Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Nestle Zimbabwe Confirms Dairy Controlled by Mugabes Among Suppliers

Nestle Zimbabwe on Monday confirmed media reports that one of its milk suppliers is Gushungo Dairy Estates, controlled by Grace Mugabe, wife of the president.

Nestle Zimbabwe corporate media relations chief Robin Tickle said most of the company's contractual suppliers went out of business so it has been forced to buy milk on the open market - which includes milk from Gushungu Dairy Estates.

Press reports said Gushungu, about 50 kilometers north of Harare, was seized from a white owner under the land reform program that President Robert Mugabe launched in 2000.

Tickle said Gushungo provides 10-15% percent of Nestle's milk supply.

The spokesman said that despite the ongoing crisis in Zimbabwe, Nestle has not moved its business outside the country and continues to provide food and jobs to Zimbabweans.

Although Nestle, based in Switzerland, is not bound by U.S. or European Union sanction, some have urged the company not to do business with the Mugabes.

Independent political analyst Rejoice Ngwenya told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that although Nestle is not legally obliged to refuse to do business with the presidential family, it should not do so as a “matter of principal.”

New Hair Style

Absolutely getting use to this hair style. Its just so not me and now I wish I have curly hair to go with the fringe. Although I dyed it red, but its not very clear in the picture.
I'm having a terrible flu now and after taking paracetamol, my whole body is burning now and making my head dizzy...

Photo of Spanish PM's Daughters Highlights Privacy Concerns for World Leaders

Last week Barack and Michelle Obama hosted a reception for visiting foreign dignitaries at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Over the course of the evening, the president, whose "amazingly consistent" smile created a viral video, and first lady posed for over 130 photographs with their guests, all of which were later posted to the State Department's Flickr page.

This caused a problem: Included was a shot of the Obamas posing with Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, his wife Sonsoles Espinosa, and two daughters, Laura, 16, and Alba, 13, who've never had photographs of themselves published previously in print or online due to a Spanish law prohibiting the media from doing so. The photo of Zapatero and his family with the Obamas was quickly removed from Flickr at the request of the Spanish government but still lurks online (in the shot seen here their faces are blurred). The flap is adding concerns on the issue of the privacy of world leaders' children in the digital age.

Writing on The Daily Beast today, Republican Senator John McCain's daughter Meghan expressed sympathy for the girls, who've been labeled as "goth" in the photo. She says she's also bewildered by the Spanish government's reaction

* Yahoo News

Monday, September 28, 2009

Zimbabwe: Will Jestina Mukoko Now Sue the State?

Zimbabwe's Supreme Court has thrown out terror charges against peace activist Jestina Mukoko.

The ruling ends Mukoko's 10-month ordeal after being abducted by state agents in December last year.

The court also delivered a permanent stay of prosecution, adding Mukoko could not be charged again because she was tortured while in custody.

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku delivered the ruling on Monday morning.

Mukoko was charged with plotting to overthrow President Robert Mugabe's government — a crime she denied.

This ruling should stop the prosecution of a group of other MDC supporters and activists.

It remains to be seen if she will sue the state.
* Afrik

Outfit Of The Day

Cardigan: River Island, Black knitted top: River Island, Belt: New Look

Skirt: Malaysia, Gladiator sandals: Kurt Geiger

Bag: Miss Selfridge
Yoong is finally back.... I'm so damn happy and as if as all depress emotions have gone to paradise. I just love how not-alone I am here in UK. But sadly, I lost a check worth £50. Stupid me!!!

Zimbabwean NGOs: 'We’re Losing Confidence in Unity Govt’

HARARE – Zimbabwe civic society groups say the are increasingly losing confidence in the power-sharing government’s ability to solve the country’s problems because of the administration’s failure to quicken implementation of necessary political reforms.

“The inclusive government is gradually eroding our confidence in the arrangement’s ability to solve the problems that the country faces,” newly elected Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CZC) chairman Jonah Gokova said at the weekend.

The CZC is a coalition of human and civic rights groups, churches, women’s groups, labour and student movements that have campaigned for a peaceful and democratic settlement of Zimbabwe’s political crisis.

The pressure group said that the solution to Zimbabwe’s problems should not be left to the three political parties – President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF and the two MDC parties led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Premier Arthur Mutambara – who signed the Global Political Agreement (GPA) that gave birth to the unity government in February.

“Our crisis is a crisis of governance and can not be resolved by political engagement alone but through an all inclusive process that involves all citizens of Zimbabwe,” Gokova told the organisation’s annual general meeting in Harare.

