News Roundup

Appeal for info on missing youths

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JOHANNESBURG – Two Movement for Democratic Change youths who went missing in 2005 during internal disturbances fuelled by the Central Intelligence Organisation are still to be found after almost one and half year disappearing.

Musawenkosi and Liberty Ncube were alleged to have abducted in Hillbrow in a drama that claimed the life of another activist.

Five MDC activists were arrested and are still languishing in remand prison waiting for a trial date. Although no comment could be obtained from South African Police, it is believed that they have stopped searching for the two, who are believed to be dead.

MDC South Africa was rocked in a serious leadership struggle at the time. Members who had fled the Mugabe regime’s violence and intimidation were demanding posts in the executive from members who had come to South Africa before the party’s formation in 1999.

The CIO is alleged to have infiltrated the organisation to heighten the tension. CIO underground operatives are said to have masterminded the killing of another MDC activists and the kidnapping of Mhlanga and Ncube. Lookout Mabhanga Ncube, a Zimbabwean activist, has appealed for those who might information about the two to come forward.

“If they are dead, we need to give them decent burial. We need to know about their whereabouts because

a person can not just disappear,” said the grieving Lookout. – Zakeus Chibaya

Exiles allege victimisation

JOHANNESBURG – The South African government has intensified its campaign to deny Zimbabwean asylum seekers refugee status with hundreds of applications denied every week by the Department of Home Affairs.

Most of Zimbabweans interviewed by The Zimbabwean this week said the Department of Home Affairs was coming up with flimsy excuses to deny them refugee status.

One woman who refused to identify herself for fear of jeopardising her appeal application said interviews were now a mere formality as officials had already rejected their applications.

“They accuse people of having travelling back to Zimbabwe during the time they applied for asylum

papers,” she said.

Others Zimbabweans are alleged to be holders of South African identity documents or Zimbabwe passports.

The Zimbabwe Action Support Group has condemned the process. “It really shows that the South Africa government does not recognise the crisis in Zimbabwe. They are working hand-in-hand with the Mugabe regime to punish Zimbabweans who have fled. Thabo Mbeki should work around the clock to solve the crisis as the influx of Zimbabweans into South Africa is overburdening this nation’s economy and social services,” said the group’s spokesperson, Roders Mudarikwa.

The Director of Home Affairs, Busisiwe Mukwebane-Tshehla denied the allegations.

“We do not look where the person comes from. Each application is assessed on merit,” she said.

Zimbabweans now suspect that the agreement signed between South African Intelligence Minister Ronnie

Kasrils and Zimbabwean Security Minister Didymus Mutasa has come into effect.

The governments agreed to work hand-in-hand on security matters, with South Africa monitoring

Zimbabwean civic organisations and activists. – Zakeus Chibaya

Journos in exile form news agency

JOHANNESBURG – Africa and the world’s first ever news agency by journalists living in exile was launched in South Africa recently.

The Centre for African Journalists (CAJ News) was founded by former Zimbabwe Standard Bureau Chief for Matabeleland region, Savious-Parker Kwinika.

The agency aims to create job opportunities for African journalists living in exile, help them re-orient with the local media and restore their dignity and lost pride.

Kwinika, who is also furthering his studies in Journalism and Media Studies at Wits University is working with 18 other journalists from around Africa.

The head of Journalism and Media Studies at Wits University, Professor Anton Harber, said the formation of CAJ News would help SADC and African readers to see the true picture about Africa.

“This is good news not only to the journalists in exile but for the whole of the SADC region and Africa. I hope the journalists from around Africa will be able to tell a true story about Africa,” said Prof. Harber.

Echoing same sentiments was the secretary-general for the Southern African Centre for Economic Justice (SACEJ), George Dor, who urged the mainstream media in the region to support the new agency.

“I hope the mainstream media houses from around the SADC region will support the journalists by directly buying news from them, and that CAJ News will expose corruption, economic injustices by the world’s financial institutions such as the World Bank and IMF, bad governance and corruption,” said Dor. – CAJ News

‘We are drinking raw sewage’

HARARE – These are some of the highlights of the parliamentary debate last week on the state of living conditions in Harare:

Hon. Trudy Stevenson (Harare North)

…If you do not watch where you are going you can actually disappear in one of these holes….

We are drinking raw sewage….

The residents will say: “We do not see why we should pay you because we did not elect you. ….

On the 21st of December 2005 the excuse given by the Minister for not holding elections in Harare is that there are no new ward boundaries….

Hon. Leo Mugabe (Makonde)

…When the Minister acted, we saw a decisive decision being taken by the government….

The potholes, electricity and sewerage that she has talked about, I would like to move that the Minister of Local Government must take immediate action and make sure that all those areas are rectified….

Hon. Edwin Mushoriwa (Dzivarasekwa)

…Out there we have a Commission which for more than two years has been headed by somebody who does not even have grade 7 and somebody who cannot even think of a turnaround plan..…

We have kwashiorkor in the minds of the people running Local Government…

Once you have a person like Hon. Chombo calling himself a doctor, you start wondering what type of education he has….In a discussion with Hon. Mugabe he admits privately that Hon. Chombo is a liability to Zanu (PF)….

Hon. Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (Glen Norah)

…I kept praying because barely ten years ago, I was actually proud of being Zimbabwean…

It is unfortunate when we come into this House, whether it is because Hon. Chinamasa looks at them with a bad eye and they are afraid that something will happen to them or whatever, they will not then stand up and agree…..

Hon. Thembinkosi Sibindi (Hwange East)

…if that money is misused then he can fire the council. But now he is firing from nowhere. It is like a misfiring car. He needs a new engine….

There are no roads, no bridges but you have a minister who claims to be a doctor. He is a doctor of destruction. I think this man needs to be taken to a Zion church because he needs assistance. ….

Hon. Enock Porusingazi (Chipinge South)

…We had two councillors who were selling “juice” cards by the roadside but they won the elections….

Hon. Walter Mzembi (Masvingo South)

The solution is in us going together as MDC, NDU, other political parties that may come in future and us Zanu (PF) who are always here, to seek foreign investments that will improve our country. …

In Masvingo, we had the dishonour after the last council elections of having the Deputy Mayor who is a security guard being the Chairman of the Finance Committee….

Hon. Prof Welshman Ncube (Bulawayo North-East)

We know that so many of them are well educated and they hold PhDs but they remain uneducated. If they were, this country would not be in the sorry state that it is today, the collapse of infrastructure, Harare is in a mess, Bulawayo is in a mess, there is no fuel and the country is on its knees but it is managed by highly educated people. … You need to cross the nearest bridge before you worry about the bridge which is 10 km away… I cannot go with Hon. Chinamasa there to engage the international community when he refuses to engage me on my concerns about my right to hold a meeting in Zimbabwe. – Own correspondent

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