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Zimbabwe

Zimbabweans Bid to Amend Draconian Security Law

For the first time since an inclusive government was sworn into power a year ago, steps have been taken to amend security legislation that enabled the previous government to detain thousands of people.  Since the government of national unity came to power, the Cabinet made up of ministers from ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change has not repealed any repressive legislation.  Nor has it been able to agree on a program to change the security and media laws that have long been criticized by pro-democracy groups. But proposed legislation will soon be put to parliament to amend secu

Zimbabwe's Unity Government Marks Shaky First Year in Power

Zimbabwe's rickety government of national unity commemorates its first anniversary Thursday. On February 11 last year, Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn in as prime minister of Zimbabwe after disputed elections and months of negotiations. He took the junior post to President Robert Mugabe despite the fact that his Movement for Democratic Change had won a parliamentary majority at the polls. Mr. Tsvangirai also won the first round of the presidential vote in March 2008 although he did not receive the more than 50 percent majority needed for an outright victory. Mr.

White-Owned Companies May be Forced to Give Up Majority Stakes in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's unity government is plunged into another crisis as new regulations designed by President Robert Mugabe's loyalists demand that 51 percent of all companies be given to blacks.

Zimbabwe Prepares for Food Shortage

Zimbabwe has had to start importing grain before the end of the agricultural season because a prolonged drought has reduced estimated food harvests. Agriculture Minister Joseph Made says Zimbabwe must import 500,000 tons of corn (maize) to ensure food stability.  This is in response to the protracted dry spell that has seen crops dying in most of the country. But Commercial Farmer's Union President Deon Theron told VOA his organization had advised the government that crops needed to be planted early because of a forecast el-Nino effect that would create an abnormal season. "If you loo

Zimbabwe Facing Another Drought

Farmers in Zimbabwe say they face another difficult agricultural season, as the dry spell that has hit the country continues. Weeks into the agricultural season, the rains are nowhere near normal and the crops are showing it.  Zimbabwe Farmers Union Director Paul Zakariya tells VOA even crops that normally thrive under dry conditions are feeling the heat. "We are looking at maize [corn], we are looking at cotton and, in some instances, it's also the tobacco and the other small grains which naturally will be resisting or would be tolerant but they are already succumbing," he said. The

Southern African Leaders Discuss Madagascar, Zimbabwe at Summit

Southern African leaders have rejected plans by the leader of Madagascar to unilaterally organize national elections in March.

Civil Rights Group Seeks Enforcement of Ruling Declaring Zimbabwe’s Land Distribution Illegal and Racist

A South African civil rights group is taking legal action to try to enforce a court ruling that labeled Zimbabwe’s land distribution program illegal and racist.     Under the policy, farms owned or operated by white farmers were seized and turned over to blacks, who had been denied land under white rule.     The ruling condemning that policy was handed down by a South African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal in 2008.  But the group Afriforum says it has not been enforced and the practice continues.     “Afriforum had been approached by Zimbabwean farmers about six months ago.  At th

UN Launches 2010 Appeal for Aid to Zimbabwe

The United Nations has launched its 2010 Consolidated Appeal Process for humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe. Speaking at the launch, U.N. Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Catherine Bragg, said the money asked for is much less than the $719 million requested for this year. "The CAP 2010 already outlines lesser needs than any other CAP launched in Zimbabwe," said Catherine Bragg. "At a total of $378 million, almost 50 percent less than the year before." Brag, who is also the U.N.

Zimbabwe Parties Resume Talks

Talks to resolve issues that threaten the unity of Zimbabwe's shaky inclusive government got under way on Monday. The talks started after the deadline set by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for the parties that make up the unity government to fully implement the so-called Global Political Agreement, or GPA, the deal that brought about the national unity government. On November 5 a SADC summit in Maputo gave the feuding parties 15 days to implement the outstanding issues. If this did not happen, SADC would send South Africa's President Jacob Zuma to break the logjam.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union Sounds Alarm on Takeover Violence

Zimbabwe's Commercial Farmers Union on Friday said there has been a significant increase in violence against the country's remaining white commercial farmers as the Office of the Attorney General has fast-tracked enforcement of farm takeovers. CFU President Deon Theron says that although farm invasions have been taking place since 2000, the latest round has of officially sanctioned takeovers been more vicious.

Zimbabwe's Tsvangirai Announces End of Government Boycott

Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says his party has ended its partial boycott of the power sharing government and has given President Robert Mugabe one month to resolve outstanding disputes in the coalition. Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai made the announcement at the end of a summit of the politics and security organ of the Southern African Development Community. The members of the group, the heads-of-state of Mozambique, Zambia and Swaziland, concluded the summit in Mozambique by urging the parties in Zimbabwe's unity government to reconcile th

Authorities in Zimbabwe Charge Lawyer With Obstruction for Objecting to Subpoena

Police in Zimbabwe Tuesday released a lawyer arrested Monday for objecting to a subpoena issued for his client, Peter Hitschmann, who served a prison term for possession of weapons in connection with an alleged 2006 plot to assassinate President Robert Mugabe. Attorney Mordecai Mahlangu was charged with obstructing justice after he wrote to Attorney General Johannes Tomana to protest the subpoena directing Hitschmann to testify in the terrorism trial of Senator Roy Bennett of the Movement for Democratic Change. Bennett, a former white commercial