Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mugabe Leads New Elite Group of Land Barons in Zimbabwe

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe, his loyalists in ZANU-PF, cabinet ministers, senior army and government officials and judges now own nearly 5 million hectares of  agricultural land, including wildlife conservancies and plantation land, seized from white commercial farmers since 2000, investigations by ZimOnline have revealed.

This means that a new well-connected black elite of about 2 200 people now control close to half of the most profitable land seized from about 4 100 commercial farmers.

Even though Mugabe has consistently maintained that his land reform programme is meant to benefit the poor black masses, it is him and his cronies who have got the most out of it, according to our three month long investigations.

ZimOnline can conclusively state that Mugabe and his second wife Grace, now own 14 farms, worth at least 16 000 hectares in size.

All ministers from Mugabe's ZANU PF in Zimbabwe's coalition government and ZANU PF deputy ministers are multiple farm owners. That probably explains why Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's determined push to have a new land audit done to uncover multiple farm owners has persistently hit a brickwall.

Mugabe's deputy Joyce Mujuru, alongside his influential husband, former army general Solomon Mujuru, and their relatives, own at least 25 farms with a combined hectarage of more than 105 000.

Critics who have consistently dismissed Zimbabwe's emotional land reforms as a political patronage programme by the octogenarian Mugabe to reward supporters who have kept him in power are right after all.

But the veteran leader insists the programme is meant to redress colonial imbalances and benefited the povo. Mugabe, whose agrarian reforms have been criticised by the West, says some 300,000 people have benefitted from the programme.

* Zimonline

Zimbabwe Leaders to Resume Talks Following Zuma Mediation

Following a mediation trip to Harare by South African President Jacob Zuma, the senior leaders in Zimbabwe's power-sharing government are to resume meetings after a two-month breakdown.

South African President Jacob Zuma said he had persuaded Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to begin talking to each other after four hours of meetings with the leaders Friday in Harare.

Zuma told reporters there had been a breakdown of communication between the leaders, but this had been resolved.  He said they would restart their weekly meetings which had been suspended for two months.

"The meetings are going to resume," said Zuma.  "And therefore all the issues that need to be discussed and resolved will certainly find a platform.  And we are very happy.  The consultation has been very good."

Zuma said there was a general understanding on the need to move forward and implement decisions made in the negotiations.

He declined to provide further details saying he would first have to brief leaders of the Southern African Development Community, which has been mediating the Zimbabwe dispute.  The Zimbabwean leaders declined to comment.

Mr. Tsvangirai had accused Mr. Mugabe of breaking their power sharing accord by appointing allies to provincial governorships and other senior positions with consulting him.

Mr. Mugabe said there would be no further talks until Mr. Tsvangirai fulfilled his pledge to persuade Western governments to life sanctions against him and senior leaders of his ZANU-PF party.

Mr. Mugabe has said the unity government would come to an end in February, on its second anniversary, and the country would hold new elections next year.

But Mr. Tsvangirai said the unity government does not have a deadline and the power-sharing accord says elections can only be held after a new constitution is drafted and voted in a referendum.

Popular consultations on a new charter have been held and experts are due to begin drafting the document, but this step reportedly has been delayed by a lack of funds.

* VoA

Monday, November 29, 2010

SA Reintroduces Zimbabwe Visa

THE South African government has reintroduced a visa for Zimbabweans who stay in that country for more than 90 days.The new measure, however, does not affect students who have study permits.

Those with jobs will be required to produce work permits when asked to do so by the authorities.
This means a Zimbabwean looking for a job or education placement in South Africa must do so within 90 days or secure a visa.

Anyone who fails to secure a visa after three months will be deported.

Pretoria scrapped visa requirements earlier this year and has been working with Harare to ensure Zimba-bweans who are there illegally regularise their stay.

A December 31 deadline has been set for regularisation and anyone who fails to get the documents by then will also be deported.

In an interview last week, South Africa's deputy director-general for immigration, Mr Jack Matei, said the scrapping of visas had seen many Zimbabweans illegally living and working in South Africa.

He said this had prompted them to re-introduce visas for anyone who stays for more than 90 days.
"We are very clear on the matter, if a Zimbabwean travels to SA he or she is supposed to have a study or work permit for him to stay in the country legally.

"In the event that one enters the country saying they are just visiting, they will be given 90 days to stay.
"When the days lapse they will be required to have a visa or else face deportation," said Mr Matei.

In another interview, South Africa's Home Affairs Ministry spokesperson, Mr Ronnie Mamoepa, said the issuing of visas was necessary for data keeping.

