of Western policy lashed out at what they called the hypocrisy of the world's wealthy elite....

The anti-capitalist theme was picked up on by Mr Mugabe, Zimbabwe's veteran President, who is the target of Western sanctions over alleged human rights abuses.

"When these capitalist gods of carbon burp and belch their dangerous emissions, it's we, the lesser mortals of the developing sphere who gasp and sink and eventually die."

The 85-year-old said industrialised countries in the northern hemisphere which bore historical responsibility for global warming showed none of the zeal for punishing 'eco-offenders' that they did for abusers of human rights....

"Where are its sanctions for eco-offenders? When a country spits on the Kyoto Protocol by seeking to shrink from its diktats, or by simply refusing to accede to it, is it not violating the global rule of law," he added in reference to the core emissions treaty which the US has refused to sign....

Instapundit blog comments sarcastically:

If every leader did to his country what Mugabe has done, carbon emissions would drop dramatically, and yet leaders could still jet off to conferences and talk about how moral they are. And the conference organizers would treat them with respect.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Evil Mugabe honored guest in Copenhagen

from the NYPost:

WASHINGTON -- Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe turned the UN climate-change summit in Copenhagen into a farce yesterday, laughing off the travel sanctions of Western governments and throwing the harsh disapproval of his Danish hosts back in their faces...
But the real reason for Mugabe's trip is that it's his only chance to go shopping in Europe while he's under an international travel ban, said Stanford Mukasa, a professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania who has studied Zimbabwe and Mugabe...

Under the plans being considered at the UN conference, developed countries such as the United States and European nations will pay billions to Third World countries such as those in Africa to pay for the alleged effects of global warming.

According to African press accounts, Mugabe aims to offer strategies to curb the climate change he believes has caused protracted droughts, floods and erratic rains in Zimbabwe. But Mugabe has been widely condemned for disastrous management of his country's resources -- including stripping lands from competent farmers and giving them to cronies -- and turning Zimbabwe from Africa's breadbasket into a basket case.

Zim's 2008 election reatured systemic rape

From the Botswana Gazette:

(Johannesburg) – Members and supporters of President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party committed widespread, systematic rape in 2008 to terrorise the political opposition, said AIDS-Free World in “Electing to Rape: Sexual Terror in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe,” a report released last week. These crimes against humanity have received little public attention and the government has made no effort to hold the perpetrators accountable. A concerted regional effort is needed urgently to bring both high- and low-level perpetrators to justice.

The 64-page report is based on extensive interviews with 72 survivors and witnesses, and documents 380 rapes committed by 241 perpetrators across Zimbabwe’s 10 provinces. ZANU-PF supporters who carried out the attacks, including members of the “youth militia” and former soldiers in Zimbabwe’s war of liberation known as “war veterans,” identified themselves to their victims. All the women targeted were supporters of Morgan Tsvangirai’s opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Podcasts of interest

The Free Library of Philadelphia has podcasts of authors talking about their books.

Some African (or more likely African American) related themes:

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mugabe threatens to end coalition early

from the UKTelegraph

..."The inclusive government has a short life of 24 months," he said. "So we must be ready for the elections. We must win resoundingly and regain the constituents we lost [last year]."...

Mr Mugabe was forced to go into a coalition with the MDC last year after a poor election showing. But Zanu-PF retains control of the military, police, central bank and other organs of state, and the party clearly intends to do everything it can to stay in authority despite its plummeting public support.

Ratcheting up the pressure on the coalition, the party resolved at the weekend not to allow any discussion on replacing the reserve bank governor and attorney general, key issues for the MDC, which boycotted cabinet for three weeks last month.

everything to stay in power...and they control the police, the military, and the youth militia to make sure they stay in power.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Zim's "look East" policy

From Zim Independent via All Africa:


China, as one of the world's fastest growing economies, has a voracious appetite for Africa's vast and in some cases untapped natural resources. The first Focac summit was held in Beijing in 2000, followed by the second summit in Addis Ababa in 2003 and the third summit in Beijing in 2006....

Zimbabwe is well endowed with virtually every strategic mineral resource known to mankind; most of which is yet to be exploited.

China is acutely aware of Zimbabwe's strategic position as a sleeping economic giant with vast mineral and other natural resources. China has become the third largest commercial partner in Africa after the US and France.

There are about 450 Chinese-owned investment projects in Africa, most of them in resource extraction. Since the inception of the first Focac summit in 2000, the trade relationship between China and Africa has increased from US$10,5 billion to US$106 billion in 2008....


She boldly stated that African countries should be very careful and cautious when they enter economic and financial agreements with China. For obvious reasons, China would like to portray herself as Africa's "all weather friend".

Naturally, African dictators are very keen to enter economic relations with China mainly because China is hardly bothered about issues of governance, environmental sustainability and human rights.

These African dictators will tell you that aid from China is always without any strings attached. ...

If Africa fails to develop her own strategic economic agenda with the Chinese, the African continent will remain just a huge market for cheap imports from China whilst Africa's vast natural resources will continue to be plundered by the new capitalists from the East....