Zimbabwe’s unity government that is seen as offering the country the best opportunity in a decade to wriggle out of economic and political crisis has done well to stabilise the economy and end inflation that was estimated at more than a trillion percent at the height of the country’s economic meltdown last year.

But analysts remain doubtful about the administration’s long-term effectiveness, citing unending squabbles between ZANU PF and MDC as well as by the coalition government’s inability to secure direct financial support from rich Western nations.

* Zimonline

ASA Summit Demands End to Sanctions on Cuba and Zimbabwe

PORLAMAR, Venezuela (Xinhua) -- The presidents attending the second Africa-South America Summit (ASA), which ends on Sunday on Venezuelan resort island Margarita, publicly demanded the end of economic blockades on Cuba and Zimbabwe.

In his speech to the summit plenary, Rupiah Banda, President of Zambia, tabled a motion demanding an end to sanctions which affect those nations.

Banda's speech followed an impassioned one backing the same policy earlier in the plenary by host President Hugo Chavez, who said that his Zimbabwean counterpart Robert Mugabe had become the target of an international campaign.

"I wish to give our moral, spiritual and political support to Mugabe and the people of Zimbabwe," Chavez said. "They seek to make Mugabe pay for being anti-colonialist," he added.

In his speech, Mugabe said that Africa's industrial development had "been difficult because of a reliance on the very powers that colonized us," he said. "They do not want really to see us industrialized."

Mugabe has been in power since 1980, but suffered international criticism and sanctions following opposition party claims that his party rigged the 2000 election. The nation suffered hyperinflation during most of this decade, which Mugabe blames for sanctions. Some of these sanctions were lifted after he entered a unity government with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in February.

Zimbabwe's Mugabe Own Secret Farms Exposed

Harare — Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has built a secret, personal farming empire from at least five farms where the white owners were forced out during the evictions of 4000 commercial farmers.

This is the first indication of how Mugabe benefited personally from the land seizures he ordered in 2000 that destroyed Zimbabwe's commercial agriculture, the bedrock of the economy.

The country, now living with a power-sharing government between Mugabe and his arch-rival Morgan Tsvangirai, desperately needs to rebuild its shattered economy.

But Mugabe's private farming empire is an obstacle to the unity government and resurrection of agriculture, according to experts, because an audit of land ownership as part of structural reforms would expose the president's controversial control of about 3 000ha.

Many believe Mugabe's seizure of these farms is the primary reason he is stalling on the land audit the EU says it will fund.

Mugabe's private empire is in what used to be a district of intensive farming, Darwendale, about 48km north of Harare.

It began in 2000 with the normal commercial purchase of Highfield farm, a 495ha property near the communal area, Zvimba where Mugabe was born. About the same time, land seizures began all over Zimbabwe, when veterans of the liberation struggle began invading white-owned properties and forcing their owners to leave, often violently. A parallel official process was then launched by the government to take ownership of white-owned land.

* Cape Argus

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Grace Mugabe's Dairy Farm in Deal With Nestlé

Grace Mugabe, the wife of Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, owns dairy farms that sell up to a million litres of milk a year to food giant Nestlé, London's Sunday Telegraph reported.

Grace Mugabe took over six of the country's most valuable white-owned farms around 2002, the newspaper said.

Mugabe, his wife and other members of his administration are the subject of European Union and United States sanctions as a result of their controversial 29-year rule over once-prosperous Zimbabwe.

Nestlé, the multinational food company which is the largest customer of Grace Mugabe's dairy farm, is not obliged to comply with those sanctions as its headquarters are in Switzerland, the Telegraph said.

Switzerland has its own set of measures, but Nestlé insists it has not broken Swiss law.

On Saturday, the Daily Telegraph reported that Robert Mugabe himself had built up a secret personal farming empire including at least five white-owned farms from which the owners were forced out.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, Grace Mugabe's properties total about 4 856 hectares, but her most important is Gushungo Dairy Estate, formerly known as Foyle Farm. It is located in Mazowe, about 10km north of Harare.

The farm is managed by Russell Goreraza, her son from her first marriage.

Her biggest customer, according to her staff and other industry insiders, is Nestlé Zimbabwe, the local subsidiary of the Swiss company, the newspaper reported.
* M & G

Shoprite Pursues Zimbabwe Deal Despite Meikles Drama

Mugabe promises crumble promises crumble... ...but retail boss Wiese still upbeat about Africa. OK Bazaars is R166 million target, writes Rob Rose.