* Herald

Zimbabwe’s Biti Says Size of GDP Understated, Newsday Reports

The size of Zimbabwe’s economy is understated and if revised nominal gross domestic product would probably reach $8 billion next year, Newsday reported, citing Finance Minister Tendai Biti.
That would be three years ahead of the forecast in the country’s Medium-Term Plan announced this year, the Harare-based newspaper said on its website, citing Biti. Newsday said GDP is currently measured at a little more than $5 billion, according to the International Monetary Fund.
A recovery in taxes, high credit demand and a large informal sector show the size of the economy is understated, it said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Gordon Bell in Johannesburg at gbell16@bloomberg.net.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg atasguazzin@bloomberg.net.

Friday, November 26, 2010

List of Things that I'm Loving, What's Yours??

Company functions and free dinners. I mean cummon, who doesn't??

UK Top 40's Musics. I think all of them are brilliant. Which leads to...

Blasting music in my room and tapping and dancing to the rhythm of them songs.

Searching for Christmas presents for the family. Its kinda hard in the sense that I have to recall what they really wanted in any conversations made.

Eminem. I think his 2 songs are brilliant: Love the Way you Lie, No Love

Chatting with colleagues and getting to know them better, be it their private life or just some random thoughts.

The gloomy cloudy sky which weirdly makes me happy -__-'''

That my English vocabs and pronunciations are relatively above average and got complimented by them.

The project presentation to the upper ranking people was quite successful without any major glitches (meaning, no unanwered questions)

That I'm going home in another hours time ^_^

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

UK Expresses Reservations Over Zimbabwe Elections

HARARE - The political climate in Zimbabwe is not yet conducive to a free and fair general election, which President Robert Mugabe is aiming for by-mid 2011, Britain's top envoy in Harare said on Tuesday.
A severe economic crisis forced Mugabe's ZANU-PF party after a disputed vote in 2008 into a unity government with rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and a smaller MDC faction led by Arthur Mutambara.
But the crisis has since eased and an increasingly confident Mugabe says he sees no need to extend the life of the coalition, and wants a referendum on a new constitution early next year and general elections by mid-year.
At a press briefing on Tuesday, British ambassador Mark Canning said although the economy was improving, Zimbabwe needed time to work on political reforms, including repealing repressive legislation, opening up the media, introducing new electoral laws, and updating the voter register.  

* Reuters

It Woulda Been Fun If I Wasn't Watching It Alone

Absolute great movie. I mean, I didn't really watch the previous ones, but I am quite impressed with the Deathly Hallows. At least it did not end abruptly and left me hanging (which in this case I hate). It ended nicely without any irritating bit where the chasing and the climax scenes ended before the whole Part 1 movie ends. And of course, Hermione looks absolutely stunning and feminine, even if she's wearing just a blouse and jeans.And and and there aren't that many cuts on the book (thus the part 1 and part 2) which the previous ones tend to do (that's completely annoying and you would wish that you'd rather read the whole book again instead of sitting in the cinemas).

Anyway, its really a change to watch movie alone. At least I don't have to explain every single detail to the person beside me (or rather I did it willingly) which could be quite bothersome and tiring at times.

UOB card holders just have to pay S$8.50 instead of S$10.50 at Cathay Cinemas. A great deal indeed.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

SA's President Zuma Expected in Harare This Week

President Jacob Zuma is expected to visit Zimbabwe this week to meet the leaders of the ailing unity government in a bid to iron out long-standing differences over power sharing.

Zimbabwe's power-sharing government, which was launched in February last year, has been dogged by sniping between the two main protagonists — President Robert Mugabe, of Zanu (PF), and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Mr Zuma's planned visit comes after a Southern African Development Community (Sadc) troika meeting in Gaborone at the weekend failed to discuss Zimbabwe after Mozambique's and Zambia's presidents did not turn up.

The troika are three states that, in rotation, run Sadc's Organ on Politics, Defence and Security. The current troika members are SA, Zambia and Mozambique.

Sadc executive secretary Tomaz Salamao told reporters Mr Zuma was expected to go to Harare by the end of the week to continue with mediation efforts.

"After the troika summit failed to take place, it was agreed that President Zuma should go to Harare again where he will hold talks with the three parties (in the political agreement)," he said.
Mr Salamao, said that after the visit, Mr Zuma would be expected to recommend a date for another troika summit.

MDC spokesman in SA Sibanengi Dube said Mr Zuma's visit to Zimbabwe would be "worth it".
"As the MDC we still hope that Sadc will be able to make sanity prevail in Zimbabwe ... I also think that the leaders have realised that Mugabe does not respect Sadc."

