Monday, June 28, 2010

JOC sends soldiers to enforce ZANU PF opinions

from SWRadioAfrica:

Armed and uniformed soldiers have been threatening and intimidating villagers to support ZANU PF views in many districts of Manicaland and Masvingo provinces. On Thursday Senator Morgan Komichi told us they were receiving reports that in some areas the soldiers were toyi-toying and chanting ZANU PF slogans.

ZANU PF is eager to include in the new constitution the contents of the so called ‘Kariba draft’. It makes Mugabe eligible to continue in office with entrenched powers, for another 10 years, which means he would die in office and avoid prosecution for human rights abuses.

JOC remains the single biggest threat to the inclusive government. It is made up of army commanders, Central Intelligence Organisation directors, police and prison commissioners - most of them veterans of the 1970’s war of liberation....

Terror connection?

From RadioFrance international via allAfrica

Sources close to the investigation in Zimbabwe say the man is 33 year-old Imran Muhammad.

He was arrested last Sunday while trying to get through Beitbridge border post to South Africa on what officials believe was a fake Kenyan passport.

He was traveling together with another Pakistani national. The Herald newspaper says that man is 39-year old Chaudry Parvez Ahmed.

They are reported to have come to Zimbabwe from Saudi Arabia, via Tanzania .

The paper says that an Imran Muhammad is wanted in connection with the terror attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai two years ago.

But it is not yet clear if the man in Zimbabwean police custody is the same person.///

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Africa's economic prospects are bright

from the NYTimes:

In a report released Thursday, McKinsey & Company, the consulting firm, presented a bullish message to companies, arguing that “global businesses cannot afford to ignore the potential.”

“The growth we’ve seen in Africa recently is much more widespread than is generally recognized,” said Arend van Wamelen, an author of the report based in Johannesburg for McKinsey, which advises domestic and international companies investing in Africa. “There are a lot of underlying good things going on in the economies.”

The report, titled “Lions on the Move,” includes an array of arresting facts from the firm’s business and economics research arm, the McKinsey Global Institute. Since 2000, 316 million people on the continent have signed up for cellphone service, more than the entire population of the United States; Africa’s billion people spent $860 billion in 2008, more than India’s population of 1.2 billion.

From 2000 to 2008, African economies grew at twice the pace that they did in the 1980s and 1990s. Moreover, Africa was one of only two regions — Asia was the other — where the collective economy rose through the global recession of 2009, by 1.4 percent.

In a clear sign of the reorientation of the economic landscape in Africa, China has provided more financing for roads, power, railways and other infrastructure in recent years than the World Bank. ,,,

full report HERE.

Tsvangirai fires 4 ministers

from the BBC

he BBC's Brian Hungwe ...(writes) they have long been accused of not delivering - like Energy Minister Elias Mudzuri who faced criticism in a nation still haunted by power cuts.

Housing Minister Fidelis Mhashu and two other deputy ministers were among those dismissed.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Constitution outreach (with soldiers)


The Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (COPAC) was on Monday overseeing the deployment of seventy outreach teams of 10 members each to the country’s 10 provinces....

But while COPAC was busy deploying teams countrywide, the army has already set up bases for its soldiers at some of the rural district offices.

SW Radio Africa is reliably informed that soldiers camped at Masasa business centre in Buhera central and Mutiusinazita in Buhera south have been force-marching villagers to ZANU PF meetings for indoctrination.

A top official in the MDC told us the armed soldiers were deployed to the areas a week ago, with specific orders to instruct villagers what to do and say during the outreach programme.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Biti storms out of cabinet meeting

from SWRadioAfrica

Finance Minister Tendai Biti reportedly stormed out of a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, leaving Robert Mugabe ‘stunned.’ ...

The paper quotes unnamed ministers saying the finance minister was engaged in a ferocious fight, with ministers Patrick Chinamasa and Simbarashe Mumbengegwi over how to deal with RBZ’s debt profile.
Many ministers from ZANU PF have been stripping bare RBZ assets, via a flood of claims over unpaid debts. Many of the claims are believed to be fraudulent....

Privitizing bankrupt businesses

from the VOA

Zimbabwean business sources say most of the state enterprises the government has slated for privatization are heavily indebted and laying off workers, adding that potential investors in companies like Air Zimbabwe fear they will assume the debts as part of an acquisition then lose control to senior ZANU-PF officials.

They said investors want legislation in place that will protect them from political interference.