Shoprite is pressing ahead with talks for a R166-million purchase of Zimbabwe's largest food retailer, OK Bazaars, despite fears about the nationalisation of one of the country's oldest companies, Kingdom Meikles Africa (KMAL)

The KMAL saga shows that despite a 280% rise in the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) this year, the risk of government expropriating assets remains high. It also casts doubt on President Robert Mugabe's claims at last week's Harare mining indaba that "property rights are sacrosanct".

However, Shoprite chairman Christo Wiese (pictured) told Business Times this week that while the KMAL case "does make investors wary, we've never had any threats ourselves". Wiese also chairs Pepkor, which has an established Zimbabwean business.

"We're like good Africans: we're confident a solution will be found, and we believe the whole of southern Africa will enter a new era over the next five to 10 years."

A team of Shoprite advisors has been in Harare in recent weeks to negotiate with OK Bazaars.

OK is valued at $45-million (R334-million) on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange according to Harare-based Renaissance Capital. Shoprite would need to pay R167-million (plus a small sweetener) for control. On Friday, OK renewed its warning to investors that it was still in "negotiations" with an unnamed party.

Wiese said he "cannot comment" on the OK negotiations.

Shoprite operates in 16 countries, including a small operation in Bulawayo. Any purchase of OK would throw it into competition with South African rival Pick n Pay, which has a 25% stake in TM Supermarkets - which, ironically, is controlled by KMAL.

Minister: Zimbabwe Should Seek HIPC Debt Relief

LONDON (Reuters) - Zimbabwe should aim to have its debt to international financial institutions cancelled by seeking access to the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, a Zimbabwean minister said on Saturday.

Gorden Moyo, minister of state in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's office, said it would be immoral for Zimbabwe to pay off its debts to the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and African Development Bank when it could not pay teachers.

"We should be having conversations with the international financial institutions to get them to either reschedule our debt or to cancel our debt," he said, speaking at a Zimbabwe investment conference in London.

Moyo noted that the IMF and World Bank had launched the HIPC initiative in 1996 to help countries unable to pay their debts.

Some people did not want Zimbabwe classified as a heavily indebted poor country, "but that's what we are, if you look at our debt ratios, if you look at our economy", he said.

"We just need to be reclassified and get our debt cancelled. Once we get our debt cancelled, the country will begin to have access to World Bank resources," he said.

He said the move would also give Zimbabwe access to the IMF's Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility, which provides loans to low-income countries at subsidised rates.

"We will get the resources and we will get the credit lines and we can stabilise our economy," he said.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Twisted Princesses (More Like Scary & Nasty To Me!!)

Found these from Jamie Chin who introduces Jeffery Thomas and he's just so so talented in drawing those great cartoon characters ala his style. He is simply brilliant.

Love these and yet scared of them. I really don't know how to express my feelings after browsing through them, its like, they are so pretty and yet shiveringly evil at the same time.


Ariel (wait, is that Captain Hook? Nope, its Captain Fork)

Snow White (like some SM queen here)

Pocohantas (even the granny tree looks evil!!)

Mulan (high tolorence of pain she has)

Nala from the Lion King

Jasmine from Aladdin

Jane from Tarzan

Oh look, its puppet Cinderella (even the glass slippers are shattered!!)

Belle (absolutely love her pose)

A bandaged Aurora (or is it!? Another version is Briar Rose)

Scary evil little Alice

Which is your favourite??

Mine: Sleeping Beauty

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Zimbabwe's Mugabe Address at UN Maybe Conciliatory

In an interview ahead of his address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Friday, President Robert Mugabe told Reuters that he is not expecting the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama to immediately lift travel and financial sanctions on him and more than 200 other members of his ZANU-PF inner circle.

Despite the seemingly conciliatory tone of that comment, Mr. Mugabe was adamant that he would “never” replace Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono or Attorney General Johannes Tomana as the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has been pressing him to do for months.

State radio carried a report Thursday blaming the MDC for the passage of the U.S Zimbabwe Democracy and Recovery Act of 2001 resulting in the imposition of travel and financial sanctions on top officials and related companies.

Political analyst Brilliant Mhlanga in London told reporter Ntungamili Nkomo of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that Mr. Mugabe has very little chance of convincing the West to lift sanctions in his United Nations speech Friday.

In Harare, meanwhile, Prime Minister Tsvangirai briefed diplomats on the state of the unity government, telling them that the question of Western sanctions will be taken up by the cabinet when Mr. Mugabe returns from New York.