Mr Dube said Mr Zuma was under pressure to mediate in the crisis and this had been worsened by the "fact that he has been constantly betrayed by Mugabe".

"Mugabe really does not take Zuma seriously. The problem is that Mugabe is regarded as an elder statesman in the region and Zuma ... is seen as a small boy."

Political analyst Prof Steven Friedman said the problem was that Mr Zuma is working within the Sadc framework. He said there was little hope that the unity government would ever work and there was little doubt that conditions for a free and fair election "are nonexistent".

"Mr Zuma will obviously try and patch things up and put pressure, but that will not deal with the problem. What should be done is to put pressure on the elite in Zimbabwe to create conditions for free and fair elections," Prof Friedman said.

Meanwhile, the Sadc headquarters in Gaborone was officially inaugurated by heads of state and government during the summit held in Botswana over the weekend. 

* Sapa

UNAIDS Welcomes Pope Benedict's Support to HIV Prevention

GENEVA — UNAIDS welcomes the reported statement of Pope Benedict XVI calling for “a humane way of living sexuality” and that the use of condoms are justified "in the intention of reducing the risk of HIV infection".
“This is a significant and positive step forward taken by the Vatican today,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé. “This move recognizes that responsible sexual behaviour and the use of condoms have important roles in HIV prevention.” 
UNAIDS has worked closely with the Vatican, in 2009 Mr Sidibé held far-reaching discussions with Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski on HIV prevention issues including the prevention of mother-to-child transmission, protecting young people and reducing sexual violence against women and girls. “This will help accelerate the HIV prevention revolution, in promoting evidence-informed and human rights based approaches to achieve universal access goals towards HIV prevention, treatment, care and support,” said Mr Sidibé. “Together we can build a world with zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.”
With more than 7000 new HIV infections each day, UNAIDS advocates the use of a combination HIV prevention approach that utilizes all proven methods for HIV prevention including use of male and female condoms, choosing to have sex later, having fewer multiple partners, male circumcision, reducing stigma and discrimination, and the removal of punitive laws. The male latex condom is the single, most efficient, available technology to reduce the sexual transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
UNAIDS Geneva | Sophie Barton-Knott | tel. +41 22 791 1697 | bartonnkotts@unaids.org

KP Members to Meet on Monday Over Zimbabwe Diamonds

KIMBERLEY Process (KP) members will gather in Brussels today (Monday) to try reaching an agreement over Zimbabwe’s rough diamond exports from the Marange region of Manicaland province.

At the Plenary Meeting in Jerusalem earlier this month, representatives from the diamond industry and a number of member countries tried to find a mutually agreed solution. 

U.S. and Zimbabwe have drafted terms for allowing Zimbabwe to resume full exports. However, Canada and Australia opposed it.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe has stuck with the KP monitor’s work guidelines and his greenlight that the country had satisfied the minimum conditions required to export the gems under the KP process.

Last week some US$160 million worth of diamonds were exported, despite the opposition from Australia and Canada.

Mines and Minerals Development Minister Obert Mpofu indicated that whatever the outcome of the KP meeting Zimbabwe will sell its diamonds.

He said the KP process stands to lose credibility if it bans Zimbabwe from exporting its gems over unproved claims.

* Zimbabwe Guardian

YSL Series: Faux Clis Mascara

I'll let the pictures do the talking. Really, there's no point in trying to convince someone how effectively this products works by using words to describe.

Here's the proof!!

No mascara at all. Ignore the pimplish face. Its undergoing a phase of destruction -__-'''

And this is YSL Faux Clis Mascara without using the any eyelash curler. And look how my lashes try to stay northwards. Best of all it does lengthens and volumise. So its kinda a great product.

Can't get enough of this as I love how the packaging being all goldy and classic looking. Not to mention the gorgeous scent that it gives off.

However, priced at £20++ (US 30++) or rather Japanese Yen 4000, its really not what I would call it bank-saviour.