Zim stops seizure of central bank assets

from Reuters

HARARE, June 20 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe has ordered creditors owed millions of dollars by its bankrupt central bank to stop auctioning the bank's property, local state media reported on Sunday, saying the seizures were tantamount to asset stripping.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) failed to pay local and foreign companies about $1 billion mainly for fertiliser, seed, tractor and vehicle imports at the 2008 peak of an economic crisis which many people blame on President Robert Mugabe's policies.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti told the state-run Sunday Mail newspaper that the unity government Mugabe formed with rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai had decided to halt the auctioning of the bank's assets by creditors.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Hope: new constitution

from the People's daily (china)

Riddled by false starts since July last year owing to squabbles over the composition of the outreach teams, talking points to shape the hearings, donor funding and other issues, the utmost assurance was given on Wednesday when President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara appeared together and jointly launched the outreach program.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Political capital and business

from the Zim Mail, an ongoing discussion of Africa and the business community.

"...My experience in doing business in Africa has informed me that even the most educated people can be financially and commercially illiterate which makes the job of piloting the African development agenda more complex in that the key decision makers in the continent lack the moral capital that is required to underpin sustainable commercial capital development.

Can commerce, a pre-requisite for human development and growth, be sustainable without moral capital? There is nothing inevitable in human affairs to the notion that markets and morals are not aspects of the spontaneous order of society.

A connection does exist between moral capital, commerce and economic performance and, if anything, this was the primary purpose of these 20 articles. .."

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Police abduct Diamond researcher Maguwu

from SWRadioAfrica

We have just received bad news from friends and relatives of Farai who we asked to keep an eye on the ground that Farai was taken illegally or without our knowledge or consent and without his consent from Harare Remand Prison to Mbare's notorious MATAPI POLICE cells.

We deployed our Harare based team member, Trust MAANDA to investigate and he rushed to Harare Remand Prison demanding to see FARAI and if he has been taken then the identity of the person or persons who took him, where they took him too and what authority they had. Sadly, Yes, its true, FARAI was taken last night by CID Law and Order, where the investigating Officer (Detective Inspector Dowa) is based. The team operates under the notorious MAKEDENGE, now a Chief Superintendent. Trust Maanda is now headed to Harare Central Police Station, to Law and Order to demand the immediate return of Farai to Remand Prison and access to him to assess his condition. Beatrice Mtetwa has kindly agreed to assist and is also headed to Harare Central Police station and will meet Trust there. The plan is to seek an urgent High Court order for FARAI to be produced if he is not produced on demand now.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Africa not a basket case for agriculture

from ABC Science (australia)

Africa has good soils and could easily feed itself if more money was spent on fertiliser and seed rather than food aid, says one soil scientist.

World Food Prize Laureate Dr Pedro Sanchez laid out his argument to a recent agricultural research symposium at the University of Sydney.


He says in 2005 Malawi's maize harvest only reached 57% of the country's requirement, with about 5 million Malawians requiring food aid.

Sanchez says since then, the government has begun subsidising farmers to buy fertiliser and improved maize seed.

In 2007, maize yields almost tripled at the national scale, transforming Malawi into a food exporter, he says.

Sanchez says the subsidy programs are now being extended to another 11 countries in Africa including Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Mali and Nigeria.

He says the gains in yield are similar to those seen in India and the Philippines at the start of the Asian green revolution.

By contrast, yields from highly-subsidised farmers in North America are around 10 tonnes per hectare....

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Hope for Zimbabwe

from the African executive, an editorial by the MDC: an excerpt

...Ours is a party borne from the collective wish of the people of Zimbabwe to usher in a new culture of peace and democracy so that we create the necessary political environment for national development. Achieving true peace and development is the only path to achieving and fulfilling the dreams of the founding fathers and the founding mothers of this great continent.

One of the basic tenets of our African culture is our celebration of diversity. From Rabat to the Cape of Good Hope, from Libreville to Mombasa, this great continent is a pot-potpourri of diverse cultures and religions. As Africans, we are united in our diversity; and there is no reason why we should be killing each other or burning each others’ houses simply because we belong to different political parties. The chaos in Sudan’s Darfur is a serious blot on the image of our great continent. Civilization started in Africa. There is no better way to celebrate this great day than to debunk stereotypes and myths about Africans and African leadership.

The MDC salutes the great people of Africa, particularly the African Union and SADC, who in the true African spirit, pledged to be the guarantors of Zimbabwe’s transitional government as we seek to find each other and create a new Zimbabwe; a new nation where the fires of justice, freedom and hope continue to light the path of our collective journey to achieve real change.

Zimbabweans share the collective hope that the people of Africa will continue to support our delicate transitional process....

