Are Zimbabwean diamonds about to finance a Mugabe coup?
Last week's issue of The Zimbabwean, which is edited from Britain, leads with a report on the possible exchange of Chinese weapons for illegally mined diamonds in Zimbabwe (see below).
If the information in this report is proved correct, it would indicate that the Mugabe regime is preparing a bloody coup to preserve itself in office, in defiance of its loss of the general election last year, its subsequent power-sharing deal with the Movement for Democratic Change, the Kimberley Process which regulates the global gem trade and a ruling of the High Court in Harare.
The report suggests that the Mugabe regime - believed to have been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of independent miners when it sent the army to seize the diamond fields at Chiadzwa in November 2008 - intends to exchange "blood diamonds" for weapons from China . The report indicates that a runway suitable for this kind of traffic has already been constructed in the diamond fields and is almost ready for use.
If the report is proved correct, it would indicate a qualitative escalation of Chinese intervention in Africa .
Armament of a resurgent Mugabe dictatorship by China , in defiance of the power-sharing agreement, would represent the initiation of a new Cold War in Africa , at a time when the United States and Britain are tied down in Afghanistan and Iraq , and handicapped by a massive sovereign debt crisis.
Such a development would have immediate and immensely grave implications for South Africa , and would represent a military-political destabilisation of the entire region.
Construction of a mile-long runway at Chiadzwa would further present a direct challenge to COSATU, which organised a boycott by dockers in South Africa three years ago of Chinese arms shipments to Mugabe. - Paul Trewhela
- Mbare Mupedzanhamo has no toilets. People have to go to nearby hostels to relieve themselves, creating a desperate health situation. Hostel tenants are complaining that users are leaving their toilets messy.
- Market stall holders in Warren Park are bitter with council owing to its failure to control vendors at the shopping centre. They say that despite paying a monthly fee of US$20 for their stalls, they are losing business to vendors who operate in front of the shops at undesignated places.
- At Lusaka market, the city of Harare is allegedly charging exorbitant rates ranging from US$35, which is beyond the majority of traders, mostly women.
- Still in Highfield, traders are being forced to close at 1700hrs instead of the agreed time of 1855hrs. at the same time the municipal police are allegedly favouring farmers/ growers who reportedly easily part with their money in bribes.
- The City of Harare has failed to explain its policy on water disconnections. Water is a basic right. By disconnecting residents, the City Council has demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that they are insensitive to the plight of the ordinary resident.
- Residents across Harare, owing the City around US$50, have had their water disconnected while others with debts amounting to around US$300 have not been disconnected.
- Allegations abound that the teams moving around the suburbs disconnecting water are accepting between US$5 and US$20 in bribes from affected residents so that their water is not disconnected.
- The HRT advises residents to consistently pay at least US$10 for water consumption every month, and keep receipts.
- Residents are further advised to organise themselves and stop any water disconnections. Water is a right- without it, diseases easily spread, and women and children suffer the worst.
- RESIST WATER DISCONNECTIONS AS A COMMUNITY
- Together let us stop corruption by council employees and elected representatives.
- Last month we promised to provide you with details of phone numbers that you can call in case you have serious challenges with your electricity bills. Call Dr Mvundura on 04-78682403 or mobile 0912 422 548
- For other issues related to your power supplies please contact ZESA Public Relations Department on 04-773330 or forward your emails to Mr Shepherd Mandizvidza on email@example.com or Mr Fullard Gwasira on firstname.lastname@example.org
- Those with access to internet can visit ZESA website on www.zesa.co.zw for other information about ZESA.
- There will be a public meeting at CJ Hall in Highfield on Saturday 13 February 2010 at 1pm. For details about this event please contact their secretary Eddington Mugova on 0733 371 474 or their Chairperson Aleck Rusere on 0912 971 384