For further reviews, please click here on my Youtube Video.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Justifying My Future Spending

1. Being a member of the library costs S$54

I am quite shock with the pricing that being a member of the local library costs this much. Well, but if I were to justify this bullshit amount of money being spend on books, I would say that its a whole good deal. Buying 3 twilight books cost me S$60. So maybe paying S$54 to borrow a year's time of book supply definitely is the way to go about for those who are poor (which is me in this case -__-''')

2. Catch this movie for S$10.50 at the cinemas

This one is tricky. Part of me wanted to watch this as maybe good reviews are floating in the blogosphere and in reality that I am so tempted to go catch the movie. Another part of me don't like how the whole movie hangs half way. I mean, come on!!! Part 1!!?? I probably would have forgotten all about part 1 when I'm anticipating Part 2. But paying S$10.50 just to watch this movie one time is a bit on the luxury side as I could always download it (**sshhh, quiet**) for free. AND I'd get to watch it multiple times on my laptop. AND, if I were to go to the cinema, it would be a lonely affair. Of course, this makes buying a seat easier as people normally go in pairs, in groups or in families which would certainly leave a seat empty beside them.

3. ASOS shopping

Why of why does it has to offer free international shipping now of all the days they can offer?? Sigh... But anyway, I'm really thinking of buying a pair of shoes or something to console my lonely heart. Christmas's round the corner anyway, should cheer myself up (Don't even remind me that I have to spend Christmas alone this year)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Things That I Need To Get Off My Chest

Having Edward Cullen in my life is totally wrecking me hard right now. Now, I'm breathing, eating, drinking, sleeping, working and even daydreaming about Edward vampy boy. I know, I couldn't stop harping on him right now...OML, CLIS

When someone is like a stalker, hearing your every words, heeding your every advice, grabbing your every attention, walking your step, watching you every move, would you be afraid?

I just really don't like kids T__T

The dreading feeling of being unable to snatch the last Breaking Dawn book 2 weeks after is downright annoying now.

I realized that I can be quite good at makeup if I put in the extra effort ^_^

Starting to scan for Christmas presents for the family. I'm budgeting around S$400.

I think I needed to do a Christmas wishlist. There are tons of things that I lust and its nice to keep track of these "neccessity" in lists.

Working OT every Saturday does seem to be a good idea afterall.

Should I fly to UK next spring (mid April)? If so, I really need to prepare at least $1500-$2000 for airticket puchases and expenses. Lodging is unneccessary though ^_^

OMG, I really can't wait till Jan 2011 as someone is coming home :-D

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Zimbabwe's Finance Minister to Announce 2011 Budget Next Week

Finance Minister, Tendai Biti will announce his 2011 National Budget on Thursday next week despite limited fiscal space due to lack of significant lines of credit.

Minister Biti is expected to come up with measures to unlock internal resources to finance the 2011 budget to reduce over reliance on foreign funding, which Government has no control over.

The country has suffered from lack of foreign direct investment and a serious debt over hang of more than US$6 billion that has made it difficult to source fresh capital.

In his 2010 National Budget, Minister Biti had estimated a vote of credit of about US$810 million which was later revised downwards to less than US$500 million.

Minister Biti had budgeted US$2,5 billion and predicted an 11 percent deficit for the current year and for 2011, he is likely to reduce to about US$2 billion as Government embraces the performance-based budget

The 2011 National Budget comes on the back of nationwide consultations by the minister after industry and civil society complained that the he was not consulting them.

* All Africa

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Zimbabwe 12-Month Inflation Eases to 3.6 Percent in October, Up 0.1 Percent Monthly

Zimbabwean 12-month inflation eased to 3.6 percent in October compared with 4.2 percent in September despite a 0.1 percent monthly rise in the cost of living.

The significant decline in the year-over-year inflation rate was mainly due to the 0.8 percent surge of October 2009 dropping out of the 12-month calculation.

The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency said the 0.1 percent monthly rise in prices was mainly the result of higher prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Analyst Patrick Smith says the drop from 4.2 to 3.6 percent also reflected the strengthening of the South African rand against the U.S. dollar in recent months.

Smith told VOA reporter Tatenda Gumbo that what the Zimbabwean economy most needs is a return to high levels of production in the key agriculture and mining sectors.

* VoA

Zimbabwe Passport Bottleneck Bodes Crisis for Migrants in South Africa

Zimbabwean Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede has warned that the estimated 1.4 million Zimbabweans living illegally in South Africa are unlikely to have regularized their stay by the December 31 deadline set down by authorities in that country.

Speaking before Parliament's committee on defense and home affairs on Monday, Mudede said his office was unable to cope with demand for passports by Zimbabweans in South Africa who need a valid passport to apply for South African residency papers.

Mudede said that as of October 31 some 7,500 passports had been issued.

Elsewhere, the International Organization for Migration said it is preparing to support Zimbabwean migrants facing mass deportation from South Africa after year end.