Monday, June 07, 2010

ZanuPF killers haunted

from Nehandaradio

....Hon Naison Nemadziva said he has received reports on avenging spirits that have been terrorizing Zanu PF members who were responsible for their deaths. “The stories might sound unreal but it is true. Most of these perpetrators have fled from their homes. I can confirm three reports on avenging spirits in Buhera South, that of Chokuse, Chibamba and Chokuda who have been haunting Ngozi haunts Zanu PF killers those responsible for their deaths asking them why they killed them” said Hon Nemadziva....

Speaking to The Changing Times, MDC secretary for cultural and traditional Affairs Professor Gordon Chavhunduka, said that it is possible that if you kill someone the spirit of that dead person will come back and haunt you.

“Most people suffered from being haunted by avenging spirits of the people they had killed. It can only be corrected if the person who committed the crime comes out in the open and confesses to the relatives of the dead person” he said.

He added that it is up to the relatives to have a small ceremony conducted by a spirit medium to pacify the avenging spirit and that the person who committed the crime pays a fine. Changing Times Newsletter

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Chinese now in Chiadzwa

from Newsday Zimbabwe

Government sources this week said the Chinese had already descended on Chiadzwa where they were building housing structures and offices.

The sources identified the company as Anjin China – Zimbabwe although it could not be confirmed by officials at the Chinese embassy in Harare....
Two weeks ago over 50 Chinese nationals were sighted at the government complex in Mutare before they proceeded to Chiadzwa.

Friday, June 04, 2010

UN Peacekeepers

AlJazeera notes that only a few thousand of their peacekeepers are being withdrawn from central Africa:

The partial withdrawal, which will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the DRC's independence from Belgium, is far smaller than the DRC government requested.

Congolese officials call the deployment a violation of their sovereignty. Joseph Kabila, the DRC's president, has asked for a complete withdrawal of the roughly 17,000 peacekeepers ahead of presidential elections in August 2011.

What does this have to do with Mugabe? Wikipedia's article on the 1998 war notes Mugabe sent troops to back Kabila

(note: Joseph took over in 2001 after his father was assasinated)

this 2000 article in the NYTimes gives some more background for the war.
Mugabe and his generals were getting rich on the spoils.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Cassava virus could mean famine in central Africa

The NYTimes reports on a blight that could wipe out the Cassava harvest in central Africa.

We didn't grow it where I worked in Zimbabwe, but many of our miners came from areas of Malawi where it was grown and eaten.

MDC youth "insulted" Mugabe

also from SWRadioAfrica

MDC provincial youth chairman for Mashonaland Central, Tonderai Samhu, appeared in court on Tuesday facing allegations of insulting Robert Mugabe.

The youth appeared before a Bindura magistrate, charged with undermining the office of the President and for organizing a political rally without police authority. His case was postponed to 1st July.

Samhu denies the charges and claims they are politically motivated and meant to prevent him from actively campaigning for the MDC party in the province. Police insist Samhu made derogatory remarks against Mugabe during a party rally in Guruve in April.

Diamond rights campaigners remain in hiding

from SWRadioAfrica

Campaigners from a rights group that has exposed the abuses taking place at the Chiadzwa diamond fields have remained in hiding since last week, with the police still set on tracking them down.

The group from the Mutare based Centre for Research and Development (CRD) were forced into hiding last week, after a raid at their offices. Police were apparently searching for Farai Maguwu, the CRD director. According to one of the CRD officials in hiding, Maguwu’s deputy, James Mupfumi, was abducted last week Thursday while on his way to the CRD’s offices. After interrogating Mupfumi, it’s understood that the police then went to Maguwu’s home and arrested his brother, Lisben Maguwu.//

South Africa's World cup

Strategy Page notes:

June 1, 2010: With nearly 400,000 football (soccer) fans headed for South Africa, to see the World Cup games live, some are concerned about the high murder rate there (about 38 per 100,000 people a year). Half those killings are with edged weapons (knives, axes, swords, machetes). In response to this perceived need, a British firm is advertising $70 "stab-proof vest". The "Protektorvest" is available with football themes printed on it. South Africa was not happy with this, and pointed out that the murder rate for tourists was much lower than the one for the population as a while, and that it was highly likely that no tourists at all would be killed during the games.

But South Africa, and African in general, is a dangerous place. So is Latin America and parts of Asia....

The rest of the article is about crime/murder in various areas on the world....and it does note that South Africa, unlike many other states, keeps statistics, so it's rate may only "appear" to be high...

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