Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tsvangirai to scrap Mugabe’s indigenisation laws to attract more investments

Mr Tsvangirai was speaking in London at the end of a three-week tour of western capitals, in which he has attempted, with limited success, to win financial backing for the coalition government formed earlier this year.

During the trip – in which he has met Barack Obama, US president, and other world leaders – the former trade union leader has repeatedly evoked the lesson of Nelson Mandela’s first post-apartheid government in South Africa as a model for Zimbabwe.

However, western governments remain wary of Mr Mugabe’s continuing influence in the country, which has spiralled into political and economic crises. Mr Tsvangirai has raised an estimated $150m (€106m, £91m) in fresh aid during the trip, but this will be channelled through non-government organisations, leaving the government with a substantial funding gap.

Addressing a conference of mining investors on Tuesday, Mr Tsvangirai, who shares executive power with Mr Mugabe, a man who he called “at one time a sworn enemy”, appealed for foreign investment in Zimbabwe’s mining industry as the best means of restarting the economy. Smaller companies such as Impala Platinum and Mwana Africa are already investing there, but political risk has kept away big mining investment.


Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai takes questions after addressing an audience assembled by the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, Tuesday June 23, 2009.

Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai addresses an audience assembled by the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, Tuesday June 23, 2009.

Chiredzi CIO head shot dead.

The head of the Central Intelligence Organisation in Chiredzi was last week shot dead while his workmate was injured after two unidentified gunmen attacked them in the town.

Regis Dongonda (38) died on arrival at Chiredzi District Hospital after he was shot in the mouth by the unidentified gumen who also shot his workmate Rudo Maimbo (age not given), on one of her arms while the pair was drinking beer inside their Toyota Rancher pick-up truck, at Chishamiso Beerhall in Tshovani Township.

Maimbo is currently in a stable condition at Chiredzi District Hospital where she is being treated.

The motive of the attack was not yet clear by yesterday as the gunmen did not steal the pair’s vehicle or any of their belongings.

Masvingo police spokesman Inspector Phibion Nyambo yesterday said investigations into the matter were still continuing.

"The body of the deceased is awaiting a post morterm at Chiredzi Hospital but we are still investigating the matter to establish the motive behind the shooting and we will be able to give a full report after that," said Insp Nyambo.

He could not be drawn into saying whether any suspects had been arrested or not.

It is understood that the gunmen approached the two around 9:30pm and ordered them out of the car.

The gunmen then took advantage of the darkness caused by a power cut.

They ordered Dongonda and Maimbo to go and stand at the back of their truck while they got inside themselves.

One of the gunmen who sat at the back of the truck then fired the first shot hitting Dongonda in the mouth before firing the second shot, which injured Maimbo on the arm.

They allegedly disappeared into darkness after the shooting leaving behind the vehicle and the two lying on the ground. The two were later on taken to hospital where Dongonda was pronounced dead on arrival.

Obert Mpofu, a criminal, barred from Britain.

Britain has barred Zimbabwe's mines minister from attending an investment conference in London, state radio and British officials said Tuesday.

British officials in Harare said Obert Mpofu was denied a visa to travel to the African mining meeting where he was scheduled to make a speech Tuesday.

Mpofu is among politicians and leaders of President Robert Mugabe's party targeted under travel restrictions imposed by Britain, the European Union and the United States.

State radio said leaders of Mugabe's ZANU-PF party accused Western governments of arrogance for barring party members from participating in a re-engagement campaign led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, currently on a tour of Western capitals.

In London, Tsvangirai was scheduled to address the International Mining in Africa conference from which Mpofu was barred. The conference is focusing on investment opportunities in Zimbabwe.

Tsvangirai, a former opposition leader, has met leaders who have sharply criticized Mugabe. Tuesday's radio report was not the first sign the Mugabe faction has been irritated by the attention Tsvangirai is receiving.

After Tsvangirai met President Barack Obama earlier this month in Washington, Obama praised the premier for persevering in trying to lead Zimbabwe out of a "very dark and difficult period," and accused Mugabe of resisting democracy.

Zimbabwe's state-run Herald newspaper quoted Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi, a Mugabe appointee, as accusing Obama of being "overtly biased" and lacking "diplomatic courtesy."

The Sunday Mail, the Herald's sister paper, later reported Zimbabwe's information ministry was investigating whether a newsletter published by Tsvangirai's office broke the law by reporting on the prime minister's Western tour before he first discussed it with Cabinet colleagues.

Tsvangirai was expected back in Harare later this week.

Africa's Most Notorious Genocide Fugitives are Hiding in Harare.

HARARE – Zimbabwe could be harboring as many as six former top soldiers in the Rwandan army wanted in connection with the 1994 Genocide which left over a million people dead.

The six were senior military officers in the regime of former Rwandan president, Juvenal Habyarimana, which is accused of masterminding the Geenocide against Tutsis.

The former soldiers from the then Armed Forces of Rwanda (FAR) fled Rwanda when then Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) rebels led by president Paul Kagame, seized control of Kigali and put to an end the 100 days of blood-letting.

Sources this week said the six former senior Rwandan army officers were based in Harare where they were reportedly running thriving business ventures. They have all reportedly changed their identities and assumed new names.

Although there was no official confirmation from authorities in both Harare and Kigali, an African Rights Report released recently revealed several former top Rwandan army officers who participated in the Genocide are scattered all over southern Africa mainly in countries such as Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

The top former army officers are wanted in Kigali and by an international tribunal trying Genocide suspects in Arusha, Tanzania.
Sources within the refugees’ community said genocide suspects were living comfortably in Harare running business ventures.

“They are in Harare running their businesses,” said one refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). “But it’s difficult to track them down because they have all changed their identities but I know that they are about six staying here.”

Some years ago refugees from the DRC demonstrated at Tongogara Refuge Camp, about 350 KM south east of the capital, demanding that some refugees from Rwanda be removed from the camp because they participated in the Genocide. The demonstration was quelled by the police.

Sources in Harare said the former top military men came to Zimbabwe in 1996 after initially being based in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Officials from the United Nations refugees’ agency in Harare, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), declined to comment on the issue.

An official from the department of social welfare in Harare said he was aware of such accusations but insisted divulging such information was sensitive and could compromise their work.

Zimbabwe is also home to former Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariem, who together with several of his kinsmen fled their motherland after a rebel movement, which is now in power, overran the country. Mengistu is wanted for the murder of hundreds of his former political nemesis.

Relatives of former Liberian strongman Charles Taylor are also staying in Harare also running thriving business operations in the Zimbabwean capital.

Another country accused of harbouring alleged fugitives include Kenya where Felicien Kabuga is largely believed to be hiding.

Kabuga is Africa’s most wanted war criminal with a US$5 million bounty on his head. He is alleged to have financed the Genocide.

Senior officials in Kenya’s government are accused of harbouring Kabuga, an immensely wealthy businessman with vast business interests.


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