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Rebuilding Foundations Caring for People

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Jameson Timba, a prominent leader of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) in Zimbabwe, along with 79 activists, faced brutal treatment by President Mnangagwa’s police following their arrest on 16 June. The group had gathered peacefully at Timba’s residence in Harare, to commemorate the Day of the African Child. This gathering – in a private home - but claimed to be unauthorized by the authorities, led to the violent crackdown. The brutal treatment inflicted on them by the police resulted in more than 20 sustaining serious injuries, with at least five suffering from fractured hands. Some could barely walk.

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Latest News
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Zimbabwe army chief Lieutenant General Anselem Sanyatwe threatens forced voting

The Commander of the Zimbabwe National Army, Lieutenant General Anselem Sanyatwe, told a largely Zanu PF crowd on Saturday 29 June 2024 that the country would have "command voting". He was speaking in the Nyanga North constituency. While "speaking as the army commander", Sanyatwe said that people would be marched to voting stations to cast ballots "whether you like it or not." Zimbabwe is due for a next general election in 2028. However, there's a push by one section of Zanu-PF to have elections in 2030, giving President Emmerson Mnangagwa an extra two years in office. 

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Corruption-prone Mnangagwa caught up in yet another venality case

Barely before Al Jazeera’s 2023 astounding Gold Mafia exposé has subsided, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s association with dodgy characters is scaling new heights, with controversial tenderpreneur Wicknell Chivayo — a convicted criminal — linking him to underhand deals. In leaked audios that have left Zimbabweans bewildered, Chivayo made disclosures linking Mnangagwa to his deals amid the scandalous US$40 million Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) deal to supply election materials. In one of the audios, Chivayo reveals that he has Mnangagwa in his pockets and that Mnangagwa calls him “my son”.

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PETITION: Demand For Justice and Immediate Release of Detained CCC members – Zimbabwe

Please sign this petition on regarding the unlawful detention of 79 members of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party in Zimbabwe. These individuals, including minors and women who were brutalised by the police, are currently held at remand prison and Chikurubi Female Prison. Their only “crime” was gathering peacefully at Senator Timba’s private residence. The activists were repeatedly beaten with baton sticks and open hands. Many of them arrived at court barely able to walk, with visibly swollen feet and other signs of physical trauma​. To sign, please click HERE and pass it on to others.

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Visible scars of torture – newsletter from Cathy Buckle in Zimbabwe

Utterly heartbreaking scenes were shown in a short video clip during June of former Senator and Cabinet Minister, Jameson Timba, and 77 youngsters disembarking from a police bus which was taking them to the Harare Magistrate’s Court. It was almost too painful to watch as they hobbled, limped and staggered towards the Court watched by police in riot gear, wearing helmets and holding rubber truncheons. Many of those arrested were young women. One young woman had her leg bandaged and wrapped in blue plastic from her knee to her toes; she had been beaten so badly by police that her leg was broken.

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After the Bell: Solar panels to adorn Lake Kariba — a potential game-changer with pros and cons

Zimbabwe has announced that it plans to install floating solar panels (FPVs) early next year on Lake Kariba in a bid to address chronic power shortages stemming from falling dam levels. According to news reports, the aim is to have 150MW installed on Kariba’s surface in early 2025. FPVs are reported to be more efficient than land-based systems. This is because water has a cooling effect on the panels, which boosts the performance of photovoltaic cells, leading to increased power generation. See summary here. But floating solar can also have negative consequences, and with Kariba specifically, there are red flags.

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Prisons force inmates to buy uniforms

Prisoners on remand in Zimbabwe have been ordered to acquire their own uniforms, while relatives are having to bring them blankets during the harsh winter months, underlining government’s dire financial straits. Prisoners who cannot afford the price of prison garb are forced to wear tattered and worn-out clothing.  Some wear hand-me-downs from fellow inmates or relatives, while others are left to suffer the cold and indignity of threadbare clothes. The quality of prison meals has deteriorated drastically, with inmates being served meagre, poor quality and poorly cooked rations that are difficult to digest.

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Zimbabwe: 24,000 inmates in jail – ZimStat

More than 24 000 people aged between 15 and 60 were in jail countrywide during the first quarter of 2024, Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) has reported, with almost a quarter being remanded in custody awaiting bail or finalisation of trial, and the rest serving set terms. The 46 prisons, which reportedly have the capacity to hold only 17,000 inmates, are now severely overcrowded. On 4 August 2023, Al Jazeera reported that former inmates said the conditions were inhumane as jails were infested with lice, meals were only fit for pigs, and the toilets – often infrequently emptied buckets – were a disgrace.

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With 9 million now facing hunger, Zim increases appeal for aid to US$3.3 billion

Zimbabwe launched an appeal on 27 May for a staggering US$3.3 billion to feed an estimated 9 million people who require food aid until March 2025 out of a population of 16 million. Initially, the figure of food insecure people stood at 7.7 million in both urban and rural areas and aid was estimated at US$2.2 billion but government says the numbers have increased. More than 1.4 million cattle risk facing deteriorating body conditions or starving due to lack of food, pasture and water. A joint US$429.3 million flash appeal was also announced by the government with the United Nations to cater for close to 3.1 million people.

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China serves as important tobacco market for Zimbabwe: official

China remains an important destination for Zimbabwean tobacco, accounting for more than 60 percent of the country's leaf exports worldwide. Tobacco is an important economic activity for the smallholder sector. [However, Associated Press reported in June 2023 that although Zimbabwe has reestablished itself as one of the leading growers in the world, the small-scale Black farmers now selling their crop mostly to China are “heavily indebted” and seeing “minimal” benefits, according to an association that represents their interests. Critics say the contract system locks them into unfavorable loans and prices.]

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