Ngqabutho Dube, secretary of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara in South Africa, said South African authorities are not willing to compromise on the deadline following which deportations will resume.

* VoA

Shock as KP Monitor Chikane Clears Up Sale of Zimbabwean Diamonds

There has been a shocked reaction to news that the monitor appointed to Zimbabwe by the international diamond trade watchdog, the Kimberley Process (KP), has gone against the body’s standards by unilaterally certifying Chiadzwa diamonds for sale. 

The monitor, South Africa’s Abbey Chikane, reportedly returned to Zimbabwe last week and has cleared a batch of Chiadzwa stones for export. This is despite the deadlock reached over Zimbabwe’s trade future that means the KP has not sanctioned Chikane’s mission or authorised the certification. 

A recent meeting of the KP in Jerusalem failed to reach a decision on Zimbabwe, which was last year barred from international trade over human rights abuses at Chiadzwa. The KP had given Zimbabwe almost a year to fall in line with the minimum international standards of diamond trade, but there are ongoing reports of brutal military control of the diamond fields and smuggling.

Most recently, six directors of one of the mining firms mining at Chiadzwa with the government’s approval have taken the fall for corruption, said to be widespread at the site. Rights groups have warned that top ZANU PF officials involved in the mining groups are driving the plunder of the area, with some reports suggesting that more than half of the diamonds mined are being smuggled out of the area for ZANU PF’s gain.  

Regardless of the situation, the Mines Ministry has insisted it has met the international standards, and has been piling pressure on the KP to allow full diamond exports to resume. Mines Minister Obert Mpofu has already threatened to sell the stones without KP approval, which some observers have said is an intimidatory tactic to force the KP’s hand.

Chikane’s reported unilateral decision to certify Chiadzwa diamonds, without approval from the KP, is now a worrying development. Alan Martin from the pressure group Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that the development is “shocking and troubling.”

“People expected Zimbabwe to be upping the ante in trying to force the KP to fold like an old tissue,” Martin said. “But I don’t think anybody expected Chikane would be brought in to be aiding and abetting Zimbabwe in this way.” Martin added: “The situation presents him (Chikane) as being Harare’s boy.”

Questions have previously been raised over Chikane’s credibility as the monitor for Zimbabwe. He was implicated in the arrest of diamond researcher, Farai Maguwu. Maguwu, who has played a pivotal role in exposing the rights abuses at Chiadzwa, but was arrested shortly before a KP meeting earlier this year. 

He has since said that Chikane “shopped” him to police, after a private meeting between the two, where Maguwu tried to detail the ongoing abuses at Chiadzwa.

Meanwhile, the situation has also thrown the KP’s crumbling credibility into sharp relief. PAC’s Martin said on Tuesday that the KP needs to take “tough and unified” action against Chikane, and also seize any diamond shipments from Zimbabwe. “This is indeed crunch time for the KP to prove that they can enforce the certification regime they have boasted,” Martin said.

* Sw Radio Africa

My Makeup Collection: Blush

Well, my blush collection has definitely grow since half a year ago where I only own 6 blushes. I think the most fanatic period of buying blushes is when I'm in Japan. I seem to grow very fond of this makeup category as I enjoy the morning routine of choosing which colors should be going on my cheek. And of course, this doesn't stop me at all from splurging further by having the urge to experiment with other brands and colors.

Enough said, here is the collection. I hope that my collection won't scare you ^__^

Higher Ends (from top left):
Lancome Blush Subtil 06 Peche Intense
Estee Lauder Silky Powder Blush 02 Pink Kiss
Estee Lauder Deluxe Blush Compact
Nars Orgasm, Torrid, Whatsisname? Blush
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Stereo Rose
MAC Blush Ombre Azalea Rose
MAC Mineralize Blush Gleeful
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Petticoat

Low-ends (from top left):
ELF Blush and Bronzing Powder
NYC Cheek Glow
Japanese Shrine Blush
Media BE-2 (No kidding, its the name of the color)
Max Factor Blush Classic Rose
NYC Color Wheel Pink Cheek Glow

Monday, November 15, 2010

Zimbabwean Deportees Who are Now Based In SA Needed by a UK NGO

Dear Colleagues

Do you ever come across any Zimbabwean asylum seekers in South Africa who were forcibly removed to Zim from the UK?

Or any who returned voluntarily to Zimbabwe (with programmes like the International Organisation of Migration voluntary return scheme) but then had to leave Zimbabwe and ended up in South AFrica?

We are very short on information about what has happened to returnees from UK to Zimbabwe. Any such information covering returns from the UK over the last 5 years would be incredibly helpful in the ongoing court case re asylum seekers.