Red Cross asks for food aid

From the NYTimes:

The Red Cross says it needs $32 million to feed more than 200,000 Zimbabweans who have no access to hard currency in their country’s collapsed economy. The Red Cross’ Zimbabwe representative, Stephen Omollo, said Wednesday that markets had food, but that people could not afford to buy it. The Red Cross is distributing food vouchers that vendors can later exchange for cash. The United Nations also appealed this week for $378 million in aid

I'm Goin' to Denmark and I'm gonna ask for money

Zim Independent via AllAfrica:

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe will next week take a 59-member delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen, Denmark, while Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's delegation will comprise 19 people putting a further strain on the country's financial resources....

This comes at a time when Finance minister, Tendai Biti, when presenting the 2010 budget decried the country's total expenditure on foreign trips which was put at US$28 million at the end of November...

Delegations from the two Zimbabwean leaders will join an advance party which is already at the summit, bringing the country's total representation to more than 80 people.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Trouble in China's little Africa

from the AsiaTimes Online:

...China has injected billions of dollars in aid and investment into the continent while at the same time giving a free pass on despotism and human-rights abuses to nations such as Zimbabwe and Sudan. Chinese merchants and laborers are also increasingly a presence. ...

A subplot often overlooked in this larger story, however, is the increasing number of Africans who have come to China to ply their trade...
The southern Chinese province of Guangdong, the country's (and much of the world's) manufacturing hub, has seen the largest influx of Africans, with most of them doing business in a single neighborhood in the provincial capital city of Guangzhou. An estimated 20,000 Africans now live in Guangzhou, with thousands more regularly streaming through the city as visitors who buy pirated DVDs and Chinese-made clothes, shoes, electronics and other products for resale back home. ...

(The article has a long section about traditional Chinese dislike of all foreigners, noting the African students in the 1960's had trouble, but then so did everyone else).

The African traders in Guangzhou, however, do not fit the usual expatriate profile. They are a foreign underclass generally living in shabby quarters and treated as second-class citizens and third-world poachers who are trying to elbow their way into the light of China's economic miracle.

Media stereotypes portray them as unreliable and untrustworthy, some taxi drivers refuse to pick them up and local police routinely harass them with visa checks, which only intensified in the run-up to the 2008 Olympics, hosted by Beijing. Since residency is all but impossible for an African to obtain and visas generally extend no longer than three months, many overstay, dodging police checks to remain in the country. ...

UN seeking $378M for food

from the WashingtonPost

U.N. deputy emergency aid chief Catherine Bragg said Monday at least 1.9 million Zimbabweans will need food aid in the first three months of 2010. Millions of others remain vulnerable from the erosion of basic services and livelihoods.

The U.N. also warned that cholera cases are re-emerging during the current rainy season. The water-borne disease killed more than 4,200 people last year...

Monday, December 07, 2009

Zim economy set to improve

from the BBC

Zimbabwe's first budget since its unity government began sharing power 10 months ago predicts a healthy economic future for the country.

Finance minister Tendai Biti said the economy would grow by 7% next year, after 10 years of sharp contraction.

He said growth would come from key sectors such as agriculture and mining.

Zimbabwe's biggest economic problem, stratospheric inflation, has been all but halted since hard currencies, such as the US dollar, were allowed. ,,,,

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Mutambara speaks

From the Zim Mail

"In my opinion, the starting point is to remove ignorance and to remove arrogance on the part of the West vis-√†-vis what’s good for Africa," he said.

"So we, for example in this inclusive Govern-ment, we are guided by Sadc member countries, they said ‘do it in your country’s national interest’.

"Once they advise us to do that, we cannot succeed if we go up against them.

"So the greatest influence over the future of Zimbabwean politics lies not with the intervention of Western governments, but rather lies with Africa and the will of the African people," he said...

On elections, he said while the GPA said they should be held within two years of the signing of the agreement, what was more important was the creation of conditions so that the poll outcome would not be disputed.

Friday, December 04, 2009

New US HIV strategies for Africa

from NPR(US)

...new World Health Organization guidelines released Monday advised doctors to start giving patients AIDS drugs a year or two earlier than previously recommended, instantly adding another 3 to 5 million patients that qualify for treatment to the 5 million already waiting for AIDS drugs...

Since its launch in 2003, PEPFAR has been a game-changer in the provision of HIV care around the world, providing health services for more than 10 million people.

But many in the health field and the current administration say PEPFAR needs to be better integrated with other health services and needs to be paired with improvements in health systems to make lasting gains, a theme President Obama reinforced in May when he proposed his Global Health Initiative, which would build from PEPFAR but also include maternal and child health, as well as nutrition.

Under the new strategy "PEPFAR will be carefully and purposefully integrated with other health and development programs," the report stated and "will now emphasize the incorporation of health systems strengthening goals."

this sounds good, but what it means is that they will use PEPFAR to promote a Westernized idea of sex, with promiscuity and birth control, not just to high risk groups who are promiscuous, but to strict Muslim and Chrstian populations who would be aghast at the "safe sex is fine if you use a condom" idea. (never mind that the condoms deteriorate in the heat)
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