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Terror bill gazetted
HARARE - The Suppression of Foreign and International Terrorism Bill came a step closer to being enacted when it was gazetted last week - technically for public discussion.
This Bill supposedly aims to provide for the suppression of foreign a

nd international terrorism, including mercenary activities. But there are fears that the government will use it to suppress legitimate political activity in Zimbabwe.
The preamble refers to the 1989 UN Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries and to the OAU Convention for the Elimination of Mercenarism in Africa. Heavy penalties apply.
Clause 13 provides that nearly all the clauses of the bill apply to activities carried out anywhere in the world. The Attorney-General’s authority will be necessary for prosecutions under the Act to proceed. – Bill Watch

ZIC and EPZA to be joined
HARARE – The Zimbabwe Investment Authority Bill has been through its second reading. Amendments have been referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee. The bill will make way for a new statutory body to replace the Zimbabwe Investment Centre and the Export Processing Zones Authority.
This new body will be responsible for processing applications for investment licences, planning and implementing investment promotion strategies, etc. Holders of existing certificates approving investment projects and licences will have six months to convert them into investment licences under the new Act.
The Bill makes no provision for export processing zones. Also absent is provision for consequential amendments to provisions referring to export processing zones in the Customs and Excise Act, the VAT Act and the Income Tax Act. – Bill Watch

Mugabe to Malawi?
LILONGWE – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is to visit Malawi towards the end of this month to open the current sitting of Parliament, according to local press reports.
Sources at Capital Hill, the seat of government, said Mugabe, who is one of the two African presidents to visit Malawi this month, will among other things hold private talks with President Bingu wa Mutharika. “The country intends to honour the Zimbabwean leader by letting him open parliament. Western countries will definitely not like this because of continued human rights abuses and undemocratic principles of the Mugabe regime,” said the source.
However, Patricia Kaliati, the Malawi government spokesperson and Minister of Information said she was yet to be briefed on the Zimbabwean President’s itinerary, therefore she was not aware about the opening of parliament by Mugabe. – Own correspondent

UNHCR ignores protestors
PRETORIA – At least 100 Zimbabwean and Somali refugees who mobbed the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees offices in Pretoria last year demanding repatriation from South Africa have not yet been attended to.
The refugees, who camped at the UNHCR offices in August last year, have now formed a committee to force officials to attend to their dilemma.
The chairman of the committee Farai Juma, a Zimbabwean, said: “Now it is nearly 10 months for us gathering outside UN offices demanding repatriation. We are not going to move out of here unless we are repatriated. The officials are neglecting us but we will never be intimidated by them. Some of them are even demanding money to help us and we are fed up with all these useless bribes.”
When CAJ News visited the opulent UN offices during the night recently, a number of refugees were busy cooking on the entrance hall and some were sleeping inside the building.
Contacted for comment, UNHCR information Officer Pumla Rulashe acknowledged the disturbance at the offices.
“Yes, we know of these who are boycotting at our offices. But the fact that they are staying at the building is not our concern as we do not own the building. We can’t evict them,” she said
South Africa’s Director-General for Refugees, Busisiwe Mkhwebane-Tshehla, professed ignorance about any disturbances, while human rights commissioner legal officer Phillip Mabletsa, who is defending the refugees, has appealed to the UNHCR to assist the refugees.
According to UNHCR statistics South Africa hosts approximately 29,000 recognised refugees and 110,000 asylum seekers whose asylum applications are not finalized. – CAJ News

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