Would it be possible to ask around your networks?

All the best,

Sarah Harland
Zimbabwe Association
Development House
56-64 Leonard Street
London EC2A 4LT

Tel: 07846859200
Fax: 020 7549 0356

Please Sign The Petition on Behalf of Roy Bennet

I write to let you know of an online petition in support of Hon. Roy Bennett of Zimbabwe, which will be posted until December 24, 2010 and which can be found here:


I kindly urge you to review it, sign it, and to share it in any way you can, asking others to do the same. Signatures can be anonymous by checking the 'Don't display my name' box under the name fields. Our goal is to achieve 10.000 signatures. Our dream is to surpass that goal.

A blog was also opened in support of our petition and can be found here:


In the name of all who have contributed in the creation and dissemination of this effort, I thank you in advance for any support you can provide. Like one of the undersigned wrote, "I know it takes a village. But ONE person can make a difference. One at a time!"

Tag: Four Things

4 Things Found In My Purse :
Debit and Credit Cards
Photo of me and boyfriend

4 Things Found In My Bag:
Water bottle
Breaking Dawn book (Twilight Saga)
Packets of biscuits

4 Favourites Things In My Room:
Makeup collection
Skincare products

4 Things I've Always Wanted To Do:
Tour Paris and Amsterdam with the boyfriend
Bring my family to the US
Sky diving/Bungee jumping/Coral diving/Hiking
Own my personal makeup brand

4 Things that I'm currently Into:
Edward Cullen
Makeup (blush and lipglosses)
Shiseido products

4 Things I Bet You Don't Know About Me:
I'm the oldest in the family
I dislike kids, especially those crying ones
I feel more confident when I'm alone, meaning? I much prefer solitude than crowds
I love daydreaming, alot!!! And I woulnd't mind spending hours just staring at nothingness.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I Am So Freaking Annoyed With Myself

Because I fucking did not buy the book when I've got the chance too. Popular told me that its sold out. And I gotta wait for 2 whole freaking weeks before I can get my hands on it.

And there I was, pondering whether to get Breaking Dawn together with New Moon when I last saw it a couple o'days ago.

Stupidity!!! Idiocracy!!! Madness!!!

I am so damn frustrated with myself. T__T

Should I order off Amazon.co.uk?? Decisions, decisions, decisions!!

South African Mediators Say Zimbabwe Needs Roadmap to Free, Peaceful Elections

The South African government is downplaying talk of elections in Zimbabwe in 2011, saying it will insist that the three principals in the Harare unity government implement a roadmap to elections as mandated by the Southern African Development Community, a guarantor of power sharing with the African Union.

Lindiwe Zulu, a top aide to President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, SADC's mediator in Harare, said Friday that Pretoria will not bless an election marred by violence and intimidation.

She said Mr. Zuma will discuss the election roadmap with the three principals - President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, respectively head of the long-ruling ZANU-PF and rival formations of the Movement for Democratic Change.

A roadmap has to be established first, that will involve [2008 Global Political Agreement] principals, SADC and relevant people to ensure that any elections that will be held will be free and fair," Zulu said.

"President Zuma is of the view that if elections should be done there should be no violence, no intimidation and there should be a free media environment,” she said.

There have also been calls from a number of directions for the reform of repressive laws such as the Public Order and Security Act and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act which critics say curtail freedom of association and assembly in the case of POSA, and restrict the media, in the case of AIPPA.
SADC leaders are increasingly concerned at the deteriorating political climate in Harare and want Mr. Zuma to be firm with Mr. Mugabe, saying the crisis stands to have a negative impact on the entire region, sources say.
Mr. Mugabe recently declared that has relations in the unity government have deteriorated so badly that the power-sharing arrangement must end by June of next year, triggering a new round of elections.

But talk of elections has escalated tensions in the country with reports of liberation war veterans, soldiers and ZANU-PF youth militia terrorizing rural inhabitants in Manicaland and Masvingo provinces.

Both MDC formations welcomed Pretoria's call for an election roadmap.

ZANU-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo referred all questions to Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, chief negotiator for the party in power-sharing talks since 2008. But Chinamasa was not immediately available.

Zulu said Pretoria has not been officially informed on the tension in Harare, but is closely following developments.

* VoA

Learnmore Judah Jongwe: We Simply Cannot Afford to Continue to Throw Away the Water and the Baby!

