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July 2007

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

The sad queue for the kidney machine

Africandoctors As medical facilities decay, as equipment breaks and is not replaced, what hope for those who must have treatment?

There are many ways to die in Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe today, starvation, riot, a visit from your friendly neighbourhood policeman... But one of the saddest now threatens a group of people already suffering from a life threatening disease.

They are patients with renal failure. In the past there have been sufficient dialysis machines in the country to cope with demand, even though patients often had to supply their own equipment and fluids bought for them by kind family members in South Africa.

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Monday, 30 July 2007

Now the chiefs are the target

Mugabe is searching out those traditional leaders who might opposite him - and he knows just how to deal with them

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Thursday, 26 July 2007

Stark warning for the President

This week I saw clear evidence that the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), Mugabe's much feared and fiercely loyal secret police force, is alarmed by the government's latest attempt to control inflation, and has warned top politicians that it could lead to total economic collapse and a mass revolt against the President.

Three weeks ago, in a desperate bid to control an inflation rate of 5,000 per cent, the ruling Zanu-PF party ordered shops, businesses and all commerce to slash prices of basic commodities by 50 per cent or more.  CIO hit squads and other paramilitaries went from shop to shop enforcing the order. The result was a desperate rush to buy by the hungry populace.

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Wednesday, 25 July 2007

The story of Takawira

Bullface I was arrested by Mugabe's police the other day. They caught me dealing in foreign currency, and threw me into the Harare Remand Prison. After six hours I bribed my way back out onto the streets, but during that time I met a man who's plight made me forget mine.

His name is Takawira Mwanza; he is 35, a tall, dark and softly spoken man. I laughed when Takawira told me his story. As is so common in today's Zimbabwe,  I laughed to keep from crying.

Takawira is in jail because he committed the ultimate Zimbawean crime. He stole from our President. Mugabe hasn't forgiven him, and probably never will.

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Honey trappers double-crossed

The two men who engineered the honey trap that caught Bulawayo Archbishop Pius Ncube in bed with Rosemary Sibanda have now told me: "We are very bitter. We were promised big money when the job was done, but we've received nothing."

The men are private investigator Ernest Tekere and the woman's husband, Onesimus Sibanda. It was Sibanda who first approached Tekere with the plan to film the Archbishop (left) secretly.

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Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Should the UK invade Zimbabwe?

British paratroops descending from the blue skies of Zimbabwe to knock-out Robert Mugabe's evil and corrupt government and restore true democracy in our country - it's a thrilling and yet a frightening vision for we Zimbabweans.

But it is the vision of one of the most respected and best-loved figures in the country. He is Pius Ncube, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo - a man who, in standing tall against the forces of oppression, has always previously advocated non-violent resistance only.

Continue reading at The First Post

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Monday, 23 July 2007

Left for dead by secret police


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Sunday, 22 July 2007

4,500 per cent – and rising

The First Post's exclusive news revealing the latest Zimbabwe inflation statistics will infuriate the government of Robert Mugabe, especially as it has taken considerable steps to make sure they remained a secret. And the possibility still exists that an attempt will be made to massage, or even falsify, the figures.

The Minister of Finance, Samuel Mumbengegwi, issued a confidential departmental directive to delay the announcement, because, he wrote, "they will cause major embarrassment".

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Saturday, 21 July 2007

Coup attempt nipped in bud


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Friday, 20 July 2007

The executioner talks

On May 22 I reported for The First Post on the five Zimbabwean mounted soldiers who made a dash for freedom in South Africa only to be captured by Mugabe's men, brought back, and tortured. I wrote that their families feared the young men had been executed.

These fears were confirmed this week by a man who took part in the executions. He is Michael Nyathi, 47, a member of a Central Intelligence Organisation hit squad for the past ten years. Nyathi, finally sickened by his own deeds, and fearful for his life, has deserted from the CIO and is on the run. This is his story as he told it to me, in all its brutal and horrifying detail.

Continue reading at The First Post

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Death of a brigadier

The mysterious death of a senior army man indicates further instability in Mugabe’s regime

A top-ranking Zimbabwean Army officer died yesterday when a train smashed into his car on a crossing in the town of Marondera, capital of Mashonaland East. Sources immediately hinted that he had been assassinated by military intelligence because of his alleged involvement with the recent attempted coup.  

He was Brigadier Armstrong Gunda, Commander of One Brigade, stationed in Bulawayo, and reckoned to be number four in the army hierarchy. At one time he was head of the Presidential Guard, reporting personally to Mugabe.

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Friday, 13 July 2007

Plight of the powerless

Despite official assurances, even patients under the knife can now be caught in a black-out

Our shortage of fuel, our shortage of foreign currency, and, of course, our chronic shortage of intelligent government administration, have all led to power cuts becoming a way of life in modern Zimbabwe. But recently they have threatened to become a way of death.  

'Load-shedding', as power cuts are known, results from our under-performing power stations at Hwange and Kariba, and the massive debts we owe to Mozambique and other southern African countries for the supply of electricity to our grid.

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Thursday, 12 July 2007

A non-currency country

It’s a daily struggle trying to survive in a society where money is worthless

I popped out for a Z$25,000 loaf of bread last Friday. It had gone up to Z$30,000 dollars. I ran home for the extra, ran back to the shop - and the price of my loaf had risen to Z$44,000.  

That's life in Zimbabwe today - or at least it was, until this week when our government took bold and decisive action to reduce the inflatory spiral, and predictably everything got even worse straight away.

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Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Chief Justice libido

Adultery is illegal in Zimbabwe, but one amorous judge has friends in high places

We may be a Third World country. We may be ruinously poor, hopelessly governed and riddled with corruption. But there's one aspect of life in which we can go head-to-head with you Western nations any time you like. And that's sexual misbehaviour in high places.  

Take the case of Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku of the Zimbabwe Supreme Court. Judge Godfrey (left) clearly suffers from a chronic case of being unable to keep his trousers on. He is currently the subject of 10 - count them, 10 - lawsuits for adultery.

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Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Honey trap lures Archbishop

Mugabe may have silenced one of the loudest voices for freedom and justice

The startling allegations that the outspoken Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo, Pius Ncube, has committed adultery have shaken those of us who see Ncube as an inspiring leader in the fight against Mugabe.

Sources indicate that the Archbishop, who we reported last week was calling for UK forces to come in and topple Mugabe, has fallen victim to a classic 'honey trap'. He is being sued for Z$20m in damages by the woman's husband.

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