Zimbabwe's Meikles EGM Postponed Amid Chaos

Bloomberg -- Zimbabwe’s Kingdom Meikles Africa Ltd. postponed an emergency general meeting scheduled for today until an unspecified date, it said in an e-mailed statement.

The postponement follows a government order on Sept. 18 which put under state administration some of the company’s units, including Tanganda Tea Co., the country’s largest tea producer. Lawyers representing the Meikles family and John Moxon, the company’s biggest shareholders, have described the move as “null and void.”

Kingdom Meikles was scheduled to meet today to discuss the separation of Kingdom, a banking company, from Meikles Africa, which owns retail shops and hotels, as well as tea and cotton companies.

Armed riot police prevented the EGM from taking place, dispersing company executives who had arrived for the meeting, the Associated Press reported. Calls to the head offices of both Kingdom and Meikles weren’t answered when Bloomberg News called seeking comment.

The company was formed in January last year by combining Kingdom Financial Holdings Ltd. and Meikles Africa Ltd. The company said on June 26 that it would de-merge after disagreements between John Moxon, who had been the biggest shareholder in Meikles Africa, and Kingdom Meikles’ former Chief Executive Officer, Nigel Chanakira. It didn’t give further details.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Latham in Durban at blatham@bloomberg.net

Zimbabwe Hails Success of HIV Campaign

Harare - Zimbabwe on Thursday reported new progress in its fight against Aids, saying its HIV infection rate has declined to 13.7 percent of youths and adults, from an estimated 14.1 percent last year.

Health Minister Henry Madzorera said the rate was still too high, calling for concerted efforts to push the rate down into single digits.

"We have to redouble our efforts and commitment and keep the sense of hope that indeed one day we will get to the single digit prevalence," Madzorera said, according to the state-run NewZiana news agency.

The figure estimates the percentage of people aged 15 to 49 who have HIV.

Zimbabwe is one of the few countries in the world to have recorded a sharp decline in its HIV prevalence rate, down from a high of 33 percent in 1999.

The drop is attributed to government and donor-backed prevention campaigns, but also to the nation's economic collapse, which has made it more difficult for people to maintain multiple sexual partners.

The country is struggling to care for people with Aids because of severe shortages of antiretroviral drugs. About 60 000 people receive the drugs, only one-fifth of those who need them.


Recent Make-up Products

Yup, call me vain or whatever, but I do wanna show off my new collection of makeups. Really, I must say that quality do comes with price in the case of make up. I used to use cheap makeup brands or those that sell in bulks, but I find that sometimes, they do not suit my skin (which meant that they tend to fall off after I wear it for 2 hours or the pigmentation isn't that great.

I just don't like that sometimes after applying my makeup, I have to constantly look into the mirror for any smudges or wear off. This action would tire me out as I don't look into mirrors that often.

After watching through some makeup tutorials in Youtube, I decided that its time to really shift brands and go for those higher end ones for longer lasting effect.

Therefore, here's some purchases (although it did cost me quite a bomb) and don't tell me that its unnecessary as I remembered that few weeks ago I went for a job interview with my eye liner all smudged and I freaked out after coming back from the interview while looking at the mirror.

Although I haven't really got a good collection of brushes, but I'll start to collect them from now as my current ones totally prick my face, and thus, the big bottle of MAC brush cleanser to wash them in.
Then its the MAC concealer, MAC white eye liner, MAC eyebrow brush, Benefit eyebrow pencil (I'm going for an eyebrow wax tomorrow by the way, hopefully it wouldn't hurt that much).

Bobbi Brown liquid foundation and Bobbi Brown lip gloss (do not buy this lip gloss, I REPEAT, DO NOT BUY THIS LIP GLOSS, its totally not worth the price as the quality of the applicator is so damn low which had already sprouted/frayed/like-used when I 1st try it. Although the colour is nice and long lasting, but I totally felt cheated by the quality).

Misha BB cream, as you had known, its a really quite good sheer foundation for cover ups. Although the coverage is not that strong, but at least it did hide my red spots and its quite easily to blend into the skin. Not recommended if you have not-so-perfect-skin and you want something flawless or for a night out.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How To Communicate With The Retard When You're Pissed?

Multiple choice question:

a) Ignore him/her but still stay as friends

b) Agree with whatever he/she says

c) Argue till the very end

d) Try to understand he/she feels by asking more questions

e) Cut off any ties with this guy/gal

f) Tell ur parents about him/her and let them take charge

g) Send him/her a message saying you've tons of things to do and that you won't have time to communicate

h) Get someone to convey your message for you


n) Punch him/her in the face!!!