A few years ago, I wrote a controversial article in defence of the political legacy of the late Learnmore Judah Jongwe. The furore that followed up on the said article was somewhat expected given the nature of the last days of Jongwe before his untimely death. But what was rather unexpected is some of the very personal attacks that I got for daring to highlight some of Jongwe’s major contributions to the national political landscape.

In one instance, I was brutally attacked for defending a heartless and remorseless murderer largely due to my political bias in his favour. The person further claimed that I was wrong even to dare write anything good about Jongwe since his act of shame necessitated that everyone avoid glorifying him in the national domain. My rabid critic insisted that Jongwe was a disgraced fallen hero who could not be regarded as a role model under whatever circumstances.

Be that as it may, I need to ensure that first and foremost, I do not get misunderstood as to exactly reason why I have once again dared to venture into the potentially murky waters that always surround the debate about the Jongwe legacy.

It is an indisputable fact that Jongwe deserved all his reputation as an astute and charismatic leader both at the University of Zimbabwe and later on in the opposition party trenches with the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

However despite of his evident leadership potential, he has his own personality flaws to contend with. But perhaps what eventually proved to be his achilles heel was his fiery temper. Those who were privileged to be close enough to the youthful legend like I was; then they will know for certain that at most times, Jongwe was a very sociable and affable fellow. He always strove to maintain a jovial mood and sought to be as happy as possible.

And as fate would have it, it was Jongwe’s failure to control his temper on that fateful night in August 2002 that led to him angrily severely assaulting his wife with a knife leading to her untimely death. This was indeed the lowest point of his rather short life that sadly he never got the chance to recover from till his own death.

Yet we must give credit where it is due. I had the privilege of visiting Jongwe at the Harare remand prison less than 12 hours before he passed away. It was a lunch hour visit in which I was accompanied by my wife and sister in law.

All the three of us agreed after we had left the prison precincts, that Jongwe seemed to have been fair enough and accepted full responsibility for his wife’s gruesome death. The man we met that day was so remorse and was so filled with so much regret that it broke my heart.

He appeared to fully admit his mistake and was ready to face the wheels of justice. At no stage did he ever attempt to defend his deed.

Added to that, he clearly understood that he had let down not only his wife and baby girl, but also his broader family and the nation, especially the MDC. He asked for forgives from us for his mistake and regretted that it was too late to beg his late wife for forgiveness. My last glimpse of him was a clearly remorsefully person whom i left with a face flowing with so much tears of sorrow and regret.

It is therefore a very sad story that the nation never got that opportunity to see Jongwe in the court room. I am very confident that if he had managed to go through his murder trial, he would have used the judicial process to express his full regret and apologised not only to his in-laws but the rest of his family, colleagues and the nation at large.

But still the million dollar question still remains to be answered. Why in the name of goodness am I still harping about Jongwe almost a decade after his passing away?

I am still determined to ensure that Jongwe’s legacy, even though tainted by his last days, should not be completely forgotten. Jongwe’s selfless contribution to the national discourse both as an outstanding student leader and also as an opposition party leader should never be easily brushed and completely forgotten.

Up until Jongwe made his fatal mistake, he had been highly regarded by his friends and foes alike. He was seen as a role model and was a source of inspiration for many people especially the youths and students. A lot of people never doubted that he had a very bright future in the field of politics. But alas, it was not to be.

It is my strong view that Zimbabweans when judging the legacy of their fallen heroes; always make the mistake of not giving them their due credit. At times we are way too moralist in our judgement of our own fallen heroes. No one is perfect. So it is unfair to know that no matter how hard you work hard to make a contribution to the national development, then whenever you make a big mistake; the nation does all it can to erase you from their memory.

In this regard, Jongwe is not alone since we have some outstanding national heroes such as the late Canaan Banana, who incidentally I have also been heavily involved in a desperate attempt to salvage his own legacy.

Zimbabweans need to learn from the South Africans, Europeans and Americans who always try their best to differentiate between a person’s contribution to the nation’s development and mistakes they have made in their own personal lives. 

If this trend continues, our history archives will end devoid of any proper records of the various people who devoted most of their lives to make a sterling contribution for the good of our nation. We really owe this to the whole lot of them.

We simply cannot afford to continue to throw away the water and the baby!

* Written by Daniel Molokele

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Zimbabwe GNU at Two Years: The Struggle is Very far From Over!

Monday 15th September 2008. No matter what else ever happens in my life, one thing will remain for sure, I will never forget that day. Never!

The unforgettable day dawned upon while I was still resident in Geneva, Switzerland. I remember all the drama that happened on that day so vividly as if it were yesterday. Indeed, I may never have had the inimitable privilege to have been a witness of the event in person but mark my words; I was definitely part of the event in spirit. 100%!

On that day, I was so glued up to both my laptop and the television screen. On the laptop, I was reading every news item I could get hold of on the internet about the stupendous event that was unfolding at the former Sheraton Hotel in Harare. On the television I was switching from one channel to the other looking for the best form of news coverage of the big story emanating from Harare.

Indeed on that day, the unthinkable happened! It was all there for all to see before thousands of witnesses packed up at the Harare International Conference Centre. Not to mention the special witnesses from the SADC hierarchy and the diplomatic community!

The world could not believe its own eyes, as tow former great antagonists, who until then were notorious for their decade long political fierce rivalry seemed more than read to bury the hatchet. It was as if they had all of a sudden decided to let bygones and bygones and start on a very clean slate.

Since the late 1990s, Morgan Tsvangirai had staked his claim towards the leadership mantle of Zimbabwe with so much vigour and rigour last seen in the days of Joshua Nkomo prior to the Unity Accord of December 1987.

Yet on his part, Robert Mugabe had shown an equally resulted determination not to let go of his strong grip of political power in Zimbabwe. He may have grown a bit old over the years, but his thirst remained unquenched and his hunger for more power remained largely unsatisfied.

Yet there, they were, with all the broad smiles and big hugs, apparently ready to go beyond the polarisation and usher in a new era of political peace in the country. They both seemed ready for the requisite paradigm shift from a very confrontational to a much more co-operative form of engagement for the benefit of the long suffering millions of Zimbabweans both at home and abroad.

What a momentous occasion that was! Or so it seemed.

Using the benefit of hindsight, it is now clear that all this was such a big farce. It was very deceptive political mirage of the worst order! They may have seemed so close in the eyes of the gullible but in reality they were even much more polarised than ever. The two men remained so far apart, just like the North Pole is from the South Pole.

This was not a partnership of two committed individuals. No, far from it! This was instead a well choreographed political opera that was virtually imposed upon the two protagonists buy other forces that were at play. What one in the language of broadcasting was known as the crew behind the scene.

One of the forces behind all the charade was none other than the then President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki.  He was clearly the match maker in this unexpected marriage of convenience.

The jury is still out as to what really where his personal motivations in the entire discourse. However, what was clearly evident on that day was that he was even more delighted than the two bitter rivals themselves at this ceasefire process. It was evident that he clearly hoped to create some political capital out of all this.

Another glaring clue as to apparent insincerity of the principals in all this was also brought up into the public domain by both the tone and some of the words of Mugabe’s speech on that day.

Mugabe clearly pointed out that while he had signed the Global Political Agreement document, he was definitely uncomfortable with some of its key provisions. He tried desperately to hide his displeasure but not so successfully so.

And now more than two years later, it is now very evident as to why he said those pessimistic words on that day. More than two years later, Tsvangirai is now so disillusioned at the apparent failure of Mugabe to honour both the letter and spirit of the agreement.

Specifically, his MDC is now calming that Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) has acted in bad faith in the past two years. It insists that there are over twenty outstanding issues related to the agreement that the other party has not bothered to honour until now. 

On the other hand, Zanu (PF) claims that it is all the fault of the MDC because it has failed to convince its allies in the West to remove unconditional the special sanctions on some of the leaders of the former ruling party.

The matter has by now been referred to every available SADC organ or summit but to no avail.

Two years later, it is now clear that the signatures of the two principals are not worth at all the paper they were written upon. It is no wonder that the other not so influential signatory, Arthur Mutambara has lambasted both men for lacking seriousness and for sacrificing national interests at the altar of political expediency and personal aggrandisement.

The bottom line of this entire matter is that as long as both Tsvangirai and Mugabe cannot come to a mutual understanding, the full implementation of the agreement will never happen. Come rain or thunder!

The truth is that the people of Zimbabwe have abrogated their responsibilities and left the two men with the onerous task of talking the nation forward. Sadly without any form of public pressure from the millions of the long suffering Zimbabweans both at home and in the Diaspora; no concrete political change will ever happen in the country. Not now, not ever!

True and meaningful democratic change will not fall like manna from heaven in Zimbabwe. We as the citizens of the country need to go back to the basics. We need to go back to the years of the late 1990s when we decided to create a mass backed movement consisting of all the progressive forces of democracy in the country. The same forces that helped form the MDC in September 1999.

The reality we all have to face is that the struggle for a new democratic and prosperous Zimbabwe is far from over! Aluta continua!