Zimbabwe Central Bank Chief, Finance Minister Clash Over IMF Funds

Zimbabwean Finance Minister Tendai Biti on Tuesday dismissed a request by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono for the principals in the unity government to intervene in a dispute between the two men over the use of hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars that the International Monetary Fund recently made available to the country.

The special credit line of US$510 million was extended under a Group of 20 facility to help developing countries deal with the impact of the global economic downturn.

Gono reportedly said President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime minister Arthur Mutambara - head of a rival MDC grouping - should instruct Biti to tap the US$510 million line to step up the pace of economic recovery.

Mr. Tsvangirai's formation of the Movement for Democratic Change, of which Biti is secretary general, has been demanding the removal of Gono from his post at the central bank, but Mr. Mugabe, who reappointed Gono in late 2008, has adamantly refused to do so.

The finance minister earlier said that if Zimbabwe, which has US$5.7 billion in external debt, drew on the credit line, it would do so in order to rebuild the national infrastructure

MDC T Sets Condition for Next Zimbabwe Polls

The Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said it would agree to elections in 2011 if only there is a new constitution in place, an independent electoral commission and if the rule of law is re-established.

The MDC was reacting to Mr. Mugabe’s call for ZANU-PF to be ready for elections in 2011.

Mr. Mugabe told his party’s women’s league late last week that elections should be held within 24 months of when a new constitution is in place - which could happen by late 2010.

MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that his party will only start campaigning after the new constitution is approved.

Political analyst John Makumbe said that if the draft constitution is rejected by the people in an eventual referendum, ZANU-PF could then pull out of the unity government and demand elections on the basis of the existing constitution.

* VoA

Zimbabwe's Mugabe Expected to Demand Lifting of Sanctions in UN Address

President Robert Mugabe was in New York on Monday to attend the United Nations General Assembly where he was scheduled to speak on Friday in an address analysts said is very likely to reiterate his demand that Western targeted sanctions or restrictions be lifted.

Mr. Mugabe flew into New York on Sunday with his wife Grace and several other senior government officials from his ZANU-PF party including Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi. The U.S travel ban on Mr. Mugabe doesn’t apply to U.N events.

Cape Town-based political analyst Glen Mpani told reporter Ntungamili Nkomo that he expects Mr. Mugabe to ramp up his rhetoric against the United States and Britain despite, in the former case, a new leadership, and again demand that the West lift its sanctions.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Zimbabwe’s Econet to Spend Further $30 Million on 3G Network

Bloomberg) -- Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Ltd., Zimbabwe’s biggest mobile phone operator, will spend a further $30 million expanding its third-generation network, the company said today.

Demand for 3G services has “completely surpassed all projections,” Douglas Mboweni, Econet Zimbabwe’s chief executive officer, said on the company’s Web site.

Third-generation technology will be rolled out to all parts of Zimbabwe by December, Mboweni said. The expansion was authorized by parent company Econet Wireless Holdings Ltd., the statement added.

Econet Zimbabwe launched 3G services in the capital, Harare, last month. The company said Aug. 3 that it would spend $94 million expanding its network.

Econet competes with state-owned NetOne and Orascom Telecom Holdings SAE-owned Telecel in Zimbabwe. It has 52 percent of the Zimbabwean market, according to the company’s Web site.

The operator has mobile networks in several African nations and in New Zealand, and a satellite business in Europe.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Latham in Durban at blatham@bloomberg.net.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mooncakes, The Belfast Type

As there are too many pictures to be uploaded, I just skip using Photobucket with those big ass pictures and op for the blogger photo uploader instead (which doesn't really do justice to all those pictures).

Anyway, as I was totally craving for mooncakes (since I haven't had them in 2 years), I asked my friend to buy me some which in all costs me about £30.

And these are what I'd got.

The "cold skin" mooncake selection (how on earth should I translate 冰皮月饼 into English besides "cold skin"?? It sounds weird).

The variety of flavours and all.

They even have Kelly Chan (or is it Chen?) as ambassador. And yeah, its been a long time since I'd heard her music.

Next up is the traditional ones.

Just the normal Red Bean Paste version with no egg yolk.

Then its the solo "Lian Rong" paste (lotus seed paste!?).

Honestly speaking, I'd tried 2 of them and I really wanna say "THEY TASTE SUCK" and "EVEN MORE MORE MORE SUCKER THAN THOSE IN MALAYSIA". And I regreted buying all of them. But still, they did put my cravings to an end, so that's the only use of them.